Born To Ride Women’s World Open Road Girl-SSGT Michelle Adams, Story By: Myra McElhaney
Have you ever thought that taking a motorcycle safety class could change your life?
It did for Michelle Adams!
A couple years ago Michelle was an army veteran working as a therapist and going to graduate school for an advanced degree in social work. Her boyfriend had moved and in addition to having a long-distance relationship, working and going to school, Michelle’s two beloved dogs had both been diagnosed with terminal illness. It was a rough year, to say the least!
Michelle said she wanted to do something, “just for me.” She loved riding on the back of her boyfriend’s motorcycle but with him out of town she didn’t get a chance to ride anymore. Not only had she ridden on the back of her boyfriend’s bike for years but her best friend in childhood had a dirt bike so she’d ridden it, too. Michelle decided that her ‘just for me’ adventure would be to get her motorcycle license and buy a bike!
Her first step was to take a motorcycle safety class. Michelle immediately connected with her instructor because he was Air National Guard. Michelle loved all things military! Talking with him made her realize how much she missed serving her country.
Michelle had joined the Army in 1989 and served active duty for eight years. She started having severe migraine headaches that resulted in her being discharged. Later when the cause of the headaches was discovered and resolved the Army wouldn’t accept a medical waiver and allow her to re-enlist.
After hearing her story, Michelle’s motorcycle instructor had her talk with a recruiter in the Air National Guard. They were glad to have her enlist. With her medical education, Michelle was able to train to serve as a medic.
Meanwhile, she bought a bright blue Harley-Davidson Softail Slim. She loved riding but never felt the bike was really a reflection of her personality.
Michelle was now in the Air National Guard and had a motorcycle! Life was looking good! Except that by this time she and her long-distance boyfriend had parted ways.
She joined the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. This is an association of combat veterans from all branches of the United States Armed Forces who ride motorcycles as a hobby. Their mission is to support and defend those who have defended our country.
The folks she met in CVMA encouraged her to apply for the VA’s scholarship program. She met all the requirements and now she was able to get back to work on her graduate degree with the VA’s help.
Could things get any better? Why, yes, as a matter of fact, they could!
Michelle fell in love.
She met her new boyfriend through CVMA. Then she fell in love with the new semi-matte, olive (but not drab) Harley-Davidson Softail Slim. It has gold flecks under the surface and a huge star on the side of the tank.
Michelle says riding it makes her feel ‘bad assy!” One day while riding she passed a little girl who looked up at her in awe like she was watching a hero ride by. That’s an amazing feeling!
A new career, a new boyfriend, a new bike and an inspiration to young girls. Just think, it all started with taking a motorcycle riding class!
Keywords: Michelle Adams, Michelle Adams Army Veteran, Motorcycle Safety Class, Air National Guard, Harley-Davidson Softail Slim, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, United States Armed Forces, CVMA, VA’s Scholarship Program,