Helen Sharp had long dreamed of riding a motorcycle, but life always seemed to get in the way. She rode bikes as a young woman and had talked with her husband Arnold about someday owning a motorcycle, but raising children and taking care of the family farm took their attention in other directions. Sharp’s husband passed away a few years ago, but she held onto the dream of riding a motorcycle, even without her partner to share the enthusiasm.
In February, Sharp was taken into hospice care with congestive heart failure and macular degeneration. Her family worried that the move marked the beginning of the end, but she actually began to recover. After starting new medications and losing 47 pounds of excess fluid weight, her health made a remarkable turnaround. She was doing so well that the hospice social workers began asking her how they could help her enjoy life.
“They asked mom if she had anything on her bucket list and she said she would really like to ride a motorcycle,” Sharp's daughter Joyce White told Today.
As luck would have it, a former surgical technician from the hospice facility rides three-wheeled motorcycles and enjoys helping hospice patients find joy in life. They agreed to give Sharp a ride, so at the tender age of 96, she was finally going to get her dream ride.
After so many years of wanting to ride a motorcycle, Sharp worried that she’d waited too long to take the plunge, though she relented after some gentle egging-on from her daughter. She was gifted a pink Route 66 bandana to wear under her helmet, and proudly sported a black Harley-Davidson jacket.
As she rode, Sharp hugged her driver tightly and encouraged him to speed up. The whole thing lasted just 20 minutes, but she says she still can’t stop thinking about it.
“Some nights, I still can’t sleep. It was beautiful,” she said. “I am almost 97. I can’t believe I got to ride a motorcycle.”
Though she isn’t planning another ride soon, Sharp has some inspiring words after her experience: “If you’ve got a dream, go ahead and push it and get that dream to come true.”