Biker Granny' loves Bikes, Blues and BBQ
Reprinted with permission from Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, Inc
BELLA VISTA, AK- Always fond of horseback riding, Norma Clark decided - at age 72 - to take a spin on a motorcycle.
Earlier this week she turned 85, but age hasn't stopped her from hopping on the back of one of her sons' motorcycles every chance she gets.
"They call me'Biker Granny, '"Clark, of Bella Vista, said as she threw back her head and laughed. "That's fine with me. I love riding. I don't drive them, but I sure like to ride. The first time I rode, we went 300 miles. When we stopped, Eddie, my son - his biker name is'Cotton'- told me I was doing great because he couldn't even tell I was behind him. The picture is from this year's Bikes, Blues & BBQ in Fayetteville.
"That was real good. I told him just not to forget me."
Born in Oklahoma, but a resident of Benton County since early childhood, Clark is also known for her vast knowledge of herbs. Her daughter, Sherry Smith, said people still stop by to ask her mom to help them treat their poison oak or poison ivy outbreaks. Clark has been using herbs for all kinds of healing most of her life.
She wears her long, gray hair braided in two sections. Clark wraps the braids over the top of her head. She took off a wide-brimmed hat Wednesday afternoon as she said she had been working in her yard.
"I'm an outdoors person, always have been," she said with another big laugh. "I don't like to be indoors. Don't care a thing about housekeeping or anything else inside. Years ago during the Great Depression, my brothers and I trapped and hunted to put food on the table. I just like being outside. That's probably one reason I like riding motorcycles so much. I grew up riding horses, you know. Now I ride those Harleys."
Traveling many miles by motorcycle, Clark estimates her longest trip was to Sturgis, Ky., for the Little Sturgis Rally. Last year's Kentucky rally attracted almost 15, 000 attendees. Accustomed to the bike rallies and runs, Clark said she never misses the Toy Run for Sharing and Caring. The program helps provide Christmas gifts to needy children in Benton County.
"I look forward to that Toy Run every year, and I can't wait to go to Bikes, Blues & BBQ this year," Clark said. "It's nice to help the children and that festival in Fayetteville has grown like everything. I have leathers, and I'll be wearing them Saturday. That's for sure. I have so much fun. Rallies are great."
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