RAPID CITY, S.D. — As a young woman in southern California, becoming a biker was never on Pepper’s radar.
Pepper Massey, with Pennington County Emergency Management and Fire Administration, says,
“I never would have imagined I would have ridden a motorcycle – no one I knew growing up rode a motorcycle but I fell in love with them; it was a love at first sight thing.”
She came to Sturgis for the Rally in 1985 on a work assignment for the National Coalition of Motorcyclists and then decided to move here. Over 20 years later, she still loves living in the Black Hills.
Pepper Massey and friends
Her resume is extensive and impressive, including working for the National Motorcycle Museum Hall of Fame and with the Rapid City Arts Council.
Pepper has a knack for writing and has contributed many articles to motorcycle publications.
Pepper Massey at Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame
An accident early on in her riding days ignited the fire for promoting motorcycle safety, legislative impacts on riders and responsible riding.
“Advocacy for things like motorcycle safety training, it’s value and importance the value of helmets and their safety; alternatives. A lot of it was education though and we need to help people understand how that impacts us as riders,” says Massey.
Like most who frequent the rally, she enjoys the camaraderie and seeing old friends year after year.
Pepper Massey at Canyon Lake
She’s seen many changes over the years working in the motorcycle community, like the popularity of the women’s rides, the growth of the Rally and attendees breaking out of the stereotypical biker image.
“The perception was it was kind of a seedy, grimy lifestyle and now of course with all the custom bikes and after market and big money, the industry has grown.”
Pepper says her favorite part of riding is the affinity to nature and the freedom on an open road.
She credits her successes to good mentors and people she surrounds herself with who say her life has been a great adventure thus far.