Telma Davila Castillo isn’t a professional rider, nor has she been doing it all her life; but if you’re looking for inspiration on how to turn a passion into a way to unite and improve your community, look no further. She encourages women to take up riding, be adventurous, be independent, and be active where they live in Central Mexico. Her riding group is called Mujeres Biker Chihuahua.
Why did you start riding?
Ever since I was a teenager I thought about getting a bike. I wanted to fly but riding is the closest I can get to it, and it is outdoors. I like nature. I’ve traveled throughout many Mexican states and liked the movement that a bike gives me.
Why do you keep riding?
Once I started riding, I knew; once I got on the bike I thought it was made for me. It’s easy to maneuver. It’s a passion. I felt like it’s my thing, and I belong there on the bike. It’s not a hobby, it’s a lifestyle. It’s something inside me and I can’t leave it. When riding I get in a mode; I talk to my bike. I laugh with it. I cry with it. It’s therapeutic and de-stressing. I get my clothes on, boots on, and get on my friend, my bike, my confidante.
With whom do you ride?
Many times by myself, which I very much enjoy. Also, with other women who share the same passion and lifestyle. We’re mostly over 35.
Do you encourage other women to ride? How?
Definitely. Here in Mexico there is a lot of machismo. But we women found out we’re strong, we have the capacity and it’s fun. Women can work and take care of kids, but we can also do extreme things. We talk to other women who can see that you can still be individual not just a part of a group. Our riding club gathers once a month.
I understand you do charitable work?
We gather each Christmas to invite other clubs of riding people to contribute things to a Retirement Home. Also, we did a campaign for Breast Cancer Awareness and Prevention. We rode to various city hospitals wearing pink, handing out literature on breast cancer awareness and prevention and answering questions on that subject. In Mexico, people are afraid of people on bikes. We are not bad people. We have jobs which support our bike habits. To maintain a bike takes money. I’m proud that I have the courage and strength to do something society says is bad and definitely is not for women.
The group I’m with is called MBU, Mujeres Biker Chihuahua. MBU is in other cities and states in Mexico. We communicate with other groups and share our goals and activities. We’re one of the biggest and most organized and united groups. We’re always willing to help each other. Recently, one member, a single mother, had her house broken into and her Christmas money was stolen. So we organized an activity to donate to her cause so she’d have something for Christmas. Our MBU Chihuahua has a great leader for our women’s group, Wendy Espino. She is organized, courageous and disciplined. She’s also a great biker, and we all listen to her advice and direction. Wendy also has a small group of four women who ride larger chopper bikes and that group is called Orquideas (Orchids). I may not be strong enough for that bike or ready for it, but maybe someday.
Sue Balaconis is a writer, teacher, and counselor who travels, whenever she can, to Mexico.