PHOTOS | HELEANA GENAUS
Speed. Torque. Fear. The Conquest
Vicky and her machines are inseparable, they are one and the same, they are everything she is, energetic, fast, ready for anything and not to be messed with. She finds the yin in her perpetual motion yang when she can push her bikes to 120% to find that moment when time slows down and she is nowhere else.
For Vicky, riding is all she thinks about, and her friends are no different. When I asked her where it all started for her she recounted a speed bike that pulled up next to her and her dad (whilst in a car) when she was in her teens. As it pulled up she was mesmerised by it, reenacting the sound of the machine building and then disappearing ahead leaving a trail of high frequency sound behind it and seed in her mind that would flourish many years later.
Relationships, adulthood and life in general presented as obstacles (or fuel) between her and this passion until she finally decided to take her own life in both hands by setting new years resolutions that would bump her out of her comfort zone. So she mandated to do one thing every year that scares her, no doubt motorcycling was amongst the first. What is undeniable about this woman is the connection she has with the sport, aiming to stay true to herself so much so her motorcycles have not only become extensions of her personality, they’re connected to her. As she put it “it’s me on me”.
As soon as her tyres hit the road she went looking for like-minded speed-nuts like herself with too much energy and not enough time. Starting out on large group rides at night, she was one of few women in this underground scene who were there for the love of it. A couple big accidents and seeing other riders journey end fatally she pulled herself away from the scene, of which seemed more about trying to keep up with the faster riders for ego’s sake, which can be fatal to inexperienced riders.
Vicky now chooses who she rides with, enjoys long bendy open roads on weekends and gets her technique, skill and mind-set adjustments when she can get to the track. Now that she has insight into best practices with riding she is a staunch advocate for proper riding, going your own pace, setting your own rules and always gearing up.
To photograph Vicky, we went to her original romping ground nice and early when all the serious riders were out. Following her around this scene there was clearly a mark of respect for her as a rider. She uses the whole tread on her sticky tyres, pulls racing lines and looks out for other riders. I can say that standing by the side of the road waiting for her to appear, compared to all other riders she is quick, bold and in control and has no doubt become that rider who inspired her in her youth.
For me, Vicky “the rider” is a symbol of a restrained zen-like strength that can only come from a life lived facing personal fears through hard lessons, discipline and pushing herself to the edge of her threshold in the aim to conquer it because ultimately, she knows deep within her, that life is better there.
Final image of Vicky taken by Carolyn from Darkroom Images
Heleana is a force of nature. The founder of In Venus Veritas and The Petrolette, and a co-founder of Rising Sun Workshop. Heleana shares her love of vintage cars, riding motorcycles, and (not-so-secretly) dreams of flying planes and piloting a riva aquariva (a la Sophia Loren) very fast through the canals of Venice. Supportive and connected, community is her lifeblood, and she is as real as they come.