Kings Contrivance biker mom enjoys the open road

NEIGHBORS

September 24, 2002|By Dana Klosner-Wehner | Dana Klosner-Wehner,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

KINGS CONTRIVANCE resident JoAnn Maxfield isn't a stereotypical biker, but that's because the stereotype is a misconception, she said.

Maxfield may wear business suits during the week, but on weekends she suits up in her "leathers" and hits the open road with her husband, Rocky, 45, and 15 or 20 of their closest biker friends.

The couple attends motorcycle rallies all over the country. At 5-feet-3, JoAnn Maxfield, 44, is a petite woman whose demeanor at work is "very businesslike," said Thomas Hare, a fiscal manager at the Department of Public Works, where JoAnn handles customer service for the director's office.

"She's able to come in and talk with all the guys about her weekend," he added. "She's one of the guys. The vehicle that allowed her to become one of us was her motorcycle."

JoAnn and Rocky Maxfield say they have met lots of friends through the Harley Owners Group (H.O.G.) chapter in Elkridge, where they bought their Harley-Davidson bikes. They also have made many friends at Daniel's Restaurant and Bar in Elkridge, the "only outdoor biker bar in Maryland," JoAnn said.

"I think the biker image is funny," she said. "All the bikers I have met since I started riding four years ago have been extremely nice people. And they are mostly in their 30s, 40s and 50s, some even in their 60s. [Our friends] are all empty-nesters like us."

JoAnn never rode a motorcycle before her daughter, Cindy, now 22, left for college four years ago. That's when Rocky bought a Harley-Davidson.

"You have to take a class through the DMV to get a motorcycle license," JoAnn said. "I took the class with him. The instructor said I did better than he did because I was better at following directions. After that I was hooked.

"I love everything about motorcycles," JoAnn added. "There's nothing like the freedom of being out in the open."

JoAnn enjoys her travels on a custom-built bike weighing 750 pounds. It's painted candy-apple red with flames running across it.

"Our son was nervous about us riding," JoAnn said. "My daughter loves it. I told her she can get a bike when she turns 40. Younger kids like to go really fast on quiet bikes. We ride loud bikes. If someone doesn't see us coming, they will hear us."

Although JoAnn is safety-conscious, she said she isn't nervous when she rides.

"You can't be nervous and ride," she said. "It's like driving a car. It just wouldn't work. You have to be aware of everything that's around you and always take a safe route."

The couple attended rallies in Daytona Beach, Fla., Myrtle Beach, S.C., and Sturgis, S.D. JoAnn said they have never seen a fight at a rally.

"At the Sturgis rally, we saw Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse. We rode every day to all the monuments. It was really beautiful," she said.

Riding is not the only pleasure JoAnn Maxfield gets from her hobby. "We have really met the most wonderful people," she said. "They have really become like family."

The couple's son, Brian, 20, is attending the Naval Academy Preparatory School in Newport, R.I.

New teachers welcomed

Hammond High School welcomes nine new teachers and staff members this year. They are David Boteler, physical education; Danielle Dunn, English; Meredith Garback, foreign language; Amy Nestor, special education; Edward Sofianek, science; and Barbara Wallenstein, mathematics.

New staff members are Kimberly Rockett, guidance counselor; Jennifer Smith, school psychologist; and Kym Young, health assistant.

Smart cookies

Congratulations go to Oakland Mills High School seniors Lauranne Lanz and Meredith Brenner. Both have been designated as National Merit semifinalists. The National Merit Scholarship Program is based on students' PSAT scores.

Senior Brittney Newsome was named a National Achievement semifinalist in the National Achievement Scholarship Program, a competition for outstanding African-American students.

"We are very pleased and very proud that we have three semifinalists," said Pauline Phillips, instructional leader for guidance. "They are all extremely talented. They will surely be sought after by colleges."

Racing readers

Congratulations go to five Stevens Forest Elementary School children for completing the Howard County Library's 2002 summer reading program "Race to Read."

They are first-grader Kelsey McCardle; second-graders Patrick McCardle, Vincent Dudek and Alicia Wooten; and fifth-grader Alex Wooten.

Donate books

The Friends of the Library will hold a book sale at the east Columbia library Oct. 19. Donations of gently used books and magazines are being accepted at all Howard County Library branches. The proceeds will help finance library programs throughout the year.

To donate, bring books to the circulation desk at any branch and specify that they are for the book sale. Donations are tax-deductible.

Information: 410-313-7786.

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