Samantha Radics

Samantha Radics is co-founder of The Moto Social; along with her husband Viktor Radics. This year was the first time I got to experience The Moto Social when it came to Edmonton. I met Sam back in May when we had our first event here, at Iconoclast coffee. That night blew my mind because the Edmonton motorcycle scene had always been so segregated to different cliques and groups. Yet somehow this awesome couple from Toronto used the their platform of The Moto Social and somehow brought everyone together in a way that no one has been able to do before. The vibe was so good. It was a no brainer that I wanted to profile Samantha while in Toronto for Women of Moto activities, so we had a morning photoshoot in their (beautiful) back alley.

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Tell me one fun fact about yourself :)

I once thought I was going to be a professional hip hop dancer…

How long have you been riding?

I have been riding for just over 9 years now. 

What or who inspired you to start riding?

A job/Husband combo. Nine years ago I needed a part time gig, so I started working for the same company Viktor, my husband, had just started working for. It was a Motorcycle shop and naturally we both got into riding because of this job we were working at. I had no previous experience before working there!

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What kind of motorcycle do you ride and why?

I currently own a 1978 BMW R100/7. It was the bike that came along at the right time. I have an appreciation for these old ( and new) airheads. They just keep going!

What is your dream bike?

Impossible to have only one dream bike. Practical vs. collectable, old vs. new. I would ride them all. I am however looking forward to riding the Husqvarna Vitpilen! I’ll dream about riding that bike one day... 

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What inspired you and Viktor to start TheMotoSocial?

Working in the motorcycle industry and paying attention to what people need and want was the inspiration for The Moto Social. Viktor and I were both working at dealerships for a few years before The Moto Social started. While working at BMW Motorrad in 2013, Viktor realised that there wasn’t an event or platform for the like minded to get together and meet one another. There was a need for an event that we personally would attend, as people who were curious about meeting others and being apart of a welcoming community. We wanted to create a platform where relationships and camaraderie could be built. It was a personal need and desire, and we quickly realized we weren’t alone. 

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What does success mean to you?

Success is a state of mind, not a status.

What do you do for a living?

At the moment I work at Town Moto, a motorcycle lifestyle shop in Toronto, and operate along side Viktor to keep TheMotoSocial growing and operating. 

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How has riding helped you in your personal and professional life?

Professionally, riding has giving me a niche to focus on. Which sounds minor, but there is so much opportunity to be had in the Motorcycle industry, and there is always fun to be had. I have also met people I may not have ever had the chance to meet- giving me the opportunity to work with some seriously kick ass people. Personally, it has given me the opportunity to push myself. It is something that both Viktor and I can do together and that has been a huge blessing for our marriage. Riding has surrounded me with the most unique and supportive community that has encouraged me to keep growing, in both aspects. Professionally and Personally. 

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TheMotoSocial is a major success across this country as well as in Cape Town. Do you think that having more women involved in TheMotoSocial teams helps draw in more women to the events?

Having women on the team from my point of view, is the completion of a healthy and supportive community. I think that women would come out to TheMotoSocial regardless, but having ladies on the team has definitely affected how quickly our female attendance has grown. The invitation is always there and open to anyone, and I think that the welcoming vibe TheMotoSocial communicates is attractive to most men and women. When we started TheMotoSocial, gender representation wasn’t even on my mind. Working in the industry I was used to being the only women around. As the event developed I began noticing other women coming out, and began realising that the more women that came out and supported the event the more others were following. I was so fresh and exciting to see so many rad ladies coming out!

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Do you have any women in the moto industry that you are inspired by? Why?

I think there are many women in this industry who are inspirational. I think the ones I am most inspired by are the women who are okay with being in the background but continue to work their asses off. Marika Thoms, Co-owner of TownMoto, is one of those women. She inspires me because of her ability to work for the things she wants. She had a dream that was Town Moto and made it happen. She inspires me through her support for our community. She hustles behind the scenes and is always pushing others to the forefront. She is always working to be a better person. Owning the type of business that is Town Moto, most definitely can’t be easy. I have watched her work through some of the challenges that come with the biz and she has always come out stronger on the other side.

What is the best advice you have received in regards to your riding?

On a practical side, I was given advice to never assume that you are seen by others and just because you have the right of way by law, doesn’t mean that you can assume the right away without full attention. Also, do as much training a possible and ride everything. All bikes are cool, and the more you ride the more confident you get.

Where do you see the women’s moto movement/culture in Canada heading over the next few years?

Women’s moto culture is in a really interesting spot right now. With SO much growth over the last five years, I hope to see a continued focus on the market as a whole. As the market grows the female presence will also grow, which means more options and more opportunity for us across the board. 

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What is your dream moto trip?

My dream moto trip at the moment would be to tour around Europe. I have yet to touch down on two wheels over there. I’ve been on a few really great trips so far that were all amazing, and I have no doubt that I am going to make it to Europe sooner than later!

Were you intimidated by the male dominance in the riding community?

I started riding in a male dominant atmosphere with my job, so I didn’t feel the intimidation I think that some women might trying to integrate as a rider alone. I worked mostly with men and they were all really encouraging, and that is what I adapted to. I think the men around me then encouraged me to push myself further, and get over my fears. 

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What is your favorite place or event to ride?

My favourite place to ride so far is South Africa. Every type of road you would want to ride is there, and the people are stellar folk.

Who is your favorite person(s) to ride with?

I don’t have a favourite, Viktor and I have been riding together since the beginning so it always feels so natural, but when I get to ride with 2 or 3 of my girls, we always have a good time :)

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How do you feel you have broken stereotypes as a female rider?

I never really felt like I had the urge to “fit into” a stereotype when it came to motorcycling. Maybe it was because of how I started riding. I didn’t have any heavy stereotype influences, I felt neutral and just did me. I never felt like I had to join a club, or wear something that would help identify me as a female rider. It felt pretty. I just rode bikes and rode with whoever I could find to ride with. 

How do you feel the image of female riders has changed over the past few years?

I think the image of a female rider today has become more diverse. There isn’t so much of a specific stereotype to fit into, and I also think women are less objectified than they used to be.