DH I live in New Paltz, NY. I came here for college and never left. It’s a beautiful area with a lot of open space for outdoor activities plus we have a lot of local organic farms that keep us well-fed.
SA What bike(s) do you own?
DH I’m a fan of single cylinder bikes, especially the BMW’s. I have two 2001 BMW F650 GS’s (East and West), a 2006 Dakar version with upgraded front suspension, a 2007 BMW 650 X-Challenge, and a Kawasaki KLX250. I’m trying to narrow it down, but having fun riding them all in the meantime. The 2001 GS is my favorite, an old sturdy and reliable friend. We’ve covered so many miles together that I know what to expect and how to do basic maintenance and repairs.
SA Where is your favorite ride and why?
DH Tough question, so many choices. Pretty much any road or trail that challenges me and leaves me with a sense of accomplishment. Or one that has incredible views to admire as I go. Close to home it’s hard to find dirt but there is a six mile section of woods road that has a nice mix of terrain depending on weather, and you get there via twisty small back roads.
SA What or who inspired you to ride a motorcycle?
DH My parents had done some incredible motorcycle tours in Europe and my husband and I thought it would be a great way to travel, so we started riding.
SA Are you a part of a women’s riding group? If so, which one(s)?
DH I’m not part of any women-specific riding groups except on-line, but a group of us local gals get together sometimes for a weekend.
SA Why do you ride or want to ride on 2-wheels?
DH Life in 360! You don’t pass through an area, you are in it and experiencing whatever views, weather, smells, and challenges exist. I love travelling by motorcycle, but I also like the demands of tough off-road riding. With the GS, being able to combine those has gotten me to places I never would have gone otherwise.
SA Have you always been driven to explore adventurous activities?
DH I think my mother would say ‘yes’ for me, but mostly just in outdoors sports. Canoeing, kayaking, rock climbing, caving, SCUBA, back packing, skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking…
SA What would you like to see more of when it comes to the women’s riding world?
DH More choice of really high quality and well-performing protective gear. With Hi-viz please.
SA What gets you out of bed in the morning?
DH The hope that I can make the world a little better somehow and learn something new along the way.
SA If you could ride anywhere next year, where would it be and why?
DH Anywhere would be great if there was off-road travel involved and scenery different from home. Add in friendly people and good camping? I’m there. Already planning a 4 week trip to start exploring Australia next winter, that should be incredible.
SA What was your worst day on a motorcycle?
DH My worst day is also my luckiest day. Christmas Day 2010 I launched myself off the 250 and promptly ended up in the Emergency Room with a lot of broken bones in my lower back. But I healed up without surgery and no complications. Still so thankful for that.
SA Favorite motorcycle book?
DH Ted Simon’s “Jupiter’s Travels”.
SA Have you ridden internationally? If so, where?
DH While in Cusco, Peru on a volunteer trip I took a ½ day off and rode to some sites in the Sacred Valley. It was a private tour because no one else showed up, and just incredible to have the snow-capped Andes right above us, herds of animals travelling the road next to us, ancient cultural sites, grannies in traditional dress in the fields with their grandsons in track suits and cell phones working next to them, smelling the hearth fires, and hair-raising traffic in the dark following the guide back to town.
SA Favorite food(s)?
DH Asparagus, bacon, or the first fresh picked apple of the season.
SA What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
DH Learned to ride around age 30 and rode 100-500 miles a year until I got my first GS and learned to ride dirt at age 38.
SA Favorite post-ride beverage?
DH A good beer.
SA Funniest thing that ever happened to you while on a ride?
DH (Can remember laughing hysterically in my helmet a few times but can’t remember why…)
SA What is the most important advice you have ever received?
DH Look where you want to go.
SA Name 3 immediate things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
DH •On a personal level I want to compete in a few off-road events this year to push myself to improve my skills (and work out).
• Do another solo riding vacation this year, probably around California, visiting family along the way and challenging myself to find more unpaved roads along the way.
• For the broader riding world, I’d like to lead a women’s adventure ride in our area or maybe for the MOA rally again because getting together to share our experiences in this as women sometimes makes us a community, and we have fun!
SA Name 3 long-term things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
DH • Long-view, I’d somehow like to contribute to the idea that when, as women, we show up for an off-road ride that we be judged on ability not on gender, although this happens less often than it did five years ago. (Maybe I was just being judges as a noob and I took it wrong?)
More about me:
Overall, off-road riding has been the only sport I’ve ever gotten into that I’ve been committed to working at continually and felt passionately about. I like my family, home, and job so I love travelling by bike then coming home, but this has become a large part of my identity. I learn slowly, and I learn every time I ride. I love noticing when I finally ‘get’ something and it feels right. Adventure riding has led me to learn more about myself and gain deep insights from being in those crazy situations where I’m afraid or exhilarated or have to push hard through a lack of confidence. It has motivated me to better manage my diabetes (insulin-dependent) and improve my fitness, even completing a triathlon where I learned about endurance sports (direct correlation to adventure riding). It gives me a chance to work with my hands and tools during maintenance sessions, whereas my daily routine is at a desk. I’ve seen more of this country more closely from my GS than I ever would have otherwise. And it has led me to friendships all over the country.