By J1 Reporter Bella Syslo
Trading out a white lab coat for a black leather jacket is nothing more than routine for her.
She grips the handles of the bike, revs her engine and screeches to a stop at the red light outside of 72nd and Military. You glance over to her, eyeing her pristinely kept bike and leather adorned gear. But only for a fleeting second, because as soon as the light turns green, she speeds off taking your breath and most recent anatomy test away. Any time after 3 p.m., Linda Brock can be spotted patrolling Omaha; riding fast and raising h***.
Brock is the speed demon of Marian, with nearly 40 years of biking experience under her belt. She started out slow, with a moped scooter to get around in college, but decided it just wasn’t quick enough for her liking. “Those scooters can only go so fast, and I have a very heavy foot,” Brock joked. Brock’s need for speed brought her to her first motorcycle, a small Honda 125 that rode circles around her heart.
Most parents worry about their kids hitting the roads in the average car, but imagine sending their daughter off on the back of a speedy motorcycle. Brock’s mother was one of these worried parents, biting her nails as her beloved daughter left skid-marks down the driveway. Brock says she doesn’t recall ever formally telling her mother about her new-found hobby. “I think I remember casually slipping it into conversation with her. I think I joked that I had recently got myself a slightly bigger Moped,” Brock laughed. To this day, Brock says she still hesistates to tell her mother about her rides to spare her worries. Brock, now a mother as well, says that she understands where her mother is coming from. “If one of my daughters got a bike, I’d probably react in the same way. Parents worry, it’s what they do,” she said.
Now, having graduated from her beginner Moped, her current Harley Ultra Glide brings a wave of nostalgia for the teacher as well. Her first date, with her now husband, was on a motorcycle. “He called me to ask if I was ok with riding on a motorcycle and of course, I said yes,” Brock reminisced. Today, the motorcycle is a large part of her social life. Brock and her husband have acquired a group of long-time riding buddies, who she describes as a gang of “weekend warriors”. The friends of 30 years are continually taking their bikes on treks in search of somewhere new, nearly every weekend in months of good weather. Brock frequently visits the Black Hills and western Iowa, but her dream destination is somewhere a little farther from home: Alaska.
She has dreams of taking her bike up the Alaska Highway System, boarding a ferry, and taking the bike around stops in small towns from Seattle, Washington to Juneau, Alaska. “Alaska is absolutely gorgeous. I’ve visited before but my husband hasn’t and I’d love for him to have that experience as well,” Brock said.
Brock’s tire-marked double life can come as a surprise to most inhabitants of the school. The student body only knows Brock as the go-to woman when it comes to mitosis and vital bodily functions, but upon hearing the news that their beloved anatomy teacher and freshman class moderator is revving up roads around the metro, leaves most students’ mouths ajar.
Brock has seen the shocked faces of students time and time again but she reflects that her job doesn’t limit her in any of her passions. “A part of the shock that comes with students finding out I have a motorcycle, stems from the fact that my job doesn’t define me. There’s stereotypes about teachers staying within the walls of the classroom, but that’s just not me,” Brock said.
Now, nearly in the depths of winter, Brock has turned the bike in for the colder months that lie ahead. However, hanging up her leather jacket for a while doesn’t phase her, because once the first signs of spring roll around, she promises to patrol Omaha once again. A relief to Marian as a whole, because it seems the streets of the 402 are somehow a little brighter with Brock cruising them.