This past Saturday a group of chicks who happen to ride motorcycles met at The Parlour on Clark to take a little trip down to the Chicago History Museum. We rode together in honor of the exhibit “Out in Chicago” and it was truly an exceptional adventure.
I showed up because all you have to do to a girl like me is to say “RIDE” and I am there. I don’t care if it is a 300 mile day trip or a 12 mile city street crawl – it is all good to me. The friendships that are ignited, the conversations that ensue and the laughter that entangles the group are what define the ride. It is not really about mounting that bike and revving those engines – although that is a pretty cool deal – it is the relationships that develop when women who ride gather in one room or ride in one group for any length of time. Unless you jump on your bike and join us, or lean against the back rest as a seasoned rider navigates the route so you can take part in one of these adventures – the soul of the ride cannot be explained or experienced. But take my word for it – each ride changes you for the better – just a little.
As seems to be our M-O with all these rides we have been going on lately – the skies were gray and the clouds were ominous as we prepared to take off for the very short journey from Parlour to Museum. But as usual – the determined women who ride were there to support the idea of honoring not only this timely and moving exhibit – but to remember Ta-Ta (the founding mother of Dykes on Bikes) – so the weather was not an issue. We rode in unison down Clark Street as the roar of our engines and the site of confident (and need I say) hot women on bikes turned heads and garnished smiles and cheers from countless people along the route. We were on our way.
If you get a chance – try and make a visit to The Chicago History Museum and wander around for a while. I will borrow from their web site to express the magnitude and importance of the “Out in Chicago” exhibit. I was moved and motivated by what I saw.
“From its earliest days, Chicago has served as a dynamic crossroads of people and cultures— all who came to Chicago seeking a better life and creating new communities. Out in Chicago explores the stories of a group of Chicagoans who have been here since the city’s beginnings but whose lives have often been lived in the shadows….. Chicago’s LGBT history is not just a story about one group of people in one neighborhood. It’s a history that has happened throughout the city and over time.”
— Jill Austin, co-curator
This exhibit reminded me – reminded me that we are all a part of a wondrous and ever evolving community – one that is forever changed by the voices and struggles of women who dare to make a difference – women who strive to change history and perception – one life – one moment – one ride at a time.
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About K. Guzman
Kathy grew up all over the US - lots of east coast time. She is a surfer girl with an unabridged curiosity. A woman whose mid life awakening continues to bring her to the place she was meant to be. Her degree in Journalism/Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida is being yanked from the archives and put to good use. Her two kids are grown and rock stars in this wild world – her Harley is ready for some serious summer miles – and her heart remains open to life, women and the possibilities each day brings.