DZ I live in Whitehorse, Yukon, Canada…. because…. it’s wild and it captured me when I was young. I just stayed and believe me, if you love adventure, the Yukon is an awesome place to be!
SA What or who inspired you to ride a motorcycle?
DZ A friend, took me for dinner, an hour away on the back of his bike. I got hooked, by the next spring I had my own bike.
SA What bike(s) do you own?
DZ Honda Shadow ACE 2002, and a 2006 BMW 650GS
SA Are you a part of a women’s riding group? If so, which one(s)?
DZ Nope – no women’s riding group around here that I know about, although there is a mountain biking group called Yukon Dirt Girls.
SA Where is your favorite ride and why?
DZ I spend 6 weeks in Baja California, Mexico on the BMW – ran out of time – need to go back.
SA Why do you ride or want to ride on 2-wheels?
DZ I love adventure! I love the outdoors. I love the back country. I love the feeling that I am ready for whatever feels good.
SA Have you always been driven to explore adventurous activities?
DZ Nope. At six years old I used to cry when the tall grass touched my bare legs – I thought it might be bugs. But when I hit my midlife celebration (and divorce) at around 45 years old, I was ready for adventure and motorcycles fit.
SA What would you like to see more of when it comes to the women’s riding world?
DZ Could we shave a little weight of the machines? I mean there has to be some technology out there that would make it a little easier to woman handle the bikes.
SA What gets you out of bed in the morning?
DZ The thought of doing something I’ve never done before or going somewhere I’ve never been.
SA If you could ride anywhere next year, where would it be and why?
DZ Australia – I have been dreaming of an extended tour there ever since I got my BMW. Or back to Baja, only rode around half the roads the first time.
SA Do you personally operate or work at a women-owned/operated moto related website, blog, or business that you’d like to tell us about? If so, what is it?
DZ Hmmm… not really. But I used to have a column in our local paper called Adventure On Two Wheels – I wrote about motorcycling and bicycling, about my own adventures and those of others.
SA What was your worst day on a motorcycle?
DZ The day I learned to ride. I spent 45 minutes in a parking lot with a friend teaching me how to ride, then went for a ride with my guy on a back road. Still didn’t have the feel for the controls and I dumped going down a steep bit of washed out gravel smacking my helmeted head on the ground and twisting my ankle. Didn’t stop me from riding, but it took me two years to lose the anxiety reaction every time I found myself on a downhill grade. All the other days, even the difficult ones were just fun.
SA Favorite food?
DZ Fruit – any kind, but particularly tropical fruit. (Could that be because I live in the cold north?)
SA What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
DZ It was 2001. I was 45 years old.
SA Funniest thing that ever happened to you while on a ride?
DZ Shredded bits of a pair of my underwear are nailed to the wall inside a bar – THE ONLY bar – in Chicken Alaska. It always amazes me what northerners will do to prove they are unique and unlike people from ‘outside’. We’d ridden our bikes down to Dawson City, on the Friday afternoon of the Discovery Day long weekend, one of the Klondike’s biggest celebrations. Arriving into town without hotel reservations was not really wise but by the grace of Nancy at the Midnight Sun Hotel we were rescued from homelessness. After visits and a few beers in the tavern, we settled in for sleep. Quiet room and dark curtains meant we slept through our intended early rise to be up just in time for coffee on the Riverwest second floor balcony before watching the local Discovery Days Parade. I have a soft spot for that parade, 1976, cute guy, first summer in Dawson City, etc. We left Dawson around noon, crossing the ferry to West Dawson and the Top of the World Highway. The weather was great and the views stunning. The ride up to the summit is paved most of the way. Pothole dodging but not too tough. The down slope, however, is a challenging set of steep grade switchbacks set on silty gravel. Thank god it was not raining. The guy was riding a KLR dual sport and feeling quite cocky about it. I on the other hand was on my cruiser. By the time we got to Chicken my shoulders were pinned up somewhere around my ears. The bar was calling loudly to provide some stress relief. It takes a while for eyes to adjust to dim light on a sunny afternoon. First we noticed hundreds of ball caps hanging off the ceiling and the walls. Then we noticed hundreds of rags also hanging off the ceiling and the walls, between the ball caps. We sat down, ordered our drinks and looked around again. “What are all these rags doing here?” The barmaid fairly leaps to her feet, “If you let me shoot your underwear out of a cannon you get your drink for free!” “I’m sorry, say again?” Well, the pair I had on, I had been told, were particularly hideous. I don’t want to get into detail, but think of the flame pattern you see on a lot of Harley bandanas. It sounded like a fitting sacrifice. “I’m game.” The barmaid was already hauling the cannon outside, loading, tamping and priming it. The last item, my underwear, was stuffed down the barrel, tamped down and the fuse lit. Cannons are really loud. Did I mention the underwear was a thong? It took good eyes to find the bits that were all that was left. The walls got their newest addition and I got my drink for free. Then from across the valley came the loud boom of another cannon going off. The barmaid was hauling her cannon back outside muttering, “He can’t get away with that…”
SA Favorite post-ride beverage?
DZ I am flexible. Partying with the boys is good (that would be Yukon Jack, Captain Morgan, etc.)
SA Name 3 immediate things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
DZ 1) to be able to pick up my BMW without help, 2) to find more girls to ride with and 3) to live somewhere in the winter where I can ride.
SA Name 3 long-term things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
DZ 1), 2), and 3) to write and publish books on my adventures riding – one on Baja, another on Yukon/Alaska, and a 3rd on that 6 month Australian adventure that I still have to go on.