Readers and their Rides

Judi Miller and Her ‘03 Big Dog Chopper

Written by  August 31, 2006

Judi Miller is a very personable lady, who will definitely speak her mind when it comes to motorcycling. I have been around this industry for quite sometime and I agree with her that the world has never really adjusted to the fact that women can ride custom bikes and ride extremely well.

CC: Judi, what is your occupation?
Judi: I’m a systems programmer.

CC: Do you have any hobbies other than motorcycling?
Judi: Yes, I also enjoy scuba diving, skiing (snow & water), roller-blading, ice skating, aerobics and anything else that gets me out of the house.

CC: Why do you ride?
Judi: I am one of those people that wants to live while I’m alive! It frees my spirit and because it’s who I am.

CC: How long have you been riding?
Judi:I started riding August 25, 2001—one week after completing the MSF riding course.

CC: What was your first bike?
Judi: My first bike or “training wheels” as I refer to it, was a 2002 Honda Shadow Sabre. Not the 750cc one either…I went right for 1100cc, straight up!! I bought it from and older salesman at NKC Honda on August 25, 2001. Jack was his name and he treated me with respect, which I had not received at two other dealerships, one being a Harley dealer and another Honda dealer. I don’t think salesmen where quite prepared for women riders, YET! As a matter of fact, Jack had to contact that other Honda dealer to have the Sabre I wanted shipped to NKC Honda. I drove my truck up there, parked it, and with a tremendous amount of anxiety, rode those flat streets of NKC for about 30 minutes before mustering the courage to take it across the ASB Bridge! That’s on the freakin’ interstate folks! I only rode that bike for about 1,500 miles when I walked into KC Creations in Overland Park, Kansas. Oh my God! My favorite color instantly became chrome!! I didn’t go home without one either!

CC: How many bikes have you owned since the Sabre?
Judi: I bought a 2002 Big Dog – Bulldog model, with a 107ci engine. On May 18, 2002, I was in an accident and got T-boned on that bike. It was totaled, but by the grace of God I walked away. Had I been a split-second further into the path of the driver, his car would have broadsided me instead of hitting my front forks. A couple days later the severity of what had happened struck me again as I was removing my bell. One of the mechanics commented, “That bell’s no good!” Tears filled my eyes and I quickly replied, “Excuse me; I’m here, aren’t I?” My purple beauty was gone, but was replaced by a 2003 Big Dog Chopper about one month later. Since then, I have purchased my 4th bike, which is a 2006 Goldwing 1800cc. A girl’s gotta have a backup plan!

CC: Which bike do you ride the most?
Judi: If you live in the KC area, you’ll see me on the chopper, but if it’s down for maintenance or I’m going across country, I’ll definitely be on the Goldwing.

CC: What do you like most about your Big Dog?
Judi: The Chopper is definitely a head-turner, especially when people realize there’s a woman riding it! I love seeing all the “thumbs-up” from everyone, but there’s absolutely nothing like the feeling I get when I hear an old gray-haired lady shout, “You go girl!”

CC: What is your dream bike?
Judi: Hmmm…let me dream about that for awhile.

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Judi:Last summer I went on the Rawhide Ride, a 10-day ride up through the Dakotas and into Waterton, Alberta. It was my first road trip and one I will never, ever forget. Filled with anticipation the night before, I was unable to sleep until about 3 a.m. when I decided to use my earplugs. Wrong thing to do! I missed my alarm, overslept by about an hour and also missed the group departure. I road my butt off trying to catch them but never did—well, not that I knew of anyway, until I reached our first day’s destination, some 780 miles from KC. No one was there! I had apparently passed them when they all detoured into a little hole-in-the-wall place for lunch! I was about an hour and a half ahead of them! But the best part of the ride was the group of people I was with. I knew only a few of the riders when it started, but by the end of the 10-days, the intimacy and the experience of what we had all shared together, was too extraordinary for description. I guess I could say it was more like a spiritual experience!

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Judi:I guess that would be when I was T-boned, although the experience has made me a better rider. Now, I look at least twice before crossing the street, similar to what I learned in kindergarten, “Stop, look, and listen…and then look again!”

CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
Judi: I’m a founding member of the Khrome Cowgirls, which is a local chapter of Women in the Wind. I also belong to the American Heartland Kansas City Chapter of H.O.G.

CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended?
Judi: I haven’t attended any rallies or events—just rides and bike shows. I’m certain I’d be arrested if I ever went to Sturgis, so forget that! However, I would like to meet Jesse James.

CC: Do you have a favorite bike night hangout, and if so, why do you like it most?
Judi: Paddy O’Quigleys, just cuz!

CC: Do you have any tattoos, and if so, which is your favorite?
Judi: I don’t have any, so I would say my favorite tattoo is on someone else! That was one thing I promised my daughter when I started riding—no tattoos and no body-piercing. I think I can live with that.

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Judi: Man! Now that’s a toss up. I love riding by myself, but I love being part of the pack too! And safety definitely comes with numbers!

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Judi: Lindsay, Phyllis (but we never see her anymore; someone told me she’s enjoying being with her husband! I say, “What’s up with that!”), and then there’s my anonymous friends lol, Adam, Bruce, Janice. Lora, Mike and Steve. I’m looking forward to riding more with KJ and Stephanie too! Do I hear “road trip?”

CC: Just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the best rider?
Judi: That would be Lindsay, and why do I think she’s the best rider? Well, because I know her every move before she even executes. She rides with the same passion and enthusiasm as me! It’s all about the curves baby!

CC: Just for fun, which or your riding buddies is the worst rider?
Judi: I’m not naming names, but there’s this chick I know who cannot seem to maintain her speed because she’s always looking around to see if anyone is looking at her, which makes her inconsiderate of those around her. She’ll also use both lanes when we’re supposed to be staggered. She rides like she’s all alone! No one enjoys riding behind or next to her but she doesn’t seem to get it! Hopefully she’ll read this!

CC: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
Judi: I think I’ve said enough! Oh but wait, my other interest…most importantly…is my grandson Parker. Here we are last Halloween!

By Dave Miller