In the spring of 2004 I experienced the scare of a possible MS diagnosis. That was it. It was time make the most of now. I had sportbikes in the past but had given them up because I was told supporting a riding habit as a single mom was not the best use of my time or money. My son always will come first, but I had to ask myself, “If tomorrow is my last day, am I doing what I want to be doing today?”
How many of you are braggin of draggin the Dragon? Doing a buck forty on the interstate? Best wheelie? While lane-splitting? Timing the lights just right? Why are you still riding on the street? We have all found ourselves in a foolish situation on a street bike. Dropping a knee in the corner to discover the corner is full of gravel. Sliding sideways on wet leaves at a stop sign. I can’t imagine wasting time on a street bike.
I can tell you the exact moment in time when I fell in love with motorcycles and the bad boys who ride them. I was a young girl growing up in rural Wisconsin and we didnt have much to do in the way of entertainment except playing outside, annoying our siblings and watching our favorite programs on TV. On Tuesday evenings I would go over to the neighbors house (they had a big floor model TV) and we would watch Threes Company, Laverne Shirley and my all-time favorite Happy Days.
When a woman becomes a biker, she undergoes a change in her way of thinking. Reading numerous bottles of shampoo, wrinkle creams and many fashion magazines has taught us to speak in a seemingly foreign language to many men. However, when a woman becomes a biker it begins to bridge the communication gap between the sexes.
When people ask me how I started riding, I answer, “A sheer determination to ride and I was pissed off.” Growing up, I had never been around a motorcycle. I was known as a responsible, nice, sweet girl. I was also a girl scared of most everything. Then, I met a biker guy. He was free-spirited, and not afraid of anything. He took me on my first ride and I fell in love with riding.
I hadnt given much thought to motorcycles. My dad owned a couple when I was small and my mother was terrified of them so I wasnt allowed on them. My dad died a few years back and my travels led me to see more and more iron horses on the roadways. The sound of one approaching would remind me of my dad and I begin to notice how beautiful each one was and how those straddling them seemed to know some joy I didnt.
My dad was in prison when I was born and my mom had fire under her feet. We moved from the tiny town I was born in when I was 4 days old and kept moving. With no dad and no siblings that meant for an extremely lonely life for me. That extremely lonely life, always being the new kid in town, never having any roots, mom working 10-hour days waiting tables meant two things: drugs and men.
I just celebrated my 50th birthday and recently have had a lot of stress in my life. I was thinking, “What would put a smile back on my face?” I realized I had always wanted to ride a motorcycle and never did. The reason I havent is that I have three boys and I didnt want to influence them into getting a bike and killing themselves.
I never thought riding would become the way I de-stress. Riding found me when I needed it most. I am a 46-year-old mother of 11 children all mine, ages 4 to 24. Ive been married to the same man for 26 years. I have been home schooling for 15 years and will probably continue doing so for the next 18 years as well. Life can get pretty hectic!