I love meeting other women who ride. I'm fascinated by their stories of adventure on 2-wheels, and how they got started riding. Since my own journey started much later in life, when my kids were already in high school and college, it's hard for me to imagine what it would have felt like to pursue my passion for riding and motorcycles if my kids had been younger at the time. Who knows? Maybe I wouldn't have. So I'm excited to bring you this issue of the Biker Momma series. Beth Demmon, a talented writer and scooter-girl-turned-biker-chick shares things from her perspective as a brand new mom. Meet Beth...
What is your age if you don't mind me asking?
How long have you been riding, and what is your current bike?
My first “bike” was a Genuine Buddy 125 that I bought in September 2014. I loved scootin’ around town, but realized I needed to get a big girl ride… so I did! I bought a 2001 Suzuki Marauder in February 2016 and just pulled the trigger on a 2006 Triumph Bonneville in April 2017.
Did you start riding before you had kids or after?
Before, but after my husband and I decided we wanted to have kids in the future.
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I just had my first child in February of this year. His name is Arthur and he’s the cutest (if I do say so myself).
What were other people’s reactions to you riding after you had your son?
My dad is pretty stoked and supportive. He put his riding on hold after he got into an accident when my siblings and I were really little. Now that we’re all long since out of the house, he loves hitting the road with his 1900cc 2008 Yamaha Stratoliner S with the license plate abbreviation “28 YEAR WAIT”. My mom is less stoked. Everyone else is smart enough to (mostly) keep their opinions about it to themselves. I’m not known for receiving unsolicited advice very well.
Did you put your riding on hold for a while?
I stopped riding when I was around 4 ½ months pregnant. At that point, I just personally didn’t feel comfortable risking the ride, but totally understand why people continue riding as long as they’re physically able. I definitely missed it (and may have hopped on once or twice just to feel the wind in my hair for a block or two). After having Arthur, I wasn’t sure how soon I was going to start riding again, or if I was going to ride again at all. I had a pretty intense recovery after labor, so I wasn’t physically capable of riding for a while either way. However, once I was healed up, not only did I start riding right away, my husband and I bought the Bonnie!
Was riding a lifelong dream or just an idea that popped up one day?
As a child, I never saw myself riding a motorcycle. I was pretty much an indoor kid: loved to read and draw, that sort of thing. I was terrified of the dark until (never mind how old I was) and I refused to ride roller coasters until my mom got fed up with my irrational fear and made me try one (I definitely needed that push, and now I love them!)
When I got a little older—a.k.a. less of a scaredy cat—and started to drive, I started looking at Vespas and thought they looked super cute and fun. I never had the money to splurge on any scooter, but it was always sort of in the back of my mind. Fast forward to the last months of my twenties and I finally picked up the scooter I always wanted! After that, hopping onto a big bike seemed like a natural progression.
Your son is tiny, but when he's older, how do you think he'll feel about you riding?
He’s too little to know, but I hope he sees having a strong female role model as a positive thing in the future.
Will you let him ride pillion?
I’m sure he’ll hop on for short rides when he’s big enough, so we’ll start there and see how we feel.
If he wants to ride later in life, how do you think you'll feel about it?
I don’t know how I’d feel if he wanted to ride in the future. I think things like dirtbikes or two strokes sound like a lot of fun in theory, but there’s always going to be that nagging Mom radar alarm going “he’s going to break his arms!” I like to think that I’ll support him riding responsibly in the future if he chooses to.
Share with us a story or anecdote about being a mom who rides…
I constantly get jokes about kevlar baby gear and sidecars that fit his car seat. It’s getting a little old, but it’s way better than judgemental comments, so I’ll happily accept the jokes instead.
What is your profession and what other hobbies do you have?
I’m a self-employed freelance writer and when I’m not cleaning spit up off of my t-shirt, I’m failing miserably at handstands in yoga (but I’ll keep trying!), drinking beer while breastfeeding at my local biergarten, watching Studio Ghibli anime, or reading whatever nerd book series I’ve just picked up at the library.
Beth's Bio in a Nutshell:
I’m a California born, Virginia raised girl who moved back to Southern California (San Diego specifically) in 2008. I have a B.F.A. in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Virginia, where I also picked up my awesome husband Ashton. As a freelance writer, I specialize in food and drink writing and have a biweekly craft beer column in San Diego CityBeat (read it here). I’ve also contributed to publications like Thrillist, Hipcamp, RVA Magazine, and lots more, which can be viewed on my Contently portfolio. I’ve hiked the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru, biked through a coffee plantation in Jamaica, been to the Studio Ghibli Museum in Japan, and would really like to ride scooters in southeast Asia one day. Motorcycling through Europe would also be pretty badass.