Wish Stories

Helen Goes for a Ride on a Harley Davidson

At first glance, Helen might seem like a reserved, petite woman. But what doesn’t meet the eye is her huge personality and her even bigger appetite for adventure. It turns out that thrill-seekers can come in small packages too. And that’s been the case for Helen her entire life.

Helen describes her childhood as “always getting into trouble,” and her enthusiasm did not fade when she grew up and became a mother of four children. Helen has a knack for finding the fun in life, whether from volunteering at her children’s schools, traveling in every direction, and constantly trying new things.

Helen’s sense of adventure has not dissipated with age, either. When she was in her 80’s, Helen decided that she wanted to ride on a motorcycle—one thing that she had never done before! She imagined herself zooming through town on the back of a mighty hog, with the wind rushing against her face!

But when Helen arranged her ride, it ended up not being quite what she expected. She had imagined a loud and impressive motorcycle, but instead, her ride felt more like a motor…bike. And the wind against her face? Helen felt they barely met the speed limit.

While she was disappointed in her first time out on the open road, Helen did not give up on having fun. At age 95, she teaches exercises at her assisted living facility and loves to play pool with her friends.

But even though ten years have passed, Helen has not forgotten about her desire for that thrilling motorcycle ride.

“I am getting older,” she said. “I see others riding, and it’s something I have never done before, and it excites something in me.”

That’s why Wish of a Lifetime was honored to grant Helen’s unique and daring wish. With the help of Gator Harley Davidson, Helen hit the road once again in December of 2018.

And this time, it was in style. Helen suited up in a black and white leather riding vest, sunglasses, riding gloves—and a helmet to match, of course. And this was no small motorbike she’d be riding on: it was a brand new, 2018 Harley Davidson Ultra Limited.

Helen hopped on the bike with Johnny Malik, a Gator Harley Davidson team member and experienced rider. They zoomed through her town of Leesburg, FL, and even took a scenic ride around beautiful Lake Harris.

“I loved the adrenaline rush I got out of the curves,” Helen exclaimed. “It was everything I imagined—and then some!”

As a special finish to the ride, Johnny and Helen passed through Lake Port Square. To her surprise, a crowd of friends and neighbors greeted them, cheering and clapping for her.

As Helen rode by with her arms raised triumphantly in the air, it was a beautiful reminder that zest for life can propel us at every age.

Shadow of hot air balloon on the trees below it

There’s so much we can do together

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