Scheduling Brenda Fox for an interview doesn’t happen. Receiving a call from Brenda Fox to meet in 20 minutes for a horseback riding adventure at sunset—now that’s more like it.
Fox is THE motorcycle woman. She is a motorcycle journalist, stunt person and advocate for a variety of humanitarian causes. Fox’s relationship with motorcycles—and horses—began at an early age. Her childhood was rough and home was a scary place, but it taught Fox a lot about motorcycles. From owning her first Harley Shovelhead, at age 22, to handling $100,000 bikes during stunt work, Fox has proved herself to be a unique (and fierce) motorcycle expert.
Girl on a Motorcycle
Through her growth as a motorcyclist, Fox was able to begin speaking and, eventually, writing about the industry. Gaining respect as a motorcycle journalist came gradually, as Fox recalls, “The journalist thing came about with hosting radio shows–I have an awkward sense of humor. [Then] people would ask me to write something for the newspaper. Once I got the energy of what was ‘hot, cool, wicked’ the verbiage came. I was able to incorporate an odd sense of humor, converse in a knowledgeable way, and comprehend what was going on regarding motorcycles.”
When discussing the road on which Fox’s passions and career have taken her, it’s clear it wasn’t easy, though she is content and extremely humble. Ask how she feels about being regarded as a legend by her peers and she will mention that it is difficult to accept being viewed in such high esteem, due to her “…crazy childhood upbringing…” which negatively impacted her self-worth.
However, Fox is proud of her struggles. “For years I paid my dues and I hold that in high regard—it did not come easy. I was slammed in so many ways [and] other people would have given up on the first blow—I kept on going.” Though she is proud of her journey as a motorcycle journalist, she prefers not being referred to as the authority of motorcycle journalism. Her goal has never been to become the authority. Fox would rather receive respect and be regarded as “…a beacon of knowledge.”
“When you’re authentic and you know your stuff there is no gender…you just know your stuff,” says Fox who also admits that “…there are barriers” when coming up through the industry as a woman.
Navigating through any predominantly male field sometimes causes women to deprive themselves of their femininity. Looking at Brenda Fox today, it is difficult to imagine that she ever exuded any qualities other than a beautiful, feminine toughness. As she reflects on her career, Fox remembers a time when the negative opinions of other people drove her to hide her womanliness. “I would wear baggy clothes and things that were not the most flattering because I was caving in. I was not shining as brightly because I did not want my shining to affect others. You could be in a room and be happy with yourself, then one chick bags on you and you feel terribly,” Fox recalls. But as the old saying goes, “You can’t keep a good woman down,” and Brenda Fox is no exception.
Her femininity is now much more obvious and she has learned to not become affected by negative comments. “I realized it’s their problem and those things don’t affect me. I felt like I was accommodating others and not myself. I could physically maneuver motorcycles. My skill and athletic ability brought respect. With self growth, awareness and self acceptance, I changed.”
Today, Fox is on a mission to unify women by embracing differences and promoting courage, strength, power and grace. She connects with women who share common goals and passion. “When you embrace riding there are many levels and all are great. The divorced lady with two kids wants you to know that she rides. It’s empowering,” says Fox.
Ride for Life
Fox uses her success to promote the greater good by dedicating her time to health awareness and animal welfare causes. She participates in many charity events and has served as grand marshal during the 1st Annual New England Walkers for Knockers Ride for the Cure and Project Independence Annual Ride for Autism. She also joined the team of legends during Broc Glover’s Breathe Easy Ride against Cystic Fibrosis.
She has always believed in helping others, but it was during her battle with breast cancer that she found herself on the receiving end and recognized how helpful and giving people can be. “I never imagined I would be in a situation where I would not know what to do,” says Fox. “It was so important to receive help and know how people do care. I [believe in] unity and the ride gets better when you support others.” Fox has built her family through animal rescue and recognizes the importance of healing through interacting with animals. Though her two dogs were rescued, Fox emphasizes their contribution to her life and admits, “When I did not have family, my dogs saved my life.”
We drove to a beautiful ranch in Southern California, approximately one hour north of Los Angeles. The sun began to set and Fox asked me to drive her car while she rode her horse down to the ring. Horses are her other passion, a pastime, to which she intends to dedicate more time. After riding for 30 minutes, she hopped off and asked me to take the reins. This is Brenda Fox’s world. Building relationships, not resumes.
Read the original artice here.
Written by Dorothy Crouch for Moxy Magazine, July 2011. Photo credit by Brenda Fox.