Motorcycles have always been a huge part of my life. I grew up on dirt bikes. I love them. A dirt bike is almost what took me out, and not just once. But I still love them and even through I had a life altering accident while on one, I still love them and believe in riding them, just riding them smartly and being as prepared as possible and for riding them because it’s a passion, not just because it’s the cool thing to do. A huge part of my adult life has been traveling and riding moto any chance that I could. My two favorite things. I have loved to volunteer at moto events, attend moto events, teach about moto and get others as stoked for it as I was. I always wanted to encourage others to do something that has had such a big place in my life. To share my love for Moto❤️
I wrote a post on 4/18 about my amazing moto adventures in Thailand. Definitely check it out if you missed it, this trip was so incredible and I am so glad I was able to do it. My love for travel and my love for moto was once again conquered. Nothing can top experiences involving travel and motorcycles in my book. I’m just so thankful I got to have these experiences before I decided never to ride again. It really brings me contentment and peace and happiness knowing I had the experiences that I did. I feel like my life of moto was truly fulfilled.
My dad had an accident in our back yard when I was young. I must have only been like 3 years old. I remember my dad had built a motocross track in our gully on our acre, the benefits of having a dad who moves the dirt as an excavator for a living. He built a track for him and my brother, this is before I rode yet. I just remember one day there was an accident and I remember I hid under my parents bed. I have been told my dad crushed and his leg and it was twisted, our neighbor was a fire fighter and came down when 911 was called and helped stabilize my dad as his femoral artery was being compromised, he could of lost his leg. He went to the hospital, required surgery and was in a full leg cast for months and unable to work. I just remember the sirens and lights of the emergency vehicles and hiding under the bed scared to death my daddy was seriously hurt. But like my father, just because you have an accident you don’t quit if it’s something you are passionate about and you didn’t have a forever injury like I did to my brain. We still rode motorcycles my whole life.
My first concussion probably came from when i was about 5, I drove my dirtbike into barn by the mailboxes (see pic in this post of my first street bike, the mailboxes and barn I ran into are in the pic). This probably explains my shitty driving record. I obviously wasn’t paying attention and drove straight into a barn in our gravel driveway. I’m sure I was waving at my family or something. This was on my little 50, I still remember just plowing into the barn barely missing the metal thing that held gas that was mounted on the building.
Growing up In Orenco in the 80s it was the country. We only had an acre but had farm animals, a horse as did many of the neighbors. There was a golf course in our neighborhood and a forest and park. We could ride motorcycles on the street no problem, the neighborhood rarely saw police and traffic was not a thing. There were railroad tracks that eventually stopped being used and we could ride the train tracks all the way to the Washington County Fairgrounds on bike, motorcycle, or horse. Eventually they put in a public transport train so that stopped. We could ride all over around Orenco in the fields and on the dirt roads, now that are filled with homes, apartments, businesses and Intel. It was a pretty great childhood though and we had a lot of freedom for riding our dirt bikes back in the day.
Jerry McEachern was my parents best friend. He had 3 children, growing up he was like a second dad to me and his children like younger siblings. I enjoyed growing up with him and them, exploring campgrounds, riding motorcycles and just being apart of their family. Jerry loved to ride, both street and dirt bikes and I remember going often with him and his family growing up and into adulthood. Sadly his life ended on a street bike in an accident, but I rode a street bike to his funeral, because Jerry would have loved that and been so proud. He would have loved one of the little girls who grew up around him loved moto the way he did. He was so fun to ride with and I’m so thankful I have so many memories of camping and riding with him at Browns Camp, Diamond Mill and Jones Creek. After my accident I was able to give some of my safety gear to his oldest daughter for when she rides. That felt good. I’m so lucky to have ridden with his daughter as well. Moto was in the blood and in the family, and even when awful things happen to your family, self and friends on moto it doesn’t mean you should hate it. Just appreciate it and ride for those who no longer can. It’s a true passion, and it doesn’t just go away.
My first street bike was a 1984 Honda Nighthawk. I was so excited to get my motorcycle license, and my dad bought me my first street bike. At the time I worked in Vancouver, Washington and drove a not gas friendly truck, so it was perfect to use for commuting. It was great, not what I had probably always wanted as back then I really wanted a cafe racer, but my dad being wise bought me something in good condition, easy to maintain and something that would be comfortable to commute on. Father knows best I guess. However after my first divorce, and after I had lost so much due to divorce, I decided I would do what I wanted and buy the bike I wanted. I remember at the time my boyfriend, now husband, had a CBR 600rr and when Jerry’s funeral was in April, it was a sunny day and the service was in Forest Grove at McMenamins Grand Lodge and we lived in Sherwood. It was sunny, so I asked my boyfriend to ride his bike to Jerry’s service. Backroads all the way. I felt confident and figured although Jerry died on a street bike, he would probably he happy I rode one there. I was hooked on the CBR after that and bought one shortly after, it was amazing and I loved it. I no longer needed a motorcycle to commute, so I could buy it to ride it just for fun. I absolutely loved my bike, but then when I got a DUI February of 2017 I lost my license and you can’t put a blow and go on a motorcycle so I sold it. I also needed the money for all my lawyer fees. That bike is the last street bike I will ever own, but I’m glad I owned one and rode one and it was a part of my life and that I traveled all over riding street bikes too.
In my first marriage we had a motor home and all our dirt bikes, we loved to camp and ride at the Dunes or in the woods. It was such a big part of our life. After my divorce I still loved to camp and ride, I just no longer had a motor home. When I got with Chris we would go ride, he at the time rode a street bike and a quad. I was never a quad person. Slowly Chris would be introduced to dirt bikes and eventually I would have an extra one. We bought a toy hauler and eventually bought him a CRF 450R which he definitely didn’t need a 450, but I wanted him to get one so I had it to ride on the dunes because they definitely had more power for the sand. He rode it in the dirt and sand. He also rode my extra 250 when I had two and after my DUI we sold his 450 since it was nice and paid for and we needed the money for my lawyer bills. We had an extra 250, so why not. We rode a lot. We used our Toy Hauler a lot, after my accident we sold the motorcycles and the toy hauler. I did the math one day, and we had used the toy hauler multiple times a month for the 16 months we owned it, almost every weekend. It was definitely the best thing we ever bought. It sucked to sell it, but we didn’t need a toy hauler and it required a diesel and Chris eventually sold his diesel. It was paid for so we also needed the cash to help with medical bills and my sudden loss of income. However, we lasted a week without it before we bought a regular camper that my 4Runner could tow! We decided we could live without our motorcycles, razor and toys, but we could not live without a camper, especially with dogs. Camping was just a part of our life and camping with a trailer and our big dog is a must.
On our Alaska road trip in May of 2017, we rented a motor home and explored all over Alaska. We didn’t ride motorcycles in Alaska, but we did do UTV adventures. We started in Anchorage and then made our way to the Denali National Park with stops along the way. We stayed at a Denali campground and one day did a tour through the outside of the park by side by side. You couldn’t rent and ride them in the park, but they took you all around the outside edges of the park. It was pretty cool and beautiful. We drove through the park for about 45 minutes and then turned around, it was so large and ginormous. We saw a ton of wild animals driving through as well as on our side by side adventure. This trip was hands down one of our favorites. We will definitely go back and rent a motor home again and just explore different areas next time. This was our pre wedding trip and it was amazing.
On our Honeymoon, August and September of 2017 we had such a fun adventure. We decided to go to Puerto Rico for a week and then take a cruise out of Puerto Rico to many islands like Barbados, St Thomas, St Kitts, St Lucia and one that we didn’t go to because the hurricane hit as we were on our cruise. We wanted to do this cruise to see where we liked and where we wanted to go back to. Puerto Rico was incredible, we rented a Jeep and visited multiple locations around the island. We didn’t have any moto adventures here, just lots of adventures and an amazing time as newlyweds. We did do moto adventures at each island we went to on our cruise except Barbados, there we just paid a taxi guy to show us around the island. In St Thomas we rented street legal Honda CRF250s and explored the island on our own on the dirt bikes. It was so fun and amazing, we definitely got caught in some monsoon rainstorms but it was a blast. In St Kitts we rented some mopeds and cruised around the island on those. The islands were not huge and you could explore all the islands and more on motorcycles. In St Lucia, we also rented mopeds and explored the island. We traveled to some neat resorts like Marigot Bay that you had to take a little boat ferry to and ate lunch there, it’s somewhere we will definitely go back and stay at someday. We loved St Thomas, we will go back this year, we were supposed to in March but COVID happened. Our goal is to buy a condo there and turn it into a rental and visit there often. We will definitely go back to St Lucia as well, it was beautiful and we spent the day on the beach by a sandals resort and the views from the beach and landscape of St Lucia were incredible. This is why we like cruises, we get a taste test of places and find where we want to go back too. We not only had a taste test on this trip, we explored on Motorcycles which was so fun and is such fun way to travel and explore places.
We also used to travel throughout the United States to watch Supercross live, those were some of the most fun adventures with Chris. Traveling to watch the Supercross Live, a few of them we went to were Oakland SX, Houston SX, Anaheim SX, San Diego SX and Seattle SX. We always made an awesome adventure of travel out of each:) Anything involving travel and moto made my heart happy.
I always wanted to race motocross. It was a dream of mine, but it hadn’t happen until my mid 30s. Growing up my brother raced motocross, but after my dad broke his leg it wasn’t something they got me into. I’m assuming time and the way life changed with his accident. My dad did build the local BMX track up by the fair grounds, and since he did that the people who had him build it gave me a BMX Bike. I was around 12 at the time, so I started to race at the local track and it was fun. I was the only girl out there at the time, so I was always in the boys class. It was definitely a disadvantage since I was small, totally inexperienced and a female who had never done it. But it was fun and I did it for the season and didn’t place in last every time. I’m glad I got to do it. Then in my teen years, I definitely was more into boys and friends. I didn’t have a dirt bike anymore, but when I turned 18 I knew I wanted one, so I went and bought myself a brand new KX100 2 stroke at my local motorcycle shop. I was SO excited. I had never had a nice, new bike before. It was 1998 and I bought it all on my own, a brand new bike. I had just began to date my ex husband and he got an older bike and we went riding quite a bit at Jones Creek. It was fun times. I don’t think my ex had motorcycles growing up, he had rode them I think but it wasn’t a way of life for him. It definitely became a way of life for us. My little KX100 we took to the Florence Dunes though and it was not meant for the sand and I loved the sand. My bike seized up. At some point down the line around 24 maybe, I adopted my brothers Honda CR 250. I was so excited. This bike was rode hard and needed some love, which I rode it hard and put some love into it and fixed it up. It was great, we rode sand and dirt in the woods with it and Dessert out at China Hat. I made it look pretty, I don’t think I ever took the time to do the important maintenance stuff which later I would learn how important it was. Well besides changing the oil and air filter, I definitely did that.
May of 2014 I broke my back at the Oregon Dunes on that CR250. I was life flighted to Portland. I was not able to ride for 6 months and in January 2015 I bought myself a brand new dirt bike. I got a brand new CRF 250r 4 stroke from the local moto shop. I loved it, I was always a 2 stroke girl so this was my first test at a 4 stroke, it was different, but it was brand new and I loved it. My new rule was that I would NEVER drink alcohol and ride my dirt bike as I had been drinking when I broke my back. I also had pond skimmed on my CR250 the year before I broke my back, of course after drinking. Pond skimming is hard. And I almost made it to the end of the pond and my bike died. I went flying. I definitely got beat up and had a good concussion, but honestly if sober I would of never tried to pond skim a large pond of water out on the dunes. Wide open. Look up what it is, it is not easy and kinda crazy. So I always rode sober and I was so strict about that after I broke my back. I had bought my CRF in January and come October I had some friends who raced the Woodland Motocross series, it was a winter series rain or shine. January 31, 2016 I went to Woodland MX for my first time with my friend Matt for a practice day during the series. I had rode at Washougal MX before just for fun and at a women’s moto event, Essence of Dirt and loved it. But 1/31/16 Gave me the bug for motocross for sure! The season was already underway, so I just kept going to local tracks like Woodland and Riverdale to practice. In October 2016 the new Woodland Winter Series would start and my goal was to complete the whole series. I went to all of the Sunday Races, and some practice days in between. I did miss 3 races in January and Feb of 2017 when I was in Thailand. But despite missing those races, I had high points awards and that season finished 2nd overall for women’s, not bad since it was my first year racing and I had missed some races. I was dedicated though and it was such a good time, huge accomplishment and I met so many amazing people through racing. One of whom is Christina, who is still my friend and in my life and was there the day of my big accident. She stayed in the hospital overnight and all with me, sleeping on a cot my husband tells me. You can meet some amazing, life long friends through racing.
My goal next was to complete the Thursday Night Motocross series. That had always been intriguing to me and my ex husband, friends and son would watch the races sometimes and I always wanted to be one of those girls out there racing. So March 2018 I made it happen. I began the TNMX series, I also had been riding my friend Scott’s KTM150sx at Woodland and had fallen in love with it, so I bought myself one. I bought it specifically for racing TNMX and also riding dirt and trails with. I loved it! The bike was a 2 stroke, about 40 pounds lighter than my 250 and I had done a bunch of stuff to it in order to make it perfect for me. I had some sponsors at this time, so I was able to buy a ton of aftermarket parts for much cheaper. I just loved this bike. I rode it at a bunch of tracks, raced it at TNMX and rode Cline Butte with it. However, it was short lived. This would be the bike I was riding when I got my brain injury. The beauty of all that and all I had done to this bike, when I decided not to ride again, I was able to sell it for what I owed on it. I’m just so grateful that I chased my dreams and at 37 started racing motocross. I always knew the risks I took riding and the dangers, but I accepted them. Like the day of my Injury, thank gosh I had a helmet with MIPS and other gear on that saved my life. I don’t look back with regrets, I look bad at all of my experiences just proud I had them and thankful for them all.
I can ride. There is nobody putting a hard stop to me riding. I have no legal reason I can’t ride at a track. But medically, I have been advised not to ride. I guess in the hospital when I first woke up I had talked about riding and racing again. I then started coming up with new ideas like the funny car racing. I guess I had all sorts of ideas. But mind you, I have no memory of this time of my life. I do know that My husband is not ok with me riding, my parents aren’t and my dad is an avid motorcycle guy, my friends aren’t. Actually, my husband said if I decided to keep riding he would divorce me. Most people reading that are probably like what the heck, you are gonna listen to that bullshit? Oh and most of my very good friends, I’m talking 15 plus years of friendship also told me they would never talk to me again if I continued to ride. And then there are the “friends” we had that don’t talk to us since my accident, because we don’t ride. There was just so much to think about, not to mention the 15 year old son I have who didn’t have his mom for months due to this accident and almost lost her forever.
I slowly started to come to the realization I would never ride again. I slowly started to accept that I wouldn’t and why I wouldn’t . I’m not a quitter. I’m not scared, I’m a risk taker and have a hard time stopping something just because it’s dangerous. But let’s look at the danger here. I had a Diffuse Axonal Traumatic Brain Injury, there was a 10% chance that I would ever wake up, and if I did, it was likely I would be in a vegetative state and here I am, typing this, able to live a mostly normal life so why the hell would I do something to risk another brain injury? Sure, I can get one in a car accident so why would I quit riding? The reason is that because of where I am in life, all I have to lose and all the daily risks I have with getting another brain injury, why the hell would I go out and do anything that puts me at risk intentionally? Why would I go ride a dirt bike? Why would I go snowboard? Why would I do anything that could risk another brain injury over and above daily life? I won’t. I’m so lucky I survived, I’m so lucky I woke up. I am so lucky to be the way I am and I don’t care to choose to do anything that puts me at risk for another bump on the head. My brain can’t take it and I’m not up for intentionally doing anything that puts me at a greater risk. I won’t long board, I won’t wakeboard, I won’t skydive, I won’t do a lot of things. Not because I can’t, I just won’t. I have myself, my husband, my son and friends and family to take into consideration.
I am not at all against riding motorcycles, I love motorcycles. But I do fully believe that you should ride them as safely as you can and smartly and invest in a good helmet, your brain controls your body, and although my brain got broken, had it not been for my expensive helmet I would definitely not be writing this. If you can afford a bike and afford to ride, please afford the right safety gear to fully protect you because you never know. I also fully believe in practice. Time on the bike is the only way to get better and more comfortable and don’t ride over your skill level or do things because it looks cool and would be rad if you accomplished it, like when I pond skimmed. I consider myself an experienced rider and I had a ton of track time under my belt when I got hurt, but accidents happen no matter how much you practice and ride. But it’s what you take from those experiences that matters the most. I have never been angry, I was doing what I loved and I came out of it okay even though having a brain injury is something that will affect me for the rest of my life. But it’s a risk I took, and I am ok with that and accept it. I most definitely was not prepared for what it would do to us financially and forever as in what I can do for work, so that’s something I would definitely recommend now is making sure you are financially secure or prepared if you did have an accident. I had short term disability, we owned things and we were able to survive off that short term disability at first and by selling things we owned outright.
I have no regrets, I loved my moto life and life and I still have my life 💙🍀🏍