PHOTOS | KATE DISHER-QUILL
Tara is one of those people who cannot do anything other than what she loves. Meeting Tara came at a time for me when I felt surrounded by people who preferred to live unhappily in their comfort rather than happily in discomfort. The road to pursuing the stuff that makes us happy, for some, seems to come fraught with fear of failure which is why so many of us stay were we are… comfortable. Meeting Tara was utterly refreshing, even while recovering from injuries she incurred at Dirt Quake recently, she was still smiling, passionate and sharp. Tara just goes for it, makes no excuses and doesn’t let any hype threaten the joy she gains from dirt and trail riding.
When I asked Tara where it all started, she referenced competitive college softball she used to play while in college at UCLA. Tara won a scholarship and national title for her talents. A few years following her retiring from competitive softball she moved back to Southern California from San Francisco. Missing the competitive nature and team camaraderie of the sport, it was when her friends at Deus Ex Machina in Venice coerced her to give motorcycling a go, she didn’t need much convincing. With that, she hightails it to Perris raceway, gets a taste for flat track and is hooked! After her first go, she then went to super bike school at Silverstone Stowe in the UK, then tried motocross and road riding before coming back to trail riding, which is her love. Trail riding is the ultimate freedom, it tests her skill, improves her performance and, quite simply, makes her smile in her helmet.
With her new bike and supportive crew of friends at Deus who are also involved in the Southern California Flat Track Association (SCFTA) they’ve helped her grow as a rider, taught her how to be her own pit crew which ultimately has led her to set her sights on some bigger races like Hare & Hound (desert race) and La Barstow Vegas. She’s quick to point out that while competitive sport is a big part of the appeal for her, it’s not for the fame or glory put rather the sense of accomplishment. Tara prefers to nimble, free to be herself rather than pigeon holed or be forced to take it all so seriously through restrictive endorsements.
For someone with a history in competitive sport, Tara now prefers to live life much less seriously as she thrives on the fluid and free form of riding she prefers. Motorcycling has become an essential part of her life, an extension of her. It is who she is, Tara knows no other way to be.
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.