Dreams Never Die For This 80yr Old H-D Fan
A fun-loving north-east pensioner celebrated her 80th birthday by realizing her life-long dream of riding a Harley Davidson.
Iris Andrew grew up around motorbikes and owned a scooter in her younger years, but never tried out one of the powerful American machines.
The Huntly widow has made no secret of her unlikely ambition, and in the weeks leading up to her big day she mentioned it to restaurant manager Liz Wilson while having lunch at Banff’s Fife Lodge Hotel.
Mrs Wilson is also a motorcycle enthusiast, and arranged for a staggering 34 Harley Davidson bikes to surprise Mrs Andrew when she returned to the hotel recently to celebrate her landmark birthday.
After getting over her shock, the outgoing octogenarian donned leathers and a helmet and rode pillion from Banff to Portsoy – where she stopped for an ice cream.
Mrs Andrew said: “I had always dreamed about getting to ride on a Harley, but I never thought it would come true.
“I’m just on a high, I keep laughing when I think about it.
“It must have been about 45 years since I was last on my scooter, I’ve just used the car since then.”
Hotel worker Mrs Wilson regularly attends the Thunder in the Glens Harley Davidson rally at Aviemore, and is “fanatical” about the bikes.
After learning of Mrs Andrew’s dream, she contacted the Dunedin Chapter – a group of Scottish Harley owners – to arrange for local bikers to visit Banff.
The noisy machines pulled up at the hotel just as Mrs Andrew was finishing her lunch, and Peterhead motorcyclist Mick Gale whisked Mrs Andrew away on the 16-mile round trip.
Mrs Wilson said: “When Mrs Andrew told me about her ambition, I asked around to see if we could make it happen.
“I was amazed when 34 bikes turned up.”
Mrs Andrew’s friend, Paula Taylor, conspired with her family and Mrs Wilson to arrange the surprise.
Mrs Taylor said: “The bikers all pulled together and made it so special, her face was just a picture when they appeared.”
Mrs Andrew added: “The bikers said they would see me in 10 years time, and take me on another ride for my 90th – so that’s something to aim for.”