SW: Cle Elum, WA because after traveling mostly through smaller towns and the backcountry for 15 months, I was looking to get out of the Seattle area and experience what the quieter east side of the mountains had to offer.
SA: Where have you lived in the past?
SW: I lived in Alaska most of my life (35 years), moved to the Connecticut for 2 years and now in Washington for the past 10 years.
SA: What’s your favorite part to where you live?
SW: I love the outdoors! The northwest has everything I enjoy: mountains, ocean and plenty of backcountry to explore without all of the extremes that come with living in Alaska.
SA: Are you part of a women’s riding group? If so, which one(s)?
SW: Yes! The Dirty Girls! Whoop!
SA: Why do you ride or want to ride on 2-wheels?
SW: I feel more alive! I love travelling on two wheels because I feel more connected to my environment. I love the smells and views as I move through different areas. I also feel more connected with people as I travel by motorcycle verses a car. People are interested in me – where I’m going, and what I’m doing. Conversations are struck up whenever I’m at the gas pump, restaurant or when I’m packing up provisions in the local grocery store parking lot. Since being off the bike (too much snow) I find I miss those connections.
SA: Have you always been driven to explore adventurous activities?
SW: I’ve always been somewhat adventurous. I have explored mountaineering, white water rafting, week long backpacking trips, mulit-day mountain biking trips, snowmachining in the backcountry and now my great passion for adventure riding.
SA: What would you like to see more of when it comes to women and riding?
SW: I would love to see more women riding their own motorcycle. I would like to see more options for women when it comes to apparel and gear that is made for women, not just downsized versions of the men’s. I would love to see more women teaching and supporting women in all aspects of our sport.
SA: Name 3 immediate things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
SW: Become a better rider.
Make something of the opportunity giving to me with the SheADV program.
To be resource for others regarding the Backcountry Discovery Routes.
SA: Name 3 long-term things you would like to accomplish in the world of riding.
SW: Coach and encourage other women to ride.
Establish SheADV as an awesome resource for all women riders.
Travel and inspire others to Ride Their Ride.
SA: If you could ride anywhere next year, where would it be?
SW: I would ride ANYWHERE! I just love to ride! My partner Steph and I have been talking about other countries, but we haven’t decided on which one yet.
SA: What was your worst day on a motorcycle?
SW: November 27, 2010. I was hit while riding my motorcycle. That moment changed my life quite drastically for the next 2 years while I rehabbed myself back to health.
SA: Where is your favorite ride?
SW: In the backcountry! If I had to pick a favorite Backcountry Discovery Route, I’d say Colorado. The scenery is magnificent!
SA: Do you have a name for your motorcycle?
SW: Surprisingly enough, no I have not named my GS. When I had my Vstrom, I named it “The Beast,” because that is what it felt like to ride with the big ‘ol tank and such.
SA: How many countries have you ridden in?
SW: 2! North America and Canada.
SA: Favorite food?
SA: What age did you learn to ride a motorcycle?
SW: I think I was probably 15 or so.
SA: What bike(s) do you own?
SW: BMW F650GS Twin and a Honda CRF250X
SA: Favorite post-ride beverage?
SW: A cold beer can be refreshing after a long day.
SA: Funniest thing that ever happened to you on a ride?
SW: One day three of us Dirty Girls were out riding our dirt bikes and we came to a stop in the trail on a slope and when I went to put my foot down, well… I’m sure you guessed it, I fell and then took out the other two Dirty Girls while the boys just looked at us like “What is going on?”
SA: What is the most important advice you have ever received?
SW: Train! And don’t ever stop training!
SA: Who inspired your motorcycle dreams?
SW: I’ve always wanted to ride motorcycles, but once I was introduced to the adventure world and I started researching things and came across Lisa and Simon “2 Ride the World,” I was REALLY interested and completely HOOKED! These days my partner Steph inspires me with her sheer determination and focus – she was so commited to completing four BDRs this summer even though she was struggling with an undiagnosed illness. She and my motorcycle accident inspire me to live life to the fullest.