SCRC Loudoun VA Featured Member - February, 2010

Name:   Donna Prohaska

Marital Status:  Married 37 years. Met on a blind date and married 7 months later.

Location:  Have lived in Ashburn Farm for the past 15 years.

Hometown:  St. Louis

Children:  4 - Stephanie-34, James Jr.-32, Alice-30, Emily-25 Plus 6 grandchildren - James III, Joey, Ashley, Nathan, Abby and Dylan

Age:  56

Occupation:  Currently not employed. I stopped working when our first child was born and I was a stay at home mom for 30 years until our youngest was in college. I went back to college and was certified as a Medical Office administrator and worked for a chiropractor for a couple of years until he sold his practice.

Current motorcycle(s):  A red Suzuki Boulevard S40. It is a 650 but a small bike.

How did you hear about the SCRC and when did you join?
Jim and I were at Lowe's and saw a bunch of motorcycles in the hotel parking lot and a sign that said Loudoun. We pulled the minivan in and several people came up to us and explained who the group was and what they do. They asked us to join them for Rolling Thunder the next day. We went home and checked out the group online. We liked what we saw and joined that night. The next day we joined in for the ride.

How long have you been riding?
I got my license 2 1/2 years ago but I have been riding two-up with Jim starting before we were married. Had a long break from riding while the kids were growing up but got back into it about 5 years ago when the youngest was finishing college.

Have you ever taken a motorcycle safety course?
Yes at Lord Fairfax. Good instructors. Of course that just gets you going. Jim was very patient and helpful when I was starting out. Rob was also very helpful with new member orientation rides and ride-alongs.

What was your first bike?
I bought the V-Star 650 from Julie after I got my license. Purple - my favorite color.

How many bikes have you owned?
Just the 2 but I never did quite ride the V-Star.

Why do you ride?
I fell in love with motorcycles the first time I got on Jim's bike before we were married. When we got back into riding, I kept complaining when Jim would take off without me. He was the one that suggested I get my license. When I passed - he had to buy a bike for me.

Have you ridden with an organized group before?
No. We always went out on our own.

What modifications have you done to your bike?
Technically I haven't but Jim installed a windscreen, engine guard and a luggage rack so I could carry a bag.

What accessories do you want to add to your bike?
A Cup holder and a garage door opener.

What is your dream bike?
We seem to be a good fit. I have been thinking of the S50 but not until I get more riding on the bike I have.

What kind of riding do you like to do — straight-aways or twisties?
I like both but nothing too technical.

If you have a nickname, how did you get it? Tell the truth!
Not yet!

What is your favorite riding route?
I like riding country roads but I don't have a regular route. I try to get out often even if it is to run errands.

Do you ride your bike to work?
I'm not working now but I did ride to work occassionally but it was only 2 miles from home. I made the most of it by riding the long way home.

What is the fastest you’ve ridden?
60 on 66 for about 5 minutes when I was trying to catch up to Jim. I really don't like going faster than 55 and most of the time it is a lot slower. When I bought the S40 I was told not to take it over 70. I told him - Not a Problem.

What is your favorite time of year to ride?
Spring through fall. It's more of a temperature thing with me. Don't mind it hot, I just don't like it too cold.

Have you ever been down? If so, how were you hurt and what did you learn from the incident?
The first time was the day I got my first bike. Julie rode it to my house and Tom followed to give Julie a ride home. We were having the family over so Jim parked it in the garage. When I was showing it to my daughter, I tripped on the kickstand and broke my foot. I was in a hard cast and crutches for a month, a boot cast for 2 months and a bone stimulator for 10 hours a day for 2 months. The bike went into storage for the winter. The second time was the following spring. We were in the school parking lot to practice. I came to a stop, lost my footing, fell and broke my ribs. I decided a different bike would be better for me so we sold the V-star. I learned to make sure the bike is right for the rider - especially new riders. Someone once told me to sit a lot of bikes before you decide what to get.

Have you ever done an "Iron Butt" ride?
No and I'd rather not try one.

If not, what is the furthest you’ve ridden?
I did 125 miles on a ride along with Throttle and Sunshine. It was the best ride I had been on. They made me feel much more confident with riding in a group. Just need to work on that stamina. I also rode Rattle the runway once. It was my first group ride. I got separated from Jim right off - someone else in the group was nice enough to follow me.

What was the worst weather in which you’ve ridden?
I haven't had much of a problem while riding mine but there was a few times Jim and I were caught in a terrible storm. The worst was when we had rain and hail and wind gusts that nearly blew us off the bike. We were close to home and there was no place to take cover so we just rode it out.

Do you know how to work on your bike?
I can put gas in it- Does that count?

What is your favorite road song?
I enjoy a lot of music but I don't listen when I ride.

What was your most adventurous ride?
Probably Rattle the Runway. It was only about 6 weeks after I got the S40 and I had not been on a highway. It was foggy that morning, I couldn't use the face shield and my glasses were so foggy I had to look over the top of them. All those bikes should have been intimidating. I just concentrated on the bike in front and followed. On the way home I had my first experience with the twisties on Old Georgetown Pike.

What rallies or events do you like to attend?
Rolling Thunder and Rattle the Runway are my favorites. The state rally our club hosted was a lot of fun.

Is there someone who rides "two-up" with you?
I haven't had anyone ride with me - I do ride with Jim. Eventually, we would like to be able to take a couple of the grandkids with us on some of the rides. The older ones love to go for rides.

Off the cuff from...Donna
Riding is something Jim and I enjoy doing together. We look forward to many years of riding. We bought a trailer so we can take the bikes along and explore new places. Haven't had much time for that yet but he has to retire eventually. Riding with the group has been a lot of fun as well. It gives us different places to go with a group of people who enjoy riding as much as we do.