Maria Ruiz can still remember the first time she heard the tell-tale, guttural roar of a Harley-Davidson motor. It hit her right in the heart, she recalled with a wistful smile, hands crossed on her chest.

Ruiz was once an outlier when it came to women’s interest in motorcycles, though now it’s become much more common as more and more Wyoming women get hooked. Back in her day, in the late 1960s, however, she was one of few females who not only loved motorcycles, but also worked in the industry, working in Harley-Davidson shops and dealerships throughout the United States, until finally becoming a dealer in 1986 in Yuba City, California.

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