Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Carolynn

Pam
Wife, mom, grandmother, motorcyclist, and blogger.

This next Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn is incredible. Some days I just sit amazed at how I get connected with these lady motorcyclist. My next guest was referred to my by @KHaylock. Thank you Ken!

It seems like I’ve had a streak of racing women lately and about to add another to the mix! Strap on your seat belts we are jumping the pond to meet Carolynn Sells a.k.a. @CarolynnSells from Isle of Man! You can find her on Facebook and check out her web site CarolynnSells.co.uk.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? Since I was about 12, although I’ve been around bikes & racing paddocks since I was very little.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - her love of two wheels started early! Age 4
Carolynn’s love of two wheels started early! Age 4

How did you learn to ride? My brother got an off road bike & I used to ride that around our back garden. I nearly took out the family greenhouse, first time out.

What was your first motorcycle? My own was a Black & Red, Yamaha RD50 with Micron exhaust, which got me on the open road at the age of 16.

How many have you owned? Not many, actually… about 6, I think, but I’ve ridden a lot more than that. The first one I owned was my RD50, back in 1989, the last was the only race bike I owned, which I sold to my dad after I packed in racing at the end of 2009… My Blue & White RD350LC was my favourite. I miss that bike.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - Carolynn's beloved 350LC
Carolynn’s beloved 350LC

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? My Dad has built & ridden bikes since he was a teenager, then he started racing when I was 5, nearly 6. I spent my childhood in the racing paddock & travelling around the country in vans, going to race meetings.

Then, when I was 12, we went to the Isle of Man (we lived in Lancashire, in the North West of England, at the time) for my Dad to race in the Manx Grand Prix on the TT Course. I decided that I wanted to race there too, one day…

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - Carolynn's first race April 2000
Carolynn’s first race April 2000

Tell us about your riding. Initially messing about in fields, then commuting/transport & then eventually, my ultimate goal… real road racing.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Get out there & do it… Anybody can do anything they want to do, if they have the drive & the ambition. Being female isn’t an obstacle.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - Parliament Junior Ady3

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? Well… each race on the TT Course was 150 miles & I completed 10 of those. We did do 4 weeks around Europe (France, Germany, Belgium & Luxembourg) when I was a kid, but my mum & dad were on the bike, me & my brother were in the sidecar with all our tents, sleeping stuff, cooking equipment etc.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Off or online? Both… I’m now a Director of the Manx Motor Cycle Club, who organize & run the Manx Grand Prix road races & am also one of two Rider Liaison Officers for the club & the event.

I have set up a Facebook group & a page for the club too. When I first started road riding, I was a member of the BMF (British Motorcyclists Federation) and that is who I passed my CBT & road test with.

I have also been a member of several Road Racing clubs (in order to get race entries) in the UK, Ireland & the Isle of Man, and of course, got my annual race licence from the ACU (Auto Cycle Union).

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - road racer

Do you have a favorite riding story? I have so many to choose from, but it has to be my win on the Isle of Man TT Mountian Course in 2009.

24 years after that first trip the Isle of Man and 6 years after my first race on the circuit, I became the first woman ever to win a race on the Isle of Man TT Mountain Course, when I won the Ultra Lightweight Manx Grand Prix race by over 62 seconds from the 2nd placed man.

I’m still the only woman to win on that circuit, in over 106 years of racing. You can read about it in my 2009 race Diary, here.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn - Norma Farmer21

What do you do when you’re not riding? I’m a mum, who runs a home & works part-time as an Assistant Manager. I help organize road races & tutor newcomers in any spare time that I do have & get to play out, very, very occasionally.

P.S. One thing Carolynn didn’t mention was she is a Guinness World Record holder!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist Meet Carolynn

There are several types of women that ride motorcycles and Carolynn is a great example of the lady who lives and breathes all thing motorcycling!

Ladies, whether you are looking to start riding solo, a casual motorcyclist, a seasoned rider, or enjoying riding pillion you are all welcome to join in the Helmet or Heels community. I would love to share your story of motorcycling no matter where you are on the journey. It will inspire other women along the way.

Catch us on Instagram @helmetorheels, Pinterest @helmetorheels or Twitter @helmetorheels – we are just getting started!

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4 Responses

    1. Manx GP Winner, Trobairitz. Same course, different racing classes, runs in August rather than the beginning of June, Carolynn can probably tell you a lot more about the different heritage and the overlap of the two events, given that she’s a Director of the club that has organised the whole event for many, many decades…

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