Barbara Zimmerman

Past President and Former Ride Captain

I became interested in motorcycling, first as a passenger, when I had my first ever motorcycle ride, on the back in 1994. I heard about the women only Motorcycle Safety Foundation course from a Road Runner when I was out on a ride. I took the course and then practiced in the parking lot of Action Yamaha on a little bike until I felt secure enough to take the test at Motor Vehicles. The riding test wasn't available at the course as it is now. Then I practiced in my mother's neighborhood. My bike was kept in her garage at the time. Eventually I moved onto faster local roads and then highways.

My favorite place to ride is anywhere -- really. I love to ride! The prettiest trip was to the Honda Hoot in North Carolina. And then the ride to the covered bridges in Vermont was gorgeous.

My son, Billy has been riding since he was a young-un. He gave me my first bike, a 1972 Honda CB 350 for Mother's Day. Glenn gave me that first motorcycle ride and many more wonderful rides before I took the Beginners Riding Course. My mother, however, always referred to my motorcycle as that damn motorcycle." All my friends ride -- the Spokes-Women, Polar Bears, Glenn, the Road Runners, Dawn Patrol, Town and Country, AMA District II reps and the friends I meet all over the place.

I learned about the Spokes-Women MC from a friend of my daughter's who was a member of the Club while they were in med school together. The Spokes-Women MC is a huge part of my life. The Club opened up a whole new world for me and helped me through some of the most difficult times of my life. I couldn't ask for better or kinder friends.

What do I expect to gain by being part of the club is a difficult question because I don't look to gain by being a member. But I have gained so much -- friendship, camaraderie, joy and fun, and the opportunities to learn more about my passion for motorcycling, to become a better rider and to participate in fund raising for the charities the Club supports. I do support other charities with monetary contributions. But my time goes primarily to the Spokes-Women and our fund raising efforts.

I do some maintenance on my motorcycle. The trickiest I get is changing the oil and battery. The latter is a mean feat since it takes an hour just to get all the plastic off and another 45 minutes to put it back on.

Rider safety is important to me. I wear a denim jacket when it's hot out. I always wear denim jeans unless I'm in my full Gortex riding suit with armor. I always wear boots, gloves and a full face helmet. If it's on the cool side I'll wear leather chaps and jacket. When it's really cold, during Polar Bear season, I wear electric gloves and vest and long johns, etc., under the Gortex suit.

I've been riding with Spokeswomen in group rides since 1995. The first ever was a ride to Wildwood in the pouring rain. For a long time I thought that all Spokeswomen's long rides had to be in pouring rain -- the ride back from Pony Express in 1996 for another example. I ride highways of course but I prefer a pretty road with flowers, streams and animals. I don't like riding after dark. I can't see well in the dark and the cars' headlights behind me bother me. I don't like to ride when I'm tired or when the other people on the road drive aggressively or carelessly.

I can't really say that I have other hobbies at this time. I do ski for a week each winter. I don't roller skate anymore. Ha, ha. Then there's Glenn. He takes a lot of time.

I grew up in New Brunswick and graduated from Douglass College. I was a biochemist at UMDNJ before going to law school. I graduated from Seton Hall University Law School in Newark and clerked for Judge John E. Keefe in Middlesex County. I wrote and implemented the pilot Special Master Program for asbestos litigation in the State. I was Special Master for a year and then went into private practice. On May 1st I became a Deputy Attorney General in the Banking and Insurance Section of the Division of Law in Trenton.

I still have the 1972 CB 350 and a Nighthawk CB 750 that I've been trying to sell since I bought Walt Kern's Pacific Coast. If money, my back and the weight of the bike were not concerns, my dream bike would be a dark green Venture, detailed to perfection with shades of cream.

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