Generally speaking, you probably wouldn’t expect 90-year-olds to celebrate their birthdays at motorcycle conventions. You probably wouldn’t expect them to stay glued to bikes to get around either. Yet, for 91-year-old Gloria Tramontin-Struck, doing both is the only way to live.
Born in 1925 and raised in a small apartment attached to her family’s motorcycle shop in Clifton, New Jersey, Gloria has been close to bikes before she could even reach the throttle, let alone ride one.
It wasn’t until Gloria’s brother encouraged her that she ever tried to for herself. “I’m not going to do it!” she used to tell him. “You can’t make me.” But that was only going to last so long. At 16 she gave in and rode one for the first time. Now, looking back as a fanatic of 76 years, she likely wonders why she didn’t jump on one even sooner.
In 1941, the same year as her first ride, Gloria got her first bike, an Indian Bonneville Scout. Since then, she’s made her way through a host of bikes to keep her moving around the globe, whether she’s touring the USA or heading over to Europe. From shorter road trips in Canada to the Passo dello Stelvio in northern Italy, a journey she made with her son, Glenn, when she was 76, Gloria has experienced plenty of adventure. Three Indians and 11 Harley-Davidsons later, she’s never lost an ounce of the passion to keep riding.
On July 7, 2015 she held her 90th birthday in New Brunswick, Canada at the Motor Maids Annual Convention, and that wasn’t her first celebration there either. She became a member of the Motor Maids group at just 21 years old back in 1946, and it’s been intertwined with her birthdays and daily life ever since.
Outside of how she inspires older generation to keep riding and follow their passions, Gloria has been an inspiration to the female biking community, too. Motor Maids, established in 1940 as the first women’s riding group, only had 51 members at its inception, and has now soared to more than 1,300 as women like Gloria continue to lead the way.
Such an impact is partly why she was inducted to the AMA Motorcycle Hall of Fame in October, 2016. “I’m now 91 years old, still ride two wheels, always will,” Gloria said during her induction.
Hall of Fame status aside, Gloria won’t rest on her laurels because of it. “My next goal is to ride across country on two wheels when I’m 100,” she told The Ledger.
At this point, it’s quite clear there’s no stopping her.
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