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Troy woman poses for motorcycle calendar

| October 20, 2004 12:00 AM

By Brent Shrum Western News Reporter

Having ridden coast to coast and north to Alaska on a Kawasaki, Troy¹s Peggy Zeeb can now be found on the pages of a calendar published by a group of motorcycling women to raise money for breast cancer research.

The calendar is sponsored by Women in the Wind, an organization Zeeb joined in 1991. The inspiration came from the movie ³Calendar Girls,² the true story of a group of English matrons who bare all to raise money for charity. Conscious of image concerns regarding motorcyclists, Women in the Wind opted for a more conservative approach and solicited snapshots from members to produce a scrapbook-style calendar filled with photos of female riders from all over the United States.

Zeeb is prominently featured in a large photograph showing her in full Western getup along with her 1999 Kawasaki Nomad and her horse.

A native of Havre, Zeeb has been riding since she was 13. Girls growing up in Montana rode horses, played the same sports as boys and worked just as hard as boys, so riding motorcycles with the boys seemed like a natural thing to do, Zeeb said.

³It didn¹t seem like anything special,² she said.

In 1978, Zeeb bought her first street bike, a 1976 Kawasaki KZ400. She later bought a 1986 Kawasaki 454 LTD, a bike she rode to both coasts and to Alaska and still owns.

³She¹s just been a phenomenal bike,² Zeeb said. ³I won¹t ever get rid of her.²

Living in Cut Bank with her husband Rolf, who had moved there from Troy, Zeeb often rode around town with her two small children on the back of her bike, wedged in between her and the sissy bar. Her daughter put an end to that practice when she reached junior high.

³She made me promise never to ride my bike to pick her up at school because it was embarrassing,² Zeeb said.

Zeeb joined Women in the Wind after the family moved to Milwaukee to find work. She missed Montana, but the organization gave her an opportunity to be connected to something.

She and her husband started building a new home near Troy about five years ago and have lived there full-time for the past three years. The closest regular Women in the Wind chapters are in Colorado and Medicine Hat, Alberta, but Zeeb is a member of the special invitation-only Agiya Nomad chapter for longtime club members. She remains closely involved with the organization is currently the national secretary and safe mileage coordinator. She served as Women in the Wind¹s national vice president from 1997 to 2003.

Zeeb¹s current long-distance bike is a 1999 Kawasaki Nomad on which she¹s racked up 30,000 miles. Her husband also rides a Nomad along with a Kawasaki KLR650.

Zeeb is now a grandmother of two boys, 1 and 8. While her children have not become regular riders, she¹s optimistic about the next generation.

³He have the grandsons we hope we can get into motorcycling,² she said.

For more information about Women in the Wind or to order a calendar, call Zeeb at 295-5462 or send email to peggy@womeninthewind.org. Calendars are $5 each with the profit — about $2 per calendar — going to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation.