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June 17, 1994 - Image 60

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1994-06-17

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been spent
on a vari-
ety of
makes and
several of
them sit-
ting in the
garage of
Ms. Lloyd's
"It all
when I dat-
ed a guy in
the Navy
who rode a
Harley. I
split shifts
at the phone company. He'd
pick me up and teach me how
to ride. When we broke up, I
didn't miss him, but I missed
the bike," Ms. Lloyd said.
Ms. Lloyd has a slew of bik-

er stories and photos to match.
She recalls riding her motor-
cycle to work for the city of De-
troit's parking enforcement
division because she couldn't
At 64, she rides a 900 Honda afford a car and a bike. She re-
members cruising down Grand
Custom — her dream bike.
The years in between have River Avenue and getting


hen Lillian Lloyd was
17, her mother gave
her $500 to buy a
used Harley David-


must take the class. Voluntary
participants who pass the
course (the curriculum is the
same used by the U.S. military)
may forgo the Secretary of State
road exam.
As serious as Mr. Katkowsky
is about motorcycle safety, he
enjoys the thrill of an open throt-
tle and the vibrations of cruis-
ing at 50 mph on a sunny day.
"During the winter you go
crazy. And your wife, she knows
it. But then the weather breaks
and you take that ultimate free-
dom machine out and whoosh
— it's instant," Mr. Katkowsky
"For some people maybe it's
image, recaptured youth, sexu-
ality. For me, it's moments like
last year, at 51 years of age,
coming straight down a moun-
tain road with my motor turned
off — coasting fast. We passed
by this truck without a sound.
Whoosh. Just passing. Bikes
from hell."

Larry Katkowsky, the Katman, teaches
novices the rules of the road.

Sal and Judee Herman: Members Of
The Tribe.

stopped by members of the Iron
Mustangs motorcycle gang.
"They said, 'Oh my God,
you're a girl.' I couldn't join for
that very reason, but they made
me an honorary member any-
way," Ms. Lloyd said.
She speaks fondly of her

friend Dot and her pink Harley
But they call her Diamond
Lill. The nickname is painted
on her helmet with a Star of
She rides with the Motor
Maids (a women's club) and
the Retreads (bikers 40 years
and older) now. She rides
with her son, too.
Ms. Lloyd avoids express-
ways, riding off the beaten,
path in the mountains of Ida/
ho and Colorado. She used to
ride through the neighbor-
hoods of Detroit and to the
grocery store with a sidecar
when the children were
All four kids grew up on
motorcycles. But when Ms.
Lloyd watched her daughter
get hit by a Cadillac, she took
a three-month hiatus.
"It was 1966. I saw her
head hit the grass and not
the pavement. She started
cussing so I knew she was
OK I followed the ambulance
to the hospital on my own
bike. But when I went to
leave, I couldn't do it," Ms.
Lloyd said. "After three
months I unchained the bike
and got it out of the garage.
It got the adrenalin going and
I've been riding ever since."
She has a new passenger
now — her 12-year-old grand-
"I bought him a black-leather
biker jacket but he already out-
grew it," Ms. Lloyd said. "He just
loves it. Whenever I'm going to
pick him up he asks, 'Are you
coming on the bike? "

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