Women’s World 8-19
The Healing Road
By Myra McElhaney
At age 45 when Desiree Colonna lost her husband to suicide and was left with two teenage girls to raise, she felt lost. Reminded of her how she loved riding on her brother’s motorcycle as a teen, she took the MSF class to do something she’d always wanted for herself and to give her something new to focus on.
She passed the class the first time but wasn’t comfortable with the clutch and gears she signed up again. The instructor took extra time explaining that to her to make sure she got it.
Proud of learning to ride, Desiree bought a big Harley-Davidson Switchback. A big bike for a beginner. She dumped it on her first ride and had to have someone else drive it home. She bought a Yamaha VIRAGO 250 and rode it around her neighborhood to learn. Her next bike was a Moto Guzzi V-7 Racer. In 2018, when Triumph introduced the Bonneville Speedmaster, she purchased the second one sold in Georgia. Although she still owns and sometimes rides the Moto Guzzi V-7 Racer she considers the Triumph Bonneville Speedmaster to be ‘her’ bike.
When Desiree bought her Speedmaster her new partner Joe went along on his bike. The guys at the dealership suggested that they drive up to North Georgia and ride the Suches Loop. The two-lane highway of 15 mph curves and hairpin turns was much more challenging than they expected. For an inexperienced rider on a new bike, it was terrifying!
“I wanted to stop and cry,” Desiree admitted. But there wasn’t another way back home, so she gripped the handlebars of her new bike and kept going.
“I did it!” Desiree said. “I survived that so I can do anything!” That risky ride early on gave her the confidence to keep riding. Although she rides mostly around her local area, Desire committed to riding every day, even if it was only for a half-hour or so. The daily riding helped to build her skill and confidence and helped to clear her head with a little ‘wind therapy.’ She would love to do a long ride out west someday but running two businesses keeps her busy for now.
For twenty years she’s owned and operated a web development company called Bella Design. A few years back after taking classes in calligraphy as a creative outlet, Desiree established Inkwell Designers—an artist event agency. From a hobby to a growing family business Inkwell Designers provides embossing, engraving, painting for corporate gifts and on-site events. At Inkwelldesigners.com you can see how she’s turned this into a thriving family business serving Fortune 500 clients.
Combining her business with a love for motorcycles Desiree was thrilled to do a project for Triumph Motorcycles where she engraved wine bottles that were given to their executives.
Healing from a devastating loss isn’t easy. Sometimes ‘wind therapy’ can be the medicine you need to get you on the road to healing! You never know where that road will take you!