Why We Ride: Dar Nubson

Dar Nubson has always been a bit of a badass. Buying her first motorcycle at the young age of 13, she knew it was her path to a life of confidence to do the things she had been told she couldn’t. 

Breaking the Mold

“My first bike was a Yamaha 50 CC Enduro - a little dirt bike that I learned to ride living out in farm country in a small town. It was fun. There weren’t any other girls with bikes back then where I am from, so I mostly rode with my brothers or boys from my class. The more time riding, the more skills I gained. I held onto that bike for three or four years but was lucky enough to always have my brothers’ bikes to borrow after it was gone in high school.” 

Dar grew up in a time when motorcycles were seen as male-only whips, but Dar knew that sometimes bubbles were made for bursting. She was an advocate for change in her school way before the time administration was focusing on anything other than racial equality. As a teen, Dar fought for students to have the opportunity to letter through non-athletic programs, as well as, male and female equality when it came to how they were viewed by their teachers and school liaisons.

She was ready for freedom from cultural norms and biking was one way she took her power back.


Stepping Away Only to Return

“I took a break from riding after college, when I got married and started having kids. There just wasn’t the time and any free moments to spare, I wanted to share with my kids. It wasn’t until after they were grown, my divorce was finalized, and I was in the midst of switching careers that I started getting back into riding again. I needed an adjustment to how my life was working and what I was working at. A friend of mine was selling his ex-wife’s motorcycle and after taking one look, it was mine. A Honda Pacific Coast 800 CC. I reconnected with some of my old riding friends from highschool and it felt like I had never stopped. The thrill and excitement was still there. I expanded my horizons and completed my first-ever solo trip from Minnesota to Frisco, Colorado, and back again. It was the experience I needed to remind me I can accomplish great things by myself, if I just decide to do them.” 


A summer ride with one of Dar’s friends from Grand Rapids, MN to Helena Montana set a whole new personal record she could be proud of. The pair made the trip in 19 hours and 47 minutes; “typically you would ride 1,000 miles in 24 hours, but we drove 1,100 miles in under 20. It was a rigorous ride with no short-cuts. We were never so happy to see a hotel in our lives, celebrating our success with a good night’s sleep,” Dar shares.  


A Journey Continues

Nowadays, it’s not about the speed of the trip but the experience along the trek. Dar enjoys riding with her husband, who was introduced to her as a potential riding partner, and is hopeful about taking more scenic trips in the states and venturing out further to Norway. “ A lot of people aim to travel more after retirement, we want to do the same just from the sightlines of our bikes. It’s a little different twist on retirement plans, but riding is relaxing for us. We don’t do a lot of gadgets on our bikes - no radios, no phone, no computer. No distractions.”


…Just her, her husband, the road, and her classic curated motorcycle, a 1200 CC Triumph Bonneville. Here’s to a woman who wasn’t afraid to bring her authentic self along for the ride; we wish you many more years of adventures ahead breaking the mold with Atelier Volant.