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Conyers woman finds joy in motherhood, riding

Patty Jo Quinn, 49, learned how to ride a motorcycle four years ago.

Patty Jo Quinn, 49, learned how to ride a motorcycle four years ago.

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Conyers resident Patty Jo Quinn takes a spin on a 2012 Harley-Davidson Sportster.

Patty Jo Quinn walks through the Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson showroom in Conyers after just finishing a ride on one of the motorcycle dealership's 2012 Harley Sportsters.

"See what it does? It makes you smile. It makes you happy," said Quinn, pointing to the big grin on her face, her eyes shining.

Quinn is the office manager for Stone Mountain Harley, but she's also a motorcycle rider, a mother and a grandmother. She learned how to ride through the dealership's Rider's Edge New Rider Course, a motorcycle safety class, four years ago.

"I had a fear of turning right, but once I took the class, the minute I got home, I wanted to do figure eights," Quinn said.

A Conyers resident, Quinn and her husband Steven Quinn are parents to 16-year-old Stephen Quinn, a Salem High School student, and Brea Worth of Covington, who is married to Adam Pittman and has two children -- 6-year-old Kamryn Pittman and 8-month-old Korbyn Pittman.

Quinn said her children don't ride but her husband's been a motorcyclist since his teenage years growing up in New York. She rode on the back of her husband's bike for decades until she got her own motorcycle license.

"If I can do it, anybody can do it," said Quinn, who added that the number of women riders is on the increase.

The 49-year-old New Jersey native moved to Conyers in 1990 when her husband's work as an engineer brought the couple to the Atlanta area.

A stay-at-home mom until her son started kindergarten at Lorraine Elementary School, Quinn then earned her degree in accounting from DeKalb Technical College and worked in the bookkeeping field for several years.

She obtained a position at the former Granite Mountain Harley-Davidson in Conyers, now the Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson, in 2006 and worked as an office manager there until 2010, when the company downsized and laid her off.

Stone Mountain Harley-Davidson rehired her last month.

"I am really happy to have a job," said Quinn, who works alongside her daughter at the motorcycle dealership.

When Quinn isn't working, she devotes her time to her son and two grandchildren.

"Family comes first, before my job, and even with the new owners (of Harley), family comes first and then the dealership," said Quinn.

She also spends time with friends who are motorcyclists. She and her husband are charter members of the Conyers Riding Association. The CRA organizes the annual Toy Run in December to benefit Rockdale Emergency Relief. She estimates about 300 riders generate an average of $10,000 for the nonprofit each year.

"We wanted to give back to the community we lived in," said Quinn of the reason she and husband got involved with the fundraising effort which is approaching its 22nd year.

Quinn said for Mother's Day, she and her husband most likely will take a quiet ride in the country. Riding lifts her spirits, she said.

"I just love being in the wind. It relaxes me," said Quinn, who rides a 1995 Harley-Davidson Roadster. "I love the freedom of it."