Biker chick, almost 87, granted her wish

Louise Whitney, 86, waves to well-wishers as she takes off from Grand Villa Assisted Living Center in a sidecar on a 1939 BMW motorcycle driven by George Krug with the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club. Whitney is to turn 87 on June 20.

Biker Chick took off into the wild with less of a “woooo!!!” and more of an “oh, my.”

Oh, my. Oh, my!

Goggles secured over her bifocals, she peeped over the rim of the sidecar. Beside her, George Krug accelerated from 10 to 20 to 25 mph down North 15th Street. The wind rushed through her hair. People in passing cars waved.

Oh, my!

Here’s to you, Biker Chick, and to longtime dreams.

Friday morning, Louise Whitney, who will turn 87 on June 20, cruised from her home at Grand Villa Assisted Living, over to Main Street, down the newly opened road and back home. She’d wanted for a long time to ride in a motorcycle sidecar, and Krug, with his Russian-made 1939 BMW, made it happen.

“When you’ve got a bike that’s this old and this ugly, it’s hard to find a woman who wants to ride in it,” joked Krug, who’s a member of the Blue Knights International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club.

Whitney had told staff members at Grand Villa about her dream, so they went to great lengths to make it happen. They found one man whose motorcycle had a sidecar, but he sold it before Whitney could get her ride. They visited a few biker bars and put the word out: sidecar needed.

Then, someone saw Krug at a gas station with his motorcycle and sprang at him: “Please! I know this lady!”

Krug quickly agreed.

After wrapping her in a Blue Knights vest and gently lifting Whitney from her wheelchair into the sidecar (revealing saucy pink socks with her sensible black trousers), he tucked a blanket around her lap and showed her how to operate the very loud horn.

And then they were off. Viewed from behind, her curly white hair looked like a dandelion puff blooming from the sidecar.

“She’s such a sweet lady,” said Ruth Barber, a certified nursing assistant who met Whitney through Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado.

You’d never know, Barber added, that for decades Whitney taught literature, math and history to classrooms full of high school students without having to raise her voice.

Then she was back, hair blown this way and that, goggles slightly crooked. She was smiling.

“It was a very exciting time,” she said, and Krug added that she had waved to people on the sidewalk downtown.

Oh, my, Biker Chick. Oh, my!


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