Joan Krenning walked into her local Harley Davidson dealer in 1986 with the intent of purchasing a brand new Softtail. The dealer was insistent than she have her husband’s permission and that he also cosign her loan. After complying with the dealer’s terms Joan got her bike and a life forever changed.
No life is perfect and Joan’s was no exception. A few bad turns put her on the wrong path for a short time but she persevered. She called riding her “mental therapy” and it gave her the second chance in life she had been seeking. With the support of friends, siblings and her two sons, Joan is embarking on a three-year journey of hope and American pride.
Joan’s business, Wraps of Hope had her spending a lot of time on the road visiting retailers and going to bike events, but always in a car. She missed riding; however, she noticed when she was at Sturgis and again at the Thunder Mountain Rally that there was a lot of political disparity-people were arguing and it saddened her. Where was the brotherhood? Somewhere between Fort Collins, Co. and Kansas City, Mo., she had an epiphany “of the patriotic sense” and from September to January she fervently began planning a trip that would take her to every Harley Davidson dealer in the US within the next three years.
Before hitting the road she hired an instructor to update her riding skills. She went on a ten-day ride with her boyfriend to help her get used to long rides and remember important safety lessons. She enlisted the help of her company’s marketing director, reached out to dealerships, sponsors and enthusiasts and on February 4, 2013, Joan Krenning began her life’s new chapter.
Joan stated during our interview that she felt Americans are forgetting who they are and are not remembering the integrity of the past. We fight over politics and seem to have forgotten what the Bill of Rights means. “It shouldn’t matter to anyone what another’s position is”, Joan explained, telling me that if someone asks her what her own political stance is, she declines to answer. She wants her journey to send a message of hope for Americans to come together, “to be the change you wish to see in America.”
Joan wishes to accomplish three goals with this tour: first goal is to promote American made products. All her sponsors are US companies, from her Harley Street Glide to her goggles. Her second goal is to bring back pride in being American and her third goal is to promote hope. She will be helping charities along the way, including Wounded Warriors and Helping with Horse Power. She says in her mission statement, “My mission is to ignite the power and passion in Americans, to breathe warmth into every day and clear the way for new beginnings. When you change people’s hearts, that’s when you change their lives.”
Joan’s enthusiasm becomes contagious when talking with her. She told me, “We can choose to be happy. I feel so blessed. I am the luckiest girl in the world.” She had only been on the road for two weeks but people everywhere wanted to meet her at her next destination. She has 2013 mostly planned out, with stops throughout Texas, Daytona and Arizona by April. She is scheduled to be in Washington, DC for the Rolling Thunder memorial ride and will then continue northeast through the summer before heading to Ohio and North Dakota.
Her 2013 Street Glide has been transformed into the “Freedom Glide”, with graphics by Red Phoenix Marketing and true duals designed and installed by MGS Custom Bikes that set off car alarms as she took it for a test ride. Her daily adventures and photos from around the country will be featured on her blog, LadyRoadDog.com. and on her Facebook page. She is requesting a donation of two dollars from anyone wishing to take a photo of her bike, with 100% of the proceeds going to her charities.
Although Joan is making the journey alone and without the aid of a support vehicle, fellow women riders have already arranged to meet her and ride alongside her between stops. They volunteer to be her tour guides and I am sure in the weeks and months to come will probably open up their homes to her as well.
Joan is accomplishing what most of us only dream of doing. We spoke of why we ride, the feeling of freedom and how it saddened her that so many with a common bond seemed to forget all that in light of the political bickering. She saw something wrong and is taking a strong stand to make it right again. With the love and support of her family and friends and now strangers who agree and understand, Joan is taking a spiritual journey through the US and making sure we all remember why it has always been the greatest country on earth. It is a three-year journey that took a lifetime to achieve.