Memorable Moments
Summer Tour 2006
To Athens, Georgia and Beyond

By Pat Gwozdz

These are some of my most memorable moments:

  • Watching Spokes-Women’s most courageous riders navigate their motorcycles down unfamiliar roads during a monsoon!

  • Standing in the middle of the monsoon without a rain suit!

  • Navigating a truck and trailer over the Blue Ridge Mountains in the rain…in the fog!

  • Navigating a truck and trailer over the Smoky Mountains in the rain…in the fog!

  • Navigating a truck & trailer over North Carolina Route 221 in the rain…in the fog!

  • Learning to enjoy driving a truck and trailer over the mountains in the rain …in the fog!

  • Singing with Barb and Linda “Shine on Harvest Moon” and “The Bells Are Ringing” after finding that Manhattans really taste pretty good!

  • Learning to wear un-creased, un-clean Blue Jeans!

  • Staying in the most motels in the shortest period of time, and never knowing each morning, upon opening my eyes, where I was!

  • Learning how to defend myself with a Kubaton!

  • Eating dinner no earlier than 8:00 PM.

  • Learning that Tam & Judy are world class truck & trailer drivers!

  • Jan Tricarico and I becoming reigning “CHAMPIONS” by winning 5 out of 6 games of pool against the club’s so-called pros!

  • Visiting Mary Ann & Kerry’s beautiful homestead in Tennessee!
    Watching Mary Ann’s joy at our visit!

  • Watching Kerry’s joy at setting off fire-works!

  • Watching Linda Brown (a.k.a. Shee-rah of the Mountains) move a tree that had fallen and was blocking the road (I have that on video!)

  • Watching Kerry on his tractor help move the tree.

  • FINALLY, unloading my Trike so I could ride those mountain curves too!!!!!!! (see picture at right)

  • Learning not to yell on my CB…but to speak S L O W L Y & CLEARLY.

  • Learning not to yell on my CB when lost!

  • Learning that when riding with Laura Sisto peeing is not an option, but a gift!

  • Learning the art of pumping your own gas in record-breaking time!

  • Meeting, “the King” at “The Palace, “listening to his tales for an hour and never understanding one word of it!
    Laughing my ass off with Carol Pieretti!

  • Jan, Carol, and I considering bringing home a “sweetheart of a dog” that adopted us in Kentucky.

  • Learning that our new riders, both Michele’s & Sue, have the courage to stretch their capabilities beyond their expectations!

  • Learning that Laura Sisto is a fearless and exceptional leader, and can back up a truck with a trailer, better than most!

  • Learning the immense generosity of Carol Pieretti for the use of her truck!

  • Learning that Alex Pesecreta is a great leader that will always look out for you, and never leave you behind!

  • The willingness of all to help load & unload my trike!

  • Knowing that Arden Burns has the patience and good nature of a saint (your wings continue to grow!)

  • Learning that Jay DeLeo can endure more trials than she ever imagined!

  • Learning that Barbara Zimmerman has the stamina and courage of a rock!

  • Learning that Linda Brown has the patience and kindness of an Angel!

  • Learning that Jan Tricarico has the best sense of humor and gentle heart!

  • Learning that Michele Reutty courageously finds “the road less traveled” an inspiration and goal, and has grown her riding abilities more than anyone (but the loud pipes have to go!)

  • Learning that Donna Warren has the courage to push herself to unfathomable limits!

  • Learning that Janet Maughan can find her way back to NJ from Georgia in exceptional time!

  • Learning that I can ride more than 200 miles in one day!

There were numerous memorable moments of our two-week trek over 2275 miles. Through, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I traveled with some of the most special ladies ever!

But how do you re-tell of God’s most gorgeous masterpieces, when speaking of the beauty and power of the Blue Ridge mountains and the Great Smoky’s? Spectacular and enchanting do not do them justice! Nor can any poet’s verse capture the incandescent spaciousness of the Tennessee and Pennsylvania valleys! The solemn resting place of Flight 93 can never be measured in prayer or heart-felt memorials, even though we try. Neither can I express the camaraderie of our clan as we visited new and challenging country roads, and traversed mile upon mile of open highway.

Needless to say this adventure was one of the most special times in my life! However, it was the women that rode those 2275 miles on motorcycles, through all kinds of weather and road conditions that have captured my imagination and memory. Recalling the endurance, leadership and compassion of these women, not unlike the Goddess Athena whose namesake was our ultimate destination in Georgia, no other city, Athens, could represent or host the International Rally and its participants. In retrospect, reflecting upon the nature of the women that made the trip, and the myth of the Goddess Athena, one can define the thread of connection to appreciate their achievement as women motorcyclists, and as legends in our own time.

For legend has it that, “the Greek goddess Athena was known more for her role as judge, diplomat, and mediator than for actually fighting in battle. Her decisions were renowned for their fairness and compassion. …Athena was a superb strategist and many of the Greek myths recount tales of her help given to various gods, goddesses, and heroes as they …faced seemingly impossible tests. …it was as a mediator and a planner that she excelled… Her decisions were usually well-considered, and seldom motivated by self-interest. …Athena's decisions demonstrate her wisdom, but they revealed her great compassion … A goddess of many talents, "Athena Goddess of Crafts" was an expert artisan herself. … The goddess Athena was celebrated as the patron of weavers, potters, goldsmiths, sculptors, musicians, and horsemen. ...The goddess Athena reminds us that we can successfully use our intellect and creativity in the pursuit of any goal we choose.”

Athena is surely a Spokes-Women muse!


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