Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas to You from IHG!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

All I want for Christmas is SPRING!(oh and a motorcycle but i've already asked for that like a zillion times!)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

From the Eyes of a Passenger...

Being a passenger on a motorcycle has brought incredible joy and satisfaction to my life. If you ask anyone that knows me they will tell you I'm motorcycle obsessed. Guess what?? I'm proud of it!

The motorcycle experience began for me in high school. My girlfriends and I would ask guys for motorcycle rides. I remember my first ride was on a sport bike and I could have cared less that it was raining. Then there was senior prom. My date owned a Kawasaki and we took it cruising in our prom wear. We must have looked like two crazy kids.

I took a hiatus from the motorcycle life during my twenties and early thirties but that freedom and joy that I felt from riding stuck with me all those years. One day out of the blue I talked my husband into renting a Harley. We had it for the weekend and the feelings of complete freedom came rushing back. The next step was purchasing our own bike. I'll never forget the thrill of ringing that freedom bell and knowing wonderful adventures were ahead of us.

Riding for me is a passion. It is always an adventure. Being on two wheels with nothing around you to protect you. Rubbing shoulders with the elements is the greatest rush I've ever felt. I've experienced things I will never experience in a car. I am sheltered in a car even if I roll down all of the windows. I will never experience what is going on outside in the same way as I do on a motorcycle. I am in the thick of it, feeling everything going on around me. Smelling every smell, seeing all the sights, and hearing every noise out there. It is a spiritual experience.

I've had two of the most amazing experiences of my life as a passenger. Both in South Dakota during trips to Sturgis Bike Week. The first was in 2004. Kristen, Big Don, Marsha and me were on our way to Winner, South Dakota for the night. It was dusk and a storm was brewing ahead of us. It began to rain and the wind picked up. South Dakota can be windy. I was watching the sky and I couldn't believe what mother nature was sharing with me. On one side was a beautiful rainbow, straight ahead were wicked bolts of lightening, and on the other side was the most beautiful pink sky I've ever seen. I was right out there in the middle of it. To this day that memory still gives me chill bumps.

Another memorable experience happened on our way to Sturgis this year. We left Mitchell, South Dakota in a misty rain. We were motoring along and could see this dangerous looking cloud ahead of us. The closer we road toward it the larger it became and before we knew what was happening we were riding through this wall cloud. Living in Iowa, I honestly have to say, I have never seen anything like it. I held onto Dan tighter then I ever have before because I felt at times like we might blow over or I might blow off the back. It was such a rush. I kept thinking to myself how incredibly fortunate I was to experience that. That is the point of two wheels, it's all about having the amazing adventures.

I've logged many miles as a passenger and with every ride is a new memory made. Some of the best have been early morning rides out in the country. No traffic, just my husband Dan and me on our beautiful iron horse moving across the countryside. No words being said between us, just quiet time. Time to let all the stresses leave our heads and all the freedom of the open road. Miles of farmland surrounding us. Another beautiful time to ride are those last winter days when we can't take it anymore and the roads seem OK. We bundle up and ride out with snow still on the ground and the non riders of the world starring at us like we are nuts. I know they are correct, I am nuts about the feeling that is forever in my soul.

Being part of the motorcycle lifestyle has made my life richer with the experiences I've been fortunate enough to have and because of the many people I've met along the way.

There is a saying, "If I have to explain you just won't understand." Mere words can't explain the feeling. It is like describing the color blue to a sightless person, until it has been experienced it is virtually impossible to describe.

In March of 2006 I got my motorcycle license. I have yet to own my own scoot but I know someday it will happen. Until then I look forward to many more adventures with Dan on our beautiful Street Glide.

Happy riding! And to those of us that have to wait until the spring, Happy Riding Memories!


Tuesday, December 02, 2008

An Interview with John Dodson, Owner of Gangster Choppers

While I totally love Harley Davidson I'm a big fan of custom choppers. One day I was surfing MySpace and found John Dodson owner of Gangster Choppers. I totally loved his bikes and contacted him about an interview. John was nice enough to say yes.

So John...Give me a bio about yourself...
I was born in '74, born and raised in Richmond, Virginia. Both my Mom and Dad were into cars and influenced me and greatly cultivated my passion for old bikes and cars. I have pictures of me propped up by my toy box with drag racing stickers all over it before I could walk. My Mom would pay for my magazine subscriptions while I was in middle school, some of those early mags are still in a closet somewhere.

When were you first aware of your interest in motorcycles?
For some reason (?) Dad bought me a mini bike from JC Pennys when I was 5 yrs old. I wore the old skool helmet with the goggles! There were little ads in the back of Hot Rod Magazine back then for stickers! Yes stickers. They had every design that you could think of, Iron Crosses, Skulls, Girls, Flames and all of the traditional STP, PENNZOIL, SkyJacker shocks etc... So, one evening my Dad ordered a few and we stuck them on the mini bike! A custom was born? By the way just like a bunch of broke bikers...we kept the mini bike in the "mud room".

What was the first bike that you owned?
1ST -JC Pennys mini bike
2ND - '82 HONDA XR80
then they all ran together, one dirt bike after another till the first Harley Davidson when I was a young 17.

How did you decide on the name Gangster Choppers?
Truthful, I have family that was part of a famous NYC crew. I remember stories as a kid and back then it was only the Godfather for a mob movie. Now they're hundreds of gangster flicks. But, back then it was my Uncle Sal, his stories and the movie Godfather.

Where do you get your inspiration?
I know that tons of guys and gals say "oh, I just love bikes!!" Well that's true for me too but, I need something more. I want an outlet to display my metal fabrication skills. If I am to fulfill the desire to machine functional art, a motorcycle offers the perfect platform. Cars are great too, but you can cover a bunch of junk up with a car, you can close the hood, choose not to open the trunk, put upholstery over sloppy floor pans or hide sloppy wiring behind a dashboard. Not a bike. Everything is seen. Since I choose not to have any "frills" pieces to just sit there and look pretty, all my art needs to be functional. So ordinary items like foot controls, fuel valves, exhaust pipes, key switches, motor mounts take on an art form.

Who are your idols?
I don't have idols, that may be something best left for 10 year olds. I am old enough to know that everybody past and present (except for Jesus Christ) all where humans and we all make mistakes. So RESPECT is the word for me. Finding someone to respect is tough, you all should evaluate this theory. I respect my Grandparents, keeping a marriage together for 59 years. My Dad for working and supporting the family blue collar style for 36 yrs and counting.

Do you have a favorite build?
My favorite build is always the recent one I am building and machining parts for, beating the fenders out stuff like that. You must realize that in order to keep these award winning bikes churning out - I have to be 110% into each one.

Do you manufacture your own motorcycle parts?
Yes, Gangster Choppers manufactures and distributes parts to customers daily.

How many bike shows have you been in and what awards have you won?
There are only a select few Motorcycle Shows I will enter my creations into. Most shows are too small to really provide an honest level of competition, so as a professional builder I want the amature and spectators to enjoy themselves. I provide my bikes at those shows for display only.

What motorcycle magazines have you been featured in?
All the good ones! haha. No really, most all the American mags, bunch of regional publications, and about a half a dozen international magazines.

What has been your most rewarding and memorable moment since you began in the motorcycle industry?
I like working in the shop, seeing the bike come together. I love riding the bikes, bikes most people would feel uncomfortable sitting on. I like it when little boys and girls stare at the bikes. If the kids think its cool then it is for real. I would have to question my style if ordinary 55 year old men were all into my bikes.

What is your favorite rally?
like Sturgis the best and kicking off the year in Daytona is cool too.

How many people work for you and who are they?
Bunch of idiots that try and provoke me into anger fits daily. No, no, I am easy going but I am really detail oriented. My Dad, Ken Dodson does machine work with me. Larry Mann performs all the wiring tasks. Robert service tech. Brian direct helper to John Dodson. Patrick fabricator. Chris welder with 20 yr experience. Ralph machinist with 14 yr experience. Norman an old style craftsman who knows everything about forging steel, heat treating, brazing, silver solder, and tons of other boring stuff it takes 40 yrs to acquire knowledge of.

Where are you located?
Richmond, Virginia is home to The Gangster Choppers Global Headquarters

What is the average price of one of your choppers?
Show winner built from scratch ready to "wooh" the crowds are $55,000. Very nice bikes can be had for much less though.

Do you have Support Gear that people can buy?
Gangster Choppers is a world recognized logo and is trademark protected. Tee shirts, Shop shirts, Caps, pens, posters, Ladies tops, panties, just about anything can be had with the Gangster Choppers logo.

Where is the best place in the United States to ride?
I personally enjoy riding along the Appalachian Mountains. I love the scenery. I also enjoy riding to OBX North Carolina. Entering into any ocean town and having the salt water smell hit you is 'bout as good as it gets.

What advice would you give to someone looking to get into the chopper/motorcycle industry?
Rule #1 If you cannot build a bike better than the top 10 builders in the world stay away from it, there are enough idiots in the industry that doesn't belong and its ruining it daily for the good ones. You will not succeed.

If you actually have spare time what do you do to fill it?
In my spare time I like to ride and also go to car shows / cruise ins.

If you could do any other profession what would it be or is the motorcycle/chopper lifestyle the best gig ever?
love what I do, but if it wasn't the bike industry I would have to be involved in something that run off of gasoline and burns oil, so I would do something with old cars.

What is your latest project?
Your readers will really love this one. A 1987 Harley Davidson FXR. It caught my attention and I involved myself knee deep and it turned out way cool.

Favorite swear word?
When a bike upsets me its a Whore. When a person upsets me they're a Cocksucker.

What music are you listening to?
Shooter Jennings, Metallic, Old & In The Way

Check out Gangster Choppers @

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Wishing you all a very joyous day!

I am thankful for so many family and my in assless chaps....oh...i think that's part of one of Mr. M's posts. Seriously though....I'm thankful as hell for my life. No matter what happens in my life there is always something to be thankful for.

Please say a prayer for our troops who are away from their families this holiday season! God Bless them and keep them out of harms way!

Gobble Gobble!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This Girls Been Nothing But Working!!!

Hi All! I've been working an enormous amount of hours lately and haven't been home to post anything on my blog. I'll be back in the grove soon. Just wanted to tell everyone HELLO!!!!

Saturday, November 08, 2008

That Damn SNOW!!!

The Jasmine Cain Band had to cancel their show in Omaha tonight, at the Chrome Lounge, because they were unable to get out of South Dakota because of the weather. South Dakota had a Blizzard. YUCK! I talked to someone at the Chrome Lounge and they are hoping for a show in March. I'll let you know because you know I'll be there!!! :)

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Jasmine, Sasha, and Some Other Stuff...

The Jasmine Cain Band will be in Omaha, NE on November 8th at the Chrome Lounge. They are rocking the house from 9 pm - 1 am. Hmmmmm...wonder if I'm going?

Sasha Mullins' new book, The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to the Motorcycle Life, is finally out. I picked up my copy at Barnes and Noble the other day. It's an awesome looking book. Sasha and Tigerlily grace it's cover. Why the Sturgis committee thought she wouldn't be a good pick to represent the rally still leaves me scratching my head. Anywhoo...this is another amazing book by Sasha. She is a true Chrome Cowgirl and has once again laid her soul out on the table for her readers. When I entered B & N I thought my hopes would be dashed and they wouldn't have a copy but the super nice customer service man found that they had a copy and took me right to the motorcycle section...found the book and put it into my hot little hands. I feel a true connection with Sasha because of her spiritual connection with motorcycling and the way she looks at life so I have to admit I got chill bumps and was excited like a kid on Christmas Day. There are photos, diary entries, trip tips, and Sasha's super advice on how to make the motorcycle life a total part of your soul. This book is for every woman who is thinking of riding, rides as a passenger, or rides her own.(guys, you can read it too)

Don't forget to vote on November 4th! Wish the Marine Corp a Happy Birthday on the 10th! And THANK a Veteran on November 11th!

A thought I've been pondering...If you are a panhandler and you show up on the corner every day at 7 am with your sign are you trying to show that you have good work ethic?

Don't forget to turn back your clocks, unless you live in Arizona...I don't think you folks do the daylight savings time bit.

And last but not least...for all of us people who will soon have the awful "S" word showing up in our state. GET OUT THERE WHEN YOU CAN AND RIDE!!!

Have a great weekend!!!!


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Build it to and Win it Sweepstakes from Harley Davidson I'm all over this contest. I need to win myself a Harley Davidson.

In the “Build It to and Win It” sweepstakes, contestants can customize a Harley-Davidson 2009 model and enter it to win the bike they designed. Using the Genuine Motor Accessories Customizer, anyone can choose a Harley-Davidson model and then select from hundreds of custom options, including Color Shop custom paint sets, Screamin’ Eagle performance components, hand and foot controls, custom front end parts and decorative collections, and place them on a virtual motorcycle. As the bike is created, each new component appears on a picture of the virtual motorcycle, so a customizer can see exactly what the finished custom Harley-Davidson will look like. After customizing, the bikes can then be saved in a personal profile “Garage,” along with a convenient, printable list of each component with its part number and price.

A contestant can customize, save and enter up to ten 2009 models between Oct. 15 - Nov. 6 and each will be entered to win. Representatives from the company will randomly select one bike, which will be awarded to the Grand Prize winner after the Nov. 6 deadline.

More details on the contest are available here:

Monday, October 13, 2008

ABATE Toy Ride

All summer long I've planned on going to certain motorcycle events and because something has come up I haven't been able to. Well, Sunday was the ABATE Toy Ride and I kept telling Dan...we are doing this...don't make one is stopping us from going to this. My wish came true and we were able to go! YAY! Dan shined up the Glide and we headed over to meet Monique and RJ...our new riding buddies! They have actually been our friends for a few years but it wasn't until recently that RJ and Monique crossed over to the wild side. I say this because they've always been bikers...just bikers on bicycles. And instead of the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally they are used to going on RAGBRAI. Which, if you have ever gone on this 7 day bicycle ride across Iowa, it sometimes is wilder then Sturgis.

It was a beautiful day for a ride on Sunday. After picking up Monique and RJ we made our way to I - 235 and headed east to the Capital. Because of my shear excitement about being able to go on this toy ride I got us there plenty early so we road around a little while and then headed back to the parking lot that is east of the Capital. As you can tell we were still pretty early.

I love Rat Bikes and this one was one of the coolest I saw on Sunday. Thanks to the nice biker that told me I could post it. I'm bad...I forgot to get his name but he did say he enters "Bone Rattler" in Rat Bike shows.

As the time goes by more and more people begin showing up. I decide to walk around and get some pictures and chat it up with some people that I know.

Yes...there is a Santa and Mrs. Claus. And Mrs. Claus wears leather chaps, with fringe. COOL!

I even ran into a reindeer and an elf.

You see so many cool things when you just walk around and look. I was like a kid in a big parking lot candy store. One fun find after another.

This is one of my favorite pictures that I took on Sunday. I want this to be me. I want to always be a cool biker chick until I can't swing my leg over that scoot anymore. You go Biker Momma!

And this is in no way making fun of the Iowa State Patrol but the photo cracks me up a little. These two Iowa State Patrol walking among a whole lotta bikers! Do you see the humor? Come have to see the humor!

I mean, check out all the people that showed up for this event.

I know you are all wondering if we actually went on a ride. Yes we did! At one o'clock on the money the parking lot of steel horses sprung to life as people got in line to ride out of the Capital parking lot and down SE 14th Street. I had no idea what to expect but boy was I in for an amazing surprise!

SE 14th Street had a Des Moines police officer at every intersection so that we could blow through every red light. I know Dan was loving it because he has this red light bad karma thing that follows him so I know he was like, yes...yes...yes! I had chill bumps the entire ride. There were people along the way that were waving and honking. It was the coolest feeling and it was all in the name of helping kids! What better way to spend your Sunday afternoon...riding and donating a toy so that a little child can have a brighter Christmas. Awesome!

I'm really glad that Monique and RJ joined us for this event. I know we all really enjoyed it. The riding season is drawing to an end here in Iowa but I know there will be many more weekends of fun ahead of us!

Happy Riding! IHG :)

Friday, October 03, 2008

Sweet Euphoria

Here is my very favorite song by Jasmine Cain titled Sweet Euphoria...ENJOY!

Sweet Euphoria by Jasmine Cain

What's your Sweet Euphoria?

Mine is riding on our beautiful Street Glide. Feeling that wind in my face. Smelling the earth. Hearing all the wonderful sounds. Seeing nature right up close. And tasting that sweet freedom you get with each mile you travel down those never ending roads.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VP Debate

Joe Biden - too slick
Sarah Palin - too happy go lucky

I think I might vote for myself!

Monday, September 29, 2008

45 Years Spurs a Trip to Wisconsin

My Mom and Dad will be celebrating their 45th Wedding Anniversary on October 19th. They didn't want a party so they decided that the family should go to one of their favorite vacation spots...Egg Harbor, Wisconsin. I created a photo montage of the extended weekend. Wisconsin is a beautiful state. I'd love to go back on the motorcycle.

My folks rented a cottage for the weekend. My sister Margo, her husband Tim, and my niece Sydney, Dan and myself, met my folks in Egg Harbor on Thursday. Friday and Saturday we spent the day going to shops, art fairs, and roadside markets. Dan and I took a side trip to the Wisconsin Motorcycle Memorial and had a great time with June at Siobhan's Wine in Fish Creek. Thursday night I had spotted a sign that said Motorcycle Memorial Park 2 Miles so on Saturday Dan and I took a side trip to find it. I'm really happy that we did. It was a very spiritual place and a very nice tribute to the Fallen Brothers and Sisters of Wisconsin that road motorcycles. There was a large group of Honda GoldWing riders there when we pulled up.

On Sunday we headed to Milwaukee to the Harley Davidson Museum. It was really great being able to go there. There was so much to see that I could have spent hours there reading every single piece of history about every single part of the motorcycle lifestyle and the history of Harley Davidson. If you get a chance definitely go but plan to be there a few hours because it's not a place you want to hurry through.

We had a great weekend and I'm very happy that my folks suggested this trip to celebrate their 45th Anniversary. Happy Anniversary, Mom and Dad! Love you both very much!!!

A Round of Applause for a Great Lady and Her Man!!!

If you scroll down you'll see the post I put up about the Ride for Trinity. Well...I opened my e-mail today and there was a huge thank you to the gal that put it on and her husband. Toots-Twister and Spiderweb live in Montezuma, IA and they planned this event to help Trinity's family. I'm posting it on my main page instead of putting it in the comments for the post below because I want people to see what huge hearts Bikers truly have. I've been in contact with Toots and she said the ride was a huge success, which is wonderful! Visit Trinity's website:


Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A Little Motorcycle Humor...

Now and then people e-mail me stuff that cracks me up. Found this in my e-mails today and had to share...

I am working from home today, and I do have to work, but I look outside and its a lovely bright morning. What often happens on such days is I might take a walk to the garage, usually one of the bikes is awake, the conversation goes something like this.

bike “working from home today again huh'
me: yep
bike: need some 'thinking time'
me: thinking time?
bike “thinking time, you haul me out of the garage, ride me for a couple of hours and think about the work you need to do”
me: that a good idea?
bike: sure it is you get to think and I get to go on the road, don't be such a pussy.
me: OK I'll get my gear
bike to herself as I walk away “ that little bike whore is so easy”

Then my wife gets home in the evening and says “you are working been out on that bike again!!”

Saturday, September 20, 2008

IPG Showed up At Sturgis...

I have a story from Sturgis that I've gone back and forth about sharing because I don't want anyone to think I am trying to get a pat on the back or comments on how nice I am. I want to tell it because I want people to realize that a small act of kindness and acknowledgement can go a long way.

Dan and I were wandering through all of the vendors in Sturgis to try to find a better deal on a shirt that Dan wanted to get. As we entered one of the vendor tents I spotted a gentleman standing off to the side, seeming like he'd love to be anywhere but there. As I observed him more I noticed that on his vest were patches that read Vietnam Veteran, etc. It appeared that maybe he was working there. He didn't talk to anyone unless they asked him a question and he just had this sad look about him. We had worked our way over to this table that was near where he was standing. I got this feeling in my heart that I wanted to say something to him. I walked over to him and took his hand in mine. I looked directly into his eyes and he gave me this very startled look like, what the hell lady! I said to him...Sir, thank you very much for the service that you gave to our country. I appreciate all you sacrificed. He looked back at me and said...Wow, you are welcome. I squeezed his hand ever so lightly and walked away.

As Dan paid for the shirt he wanted, I observed this man again. He went from lurking to the side of the tent, to walking up to people and talking to them in a matter of a couple minutes. And the best part about it, he had a smile on his face.

The point of my story is that if you feel something in your heart do it, say it. The feeling that you have could uplift someones spirit and help them through the day. I guess I'm all about supporting our real heroes. The ones that put their lives on the line for our freedom. As D-Day has said a couple times...maybe I should change my name to Iowa Patriot Girl. I just have such a love and respect for our military that every chance I get I tell them how much I do appreciate them. I think my whole thing is, lift up those that are real heroes, they need to know what they are doing or did is that important!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Please Remember...

Friday, September 19th is National POW/MIA Recognition Day. Please take a moment tomorrow to remember all of the soldiers that are still Prisoners of War or Missing in Action.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

322 Days Until the 69th Anniversary Sturgis Rally

Ok Kids...we made our reservations in Rapid City for next years rally. If you are interested in staying in a hotel about 25 miles from Sturgis give the Motel 6 a call. It's not a luxury hotel by any means but it was the cheapest place we could find. The phone number is 605.343.3687. Call during the day and speak to the manager.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


For information on Trinity Please visit

Poker Run- Sign in starts at 10:30AM at courthouse square Montezuma, Iowa
$5.00 per hand or $10.00 for 3 hands with payouts to highest & lowest hand
Last bike out at 11:30AM
Last bike in at 5:30PM (100 mile run)

1st stop Delta Junction-Intersection of HWY 92 & HWY 21
2nd stop Wildlife Bar-n-Grill Fremont, IA
3rd stop All In The Family Raceway (use to be Winds) Oskaloosa, IA
They will have maid rites & chips for bikers.
4th stop Longhorn, Barnes City, IA
5th stop Montezuma Tap, Montezuma, IA
Dinner and Street Dance In front of and hosted by Montezuma Tap in Montezuma, Iowa
$10.00 per person-includes dinner and dance, $15.00 per couple.
Food will be served from 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
Clayton Brown opening for Mississippi Pearl will perform from 8PM – 9PM
Mississippi Pearl will perform from 9PM - 1AM
Several Raffles throughout the night including 50/50
Lodging Camping available
Additional camping at Diamond Lake for a fee (payable to DNR)
Cozy Country Inn Call for Reservations at 641-623-5505
Everyone Welcome!
All Proceeds go to Trinity Arthur
Donations also accepted for Trinity Arthur at Montezuma State Bank (641-623-5766)
C/o Randy Henkle (Grandpa)
For More Info. Contact: Caryn Webb-toots/twister at 641-990-7826 E-mail:

Sunday, September 07, 2008

2008 National POW/MIA Recognition Day - Friday, September 19th, 2008

Please remember our countries POW/MIA Soldiers on September 19, 2008. You can visit the following website to view stats on the names and number of soldiers from World War II, The Korean War, The Cold War, Vietnam, and the 1991 Gulf War that are still missing. There is also this website that gives the names of our POW/MIA Soldiers from Operation Iraqi Freedom.
We must never forget these Soldiers and must continue to urge our Government to do whatever they can to locate them and bring them home where they belong!