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    Dykes on Bikes: Clara

    The first time I rode a motorcycle, I peed my pants. Probably. I mean, I was 2 years old, and if my mom’s countless retelling of the number of diapers I went through is accurate, riding with a soiled diaper is not out of the realm of possibility.

    My dad owned a 1976 Honda CB750 that I don’t remember him riding much. According to his own recollection, one day he took it out for a spin and a 2-year-old me climbed on the gas tank. We rode it around the block while my mom frantically ran in the house to get her camera. For years, any time I had to bring a baby photo to school for craft projects, I used the photo she took that day.

    My name is Clara. I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have been openly queer since I was 12 years old—a privilege I had growing up in a queer-friendly city and having queer people around me during my upbringing.

    In 2018, my girlfriend and I attended our first San Francisco Pride Parade. We stood on the corner of Market Street and 5th Street. As soon as the parade started, and we heard the sound of the engines roar to life in the distance, we knew the SF Dykes on Bikes® WMC (Women’s Motorcycle Contingent) were getting ready. Shortly after they passed by, my girlfriend and I looked at each other and decided it would be one of our life goals to ride with them some day.

    My girlfriend became a patch-holder first. She was the experienced rider and it just made sense. I didn’t realize that they welcomed non-riders. In early 2022, I declared my intent to prospect. In April, I got my motorcycle license. By June, I was able to ride my own 2015 Honda Shadow in the San Francisco Pride Parade.

    The San Francisco Dykes on Bikes® WMC is a very special organization. It is such a privilege and honor to be allowed to carry the Dykes on Bikes® WMC patch on my vest. I’ve loved every moment of my time with this group. The long overnight rides, the single-day rides, the short trips around the city, the dinners, and even the virtual Zoom meetings warm my heart and make me feel so good about being a part of the group. 

    I am also happy to report that I no longer pee my pants when I ride.

    Dykes on Bikes: Tales from Two Wheels
    Published on February 9, 2023