Readers and their Rides

Ragan Jenkins and Her ’02 Harley-Davidson Low Rider

Written by  February 28, 2007

I met Ragan about three years ago in Toledo, Ohio at the Women in the Wind (WITW) National Convention. With our love of motorcycles, photography and writing, we hit it off immediately! Ragan is the National Editor of our women's organization, WITW and does a fantastic job of putting out her publication 'Shootin' in the Breeze.'

CC: Ragan, what is your occupation?
Ragan: I’m a Fine Art Photographer www.raganjpix.com and I’m currently working on a Fine Art Photographic Documentary book about the REAL women who ride motorcycles. If you’re interested, please visit www.RealWomenRiders.com.

CC: Why do you ride?
Ragan: Riding is how I sweep the cobwebs and worries from my mind, while getting to explore new places with friends.

CC: How long have you been riding?
Ragan: I started riding in 2002, and I average around 15,000 miles per year.

CC: What was your first bike?
Ragan: My first bike was a 2002 Harley-Davidson Low Rider, which is featured here.

CC: How many bikes have you owned?
Ragan: I’ve owned two bikes.

CC: How many bikes do you currently own?
Ragan: One. I now ride a 2007 Harley-Davidson Road King Custom.

CC: What do you like most about your new Road King?
Ragan: I LOVE the way the body is a work of art. The shape of the bike swoops in a wave of black and chrome. Even the saddlebags are sculptured into this creative expression.

CC: What is your dream bike?
Ragan: It would be fun to have a second sporty bike – like maybe a V-Rod or a hot little crotch rocket for the speed and fun of it, but until I win the lotto, I have to stick with my Road King for its ability to cruise with comfort and reliability on cross-country trips. My husband had his dream bike built last year, which is a replica of the Captain America motorcycle from the movie, Easyrider. He is generous about letting me ride HIS dream bike!

CC: What is your most memorable riding experience?
Ragan: On my first cross country trip, I rode to Sturgis with six other women. I was 38 years old and the youngest of this veteran group. The looks we got from people were priceless, as they realized we had not only RIDDEN our bikes from Florida to South Dakota, but we were ALL female riders. Our first day in the Black Mountains near Sturgis we came up over a hill and as we curved down into the valley, the road was blocked by hundreds of buffalo. Traffic was sitting still for an hour as we waited for them all to clear the roadway, and the whole time I sat on my bike snapping the camera while these massive wild beasts came within inches of my Harley!

CC: Are there any other experiences you’d like to share?
Ragan: Yes. I often take my Little Sister, Tatiana for after school rides. I am her mentor in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Mentoring agency and we have been matched for five years. Our time together on the bike is fun, but on those days our talks and the activities we share together are what Tatiana remembers from our day. The fact that she is a 13-year-old who is as comfortable on a motorcycle as she is in a car seems unremarkable.

CC: To what motorcycle clubs or organizations do you belong?
Ragan: I belong to Women in the Wind (WITW) and have served as their International Editor for four years. I will be running for the position of WITW International Vice-President in June of 2007. I serve my local Bay Area Chapter of Women in the Wind as their Web Mistress www.witwtampafl.com. I am also web mistress for a local group that I ride with in Tampa called the Web Riders www.nprhog.com . I also belong to National HOG, but our local HOG chapter is still a bit too “Good Old Boy” for this girl.

CC: Which motorcycle rallies & events have you attended and which is your favorite?
Ragan: Sturgis, Daytona, Leesburg, Ybor City, Hard Rock, Ocala, HD 100th Anniversary in both Atlanta and Milwaukee, every Women in the Wind National Rally since 2003, and also the 2006 International Women In Motorcycling Rally among various others.

CC: Do you have a favorite bike night hangout?
Ragan: Yes. Ybor City Bike Nights were the best in Tampa, Florida and Quaker Steak Bike Nights seem to be legendary all over the country.

CC: Do you have any tattoos?
Ragan: No, but I have some awesomely impressive scars!

CC: Do you prefer riding in a group or by yourself?
Ragan: I only enjoy riding with a group if they are all experienced and safe riders, like with my Web Riders Club. Otherwise, I am happiest to just follow the World’s Best Road Captain, my husband, Eddie, wherever he leads. He is the best at searching out picturesque routes all over the country and I have followed him from the Painted Deserts to the Florida Swamps on unique routes.

CC: Who are some of your closest riding buddies?
Ragan: My husband, Eddie is my favorite riding buddy. I can be found every weekend riding with my buddies in the Web Riders and monthly with my Women in the Wind girlfriends.

CC: Just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the best rider?
Ragan: I only ride with excellent riders on a regular basis, but the only person I have ever braved some truly dangerous off-road challenges with is my husband (that steep curvy pot-holed gravelly dirt and sand road up the side of that Arizona mountain to the Ghost Town, or to the Haunted Hotel). I can not think of anyone else I would trust my life to – so completely, the way I do with him.

CC: Just for fun, which of your riding buddies is the worst rider?
Ragan: There are some men I ride with that let their testosterone get the better of them sometimes. I am thinking of someone in particular that thought a semi-truck would stop JUST because he pulled out in front of it. I’d rather not name names, but about 30 other riders who were with me that day will know EXACTLY who I refer to with that story. I also bet your readers can top that one with their own Excess Testosterone Experiences!

Interview by Dave Miller