Sunday, December 30, 2012

Good Bye 2012

Wow...I can't believe 2012 has almost drawn to a close.  I'm excited for the New Year!  I look forward to many more rides with the Chrome Divas of Des Moines.  I'm excited for the trip to Sturgis in 2013!  I hope that I will have more time to blog during the new year.  With my job and life itself, it was difficult to find the time this year. 

2013 is going to be a great year!   Lucky 13! 

Thank you to everyone that has stopped by in 2012 and read my blog.  Thank you to all of the individuals that participated in being interviewed this year.  I appreciate each and everyone of you! 

Good Bye 2012 and Hello 2013! 

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Aaron Lewis, Please Play Sturgis 2013

I've been checking out the Buffalo Chip website religiously to see if they've posted any new bands that will be playing the 2013 Rally but they haven't added any yet.  This seems like a good sign to me that maybe I can get the Chip to get Aaron Lewis to play the rally this year!!  My ultimate Sturgis concert would be Shooter Jennings, Kid Rock, and Aaron Lewis, especially if they all play the same night! 

Aaron Lewis, if you see this post, PLEASE PLAY THE STURGIS RALLY THIS YEAR!!!!! 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

R.I.P. Brad Clikeman

Brad Clikeman...I didn't even know you and your death has really affected me.  I don't know how many times I've ridden through the same intersection that you were hit going through and praying to God that the cars in the turn lane saw me!  I attended your vigil because you enjoyed the same thing that I enjoy!  Riding!  Your friends' mentioned at your vigil how much you loved to ride and how amazing you were.  I wish I would have known you!  I could truly feel the love that night.  The brotherhood of the Ruff Ryders and the others in attendance was palpable. 

I truly hope the night of your vigil that all the cars that had to stop for your crew, went home and tried to find out what was going on at the corner of Merle Hay and Meredith Drive.  I hope that going forward they will think twice about looking before they hurry through that intersection and any other intersection in Des Moines. 

Rest In Peace Brad Clikeman! 

Sunday, November 04, 2012

This Chrome Diva is Sturgis Dreaming!

Is it just me or do others agree that time flies by so much faster the older you get!?  I can't believe it's time to put stabilizer in Sadie's gas tank for the long cold winter.  This was a great riding season for me.  I challenged myself on more then one occasion by going outside my comfort zone.  Next year is going to be even better!  I'm so excited because a group of us are going to Sturgis next year and will be staying at the Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground.  I stayed there in 2004 and actually said I'd probably never stay there again but I regress!  I'm going with a few newbies and I really think that they need to experience the rally via the Chip!  It's truly an experience one will never forget!  The real excitement for me will be rolling into Sturgis on Sadie.  I can't wait to boast that I road my own to the Mother of All Rallies! 

In 2011, Janet Green from Biker Chick News, contacted me and wanted to know if I'd be interested in joining with her and 2 other individuals to created a chapter of the Chrome Divas.  I jumped at the chance and am really glad that I did.  Right now the Des Moines Chapter is still in the growing stages but we do have 8 members.  For me it's been really awesome meeting other women in the Des Moines motorcycle community.  I enjoy seeing them each month when we meet for dinner at Sambetti's.  I've also enjoyed riding with a group of women.  I'm so used to riding with the boys that it's freaking fun to roll into a gas station or a restaurant parking lot and everyone is looking at us thinking, "WOW, that's a group of women riders!"  I love how well we've all meshed with each other and how much we laugh about things together!  I have to say...We are a GREAT group of Biker Chicks! 

Don't forget to VOTE on Tuesday, if you didn't have the opportunity to vote early!  Your vote does make a difference!   November 10th is the Marine Corps Birthday and November 11th is Veteran's Day.   


Sunday, October 28, 2012


I'd like to give a GREAT BIG shout out to Sambetti's Bar and Grill for sponsoring the Des Moines Chapter of the Chrome Divas!  Sambetti's has that hometown bar feeling in the heart of the city of Des Moines.  I love going there because the staff is so friendly and the food is really good! 

Sambetti's Bar and Grill
1430 2nd Ave
Des Moines, IA


Sun: Closed
Mon: Lunch - 2:00am
Tue: Lunch - 2:00am
Wed: Lunch - 2:00am
Thu: Lunch - 2:00am
Fri: Lunch - 2:00am
Sat: Lunch - 2:00am

Saturday, October 20, 2012

A Book You Need to Read! Bean're Motorcycle Nomad

Who is Bean're?  You honestly don't know?  Well he's the Motorcycle Nomad!  He's the Mayor of Fun!  And he's got an amazing book that tells his story of how he's been living the nomad life on a motorcycle.  Bean're is definitely full of character and someone that has brought that character to the motorcycle community for many years.   

Even if you know Bean're you will enjoy this book.  And if you don't know Bean're, after reading this book, you will want to go to the next rally and meet him.  This book is an easy read and a page turner.  I've read so much about Bean're's current adventures that it was very interesting to learn about Bean're as a kid and Bean're during his Marine days.  He's also been sober since 1988 and Bean're proves each day of his life that you can have a blast in life without drinking or drugging!  Congrats on that Bean're!  

One of the best chapters of the book is Chapter Seven called Friends.  Bean're has so many friends that he's made throughout his life and it was great getting their perspective of Bean're and how he's made a mark in their lives.  Betsy Huelskamp wrote, " In much the same way that there was "Something About Mary," there is most definitely SOMETHING about Bean're.  Exactly what the something is has yet to be defined, but it is a quality that sets him apart from the rest.  Bean're is not like the others.  He recognizes this about himself to such an extent, that if he had to fit in, and be like the others, I think it would actually cause him mental duress!"  Cody Marks wrote, " Bean're is envied from cubicles to service centers all over the world."  Woody, the owner of the Infamous Buffalo Chip probably said it best, " I suspect in every one's life there are one or two times we just have to ask ourselves, "What the heck is that?" or just "Who was that masked man?"  Or, in this case it was a less earth-shattering, "Who is that guy wearing the top hat and that funny suit?"  

Intrigued yet?  I know you are!

Bean're has had so many adventures that I'm sure it was difficult picking out what ones he wanted to share in this book.  There is a story about his trip to Alaska and what he had to do to get over the border of Canada to even make it to Alaska.  Bean're hasn't just ridden in North America, this guy has gone global.  He's ridden in Europe, Morocco, and Australia.  Because I've never been to any of those countries it was so enjoyable reading about his adventures.  So many times in our lives we plan everything, not Bean're.  He makes it to the destination and travels without a schedule.  He just takes it all in and experiences the journey as it comes his way.  I think Bean're explains it best, "The travels are the answer.  The quest is the answer.  Just out there searching - it's not what I'm going to find, it's the fact that I keep searching.  That is where I'm getting my happiness, to be able to meet the people that I'm meeting...Being able to let life guide me.  Rather than saying okay, I'm gong to go here now, I say ok, I'm going to get on my bike and go in a certain direction.  But I might not end up that way, I might end up riding 180 degrees in the opposite direction.  That is the beauty of it, life calls me that way."

Have I convinced you to buy this book yet?  If you love the motorcycle life and you enjoy reading and learning about the people in it, you have to buy this book.  You will enjoy and sometimes laugh out loud, reading the interesting stories about Bean're and his life.  And there are so many amazing photos of the places he's been and the people he has met.  I do have to say...I was a tiny bit disappointed that the photo of Bean're and me didn't make the pages of his book but I'll let it slide!  Ha ha! 

You can get your signed copy of Bean're's book, "Bean're Motorcycle Nomad" written by Timothy Remus
though PayPal by sending the payment to .  The price of each book is 20 dollars and is shipped free (in the lower 48 States).  In Canada the price is $24 and  in Europe the price is $30.

If you are planning a trip to the Sturgis Rally in 2013 you might want to stay at The Legendary Buffalo Chip Campground because rumour has it that Bean're will be the Mayor of Fun at the Chip again this year! 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Dean Bartosh - Two Wheels Move His Soul

I got to know Dean from his blog.  It has been one of my favorite blogs for sometime because this self proclaimed "Soul Rider" really gets what riding is all about.  Dean is one of the bloggers I always wanted to meet and I was fortunate enough to meet him and his lovely lady Karen, a few years back.  A big thanks to Dean for doing this interview.  I'd also like to thank Dean for all he is doing to bring motorcycle awareness to the "cage" drivers! 

Give us a bio about yourself.
Born and raised in Wisconsin. I came from a family where my dad was a cop and my mom was the church
secretary. It was just me and an older sister who I constantly fought with but defended against all outsiders. I went to college to become a federal law officer and landed a job on the sheriff's department when I
graduated. When I suddenly became a single dad and had to raise two little girls by myself, the sheriff's department and I had to part our ways. I landed in the manufacturing field where I've held several
administrative and managerial positions for the past 20 years.

How long have you been riding?
I've been riding on and off for 30 years; the last 9 continually though.

What was your first motorcycle?
My first bike was a Rupp minibike that I bought from a friend for $50.00 when I was 11 years old. It had a pull-cord start and barely enough power to motor me down the alley but I still felt like the "king of the road".

What do you currently ride?
I currently ride a 2003 Harley Wide Glide.

How do you feel when you are riding?
Free but I don't really know why.  I'm not any more free than I am when I drive my truck and I've got to
pay a lot more attention to what's going on. But when I'm riding I still feel like my soul goes to another place; hence my favorite term "soul riding".

Is there a motto that you live by?
I live by the Dr. Seuss school of thought. "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind
don't matter and those who matter don't mind."

Why Harley Davidson?
Is there any other make? Besides, I'm too old for a crotch-rocket and not old enough for a Gold Wing.

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle?  Absolutely! There's been times that I've been treated differently because I'm wearing my leathers versus the times when I have to wear a tie. I've had plenty of times when folks won't give me the time of day because I've just climbed off my Harley wearing black leather.

Is there really a motorcycle “wave” or is it just something we do to freak non-riders out?
Of course there's a wave! Most of the time I just give other riders a nod but if someone wants to wave, I'll throw my hand out there. Sometimes just to mix it up, I'll give someone the old school raised fist of defiance.

What do you think of helmet laws?
Helmet laws suck! Let those who ride decide.

Do loud pipes really save lives?
They've definitely saved my life a few times. I've had a few times where someone was starting to veer into
my lane until I gave the throttle a quick twist to rev the engine and alert them of my presence.

Is there someone in the motorcycle community that you would like to hang with for a day and have never had the opportunity to before and why?
I always wanted to hang with Indian Larry but sadly will never get to because of his untimely death. I used to watch him years ago when he was on "The Biker Build-Off" on TV and used to think, "Now there's a
guy who understands old school brotherhood." I've heard from people that he was truly a brother of the road and would do anything for anybody. I'm sorry that I missed my chance.

Do you have a favorite rally or event?
Not really because I'm not much for large crowds. I did enjoy hanging at the campground this year when I was in Sturgis though. Met a lot of people and made some great new friends.

Do you have a favorite place to ride and why? Currently my favorite place is to ride is the "Great River Road" which runs down the western side of Wisconsin along the Mississippi River. We get a lot of bikers from out of state who come here to ride the "River Road". I feel lucky to live in such a beautiful place.

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Not too much really. I really think that I lead a pretty boring life. If you like exciting unexpected surprises, don't hang with me.

What has your most memorable ride or trip been?
Probably my trip to Sturgis this year. Over 700 miles of road each way by myself. Lots of time to think and reflect on life.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
I've learned to have a little faith in mankind. There are times that I think the whole world is going to shit and then I meet some really great people on the road. There's hope for us yet.

Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
I'm more of a lone rider. I prefer being alone with my thoughts and letting my mind wander. If I'm with other riders, I get too concerned about the difference in our riding styles and trying to stay together. If I'm alone, I'm accountable to nobody but myself and can go whatever way the wind blows.

What has your greatest accomplishment been?
My greatest accomplishment has got to be raising two girls without strangling either one of them during their teen years.

Do you feel like there are divisions in the motorcycle community because of the type or brand of motorcycle you ride?
Sure there is. Harley riders won't talk to Honda riders, BMW riders won't wave to Harley riders and so on and so forth. Personally, I don't understand it. I'll talk or wave to anyone on two wheels. We all have something in common. We should be using that to advance our common causes; not to divide us.

If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I'd have LOADS of sex.

When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing? I'm into reading, writing and photography. I'm also a pretty big political junky so I watch a lot of news shows.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
Nothing really. I'm pretty happy with who I've turned out to be. There are lots of things that I've done that I would go back and change if I could though.

What do you think makes a "Biker"?
Oh boy. The question that gets overly debated more than any other motorcycle topic. Without trying to explain it for an hour, I guess it's anyone who feels the "need" to ride.

What are your thoughts on women riding their own motorcycles?
I think it's great! Women should be able to enjoy the freedom of the open road just like us guys do. Not to mention, I think women look pretty damn hot on their own bike.

You belong to ABATE , tell us a little about that.
ABATE is a motorcycle rights organization that fights for our freedoms of the road. I've been a very active member for a few years now and have been recently appointed to the position of Public Relations Director for the state of Wisconsin. The organization promotes motorcycle rights and awareness by holding awareness rallies and putting public service announcements on the radio. We work a lot with our elected officials to pass pieces of legislation which promote freedom of the road.

Tell us about Biker Weddings.
I have been a legally ordained independent minister authorized to perform all standard services including marriage and baptism since 2001. I realize that us bikers are sometimes a little out of the "norm" and want something a little different for the ceremony. Biker Weddings is my attempt to serve those needs to the motorcycling public. People are used to seeing me in jeans and black leather so it's a bit of a shock the first time they see me in a white-collared minister's shirt.

Do you have a favorite swear words?
I try not to swear because I think over-using swear words shows a lack of intelligence. It's like you don't have a very good vocabulary or know what else to say so you just throw "fuck" into the middle of a sentence. That's not to say that I haven't thrown a few out there during times of frustration.

What are you currently reading?
Earlier this year I read "Harley-Davison and Philosophy: Full-Throttle Aristotle". It definitely wasn't a light read so I wouldn't recommend it for just anybody. It had some pretty heavy philosophical concepts and how they related to the biker world. I just finished reading "Killing Lincoln" by Bill O'Reilly. It was full of a lot of really cool stories about the Civil War and the assassination of President Lincoln that I definitely never learned in history class. I'm currently reading "The Reagan Diaries". President Regan kept a diary for the eight years that he was in office. Pretty interesting stuff if you're a political junky like me.

What music are you currently listening to?
I don't listen to too much modern stuff. I enjoy the rock from the late '70's as well as the "hair bands" from the mid '80's. I've also started listening to a lot of country music over the past handful of years.

Do you have any pets?
In our house we currently have a guinea pig, a sun conure parrot, eight zebra finches and a fish tank.

Dean hasn't posted anything in a while but he has a great blog called Musings of a Contemplative Biker.  Check it out. 

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Look into the Life of IHG - One or Two Questions at a Time

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle and are a woman?
People are usually shocked when I tell them I ride a Harley.  I usually get the line..."Wow, you don't look like a biker."  I always want to ask what they think a biker should look like but I don't.  I don't necessarily think I'm treated differently by other bikers.  I'm treated differently by some narrow minded Yupsters but who cares!

The one thing that I thought was pretty awesome was when my Mom told me that she was proud of me for learning how to ride my own motorcycle.  It always feels good when your folks are proud of you!! 

Do you have a favorite rally or event?
My all time favorite biker event was bike night at Porky's on Douglas Ave in Des Moines.  It was the best bike night in town.  I was crushed when they tore it down to build a grocery store that they still haven't built yet.  There is just a big empty lot where Porky's once stood.  It makes me sad whenever I go by it. 
The only rally that I've attended is Sturgis.(2004, 2008, 2009)  I'm hoping in the next year or two to ride my own there!  I think that will probably be one of the greatest times of my life.  Something I've dreamt for many years.  Each time I've been to Sturgis I've cried when we leave.  It seriously has felt like home to me each year I've went.  You have to experience it to understand.  

Monday, September 03, 2012

Lady R Rides Again!

Dianna Stover was one of the first people to ever comment on one of my blog posts.  She started following my blog and I started following her blog, regularly.  It was so much fun to meet someone that was from Iowa and I found it very ironic that her father also had worked for John Deere.  The funny thing is that we both had the same thought about John Deere, as you will read below.  As luck would have it I was lucky enough to meet Dianna when she came home for her mother's 70th Birthday Party.  She is exactly like I thought she would be, super fun and so freaking nice!  I truly can't wait until we can hangout again someday and hopefully ride together somewhere in this great country of ours.  I know you are going to enjoy this interview.  Dianna is such an amazing person with the biggest heart.  I'm honored to know this Super Lady!

Give us a bio about yourself.
I grew up in Dubuque, Iowa. I'm the only girl and the oldest of four children. The fact that my parents waited 7 years to have my three brothers, resulted in my mom having the best built in babysitter ever. My dad worked very hard to provide for his family of six, and as a young child, I always thought that everybody's dad worked at John Deere. If they didn't, I thought they were weird. I remember how surprised I was when I figured out that there were a myriad of professions out there in which to choose from. 'You mean there's something else besides building tractors and farming?'

After graduating from high school, I enlisted in the Navy, where I met my hubby, whom I affectionately refer to as Harley. Even though we were never blessed with children, this past June we celebrated our 32nd wedding anniversary. Shew! When our Navy days were done, we tried to figure out where we wanted to go and start our new chapter of life together.

Well... southern boys have deep roots, which is how Alabama became my home for the last 27 years... y'all.

I've spent most of my adult working life in a Dental Office cleaning teeth and managing the business end of oral torture. Be afraid... be very afraid! Muwahahahahaha!

Was there something specific that drew you into the motorcycle lifestyle?
Nothing specific... other than the fact that my daddy had motorcycles, I dated boys with motorcycles, and Harley and I like to ride motorcycles. I always thought they were just another mode of transportation... with exhilaration attached! I'm not sure my lifestyle would be much different if I didn't have a motorcycle... but my house would probably be clean! As long as I'm able to fill my spare time with something adventurous, I'm happy. Right now... it's motorcycles!

What was your first motorcycle?
I was about 10 years old when my daddy got his hands on a Lil' Indian with a Briggs and Stratton motor. It wasn't street legal, but I still can't discount it as my first. I remember having lots of fun on it, running up and down our alley and tearing up the grass in the big park across the street from my house. Good times!

My first real motorcycle didn't come until February of 2006... a beautiful black and teal 2001 Suzuki 800 Intruder. I remember when I sat on it for the first time, I just knew it was going to be mine. It fit me perfectly! I had enough power to play with the big boys, while still having a very manageable bike as far as weight and height. She was the perfect first bike for me to learn my mistakes on. It was such a forgiving bike. I took my first overnight ride on the Suzi and I learned a lot about riding your own on that trip. Awesome memories! I wish I would have kept it, that was a great little motorcycle.

What do you currently ride?
For 4 years I rode a '98 Electra Glide Classic that I also loved, but just recently I acquired a 2004 Fat Boy that I refer to as... "the boy". I'm still adjusting to the downsize from the Glide, but my test drive was most memorable and I felt like I connected with it immediately.

How do you feel when you are riding?
For me, it's like recess for my senses and the roads are my playground. What I see, what I smell, what I hear, what it feels like on my face... all of that gets pretty amazing sometimes and I find myself almost giddy with happiness to be riding. I'm able to give my mind a break from the stress and demands of daily life by simply putting a couple hundred miles on the odometer. I've realized over the last couple of years, that life can throw you off balance at any time. Losing control of things you really didn't control anyway, suck. For me, finding that balance again is praying to God and riding. Riding through some beautiful countryside, smelling hay and honeysuckle, listening to the rhythm of the rumble sure can clean the cobwebs... and free the spirit. Talk about rejuvenation!

Is there a motto that you live by?
Housework done properly... will kill you.

Why Harley Davidson?
I like the way they sound. I like the way they look. I like the way they ride. I like the bad boy attitude that still spills over on them. I'm very happy to be a Harley owner.

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle?
Not really, but I tend to be an optimist. If I think someone has an attitude, I figure they'd have one whether I was on a motorcycle or not. Maybe that's naive of me, but I really don't run into much problem. The fun part about riding, though, is when other women ask me about my bike, or what it's like to ride. That's very cool.

Is there really a motorcycle “wave” or is it just something we do to freak non-riders out?
Ha! I'm not sure about that, but I wave at all riders... I'm just friendly that way. Harley laughs at me because I like to throw out an upside down peace sign. Groovy... right? smiling...

Do loud pipes really save lives?
The jury may still be out on this one, but I tend to think so. If my loud pipes grabs the attention away from someone's cell phone convo, text message, music, or general passenger distractions, you just might gain that split second... and sometimes a split second is all you need.

Do you have any mentors or heroes?
I'd have to say my Dad was my mentor and my hero. I'm so much like him, I'm predictable. I even followed in his footsteps and served in the Navy like he did. I always thought it was cool that I was born in a Naval Hospital, and 18 years later, I "swore in" on Pearl Harbor Day. When he died two years ago, it was no doubt, the greatest amount of sadness I've ever felt in my life thus far. It shook my world for a while, but now, when I'm out riding my motorcycle, I see him everywhere. Not only did he retire from John Deere Tractor Works, he was a big collector of all that was yellow and green. I never noticed before, how much John Deere green you can see on a typical country road... Hi dad!

Do you have a favorite rally or event?
Since we have friends that live in Panama City, Florida, we've been to almost all the Thunder Beach Rally's for the last 10 years, and we've attended the Emerald Coast Bikefest in Holt, Florida several times. But my favorite was the Angel City Rally in Unadilla, GA. It was set up like an old western town and it had the best layout of all of them. Plus, the ride over to Georgia is a nice one. Rallies are pretty such the same, I'll admit, but they do make great back ground noise while getting together with friends we don't see all the time. That's the best reason to go... and I get to wear my "hair"!

Do you have a favorite place to ride and why?
The mountains! Especially when it's summertime and we can escape the heat. We're less than a days ride from the foot hills of the Appalachian Mountains and there are lots of places to go. Places like Ft. Payne, AL, Chattanooga, TN, Gatlinburg, TN and Cherokee NC are all blessed with beautiful mountains and great roads, it's truly a rider's delight. The mountains are definitely my favorite.

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I wish I could tell you it involved guns and high speed chases, but... what comes to mind instead was the day I was attacked by a wild turkey! I was leading Harley down the Natchez Parkway during the summer a couple of years ago, taking in the amazing scenery and enjoying a leisurely pace on the Glides. All of a sudden, a big (and I mean really big!) wild turkey started to target me from the left side of the road. She must have had some little turkey chicks close by because she looked pretty intimidating coming across the left lane bobbing her head rapidly like she was on a serious mission. I tried to startle her by revving my motor and adjusting my speed, but I didn't do anything but piss her off. Right about the time I thought she was close enough to peck my leg, she flew up in a flurry of feathers right along side of me and carried herself back to the side of the road. Shew! Checking myself for turkey turd, I came away from my wild encounter clean and unscathed. Harley, who was following, said it was quite an amusing Kodak moment. Thanks honey... I think.

What has your most memorable ride or trip been?
When I rode the Tail of the Dragon for the first time. It was the most awesome experience ever! Although, there are many roads up in that area that are just as challenging and fun, it's the notoriety of the Dragon that makes it special. I think everyone who loves a good ride and a bit of a challenge, should ride the Tail of the Dragon at least once in their lifetime... just to say you did.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
No matter what... ride your own ride. The minute you start pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, your in trouble. I'm also a big believer in Motorcycle Safety Training... and helmets. I'm not one to tell others what to do, but I know for a fact that a good helmet saved my husbands life. You'll never see me riding without one.

Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
Definitely alone. The only time Harley and I are riding in a group, is when we're riding with our pals in Panama City. Otherwise, we are a club of two. I've seen way too many crazy stuff happen on big group rides and it just doesn't interest me. Don't get me wrong, I love to stand on the sidelines and watch a parade of riders go by and feel the rumble of their motors in my gut, but in those circumstances, that's where I prefer to be... on the side. Otherwise... it's just me, and my two Harleys. Life is Good!

What has your greatest accomplishment been?
Honestly... I'll have to say... being married for 32 years. Like I said earlier... Shew!

If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
Surround myself with my family and closest friends, let them know I love them and how much they've meant to me, and thank God for all my earthly blessings.

When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing?
My other passions are writing and photography. I have a dream of retiring from the dental field and spending a lot more time doing those two things. I've started many projects, but nothing is anywhere near to the point of completion for sharing (or selling). Story of my creative life!

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
I procrastinate... very badly! I mean... why do it now, when you can do it later... maybe.

Do you feel you are a role model for the women of the motorcycle community?
Not really, but if I meet a woman who shows an interest, I encourage her to try. I love knowing that I don't have to rely on someone else to take me out and ride. I met this little girl and her family while on vacation this summer, and her mom said she loved to count motorcycles while they traveled. If they see more than 7, she announces to them, it's a good day! I suspect she will be a rider one day. Just look at that smile!

Do you have any advice for women that are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
Motorcycle Safety Training Class! The best way to earn the respect of other riders, is to show them you have their safety in mind, as well as your own. You'll gain the confidence you need to become an experienced rider after you've put a few thousand miles or so on the odometer. Just like anything else we've ever learned to do, the more you practice, the better you get.

You just recently got back on two wheels after a little hiatus. What was that like and how do you feel now that you are back in the saddle again?
Kind of surreal, actually. After Harley's wreck last summer, our unified decision to give up the motorcycles wasn't easy, and only came after much pain and deliberation. It was almost a year to the day, later when Harley announced to me that he thinks he wants to ride again. Hmmmm... this time the deliberation came with much joy and anticipation. I remember having butterflies in my stomach the whole afternoon after making arrangements to test ride a motorcycle, but by the time I heard the rumble of the motor and popped it into first gear, those butterflies had flitted elsewhere. I felt much gratitude to be on a bike again.

Long story short... Harley acquired a 2008 Ultra Classic Electra Glide and I got a 2004 Fat Boy. Two weeks later we took off on our "Reunion Ride" and put 2,211miles on the odometer in seven days, covering six states. Woo Hoo!! Lady R... rides again!

Tell us about your blog Southern Comfort.
I started my blog over 4 years ago under the title "Glider Rider" as a creative outlet for my writing and photography while sharing the places I ride to, and my experiences as a woman rider. The beautiful highways and country roads around my home state, Alabama, have always been the focus of my blog mixed in with fantastic road trips and rally times with friends. But then, I had sold my Electra Glide, and wasn't riding anymore and I felt like I needed to change the name to something less specific. For some kooky reason, I decided upon Southern Comfort. I thought it would provide a great umbrella for a variety of topics written by a mid-western transplant living her life in the south. Now that I'm back on two wheels, our weekly rides in the countryside will probably once again take precedence, but I'm not changing it again. So... Y'all come by now, ya hear?

Do you have any pets?
Harley and I have a collection of three cats, Scrappy Kat, Romeo, and Dusty; and two Papillions, Bandit and Joker. I'm eccentric about my "babies" and I don't care who knows it. Besides... how many kids out there are always happy to see you when you come home! I rest my case! ha!

The bolded links are links to Di's blog and posts she has written.  Di's blog is so wonderful.  You will spend hours reading, laughing and sometimes wiping a tear or two. 

Thank you so much for taking the time to do this interview Lady R!  You are truly one of the female riders that I look up to.  Thank you for all the encouragement you gave me along the way to keep on following my dream of getting on two wheels!  I'm so glad that you are back on two, too!  I know it's one of the things that makes your heart sing! 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The Feeling of Empowerment

Well, I finally did it.  I finally road out of my comfort zone of central Iowa.  My journey started on Sunday.  The roads were wet but I kept telling myself, as we motored down interstate 35, that this was a great learning experience.  Further down the way the road became dry.  It stayed dry until out of no where this crazy thick rainy fog began.  Spent about a hour at Boondocks and then ventured on down the road.  Where were we heading...Duluth, MN.  400 miles later, Sunday evening, I was pulling my bike into the parking lot of a Radisson hotel in downtown Duluth.  I felt accomplished and empowered.  I had finally done something that I dreamed of for many years.  I road tripped on my own motorcycle.  On Sunday's journey I motored through Iowa, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  I have to say I couldn't really tell that I left Iowa until I made it up to Duluth and saw the beautiful Lake Superior.  Corn, Corn, Corn...Corn....more Corn.  HA!

I've had a great time riding these past few days.  I only freaked myself out twice on the entire trip.  Once was on this wicked steep hill in Duluth.  I need to work on that skill!  I kinda broke the law and ran a red light to make the hill.  Oops!  The other was in this tiny town looking for a gas station.  I didn't dump my bike but there was a quick moment when I thought I was going to.  I'm sure the guys that were watching were like...Holy Hell...get that lady off that motorcycle.  Good learning experiences all the same.  Keep your head about ya!

Tonight I'm chilling at Boom's B & B before taking off tomorrow for home.  In all I'll have about 800 miles under my belt from this adventure.  I'm pretty damn proud of myself!

My words to anyone, especially any woman that is thinking about riding her own, do it and keep doing it until you accomplish your goal of getting on two wheels.  It is truly the best experience I've ever had.  It makes me feel strong.  It makes me feel free!  This trip has helped me clear that stress out of me that has been building for weeks.  Bottom line...I needed this trip to prove to myself that I CAN RIDE!!!  I needed to prove to myself that I am IHG!

BTW...this is my 500th Post!

Monday, August 13, 2012

A Look into the Life of IHG - One or Two Questions at a Time

Why Harley Davidson? 
Because they are sexy badass bikes.  I love the rumble they make when you crank the throttle.  Harley Davidson is as Amercian as baseball and apple pie.  It's just the motorcycle I always wanted to own one day and now I do!!

Is there someone in the motorcycle community that you would like to hang with for a day and have never had the opportunity to before and why?
I would love to hang with all the people that I've met through blogging that I haven't been able to meet yet.(Boston, Caveman, Viking Dave and BB, Willy D, Ms. M., Ronman, Mr. Motorcycle, Dan from Lowrider in the Wind and that one guy that fell off the face of the earth named Joker.  What ever happened to that guy?)  All the bikers I'm friends with on Facebook.  I would love to hang with Sara Liberte and Roadside Marty.  There are so many individuals in the motorcycle community that I would love to just sit and listen to their stories.  Bikers are freaking interesting people.  I really would love to meet Willie G and Gloria Struck.  And it would have been amazing to have known Samantha Morgan Storm! 

One of my favorite biker bands! 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Daryl Big Daddy Caveman - Idle Thoughts of an AZhole Biker

When I ask individuals if they would be interested in doing an interview for my blog I usually get the comment back...Why would anyone really be interested in me?  That's exactly what Big Daddy Caveman answered back to me. (people are interested!!)  I started reading Big Daddy's Idle Thoughts a few years back.  Daryl Big Daddy Caveman is one amazing writer.  If you've never read his blog you are missing out.  The word "Raw" comes to mind when I think of the posts that I've read, written by Big D.  He doesn't beat around the bush.  He's a straight shooter.  When I think of the word "Biker", I think of Big D. 

Give us a bio about yourself.
I grew up in Massachusetts, south of Boston. Moved To Arizona in 2000. Was a MASShole, but graduated into an AZhole.

When did you first discover motorcycles?
My best friend growing up had a Honda Trail 90 when I was 11 or so. Started there and haven't stopped since.

What was your first motorcycle?
A Honda 305 I bought for 150.00 that was stored in a neighbors garage. The bike had been re-geared for road-racing and as a result was lousy off the line. I soon grew to hate it as the stamped steel frame wouldn't make a good chopper. When I bought it I was told the name of the racer who had owned it. Not being a follower of Gp racing the name meant nothing to me. Years after I had sold it I found out he was considered one of the greatest Champions of the circuit .............OOPS! Live and learn.

What do you currently ride?
I have a 99 Dyna that redlines at 7000 rpm and pulls like a greyhound at the bacon plant. Had it up to 142 and still pulling my arms out of the sockets. 40,000 hard miles and still not a speck of dirt or oil anywhere.

How many motorcycles have you owned and what were they?
Too many to list. All Harleys and Triumphs (except for the aforementioned Honda). How about just a current list? 99 Dyna, 88 and 86 Sportys, 66 and 44 servicar, 2 Harley 125 sprints, 71 Harley moped, 66 Triumph bonny bobber and lastly,,,,,a 49 Hydroglide Panhead.

How do you feel when you are riding?

Is there a motto that you live by?
 I could say the standbys,,,Loyalty, honor and Respect. Brotherhood. Question all authority. The blood you choose is stronger than than blood born. [Family often takes for granted but blood chosen must respect each other, there is no 'Family reunion' to put it back together if respect is lost]. A new favorite has entered my lexicon,,,,,,Live so the Westboro church Jackasses picket your funeral!

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle?
Yes, Definitely. Good and bad. It usually goes one or the other, no middle ground.

Why Harley Davidson?
?? Next question.

Do you have any mentors or heroes? If so, what have they taught you and why do they fall in this category in your life?
I have been fortunate to have many. Mostly ordinary men [and women] that live life on their own terms and never gave into 'Polite' society. Your word is bond. And if help can be given, you do so without measure or repayment.

Is there someone in the motorcycle community that you would like to hang with for a day and have never had the opportunity to before and why?
I have traveled the entire length of 4 countries and have been lucky enough to meet just about all of my 'Heroes' However,,,,there is a certain Young lady up Iowa way that I would greatly love to ride with and chat by the campfire.

Do you have a favorite rally?
Too Broke for Sturgis here in AZ. All the others have become too commercial for me. Biker rallies are about cutting loose and throwing society's constraints to the wind. Too many today have become judgmental and rigid. Cops and Rubs alike. I was at the Laughlin River Run in NV a few years back, a female biker did what biker 'chicks' have always done: she flashed the crowd. I heard Tsk tsk huff huff from Men and women alike....??? Keep your condescending moralistic prude ass home and stay the hell away from "Bikers"

Do you have a favorite place to ride and why?
Arizona......Ride here just once and you'll see why.

What are your thoughts on women riding their own motorcycles?
I'm all for it and bristle at the thought that it's a 'Mans' thing. Women have been riding since the first bikes have been built. Margret Gast The 'Mile a minute' girl in 1910 The second bike believed ever to cross the entire US was a young lady with her mother in a sidecar. Delia Crewe in 1915 traveled the US and all the way to Panama with her dog 'Trouble' Imagine no paved roads and very few gas stations.....and no suspension to speak of. I know grown men who wouldn't ride across states on a hardtail. And Many many more. It does those pioneers a great dis-service to think otherwise.

What do you think of helmet laws?
 I don't. I've seen many a rider go down and some died because of that damned helmet. And others, it saved. In Arizona, we are fortunate enough to have the choice of wearing a helmet and I choose not to.

Do loud pipes really save lives?
Yes, mine have on many an occasion.

You have a blog called Big Daddy's Idle Thoughts, how did it get it's name? Why did you decide to start blogging?
I was 'Idle' at the time, recovering from a shattered neck disc. Ann/Boston my wife set it up and said write something before you go crazy,,,[Too late]. I never intended to be a writer and didn't think I was. Somehow my stories gained a loyal and very determined following. Still amazes the hell out of me to this day.

What's your official Road name? How did you get it?
I am Caveman. Was bestowed in great honor by my Brothers and Sisters....although the ladies tend to shorten it to Cavey!

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
Being shot at. Enough said about that.

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
Maintain your line, don't weave. stay one foot from the line whichever side of the lane you ride. You do this every time you will ride true and straight solo or riding 100 mph in a pack.

Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
Depends on the day. Group rides with qualified riders, outlaw style at high speeds, is purer than poetry. Other days my thoughts and V-twin rumble provide all the company I need.

What has your greatest accomplishment been?
Marrying Ann/Boston and my 4 very well adjusted and honorable kids.

Do you feel like there are divisions in the motorcycle community because of the type or brand of motorcycle you ride?
For many there are. I prefer Harleys, but in truth I don't give a damn what you ride just keep up and ride right.

If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
Put Ann on the back and Ride!!

When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing?
Building bikes, reading, laughing.

Tell us anything else you would like us to know about you.
I'm a very lucky and fortunate man.

Do you have a favorite swear word?
What the F^&K?

What are you currently reading?
These interview questions.

What’s in your CD player? Even a Caveman has an I-Pod nowadays...No Cd's.(are you telling me I need to bring this question into the 21st Century?  LOL) 
Moody Blues, Seger. Zepplin, Classic rock.

A huge thank you to Daryl Big Daddy Caveman for taking the time to do this interview.  I look forward to meeting you and Boston one of these days!