A Community of Riders
In the past, I’ve promoted finding a community of riders with whom you can share your love of the open road. That’s simply because my own riding experience has been enriched by the people I met during my first year as a “newbie” on my Can-Am® Spyder® RS-S. I’ll be honest, though – I wondered how I was going to be accepted by the local riding community, and I’ll admit to having had a little trepidation about being the “chick on that 3-wheeled thing.”
But from old school Harley riders to young sport bikers, almost all the riders I’ve met have been generous with their encouragement, street-wise tips, and even protectiveness in the early months when they knew I was riding alone.
Maybe that was because I had jumped into a couple of charitable biker organizations right away. If you are a new rider, these organizations are a great way to connect. A few national names immediately pop into mind: Patriot Guard Riders, Rolling Thunder, children-specific rides like Toys for Tots, and also Spyder-specific groups like Spyder Ryders of America.
A nice side benefit of my involvement in local riding clubs and charitable organizations is that it’s just a lot of dang fun when you head to a rally and see people you know (and like) on practically every corner. That spirit of camaraderie totally changed one of my rides this past summer.
About 90 miles from my home is a quaint Ozark town called Mountain View, which is also known as the Folk Music Capital of the World. Nearby are the Blanchard Springs Caverns, the Ozark Folk Center, and some unbelievably good highways that were seemingly made just for bikers. Every August, Mt. View is home to a growing regional rally called Mountains, Music and Motorcycles, and when that weekend unexpectedly opened up for me, I knew that I’d be riding there. After all, I could get at least a little bit of the Road Warrior experience, even if it wasn’t in Sturgis or Daytona.
I started off Saturday at 8:00am with some of my Christian Motorcyclists Association
friends and we stopped in tiny Pangburn for a serious downhome breakfast. I got the customary teasing from Thumper about my “backwards trike” and usual questions from a couple of newcomers about how I liked the Spyder. (The usual territory as a Spyder owner, as Mickey put it best
.) With a full stomach and a mug full of hot coffee, we headed to Heber Springs and then north to Mt. View.
The Spyder waits during breakfast
The moment we entered the city limits, I was on the lookout for more Spyder roadsters. I saw a really nice orange RS entered in the Bike Show by a lady named Cindy from Memphis. Then I got a few texts from fellow Spyder riders SpyderPops, Lee, Dale, and Cruzr Joe, letting me know they had been delayed by rain but would arrive soon.
Custom Spyder owned by Cindy in Memphis
Immediately after we parked, I headed to a booth manned by my friends in Bikers Against Child Abuse
, many of whom are also in the group I dedicate most of my time to, Bikers 4 Foster Kids
. It felt like a big family reunion, only without powdery kisses from elderly aunts. My friends Rags and Gabby were some of the very people who encouraged me to ride a few years ago and helped with my Spyder Ambassador contest video. It’s their fault I’m a biker mom now!
Gabby and me at the BACA booth
While walking around, I ran into friends in the local Rolling Thunder chapter and some riders heavily involved in an Arkansas biker lobby group called A.B.A.T.E. As I gazed at some of the more uniquely crafted motorcycles, I almost literally ran into another couple who had been integral in my Spyder journey. Goodness gracious, this really was beginning to feel like a reunion, and the day just got better.
The most unique bike at the rally
When all my fellow Spyder riders arrived, we parked together right on the main part of the Square. And then the fun really began. I don’t care where you ride (except for maybe Quebec, where the Spyder is manufactured), when you get a gathering of more than about four Spyder roadsters in a single location, people just stop and stare. And take pictures. And point. Then they finally come over and begin asking questions. And more questions. It was fun to watch the guys hold court for hours showing off their Spyders.
Cruzr Joe had an audience for hours
As the afternoon grew longer and it was time to turn south for home, I realized just how much richer the rally was due to the friends I’d made in the past year. So if you don’t mind a little unsolicited new rider advice, find a group that matches your passions, and ride together. It makes the road a lot friendlier.