Nuts About Bikes

Where's Maggie Mae?

Maggie Mae is a West Central Florida rider with a passion for the road. She is the founder of the “Where’s Maggie Mae” website, where she chronicles her travels on her 2005 Buell Blast 500.

Where's Mag?A native of Michigan, Maggie had an idea to ride a motorcycle from Florida to her home state and back. A lot of people thought she couldn’t do it. She did it. And she started the blog to document her progress.

“I was going to do it anyway and thought it would be cool to document my journey, maybe influence others to ‘get out there and ride.’ As I met people through my travels, it was great to snap pictures and post them online. It just grew from there,” she explains.

An office manager for a local neurosurgeon, she started as a passenger in the late 80s and got her endorsement in the mid 90s.

Origins: Her father gave her the bike bug. “My Dad would come to Florida during Christmas to ride with the Gold Wing group for a Christmas lights and caroling parade and we would ride two-up. Eventually I wanted a longer ride so I would fly to North Carolina and ride down with him. I also did some long distance rides with him and his buddies. West Virginia was my favorite.

“The trip from North Carolina through Maine into New Brunswick sold me on long distance touring. I was hooked. It was shortly after that that my dad help me find my first bike,” she recalls.

First ride: Her first bike was 1984 Honda Magna. “I never really liked it, it was very difficult for me to ride. I started making excuses why I couldn’t ride it and was still making up excuses the day I sold it,” she recalls.

A lot changed when she got the Buell. They have clocked over 37,000 miles together. It’s her only ride, but there are others out in the bike barn – her husband’s wheels: a 2006 FJR1300 and a 2003 Russian Ural Retro Solo.

Dream Wheels: She loves her Buell – and reminds readers of that regularly – but her dream bike is a custom, built just for her. She imagines it in perfect detail: “If money were no object I would have a custom-built, lightweight, sport touring bike with a 25 or 26-inch low seat, powered by a 650 motor with Givi saddlebags, a Givi fairing and Avon Tires. Basically my bike with a little bigger and smoother motor,” she says.

Moment of Zen: Her coolest saddle moment, as a rider, came when she won a “Bike of the Night” award at Daddy Wigglers in Ybor City, Fla. She got to ride inside the bar to collect the prize.

As a passenger: “taking a wild ride on Deals Gap on the back of my husband’s Gold Wing and not holding on so I could lay deep into the curves with him to snap some awesome photographs, one of which ended up in a Rider Magazine feature story.”

Nice.

Scary Story: Her scariest day on two wheels was when she spilled off the pillion. “I was behind a novice rider in a large group ride. He cut to the outside and rolled on the throttle to ‘catch up with his buddy’ when everyone had to brake suddenly for an accident involving the lead bikes.

“I went flying over him. I vividly recall flipping head over heels, my helmeted head hitting the pavement, flipping again and again. I recall each and every impact my helmet made with the pavement – four times in all – before I came to a rest in the middle of the road, now fearing I would be run over. There was a brief time when I thought I might never get on a motorcycle again,” she says. (We’re glad she changed her mind.)

Favorite Roads: With 37,000 miles (plus all those two-up miles) under her belt, she’s seen her share of great bike roads. Some of her favorites:

  • Rt. 348, The Richard Russell Scenic Highway going into Helen, Ga.
  • Rt. 180 Wolf Pen Gap Road heading north from Suches, Ga. towards Blairsville, Ga. – “better than Deals Gap IMHO”
  • Green Pond Road in Pasco County, Fla.
  • Osteen-Maytown Road through the woods from Osteen, Fla. to Oak Hill, Fla.
  • Going to the Sun Highway – through Glacier National Park, Montana
  • California Highway One – Pacific Coast Highway – “Awesome!”
  • Rt. 12 from Missoula to Kooskie, Montana – LoLo Hot Springs

She’s serious about future ride goals: “If I had the time and money, I would first spend as much time as necessary to hit every state in the U.S. on a single journey all by secondary country roads. I would also love to ride around Austria, Ireland and Australia,” she says.

Thanks for the great website, Mags. Shiny side up.

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