Mia was in her late twenties and loved to ride. She’d been riding for years, ever since she had a chance to try a friend’s 50cc dirt bike as a kid. The first chance she got, she passed her motorbike licence and hit the road. Rain, bad weather, busy roads – none of it bothered her, as long as she was riding.
Then came the day that changed everything. In all respects, it was a normal day. A brisk but sunny Saturday, the sun breaking through the September clouds – perfect weather for a ride out. Heading out down the B-roads, Mia was in the zone, the flow, every corner drifting behind like water flowing down a stream. Hitting a straight she knew well, she opened the throttle a touch and quickly caught up to the pair of cars ahead. Clearly tourists, they were happily muddling along at around 40 miles an hour and oblivious to the bike approaching from behind.
Mia didn’t mind though, she just eased back, dropped a couple of gears and let them lead through the next set of corners until the straight she knew was coming up where she could get past comfortably.
And then a car pulled out of a lane completely obscured by high hedges, scarcely missing the back bumper of the car in front of Mia, but with no way for her to stop without some wild manoeuvring. She grabbed a big handful of the front brake, and stamped on the back, fighting the steering as the back end swung out and threatened to throw her over the tank into the tarmac.
Sliding to a halt just centimeters from the intruding car, and even closer to the muddy ditch at the side of the road, Mia swore as the offending driver simply drove away without even looking at her. Standing there trying to catch her breath, and to get rid of the sick feeling in the pit of her stomach, she realised just how close she had just come to absolute disaster.
She wondered what would have happened if she’d ended up lying broken in the ditch. Would anyone have found her? Would anyone have known? How long would it have taken for someone to realise she’d disappeared, let alone work out where to look?
In that moment MIA was born – an answer to those questions.