Saturday, December 11, 2010
I'm not ashamed to admit that I still believe in Santa. There was a brief point in my life when I didn't and tried to throw a wrench in my sister's belief of Santa. What a mean older sister I was telling her that Santa was a fake and I remember doing everything I could after that to correct my wrong. I mean really, what's the harm in believing in a cute old bearded jolly man in a red suit. It brings warmth and great memories remembering waking up Christmas morning to all kinds of great presents that Santa had left for us. Santa brings joy and smiles to me when I see him. I also feel that there is a little Santa in others and they are sent out by him to spread joy and smiles during Christmas and all the year through. Life in America has been a little challenged these days and we are all struggling to make ends meet. Even with that, you can still let your inner Santa come through by helping those less fortunate then you. And I think I say this every year, slow down a little and enjoy the season. Be kind to others and it will come back to you. And whatever you do, always believe in Santa, he's out there watching to see if you are being naughty or nice.
Sunday, December 05, 2010
The girl's name Harley, ha(r)-ley, is pronounced HAR-lee. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Harley is "hare meadow". Notable in modern times as a female name due to actress Harley Jane Kozak. The name of a great motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson.
The boy's name Harley, ha(r)-ley, is pronounced HAR-lee. It is of Old English origin, and the meaning of Harley is "hare meadow; the long field". May also possibly mean "rocky meadow" or "eagle meadow". Familiar as the name of a great motorcycle, the Harley-Davidson.
Friday, November 26, 2010
This is the perfect gift for any motorcycle lover! American Throttle - The Motorcycle Trivia Board Game is based on a poker run across the United States, stopping at all the major rallies such as Sturgis, Laconia, Daytona, Four Corners and Laughlin. This is the perfect game to quench your motorcycle thirst during the long, cold winters that a lot of us experience every year. I know, I know...some of you are lucky and live in climates that allow riding pretty much all year. You do have parties and it would be a great addition to a night out with the crew.(it's a drinking game!!)
Here is a video explaining the game and how it's played.
After watching that I know you want to buy one of these to check out on your own. Sounds like fun, huh??!! To get your American Throttle Game <----click on that link and it will take you to the Buy It page on the American Throttle - The Motorcycle Trivia Board Game website.
The creators of this game are David Veal and Steve Schader. David came up with the idea after watching all of the biker build off shows that used to be on TV. He pitched the idea to Steve and the rest is HISTORY.
If you do end up buying this game, come back to my site and leave a comment letting others know what you thought of it. It really does look like a lot of fun!
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
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JewelryHype! Excellent Jewels at Excellent Prices!!
Friday, October 08, 2010
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Saturday, September 18, 2010
I had submitted my story to Garage Girls and Karen read it and posted a comment. Through correspondence via e-mail and Facebook we have become friends and have shared our thoughts and struggles dealing with our cancers. Karen is one strong woman and I'm so excited that she agreed to do this interview so that you can get to know her too. She is a huge inspiration and has helped me deal with my fears of moving to the front.
How long have you been riding a motorcycle?
What was your first motorcycle?
2006 Yamaha V-Star 1100 Custom, black on black, with really nice adds.
What do you ride now?
2008 Harley-Davidson Street Glide 96” with Stage 1. Dyno’d with Screamin' Eagle Pro EFI Super Tuner. That said, I wouldn’t mind more.
What made you decide to ride?
I remembered how much I enjoyed being a passenger. I like the wind in my face. I thought that I might enjoy riding, but never really thought I’d own my own bike.
How do you feel when you are riding?
I feel happy. Also, I feel free, plugged in, focused, and calm. I like the intensity. I get respite on my bike. I sort out a lot of stuff. My friend Jenn calls her bike Therapy and I get that.
I always want to ride and never want to get off the bike. I want to go. Luckily, I have a few friends that feel the same way.
Is there a motto that you live by?
No, I don’t know that I have a motto, but I recently heard Rene say that life isn’t like a savings account; the more you spend the more interest you gain. I like that idea. A positive, hopeful attitude is helpful in every aspect of my lfe.
You recently embarked on an amazing journey on your motorcycle. Can you tell me about your trip and why you took on this amazing journey?
It was an amazing journey! The Conga III Breast Cancer ride was envisioned by Flo Fuhr and members of the Delphi Forum, Women Who Ride met in Cheyenne, Wyoming, while fund raising for the National Breast Cancer Foundation. The National Breast Cancer Foundation's mission is to save lives by increasing awareness of breast cancer through education and by providing mammograms for those in need. Conga-lines came from Vancouver Island, Saskatchewan, North Carolina, Florida, Texas, Idaho and many other places. I think we may have had around 40 riders. Memories were made as riders took time to see the sights as they rode to Cheyenne. Many of the riders had known each other for years, as online friends and were just meeting face-to-face for the first time. There was instant camaraderie and it was a really great reunion! We had a couple days to relax and enjoy ourselves. The local Harley-Davidson dealership sponsored a party that was really fun. They really support the cause well. We also had an excellent day ride to Estes Park, Nederland, Peak to Peak and then down into Denver. Our fundraising goal was $14,000, and I heard a few weeks ago it was up to $36,600.
I was in Flo’s group from Vancouver Island. We rode through Yellowstone National Park and spent a couple nights in Shell, Wyoming. Shell, a tiny town of 50, must be the “Heart-Home of the Conga”, as those who live there, poured their hearts into the Conga cause. The citizens of Shell rolled out the pink carpet and hosted a great afternoon gathering to raise awareness and money. Just about $4000 dollars was raised in this community. I love those I met and because of the people, one of my favorite parts of the Conga. I hope to go back soon!
I went on the ride to share time with my friends from Canada and for the experience. It was a trip of a lifetime and a true journey, as it encompassed more than riding a motorcycle from point A to point B. I rode with Flo’s group from Vancouver Island to Cheyenne and rode much of my trip home alone. The road time was very good. Lots of fun, but at every stop on the road, it soon became evident that people wanted to hear our story, share theirs’ and to participate by donating. The ride became much bigger than a simple trip to Cheyenne. We heard touching stories of survivorship, elation, grief, baldness, wigs, Locks of Love, mastectomy, prostrate, cure and so on. We were encouraged and thanked by so many people. I loved it when we’d hear from passing motorists, “Conga!” The ride was excellent, but it was the people I loved most.
I know that there were men that traveled on the Conga ride but the majority of the riders were women. Is there something special about riding with a group of windsisters?
Yes, we had a handful of Cabana Boys who served us sisters very well. They cheerfully granted our every wish to be all around great men. And they looked so hawt in pink!
It is pretty spectacular to ride with women. There is a sisterhood. I haven’t ridden very long and have ridden with just a few other women, but never in a mostly female group. I’d say I felt that the feelings of empowerment were intensified. At one point, we were a group of women and one man, zooming across the wide open flats of Wyoming in very strong, gusting winds. Each passing truck blew us around. It was uncomfortable and cold, yet all I could think of was how awesome life was! I was out there gritting my teeth, praying there’d be fewer trucks and no crazy antelope, and giving thanks. When we arrived at our destination, there were no sour words, only glee and celebration that we rode through some tough windy conditions. I was really impressed with these ladies, as all didn’t have full dressers; they were strong women.
What is the craziest thing that has ever happened to you on the road?
The morning we left Superior, I had two 8-inch long magnetic breast cancer ribbon decals on top of my gas tank. They were a little stiff from the cold. At about 75 mph, the one on the right started lifting up. I’d slap it down and all would be ok until I’d throttle up. I started playing with my speed and watching this magnet lift up. I wondered if it would fly off. The whole thing tickled me and I started to giggle. Throttle up, slow down. Repeat. I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. I realized Flo, who was right behind me, was probably wondering what the hell I was doing. That got me laughing. Then, I goosed the throttle and the magnet lifted up and the whole thing peeled off at about 85 mph. It flew right on up over my shoulder. Zing! All I could hope was that Flo saw it coming. OMG, I really started laughing, then I started laughing because I was laughing, and it was soooo creepy loud within my visor that I laughed even harder. At some point, I was sort of doubled-over the gas tank just howling. Tears were streaming and it was a huge release! Course, I had one more decal to go, so that made me laugh even harder. It was insane. Yep, I throttled up and let ‘er rip. I’ll never forget how wonderful it felt to be so in the moment, hysterically laughing at myself, riding at about 80 mph on a sunny Montana morning. It was beautiful! Crazy, I know! (Flo lived to tell the story of ducking and diving because pink shit was flying off my bike.)
Out of all the places you've ridden do you have a favorite?
I have two roads that I really enjoyed not only for the road, but for who I was with. On the Conga, I really enjoyed the ride from Three Forks to West Yellowstone, Montana. We had just spent a really wonderful afternoon with Robin and Lonnie of Helena, who treated us to a private opening of their store, The Leather Store (bliss) and then had us over to their home for a BBQ before sending us down the road. It was great. That area is my old stomping ground and I’ve been on that road quite a few times, but never before on a motorcycle. It was a sunny, stormy, dramatic vista sort of day. Beautiful. The other ride is in Washington from Colfax to Pasco, via Dusty and Dayton. A beautiful, warm, sunny day with big, huge, sweeping curves in wheat country. That day was spent with special and new friends.
Do you have any mentors or people that inspire you and if so who and why?
My dear friend Flo has mentored me well. She is a loving, matter of fact person who really wants the best for her friends. She helped me locate my first bike, then rode it to a parking lot so I could learn how to go from 100’ circles to 16’ slow cone weave in a couple hours. She has given me more than I can ever say, as my riding keeps giving to me. I love her lots!
Besides Flo, professional trainers have been instrumental in helping me develop skills for safer riding. They are Mike of MSF, and Ed, Curt and Zsolt of Northwest Motorcycle School. Also, the people who have helped me the most here in Wenatchee are Dave and Bob. All are superior riders and I learn from each and every ride. They are the best and yeah, I love those guys, too!
Do you have any advice for girls and women if they are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
I’m no trainer, but I think women may have an advantage when learning to ride over men, as we will learn to finesse rather than to muscle around our machines. We also learn differently. Typically we learn from a place of caution and are not out to prove anything except that we can learn to ride and will ride well. IMO, rank beginners should take the MSF course without their man. Go alone or with girlfriends. This stage of the ride is all about doing things at your own comfortable rate. Buy a bike that fits you, not a brand name or color, because you will most likely learn enough on this bike to know you want specific things in your next bike. You might consider getting a larger cc bike to start on. My 1100cc was a big first bike, but as Jenn suggested: I was in charge of the throttle and the brake. I felt the power offered by that bike was an added safety factor. It had power to get me out of a situation if I needed it. Everyone knows emergency braking is an important skill, but having enough power can also add to your list of evasive actions, but only if you have it available (in the correct gear, too). Be sure to get the Ride Like a Pro DVD and practice. Practice, practice, practice your slow speed drills and emergency braking. Learn how to correctly emergency brake. Take any and all advanced rider courses you can find. Every class will teach you one more excellent skill, for in an emergency, you’ll react according to your training. Last, ride at every opportunity.
What life lessons have you learned since you were diagnosed with Lymphoma?
I think the biggest change has been how I spend time with hopes that I don’t waste it. I’ve learned to talk to people that may have intimidated me before my diagnosis… I’m talking about those with full on tats, piercings, nasty looking bikes, etc. I didn’t realize how frequently I judged people before I knew what was in their hearts. I am more independent and stronger. I parent differently, as I talk more about what dreams are made of. I feel that I need to hurry up and live my life now that living is good, because God did give us the gift of life so we should be experiencing it and giving to others (not on the TV, etc). So, given the opportunity to ride or do just about anything else, and I go riding.
Do you feel like a stronger woman because of all you have been through?
Absolutely. Without cancer, I would not have gone on the Conga, because the idea of riding home alone would have been too much. That fear would have kept me home.
What does your family think of you riding?
I think it is probably a mixed bag of pride, fear, glee ... They don’t fully understand, but see what it does for me. My mom and my daughters probably are my biggest boosters, my spouse is still just shaking his head. I think he’s wondering what next? I have talked about learning to fly. Wouldn’t a jet be something awesome?
Tell me anything else that you would like to tell me about your life journey since being diagnosed with NHL.
Doctors say that you can live with cancer. I believe cancer can live with me, but it better behave. Some may have heard the adage “I have cancer, it doesn’t have me”, and that is true. Many scientists believe we can now start viewing and treating some cancers much like chronic health conditions such as hypertension or diabetes. Many people live well while they have cancer living with them.
When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing?
I lead a pretty quiet life these days. I enjoy cooking, reading, my family and friends, shopping for black leather and motorcycle things. What else is there?
Just for fun...
Do you have a favorite swear word?
Oh, nice try, girlie. You’ll have to ride with me to hear me use it. Let’s go!
What music are you listening to?
Lately, it has been Dave Matthew’s last CD, Gillian Welch’s Revival and Tom Waits. Lots of radio! Currently, I’m listening to The Rolling Stones, You Can't Always Get What U… want?! (irony) .
What are you reading?
Anam Cara by John O’Donohue, Ivan Doig’s latest, and a stack of magazines…
Cherry or Mango?
Last thoughts: When it comes to motorcycles, many women toy with the idea of learning to ride, yet shy off with thoughts that it's way too scary. I get it, but want to encourage women to step out of their comfort zone and try it out. Remember what it felt like to learn to drive a car? Was it scary and thrilling? Remember the first time you experienced horsepower, independence, and autonomy? Recapture the romance! Take the MSF course, get involved. The fastest growing demographic in the world of motorcycling is the numbers of female riders and it isn’t by accident; it’s by good training and desire to be strong, independent, and empowered,
Hey,….. check this out, this is what I’m talking about: Women Riders
A huge THANK YOU to Karen for sharing her story! I hope her words inspire you to live your life now!!
On October 9th I will be walking the Leukemia Lymphoma Light the Night walk. I'm not just walking for me but I'll be walking for Karen too! If you would like to donate to help to find a cure for Leukemia and Lymphoma please visit my team page, Ain't Buy'n What Hairy's Cell'n and make a donation!
Watch Stealth Rider every Wednesday 8P ET/PT on SPEED!
Thursday, September 09, 2010
Wednesday, September 08, 2010
If you have been a motorcyclist for a long enough period of time you are bound to get hit by something, maybe a rock or a bug. On our ride the other day something happened that I still keep replaying in my mind. This bird tangled with my arm and I think my arm won! Yes, I feel bad because I'm not one to kill birds and animals. Monique and RJ said it was a sight to be seen. Feathers flying every which way and then splat. I'm sorry Mr. Bird but you should have stayed out of my air space!
What kinds of things have you tangled with on the road?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Rick is from Columbus, OH and currently resides with his wife Michelle in Springfield, OH. Rick has two sons, Jonathan and Ethan and an Alaskan Malamute named Dakota. Rick's passions include writing, touring on a motorcycle, cigars, and starting small businesses. He also attempts to follow Christ which he does some days better than others.
When did you first discover motorcycles?
My childhood friend got a Honda 50cc as a gift and we rode it up and down the sidewalks in our neighborhood. I think that was the beginning of the madness.
What was your first motorcycle?
A friend was moving into a tiny apartment and had no storage so he gave me his 1975 Kawasaki H1-500. I love that bike and hope to add one to my stable of motorcycles one day.
How many motorcycles have you owned over the years?
Not many. I tend to fall in love with them so I keep them for long periods of time. They are like my friends. I know many people buy and sell motorcycles quite often, but I have never been that guy. I guess I am too much of a romantic.
What are you riding now and why?
Currently we have four bikes, 1985 Honda Nighthawk 450, 2003 Yamaha V-Star 1100, 1996 Triumph Daytona 1200, and a 1000 BMW R1100RT.
Most of the time I ride the BMW. My friends call me a super slabber because my style of riding is more long distance riding. The RT is the perfect long distance bike and therefore the one I ride the most.
Why did you decide to begin blogging about motorcycles?
For me it began as an outlet, a place to write down what I was thinking about at the time. I wanted to document some of my cycling experiences, the skills I had learned, and what's more, my mistakes. From there it just evolved and continues to do so.
What is your site called? Why and how did you decide on the title of your blog?
The site is called "Keep the Rubber Side Down" and I chose it because I think this phrase speaks to the camaraderie of the motorcycling community and secondly, because one of the main purposes of the site is to offer stories and tips that will help make one a better rider.
"Keep the Rubber Side Down" is a phrase often used by motorcyclists to encourage one another to be safe while on the road. It is also a great metaphor to be used as we journey down the road called LIFE!
Do you have any other blogs?
Yes, I have Rick's Ramblings.
What types of subjects do you enjoy blogging about?
At Keep the Rubber Side Down I strictly deal with issues pertaining to motorcycling. My readers are not there to read my views on other subjects. I reserve Rick's Ramblings to deal with other topics that interest me such as spirituality, books, humor, etc.
Do you do freelance work for other motorcycle publications or websites?
Yes, I have written for our local paper and a few online magazines, but honestly, keeping my two sites fresh, and working on my book, takes up most of my writing time.
Do you do any creative writing?
I always have a pen and pad on me. I write everywhere I am. I am always listening for something that will spark my creativity.
You use video submissions from time to time. What do you use to do those?
I use a Flip HD camera. Easy to use and fabulous video.
How many states have you traveled?
I have visited most of them, but a couple years ago I decided to ride my motorcycle in every state. To date I am up to 31 states.
What is your favorite state to ride in?
As I mentioned, I haven't been in all of them, so I can't definitively answer that, but I love riding in Tennessee and along the east coast.
How does riding enrich your life?
Big question. Riding, especially long distances, affords me the time to move beyond the surface things that normally clutter my brain. It is the time I am able to connect to that which is important and meaningful in my life.
Do you enjoy attending rallies?
I tend to avoid rallies and riding in large groups. I am most able to enjoy the very essence of my riding style when I ride alone or perhaps with one or two others, but I far prefer to be alone.
What do you think makes a "Biker"?
I despise this term.
Be honest...do you really dislike Harley Davidson Motorcycles as much as you seem to?
Let me just say, I don't believe they warrant the following they have. I simply don't get it. It is not the motorcycles as much as the few riders who make me want to hurl my Cheerios. I love all motorcycles whether they are new, old, big, small, rusted or shiny, and yes; American or foreign. It seems to me some HD folks give off the vibe that if you aren't riding a HD you are a second class citizen and I think that takes away some of the joy of cycling for those riders who can't afford a Harley. Especially when the majority of those riders learned to ride on another brand.
I always ask a couple of fun questions like the guy on "In the Actors Studio" does.
What music are you currently listening to?
Moon Dance by Van Morrison. Music does not play a crucial role in my life.
What are you currently reading?
I am always reading something, be it "Newsweek", or a Triumph service manual. I am a task reader and very seldom read for entertainment. Here is a list of books I am reading now.
They Say I Say - A book about formal writing.
The Oath by Frank Peretti
The Devil Can Ride
The Treasury of Religious Verse
Thanks to Rick for answering the questions that he did. Enjoyed getting to know a non HD rider a little more and it's always good to learn someone elses perspective on motorcycling.
Check out Rick's blogs:
Keep the Rubber Side Down
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Poker Run- Sign in starts at 10:30 am at courthouse square in Montezuma,IA. $5.00 per hand or $10.00 for 3 hands with payouts to highest and lowest hand. Last bike out at 11:30 am Last bike in at 5:00pm(100 mile) 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 Oskaloosa,IA, 4th stop Scooters New Sharon,IA, 5th stop and final County Seat Montezuma,IA.
Dinner and Street Dance-In front of and hosted by County Seat in Montezuma,IA $10.00 per person-includes dinner and dance,$15.00 per couple. Food will be served from 6:30-8:00pm. Band CPR will be playing from 8:00pm-Midnight. Several raffles throughout the night.
Lodging- Camping available for free or you can choose the following: Camping at Diamond Lake for a fee (payable to DNR), Cozy Country Inn-call for reservations at 641-623-5505.
EVERYONE IS WELCOME!!!!!
Donations accepted for Randy Stevenson at Montezuma State Bank. For more information call(641)-623-5766
Contact:Caryn Webb (Toots) at 641-990-7826 or email email@example.com.
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Paul Jamiol has started a new Bikers are Animals blog on his children's books. He invites all to feel free to stop by anytime and post. The blog will be mostly about the books, the characters, art, motorcycles and both current and future projects that Paul is working on. He loves both art and motorcycles and hopes to share a lot of that with visitors. Please join him at the blog when you get a chance and feel free to comment, follow or just lurk.
Update: The second book, Bikers are Animals 2 - The Rest of the Crew, is right on schedule for it's September release. Pre-reviews are really positve.
Contact: Paul Jamiol
Sunday, August 08, 2010
On August 15th Bill Dwyer sets off for an eight month trip that takes him from America to Argentina, spanning over 20 countries and 25,000 miles. Without a cellphone, and infrequent internet access he will no longer always be "connected" or "on the grid." He travels alone, but brings along a virtual audience for the ride through documenting his journey on YouTube.
As a software developer, Bill grew weary of his corporate job. He sold most of his belongings and traded his cubical for the open road. Food, gas and shelter will be his only concerns. No more timelines to follow or deadlines to meet, only serendipity creates the destiny of his road map.
Perceptions of Mexico and Latin American countries as a seething breeding ground of violence have been widespread. Bill believes that people and the world around us are not as dangerous as we sometimes are lead to believe. The success of his journey should prove to be a reminder that among a seemingly hostile world there is still some good out there.
Bill is an avid adventure motorcyclist and blogger for 3 years. He has built up an audience from all walks of life and continues to entertain, educate and inspire them to take the plunge and seek out adventures of their own.
Sunday, August 01, 2010
Last weekend Dan and I took a ride to no particular place and ended up in Waterloo, IA at the Screaming Eagle American Bar & Grill. People I know have said great things about the place so I thought, might as well check it out. Located downtown Waterloo at 228 East 4th Street the Screaming Eagle is a great place to get a burger and brew. It's very much a biker friendly bar but there were more non bikers there when we arrived. The food was good and the waitress we had made sure we had everything we needed. Might have to head back some Thursday night because they boast a big bike night that begins at 6pm with Live Music and lots of Cold Beer!
If you are out riding with no particular place to go, head to Waterloo, IA and check out the Screaming Eagle American Bar & Grill.
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
Thursday, July 08, 2010
The opportunity to review this book came at the best time. Being I'm a newbie rider I truly learned a lot from Sonny Barger's wisdom. One might think that Mr. Barger would have a ride it like you stole it mentality but he really gave very sensible advice in this book. He was very truthful and didn't sugar coat the risks involved with riding.
In the introduction of the book Sonny writes...Back in the 1970's people used to say: "Ride Hard, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse." People said a lot of stupid things back then. I'm in my seventies today, and that saying seems even more idiotic to me now then it did back then. I've got a better plan: ride smart, live long, and die of old age.
This book has page after page of useful information. Each chapter takes you on the journey that you may take when you finally decide to ride and helps you figure out what type of motorcycle you should consider for your first bike. Sonny covers different parts of a motorcycle and the fundamentals of riding. There is great information on evaluating a used motorcycle and when to walk away from purchasing the motorcycle you are looking at. This book covers just about everything you possibly need to know and things you would never think about as a new rider.
Chapter Six is about Advanced Riding Techniques. I read that chapter a couple times and plan to read it a few more. When you are a new rider there is so much to remember and at times you find yourself getting caught up in the moment, so reading that chapter again and again will remind me of all the things I need to remember to do when I'm out there on the road. Even seasoned riders would benefit from reading the Advanced Riding Techniques chapter.
What I really liked where the bullet points at the end of the chapters that summed up some of the knowledge you should have taken away from what you just read.
- The engine gives the motorcycle its character.
- Horsepower might win races, but on the street torque is king.
- The more comfortable your bike, the more you enjoy riding.
- Helmets not only protect your head, but they make riding more comfortable.
- Everyone else on the road has the potential to kill you at any time.
- Avoid financing if you can help it because it makes buying a motorcycle much more expensive.
- Don't worry about what everyone else thinks; pick the bike you like.
- You need to prepare your body and your bike for the rigors of a long trip.
I would especially recommend Let's Ride: Sonny Barger's Guide to Motorcycling How to Ride the Right Way for Life to anyone considering getting on two wheels or anyone that has just purchased and is learning how to ride on two wheels. I have to admit, I was truly shocked at times on how totally sensible and safe Sonny Barger is in his thinking. He is definitely an ICON of the motorcycling world and he offers so much of his knowledge in this book. You will also laugh at the humor he throws in throughout the book. I enjoyed his straight forward way of looking at things. As I said at the beginning of this post, he doesn't sugar coat a thing about riding. Motorcycling is fun but it should be taken seriously and respected and Sonny reconfirms this in each chapter.
If you are attending the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally you can meet Sonny Barger and get a signed copy of this book. He will be at the Local 81 Bike Shop on Aug 9 from 10am to 3pm and on Aug 10 he will be at the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum from 1pm to 4pm.
Tuesday, June 29, 2010
As I drove home tonight I noticed that there were quite a few GoldWings traveling the streets of Des Moines. Then it dawned on me, the GoldWing Wing Ding started today! WELCOME to Des Moines, WINGERS! Glad to have you in the Capital City! They will be in Des Moines from June 30 to July 3.
I'm excited because I'm hoping to go watch the Light Parade Thursday night and the Parade through Des Moines on Friday night! Fun, Fun, Fun!!! I love a good parade and when it is all motorcycles that's even better!
Check out their site - Gold Wing Wing Ding
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Motorcycle Everything and Everything Else
Motorcycle Travel America
Monday, June 21, 2010
Saturday, June 19, 2010
I wish you all a wonderful weekend. I hope you fill your unwritten pages with many memories!!
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Monday, June 14, 2010
If you are an SOA fan you will enjoy the story that Rippin Kitten has posted on her site. She was lucky enough to get a live, in-person interview with Kurt Sutter. She's included great photos of Kurt, the sets, and there are a couple videos too. Make sure you check it out!
Saturday, June 05, 2010
There have been moments as I've been riding that have made my heart sing and have given me permagrin. The first was when I was shifting gears and getting out of 1st for the first time. FUN!!! I kept saying to myself...you are shifting gears woman...go...go...go! The second was my first biker wave. Dan said he laughed out loud when he saw me drop the wave to a fellow biker. He told me that he instantly thought...My chicks a biker now! I know, I know...don't write comments that I'm not a biker yet...that I need many more miles in the saddle. It is my philosophy that being a biker is in your soul. It's not something that you can just get. If I have to explain...blah, blah, blah.
So that's the latest on me and my pretty chrome horse, Sadie.
Friday, June 04, 2010
Well I had to replace the video that was on here from Fox and Friends because the owner of the video made it private. Here is a video of Ray painting the 2009 tribute to our Vets.
Thursday, June 03, 2010
Tuesday, June 01, 2010
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I am a Michigan artist living in Grand Rapids with my youngest daughter Devin and my significant other(such a weird term) Fred Houseman. Maybe we could just list Fred as the best man I've ever known.
I do not currently own a motorcycle. I am working on developing a custom bike with some of the builders I have met, still a dream, but I know it will happen.
I first rode with my ex-husband, he had an old yellow 80's AMF Harley, "Old Yeller" We had a lot of good times with that bike, although I don't miss the little black streak I had down the back of everything I rode in because the darn thing leaked oil on the chain without fail. I have had the chance to ride with other people over the last few years, always loved it. Some of the best times I had were on the back of a friends Screaming Eagle Road King, that thing could fly! Great trips to the UP of Michigan and out to Sturgis, I have had the chance to meet many great people and see some beautiful country during those times.
My website is Art For Bikers.
I studied painting with a variety of wonderful instructors, but have no "formal training". I worked toward learning to paint portraits with the thought that bikers are so "tribal" :) The leather, the patches and chains, more interesting faces than you would ever see at a fashion show, a treasure of subject matter, not to mention the challenge of painting chrome on a lot of black on black! Life had other ideas, I became a mom and ended up riding less and painting a lot of kids portraits! Good times, but now the kids are grown and it's time for mom to have some fun.
When did I start painting bikers? I don't know exactly when, but "The General" was one of the first portraits I did, he is the most recognized rider in this state. That portrait and one called "Presence of Order" both images were from photos from our biggest "Blessing of the Bikes" in Baldwin, MI. If you look at the chrome in " Presence of Order" and compare it to the chrome I paint now, I believe you can see some growth in the process.
People can view my work at various bike events, my website will be adding a calendar I am always at the Blessing in Baldwin, but not to paint, to take photos. Prints of my work as well as some originals can be seen at Teazer's Bar in Grand Rapids. I am always at ChopperFest in Martin, MI in July. At the spring and fall custom bike shows in Otsego, MI with Davidson Express. The MDA Black and Blue Ball for West Michigan, Fox 17 Ride for Babies, and will be at The Ride to Hell and Back this year in Hell, MI
"Hanging with Friends" is my most popular image. I think it is because it doesn't matter what you ride and the fact it is about friends and friendship, hanging out together, sticking together when times are tough. Faithfulness, love of country represented by the flag on one of the jackets. It reminds me of a run with good friends, the first run of spring and good, good times. I don't have a favorite painting, they are all my favorites and each new one brings new excitement, new friends. Everyone is so passionate about what they ride, and their own experience, it carries over to the work and makes it for wonderful paintings.
I can not think of a motto I live by, but I have always told my daughters that they make me rich and they still do.
I have had many great teachers as well as support from family and friends. After my divorce someone said to me "If you were a responsible mom you would quit this painting thing and get a factory job with health insurance." My girls cried and told me that they would eat peanut butter and jelly, but that I had to paint, it was who I was. I have had many side jobs from bartender to landscaper but I never quit painting. It is still what I want to do when I grow up!:)
Mentors and people who inspire? My mom, she encouraged me to paint, she would get me paint by numbers when I was a kid and then I would get in trouble for painting under the sheets with a flashlight at night. I would start a painting and could not stop until it was done. She took me to her art classes when I was 8 or 9 and they would give me paint just to keep me out of their hair!:0) She wall papered a wall downstairs with Saturday Evening Post Magazine covers, they were all Norman Rockwell paintings. From the floor to the ceiling I could look at all those wonderful paintings of regular people as well as the famous, I think you can see his influence in my work, at least I would be honored if you could!
What makes a biker? LOL I've heard "regular" friends who call their parents Mr. and Mrs. a biker friend calls them mom and dad. I have a love of bikers in general, they are like my family. There have been times I have felt very alone in the universe, my bikers friends said, we don't care if you have a bike to ride anymore, we love you just the way you are. I have many paintings that are from The Blessing of the Bikes in Baldwin, MI, that is just one example of bikers getting together and raising money for people who are in need. That event raises enough money to feed 3 county food banks for the year. The bikers just showed up to be blessed and then they take a little putt around the neighborhood and ask nothing in return.
Everyone want to know a crazy story from being on the road, the really crazy ones I can't tell! A cute one is from an painting I did of a man and his granddaughter on his bike. I finished it and quite often the name of the painting is one of the hardest things. I thought about Grandpa's girl, but how boring! I called the gal and asked if they had special names for each other......"Oh yes, he is Poppa Harley"......so cute I thought........."and she is Dammit!" I was pleasantly surprised, she told me that he calls her Dammit and he has her picture and name tattooed on his arm!:) So the image is now called Poppa Harley and Dammit.
I am always looking for the next painting. Commissions are very welcome. People can find me through the web-site. I can work with their photos or take them for the painting. I can change backgrounds, put you in Vegas or in front of the Mackinaw Bridge. I can usually look at a photo and tell if it will work for a painting. It is hard to give a price, each piece is one of a kind, but I can look at the photo and start a conversation about price, I will let you know what it is before I start the piece. It makes a future heirloom! A down payment starts the process and you can make payments. My daughter came up with ArtForBikers..........capturing the ride you can't forget!
Thank you so much Dixie for sharing your art and thoughts with us. You definitely have a love for Bikers!
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I know it's pretty far away but I've created a team for the Light the Night Walk to Fight Leukemia and Lymphoma. On October 9th my team and I will be walking in support of finding a cure for blood cancers. As many of you know I fought Hairy Cell Leukemia and kicked it's butt! I've created my team, Ain't Buyin What Hairy's Cell'n. If you would like to donate please visit my team page and donate! I appreciate your support!!!
Welcome to our Team's Homepage
Sunday, May 09, 2010
First off I have to know how you got the name Swag...
Swag comes from the music industry... it's what they call the freebies you get from labels and artists, etc.... (tshirts, comp cd's and other junk) One of my riding buddies heard me talking about getting some swag from someone one day and thought it would be funny to call me Swag Boy. Swag stuck and although it really makes no sense whatsoever to the bike community and nobody gets it... that's who Ive become. haha!
Give me a bio about you.
I was born in Kansas City, Missouri but grew up in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago where sports, photography, music, hot rods and of course motorcycles were my obsessions. My college years found me back in the Kansas City area and that's when the arts (music, photography, design) moved to the forefront of my life. I supported myself (and not very well I might add) by playing music through the late 1980's with a bunch of bands you've never heard of (haha) which eventually landed me in Nashville, Tennessee where I had very brief stints as guitarist with a couple Contemporary Christian artists in the early 1990's. Long story short, I eventually landed a full-time photography/design gig with a prominent music industry company in late 1994 and have been in that field since. Of course all along my path there have been motorcycles and hot rods so naturally, I sort of fell into side gigs doing photography and design in the regional bike and hot rod cultures.
When were you first aware of your interest in motorcycles?
When I was about 3 years old my aunt came for a visit to our house with her new boyfriend. I remember the distinct sound I heard when they rode up on a Harley-Davidson touring bike and it made such an impact on me that I still vividly recall even some of the details of that bike... like the rail that ran around the back of the seat and the white grips. I also remember how most in my family looked down on the "hoodlum biker" that had stolen my aunt’s heart. It's funny how even at that age I was aware of peoples preconceived notions of bikers... and I’m glad that my parents were not like that. They welcomed this guy and as for me... I could barely contain my excitement over that bike and I thought the guy was cool. BTW... as it turns out, he was a good guy... and he started what was a lifelong love of motorcycles for me. I often think about that when kids approach me today and want to see my bike. I always make time for them just like my aunt’s boyfriend did for me.
What was the first bike that you owned? What do you currently ride?
When I was 6, and after a long time of pleading my case, my dad finally convinced my mother that I wasn’t going to kill myself on 2 wheels and she let him spring for a used Sears mini-bike for me. It was the one with the lawn mower engine on it with the rope pull. It wasn’t much but man I loved it!
I currently have four bikes. A 2006 Electra Glide Standard for when I’m feeling may age, a 2001 Suzuki SV650S for when I feel sporty, a 1993 Honda CR250R for when I feel like I’m young again, and a 1984 Kawasaki 550LTD that my dad and I bobbed just for the heck of it.
Tell us about Biker Swag Design and Photography Services.
BikerSwag is the calling card for my motorcycle related work. I do all kinds of biker-related photography as well as web and print design for motorcycle related companies and events.
How long have you been in this industry?
I started considering the motorcycle industry a viable source of work in 2005.
Do you have a favorite photo shoot?
That’s a tough one because they are all fun. One of the most memorable ones though was a few years back when a local company sent me to Las Vegas to shoot guitarist Ace Frehley of KISS. This was back during the bands reunion and when the WWF was still rockin’. KISS was playing a couple songs for Monday Nitro which was the WWF’s big televised event and the shoot was scheduled in the KISS dressing room backstage before the event. It was all so surreal… haha! Here I was in Las Vegas (whacky town), at the WWF’s Monday Nitro (walking around in the midst of larger than life wrestlers like Hulk Hogan) shooting Ace Frehley (of a band that performs in Goth Makeup)! Can’t get much more bizarre than that!
Of course, any time there are motorcycles involved its tons of fun for me too. Like when I shot local builder Browder Ledbetter’s custom Triumph in front of a Nashville landmark for one of our state magazines. A beautiful bike!
Do you work mainly in the Tennessee area or do you travel to other parts of the country?
Most of my photography work is this area but I have design clients across the country thanks to the digital age. There are some clients I have never met face to face. The whole process of concept to completed project is done via email and file transfer.
What has been your greatest accomplishment or are there many?
I’m still working on that one… ha!
Could you tell me about your websites and what people can find there?
The one that would be of most interest to your readers would be Biker Swag which showcases some of my recent work in the motorcycle industry, both photography and design. And there is a blog related to it which I call Swag’s Rant. It’s sort of my personal outlet for all things two-wheel related and includes my thoughts as well as product reviews and interviews.
Do you have any mentors or people that you look up to?
I have been blessed to have more than a few people in the photography/design fields that have been very unselfish with me… especially in the beginning when I was real green… that helped get me pointed in the right direction.
Someone more famous whose photo work I admire is Jeff Cochran of Speed King Photo. His images are just fantastic and capture the emotion of the moment… the kind of images I look at and say, “man, I wish I had shot that!”
What cameras do you use to shoot your amazing photos?
Well, I’m definitely a Canon snob… haha. I’m currently using a Canon 7D DSLR with a variety of lenses for the critical stuff but most of the images you see on my RANT are shot with a very small Canon SD1000 point-and-shoot. I love that camera because it fits in my pocket and does a great job for the web stuff. I process all images with Adobe Photoshop as well.
Do you have any big projects in the works for the future?
Yes, I recently became the Art Director for an upstart Hot Rod magazine called Grease Monkey. It caters to the Rat Rod and Rat Bike crowd and is really cool.
What is your favorite rally or do you have more then one favorite?
Honestly, I’ve never been much of a rally kind of guy. Large crowds usually just piss me off so I tend to avoid them… haha!
Where is the best place in the country to ride?
One day I want to ride the west coast line but last year a couple friends and I rode the Blueridge Parkway to Blowing Rock, NC and it was awesome. Of course most people in and around Tennessee would probably say the Tail of the Dragon, which I’ve ridden a few times.
Do you have any mottos that you live by?
No real mottos but having integrity is a biggie for me. I try to treat everyone from clients to friends with respect and total honesty. I despise people whose word I can’t trust.
What are your other passions beyond motorcycles and photography?
I kind of alluded to it earlier but music is a big deal in my life. I started playing guitar at the age of 8 and have never stopped. For a while it was my source of income.
How does riding enrich your life?
Oh man... beyond words. Its such a soul cleansing thing for me and definitely contributes to my sanity!
What do you think makes a "Biker"?
I know a lot of people are funny about the word biker but to me, anybody who rides and has a passion for two wheels is a biker on some level. And I’m for sure not a brand snob. (Note what’s in my garage.) The old saying that “I don’t care what you ride, if you ride you are my friend” would apply to me.
Are there any motorcycle publications that you would recommend?
I have subscribed to a bunch of mags in the past but the only one that has survived my subscription list is Cycle World. Honestly I mostly just read great blogs on-line like yours. There is a list on my RANT of my favorites.
What have you been published in?
I write a monthly column for Thunder Roads Tennessee and have been published in several of their sister publications including Kentucky, Alabama, Florida… I’ve also been published in The Horse Backstreet Choppers and Road Bike and on the music side of things everything from Guitar Player to Guitar World to Revolver to SPIN and even USA Today.
Where does the design aspect come into your business?
There is always some design aspect when framing a photo but beyond that I’ve been blessed to create several websites for clients in the motorcycle world as well as print design for others. Print Ad Services
What is the wildest thing that has happened to you out on the road?
Nothing all that wild but I did ride through a hail storm with little visibility in the mountains of East Tennessee one time… not interested in doing that again.
What is the most important lesson you've learned out on the road?
Riding is almost a spiritual thing for me… so I often learn a lot about myself when riding. Introspection comes easy when it’s just God, my motorcycle and me.
What is your favorite swear word?
Haha… I usually don’t use them but cut me off on my bike and all bets are off!
What music are you currently listening to?
Anything guitar-oriented is cool for me… but I just got the new Slash self titled CD and it is the best thing he has ever done. There are a bunch of guest vocalists including the great Lemmy Kilmeister, Myles Kennedy, Ozzy, Iggy Pop, Chris Cornell and even Fergie. It’s fantastic. Also on the iPod right now is the new Scorpions, The Dixie Dregs and Joe Satriani Live.
What are you currently reading?
I just picked up a copy of a great book called “Inbound Marketing” by Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah. Always trying to gain the marketing edge!
Thanks for the great interview, Swag! Looking forward to many more of Swag's Rants and those amazing Biker Swag photos!!