MMP 06: Why I bought my first motorcycle at 59 – with Gay Allison [Podcast]

Motorcycle Mentor PodcastIn this session of the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast, Gay Allison gives her perspective as a woman rider. She also tells us what her friends and family thought when she decided to purchase her first motorcycle at 59.

Eric, Gay’s husband, contacted me via email several weeks ago and shared with me that Gay thought the podcast “talks seemed directed toward male riders… and that female riders didn’t really fit in with the more classic view that it is a mens-only group.”

I was surprised, but welcomed the feedback. My wife of 23 years would probably agree that I don’t have a clue what’s going on in her head… even though I try. But, I digress.

Solution: I invited Gay to be on the show to share her perspective on women and motorcycles! It made perfect sense.

More specifically, in this session you’ll find out:

  • Why Gay decided to start riding solo.
  • What Gay’s family and friends thought about her new adventure.
  • If Gay experienced fear or ever wondered if she had made a mistake.
  • How other riders respond to her as a woman rider.
  • How Gay selected her first motorcycle.

Resources and links mentioned in this session:

I’ve received several questions about the sign up form on the site. You can sign up to receive email updates about upcoming podcasts and other exclusive content from by putting your first name and email address in the sign up form toward the bottom of this page (or in the right column). They are identical.

If you receive emails from us, then you are already on the list and don’t need to sign up again.

Special thanks for rating the podcast on iTunes…

Last week in iTunes, with your help, the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast was ranked #1 in “New and Noteworthy” for the Games and Hobbies category and #5 in “New and Noteworthy” for the Sports and Recreation category. That’s not an easy thing to do. Simply put, it’s because so many of you have taken the time to rank the podcast!

I’d like to personally thank the following people for rating the podcast on iTunes:
Kevin Campbell, Ismael Abrego, Richard Lindgren, Dirk Shearer, Maria Martinez, Bill Donovan and my riding buddy Mike Shell.

iTunes uses the number of ratings along with the actual rating (how many stars) to determine the popularity of the show — and where to list it in the iTunes search rankings. If you rate and write a review for the podcast, please let me know so I can personally thank you on a future podcast.

Photos of our special guest: Gay Allison


Gay on her Vespa scooter named “Sage”


Gay on her 2009 Vulcan 500 named “Magenta”


Gay with her husband Eric


Gay washing her 2000 BMW 1100R named “Heron”

Connect with Gay

You can leave feedback or ask Gay a question by typing in the “Leave a Reply” box at the bottom of this page. Gay has agreed to respond in the comments section below. Thanks Gay.

If you enjoyed the podcast, please let her know by saying a quick “thanks” below.

Help the Motorcycle Mentor Podcast

And lastly, if you haven’t already done so, would you take a minute to leave a quick rating and review of the podcast on iTunes by clicking on the link below. It would be extremely helpful for the show and I’m aiming for 100 5-star ratings before the end of the year. That would be awesome for a motorcycle related podcast.

To leave a review on iTunes.

  1. Click here to open the podcast page.
  2. Then select the blue “View in iTunes” button to open iTunes.
  3. Then select the “Ratings and Reviews” tab.
  4. Then select the gray “Write a Review” button.

Thank you in advance for doing this. And thank you for listening. I hope you enjoyed this episode. Please let us know what you think in the comment section below.

Stay connected…

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17 Responses to MMP 06: Why I bought my first motorcycle at 59 – with Gay Allison [Podcast]

  1. Jeff November 5, 2013 at 8:31 pm #


    Thanks for sharing your experience. I really enjoyed hearing your perspective of learning to ride at 59….Plus, I’m jealous…You have two bikes.

    Thanks again for being part of our community.


    PS… David… I propose you plan a MM gathering next summer so we can spend a couple of days riding. I think anything around Asheville NC would be perfect.

    • MotorcycleMentor November 5, 2013 at 9:52 pm #

      Hum, that’s an interesting idea.

    • Gay November 6, 2013 at 3:51 pm #

      Hey Jeff–

      I’m glad you enjoyed the podcast. Although familiar with this form of communication, this is my first time actually being part of one. David certainly makes it easy. And, an MM gathering around Asheville, NC. I’ve been there, beautiful country. That would be a challenge to ride from Missoula, MT, but doable. David, think about it!


  2. Frank November 6, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

    Very good podcast. I got into motorcycleing much the same as Gay. Learned to ride on my cousins 50cc honda motorcycle as a kid. Picked up a 125cc scooter when my knees wouldn’t handle daily biking to work. Next was a KZ440 which was a great bike to learn on. Including a couple drops. Then a SV650 which was much important to learn to control the gas on. Now have a DL650A considering motorcycle a life time learning experence is in my mind the best way.

    My thought on fear is as long as you use it to keep safe it is good. When you find that it is controling you then you need to step back and look at what you are doing

    • Gay November 6, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

      Hi Frank–

      I couldn’t agree with you more about the “fear” factor. Eric learns by reading, watching DVDs and then taking that to the road. I will do the reading and watching, but after a while I starting thinking, OMG!! I’m going to crash or, what if this happens. . . .so I am very respectful of what can happen when I get on my bike. However, once on, I’ve made a pact with myself about just staying focused and enjoying my ride.


  3. Bill Donovan November 6, 2013 at 6:09 pm #

    Hi Gay, I enjoyed listening to you on the podcast as we have a somewhat similar experience. I bought my first bike in 2010 when I retired at the age of 65 after taking the MSF class and have been enjoying it since. I went a little different route by buying a HD Road King. But also like you have a somewhat limited riding season as I live in New England. As I said in my iTunes comment you sound like a delightful woman and I wish you and your husband a lot of good riding in the years to come.

    Ride safe


    • Gay November 6, 2013 at 10:37 pm #

      Hey Bill–

      I think that there are lots more of us 60-somethings on the road now than we know. We just winterized all of the bikes–sad, but true. Thanks for your kind thoughts.


  4. Lisa Devlin November 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    Hey Gay:

    Bought a HD at age 53 for the first time. I forgot the kickstand and tore out my ACL and meniscus. Traded in my Harley for a Can Am Spider. I love the spyder and riding again at 55. Am I missing out by not having a 2 wheeler?


  5. Gay November 6, 2013 at 10:47 pm #

    Hi Lisa–

    I’m so sorry about your ACL–yikes. I’ve been extremely fortunate and have (knock wood) never been in any sort of accident, just the kind where a grab my hand-brake and simply fall over! Lots of bruises from Heron, but we’re learning to love each other. I’ve never ridden a 3-wheeler. They look fun, but I’m pretty old school. I like the lean, the power, the challenge of the 2-wheel variety. But, to get here, I began with really baby steps on my scooter–certainly like riding a bicycle, only without the effort. It gave me the right feel for how to lean–I was terrified I’d slip on wet pavement and didn’t get to 42 miles an hour for months. Try a scooter test drive, if available, and let me know what you thought of it. There’s no kickstand to forget. 🙂

    Take care-

  6. Rubens November 8, 2013 at 7:42 am #

    Hi Gay,

    Thanks for sharing your experiences and perspectives. I enjoyed listening to your interview. I also began motorcycle riding later in life – at the age of 45 in my case. I’ve always wanted to learn to ride, but never got around to it until 5 years ago now. My wife thought I was crazy in the beginning. But she soon came around and began to ride on the back of my bike. Then I somehow convinced her to take it up as well. She had a bit of hard time in the beginning though. She fell off a few times. But now she has a bike that she is comfortable with and has gotten to be a much better rider. One last comment…my first bike was a 2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 500. It was black and I sold it after less than a year. I’ve had several bikes since then and wish I’d started riding much earlier in life. I’m curious if you also feel that way? I wish you and your husband many miles of safe and fun riding!


    • Gay November 10, 2013 at 12:20 am #

      Hi Rubens—
      Great to know that you AND your wife are riding separately, together! I’ve been trying to sell my Kawasaki for a year now, with no takers. Everyone tells me it’s just that kind of year. I’m mostly glad though, because when I’m feeling like not working so hard at riding, I take Magenta out instead of Heron. I’m really lucky (yes, a bit spoiled too!), because I have that choice right now. But, you pose a great question—Do I wish I’d started riding earlier in life? I had to take some time and really think about this. I have to say that the answer is both Yes and No. Here’s why. Yes, because I have only a few years of experience to fall back on, which sometimes leaves me feeling very vulnerable and inadequate in the “what if I have X happen?” category. However, we can only practice so much. I hope that if and when I have to actually react to a situation that what experience, skills and knowledge I do have will carry me through. But, I know that goes for anyone at any time. I just wish I had 20 years of hard-wired motorcycle experience to draw from, for this reason alone. The No response comes from the fact that I am, at 63, doing something I have never, ever have done in my entire life and I love it! I’m improving each time I ride. It makes me think harder, focus and concentrate more intensely and longer than I have had to in years. I’m meeting new people (such as yourself) and moving into a whole new realm of activities, language, and culture, and all I have to do is get on my bike and ride to make it happen. So, if hind-site is 20/20, then I must say that maybe those extra 20 years would have been wonderful, but these days, look pretty exciting and I think I’m much more appreciative of them now.
      Safe ride!

  7. Grahm November 9, 2013 at 1:15 pm #

    Good morning,

    I really enjoyed listening to your experience, even though we talk weekly on this stuff it is very cool to have a mom and dad riding and enjoying the open road. I am excited to get my wife riding again and for us to all take a trip some day. It is very impressive how you were able to jump in to a new sport like that which to be honest is very dangerous but I believe as long as you respect the bike and be a very defensive rider it is worth every minute. There really isn’t anything like it in the world.

    Love you very much ride safe!


    • Gay November 10, 2013 at 12:24 am #

      Hey Grahm–
      What a nice surprise to hear from you via a podcast! I much appreciate your thoughts and support. You started riding when you were young and know what it means to ride safely, even thought I KNOW you’ve pushed it more than a mother really wants to admit! We will ride again for sure.

      Love you too!

  8. Rev Salyers November 15, 2013 at 5:20 am #

    Hello Gay, I enjoyed your interview on the podcast. I found it interesting that you name your motorcycles, as I do that also. My Yamaha Vino’s name is Scooter, Honda Shadow’s name is Sting, and Specialized Epic mountain bike is Amos

  9. Gay November 18, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Hello Rev!
    I love naming my vehicles (cars too), because you spend so much time with them. Over time they certainly do tend to develop “personalities”, besides you are on your ride (adventure) together. Just makes for, in my opinion, a better relationship with your bike. When my husband and I are talking about any one of these vehicles (and I see you do have more than one too!), it really helps to know who you’re talking about.

    Glad you enjoyed the podcast.

  10. Leo March 25, 2014 at 2:03 am #

    Eric is my hero! I’d like to hear his story. Seems he also qualifies as a very successful motorcycle mentor. He got his wife on the back of his bike, then, miracle of miracles, he got her on her own bike. And then she bought a bigger bike! I’d like to know how he did that. Listening to Gay, he seems to have learned from his mistakes along the way. I’d love to hear his story.


  11. Christy June 18, 2016 at 5:18 pm #

    I really enjoyed hearing from a woman’s perspective! I would like to know from Gay and Eric, what resources did he recommend? I learn better when I can see/read and then think about it before I practice. Thanks!

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