Carol Lindauer calls herself a “Harley chick.”
It’s hard to put into words what she enjoys most about riding a motorcycle, but “fun and freedom” come to mind.
Lindauer, now 72, is petite and slender. Several years ago, she was used to riding on the back of her husband’s motorcycle, but then decided she wanted to learn to ride her own.
Not only did she have to conquer her own fears, it took persistence in convincing her husband to teach her. After two years, he relented.
At age 56, Lindauer bought her first bike, a Buel. It was low enough that her feet could touch the ground.
“I had seen girls riding their own Harleys, and I knew that was what I wanted to do,” she says.
They’re all dolled up
Carol Lindauer has been a tomboy all her life, beating the boys in basketball and baseball. Now she wears her Harley wedding ring, watch and clothes from head to foot.
But there’s a girly side to her, too. She makes and sells doll clothes as the owner of Carols Dolly Duds. It started when her daughter Patti asked her to make clothes for her daughter’s American Girl dolls.
Lindauer has collected more than 100 dolls herself and has made almost every fashion style using recycled or reclaimed fabric. Every time she gets an idea, she has to have a new doll for a model.
Her designs include athletic clothes, prairie dresses, school dresses, party clothes and ethnic attire — she’s created some 2,500 outfits in nine years.
She and her husband Dan Logan take the dolls to bazaars or they put on fashion shows. At the Clark County Fair, for example, the dolls came from behind a curtain and traveled down an 8-foot runway that Logan built.
“And I wondered what I would be doing when I retired,” Logan says.
After her husband died, Lindauer never thought she would marry again, or find someone who would enjoy riding as much as she did. That is, until she met Dan Logan, the father of one of her co-workers at Plastifab in Tualatin.
“On our second date, we took a motorcycle ride together, and he never left,” Lindauer says. They’ve now been married nine years.
Logan is a retired engineer who began customizing Harleys for his new wife.
He rebuilt her 883 Harley Sportster to a 1200. He boosted the horsepower and torque with 10.5:1 Weisco pistons and the most radical Andrews cams you can run on the street.
When Lindauer entered it in an easy rider bike show, she won fourth place in modified stock. “I was so proud,” she says. “I was the only woman on the stage.”
Logan, 74, says people’s first bike is often a starter kit, that they modify to make the bike their own. They put on lots of chrome.”
“Chrome is a girl’s best friend,” Lindauer adds.
Logan has been riding bikes for more than 60 years. While Lindauer rides Harleys, Logan prefers to ride BMWs, and he owns a number of them. He keeps them stored in a custom-built garage next to their home.
Lindauer owns several Harleys, recently purchasing a red, three-wheel Can Am Spyder because of her age. “It handles better,” she says. “But it’s like giving up your car.”
The couple loves taking rides together. They choose a direction and stop at garage sales, bookstores and museums in little towns along their ride. Logan enjoys anything historical, and both are attracted to the scenery.
Recently, they took Lindauer’s grandson Nathan on a two-day motorcycle ride to Eugene before he headed off to college in Washington.
One of Carol’s most interesting rides was to Sturgis, South Dakota, in 2004. Half a million bikers show up for the annual rally, which shuts down the town of 6,000. People rent their houses and get out of town during the rally, Lindauer says, as bikers converge from all over the world to talk bikes, racing, camping and more.
Don’t believe the hype, she says. “Only 1 percent of the bikers are rowdy. You see thousands of bikes, all different. Anyone who rides wants to go there at least once. I have been there twice.”
There’s a bonus to riding bikes, they both say. “People are attracted to bikers and they all have to come over and talk to you,” Lindauer says. “We enjoy meeting interesting people.”