Gloria Tramontin Struck is 90. She’s been riding motorcycles most of her life, from New Jersey to Sturgis and Daytona Beach. She wants to ride at 100
Gloria Tramontin Struck, 90, with her 2004 Harley-Davidson Heritage Softail Classic. Ms. Struck has been motorcycling for 74 years. ‘I have a lot of stories!’ she says. ‘I want to write a book, but I’m so busy. Where will I find the time?”
I was born in a little apartment behind a motorcycle shop in Clifton. My father had started the business in 1915—100 years ago. Even as a baby, I was with motorcycles every day of my life. When I was 16, my brother decided I should learn to ride. I told him, “I’m not going to do it! And you can’t make me.” But he convinced me. Now 74 years later, I’m still riding.
My first motorcycle was a 1941 Indian Bonneville Scout. Over the years, I’ve owned three Indians and 11 Harley-Davidsons. Since 1950 I’ve been riding long distances, to races and events all over the country, and in Europe.
The first time I rode to Daytona Bike Week in [Daytona Beach] Florida was in 1951. And I still ride to Daytona. The first time I rode from New Jersey to the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota was in 2003. I’ve gone every year since, and I’m in the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum’s Hall of Fame.
This summer, my granddaughter and I rode our Harley-Davidsons to the 75th Sturgis rally. Before we left, a friend started talking about us on Facebook, saying, “Keep an eye out for Gloria Struck, on her way to Sturgis. She’s 90-years old, riding a blue Heritage Softail Classic. Her granddaughter’s on a red Sportster.”
I’m not exaggerating: Every time we stopped for gas, every time we stopped for something to eat, people were watching for us. One woman came up and said, “Excuse me, is your name Gloria?” I said yes. She turned to her friends and yelled, “Hey, it’s her! It’s her! It’s Gloria!”
We had three days to get to Sturgis—close to 1,800 miles one way. We spent so much time talking to people and taking pictures with them, we had to ride 80 mph to catch up on time. And it happened all over again on the way back.
When I’m 100 years old, I plan on riding across country on two wheels. I believe it’ll be the first time anyone’s done it—male or female. I’m very active, and I love new challenges. I always tell people: Live your dreams.