Women Riders

Ponderings from the Pillion

Written by  June 30, 2008

EDITORS NOTE: A few weeks ago, Goldie Arnold our long-time Spoke to Spoke columnist told me she was planning to take a break from writing and covering events so she could spend more time with her family. Therefore, I sent an e-mail out to my fellow Cycle Connections team members and asked them if they know anyone who was qualified and interested in taking over the Spoke to Spoke column. Within a few hours I received an e-mail from a friend of photojournalist Eric Rossiter expressing interest in the position. After looking over her long list of qualifications and viewing examples of some of her previous articles and photos, I knew this would be a good fit. Therefore, I'd like to take this opportunity to thank Goldie for her years of service and to introduce you to our new interim Spoke to Spoke columnist Louise Reeves.

To quote the old song: Please allow me to introduce myself.
When my best friend told me there was a writer’s position about to open up here at Cycle Connections, I figured I might as well try for it. The problem was, as I saw it, I did not meet the exact qualifications. You see, I don’t own my own wheels of joy; I hitch a ride.
My friend, always the great supporter, felt that wouldn’t matter once the fine people at CC saw what I could do. “Oh no!” I can hear you all exclaim as you slap your collective foreheads. “How is she gonna write about riding from the backseat?” I guess we shall see in due time.
So on to the introduction. My name is Louise; my friends call me Lou, Weezy, and other variations. I also go by “Dawg” in some circles, a derivative of a forum name I took on some years back. I am a photographer, a graphic artist, an occasional writer and a mom of teenage twins. I am also the only one in this household that owns two helmets, chaps, a leather jacket, a riding belt and a couple of pairs of boots suitable for riding.
My ride is a 2002 Honda Shadow 1100 and my chauffeur, as he has been called, is named Don. Don has been riding for about 16 years; the Honda is his second bike and he’s contemplating buying a new one. Since I ride so much with him, he has taken me to look at Triumphs, Honda Shadow 1800s and a few others. If I had my choice, it would be a Kawasaki Vulcan 1600 Classic, but I do like the looks of a Triumph.
I am a proud member of the Patriot Guard and have been since December 2005. I started out as a “cager,” going to missions in my PT Cruiser. At an escort for The Moving Wall, I was approached by Don as I was taking pictures of all the bikes and we started talking about them and about how much I missed riding. That was the last mission my PT ever attended. Since then, I’ve been to about 15 missions and a few fun rides with the great folks that make up the New Jersey Patriot guard.
There is nothing better than skipping work or adult responsibilities and hitting the road, in my opinion. Housework can wait, the grass doesn’t care if it gets cut, and my kids can get their own dinner or whine to their Daddy. I’ve gotten to the age where I am pretty sure this is it, no second chances, so I shouldn’t waste my time with “Maybe tomorrow” excuses.
In the coming months, if it’s decided that I can stay here and kick off my shoes, I will cover some rides or events in my area, offer up some opinions and maybe some helpful advice. Sometimes I might just wax poetic about the latest “getting lost” ride.
Some ideas for the future include safety and appropriate attire, which I want to call, “Girl, Put Some Pants On!”, group riding etiquette, male attitudes toward women in positions of authority in the MC world, bike vs. mate, and a personal favorite, reflections from the back roads.
If you like what I have to say, please let these fine folk at Cycle Connections know, and if you don’t like what I have to say, please let us know as well. Suggestions, comments, rants and raves, all are welcome.
By Louise Reeves