Sash had her back propped up against a set of pillows on our hotel bed, with the covers pulled up to her waist. In front of her was her laptop. By her side was her smartphone. On the nightstand was a tray of prescription meds, and on her shoulder was a bag of ice.
I am finally coming into my own as a rider, a woman who has found a home in the road, and an independent spirit. I am happily married, but within that marriage I’ve gained a sense of independence that I never dreamed possible. I was on a narrow stretch of pavement that ran through ranches of northeastern Wyoming where I felt this sense of permanence settle in.
I just got my motorcycle license and I am still a new rider. My husband insists that I ride in front of him when were out riding so he can keep and eye on me. I feel pressure though to ride a certain speed and also that hes “judging” my riding from behind.
Straight roads are fine if you are in a car. You can go fast on straight roads, and probably do, since they tend to be a bit on the boring side. Straight roads are for getting you from one place to another. Curvy roads, on the other hand, can be an exciting part of the journey. As a motorcyclist, curvy roads are an enjoyment in traveling.
Four women are participating in this year’s Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run, taking place September 5 – 21, 2014, the largest number of female participants since the coast-to-coast vintage motorcycle endurance rally began in 2010. They women are all riding pre-1936 motorcycles, which makes the journey all the more challenging.
If you’ve ever enjoyed the feeling of being unique on your motorcycle, don’t go to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. Because no matter how amazing you may be, you’re just another nobody on a bike. The exception is if you stand completely nude on Main Street. And I mean completely nude—because if you go with boots, a bikini bottom and pasties, you’ll find plenty of women already doing that.
Even though she and I have traded wedding vows, started a business together and revealed secrets that I wouldnt reveal to my closest friends, the very foundation of what makes us “Sash and Steve” are just a couple of good riding buddies. “Thats the mistake I made with my previous husbands,” she said.
There are times I wonder if Im just dreaming all this. It was in 2011 that she and I got together. Each of us had been married to other people. We were each 45 when we decided the other was the soul mate we had searched for in vain. In 2013, Sash bought her first motorcycle and three months later, we set off on our bikes for a six-month road trip across the country and back. Were now on another motorcycle road trip, but this time were looking to make it permanent.
For decades, a certain percentage of the automobile driving public has targeted their disdain to some lesser or greater extent towards the motorcycle riding public. Citing fatality statistics, loud noise, and recklessness, theyve rallied for tougher laws on motorcycles. But are women riders on the verge of changing that perception?
For me, the Steel Horse Sisterhood Summit was also a sort of coming-of-age as a female motorcycle rider, having never attended such an event before. Being accepted with open arms by hundreds of seasoned motorcyclists made it feel as if I had reached a milestone in my year and a half experience of riding. No competition, no cattiness, no judgment; just kinship on an unspoken level.