Please introduce yourself.
My name is April Jones, I am the mother of two beautiful intelligent children. I am a United States Army Veteran and a Doctor of Educational Leadership in K-12 as well as Higher Education. After serving 13 years I resigned from the public education school system and started a non-profit youth achievement center. The education reform movement has failed our students. My life goal is to positively impact as many children as I can before I leave this earth.
Describe your path to how you got to where you are with motorcycling today.
One day while teaching second grade, there was a snow day and we didn’t have to report to school. I have no idea why I wanted to ride a motorcycle, but because I was off for the day, I rode to Harley Davidson and purchased a Sportster 883. I didn’t know how to ride it, start it, etc. I did know a friend who could come ride it home for me, which he did. When he parked it in my garage, he told me to leave it alone until my class, which was a month away. I didn’t listen, I began backing out of my garage and teaching myself how to ride down the block. After falling into a couple of cars, sliding into the mud, picking it up solo, dropping the bike, and burning my legs several times. I was ready for the class lol. I taught myself the basics, my Harley Davidson new rider course instructor taught me how to stay alive. I started with the Sportster 883, moved up to the Dyna Super Glide. I then got a Harley Road King and I currently ride a Heritage Softail.
What has been your best experience while riding?
My best experience while riding was when I rode to Washington D.C. with Porsche Taylor and the Golden State Ground Pounders. I met a group of ladies that personifies unity and upward mobility. It wasn’t about who you were, what we road, it was about the cause. We had a leader who made us all feel empowered. It was an amazing experience and journey. It changed my life. I brought that experience and those feelings back to my community to continue the message I received while out on the road, riding on two wheels; meeting and greeting. The message is “we are stronger together, in numbers”.
And the worst? Or not so good?
My worst experience while riding the past 7 years would be the lack of unity I found upon the motorcycle set. I am an independent ride now, but I really feel that because I am a woman, I have been discriminated against in several shapes, fashion, and forms. Because of this I have been in three clubs and returned to one of those clubs after leaving the first time. I found my place as an independent rider, however I learned the culture, history, and protocol while being in clubs, which has allowed me to be able to cross-country, ride solo and not feel intimidated. I found unity on the road meeting and fellowshipping with all people of the motorcycle culture and it doesn’t matter what club you are in, what city you come from, your background. When we are out on the open road, the fellowshipping is real and magical.
Can you relate a good story from your motorcycling experiences?
I had the worst experience when I went down on my motorcycle. I was an inexperienced rider, not knowing how to turn the front wheel while riding on the trolley tracks. I didn’t know where I was, what had happened nor what hospital I was at. I arrived unconscious. I had a broken orbital socket, stitches in my head, lip, and chin. My face was pink with road rash. I learned how important it was to wear the equipment you need while riding. Had I had on a full-face mask, I feel as if I might have had a better experience with that crash detail. I am still riding and never once thought about quitting.
If you could change anything about the world of motorcycling today, what would it be?
If I could change anything about the world of motorcycling today it would be to allow women to be not just as equal as a man, but heard and respected as an equal minded person.
Do you have any advice for people who want to get into motorcycling?
My advice for people who want to get into motorcycling would be to get you a form of security – knife or gun, a motorcycle that you are comfortable with, and practice. If you fall, heal up and keep it moving forward. Don’t give up because you will have some scary experiences. Practice your craft and be responsible. Don’t drink and ride. Don’t get on your bike upset and sleep-deprived. Take precautions. Keep your bike maintained.
If you could go on a ride with any of your motorcycling heroes – living or dead – who would they be?
I ride with the living and past motorcycle hero’s every time I get on my bike. If I haven’t met them before, it’s in the plans to meet them and I think of them every time I ride. The past legends of motorcycling have allowed me to be able to ride independently across the nation. I carry them and ride with them every time.
If you could teleport to any other place and time in history and ride your bike, where and when would that be?
I would teleport if I could to the 1960s, ride my bike across the Edmund Pettus Bridge waving a Black Live Matter flag, probably as fast as I could lol.
What’s your dream bike? If you could design your dream motorcycle, what would it look, sound, and feel like?
I really like the Indian vintage motorcycle, with a 23-inch front chrome wheel with some sounds so I can pull up.
What is your favorite Sunday ride to do when you’re back home?
When I am back home I enjoy riding three hours up the road to Memphis to hang out doing motorcycle things with my motorcycle friends.
What was the last great book you read?
To be honest, the last great book I read was the Coldest Winter Ever, and I hear she has a new one out. I have been reading thousands of educational leadership journals in the completion of my dissertation.
Any good music you have discovered of late?
I love Jazz music, I have been on a Robert Glasper kick lately.
The last great meal/food/cuisine you had?
I really enjoy going to New Orleans and eating some good seafood. I have learned how to make my own cheese grits and shrimps. I find it quite appeasing.
Wrapping up: What kind of legacy do you hope to leave?
I hope to leave a legacy of spreading the importance of education across the world. I never knew I could have a voice through riding my motorcycle. So I want to ride and educate on the importance of education. I want our youth to know that no one can take away their education from them. Knowledge is power.
Any thoughts about Black Girls Ride Magazine?
Black Girls Ride Magazine is inspirational to little girls who look like us and I am glad to be a part of the movement. I would like to see BGR Magazine advertised in more places. If I can help with that I would love to be an advocate.