Why We Ride: June Kehoe
‘Congratulations, you are a bad-ass.’
“And I was like, yeah, thank you so much for noticing.”
Avid small engine enthusiast and real estate expert, June Kehoe, has been living a double life as the good daughter and badass biker since moving to New York years ago. What started as a passion for little old Italian ladies riding shopping bikes to storefronts in the movies transgressed into June’s addiction to anything on two-wheels. A Twist and Go scooter being her first and ultimate gateway to the land of the free…motorcycles.
“I was always attracted to the aesthetics of scooters. They are just cute. And once you get into the scooter world you find a whole community with sub-communities specific to brand, bike type, year… there’s a plethora of groups you can connect with depending on what you ride. It can get kind of crazy through how much down to the detail these sub-communities can get.”
Finding friends with shared interests was important for June, but she had to keep her need for speed a secret from her worried parents. Still, after years of riding, she keeps things under wraps from them.
“My parents are in their 80s and I just know how they would worry about me if they knew I’ve been motoring around the busy streets of New York these past years. They would probably never sleep again. My dad actually told me I wasn’t allowed to jump out of a plane on my thirtieth birthday and I listened to him. I knew it was coming from a place of love and his concern for me on my bike would be too. That’s why I have never told them.”
In fact, for holidays and special occasions when June’s folks come to visit her, she rents a trailer to store her four bikes off-sight. You read that right, June is a serious motorcycle lover and has the goods and travel stories to prove it.
Passion On and Off-Road
“I love all of my bikes. Right now, I have a Dual Sport I ride often because I can off-road with it some. It’s considered a smaller sized touring bike, but it’s got me all the way from Massachusetts to Canada all on dirt roads. I’ve even taken it out west, to really dry desert-like conditions; drove it to Sturgis one year. My riding partner and I were the only ones there in full gear since it was like 100 degrees outside and probably the only two not on Harleys. We must have stood out like sore thumbs, but we made it. And enjoyed it as something we could cross off our bucket lists. Something we could be proud of accomplishing. On our way back from the trip out there it started pouring but we rode in the rain for hours, powering through it. When we pulled into a gas station this guy got out of his truck with a trailer attached to the back and stopped us to say he felt like a loser for trailering his ride back from Sturgis. I remember him saying ‘Congratulations, you’re a badass’ and me responding with ‘Yeah, thank you so much for noticing’. It meant something, like I was being recognized for my hidden passion by another biker. It was great.”
An Aesthetic that Says Something
June rides because of the freedom she feels on two wheels, the aesthetic it communicates about strong women doing things they’ve been told they shouldn’t, and the connections she makes with other riders.
“I can still recall when I bought my baby blue Festivus, I overheard the salesman in his strong European accent talking about his own experience. He explained it so simply, so beautifully. It’s stuck with me all these years. He said ‘when I bought this scooter, I felt like the whole city opened up to me.’ And man, did I feel that. Riding feels like you're escaping the oppression you feel on the trains or in those cages we call cars. There’s nothing else like it .. pure exhilarating freedom.”
For those of us that yearn to be uncaged and released back into nature, micro-commuting is a way of life, a mentality, a reconnection back to ourselves, and a piece of our truth. Not all of us feel like we can share our passion for adventure but it still burns deep inside of us, pushing us to be courageous, conscious, cultured, and appreciative of our world’s fine craftsmanship in the ways we find comfort in.
Ride for life. Explore the world. Discover yourself.