I started riding because I wanted to save my marriage. We just didn't have anything that we shared together. And believe me when I say we knew each other for a long time before taking the plunge. so when he said he wanted a bike, I figured what the heck, thinking we would find a cruiser...gold wing...road king...anything with a comfortable seat on the back.
What we ended up with was a 42 WLA Flat Head, and a completely different world opened up to me. We didn't just buy a bike, we were buying into a totally different lifestyle.
Our new friends weren't just riding buddies, but they became brothers and sisters on and off the road. Though we were from the other side of the track, in fact the word RUB came up every now and than. The fact is they never left us behind nor judged us (maybe a couple laughs every now and than). But the fact that we were new into their world didn't sway them from accepting us.
This was new to me having been in show-biz my entire life and having rejection at every corner. In fact my own family thought I was nuts to be riding in the first place, after all I made my living from my looks. As I heard many times it's not IF but WHEN, and how you handle it that makes the difference between life and the other. I thought about this until I had my first long ride. We took a trip with our new family of friends to Four Corners Rally in 99. I was hooked...
It wasn't just the ride but the reason for the ride. No phones,no needless conversation,no holding back from total freedom of a choice to just RIDE.
My most clear thoughts and decisions have been made when I have been riding. And though the marriage didn't make it, my apprecitation and respect for riding continued to grow.
In 03 right I knew the marriage was long over, yet the riding would be forever a part of my life. I also realized as much as it takes a true understanding to be a good passenger, I had a need to ride on my own. I recommend any passenger to understand and respect the man and the motor. Should there ever have been a need for me to know how to ride to get help, I wanted to be prepared.
Than one day I recieved a call from a casting agent for a film. She asked if I could come in to read for this part on a film that they couldn't find an actress to cast. The part called for a riding (bitch) and I needed to be tough. Well anyone who rides has to have a tough side (after all there are so many cages out there with cell phones). So I went. And When they asked if I had my own bike and if I rode, I did the only thing any actor would do...I said of course!...Why else would I be there. As soon as I got out of the audition, I called my agent and said "If I get the part let me know ASAP...cause I have to get a bike and take a course!!!!!!!!!"
I did and I did. My first bike was a beat-up 750 shadow I got from a fireman the day before Thanksgiving. His wife couldn't wait for me to ride off in the rain on the damn thing. I say damn cause even the speedo had been torn off. But I rode that bike everywhere. And I fixed that bike with the help of some biker brothers. The thing wasn't about me or them it was about the bike...and my life continued to changed.
Abate...COC...and PGR became a big part of my life. I found myself to be very passionate about bikers rights. If you ride you know NOBODY cares more than those who truly ride and understand. Loud pipes really do save lives. Everything has a reason. And I like that. I like knowing why it is the way it's always been. And no matter where, when, why, one who rides has the choice to do it his or her way...the bikers way.
There is no end to discovering others in this world. No matter where I have ridden, I have come back with more memories from new biker friends.
After realizing I was living it, breathing it, sleeping it, I decided to sell it....bikes that is. Now Harley Dealerships are a species all their own. I was use to doing my own thing and changing my own oil, along with maintenance on my bike. And face it a woman salesman isn't the most common thing in the HD field. So I was offered an opportunity. They started me off in parts and thats where I learned the most. I enjoyed anything that had to do with bikes. I must admit the parts department gave me a set of balls! Most of the bikers that came in were so knowledgeable that I just ate up every word they had to say. Unfortunately a lot of what is in stock is no more about harley models earlier than 2000. The EVO engine left the rest behind. That's why Mom and Pop Bike Shops are needed. If not for the mechanics, just for the knowledge from being self taught. These shop's are for the purpose of helping those who don't have the all mighty dollar. Face it alot of the HD service today have never put their hands on a shovelhead let alone a pan or flathead.
Working there introduced me to more than just the many riders,events, and yes pissy corporate bullshit,it brought to me my soulmate. I wanted nothing to do with starting a relationship, but the fact is what we want we get even when we don't think we want it(: It took 48 years of trying to find that doing what I loved would bring love to me.
Riding had made my life complete. So, when I was hit in 07 and one day away from going into training to sell bikes, I was bummed. My baby was totaled. Black Jack was the name for my 2000 fatboy. (He made me feel like 21 when I rode him). I had taken him to Sturgis, 4 Corners, U.P. in Michigan, Bear Tooth, Yellow Stone, and many other incredible rides. In the 4 seconds before being struck on the highway, I used all that I had learned over the years from the many bikers stories of their own encounters with cages, animals, and weather. Because of all my brothers and sisters, I came out with no broken bones or major scars.
It took a lot of soul searching and words of wisdom from biker friends for me to realize I must ride again. IT IS A CHOICE...MY CHOICE.
I don't ask for anyone to understand. That is something only they can do on their own.
The man who came into my life didn't let me down. He brought his bike to the dealership with the key's. He left it there for me to ride. He told me only I could bring it home. He told me I was meant to ride. He understood.
I now understand that he was doing what he loved and enjoyed doing it when he passed a little over a year ago, while we were riding through Canada.
If I question why, than there are moments of blame. AND THERE IS NO BLAME.
I still ride. I ride for therapy. I ride with respect of the very machine that can change my life in a second. I ride because it brings more into my life meeting others as well as the journey's I take while reaching the dot on the map. I ride because it is what I understand the most about me...a freedom words can not decribe.
And I ride for JR. Because that is what he would have wanted. Because that is what he would do for me.
Wow you write a powerful piece of your heart down for the rest of us to really feel what makes you who you are. Not everyone is or can be as open in exposing some of their deepest experiences and pain.