Whether its the freedom, the machine, or the woman herself, everyone can appreciate something of beauty in a woman riding her motorcycle. For some women, a ride around town, or even the state just isn't enough. On July 4th, 2011, Madeline "MISSRIDER" Velazquez set out on the ride of a lifetime: travelling across the United States by motorcycle, all alone, aboard her Triumph Bonneville. She was kind of enough to take a moment to answer some of our questions and tell us about her trip.
Few women would choose to travel across the United States, even fewer alone, least of all by motorcycle. What inspired you to make the trip, and why choose to travel by motorcycle?
The most import reason I did the ride is to satisfy my own desire that I could accomplish a personal challenge like that and put closure to a 36 year old dream. We all have dreams, I had one and I did it. The ride also meant that a woman could accomplish such as task. I hope that other women will visit my site and get inspired to ride a motorcycle. They don’t have to ride long distances, just ride a motorbike whether it is a scooter, all-terrain vehicle or trike. Just get on two wheels ladies and ride!
You remained optimistic as you chronicled your trip on your site. Was there ever a time in your travel where the optimist in you vanished? What kept you going?
There were times that my optimistic attitude vanished throughout the journey because of how difficult it was to travel 5944 miles alone on a motorcycle. It was mentally and physically demanding. It was also very scary at times when I encountered certain variables that caused fear. One of those variables was the fact that I was having problems with the battery on my motorcycle. I feared that if my bike broke down, it would cost a great deal of money and hardship to my family to come get me. The motivation to finish the ride was failure. I kept thinking as I rode, “Madeline, do not quit because you will be a failure!!!”. So, I kept on riding until my body was exhausted because I knew that every mile would get me closer to home.
How many miles were you riding each day?
Mileage wise each day was different because it depended on my mental, physical ability and the state I was traveling through for sightseeing. On states where there was no sightseeing I travelled between 400 to 600 miles. But most of the travel on average was around 300 mile days 10 to 12 hours of riding allowing plenty of stretch time. I like to do 120 mile fast riding sprints to cover as much highway as possible and then relax for a while to do it again.
On your blog you wrote: "I am a single beautiful, successful, confident Latin woman who rides a motorcycle and, yes, I am a catch!" Does this tie in to any of your philosophies on life?
Many women have a low self-esteem. I used to be one of those women in the past. With the help of others, I learned about the power that women have once we accept who we are and what we can accomplish in life. I am an educated woman and my philosophy in life is that we (men and women) can achieve amazing things once we set our hearts to do it. I am proud of who I am and have become, thus, the comment on my blog. In order for a woman to have the courage to ride a motorcycle across the country alone, she must trust herself that she can do it!
We just posted our second and final Q&A session with MISSRIDER where she looks back on travel, the concerns, life on the road, and her next big ride. Check it out: Female motorcyclist retells travelling across the USA.