Great-great-grandmother bikes in from Chicago

June 10, 1998|By BRENDAN KIRBY

by Kevin G. Gilbert / staff photographer


Fannie Hott

You don't see a great-great-grandmother cruising down the street on the back of a Harley every day.

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Then there's Fannie Hott, who made the 640-mile, 11 1/2-hour trip from her suburban Chicago home to her daughter's house in Hagerstown on the back of her son's Harley-Davidson on Friday.

"It was good, better than riding in a car or a truck - either one," said Hott, who will turn 91 next month.


Gary Hott, 55, said it was by the far longest ride his mother has made on a motorcycle.

"I stopped for gas. It gets about 200 miles a tank. I stopped three times," he said.

Her daughter, Betty Lucas, of Pennsylvania Avenue, said she had been told her mother planned to cycle to Hagerstown, but "I didn't believe it. I didn't think she'd ever do it."

Fannie, who cleaned houses for a living until about three years ago, dresses for cycling in a helmet with a plastic visor, a black leather jacket and leather gloves.

It is not until she takes her helmet off that she causes a stir.

Gary Hott said he pulled into a rest stop in Breezewood, Pa., and got curious looks from other bikers.

"They probably thought I don't know what they thought. They probably thought she's kind of old for me," he said.

Fannie Hott, who moved from Hagerstown to the Chicago area in 1958, said the leg she broke a few years ago did not bother her on the trip.

"I didn't get sore. I didn't get sick," she said.

Gary Hott said his mother began riding the motorcycle on short neighborhood trips in 1986. He said he had joked about her making the cross-country trek on the Harley, but to his surprise, she decided to go.

His 1,110-pound Harley-Davidson is no bare-bones machine. One of his five motorcycles, it features a comfortable seat in the back with arms and a cushioned back.

"This is not a tavern-to-tavern motorcycle," he said.

The two will spend about a week in town before taking off on the Harley for their return trip to Portage, Ind.

Fannie Hott took her first motorcycle ride about 12 years ago.

"I wanted to do it. I like it," she said.

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