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Motor Maids ride through Springfield for annual convention

The oldest continuously operated women's motorcycling organization in North America is holding its annual convention in Springfield, Massachusetts this week.

Officials from motor maids said more than 400 women from across the U.S. and Canada participated in a motorcycle parade Tuesday as part of its festivities.

The parade kicked off from Springfield Technical Community College and rode through the Greater Springfield area.

Loretta Myer, of Lansing, Michigan, said she first got into motorbikes through an ex-husband and has been riding ever since. She is considered a Golden Life member since she has been riding with the group for 50 years. She is one of three such members participating in the convention.

"I drove a school bus for 21 years and I could get on my bike after a really rough day with kids — ten miles down the road I was civil again," she said laughing. "You can get on a bike and there's a freedom. It's you and the bike and mother nature. I love it."

To participate in the convention, participants must ride from their home to Springfield and back. Officials said women rode in from as far as California and Texas.

Springfield Mayor Domenic J. Sarno met with the Motor Maids in downtown Springfield Tuesday where many of the riders were eating and shopping during the convention.

In a prepared statement he welcomed the group back after a previous visit in 2018. He said conventions like this contribute to economic development in the region.

"[They're] staying at our local hotels and dining at our numerous establishments, a tremendous boom for our local economy," he said.

The Motor Maids convention continues through Thursday.

NEPM's Elizabeth Román contributed to this report.

Kari Njiiri is a senior reporter and longtime host and producer of "Jazz Safari," a musical journey through the jazz world and beyond, broadcast Saturday nights on NEPM Radio. He's also the local host of NPR’s "All Things Considered."
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