We begin our 2008 DARE to be You! Celebration with the story of an exceptional woman named Georgia Nelson whose quest for the freedom of the road has given her the drive to do what she loves – riding a motorcyle.
Georgia grew up on a cattle ranch in Grant, Florida and learned at an early age to ride dirt bikes. Being in a rural ranch area, the family had dirt bikes on numerous occasions and Georgia and her siblings enjoyed this open-air recreation.
When she turned 15, she began to ride a Honda 200 to school everyday so she could make it home with plenty of time to do her chores. After graduating, Georgia did what most of us do, got married and had children. And for the most part, she shelved her passion for riding for the time.
After a divorce and raising her children to adulthood, Georgia sought out her love for riding when she treated herself on Mother’s Day of 2003 to her first Harley Davidson, a Dyna Low Rider. Putting over 41,000 miles behind her, she took not only local trips, but also traveled long distances to places like Colorado, Wyoming, and South Dakota. Her love for the open road had returned. The purchase opened up her world once again to a freedom she missed. She bought her second bike, a Harley Davidson Road King in May of 2006. The larger, more comfortable ride made travel even more palatable, and since, Georgia has added another 36,000 miles to her travel log. The Road King is equipped with many more creature comforts than her first bike, like a stereo system, which adds to the fun of a motorcycle road trip.
“You see things so differently on a motorcycle,” Georgia explains. Being so open to elements allows you to smell and touch more of the things along the way as you travel. Part of the fun of travel on a motorcyle is that it is more than getting from point A to point B. Much of the time Georgia will opt to take the less-traveled routes. “The sights you see on the backroads are so amazing,” she remarks. “One minute you may be in the poorest of poor areas, and then the next minute, the houses are huge!”
Georgia affirms that what she likes most about riding is the independence. After her divorce, she was looking for an activity, or some fun, where she didn’t need a partner. “I thought ‘What do I do now? What can I do alone?’”
“For me as a woman,” Georgia comments, “it’s the total independence of being on my own. I love the sun. I love being outside. It just brings it all together… It’s empowering to be on your own bike.
[When you’re riding], self-esteem just builds.” And she is certainly a busy lady. Besides her full-time position as a Quality Review Advisor for Wachovia Bank, whom she has been with for 26 years, she also joined the Space Coast HOG (Harley Owner’s Group) organization, and has been the chapter’s President since 2006. She is on the board for the March of Dimes and personally raised the most money for the Bikers for Babies RIDE three years in a row.She admits she’s almost never home. She certainly has no qualms with riding by herself, or with a group, and on many occasions just decides to go somewhere and then goes. Talk about freedom!
When Georgia heard about HOG, it sounded like what she was looking for – someplace to meet people and have some social interaction. And HOG is all about riding. Generally when they go on a short trip, they will ride 200 – 300 miles per day. And for the most part, they travel with a purpose, whether it is to see some historic site or eat at a well-known restaurant. In fact, the group even has a committee which does some research to come up with new rides for the members. The local organization has between 433 members, has grown from about 180 since Georgia became the Director in 2006, and is one of numerous chapters across the state and country. Typically, they will organize one ride per week, plan an over-nighter about once per quarter, and have a long trip in the works somewhere down the road.
“My friends are part of the club’” Georgia says and she adds that the typical portrayal of biker chicks is really passe. Many of the women are professionals these days. “What for me is so exciting is that we are so diverse,” she acknowledges, adding “we share that passion and somehow that brings everybody together.”
Georgia Nelson is an avid rider, is an advocate for motorcycle safety and fun, and is an example to all us to go after what you want! She has a love for the outdoors and a passion for the freedom that comes with the ride. She desired that freedom, reached for it, and got it!
For more information on Space Coast HOG, check out their website at www.spacecoast-hog.com or email Georgia at