June 09, 2015
Spitfire Girl Highlight: Motorcyclist Karen Gorham
Being a Spitfire Girl isn’t just about swigging from your favorite SFG wooden flask or lying on one of our colorful throw pillows on a sunny afternoon. It’s a spirit- a funky mixture of fire, ice and for Karen Gorham the pine fresh scent of the open road. A Texan at heart now living in LA, Karen visited our downtown office to chat with us about all things motorcycles, being a woman on a seemingly men driven road, and how it felt to make her longest trip alone on a motorcycle. From Los Angeles to her home city of El Paso, Karen reflected on what she saw, who she met, and the beautiful scenery of the American Southwest scattered between.
Having been a rider her whole life, the terrain of the road isn’t foreign for Karen. It’s her mobile home-away-from-home wherever the skyline takes her. Born in El Paso, Texas, Karen originally wanted to ride because her older brother did, “I always thought what my brother did was really cool. He built a mini bike and let me have it- it was then on that I was obsessed with two wheels." It was in her late twenties and living in Dallas where she began to build a love of BMX riding. She eventually began to attract more women, getting a few gal pals to join, “At that time there weren’t a lot of girls riding. We started to get more women together and all the girls I hung out with started getting dirt bikes, too.”
Moving to LA, a city of hustlers and go getters, the bug to get her own motorcycle finally sunk its teeth into her, “Yeah, it was right [then that] I realized that I could do this- I could buy a motorcycle. I don’t need my parents to buy it for me. Again, no one else was riding at this time, so there was no influence.” With her first long trip to Joshua Tree a success, Karen began planning the next to her hometown of El Paso, “Since I’m from Texas and I love Texas, I knew I wanted my bike to be in Texas at some point.” Riding on highways, freeways, and even the dirt roads along the Mexico border in between.
Karen is a Spitfire Girl through and through.
“For me, I think it’s somebody who’s not afraid and somebody that’s outspoken. Someone who is definitely not afraid to be true to himself or herself.” Taking her shoes off her feet she showed us her socks, “I just got these ‘Bad Ass’ socks the other day from you guys! I’m most definitely a Spitfire Girl."