Brown Sugaa and Medusa – Women’s World
Danni Benson started out riding on the back of her boyfriend’s bike. He tended to drink a bit and she realized that riding with him wasn’t safe. She learned to ride her own and bought a 1998 GSXR 600 sport bike. Later she traded it for a Ninja 600 sports bike and dumped the boyfriend.
She let a friend ride her bike and she was taking a short ride on his when the road suddenly ended, turning to gravel. With the combination of an unfamiliar bike, gravel and trying to turn quickly she crashed! It took a year to recover from her broken wrist, busted knee and scraped face. Although her home state of Indiana doesn’t require riders to wear a helmet she now does because of this accident.
It wasn’t long before Danni was itching for a new bike. Since she’s been riding for over ten years now she’s begun to enjoy longer rides and the open road more than the speed of a sport bike. Without telling any of her friends she began shopping for a cruiser type bike.
When she came riding up on her new black Harley-Davidson Softail Slim with her dreadlocks blowing in the wind her friends were stunned! She named the bike Medusa because of the way her hair looks while riding and the way her friends seemed to turn to stone at the sight of her on her new bike.
The longest ride Danni has done solo is from her home in Indianapolis to Cincinnati. She and her ‘old man’ often ride with the club where they are members, but she also enjoys riding with women’s groups that she connected with online. One of the groups, Unique Queens inspired her biker name “Brown Sugaa.” She also sometimes rides with Divas United on Bikes and Black Girls Ride.
Earlier this year Danni and another woman rode from Indianapolis to Memphis where they met up with about 20 other women through the group Black Girls Ride (BGR). From there they road in an escorted ride lead by a Slingshot three-wheel motorcycle, all the way to New Orleans. The scariest part of this ride for Danni was crossing Lake Pontchartrain on the world’s longest bridge! For 8 miles of the 24-mile bridge, you can’t see land in any direction.
In NOLA they connected with approximately 200 BGR women who came in groups from other host cities to attend the Essence Festival. Not only were they able to enjoy the sisterhood of other black women motorcyclists but at the annual Essence Festival, known as the ‘party with a purpose,’ they shared a week of empowerment, educational seminars, entertainment, and an Essence Magazine photoshoot. A major highlight was the annual Black Women in Music event where they saw superstars such as Mary J. Blige, Erykah Badu and Janet Jackson.
Through riding with various groups to events Danni “Brown Sugaa” and Medusa have connected with women across the country!