TALAHASSEE, Fla. — Eight weeks into a 36-month trek on a Harley-Davidson Street Glide, 59-year-old Joan Krenning has traveled almost the entire length of the United States in her quest to visit every single licensed Harley-Davidson dealer in the country.
The founder and CEO of DesignWraps, a company that designs and manufactures stylish rider headgear, wants to not only drum up sales but also to promote American-made products. Krenning’s ride across America also will raise funds for two charities, the Wounded Warrior Project and Helping with Horsepower.
“I want to inspire hope in Americans,” Krenning said.
Krenning came up with the idea during the 2012 election season. She said she noticed that most of the country was dividing instead of uniting — and this was especially true at rallies Krenning had attended, like Sturgis.
“I just felt there was more hatred than ever before,” she told Dealernews. “People basically had this ‘If you’re not going to vote the way I do, I can’t be your friend’-type attitude.”
One man asked Krenning who she supported in the election; when she refused to tell him, he immediately assumed she was voting for someone he did not support and made it his mission to convince her otherwise.
“I was just so heartsick over Americans fighting over this,” she said. “We have so many freedoms in America, and we should love each other and that should have no bearing on who we vote for or what we believe.”
Krenning departed Pheonix on Feb. 2. Her Street Glide is wrapped in a replica of the Bill of Rights.
Powersports manufacturers also are offering their support. Klock Werks donated a windshield and other products, Ride Wright Wheels donated wheels with the phrase “Made in America for Lady Road Dog” etched into them, and Roaring Toyz donated floorboards from its new line that branches into the V-twin market.
Krenning is now guest-blogging for J&P Cycles, and will have a column in Women Riders Now and in Ironworks magazine. Her own blog, www.ladyroaddog.com, will chronicle her travels. To raise money for the charities, Krenning is accepting donations and selling items on her eBay charity store.
Krenning had originally planned to ride alone, but as word gets out, people have expressed an interest in riding with her at various legs of her trip. “This year, I’ll be 60 years old,” Krenning said. “I’m hoping that people will be inspired, that here’s this older gal out here doing it, and if she can do it, so can I.”