In 2007 I found KT DID's blog and I've been following along ever since. She is definitely a woman that I look up to in the motorcycle world. She rode her motorcycle from California to Sturgis...BY HERSELF! How awesome is that? AWESOME! In the next year I'm going to focus more of my interviews on female riders and I thought what better way to begin then interviewing KT! Meet KT DID, aka Kathy Hurwitz.
Give us a bio about yourself.
Fifth generation California kid. I grew up in Northern California. A place still close to my heart. Lived in Contra Costa County then moved into Alameda, a very diverse city and good for me to discover. Going back to Alameda always sets me into the basics of life. Small town, big politics and loads of historic boasting. The Bay is always a comfort zone for me so to speak, but I love Southern California too. For me, California is the perfect State loaded with National Parks, beaches and mountains all within hours from each other and even minutes. I am one of six kids and couldn't wait to move out of the house. I did just that right after high school. I hitchhiked to Tahoe making a Russian River stop on the way, then stayed and worked in South Tahoe where I met some life long friends. Got married, divorced and married again and halted. Woot!
Was there something specific that drew you into the motorcycle lifestyle?
Since I was a teenager, I have always loved motorcycles, riding on the back was only what I knew and was happy with it. But then I discovered Prings in San Leandro. Choppers and hot rods used to cruise the "strip" there. I would take my cousin's MG (he was in the Navy) and cruise it with one of my girlfriends. We would actually cruise it for hours and read our Easy Riders Magazine to figure how to build one. LOL... never did. High School was then over and we all went our separate ways. The ex had a '57 Panhead that I rode after taking the CHP Riders Course back in the 80's. We split up shortly after I got my license and the logistics of life sent it all on the back burner again. Wasn't until I retired that I became so bored with my everyday life that I actually decided to write a list of what I wanted to do the rest of my days. Motorcycling was the first. Captain's License was second and third was being a Pilot. I never got to the second or third.
How long have you been riding?
Riding my own really started in May of 2005.
What was your first motorcycle?
2005 Harley Davidson 883L Sportster...the worst choice for my first bike. I kept dumping it as it was too top heavy for me. I ended up keeping that in the garage while I skilled up on a Suzuki GZ250. I called it my "milk" bike. I went to the store on it to buy milk and it milked my confidence enough to get back on the Sportster. So, in essence the GZ was probably my first bike.
What do you currently ride?
2006 Harley Davidson Deluxe, 2010 Street Glide Trike, and just acquired a 2011 Nightster.
How many motorcycles have you owned and what were they?
5 and 2 scooters. 2005 883L Sportster, 2005 Suzuki GZ250, 2008 1200L Sportster, 2008 Ural Sahara, 2010 Street Glide Trike, and 2 BMS scooters, and now a 2011 Nightster.
How do you feel when you are riding?
The way I describe it this: close your eyes, and think of the best concert or song you have ever heard and totally get into that moment... to me that's how it feels. Like Music. Like my first concert. The Beatles. The best concert in my whole life ever. I will never forget the feeling of being in a crowd and getting into the motion of the whole arena thing. Wondrous! That's the ride for me.
Is there a motto that you live by?
I have a couple: "I don't care what you think of me, its none of my business anyway" and "Give To Ride, Ride And Give. I think it is important to give back in any way you can. Those peeps that say they do and in reality they don't, make me want to barf.
Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle and are a woman?
I don't know what that "difference" would be. I do know people do stereotype me sometimes, but I don't get bothered with it cause I usually open my mouth and throw my 2 cents into it. I would do that normally in any part of my life though.
Do you feel you are a role model for the women of the motorcycle community?
No and I don't want to be. The "Diva" syndrome makes me want to barf. However, if I can share the zest for riding, that's different. This is why...I needed extra confidence to get back on my bike after dumping it. Threw me back a little in the beginning. But then I realized the more I talked about it and more I "shared" about it, the more confidence I gained in knowing others were out there patting my back and giving me that push forward. Some women told me not to say anything to others because it made women riders look stupid. But I needed to find out why I was dumping and what I was doing wrong... so I asked and talked about my weaknesses. When I was honest and open to peeps, I got honest help. I believe everyone needs a "you can do it" person in their life.. If I can be that person, I'm thrilled.
Why Harley Davidson?
It was never anything else for me. I have had the other 2 (Ural & Suzuki), but Harley is the "it" bike for me. I feel safe on it and they have been able to lower the bike for size for me. It was also the bike I wanted from way back. However, I am not a snob to it. I don't care what you ride, just ride if that is what you wish to do.
Do you have any mentors or heroes? If so, what have they taught you and why do they fall in this category in your life?
Heroes: Veterans are my heroes. They show me the way with pride. These are the real "You can do it" peeps. Mentors: V-Twin Mama. She was the one I connected with on the Internet when I knew absolutely no one that rode. For months she held my hand through cyberspace and coached me up my driveway from hell. I will always be thankful to her. It was also through her website I got to meet one of my riding buddies, Gloria, also known as Map Girl. We have made a lifelong friendship through riding and that's joy to the soul for me.
Is there someone in the motorcycle community that you would like to hang with for a day and have never had the opportunity to before and why?
Nope. I think I have hung with and met some of the best peeps, and that includes my blogger peeps. I hope I continue to meet more riders and to single someone out over another would limit me. No limits.
Do you have a favorite rally or event?
It used to be Laughlin. Just because it was my first real ride and it was a meeting of girlz and we would all have a blast during the weekend. I ride it every year. However, last year put me in a different zone with all the lock downs. Don't know if I will go back. I say that every year though. LOL.
Do you have a favorite place to ride and why?
Northern California, Yosemite. Its my ride of moment. I ride to the Bay then ride over to 120 into the Gold Country and Yosemite. Its so amazing to see and its endless beauty is magical. I am making it a yearly jaunt.
What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I was riding through Yellowstone and couldn't find a place to stop at. So I pulled over to munch on a snack and then went into the bushes to visit motha nature. While there, I heard rustling through the bushes and I started to look around. I saw a sign on the ground that had a bear on it. Geezzz! I got up ran to the bike and realized I had food still out in the open. Crammed it down my throat like Lucy eating the candy off the conveyor belt and left. I realized my helmet was still unhooked and I started hysterically laughing. Had to pull over again I was laughing so hard I couldn't see. No one around, just G-d above cracking up with me. Stuff like that happens to me all the time and makes each adventure a long strange laughable trip.
What has your most memorable ride or trip been?
My solo ride to Sturgis 2010. Put me through the test of actually waking up and making deadlines. Each day was a song. At times I couldn't believe I was actually doing this solo. It was at those times, I felt like I could accomplish anything. It was great. I topped off every night with a Hostess cupcake...yum.
Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
Know your skill boundaries. Don't try and ride beyond them, no matter what. Don't listen to others egg you on when you "know" you shouldn't be crossing over that grey zone. Its a major rule of mine now. Stupidity kills. So does drinking and riding.
Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
I prefer riding solo. No rules. That's not to say I don't like to ride with others. There are a couple of peeps I love to ride with that are on my same time zone. We go away for short weekends and enjoy the sites. If I can't stop and see what the road brings and why I am riding to these spots, to me its senseless just to put the miles on. I don't count miles... I count the times I am out enjoying my time on the road and can't stand going to the same places over and over. So I avoid a lot of rides with friends that involve going to the same places. Solo is the best for me, but I love meeting up for lunches and music.
What has your greatest accomplishment been?
Learning to say No and not having any children.
Do you feel like there are divisions in the motorcycle community because of the type or brand of motorcycle you ride?
There is definitely a sense of community within the brands and types. Some bike groups only allow specific bikes, etc., but I never see a problem riding with other makers. In fact, a couple of my girlfriends ride sport bikes. They don't care who they ride with as long as they can ride. The way it should be.
Do you have any advice for women that are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
Do it. Take a safety class. At the end of the class you will know if you want to go on to purchasing and riding your own motorcycle. Its a minimal fee and worth every penny. Have a level head when you go into it. Check the leather ego at the door. Go into it with a huge smile. Its fun and the valuable information you receive in a class will always stay with you. Also, get online and check out some sites. WRN has a great site and there are plenty more to google. Do your research and don't be afraid to talk to riders when you have a chance. I can't tell you how many peeps I got to know and spread the word of riding just by talking to them at a gas station. I have learned a lot just by doing that.
If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
Write a letter to my loved ones and say goodbye and ride out into the sunset....
When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing?
I love to stay at home with my loved ones and nest. Even when I am done with riding for the day on the road, I just want to be in my room and nest it out and watch tv. That's my relaxing time.
If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
If I had a magic wand, I wouldn't mind a couple of extra inches on my 4'11" frame...LOL!
What do you think makes a "Biker"?
I wouldn't know. I don't consider myself a biker. I ride motorcycles. That's just another stereotype I would like crossed off the books.
Tell us about your photography business.
It's more of a hobby. I put a site up and peeps came to buy. It was pretty amazing. Nothing special, but all of a sudden it happened. It's still fun. If it becomes not fun... I won't do it anymore. But I have met some great photographers, and like riding, we have our own little community of advice and sharing.
Tell us anything else you would like us to know about you.
I am not rough and tough, but I have my opinions and can handle my own. I like a good conversation with peeps and can take on almost any topic, but when it becomes personal, racial, or belittling others because of religious beliefs or lifestyles, I stop and nip it in the bud. I won't feed hatred. I like to smile and love to laugh. Without laughter and love I'm no good.
Just for FUN!
Do you have a favorite swear word?
Ohhhhh Fuck ME!!!!!!! And then there is "Shit" The first one I say when I have done something really stupid, the second one I say at any given time.
What are you currently reading?
The History of Tuolumne County and A Columbia Diary 1853-1858. I like old books and shop for them at old book stores and such. There's beauty in having a solid book with pages to turn in my hands. In particular, old books with beautiful writing and drawings.
What music are you currently listening to?
Rock and roll is the majority of my Ipod. But I also listen to a lot of Frank and Dino. I will always love the old rock of the 60's and 70's though, that will never go out of me.
Do you have any pets?
Murray, The King Of All Dogdom. He's my 24/7 man of the house.
Thanks to KT DID for giving us a look into her world. Make sure you check out her blog and photo gallery.
KT DID - Lifes Ride as I See It
Photos by Kathy Hurwitz
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