A few years ago, Dottie Mattern set a motorcycle speed record of 94.7 mph at the Maxton Mile. If that doesn’t sound so fast, consider that at the time she was a 62-year-old grandmother (five times over) and riding a 1937 Indian Scout.
Mattern has never avoided a challenge, and now she is preparing to take on the 2014 Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run, Sept. 5-21, 2014, aboard a 1936 Indian Sport Scout. The purpose of her ride is two-fold: to raise funds for the Antique Motorcycle Foundation and the Colon Cancer Alliance, and to celebrate her 70th birthday!
Dottie has ridden motorcycles since her college days at the University of Maryland. Her current ride is a 2006 Suzuki V Strom, but she still has an abiding interest in antique motorcycles with her favorite brand being Indian.
In 1979, Dottie joined the Antique Motorcycle Club of America, served on its board in the position of National Secretary for 15 years and received the high distinction of being named an AMCA Honorary Member in 1998. Today she is on the board of the non-profit Antique Motorcycle Foundation.
Dottie is a colon cancer survivor, having been diagnosed with the disease in September, 2001. Colon cancer is in the top three cancer killers, yet is one of the most survivable cancers provided it is diagnosed early. She explains, “My brother died from colon cancer that had spread because it was not diagnosed early. The Colon Cancer Alliance is dedicated to education, early detection, funding research and providing the highest quality patient support services. Hopefully, my riding the Cannonball will help create an awareness of the importance of early screening and the work of the Colon Cancer Alliance.”
The Antique Motorcycle Foundation is helping organize Dottie’s campaign, but all expenses for the actual ride will be paid by Mattern and sponsors, not from AMF funds. AMF President Emeritus Dennis Craig has volunteered to prepare her 1936 Scout on a pro bono basis.
At 70, Dottie will be the oldest woman ever to ride the Cannonball. She says with a smile, “It will be a very physically and emotionally challenging endurance ride for this old gal. My goal is to raise $70,000 by completing the 4,100 mile trip. In addition to a good motorcycle and crew, I am going to need lots of prayers and good wishes.”
For more information and to support Dottie’s charitable effort, go to ridedottieride.org. Money raised will be divided equally between the Antique Motorcycle Foundation and the Colon Cancer Alliance. Your donations are tax-deductible.