Below is an article written by a American Woman Rider, Kristin McAllister, that is touching more lives than she will ever know by her determination and enthusiasm for riding despite being in a terrible accident. Thank you Kristin for sharing your story.
It’s amazing how one moment can change your life. May 16th, 2010, I was riding my motorcycle on highway 33 in California, when an oncoming motorcycle crossed over the double yellow line on a curve and sideswiped me. Somehow, I was able to get the bike to the shoulder without laying it down. My lower leg had been nearly severed, my bones sticking out like pins in a pincushion, my ankle broken and all metatarsals in my foot crushed. Initial physician recommendations were to remove the leg below the knee, but after many touch-and-go moments, the fantastic surgeons at Cedars Sinai were able to save it. To make a long story short, it’s been a rough year of surgeries, physical therapy and recovery, but I was riding bitch within weeks (walker strapped to the bike) and on my own by October. I ditched the wheelchair and walker and started walking without assistance again in January of 2011.
During this past year, while unable to ride, I found out about a great group, BACA (Bikers against Child Abuse). I got involved, and have been riding with them since September of 2010. I proudly wear the vest and look forward to becoming fully patched so that I can become even more involved protecting the kids.
Another great byproduct of being laid-up for so long is how I met and got to know good people like Mando and Melissa Hernandez through the local VFW and biker events. Their daughter, Lauren is a shining star of energy, always sporting a big smile and great attitude.
Last year, when the California City, California VFW put on their Memorial Day parade through town to the Veteran’s Cemetery, I was unable to attend because of my accident. This year, I was determined to take part. So, I was there, bright and early, sporting my BACA vest, ready to ride. When Lauren approached me with that great big smile and shining eyes, asking me ever so politely, “Kristin, may I PLEASE ride on the back of your Harley Davidson?” I happily took her on the parade. The various riders had flags attached to their scoots, but mine offered no easy attachment choices. So Lauren took a flag and proudly held it up for the entirety of the parade. I think I had the best flag out there—certainly the best presentation! It was a pleasure to be a part of the ride—honoring those that have died for our freedoms, and a pleasure to have such a great riding partner. Thanks, Lauren, for making a special day even more special to me!
Congrats to 7 year old Lauren for becoming the first
Honorary American Woman Rider!
Lauren’s mom, Melissa says that Lauren loves the flag and loves to ride! That is a true young American Woman Rider!
Here’s to many safe rides to everyone.
Tina – firstname.lastname@example.org
American Woman Riders