Some families like to take portraits together. Some have game nights where they play “Sorry” or maybe “Monopoly.” Some set up a yearly football game. It’s a way to spend time together and have some fun. Deena Briggs’ family also likes to spend time together and have fun, though their definition of “fun” might differ a bit from others. Almost everyone in Deena’s family — her brothers, her cousins, her dad, even her grandmother — ride motorcycles. Not in the “take a cruise on a bike” kind of way. They’re enthusiasts.
Deena has been riding motorcycles for about 10 years. You might catch her driving into the office on her BMW S1000rr when it’s nice out — “nice” meaning above 65 degrees and sunny. Deena has been with Aqua for nearly four years in a variety of roles. She recently was promoted to fleet administrative assistant and works out of the Springfield office.
Her interest in bikes began when she was 6 years old and started riding go-karts, scooters, mini bikes – anything with a motor. As a kid, she traveled to Maryland to spend time with her uncles and cousins, all of whom rode street bikes, go-karts, dirt bikes, mini bikes, quads and more.
With an upbringing such as Deena’s, the idea of riding a motorcycle as an adult was not only promising but inevitable. When asked if she remembers what age she begin riding, she laughed and said, “I can’t think of a time when I wasn’t riding some type of powered machinery.”
“Riding a motorcycle provides me with an indescribable sense of freedom like no other,” she said. “I love how much of a stress reliever a short ride can be. After a rough day, one ride just makes all of my tension melt away.”
But it’s not all simple. Deena said she’s often stereotyped for being a woman with a male-dominated hobby. Some people assume she’s riding an automatic or that she owns a lesser grade bike. Or they assume she’s riding her husband’s motorcycle, she said.
It’s something she hopes will change over time, especially now that her children are starting to gain interest in riding, including her 7-year-old daughter, Patience.
“I just can’t help but smile when young girls see me on my bike and say, ‘wow, girls can ride too,’” Deena said. “Honestly, it makes me feel like a super-hero.”