I took the MSF course when I was 39 in May of 1994. I signed up with four other women I worked with at the police department along with one of our motor cops. He was the one who had encouraged us to take the course.
In August I bought a used Suzuki 450. I remember the very first time I rode it – I didn’t even get it out of the parking space before I dropped it. I stalled it out; the front fork was turned; it leaned and that was all it took.I picked it up and tried again and realized I had never been out of second gear. So for several days I just rode around my townhouse development parking lot until I realized I needed gas. I had two options – drive my car to the gas station a mile down the road and fill up a gas container, or ride the damn bike there and fill the tank up. I chose to ride. I made it there and back without incident. And got out of second gear! I woked up to riding to and from work 24 miles away. That is how I found out just how cold you can get on a bike. I was working the night shift and it was tee shirt weather when I rode into work one evening. But when I left to go home at 6am the following morning it was only 40 degrees. I did have a light jacket with me, but still had to stop at a couple 7/11’s on the way home to warm up. Lesson learned!
In April of 1995, I bought at new Honda Shadow 600. I enjoyed riding around by myself, even heard of a poker r but often wished I knew other women to ride with. I kept searching for women’s riding clubs, but there was nothing local at the time.
In May, I was in a local cycle shop and the woman working there told me about a ride out of their shopthe following morning. She suggested I come because I would likely meet other women riders there. The event was called Rolling Thunder. It was drizzly out when I got up the next morning and I almost decided not to go. I didn’t know anyone else in my area t
hat rode and I had never been on a group ride. At that point, I had never even heard of a poker run. Looking back now I’m still amused at my initial reaction to the 500 or so riders that were gathered at the bike shop to do this run. Little did I know that soon I would be in a sea of bikers as far as the eye could see. Sitting in the Pentagon parking lot in the middle of 300,000 bikers was overwhelming to say the least. I didn’t want to walk away from my bike for fear of never finding it again! I didn’t know it at the time, but there in the midst of all those bikers were a small group of women that would change my life.
In December of 1995, I finally found a newly formed chapter of Women in the Wind. I showed up at their first meeting and one girl had hair that was the color of an eggplant and another one looked just like Janis Joplin.
And so began the best era in my life. I could go on and on with great rides and memories. But wouldn’t you rather be out riding and making your own memories than sitting here reading about mine?
Check it out at www.geocities.com/hdgirlee.I still ride with my ladies from Women in the Wind but since my wreck, I don’t ride as much as I want too. My web site has the story of my wreck and recovery if you are interested; and pictures of my current ride; a 2001 HD Sportster 1200 with a Lehman Trike Kit.
It’s my dream to ride cross county some day. With my physical limitations though, I need a bike a little more comfy than my sporty. My plan is to sell the sporty trike and then buy a Harley touring bike and have it triked out. When I finally make that trip, I look forward to maybe meeting some of you along the way.
Ride Safe, Ride Free