Reader Story: Craving that Motorcycle-Riding Feeling

Back on track now that she's back in the saddle

By Anna Rose Benton, Pullman, Washington

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Im 20 years old, a senior at Washington State University and have loved motorcycles my whole life. I love the adventures they took me on, the challenges, the thrill of testing my skill, reflexes, and strength against the trail, the road, the occasional hill climb. I love spending countless hours tearing apart and rebuilding engines, replacing a chain here or a valve cover seal there. When I left for college I couldnt bring that with me. The time for riding and fixing was gone, school and work took over over and I had to be responsible.

Anna Rose Benton with her 1998 Honda Shadow VLX 600, the motorcycle that helped her find “freedom” again.
Anna riding in Whitman County, Washington. “I put an easy 5,500 miles on the bike just during summer weekends, cruising around the Pacific Northwest and enjoying every second of open road, scenery, and freedom.”

After a year of being responsible (suffering), I began to long for some freedom and thought that a cruiser (it would be my first) would be the way to go and started to look for a bike to ride to classes (or to skip classes with) and tour the beautiful Palouse where I live and go to school. On a college budget it made choices a little slimmer, but I was pleasantly surprised to find a good-looking cruiser (1998 Shadow VLX 600) barely out of the dealership with as many miles as sitting in a garage will put on.

“While Im riding, the world and all its cares and stresses disappear.”
“I live for summer weekends. Its my own taste of paradise.”

I cant even begin to describe how freeing, how awe-inspiring it is to ride. Its like flying through miles of green wheat turned an ocean of shimmering gold as waves of wind ripple through it, red-tail hawks drifting lazily above, families of California quail with heads bobbing scurry across the road always just far enough ahead, pine forests, waterfalls, mountains, and open winding roads for hundreds of miles.

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