Motorcycle Endurance Rider: Rachel Dwyer (Iron Butt)

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Rachel Dwyer

She's young and full of pep. She'll need it when she hits the road to ride around the four corners of America this month. Meet Rachel Dwyer.  

1. span style="font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal">      Date and place of birth?

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I was born in Westerly, Rhode Island in July.

2.      Tell me about the Four Corners ride.

The Four Corners rules are simple, you have 21 days to ride your motorcycle to these four cities around the country; Blaine, Washington, Madawaska, Maine, Key West, Florida and San Ysidro, California. You may start in any one of the corners, any time of year that you want, taking any route you wish. The route I have chosen is Blaine to San Ysidro to Key West, to Madawaska.

The ride is somewhat of a scavenger hunt as you are required to take pictures of your bike at each corner with a sign showing where you are, get a gas receipt from that town and a secret phone number. You then mail all these items from the town that day in a special envelope back to the officiating officer at Southern California Motorcycle Association

3.      What is the record you want to beat as a woman rider in the event?

It is unclear as to the exact time and date, but the consensus is 8 days was the shortest time for a solo female rider.

4.      Why is it important for you to hold the record?

I have always been driven to overcome gender oriented boundaries, though I am far from being a feminist; so when the opportunity presented itself to do this ride alone without any help I jumped on it.

5.      Whatever possessed you to want to do such an event?

Well, to explain the reasoning behind endurance riding I would need more space then just this brief article allows. The simple explanation is: the drive and desire endurance riders have is similar to that of extreme sports enthusiasts or in my case very similar to my marathoning experience – anyone can physically do it, but not everyone has the mental capacity to complete it. Those who do are forever searching for the particular high achieved only when you go beyond all physical and mental limitations to not only accomplish a goal but surpass all others while you are at it.

6.      Who are your sponsors?

Ducati of North America is providing the bike, Ducati Seattle is providing the maintenance, Gerbing Heated Clothing has provided my heated clothing, Ventura Pack for luggage and Avon Tyres were provided by Hoppe & Associates, Dainese is providing a riding suit, as well as several private donations.

7.      How did you rally their support?

Actually the initial contact was generated by a group of dedicated Duati enthusiasts out of Seattle and the Northwest. Upon hearing of my numerous distance adventures (vacations) on my GS500 and then on my Monster they couldn't believe someone as small and seemingly unmotorcycle-like would endure such pain, to simply go on vacation. My Saddle Sore 1000 adventure sealed the deal – how many riders do you know would ride facing temperatures of under 30, with no faring, no heated gear and no seat! At the time I could not afford to get a custom seat so I had removed all the foam from my seat so that I could touch the ground. To read more about it see my website, even Michael Kneebone, President of the Iron Butt Association, could not believe I finished the ride!

8.      How can someone support your effort?

This is a purely private endeavor supported by numerous individuals who are fascinated by my gumption. to add support simply contact me at .

9.      What's your racing experience?

I began racing in 1998 as a novice, one a of just a few females at the time who regularly attended the WMRRA Races. I attained Overall 2 nd place in the SuperTeams race that year, and the following year received Overall 3 rd Place for SuperTeams. I enjoy the endurance side to SuperTeams, a race that requires the bike be on the track for an hour with one rider change. I hope to get into more endurance racing this year with the advent of 4 hours or longer races.

10.  How long have you been riding motorcycles?

I started riding passenger when I was about 16 years old, and became a solo pilot at the ripe old age of 29!

11.  What was the first bike you ever rode?

The first bike I tried riding was a Honda 350 when I was 16– yup I dropped it. The first bike I owned was a Suzuki Bandit 400 – dropped that one on a regular basis too while learning.

12.  Besides a hot shower and the tanning salon, how do you overcome the cold when you ride?
I do very foolish looking things – like jump up and down, run around (in all my gear) or simply ride towards the sun.

13.  How do you stop an Aerostich riding suit from leaking?

Spray it with a little scotch guard but you didn't hear that from me.

14.  What are your other hobbies?

Other hobbies, you must be joking – smile. Actually I work out heavily, as both, endurance riding and racing require much more physical strength then just hopping from café to café.

15.  What do you do for a living and how long have you been doing it?

I have been an Executive Assistant/Personal Assistant for more years then I care to mention. My motorcycle hobby has actually turned many a head when clients see me in a skirt and I point down to the bike; I often hear "you ride to work in your skirt!"

16.  What's your favorite ride in Puget Sound?

Route 20 at 4 am, no traffic, pure silence and awesome views. It just doesn't get much better.

17.  The U.S.?

Route 39 from the California coast out to Nevada– but that is subject to change, and open for suggestions.

18.  What's your wisdom for first time female riders?

Don't let your boyfriends/husband/partner teach you how to ride , and never listen if I man tells you, you can't!

    19.  Did you happen to notice any ducks when you were picking up your bike down at Lake Union?

Nope? Well, ahh... err... there were those red and yellow Ducs.

20.  Are you sorry you were out of town for the Street Racing Event in Seattle on April 31 st?

Oh without a doubt!

SR!/Summer 2000

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