Women and Motorcycles: Stacey Long Speaks
Women Riders Speak is an interview series with female motorcyclists. Through their stories, they illustrate the transformative role motorcycling has played in their life.
After a childhood moped crash, Stacey lost interest in riding. Twenty-eight years later, after mustering the courage to ride with her date, she fell in love. With riding. Not even a twenty-six inch inseam could stop her. In this story of women and motorcycles, read how riding has changed her life.
My path to riding evolved over thirty-two years. My father brought home a Honda CB350 in the mid 1970’s and took us all riding with him. I felt like the coolest kid on the block and immediately fell in love with riding. When I turned fourteen, my parents bought a moped for my brother and me. Initially we loved riding it but after I wiped out on gravel and ended up on crutches, I was too afraid to continue riding. My parents sold the moped.
The next twenty-eight years were spent attending college, working in an administrative position for a large corporation and raising an amazing daughter. Riding never crossed my mind. That all changed when my daughter was in high school.
I met a man who owned a motorcycle. Remembering how much crashing hurt, I was afraid to ride on the back. I was also afraid that if something terrible happened, my daughter would be orphaned.
After finally mustering the courage to ride with him, I once again fell in love. With riding. When the relationship ended I knew I wanted to learn how to ride for myself.
What was your biggest challenge when you were learning to ride?
Everything. I am short with a twenty-six inch inseam. How was I going handle a motorcycle? I was afraid of looking like a fool in the Basic Rider Safety Course. I found riding to be far more difficult than expected but was determined come hell or high water, I was going to ride a motorcycle!
In June 2007, after riding for only a few months, I bungeed a duffle bag to the back of my Kawasaki Vulcan 500 and headed east on Interstate I90 fromOhio toLake George,New York.
It was a life changing trip for me. It was my first trip by myself EVER. Americade was my first rally, first ride in the mountains and first time stuck in a torrential thunderstorm on a highway. I was still a novice rider so I was both terrified and thrilled at the same time. I must have smiled from ear to ear for a week after that trip!
I began riding solo after a very challenging year, some of it heart breaking. While I take care of my nearest and dearest, riding provides “me time”. Riding on low traffic roads also offers time for silent conversations with God.
What is your greatest joy from riding?
The company of fellow riders. Those I have had the honor of meeting, seem to have the same “can do” approach to life. So many are involved in charities. What a fantastic community!
My family has been very supportive of my hobby. My father has been a great help, providing mechanical assistance and advice when asked. One of these days my daughter and son-in-law will join me on scooters.
It is amazing how easy it is to meet new people. Just remove your helmet after you park. I have had people walk across parking lots to say hello.
How do you look back on yourself as a beginner rider now?
At the end of a ride I look at my newest motorcycle parked in the garage and say to myself, “Yeah I rode that big Suzuki Boulevard! Little ol’ me!!!!!!!!”