"One of us"!
A lot of people come through our classes. The majority are new riders. These folks might be familiar with motorcycles through friends and family. Some want to ride with friends. Some have been passengers only up to this point. Now they come to class in order to explore the world of piloting their own motorcycle.
Most of them remain recreational riders. That's okay with me. One great thing about riding is that people can find what they seek. I don't always agree with some of the things folks are looking for, but I can accept that not all of us have the same needs.
Once in a while, though, a new rider comes through a class. They have that special soil in their hearts that lets the sown seed flourish. A deep love of riding blossoms. These are no recreational riders. They're full blown motorcyclists. In other words, they become one of us!
My favorite people are passionate and borderline crazy. It's been my pleasure to get to know such a new rider as she progresses down this twisted road. Literally and figuratively, both. From a new rider to a dedicated commuter, it's been fun to watch her take hold of riding.
The picture above is from a local newspaper. The rider's name is Stacy Brock. You met her here in a Sharin' the Road post. Click here to go back and see it again. I'm probably stealing some thunder from Stacy as she has this posted on her blog, bolty.net. However, her post is pretty low key. It doesn't her justice, at all. So I'm correcting that oversight!
Stacy's a member of Women in the Wind. The local group also happened to set a high mileage mark, 105,000 accumulated miles. Accident free miles, please note. You have just got to love that, don't you? If you click here, you can read the article.
The reason I'm posting this is two-fold.
Firstly, I'm proud of Stacy. I've seen her progressive approach to developing riding skills. It's exactly what you would expect from a serious rider. I want to express appreciation for, and point to Stacy as a positive role model. Not as a female rider. I'm talking about as a rider, period. No qualifications. This blog was started to encourage riders to use their motorcycles for everday transportation. That includes riding to work as well as the weekend fun rides. It's also why I'm listed on the Ride to Work (r) blogger community page. Stacy's helping the cause by showing that we're all real people who chose to do the ecologically responsible ( as well as loads of fun ) thing by using two wheels as much as possible.
Secondly, our efforts in this regard require us all to live in harmony with each other. Come on, isn't it really so much better that way? Women in the Wind is a group that promotes the same goals; responsible use of motorcycles for transportation. They support rider training. There's a red 250 Nighthawk around that was donated by the local group years ago to support our program.
Women have had a harder time being taken seriously as riders. Much of this is due to male-generated stereotypes. In spite of this, I've seen many female riders press on with a smile and unceasing good grace. Stacy's been such a one. She won't call attention to herself so I want to acknowledge her here. The Women in the Wind group is doing a lot to help women riders be taken seriously. That's a great thing.
Here's my hope that riders can some day all just be called motorcyclists. As in many aspects of life, our greatest strength comes from our common bonds. Our diversity should add the seasonings and spices that make for an excellent dish. Sadly, too many people choose to get indigestion, instead. Some day we'll hopefully be judged by our actions, not on how our body is built, what color our skin is, or what we ride. Until then I'm going to keep pointing out good role models in the hope that others will be inspired to reach out, too.
Miles and smiles,