Motorcycle granny rides again

While some great-great-grandmothers like to celebrate their birthdays with cake and ice cream, one Puyallup grandmother likes to go for a spin on the back of a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. And in March, the 96-year-old climbed on the back of her neighbor’s red Harley, as she has done every year since she turned 90, and off they roared on a cruise through Puyallup, towards Sumner and a stretch of the interstate.

Decked out in a black leather jacket, a headband reading Sturgis and proper helmet provided by Harley owner, neighbor and good friend Gary, Virginia Osborn took a deep breath and hung on. Friends and family snapped photos of the annual tradition.

How did this tradition get started? Gary recalls he had previously taken an 88-year-old  neighbor for a bike ride and kind of kidded Virginia about taking her for one, too.

 “She picked right up on the idea.” he recalls. “She never seemed too fond of my wife and I going places on the Harley, and worried we might be in an accident. It surprised me when she agreed to take that 90th birthday ride.”

It’s doubtful anyone who meets Virginia would  ever guess her age. However, anyone who noticed a red Harley on the highway around Puyallup in early March may have  blinked twice when they saw a sign pinned to the back of her leather jacket, reading in big letters “I’M 96”, placed there by her neighbor.

Virginia, a native of Jordan, Mont., is in good health, smiles a lot,  exhibits a good sense of humor, and has a happy, positive attitude about life.

” I still do my own cooking and I can eat anything I want,” she said. “I haven’t got any enemies and there’s no one I dislike. And, I don’t have any doctor’s appointments right now.”

Virginia uses a cane or walker when necessary. Maybe that is necessary if she’s chasing after some of her four great-great-grandchildren. 

Admitting that she’d never ever been on a motorcycle before that first ride on her 90th birthday, Virginia knows it’s something  rather daring that she can still do. And she’s already talking about next year.

(Article by Marian Dinwiddie)

Puyallup resident Virginia Osborn, 96, is buckled in for her annual ride on her neighbor's motorcycle to celebrate her birthday. (Courtesy photo)
Puyallup resident Virginia Osborn, 96, is buckled in for her annual ride on her neighbor’s motorcycle to celebrate her birthday. (Courtesy photo)