SA: Have you always been driven to explore adventurous activities?
JO: Yes! I have always been a backpacker and hiker, travelling the US.
SA: What was your first bike?
JO: Yamaha FZ6
SA: What was your worst day on a motorcycle?
JO: My worst day is when the demon within, fear, trickles into low confidence. When I encounter a challenging obstacle, and my fear takes over, it starts as my worst day. When the day is done, looking back, it becomes one of my best when I see that I can get through it.
SA: Where is your favorite ride?
JO: My favorite ride was joining Riders for Health on their “Experience Africa” fundraising event. We rode from Lusaka to Livingstone on Yamaha AG200s. There is one day in particular that stands out amongst the rest. I was new to dirt riding, so Randy Mamola (MotoGP) was my personal teacher for the afternoon. We spent a day riding out into the villages on single track and VERY unimproved roads. I followed him as he instructed me on lines and sand riding techniques. As we rode through the villages, children would run from their schools, waving and cheering. Zambia is a developing country with limited infrastructure. The kids would here us for miles before we would arrive. Meeting the people, learning to ride, and enjoying the Zambian countryside makes this one of my favorite all time rides.
SA: Do you have a name for your motorcycle?
JO: My “Big Girl” – My previous adventure bike was a true pig, but the KTM 1190 is anything but.
SA: How many countries have you ridden in?
JO: 3 – US, Canada, and Zambia
SA: Favorite food?
JO: Jalapeño Cheetos
SA: What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
JO: My endorsement at age 24, 13 on a moped.
SA: What is your current ADV bike?
JO: KTM 1190. When learning to ride, your first motorcycle is just that – your first, not your last. I had an XT225, KLX250, BMW G650GS Sertao, and now my KTM 1990. I have found my last.
SA: Favorite post-ride beverage?
JO: Any drink with water. I am a beer snob; however after a ride I prefer a drink with a little hydration and a lime.
SA: Funniest thing that ever happened to you on a ride?
JO: This is tough. I LOVE my girlfriends. When we ride, we always have fun, laugh, and encourage each other. Even the most mundane of days becomes a day of laughter and fun. To pick one, I would say our day of horses.
Kay and I were finishing up 150 miles of dirt on the UTBDR. We were hot, tired, and in need of some R&R. As we were riding the last 20 miles, we came across a field of horses. Kay, being a horse lover, decides to stop. As she attempts to feed one horse, they all come walking over to her. In my helmet, she yells, “TOO MANY! “ and runs back to her bike. The horses follow her and surround her bike – rubbing on it and licking! She then proceeds to walk back to me, bringing the horses with her! I couldn’t get off the bike (see picture). We are laughing, crying and doing everything we can to get the horses back into the field. It was the perfect end to the perfect day.