The Unstoppable Spirit of Prue: Over Half a Century on Two Wheels

Posted On 07 Oct 2023
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This entry is part 41 of 44 in the series AusMotorcyclist Issue#1

The vast landscapes of Australia have seen countless motorcyclists traverse its terrains. But few can claim a passion for bikes as enduring and vibrant as Prue, who has spent more than 55 years riding. We journeyed west, with a slight detour north, to the unmistakably Australian town of Galaga bone, to bring you her story.

Riding Through Time

Prue’s initiation into the world of motorcycling was not of her own choosing. “My father decided,” she reminisces. An avid motorcyclist in England during his youth, he believed that if his teenage daughter needed transport, a car would be too expensive. “You’re getting a bike,” he told her. And not just any bike – a Honda 90. A slight victory for Prue, considering her brother got a smaller one.

Over the years, her love affair with bikes has seen her ride a plethora of brands. Hondas, Kawasakis, Triumphs, Nortons, Yamahas – each bike, in her eyes, has had something unique to offer. Every motorcycle brought its moments of pure joy and some challenges. Prue humorously recalls the Kawasaki triple she once owned. It had an annoying habit of fouling the middle spark plug, prompting her to carry spares everywhere she went.

The Honda CMX 500cc she talks about fondly is a twin chain drive, liquid-cooled, six-speed, and fuel-injected machine, weighing in at a mere 190 kilos. Light and agile, perfect for someone who lightheartedly says, “I’m shrinking.”

Learning The Mechanics

It was not just about riding for Prue. “If you’re going to own a bike, you have to understand how it works,” her father had insisted. And he made sure she did. From two-strokes to four-strokes, from clutches to gearboxes, Prue’s education was thorough. Practical lessons in repairs were also part of her curriculum. The wealth of knowledge she absorbed from her father and her own experiences soon became her asset.

In the mid-70s, a seemingly snide remark from a bike shop salesman led to Prue breaking gender barriers. From doing their books to being in overalls, Prue’s presence in the bike shop wasn’t just notable for her skills but also her gender. Yet, Prue recounts her time there with fondness, free from sexism and full of support.

An Ambassador for Motorcycling

Motorcycling wasn’t just a hobby or a job; it was her identity. An identity that caught the eye of a journalist once, leading to a feature about her – a woman in a male-dominated space.

Prue’s granddaughter, a budding biker herself, once asked her about the attention she receives when out on her bike. Prue’s reply? “All the time.”

Prue’s dedication extends beyond leisure. She speaks of the Blood Bikers – noble volunteers who transport blood, organ transplants, or essential medications when regular channels fail. They ride for a cause, bearing their own expenses.

The Dream Routes

While Prue has explored numerous places on her bike, her heart still yearns for more. She speaks of a desire to ride in India but without the typical choice of a Royal Enfield. “They’re too tall and heavy,” she quips. There are places she’d love to revisit, from the bustling streets of India to the serene landscapes of England and the vast stretches of the USA.

Group rides aren’t her cup of tea. For Prue, the joy of motorcycling is in the freedom it offers. The thrill of hitting the road solo, camping gear in tow, discovering new places at her own pace, and soaking in the solitude brings her unparalleled joy.

In Conclusion

For Prue, riding isn’t just a hobby; it’s an emotion. “Makes me happy,” she simply puts it. Every ride, every mile is a testament to her undying passion for bikes. As the saying goes, “You can’t buy happiness, but you can ride a motorcycle. And that’s kind of the same thing.”

Series Navigation<< Electric Motorcycles: The Future of Sustainable Urban Commuting? A Review of the Super Soco TC MaxThe Journey of a Passionate Vespa Rider: Shawnee’s Story >>
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Australian Motorcyclist Magazine is Australia's leading motorcycle travel magazine.
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