Revving It Up
W hen I pulled up to Shannon's house she was posed atop her beloved 1540cc Harley Davidson Softail-Deluxe, being photographed by Pink's photographer, Christian Lee. Her driveway was like being in early-morning traffic, busy with the comings and goings of the people involved in this interview. The chaotic activity was not a discomfort for Shannon's energetic lifestyle as we maneuvered our vehicles around each other in a carefully coordinated dance, cautiously avoiding her bevy of toys-motorcycle, Jeep, etc. She has more on her wish list.
Though one may equate most Harley riders with the Hells Angels, multiple piercings and proud displays of intricately tattooed skin, be assured that Shannon does not subscribe to the entire "Harley lifestyle." She is the youngest sibling and has two older brothers. They all grew up riding motorcycles and various other outdoor "toys" and spent most warm-weather weekends taking day trips on their motorcycles. "My dad is 80-years-old and he still rides. Our family also goes to Myrtle Beach every year for a week of riding and vacationing." It's part of their lifestyle, sans the boozing and foolishness. They experience pure freedom, joy and camaraderie while riding. Shannon has met a fair share of people here in the Lowcountry that ride. "If there's a ride, I get a text." She prefers to travel with groups of people. "I do not like to ride on 278 and will not ride it alone. But once we're off 278, there are so many places to go; it's flat and it's beautiful!"
Growing up in Albany, NY, Shannon spent 15 years vacationing in Hilton Head once or twice a year. About four years ago she decided to move here permanently, with a strong nudge from her local Hilton Head friends, for the beauty and better weather. Her profession is usable anywhere (she's an Ultrasonographer and Registered Vascular Technician), so she happily and confidently moved to the island. She spent the first summer riding her motorcycle all over and worked part-time at Hilton Head Hospital. She has comfortably settled in with Hilton Head Vein Center, celebrating her third year in October. Her very good friend and co-worker, Maggi Novak, sat and chatted with us too, offering more insight into Shannon's life. "Shannon is a very sincere person with lots of friends. She has lots of friends because she is a good friend," Maggi shared.
Shannon and her boyfriend, Paul, also spend approximately 15 hours a month volunteering as adoption facilitators for the humane society. Once a month they load up a van full of cats and dogs and head for the local Starbucks in hopes of finding adoptive families for the displaced pets. "I haven't met a dog yet-well maybe one-that wouldn't make a great pet. If I could have a house full of dogs, I would be very happy." She has two energetic beautiful dogs, Gracie and Brutus. They were very happy to see us all congregating in the house.
Shannon's other love is running and being athletic and energetic. She runs for fun but also has participated in 10K's and 5K's. Paul introduced her to the sport. Brutus is their early morning running buddy and helps them log six miles along the Spanish Wells streets and paths. He's a great companion. Her first race was the 10K Bridge Run and Paul wouldn't let her start with an easier 5K. But she jumped right in. They have also done the Savannah Bridge run. "It's about three quarters of a mile up, then down and around and back up and down again. I vowed I'd never do it again. But I keep getting e-mails and think I'm going to do it," she confessed with a little hesitation in her voice. Her next athletic goal is to run a half marathon, a very lofty goal indeed. But Shannon is a very determined and focused person, so attaining any goal she sets for herself is as good as getting it done.
Shannon must share the same feeling of the wind in her face with her furry friends as she rides free and unencumbered down the endless roads with serenity and a sense of raw power.because only a biker knows why a dog sticks his head out of the car window.
Inspiration: "My family inspires me, but also the sound of my motorcycle gets my heart beating without a doubt-the sound of a good pipe on a Harley gets my blood pumping every time."
Greatest indulgence: "Gucci handbags and Jimmy Choo shoes."
Core values to live by: "Honesty, being happy and being yourself. I love everybody and I have a lot of good friends. I wear my heart on my sleeve. If you cry, I cry."
Future goals: "Run a half marathon and get my Bachelor of Science degree."