I’ve always loved to ride, probably because Dad rode. As a young child, maybe 5, I can remember climbing on his motorcycle and waiting for him to come home from work, hopeful that he would take me for a short scoot before dinner. As I got older, our rides together were longer, and I always enjoyed the time spent with my dad alone — away from my other 5 siblings.
When I married, became a mother, then a single mother, I put that passion aside, and focused on raising my daughters. However, once they were grown, I purchased my first motorcycle, a Yamaha V-Star. It wasn’t my dream motorcycle, but riding is all about the freedom, the feel of the wind on your face, and that you are a part of the scenery around you. The mountains aren’t over there — the crisp mountain air and snow-capped peaks merge with you and your bike. Just over two years ago, I purchased the motorcycle of my dreams, a 2008 Harley-Davidson Crossbones (see picture below: me on the showroom floor with my newly purchased Harley).
My youngest daughter Bethany also enjoys riding, but my oldest daughter Rachel would rather I didn’t ride. Rachel says she worries about me when I’m out riding. Talk about role reversal! When Rachel gave birth to my first granddaughter, then my first grandson, she tried playing the guilt card. “Don’t you want to be around for your grandchildren.” I finally had to sit her down and explain that now it’s all about ME. I’m not being selfish. After raising my daughters as a single mother, I feel I’ve earned the “ME” time. Yes, sometimes our passions lead us into activities that carry more risks, than say, a Grandmother that stays at home and knits blankets for her grandchildren. But that’s not me, and my family knows that. All I can promise them is that I’ll be careful, the same promises my daughters made when I finally let them go and be who they are. I think Rachel understands, although I’m sure she still worries, just as I did when they had their first sleep over, got their driving permit, then their license, and went on their first date.
A few years ago, I participated in a press trip to the Grand Canyon, sponsored by Harley-Davidson and Best Western hotels. One of our overnight accomodations was in Sedona at the biker-friendly Best Western Arroyo Roble Hotel. A couple blocks down the street was a Harley shop, the Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson. Of course, I had to go shopping! What I found though was a fun book for my grandchildren, entitled “Grandma Rides a Harley” by Constance Wimberley.
Riding my Harley is this Grandma’s passion. What’s yours?