Born To Ride Women’s World, Dr. Rebecca Kuo-Ryan
Dr. Rebecca Kuo-Ryan is Skilled on the Track and in the Operating Room
“What are you doing?”
This was Rebecca question to her boyfriend Robert when he bought a motorcycle.
Rebecca had never been around bikes but as an orthopedic surgeon with a specialty in spinal injury and as the daughter of an orthopedic surgeon, she’d seen several people who’d wiped out and ended up in the operating room.
She noticed that Robert was a very careful rider and soon, knowing how much it meant to him, Rebecca gave it a try. Despite seeing results of accidents, she wasn’t afraid on the back of his BMW touring bike and quickly began to enjoy it.
“What if he’s injured or something and I need to go for help?” As a mother of two and a doctor, Rebecca was used to being prepared to handle anything. To answer her own question, she decided to learn to ride. Just in case!
After taking the rider safety class Rebecca bought a BMW S1000 RR sport bike even though Robert hates what he calls, “crotch rockets.”
When Robert and Rebecca became engaged the photographer asked about their common interests. When she heard about the motorcycle riding she suggested a few engagement photos with the bikes, besides the lake with the Chicago skyline in the background. Great idea!
A medical assistant in Rebecca’s office is married to a guy who organizes events at a sport bike track. Rebecca accepted her invitation to visit and fell in love with track racing. Robert was reluctant to join her at first but then he loved it, too.
Now she rides her ‘road bike,’ a Honda VFR to work and her sport bike on the track. Robert added a Zero SR Electric motorcycle as his ‘track bike.’
“The fast curves and leaning close to the ground,” Rebecca says, “It’s like skiing only on a bike!” She further explains that you aren’t racing other motorcyclists as much as you’re racing against your own best ride. The rides aren’t timed but are coached and judged according to exacting technique. You’re working on your speed, performance, and control. Rather than winning a race, your reward is challenging yourself and still leaving the track with a shiny bike and no broken bones!
Track riding constantly tests and increases your technique and control. Sort of like an advanced skills class. The techniques learned and practiced on the track also come in handy on the road when you hit a patch of ice or must maneuver quickly to avoid an accident and if you go into a corner too hot you can adjust and prevent wiping out. In some ways, the track is safer than the road she says because you’re more visible and there are no cars, trucks, and intersections to deal with.
Exacting technique, skill, and speed also are important in the operating room. Wouldn’t you want a surgeon who’s skilled, thinks fast and is precise? Rebecca sees her share of motorcycle accidents in the operating room, including some from the track she rides on.
Rebecca was called to examine a guy in his early twenties who’d wiped out on his bike. The parents weren’t exactly happy when she walked into the exam room in full motorcycle gear, carrying her helmet. They were hoping he’d get a lecture on the dangers of motorcycles. Instead, he got a lesson on the importance wearing the proper gear and advancing his skills.
Besides commuting to work on her bike and riding at the track regularly, Rebecca often takes short motorcycle road trips with Robert during the spring, summer, and fall before the Chicago winters cover the track with snow.
If you or someone you know rides her own and has an interesting story to share contact Myra@MyraMcElhaney.com and maybe, you’ll be featured in the Women’s World column.
Keywords: Dr. Rebecca Kuo-Ryan, orthopedic surgeon, BMW touring bike, BMW S1000 RR sport bike, Chicago Skyline, Honda VFR, Zero SR Electric Motorcycle, Born To Ride Women’s World, Born To Ride Magazine, Born To Ride Multi-Media