Mansfield Presents: Raising Hell feat. Jessica Hagget & The Litas
Mansfield Presents is about the adventurous spirit of individuals whose passion is their life’s work.
Originally from Kennewick, Washington, Jessica Haggett, an Operations Manager at a small EdTech company is someone who personifies #BuiltForAdventure. She studied entrepreneurship at University of Utah and has found herself working with startups ever since. We, at Mansfield, know very well the ebb and flow, the ups and downs and the pure excitement that goes along with starting up a business. However exhilarating that may be, it’s Jessica’s true passion that brought us together today.
Jessica’s true passion? Motorcycles. So much so, she started a community full of other bad asses just like her and Mansfield will be the last ones to complain about it.
We caught up with Jessica to get her take on life and the pursuit of passion.
When did you first ride a motorcycle?
I first rode a motorcycle after I bought my first bike, back in 2009.
Damn, you dove right in and committed! What are you riding now and if you don’t already have it, what’s your dream bike?
Right now I’m riding a Harley Davidson Sportster 1200 Custom, 2001, which yes is absolutely my favorite bike. However, it is not my dream bike YET, but I have big plans to make it my dream bike. I’m sure thousands of dollars and hours and hours of labor will get it there :). I love the chopper look, but think I’ll keep it a soft tail because I plan to put thousands of miles on her and want a more comfortable ride, plus I think if it’s done right, it can look just as bad ass. But yes, I’m a chopper girl at heart all the way.
With that being said, it will look 100% different. I don’t plan to have any of the original components except part of the frame, however we’re going to re-weld the sub-frame so it has different angles. How she looks right now is nice, and people compliment my bike all the time but I honestly haven’t done anything except a little spray paint, and changed out a few components. I cannot wait… plan to check it out this next summer. I would start now, but I have to have a bike to ride this summer, and am not willing to give up those beautiful riding days so my baby can be in the shop.
Was there a particular person or event that catapulted your passion for riding? Does it run in your family? Tell us the story about how it all started.
No one in my family rides, and when I bought my first bike I KIND OF knew someone who rode, I ended up reaching out to him and he helped me out a lot, but other than that, no one. Actually now that I’m thinking back, I remember the exact moment I decided I wanted to ride, it’s funny I haven’t thought about this in years.
I was sitting at the University of Utah waiting for the campus bus to take me to the dorms freshman year and saw a girl pull up in Presidents Circle on a bike (out in front of the campus). It was a little chopper and she was the biggest babe I had ever seen. I pretty much wanted to be her. I have no clue who she was and don’t even know what type of bike she was on but I think that’s what got me started on it. One thing about my personality is that once I get something in my head it’s almost impossible to forget about it. I can become kind of obsessive. So I think that’s what gave me the idea. Although I didn’t get a bike for about 10 months after that.
For those who have never ridden a motorcycle, describe your passion for riding motorcycles.
Wow this is a tough one. There is something so exhilarating about straddling a 1200 cc engine and having it accelerate you through canyons, past lakes, in and out of cars, and on adventures you never thought you’d go on. It’s empowering and there is absolutely nothing like it. It’s incredible being so exposed like that and getting to experience your surroundings. Going through canyons I always have the biggest shit-eating grin on my face because it is so fucking beautiful, smells so good, and your skin feels the hot and cold spots. Those are the main reasons. I honestly don’t ride with people as often as you’d think. I post a lot of riding photos, but those photos are only from a very small fraction of rides I go on. I pretty much ride every single day, and about 85% of those rides are solo adventures. It’s nice going at your own pace and not having to worry about when you have to be back or where you’re going. I do tend to run out of gas more frequently than I’d like, though.
Riding is typically perceived as a male dominated lifestyle, do you have any stories, good or bad, dealing with the gender expectations of motorcyclists you can share with us?
Sometimes guys will say stupid shit that is clearly offensive, but I’m pretty confident so I don’t really mind. I just kind of see them as small minded and try to not let it bother me or make me feel bad. More so than that though, you’d think I was riding around naked. People stop to take photos, give you looks, stare; I even had multiple guys tell me they love me, it’s kind of hilarious actually. I just give them a smile, kind of laugh to myself and ride on.
What an awesome outlook! So that brings us beautifully on to our next question. For someone who has no idea, who are “The Litas”?
We’re just a network of badass babes who share the love of riding. We do some “organized” stuff such as rides, brunches, meet-ups, etc. which I absolutely love because I have met so many cool women that I would have never met otherwise! We have some ladies who haven’t shown up to anything, and some who are there at every single thing we do. People are as involved as they want to be, but no matter what these women have a network of other women there when they need them, or if they just want another babe to ride with. I have had some of the best times with these girls, and formed lifelong friendships I wouldn’t give up for anything.
Tell us about your motto, “Raise Hell, Babes.” What does it mean to you and The Litas? How did you come up with it?
I have no clue how I came up with it, or when I even started saying that but it seems to be very fitting. All these ladies are a little bit of hell raisers. I think it just comes with the personality of a lady who rides a motorcycle. There’s something adventurous about her and strong.
How did The Litas come to fruition? Is there a story behind why you started it?
Well it was December and I was on a two week vacation from work day dreaming about motorcycles, of course, because it gets particularly cold in Utah, and just started thinking of what I wanted my summer to look like. I pretty much had seen a couple of other girl groups from Instagram and thought to myself “Utah needs this”. I honestly had NO clue how many girls rode here until the ball started rolling. I started looking for girls and created a website/instagram. We’re still SUPER new, but continue to grow and do more things as time goes on.
Where is your favorite place to ride?
It changes on the daily, but right now I would say is up American Fork Canyon to Tibble Fork Reservoir. It’s beautiful up there.
Tell us about your most adventurous ride.
My most adventures ride was this past May going to Moab. It was super cold and pouring rain in the canyon for about 50 miles. It made me pretty nervous being on the roads when it was raining that hard, not to mention I couldn’t feel my hands which scared me even more. I haven’t ridden a ton in the rain, and was with a couple other girls who also didn’t have a ton of experience riding in the rain.. my friend Paige even told me her back tire would skid out every so often and she was scared she was going to go down. Riding in a group in the rain can also be very dangerous so of course the whole time I’m watching everyone in front of me, trying to keep my distance. Anyway, we made it out of the canyon safe and it somehow went from 40 degrees and pouring to 65 degrees and sunny. We dried off and safely made it to Moab.
I was proud of us though. To some it might not seem like a big accomplishment, but I was stoked we did it.
Jessica, thank you so much for hanging out with us! We need more badass babes like you in this world. As always, keep the rubber side down!