Reaching The Peek
By Joanne Peek
As we start off this new year of 2018, I thought you might want to know something about your new President. Perhaps not, but here it is anyway! I promise you this will not be a complete biography, but merely a quick synopsis of how my life has progressed since I started riding my own motorcycle.
In 2000, at the age of 53, I learned how to ride a motorcycle and I also learned how to snow ski. My friends who had known me for many years thought I had lost my mind. The snow skiing didn’t last long, but the motorcycle thing certainly did. In fact, those who thought I had lost my mind were so very wrong. My motorcycle actually helped me keep my mind.
I met a lovely lady rider from Michigan at a coffee stop for riders while heading to Daytona for Bike Week in 2000. I mentioned to her that I wished there was an organization for women riders. She told me about Women On Wheels® and my journey with WOW officially started. I commandeered several of my riding friends and we had a “formative meeting.” I also twisted the arm of a young, energetic potential member to research this organization.
The Chattanooga Chapter of Women On Wheels®, fondly known as the Cool Lady Cruisers, was chartered the following winter. I spent two years as co director and then became Chapter Director in 2004. Fast forward two years to Athens, Georgia. The AMA Conference on Women in Motorcycling and the Women On Wheels® Ride-In™ were being held back to back in this little Georgia town. What an awesome week of many, many women riders.
It was there I met Cathy Davies, while checking out the test rides at the AMA Conference. She shocked me by asking if I had ever considered running for the Board of Trustees…me? “Maybe after retirement,” was my reply, but the seed was planted and another lifetime friend made.
Fast forward to 2012, and before I could bat an eye I was co-chairing the Ride-In™ in Greenville, South Carolina. For those of you who have helped with a Ride-In™, you know how much fun the occasion is coupled with all the planning and putting on one big party for your riding friends.
Another fast forward to 2013, I am retired finally. By this time, I have WOW friends all over the country and think back to my conversation with Cathy Davies. Is now the right time? I’m busy with my granddaughter, downsizing by selling the house and moving into our camper, and I am State Ambassador for Tennessee.
In 2016, Deana Foster made an all-out plea for Board of Trustees nominees (I have never been able to say no to this woman!). As a result, I was sworn in last year as a Trustee and somehow ended up as President this year. I have learned so much already about the many facets of leadership in this organization. The Board comes from all walks of life: they ride two and three-wheelers, sport, dirt and cruisers. Most importantly, every decision made by the Board of Trustees has the best interests of our membership as a priority. I am honored to be your President and am looking forward to seeing many of you in Johnson City in July.
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