Ride Like A Girl Spotlight - May 2022 - Kenya Ornelas



Hi, I'm Kenya. I am a 27 year old Industrial Engineer, girlfriend, daughter, sister and best friend in this life. I lived half my life in Arizona and the other half here in Tijuana. I am a Tijuana Mexico Litas founder, since May 2021. 


Why did you start riding?

One Friday afternoon after work, in traffic and with a new Spotify Harley Davidson playlist in the background… I just had a huge urge to answer the question of why on a Friday I am in traffic and not feeling the wind? My boyfriend has always been riding and I was a passenger with him for about a year until this very moment. I now have 2 years riding, I ride a HD 883 Sportster and honestly grew out of it in about 6 months. Why did I start riding… I honestly can only pin point today a feeling within… a connection that goes beyond what I can describe in words but can feel as I ride.


How long have you been riding?

I can remember the day I finished my riding lessons and considered myself officially a rider… it was the same day Kobe B. had his accident  and passed away. As I did my last ride to the course and turned off my engine, my boyfriend was seeing in the news feed recent images of the accident. January 26th 2020 I began the journey and now have exactly 2 years with a couple of weeks. Strange how sometimes more than one event impact your life and keeps a memory in a special place in your head. 


How would you describe your riding style?

So far I have only known Harley Davidson riding, not having (till today) any interest for sport high speed bikes. But I do have an interest for dirt bikes (next goal). I like to take the scenery slow, enjoy the sight and wind. Not much more.


What bikes have you had and which one is/was your fave and why?

I have only had HD sportster 883. My boyfriend has a 1200cc sportster and a Road King which I have ridden but I always stick more to the sportster for the easy riding I have between traffic and its pipes rumble (specially the 2004 1200cc sportster)! 😊


What experience/lesson stands out the most to you, as it relates to skill development on your bike?

Driving in the traffic is the best experience you can have. It activates all your senses and creates a constant knowledge for knowing escape routes in 0.0001 second. I know many are worried to ride for the first time in traffic. As for myself, my first rides in traffic, I would literally stay behind cars as if I was another car. Until little by little I went into lane splitting (only when cars are at a stop or going like 1 mph). The other piece I've found helpful is riding behind my boyfriend when I started. This way I was able to mimic and learn from his riding skills and felt comfortable following in a formation. Now a days I lead the way and he follows and he gives me feedback as we move along through our helmet Bluetooth communicators. Having that other person be your support and guide, is amazing.


What advice do you have for womxn who are interested in riding, but haven't started yet?

Even though we say, GO FOR IT, some just need that extra connection with the road, adventure, machine and the wind. This is a hobby we choose, this is an activity we select to be unique, to be self-sufficient, to be free. In other words, this is only viable when you feel the connection with the sport/hobby. But I have to say, that you do not know if you have it, until you actually get on a bike and feel the rumble, feel that first gear… or even feel the grips on the bike.


What has been your most exciting accomplishment on your bike?

Changes as I gain experience, as an example, when I started riding my huge accomplishment was shifting gears all the way to 3rd. Then being able to take on a curve, then to get on the freeway, to lane split, to try another bike with higher cc’s. Today, I can say my biggest accomplishment has been knowing my bike and its capabilities to do a solo ride to PHX from TJ (in December with possibilities of snow at my destination). THE MOST AMAZING THING EVER AND OPPORTUNITY. So many hours to yourself, to get to think about where you are and where you're going. I guess for me, specifically, I am looking for that time for myself and evaluate what I have done. There are many scenic roads I took and was able to discover memories within me that I did not know I had back to when I lived in Arizona. I was able to redefine myself, discover my origin and how that Kenya from 10 yrs ago is who she is now. Incredible all the secret levels riding opens up, like if this were a Super Mario game.


What motorcycle gear is your "go-to"?

Helmet, boots and gloves! Thinking of the fall and not the glamour… those are my essentials for now. There is more protective gear out there and some are too expensive for me particularly, so it takes a little bit of saving up to do.  


What would be your "dream bike" to own and why?

So far Road Glide, Caramel Red. Their look as they glide literally through the road is just mesmerizing. The huge front that just looks like ripping through the air and all that goes on. Can't wait until I have my hands on mine and will open to me more opportunities to travel safely and comfortably (nothing against my first love… Sportster… but being honest, it is not the most comfortable to do long rides.)


Who inspires you from the moto world and why?

All those womxn that genuinely say hi and like to ride motorcycles to feel the wind. I do not know many womxen yet in this moto world, but as long as they seem down to earth and focus on themselves, that’s who inspires me. I tend to be a very introvert person and very much professional in the work world, so little by little I am evolving to be more social and relax. I've also seen the womxn who are in racing for Baja Score, in bagger racing, etc. and they are ripping through stereotypes, cultures and inspiring others to step up and go above and beyond.


How have motorcycles changed your life?

It’s a way of life… now I understand that saying, because no matter where I go, I always know that passing it on the motorcycle I know for a fact it’s a whole new feeling. I ve done my first solo trip out to Arizona from Tijuana and that trip gave me 25,000 seconds where I thought about life, feelings, choices, future, the past, where I've been, how I got there… just so much comes to mind. Motorcycle community is new to me and I am new to the motorcycle community, there is more to learn and there is way more to enjoy.


If you are interested in following Kenya, her IG handle is: @sunshine_keny.

Thanks so much, Kenya, of allowing us to interview you and share your story!

If you enjoyed our interview, check back in for our next Ride Like A Girl Spotlight. For our June interview, we will be speaking with a female rider from the South. Look for that in early June.      



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