Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Chrome Cowgirl - Sasha Mullins

I ran across Sasha Mullins’ book Bikerlady Living and Riding Free a few years ago when I was looking on Amazon for books on Motorcycle Clubs. I ordered the book and have thought she was a Kindred Spirit of mine ever since. I have followed her Blog, Down the Road a Peace, and finally got to meet her last year at the Broken Spoke. Sasha is a free spirit like no other person I’ve ever met. She has such an incredible passion for the motorcycle life and opens herself up freely to share it with all that want to take it in. She is a true Chrome Cowgirl! Recently she took some time to do this interview. I hope you enjoy learning more about this incredible woman!

Was there something specific that drew you into the motorcycle lifestyle?
>>>Independence. Motorcycles are dream catchers. The motorcycle proves to be the perfect fertile ground for the creative spirit.

How long have you been riding?
>>>Ten years.

Have you always ridin Tigerlily?
>>>Yes, Tigerlily is my first and only bike. If I could afford it, I would have many bikes in my collection.

Do you think that Tigerlily will always be the motorcycle you ride or do you ever think of purchasing something new?
>>>Like I said, I would have many bikes if I could afford it. The new bike I would purchase would be something I could design using the select parts that suit my personality.
You are a celebrity in the motorcycle world. Were you discovered like an actress would be or did you just put yourself out there and immediately begin sharing your passion with the world?
>>>I was just doing my thing as a budding motorcycle journalist/photographer and ended up with a big fan base. Then I did the Discovery Channel show and all the other shows and that's how it all started. My passion for the lifestyle and art run extremely deep. There is motor oil in my veins. I want to inspire women and men everywhere to saddle up and live the life they always wanted to live no matter how impossible it may seem.

How many documentaries have you done and do you have a favorite?
>>>I'm up to eight documentaries but people keep telling me they see me on this DVD that show and I don't even remember. My favorite is all of them because I'm so honored to have the opportunity. I'm working on my own art flick right now which is a women in motorcycles documentary that is extremely artistic and will have some unusually cool elements to it, mixing art mediums, and including a killer soundtrack.

Is there a motto that you live by?

What processes do you go through when you decide to write a book? Do you use certain things as inspiration?
>>>My motorcycle and the open road is my inspiration for everything. The process for writing a book starts with a concept, then an outline....then, if I can do so, I stick to that outline.
Has God always been present in your life?
>>>God is present in everybody's life. Sometimes in the chaos it's hard to hear or see the signs. There are always road signs everywhere, daily, that need to be heeded. Right now, I'm facing off with God...I've got questions and I need answers. I need directions. It's a come to Jesus sort of moment, if you will. All of us need this face time.

When you are not riding, traveling to rallies and events, or promoting your books and music what do you like to do?
>>>Well, I'm usually creating something and I'm an arts and crafts junkie. I love to make things. I love to draw and paint. I love to sew and make clothes. I go yardsaling usually in my big goofy Dodge b250 Cargo Van; affectionately named Vantastic...she's my other baby. I'm a Van girl, too. Right now my goal is to find a couple of awesome volunteer opportunities and apply my energies towards helping people and animals. I also love being a budding filmmaker.

What role does music play in your life?
>>>Music is huge in my life. It's as huge as motorcycle riding is. I dream music notes. I sing all the time when I ride. Songs come to me on the wide open road. I do a bunch of composing on the road. I bring a recorder and compose the melodies and lyrics at truck stops, while camping... My Chrome Charming, Patrick is a motorcycle rider and professional musician. He plays bass and produces. We write and produce together all the time here in our home studio in Nashville. The goal is to get my beloved music project Sasha & Motoroadeo MMC out to the world. It's quite a show indeed. It's all free wheelin' road music, and includes DJing, Vjing, dance numbers, and bad ass musicians who live to ride motorcycles and hot rod cars, too. My first single is Ridelicious. It is available for sale at digital outlets everywhere (I-Tunes, Amazon, Rhapsody, etc) and I'm doing the club remix for that song as my alter-ego DJ Motorella. The debut album will be released sometime this spring. It's been a long time in the making. I tease people and say, maybe I'll be a ten year overnight success!

Do you have any new projects ahead?
>>> The projects ahead are my art film, my album debut, and my fiction book.

Where is the best place in the country to ride?
>>>My favorite place to ride is out West.

What is your favorite Rally?
>>>My favorite rally is Sturgis. That's a homecoming experience to me. I love the spirituality of Bear Butte and the Black Hills. It's a spiritual vortex out there. The wide open prairies and the Badlands call to me all the time. I've met some of the best friends in my world during my journeys to Sturgis. I love riding there every year. It's a special pilgrimage for me.

Do you have any mentors or people that inspire you and if so who and why?
>>>There are many inspirations and in no particular order: Cris Sommer Simmons for her in-depth representation of the female rider spirit and her love affair, too, with motorart and how she always encourages others; Becky Brown for creating the definition of a strong sisterhood; Effie Hotchkiss for just doing it and getting on her Harley and riding cross country when there were no roads...she's a trail blazer; Pepper Massey for her leadership and passion for innovation on our motorcycle industry; Betsy Huelskamp for representing truth in the culture and the essence of the rider Goddess spirit set free in the wind; Michael Lichter for his extreme ability to tell stories through his lense; Sara Liberte for her extreme ability to create art concepts and blend mediums based upon her passion for motorcycles and interpretation of motorcycles as art; Samantha Morgan for that beaming smile of truth and magical enthusiasm for riding motorcycles as if it were a unicorn flying in the air, that was so infectious RIP; St. Teresea of Liseux for her interpretation of being the Little Flower and her perspective on the tininess of ourselves, Dena and Connor Sheets for their example of hospitality and being true windbrothers and windsisters;Pat Lassiter, my beloved, for his constant generosity and genuine ability to encourage others to be the best and how he lifts up the hearts of all he comes in contact with, and for his ageless attitude; my Daddy Poppi for sacrificing his love of art and passion for travel so that he can take care of his family...he considered me as his wild child; Cher for her agelessness and for being true to her craft and for keepin on keepin on no matter what; Ann Wilson for her stellar and unique interpretation of song; the Rolling Thunder vets and chapters for their persistence and strong messaging to love, protect, honor and remember those who fight and have fought for our freedom; women who have sacrificed so much including their very lives for women's rights and freedom; Jesus for walking a mile in everybody's shoes and gifting us with compassion and providing gentle insight into how deep the soul river runs within us all...there is a tap we all have access to where we can be creative geniuses and experience a life greater than we can ever know and it starts with simply being true to ourselves and our gifts...and to accept the fact that we are spirit having a human experience so we need to go through the movements of life like a symphony. Anne Deli, for her leadership in the motorcycle industry and generous heart, and Keith "Bandit" Ball - is one of my greatest mentors...he believed in me when I was just a little budding journalist...from that spark of encouragement I kept on going....to this day he always encourages me!
If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
>>>I'm always changing. I'm always trying to be a better soul and a better human.

What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the road?
>>>There are so many. I flagged down a rich dude hauling his fancy bike and siphoned gas out of the fancy tank because I ran out of gas.

Do you feel that women are finally breaking the glass ceiling in the motorcycle world?
>>>Yes, I feel that we are breaking the glass ceiling, but we need to unite, us females in the motorcycle industry. I believe there is way too much "ownership" of the idea of being a female rider, a female industry pro -- meaning there is too much judgment about how a female rider ought to be, what's the right definition and all this other stuff. It's too cliquish. We need to unite as more of a sisterhood and support one another's efforts and passion for riding. Leave no female rider with heart and soul for the industry and culture behind to fend for herself. Everybody has a gift to bring to the table. And it the lady entering the industry/lifestyle is all about truth and not trying to use the culture as an opportunity to get ahead such as the artists and actors that claim they are bikers, throw their leg over a Harley, make celebrity appearances as representatives of the culture, shakily ride a few miles, wear the sponsored cool clothes, talk the talk and then the next thing you know you never see them again...that ain't right. It's all kinds of phooey and phony and robs the opportunity of a real female rider with an art passion in those areas.
That is another form of glass ceiling for those who don't have the big representation...any form of suppression is a glass ceiling because you're watching others up above climbing the ladder of success having missed all the due paying and miles ridden to achieve their dreams. Or because they have a certain status, financial resource, or simply gender.

Do you feel like Men take you seriously when it comes to your love and passion for the motorcycle lifestyle?
>>>Oh yes, most times men take women very seriously regarding their love and passion for the motorcycle lifestyle...I should say men who are true bikers/racers in the lifestyle. The poseur crowd sometimes will huff and puff stinky words like, a girl can't handle riding a motorcycle... I was filming a spec project once (which meant I was doing this for nearly nothing but the passion I had in my heart, and to help someone realize their dreams) and rode off the set when the director who claimed to be a biker and acted like a disrespectful jerk the whole time, rolled his eyes and sighed "girls" and shook his head and smirked referring to me trying to paddle walk my bike backwards over a huge concrete water block and then up a small hill onto the road ... I had asked him for a push to get myself over that hump and up onto the street. He didn't play well with others...

In your latest book you touched on health and fitness. What do you do to stay looking so beautiful?
>>>That's a sweet compliment. How do I stay beautiful? Well, I should pray more firstly. And not get anxious. Okay, let's see, lots of face cream. Try to eat as healthy as possible, Cardio to expand the breath and doing fun things like jump roping and hula hooping. NO big fitness routine with all this labor involved. Separate yourself from energy draining people and liars. Establish boundaries. Turn a frown upside down as much as possible. Never suppress your feelings...be sure to go through the motions of emotions in a safe, private and nourishing manner. Life is a symphony of movement at all time...Don't stop and give up. Course correct if you must.
I was very disappointed that you were not selected Miss Sturgis 2008 because you are a true Chrome Cowgirl and your passion for the life is so genuine. What did you learn from the Miss Sturgis experience?
>>>I learned that it was a waste of time.

Do you feel you are a role model for the women of the motorcycle community?
>>>Yes. And I didn't intend to be. But now that I am, this role is so important and is my life passion. I need to encourage other gals to ride and follow their heart's desires...I'm honored that this concept could be tied into God's purpose for me on this earth and S/he's using the "vehicle" of a two wheeled freedom machine in order to do so. Righteous. I want all girls who ride or passenger to know, you are all role or "roll" models. You are, too, Stephanie.

Do you have any advice for girls and women if they are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
>>>Move to the driver's seat if it is something you truly desire in your heart. Go buy the DVD Ride like a pro, get the book Proficient Motorcycling. Get my book Chrome Cowgirl to get the insight on the joy of riding. Take the rider safety course in your area. Respect the machine. Find a bike that you feel is your riding style, Sport or cruiser. Go sit on a bunch of bikes at dealerships. Ask questions about what kind of bike is best. I immediately wanted a Harley-D and I could afford a Sportster. So I bought a new Sportster as my first bike because I wanted a bike that would be my own without anybody else's energy attached to it. And I'm a little thing at 5'2" And my training ground was NYC so it was a very hairy experience. But I did it...I prayed really hard. Had a great motorcycle safety instructor to teach me and I took extra lessons past my rider's Ed class that I passed and got my license, but I still went for extra classes. Then I practiced riding on my own. Keep on learning because there is so much to learn. I would also suggest joining an organized motorcycle group, like HOG, or maybe Women in the Wind, the Motor Maids, Women on Wheels, Leather and Lace, or another local group of riders. I would also tell them, to know that they can do anything they put their hearts into....if they want to ride, they will ride and do very well at it. Bessie Stringfield the legendary female rider speaks about how she learned to ride in prayer...she wanted to ride so bad (and this is back in the late '20s) that she prayed to Jesus to teach her...

If someone would like to purchase your books, music, and Chrome Cowgirl merchandise where do they find it?
>>> Go to http://www.bikerlady.com/ and there are links to the places to go to purchase things. And I'm super honored when someone buys my art and merch. My friends are doing a small investment into my merch line so I'll have a few new pieces of merch soon. I can't wait!

Do you have a favorite swear word?
>>>Yep. Fu*k. Because it's so powerful and sums up the power of your feelings. But it can only be used sparingly, which is why I have my Filthy Penny page: http://www.bikerlady.com/portfolio/The%20Filthy%20Penny.htm

What are you currently reading?
>>>Victor Wooten's The Music Lesson

What music are you currently listening to?
>>>Pink, and I'm listening to lots of DJ mixes, like Junior Vasquez. I want to be a DJ for my live shows. I’m also listening to Chris Cornell’s “Scream”…Awesome!

Do you have any pets?
>>>Four: Two kitties, GypZ JingleZ and JazZ; and Two poodles (Patrick's), Roscoe and Sammi.

Sasha has two great books that every biker chick needs in her library.

Make sure you check out Sasha's website : http://www.bikerlady.com/default.htm
Listen to Sasha & Motoroadeo M/C!: www.myspace.com/motoroadeo
Dig the Chrome Cowgirls myspace hang: www.myspace.com/chromecowgirls
Read if you dare! Sasha's wonder blog: http://downtheroadapeace.blogspot.com/

Thank you Sasha for taking the time to do this interview! You Rock Chrome Cowgirl!


"Joker" said...

Great interview Steph. It is so cool to sit back and watch how your true passion draws others who have the same. There are lots of motorcycle blogs, and out of them, plenty that are geared towards women. Out of all of those, the Chrome Cowgirl is willing to take the time to be interviewed for yours. I think it's awesome, and you should be proud.

Sturgis is going to rock this year! I totally admit to hoping you can hook us up with meeting Sasha while we're out there. She is truly an inspiration for all of us whose lives literally revolve around riding motorcycles. I really love her line, "Course correct if you must." She is just so "free," and really makes you think.

Great job! Congrats!

Dean "D-Day" said...

Great interview as usual!
Sasha has been an inspiration of mine for a while now and has developed into a great friend. I got her first book some time ago and loved it. She managed to hit emotions that I could relate to and say things that (as a guy) I could never utter aloud. She is truly a one of a kind!

S a s h a said...

Thank you Stephanie for posting this...I also want to mention to check out Christine Firehock's Kickstart DVD and book. Christine and her legendary motorcycle mother Diane Marafioti (RIP) are huge inspirations. Christine runs a school and taught me to ride along with Gasper Trauma (RIP)

FLHX_Dave said...

Awesome! I read every word and thanks for insight. This is why I come here. You make my stuff look like garbage, (lol, it is what it is right?)

Good post. I love reading this stuff. Grrrrr....the chrome cowgirl rocks in my book...that's all I'm gonna say.

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Joker - I would love to run into Sasha again during Sturgis. That would be awesome! Thanks for the kind words on my post.

Dean - I think it's so wonderful that you have found so much inspiration in Sasha. I found it too. She's so amazing!

Sasha - thanks for visiting my blog again! Thank you so much for agreeing to do the interview. I'm glad that I can share with others how wonderful you really are!

FLHX_Dave - Seriously...you have an awesome Blog! You always make me laugh and have taught me stuff I would have never learned! Thanks for the kind words on this post!

Buford Pickleberry said...

Another awesome interview by an awesome Harley Girl. They just keep getting better. Is the Chrome Cowgirl of the married Persuasion? I'm thinking bride number 8 is a potential. I like her style.

GYMONR said...

Morning Harley Girl, I’m always amazed at your interviews…they are so good. You have a talent for it…great post.
Big Al

KT Did said...

Another great interview. One of the girlz I know has her license plate in her first book. She's a great insiration.

Lady Ridesalot said...

I just loved this. Thanks Steph. Your amazing too!

Margo said...

I am so proud of you sis! Awesome interview....you're my role model...always have been! Love ya!

IowaHarleyGirl (Stephanie) said...

Buford - Sorry Buddy...Sasha has a Chrome Charming already.

Gymonr, KT Did, Lady R - Glad you enjoyed the interview! Sasha rocks...

Margo - Thanks My Little Sista! Sometimes I believe I was the Role Model on what not to do but I'm glad I had some sort of influence on you through out the years! You turned out pretty damn amazing!! Loves ya Kid!