I follow many amazing women on social media and I’m drawn to different people for different reasons. Sometimes it’s a gorgeous bike or an interesting post. Other times a badass boss babe is hustling her biz and I want to show her some love and support. What first caught my eye about Janet was her seemingly easy-going presence. A kind of look-you-square-in-the-eye confidence, without being confrontational. Don’t get me wrong, her bike is beautiful, but she just seems to have a unique and peaceful vibe about her. Oh, and let me tell you something else. This babe rocks a bandana like nobody’s business. And her bandana collection?Pretty freakin’ amazing! I’m not even kidding you. Is there such a thing as “bandana-envy”? I think so. Lucky for me I connected with her bandana supplier and started building my own collection. Even luckier for me, she agreed to this interview. Meet Biker Momma Janet Foley…
What is your age if you don’t mind my asking?
How long have you been riding?
I’ve been riding since 1994
What is your current bike?
I currently have a 2000 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Classic and a few other bike projects.
Do you recall what first sparked your interest in learning to ride?
As a kid, I was always attracted to bikes, the sounds and looks of them. I loved the whole motorcycle culture vibe. I've always wanted to ride long before I was married and had kids.
Did you start riding before you had kids or after?
I started riding before my sons were born.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have two sons, an 18-year old and a 21-year old.
Did you put your riding on hold when you had kids? If yes, how long before you picked it back up again?
I was able to get back on the bike after a few months. Both my sons were born either late Fall or early Winter. That gave me time to recoup and ride once the weather improved.
How do your kids feel about you riding?
Both my sons loved that I rode as well as their late dad. They loved seeing me pull up on the bike.
Do you now, or anytime in the past let your kids ride pillion?
Both my boys have ridden pillion on my bike when they were younger. The last time, when my youngest was about 16 and taller than me. That was challenging.
Has your riding influenced your kids to start riding?
Yes, my oldest was determined to learn and got his license. Unfortunately, his riding season came to a halt after a year. A careless driver pulled out in front of him and he t-boned the car. Fortunately, he was only doing 20-mph. He's okay now though, but the bike was totaled.
How do you feel about your son riding?
I had my concerns for my son as a rider. From my experiences, riding can be dangerous if you’re not mentally prepared for unexpected surprises. My motto to my son was, expect the unexpected. Always assume cars will pull out or turn in front of you. Cover your brakes/clutch in intersections and count a few beats before accelerating through green lights. You'd be surprised how many cars run the red light.
Have you and your son ridden together?
Before my son totaled his bike, we did a few short rides together. I was both proud and nervous for him. It was definitely a bonding experience, taking him under my wing during his maiden rides. If he ever gets another bike, I'd be thrilled to go riding with him again.
Have any funny or interesting stories centered around being a mom who rides?
Being a Biker Mom has its perks. I get to use my bike if my sons take the cars for the day (weather permitting of course!) I get a few high eyebrows from my kids' friends’ parents when they hear I ride. I think they’re shocked, lol. I often ride alone, to unwind and think. My most memorable ride was to Sturgis in 2001. My late husband and I both rode our bikes from Massachusetts and camped along the way. The boys were both under 4-years of age.
My worst experience was being cut off on a highway just before I was about to exit off. Some people would sooner run you over than miss their exit. Yet this hasn’t deterred me from riding.
I've met many new cool Biker Moms through events like Babes Ride Out and other social events. I hope to meet many more badass women riders along my journey.
Tell us about more about your life outside of motorcycles...
I'm a stay at home mom and enjoy making stuff with leather and most types of material. I love shooting pool, bowling and of course, riding!
I'm a single deaf mom, born and raised in Massachusetts. In addition to my 2 young adult sons I also have a dog, Maddy. I’ve been widowed since 2011 when I lost my husband to cancer. I keep busy by helping out at a local motorcycle shop. I’m currently making plans for road trips with friends and solo rides this summer, rain or shine!
Janet needs nothing else to show she's a badass Biker Momma, but don't you think she would look amazing sporting the newly redesigned JUST RIDE leather cuff? Yep, me too. Check it out HERE!