Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Tribute to a special lady

We read a lot about extraordinary women motorcyclists these days. Some of them cover quite substantial distances. Others know how to ride fast or are quite capable off road. All valid achievements perhaps, but which mum takes a Bonneville loaded up with camping gear and panniers over the Dalton Highway to the top of Alaska, or rides it from Australia via New Zealand to Canada, Alaska, the USA, Mexico and Belize to Guatemala in one trip? Riding a motorcycle, any motorcycle, is of course also quite different to riding the same motorcycle loaded up with camping gear. Not to mention riding it every day and under difficult circumstances. Yet this lady has done just that for 16 months in a row now… and if that isn't amazing enough, she rides a Triumph Bonneville T100 Black, which has almost the same weight as a BMW 1200GS… She doesn't brag about it, doesn't wear pink to emphasise she's a woman either. She just loves to ride her bike to different cultures… an amazing woman.

Before we set out on this trip, we honestly had no idea what we were getting in for. We knew it was going to be a little bit more than just a bike ride, but what it was going to be like we didn't really know. Seeing Jeanette handle her Triumph T100, which fully loaded tips the scales just over 340 kg, over another gnarly goat track today and wrestle it higher and higher into the mountains of Guatemala over slippery muddy tracks made me realise again she's doing something extraordinary. Just look at some of the roads she has taken her Bonneville over! She's covered over 40.000 km on this trip alone, has taken her Bonneville T100 Black, which is after all 'just' a road bike, full with camping gear on 'roads' where many a dual sport rider doesn't dare to go. Yet she just does it, day-in day-out.

She doesn't want another bike either and certainly not a dual-sport. She wants to do it with her beloved Bonnie Black, in a black leather jacket and a black open face helmet. No expensive 4 season jacket, motocross boots or even build-in waterproofs for this lady. She's as genuine as they come. Mike and me are quite proud of her. Who has a mum or wife that does this kind of stuff at over 50 years of age? Well done Jeanette we're proud of you!