Welcome to the 2nd Season of the Biker Momma blog series! Last year I interviewed Sash Walker, Kelly Hedgepeth, Bernadette Murphy, Beth Demmon, Gail Bonnstetter and Grace Roselli. You can still read about all of these amazing riding moms on my blog. My fascination with women riders, and moms who ride has not waned in the least. I’m still as curious as ever about how my sister riders got their start, and how riding fits into their lives as moms. Are you wondering how long I intend to keep this series going? The long answer is, the series will continue until I get bored with the topic, which will probably be never. The short answer…deal with it. Just kidding. Kinda.
This week’s Biker Momma is Monique Purcell. I first met Monique when she purchased my Triple Swirl Hoop Earrings. I didn’t know who she was before that, and I remember when I sent a request to follow her private account on Instagram, she warned me that some people are offended by her humor. Immediately I knew I’d love her! Oh, and this girl ROCKS a short haircut like nobody’s business. For real! I hope you enjoy getting to know Monique…
If you don’t mind me asking, what is your age?
I'm 49-years old.
How long have you been riding, and what is your current bike?
I started riding in 2009 on a Suzuki Volusia. I had two Sportsters after the Suzuki and I’m now on my fourth and current bike, a Harley-Davidson Softail Slim. I absolutely LOVE it!
Above: Monique on her Harley Davidson Softail Slim
Did you start riding before you had kids or after?
I started riding after I had kids. My son was 18 and my daughter was 10 at the time. Now they are 27 and 19.
What were other people’s reactions when you started to ride?
I've received mixed reactions, both positive and negative. The most negative was and still is from my mother who is terrified of me riding. For the most part, people are very amazed that I ride and love to hear about it.
Have you ever felt the need to put your riding on hold for your family?
Not because of my kids, since they were older when I began riding, but I did put my riding on hold for almost five years. I broke my ankle and discovered that I had a syndrome that causes me to have very weak ankles…they tend to give out often. After my ankle healed, my health issues seemed to compound. I went through several female surgeries, pertaining to cervical cancer and it took a large toll on my abdominal muscles.
Did you start riding to fulfill a lifelong dream or was it an idea that just popped up one day?
I have always loved motorcycles and muscle cars. When most women wanted to go shopping, all I wanted to do was be outdoors, go to car shows, or ride as a passenger with friends. I had been a passenger many times throughout my adulthood, but it wasn’t until a short-term relationship, with a very verbally and physically abusive man, that I became very passionate about the industry of motorcycle riding. He had such a hold on me and was so damaging to my inner self, that towards the end of the relationship, I was pushing to ride my own bike. He was completely against this. However, I stood my ground, took a riding class and bought my first bike. He criticized every move I made on that bike and complained about it constantly. I didn’t care what he said because my time on that bike was the only peace I had away from him. I was free when I rode. I was in control of myself and could escape what was going on at home and in my relationship. It’s difficult to explain to non-riders the freedom, independence, empowerment and liberating feeling you get when you ride your own bike!
How do your kids feel about you riding?
They love that I ride! Both of my kids will say, “my mom is a bad ass!” It’s pretty cute.
Do you let your kids ride pillion?
Absolutely not. I have never let anyone ride as a passenger with me. I am not confident enough in my riding abilities and I do not want to feel responsible for another person, especially one of my kids. Should anything happen, I couldn’t bear it.
Has your riding influenced your kids to start riding or have an interest in motorcycles?
My son rode motocross years ago when he was in high school. When I got my first bike he took it out a few times to ride it, and still asks to take my Softail Slim out. My husband and I were attending Arizona bike week in 2017 with my son and his wife, and the two of them were hooked after that rally! My son bought his first Harley – a 2015 Fat Bob - immediately following AZ bike week. Sadly, he purchased it right after we left town to head back home, so we didn’t get to share in his experience.
Above: Monique's Son on his 2015 Harley Fat Bob
How do you feel about your son riding?
I am a bit nervous sometimes. Probably like any parent, and like my mom is with me riding.
Do you ride together?
When my son is visiting where we live, we always take him and his wife on a ride. I have several friends with extra bikes we borrow for them to use while in town. It’s so incredible to look in my mirror and see my son behind me with the smile on his face. His wife loves it as well! My daughter will ride as a passenger with my other friends, and for her 18th birthday when I asked what she wanted to do – she said, “go for a group ride!”.
Would you like to share any funny stories or anecdotes about your riding experience?
People joke with me a lot about how small I am (only 5’1) and riding. They joke about not being able to touch the ground or about finding a bike that’s short enough to ride. I have had some struggles moving bikes around from time-to-time. I’ve been stuck and unable to move out of parking spaces. I’ve gotten into a dip in the pavement and been unable to get any momentum or traction to get out. I also really need to pay attention to where my feet land when coming to a stop to make sure that at least one foot can touch the ground.
What do you do for work and what other hobbies do you have?
I am a business consultant for a salon distribution company. I work from my home office and have a large territory that I cover across Eastern Idaho and Western Wyoming. I love to be outdoors and anything that has to do with animals. I am an artist, I make jewelry, and I’m a chef.
Monique's Bio in a Nutshell:
Monique has a background in sales and marketing, where she previously worked at both Harley-Davidson and Indian Motorcycle dealerships. Harsh winter months, made earning a good living selling motorcycles a challenge, so she has transitioned back to a career in the beauty industry as a business consultant for a salon distribution company.
In the fall of 2016, Monique, along with two other ladies, co-founded the Idaho Falls chapter of The Litas. In just one-year they have reached 60 members – which is amazing for a town with a population of 55,000 and winter 4-5 months of the year! The group is made up members from all walks of life and all makes and models of bikes. The Litas of Idaho Falls are blessed with incredible riding locations close by including: Yellowstone National Park, Jackson Wyoming, Lowman Idaho, Lolo Pass, Salmon Idaho, just to name a few. They have big plans for some epic rides in 2018!
Above: Badass Monique wearing the Sterling Silver Triple Swirl Hoops! Click HERE to shop this look!