Meet a Moto-Friend: Anya Gladun

My name is Anya. I’m 32 years old. I tattoo for a living and I ride bikes for fun.

How did you get interested in motorcycles?

I grew up in Russia and at the time not a lot of people had cars, including my family.  My dad was the only family member who had a driver’s licenses because he occasionally drove for work. I myself didn’t even drive a car until I was 28. That being said I’ve wanted a motorcycle since I was about 13, but it took some time for me to be comfortable with the idea of actually owning a bike. Then two years ago I finally took the basic-rider’s class, got my motorcycle (a Moto Guzzi) and haven’t looked back since. Best birthday present I ever got for myself!

Now that you've been riding for a while, what's different than you expected?

Originally, I expected to just ride my Guzzi around and that’d be it. Next thing I know, I ended up with this whole new community I never expected to be a part of and it’s AMAZING! I’ve formed some truly great friendships through my local motorcycle community which isn’t an easy thing to do when you’re an adult. It’s like being 12 years old again: riding my trusty, old bicycle around with my dumbass friends and getting into trouble. The only difference is that we don’t get yelled at by our parents afterwards…well not as often.

You're part of the The Litas Washington DC branch. How’d you get involved and what started the group?

One of the first motorcycle community events I attended was a Dunn Lewis social where I met Martha Lee. Five minutes into our conversation she just straight up asked if I wanted to start a Litas branch with her. An all girl riding group? Sounded good to me. I immediately said, “YES!”

Later on we added Stacey Simmons who I had befriended after tattooing her a bunch. The three of us went to the Fox Run together (an all-women’s camp out in Pennsylvania) and when we came back we started the DC Lita’s branch. About 40 people have joined since. We’re actually planning on starting a Litas Dirt Branch soon. So keep your eye’s on the DC Lita’s Instagram page for updates!

What big rides do you have planned this year?

In June the Litas are going to Babes Ride Out East Coast. In July we make our glorious return to the Fox Run. My biggest hope is that we are able to plan a ride to the beach this year.

Any good riding stories?

I don’t know if this is a “good” story but it’s one of the most important lessons I learned about motorcycles, hahaha. One day I was riding to DC from Fairfax, Virginia, and when I reached my destination the bag holding my wallet was no longer attached to my bike. In my mind I could see it sitting at the bottom of the Potomac or mashed to a pulp on the Beltway. Not to mention the headache of canceling all my cards, securing my bank accounts and going to the DMV for a new driver’s license. In short, a complete nightmare scenario began to unfold in my mind’s eye. So after I got done almost shomitting from anxiety, I went back to look for the missing bag.

I found it just around the corner from where I was parked. You ever feel like the gods are just laughing at you? Now I strap everything to my bike with extra straps.

What are your interests outside of motorcycles?

I volunteer at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter once a week, helping out with the small animals (bunnies, Guinea pigs, rats, snakes, birds, etc). I also try to find opportunities to do art outside of my tattooing related work. I started doing more illustrations which has lead me to designing t-shirts for Dunn Lewis and other local businesses. Currently I’m getting into painting gas tanks and helmets but plan on incorporating skateboard decks and other similar 0bjects. 

I’m also very passionate about murder podcasts.

If you had the chance to tell everyone ONE thing, what would it be?

Let women have control of our bodies! We are not things! Also, don’t text and drive. Also, Black lives matter. That’s three things but they’re all equally important.

Favorite book? Favorite work of art? Favorite TV show or movie? Favorite moto-instagram page?

  • I really loved the Chronicles of Narnia growing up. I still do.

  • Favorite work of art is probably The Four Seasons by Vivaldi, especially Winter.

  • While I can’t say I have a favorite TV show, I have seen all of Futurama like 500 times so….

  • I don’t follow a lot of Instagram pages in general because I think it affects my mental health by making me feel like I’m constantly under-achieving, but Cute Choppers forever!