Linda Widrich in 1969

Linda Widrich in 1969

Yesterday’s story about women motorcyclists reminded me of Linda Widrich Weitz…a high-school classsmate from Miami Beach who graduated with me in 1958. She may not have been a “badass,” like the women bikers in yesterday’s post, but she was ahead of her time!

“I owned several bikes beginning in 1964 when I moved to NYC and rode until 1971. I didn’t like buses or subways – taxis were $$$ and one had to wait for an available one. I was in Central Park one day and a gang of bikers drove through. I went to Better Ideas In Motion in midtown and bought my first bike. And that began my love affair with bikes. I wanted to compete in the bike scrambles in Fishkill and other nearby places but women weren’t permitted. It was a wonderful period in my journey!

“In 1969 I went to Woodstock with my boyfriend. We attached a trailer to his Firebird – nailed parallel boards onto the floor to hold the (motorcycle’s) tires in place – and got to within 17 miles of Yasgur’s farm where the road was deadlocked with abandoned cars. We pulled off the road – left the car and trailer – and rode in the rest of the way. To sleep we rode back to the trailer and threw a tarp over it to stay dry. It was an AWESOME experience. And the MUSIC …mind blowing!

“Sometime after seeing (the movie) Easy Rider, I got the bug to just get on my bike and ride. I quit my job, packed up my bike with my sleeping bag, and took off for a two-month, cross-country trip from NY to California. This adventure afforded me the opportunity to see our country and meet people in a way I could not have imagined.

“It seems like several lifetimes ago. Sometimes I get a bug and want to buy a bike but I know it’s not the right thing for me to do at age 75 living in Miami Beach with the world’s worst drivers. I envy your being able to get on your bike and ride…enjoy!”

I dunno. If she could ride daily in New York City, how much worse could Miami Beach be? But what a trip she took! She was a real free spirit and lived one of her dreams early on…

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