Mattern is currently making plans for the motorcycle ride of a lifetime. She is one of approximately 100 riders who will take part in the Transcontinental Motorcycle Cannonball Endurance Run this September, a time, distance and speed run that stretches from Daytona Beach, Florida to Tacoma, Washington, a distance of 4,155 miles that will be covered in 16 days. But this is no ordinary motorcycle ride featuring the latest, greatest and most comfortable two-wheel machines. All of the bikes entered in the run have to be 1937 models or older.
Mattern’s ride is actually eight years older than she is. “Mine’s a 1936, so I’ve got one of the new ones. It’s an Indian Sport Scout, and it’s only 78 years old,” she says. “It was restored 30 years ago and is a real pretty two-tone green.”
Mattern, who serves on the board of the Antique Motorcycle Foundation, is one of only three women entered in the run. She says she is by far the oldest woman running. “I’m celebrating my 70th birthday by doing this,” she says.
She’s also celebrating being a colon cancer survivor. By entering the endurance run, Mattern hopes to draw attention to colon cancer and raise some money to fight the disease, which claimed the life of her older brother. She says early detection saved her life. “I’m doing this as a fundraiser for the Colon Cancer Alliance,” she says. “I’m a 12-year survivor, and I’m kind of doing this for my older brother and for me. The Colon Cancer Alliance’s message is early detection. If you don’t get it detected soon enough, it can cost you your life.”
Mattern plans to keep a blog during her journey. People can follow along and also donate to the Colon Cancer Alliance through her Web site, www.ridedottieride.org.