Aquí y Ahora: Carla Henkel, Presidente Of Las Marias MC

Aquí y Ahora: Carla Henkel, Presidente Of Las Marias MC

Moya blackbirdPhoto courtesy of Moya.

Carla Henkel, known as Blackbird, is the President and Founder of Las Marias, an all-female motorcycle club based out of Mexico City. In the interview, she discusses the sense of value, freedom, and sisterhood that riding inspires in her, and how being in a motorcycle club has allowed her to share her passions and experiences with some of her closest friends, all of whom she met because of riding.

British Customs: How did Las Marias get started?

Carla Henkel: I've been riding since I was 5 years old, and in 2014 I used all my savings to buy a Triumph Thruxton 900. Out there, though, I started noticing that I was on my own; I realized I needed to find more girls like me to ride and share that feeling of freedom with. So I started searching for the right crew. Some of us knew each other from different overlapping groups of friends, and others I had never met before.Our first ride was to Laguna de Zampoala. That ride showed us what an amazing feeling it is to ride on an open road with a group of friends. I don't think any of us knew that feeling of what it meant to ride with, trust, and have the mutual support of someone fully living the same moment with you. So we started riding together more and more, until getting to the point where we are today. There are six of us now, and we don't know if that number will grow, but we have the LMMC Rider Club which lets other like-minded female riders ride with us.

Rider ClubPhoto courtesy of Ione Bingley.

BC: What was your vision behind the club?

CH: I didn't know much at first, and I didn't know what to expect. I just wanted to ride and become a part of something that I believed in. I still don't know where tomorrow will take us, but we take it one ride at a time.

Rider Club Photo courtesy of Miguel Angel RoldanPhoto courtesy of Miguel Angel Roldan.

BC: What does it mean to be a Maria?

CH: Freedom, courage, and sisterhood are the most important words for a Maria. You need all three of those to become a Maria, otherwise you would never be able to keep up with us. Freedom is the state of mind. Courage is the action. Sisterhood is the trust.

Freedom, courage, and sisterhood
Photo courtesy of Kate Disher Quill.

BC: How does riding inspire a sense of freedom and passion for you?

CH: Riding take you to a place where your mind goes blank, and you focus on the here and now. In Spanish, we say, “Aquí y ahora!” In that state of mind, all your ideas organize, you feel free from all the problems you may be having in your life, and it gives you a freedom of expression. Anyone that has felt and lived that experience will tell you it becomes a passion and lifestyle.

Riding inspires a sense of freedomPhoto courtesy of Kate Disher Quill.

BC: What kinds of experiences opened to you when you formed a club of people to ride with?

CH: Friendship. You can't ride with and trust someone without having some sort of friendship.

Photo courtesy of Kate Disher Quill.

BC: How did you get started riding?

CH: I gotta give credit to my father on this one. He made me feel that if I could ride, I could become anything and anyone in life. I'm thankful I still have him in my life, and getting to watch him still enjoy every ride as if it were his first.

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