Teenage rebellion is a rite of passage. For some, that ticket to adulthood can be earned from a minor discrepancy, like smoking your first J. Others need to do something a little more drastic, like taking their father’s 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California on a joy ride through downtown Chicago (oh yeaaaah). At 16, Sara Aydin got her first taste of rebellion when she bought her first motocross bike, a 2005 KTM 125 EXC, and from the jump, she realized she was made for more than her small town in Sweden. “Sweden is a country where being average is what you should be and if you’re more than that, people start to talk,” Aydin shares. “I hate to stand with the crowd. I’d rather be different and do something to stand out.”

It wasn’t only her country’s mentality that she was rebelling against, and if her parents had their way, Aydin’s riding career would have ended before it began. “Since day one they haven’t supported my riding, and instead my mum tried to do everything in her power to keep me from it,” Aydin says. “She chained up my bike in the garage and even tried to sell it.”

Photos by Oggie Nilsson

Photos by Oggie Nilsson

Despite the disapproval from her parents, or, more likely, because of it, Aydin fell in love with riding and it didn’t take long for her name to get around. Aydin knew the best way to show her stunts to her friends was by sharing videos on social media, but she never imagined she could make a living with it. “It all happened pretty quickly, from me riding and making videos on YouTube and Instagram just for myself and my close friends to see, to all of a sudden exploding on social media,” Aydin says. “I didn’t know that you could actually grow through social media and make a living off of it—so it was never my intention. But with all of my social media growing so quickly overnight came offers from TV shows, radio stations, magazines and bike shows.”

Aydin now has a sizable fanbase behind her and plenty of support from her following, but she still has to work twice as hard as the boys to earn respect online. “When I first started riding I wasn’t very good at it. I got tons of hate comments saying ‘girls shouldn’t be riding,’ ‘girls shouldn’t be working on bikes’ and ‘you belong in the kitchen,’” Aydin says. “I took all that negativity as motivation to prove them wrong. I feel like a lot of people still talk down to girls who try to get into the sport and I try my best to use my social media to help lift girls up and welcome them.”

Photos by Oggie Nilsson

Photos by Oggie Nilsson

Eventually Aydin’s family jumped on the bandwagon once they saw for themselves that biking was their daughter’s true passion, not just a rebellious phase. One of the ways Aydin shows her love is through her tattoo collection. “My favorite tattoo is under my chest,” she shares. “It says ‘Living That Motolife,’ which is something I truly live for and think about every day.” Even without her following and the perks it’s given her, Aydin would still have a yearning for the open road. “[My perfect riding day starts with] waking up early, loading two of my bikes, my mini bike, a grill and a shovel into my truck,” Aydin says, “and then heading in a new direction.”

Photos by Oggie Nilsson

Photos by Oggie Nilsson