What? You didn’t really think you could read everything about a woman’s ride of a lifetime in a single Q&A, did you? With the entire United States in the mirrors of her Bonneville, Madeline “MISSRIDER” Velazquez shares her time on the road, the concerns she had on her trip, the people she met, and her next big ride.
What moments from your adventure were the most prominent?
I have mixed emotions with this question because I had so many moments during the journey that stood out. There were two moments that were of the best for me: One was when Arlene took me to visit the elephants where we had a private tour of the animals, at the Performing Animals Welfare Society in California.
I also enjoyed when I pulled into a gas station and people saw my bike loaded with gear and a Massachusetts license plate. All too often, they walked over to talk with me and ask me where I was travelling. They made me feel like I was not alone in my long journey. Americans are wonderful people and it was evident throughout my ride.
How about meeting Rico? He is a horse whose owner was riding him from Nebraska to Los Angeles to raise awareness for suicide and child abuse awareness and prevention. Rico is the horse that captured my heart. I met Rico somewhere in one of those large deserts in Utah at a gas station. I hope that his owner did not ride him through the desert that I had just been through.
You had concerns for safety before leaving, were there any issues in your travels?
My main concern before leaving for the ride was for the safety of my motorcycle at night in hotels. They ensured me that the bike would be safe and helped by providing security or a parking spot next to the front lobby. I had no personal safety issues during my ride. I used common sense. I had only one bad situation where a dealership in Los Angeles took advantage and installed a damaged battery on my bike. Lesson learned, don’t trust a dealership and make sure that your motorcycle has a new battery before you embark on a long trip!
Great picture of you striping your LAMAS trophy to pieces to make it small enough to transport by motorcycle. Any funny stories from your trip?
I laughed quite a bit when I was riding with Arlene in California. We were heading into Reno, Nevada and a flight of geese flew over us. She was leading and at one point she started shaking her hand. I thought that perhaps she was having hand cramps from being on the saddle for so many hours. She pulls over and shows me her hand with bird poop all over it. Her reaction to the situation was priceless. Imagine, thousands of miles of land and air, geese fly above both of us and the poop lands on her hand!
You’ve taken your motorcycles to NYC and the Tail of the Dragon, where is MISSRIDER headed next?
I have been to the Tail of the Dragon twice, NYC many times, and all over PA and NJ during the summer of 2011. On June 21st, 2012, I plan on riding to Chicago Illinois to participate in the Latin American Motorcycle Association yearly rally. From there, I am not sure if I will continue riding west back to Los Angeles, but this time I may take the northern route to visit Yellowstone National Park in Montana. However, it all depends on the funding if I can save enough money to cover the cost.
Pro Tip: if you want a less crowded version of Yellowstone, check out King’s Canyon National Park.
Is there any truth to the rumor you’ll be coming to Canada in the future?
Yes, I hope to meet you in the spring of 2012 when I ride to Chicago.
Sounds like a good excuse for a ride, as if we needed one more excuse! A big THANK YOU to Madeline a.k.a. MISSRIDER for takng the time to answer all of these questions. Congratulations on completing your 6,000 mile ride across the United States. Please stay amazing and keep on encouraging other women to get out there and ride!