Meet Harley-Davidson rider Natalie
My mother has called me eclectic but down to earth and I think that accurately describes me. My interest and hobbies range from gardening, cooking, golf, arts and crafts, health and fitness, hanging out with my husband, family and friends, traveling and riding my motorcycle.
If I had unlimited time in a day I would start out at the farmer's market, hit the gym, stop by the local coffee shop, take a quick spin on my motorcycle out into the country, go on an art tour, hit some golf balls, plants some annuals, go to a wine tasting, buy some new
shoes, cook dinner for a bunch of friends and family and hang out by the fire. I attribute all of this to how I was raised and the fact that I have a really hard time sitting still! Living on a small farm in southeastern Minnesota, we grew our own food, raised animals and used our imaginations to fill our days. To this date I have a hard time cooking anything that comes out of a box and I eat breakfast everyday!
Why I rideThis can be a simple answer. I ride because it makes me smile! The instructor I had during my training told our class one evening "if you're not smiling while riding, you shouldn't be riding!" How true is that statement? I can be having one of those long days and I will immediately start smiling once I'm on my bike. There's a sense of freedom, confidence and independence I get on my own bike. There's also the camaraderie I have with my gal friends who ride. Ok, can I also say "I look good on my bike!"
How I learnedI learned to ride by taking training courses in Arizona. I initially took an Introduction to Motorcycles course. This was a four-hour non-threatening type of class. We were immediately sat on the bikes and by the end of the four hours we were putting around the course in first gear. I remember the instructor approaching me and asking when I would be in his Rider's Course. I told him I would sign up the next day, which I did! Two weeks later I had my license. The next weekend I owned a bike! The instructor I had was attentive and very knowledgeable. His words of advice and safety stick with me today. I was in a class with 10 men and scored the second highest score of the class. Jim, the instructor asked how long my husband had been riding and when I told him "his whole life", Jim told me I'd be right there with him on the road. Those words were the greatest confidence booster!
Why I wanted to learnI was a passenger for years. When I first met my husband he didn't' even own a car, he only had a motorcycle! But, I think riding my own was in my blood before I met him. I grew up in Southern Minnesota on a small farm and spent summer days riding my own go-cart and dirt bike. The winters were spent riding snowmobiles.
In 2002 my husband, Terry and I moved to Arizona and of course, riding became a big part of our lives. We got involved with a local HOG group and met many fabulous people who are now dear friends of ours. Many of the riders are women, which I thought was great as I didn't know many women riders in Minnesota! About a year later Terry started working in Minnesota and was traveling back and forth between Minnesota and Arizona. I guess I just got tired of waiting for him to come home to "haul my butt" around on the back of his bike. All of my friends would be out on a ride and I sat home (or hoped I would have a seat on the back of someone else's bike!). It didn't take long for me to get my license and bike!
The cutest thing now is how Terry will tell people how he sometimes misses me "blabbing" in his ear while riding on the back with him as I tell them how I love riding my own bike!