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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!

Family portrait: Laurette in the middle sitting with her 11 children, her husband above her.

The last thing people expect is to see is someone like me riding a Harley-Davidson and loving it. I love the shocked look on their faces. After so many years of doing for others, I needed to do something for myself.

I was scared to death the first time I rode on the back with my husband. It took my husband a long time to get me on the back of his bike, but he did, and within a half hour hour, I was loving it! If he went out for a ride and I didnt get to go, too, it ruined my whole day.

As busy as she is running her family#39;s cleaning business and home schooling her 11 children, Laurette still makes time for riding her V-Rod and V Star. “I look forward to doing my errands on my bike and taking the #39;long way#39; home.”

To the surprise of my husband and everyone else, I bought myself a Yamaha V Star 650, signed up for the Basic Rider Course and aced it, thanks to the Ride Like a Pro instructional DVD. I no longer had to wait for my husband to “take me out for a ride.” Then I took the Experienced Rider Course and aced that, too.

Making time for herself: Laurette riding her V-Rod.

After four years of riding, my husband decided I was ready for a Harley-Davidson. I had fallen in love with the V-Rod. He surprised me with a 2005 Harley-Davidson V-Rod for our 25th anniversary. Our anniversary is February 14, Valentines Day. The red color of the bike fits and so does the number 141 of its numbered edition. What a guy! What a gift! Riding turned out to be “what I do for myself.” I should have done it 10 years ago!

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