In the Beginning . . .
Joy Medved, Founder of Joy of Motorcycling®, has been an avid motorcycle rider, mentor, instructor, and safety advocate for more than 30 years. Everyone who knows Joy, knows she has a true passion for motorcycle riding and training.
However, unlike many of her riding friends, Joy did not grow up in a motorcycle family. “Motorcycles were strictly off limits for me,” Joy remembers. “I always wanted to know why I couldn’t get one? Or, even get on one? They seemed so exciting!” Then, at the age of 19, and living across the country from her family, Joy was provided the unexpected opportunity to learn how to ride. Not many women rode motorcycles back in the 1980s, but Joy loved the idea and jumped at the chance!
According to Joy, “The only motorcycle I had access to was a 1985 GL1200 Honda Goldwing. As an instructor, I would never recommend anyone learn how to ride on a big touring motorcycle, but at the time, it was my only option. As it turned out, I very quickly learned a lot about riding, and physics. Yes, I dropped it – more than once.” However, Joy wasn’t going to let something like a “big bike” keep her from learning how to ride, “I learned from my mistakes. I practiced…a lot! And, I’ve had more fun motorcycling ever since!”
Riding the Road Less Traveled . . .
Since getting her motorcycle endorsement in the mid-1980s, Joy has enjoyed close to 600,000 miles on two-wheels. She has experienced most roadway types, traffic situations, weather conditions, and animal encounters typically experienced on two-wheels. “I do ride in just about every weather. I’m not partial to snow and ice, but I’ve been caught in it several times. I’ve also been hailed on while riding three times. Some rides are more comfortable than others, but that doesn’t stop me.”
According to Joy, “I love traveling all over North America, and can usually be seen riding through any one of the beautiful national parks spread across the United States or Canada. As a long distance solo rider, I am definitely a true journey rider, with an immense appreciation for the natural beauty I encounter when riding. I have also enjoyed a lot of group riding. But, I can definitely say I prefer the road less traveled. It’s spiritual. It’s peaceful. It’s fun! It’s exhilarating! There’s nothing quite like riding my motorcycle through the mountains, smelling nature, feeling the wind, and riding side-by-side with a hawk flying just a few yards off the cliff. For me, there’s no other feeling like it! . . . Of course, there’s also that lovely turkey vulture that nearly knocked me off my motorcycle on a deserted stretch of road in Northern California. The road less traveled . . . yes, it’s always more fun and exciting!”
“Motorcycling is My Life!”
From the get-go, Joy was like a fish in water, “I couldn’t learn enough! I loved it. It’s in my blood!”
Joy’s 3+ decade riding career includes lots of long-distance solo touring, as well as group and formation riding with various local and national motorcycle organizations. Joy is also a founding rider of a performance Goldwing drill team, was a regular at top gun skills competitions, and rode as a professional motorcycle escort officer (non-LEO). “Motorcycling is my life! I absolutely love every aspect of it,” Joy declares ecstatically. “Except mechanics. I’m terrible at mechanics,” Joy admits.
Joy has also been a riding instructor for several range schools in California and Arizona, and even taught rider training for the US Navy and US Marine Corps. “I am honored to have earned the respect of my male counterparts, both on and off the range. I consider this one of my greatest accomplishments.”
Over the years, Joy has ridden a number of motorcycles, including five Honda Goldwings (2-GL1200, 1-GL1500, 2-GL1800), a Suzuki GS1100KG, a Kawasaki KZ1000P, a BMW 1150RTP, and a variety of other “borrowed” motorcycles, including Harley-Davidsons (one with a suicide clutch) and Indians.
Joy’s current motorcycle of choice is her 2016 GL1800 Honda Goldwing, which she calls the Black Pearl.
Riding with River . . .
While Joy does enjoy riding solo, she has trained her Australian Shepherd, River Song, to ride with her. “Me and my fur-baby always travel by motorcycle. I don’t even own a 4-wheeler. River was trained from three months old to ride on the back of my motorcycle. She loves to just lay back and enjoy the sites through her hot pink goggles,” Joy smiles. “We love the sights, the sounds, the wind, and the smells. And, we always enjoy meeting new people and other fur-babies during our travels.”