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President Heather O’Brien

By | 2009-04-02T09:00:00-04:00 April 2nd, 2009|News|

by Jessica Carreras

Two years ago, Dykes on Bikes Detroit, a local chapter of the national group of lesbian motorcyclists, had two members. One of those two was Heather O’Brien. Today, the 39-year-old Dearborn Heights resident, who began the group with her wife, is president of the organization. In just two years, they have gone up to 20 members, have a board of directors and have gained non-profit status with the state. And O’Brien, known as HBom to her friends, has been there since the beginning. From riding to raise funds to just riding to enjoy the weather, Dykes on Bikes Detroit can be found everywhere in the area – Pride events, riding around town, or stopping for drinks at their favorite bar, Stiletto’s.
Dykes on Bikes Detroit’s next meeting will be held 3 p.m. April 11 at the Applebee’s restaurant at 8025 E. 12 Mile Road in Warren.

1) How did you get involved with riding?
My father took me for a road trip on his bike in the Summer of 2000. By the first rest stop, I was hooked for life!

2) Motorcycles, to those who love them, can be like children. Tell me about your bike.

My bike is sort of an extension of my personality and is also a great mode of transportation. I hope that when anyone sees my bike, they get a sense of my pride in being a bike owner and female driver.

3) What’s the best thing about being involved with Dykes On Bikes(R) Detroit?
I had been involved in a couple other female motorcycle clubs in the area but wasn’t finding the kind of camaraderie I was looking for. I would have to say it’s the camaraderie that I really love and the pride of being in a positive, national organization that supports such a strong sisterhood.

4) What do you do when you are not riding?
Work, walk our dog, spend time with my wife, friends and club members. Pretty much the same kinds of things everybody else does.

5) Why are recreational activities an important part of being involved in the LGBT movement?
I think it’s important because by being a part of these activities we can promote a more positive image of our community. In turn, this will also stimulate our community and offer activities and gatherings that will get more of us out there! Which I think is very important in chipping away at stigmas about us.

Ride With Pride at www.dykesonbikesdetroit.com.

About the Author:

BTL Staff
Between The Lines has been publishing LGBTQ-related content in Southeast Michigan since the early '90s. This year marks the publication's 27th anniversary.