Women and Wheels…
May is typically open season for motorcycle enthusiasts. By now, we’ve had plans to meet for our annual “Blessing of the Bikes” along with other choice events. We may have taken in a few “off season” rides for a much needed break from our in-house orders to practice social distancing. But at the end of the day, our plans have been interrupted. I had plans to fly to Arizona to ride for a week in April. I, too, waited till the day before my departure to cancel my flight. So many great events have had to be rescheduled or postponed. As I was writing this article, I saw the update that Ohio Bike Week has been postponed. I’m not surprised, but disappointed. As time goes on, there will continue to be many changes and adjustments. Current statistics show that 1 in 5 motorcycle riders are females. Verbal interviews with women say they feel energized, sexy and happy when they ride. Often empty nesters describe this new passion as having a new lease on life, a renewed sense of community and taking on unexplored challenges.
I subtitled this month’s article, Women and Wheels. Typically, the first Saturday in May has been known as International Female Ride Day. It began 14 years ago as a movement for female riders and is now recognized in over 120 countries. Needless to say, it too, has been rescheduled to Saturday, August 22. For more information on the International Female Ride Day, visit www.motoress.com
Honoring a female living legend…
In honor of International Female Ride Day, I was doing some research about women who ride. One name kept showing up and that name was Gloria Tramontin Struck, who at the age of 94, has made her claim to fame on two wheels. I was intrigued with her story so much, that I reached out to her in hopes to have a phone interview. Ironically, I received a call from her as I was working on this article.
If I was to guess her age by the way she talked and sounded on the phone, I would guess her to be a vibrant young lady in her early 50’s. Her mind is sharp and keen. In talking with Struck, she has paved the way for thousands of women to follow in her path. She is going on 74 years as the longest active member of Motor Maids. Among her early days being born and raised in Clifton, New Jersey, she worked in a war plant during WWII for 12 years, helped in her husband’s business in sales and still managed to sell Avon products for 44 years. Her first ride on a motorcycle was at the age of 10. In 1941, she bought her first Indian Scout. As Paul Harvey would say, “now you know the rest of the story”. Struck has been inducted into the Sturgis Hall of Fame in 2011, followed by induction in 2016 to the A.M.A. Hall of Fame and most recently received the 2019 Sturgis lifetime achievement award.
She has ridden in 48 states and parts of Europe at the age of 74 and 76 years young respectfully.
Struck has written a book called “A lifetime Motorcyclist”. She makes appearances around the country for book signings. “I would be glad to personally autograph my book to your readers.” quotes Struck. Although you can find her book on Amazon, they are not autographed. You can order your personally autographed book from Struck’s Facebook page, Gloria Tramontin Struck. Tell her you read about her in May’s issue of Thunder Roads Ohio. Her advice to future female riders is, “Take the course, wear a helmet no matter what and live your dream”. As of today, Struck has 2 bikes and currently rides a Heritage Softail Classic.