Love Affair with a Harley

by Janice Mendyk RN
(Clarksville, TN)

2009 HD Sportster 883L

2009 HD Sportster 883L

I began riding last summer at 63 years old. I had tried to learn in my 20's but did not have a teacher with a lot of patience (my first husband). I ran his Honda over a trash can and that was the end of that. Neither of us (me or the bike) were hurt, but you would have thought I had slaughtered her. That marriage ended after 17 years, and I entered into marriage #2 a few years later. After hibernating for 20 years, I ended that marriage and finally at 63, was a free woman. Old enough to know what I wanted and still strong and healthy enough to take it. I bought my bike in May 2009 brand new. I had just passed the Rider's Edge course and still really did not know how to ride. A male friend who rode was there for support when the bike arrived. A Sportster, 883L (I'm only 5'4") Red-Hot Sun-Glo or Burgundy metal flake. Absolutely gorgeous. In fact that is her name, "Gawgeous" with a southern drawl. I said to him, "Go on, try it." He said, "Nope, brand new bike; first rider should be the owner. Get on it and go." And I did. After 11 miles I returned home and he was gone. But he did what I needed him to do. "Get on it and go." And I haven't stopped. It now has 3400 miles on it. I ride it daily, ride it to work, ride it shopping, and just for fun. I am developing a self-confidence I have never had and feel like my life is starting over at 64 years old. I love it, love it, love it! I am already looking at my next one and plan on buying that next year, a Night Rod Special Edition. Pure sex!

Comments for Love Affair with a Harley

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Mar 16, 2011
More Comments from Me
by: Anonymous

Being a registered nurse by profession, I share my bike stories with my patients as a way of entertaining them (along with stories about my cat, my kids, grandkids, etc.). A patient last week drew comments and congrats from me. A 62 year-young African American female and I told her my bike story. She immediately replied, "You ride? I do to. I have a Harley Davidson!" I grabbed her and hugged her feeling a sister-hood. She was as fond of it as I am.

When I discharged her home she was sitting in her chair waiting wearing her biker shirt with the Maltese cross and "Queen City Choppers" written across the front.

Mar 16, 2011
by: Anonymous

I also am having a love affair with a Harley! I learned to ride last year, at 50 years old. I got a sweet 20-year-old 1990 FXRS (but she's almost cherry...chromed out and looks like brand new!) took the safety course, and took off! I am only 5'5" so I had the bike lowered a bit and it fits like a glove.

I LOVE reading about all the over-50 women who are learning to ride. You are an inspiration!! Have fun!

Sep 03, 2010
Still loving it!
by: Anonymous

I love the comments! And I love the fact that so many women are riding now. I have 7800 miles on my bike now so I do ride it. Those miles are ALL Mine. Go ladies!

Sep 02, 2010
Love this Story
by: funmom

I got my license at 46. I hope I can live years and years so I can keep riding!

May 05, 2010
by: Daughter

I am so proud that you have finally "gotten your wings" and look forward to the day when your grand-kids get big enough that I get to buy another one and you and I get to take mother-daughter rides in the mountains!

Apr 18, 2010
I'm in love, too!
by: Dawn

Congrats on your bike and your decision! I just started riding last year (it was my 40th birthday present to myself - well, my hubby supported me, too!) on an 883C, Sun-Glo Red. My birthday is the end of this month (April) and i JUST traded in the Sportster for a 2009 Dyna Fat Bob. It's a whole, new world! i L-O-V-E it!!

Ride to live; live to ride! :)

Apr 14, 2010
Thank You
by: self

Thank you all for your wonderful comments. You inspire me! I admire each and every one of you for having the courage to do what you want to do.


Apr 14, 2010
Great Story!
by: Sharon

Wow! Love your story and your bike. You're both "gawgeous"!

Apr 12, 2010
You Are an Inspiration
by: EMMA


Love your story, I am 57 recently licensed and in the back of my mind I always think (am I too old for this). Stories like yours just keep reinforcing me that I am OK. Doing what I enjoy and loving every minute of it. Age is a state of mind....

Apr 11, 2010
by: Robin

I am so happy for you.... You are such an inspiration!! I am 53yo and just started riding... I thought 53 was pushing it!!!!! Interestingly enough it all started when I saw an 883L while RVing. It was definitely a "girly" bike...all in purple. I passed the motorcycle course but didn't think a bike was in my future. Two friends of mine suggested a Ridley. Happy to say that is what I bought a month ago...the bike is just right for me and riding is the BEST!

Thanks for sharing your story!

Apr 11, 2010
by: Godessracing

Glad to hear you love your motorcycle. Though I did have motorcycle experiences before, I gave them up for kids. Now that they are gone, I am on my motorcycle and loving every moment of it. I was in relationships that keep me not doing what I wanted. Now I am in one that supports what I want to do. I am 59 years and feeling and acting young. Go for it.

Apr 11, 2010
Never too old....
by: Jo

Good for you girl!! You go! Ride like the wind :-)

Apr 11, 2010
by: Kim Ralat

I am busting at the seams proud of you. I learned to ride at the age of 53. I had always loved motorcycles, but had never ridden one by myself. My husband suggested we both learn and took the Motorcycle Riding class at the local Jr. College. What fun! He recently passed away so we didn't get to ride as much as we had hoped. But he will always be with me "riding in the wind". Ride safe!

Apr 11, 2010
by: Anonymous

You are an inspiration to other new riders.

Ride On!


Apr 11, 2010
Good for You
by: Judi

Good for you. Being happy, relaxed and unstressed (which riding our bikes can do for us), will keep you young. Keep riding and enjoying.

Be safe!

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