Madeleine Velázquez, a.k.a. MISSRIDER is a long distance adventure motorcyclist. Her rides have taken her from the Pacific to the Atlantic, from Canada to Panama, and most recently to Alaska and back. She even saved Ewan McGregor from himself along the way.
MISSRIDER’s adventures have been well documented on YouMotorcycle, and our original Woman Motorcyclist of the Month continues to come back to us and share more stories. This time we sat down with 24 year old Amanda Velázquez, a.k.a. MISSRIDER’s daughter, to talk about life, riding, and a very special woman.
YouMotorcycle: Hey Amanda, tell us a little about yourself.
Amanda Velázquez: My name is Amanda Velazquez. I am Madeleine’s youngest of two. (24 years old) I am a cook at a cafe in West Concord MA called Salt Box Kitchen. www.saltboxkitchen.com — Check us out! I started cooking at a very young age and it has always been my passion. I have dreams of riding and eating my way around the world. I hope to join her on her world tour. Details of where haven’t been decided yet.
YouMotorcycle: When you’re out of the kitchen, are you out riding?
Amanda Velázquez: I don’t ride very often since I do not have my own bike, and only use one of my mom’s bikes therefore I can only ride with her. I plan to use one of her bikes as my own when she decides to part with it. ;-)
YouMotorcycle: How old were you when you first started on two wheels?
Amanda Velázquez: My mother first taught me to ride dirt bikes when I was about 13 years old. I was nervous to learn, as my father didn’t have the same open mind to riding as my mom had. I felt as though I would betray my father if I started, but my attraction was too strong. It became something my mom and I began to do together, a bonding experience. Her confidence made me less nervous. I was afraid I would get hurt, but seeing how fearless she was helped me push past that.
YouMotorcycle: That woman inspires people around the world to seize the day. It’s no surprise to hear that. What were you thinking as she started going on progressively longer rides across countries and continents?
Amanda Velázquez: It made me scared for her safety when she went on her first long trip. I was excited to see if she’d make it all the way and to hear about her adventures. Since she has done a few now, I believe she has it under control. Although I still worry about her, I support her and cheer her on since I know this is her dream.
YouMotorcycle: Do you help out?
Amanda Velázquez: Since I don’t live as close to my mom as I used to, it’s hard to help out as much as I would like to. I try to help her with whatever I can but I think right now I’m supporting her emotionally from where I am.
YouMotorcycle: What’s it liking having a celebrity mom?
Amanda Velázquez: I don’t really see my mom as a “celebrity” since she doesn’t act any different than she always has. I don’t think she wants any of this to change her as a person which I really respect. I think she feels like an inspiration and a role model to people which can be hard to keep up with at times, but she’s doing a great job.
YouMotorcycle: We had dinner on my birthday once, with my ex and another riding friend. It was a terrific night of fun. The restaurant staff completely forgot about us. But of course we didn’t let it faze us. Any fun stories to share?
Amanda Velázquez: She is always making me laugh. I am always finding her in the basement working on her bikes either fixing something that went wrong or making it worse.
YouMotorcycle: Par for the course for any motorcyclist. Sometimes we do good, sometimes, well… not so much.
Amanda Velázquez: When she came back from her trip to Alaska, she brought back a piece of Alaskan tundra moss. She was so attached to the piece of moss, which looked like a patch of moss with dirt clumped to it. She thought it would stay alive by keeping it cold. It stayed alive for a while, but the methods she was using didn’t work out so well in the end. She was devastated when she lost the piece of Alaskan earth she brought all the way back on her journey.
YouMotorcycle: I guess if you take a little piece of moss that far you can grow kind of attached to it. Is there an “insider scoop” on MISSRIDER – does she have a pre-ride tradition or any other quirks?
Amanda Velázquez: Besides all the safety checks she does with her bike and making sure the mechanic looks it over, my mom doesn’t have many “traditions” per se. The one thing she does, however, is leaves for her trips the moment school is out. She’s a teacher, and it’s almost like she’s one of the kids getting out of school for summer break. She will pack up her bike, drive it all packed up to school, go about her normal teaching day, then hit the road without stopping home first. She is always so eager to go she can’t wait any longer.
YouMotorcycle: I had NO idea, but knowing Madeleine, I can picture it so clearly. What do you love best about her?
Amanda Velázquez: I would have to say I love how big my mom’s heart is. She is always giving to people, helping when they need it and making sure everyone is content. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it wasn’t for all her support.
YouMotorcycle: Very sweet. Here’s your chance to say whatever you want to her, right here, right now. What do you want to tell her?
Amanda Velázquez: I’d love to tell her how proud I am of her for pursuing her dream. There were so many reasons for her not to do what she’s doing, yet she’s doing it anyway. She truly is an inspiration for me and helps me get past my doubts and fears just by thinking about all she has accomplished. I want her to know she is all that I want to be as I continue to grow as a woman.
Thanks to Amanda Velázquez for taking the time to share her stories about her adventuress mother, MISSRIDER. This week Madeleine is celebrating her birthday and preparing for her round-the-world ride. Be sure to check out her website, MISSRIDER.com for more info, and feel free to make a donation to go towards motorcycle maintenance, gear, accessories, food, and shelter.
Congratulations, Madeleine, you are an inspiration, a role model, and a woman with the biggest set of balls I have ever seen. Happy Birthday, ride safe, and stay wonderful.
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We’re passionate about getting more women riding motorcycles, so we want to hear why you’re riding, and how you got started. Motorcycling is a small community, let’s make riding more accessible.