CHAPTER #3 – DIANE MAE TAN
Diane Mae Tan, a woman who breaks down two social stigmas: being a biker and a marine.
Her life changes in January 2019 after joining the United States Marine Corps (USMC), one of the Armed Forces of this country. Diane is trained to be a marksman and instills discipline, motivation and resilience. After surviving the boot camp, she is one of the proud few female Marines.
Sometime later that same year, she is part of the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS), Camp Pendleton, California (CA), in Marine Aviation Logistics Squadron 39 (MALS-39) as a Supply Specialist. Aviation.
The first thing she asks for when she arrives – To be able to ride a motorcycle at the base. There are several procedures to make this possible, but once she has obtained permission, Diane and her Royal Enfield tour the extensive Camp Pendleton, the largest expeditionary training center on the West Coast, every weekend.
She joins the Hellhounds Motorcycle Club, which she remains strongly attached to. After 3 years, she becomes the club’s secretary, motivating new riders and aspiring riders to learn to ride a motorcycle.
“Being a female biker is very popular these days, but being a Marine Corps biker is very rare! Leading and teaching mostly male Marines to walk tactically and safely is to break two cultural stigmas at once. While gender discrimination always exists in a military environment, trust and knowledge are key words. When delivering this, they are good listeners!”
Diane loves to walk alone and in a group. Solo, she allows you to travel without pressure and time, always at the mercy of the wind. Group tours, in turn, are a real challenge and require a smarter way of riding a motorcycle and require more preparation, in order to provide a safe adventure for all participants.
“When I ride a motorcycle by myself, it’s usually for camping and relaxing, remembering good times and freeing myself from the routine of the Marine Corps. When it comes to group rides, my Royal Enfield is only 535cc and takes around 13 liters of fuel. I can reach 130km/h on the highways, but above that, Skyler (name of the bike) starts going crazy!”
These days, Diane continues to lead the Marines and proudly sets an example for all women to break any stigma. She encourages everyone to explore beyond their comfort zone and learn from each experience, whether it’s driving a familiar road or a new path of infinite possibilities. She believes that everyone, and women in particular, can have a positive impact, and that even the smallest act of kindness has a ripple effect that can reach the other side of the world.
“To the world…
Stay motivated, hungry to live and your feet on the ground. Be who you want to be and don’t succumb to fear because that will drive everyone away from themselves. Grow as much as you can physically, mentally and spiritually. An easy way to do all this is – Ride a motorcycle!”
NEXX RIDER – Diane Mae Tan