Sunday, January 22, 2012

From Annabelle to Victoria - An Interview with Ann "Boston" Nelson

Women are moving to the front and riding their own motorcycles more and more each year. This is true for fellow blogger Ann "Boston" Nelson. Ann road for many years with her husband Daryl aka Caveman but after the loss of a loved one decided it was time for her to discover her dream of riding her own. Ann is someone I've looked up to for sometime and is one of the many women that encouraged me when I was learning to ride my own. A huge thank you to Ann for all the encouraging words she sent my way.

Meet Boston, aka Ann Nelson....

Give us a bio about yourself.
I was born and raised in southeastern Massachusetts. I grew up on Harleys and Indians with my Dad. I had a short lesson in bad marriages at age 22, and once that was taken care of, I met the love of my life, Daryl (Caveman). He had custody of his 3 kids when we met. I thought he would have to be pretty damned special if the court awarded him custody over the mother. Either that, or the mother was a complete whack job. Well, as it turns out, it was a combination of both! We were married the day after my divorce was final. I gave birth to our beautiful baby girl Victoria Ann the following March, and two years later we moved to Arizona with 4 kids and a cat. I started wanting to ride my own bike many years ago. But then I had Vicki and forgot for a while. When we moved to Arizona, we were riding all the time, and riding bitch got old real fast. I lost my Dad in 2005 to ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis), and then my Mom in 2009 to heart disease. Mom's death was the straw that broke the camel's back. I wanted to ride my own, and I wanted to do it now.

Was there something specific that drew you into the motorcycle lifestyle?
Yes, my Dad, and then my husband!

How long have you been riding?
I took the Basic Riders Course in October of 2009, so a little more than 2 years on my own. On the back, since I could walk.

What was your first motorcycle?
Well, I rode Annabelle, Daryl's 1988 Sportster for a while. Then he let me ride his 1999 Dyna and I was pissed off because he was riding a Cadillac while I was riding a 'Pinto'. Yep, that's what I called it. So Daryl talked to our neighbor and bought his Shovelhead. However, I never rode it. We traded it for a Snap-on tool box (a really big one). Then we found a '95 Street Glide. It was an ex-state police bike. I rode that for a while, but hated it. The wind took the fairing a few times, and I dropped it in the driveway once. Our friend Kevin had a beautiful Chevy Tahoe that I was in love with, and he wanted the bike, so we made the trade. I rode Daryl's Dyna to and from work for a while, and then I found my baby.

What do you currently ride?
Victoria is a beautiful purple '97 Road King with lots of chrome and big ol' ape hangers.

How do you feel when you are riding?
When I'm riding, I feel like I own the world. I feel young and free. No worries, just the wind. I love it.

Is there a motto that you live by?
Seek out your dreams, follow your heart, and live life to the fullest, because it's damned short.

Do you feel you are treated differently because you choose to ride a motorcycle and are a woman?
Sometimes, yes. There are some people who I go to college with that are afraid of me. My girlfriend told me someone asked her if she was really friends "with that scary biker chick"! Some people treat you like a piece of shit because you're a biker, whether you're a woman or not. I just chalk all that up to ignorance. A lot of women have approached me and asked how to go about learning to ride. I tell them all the same thing: Take the course. Don't have your boyfriend/husband teach you. Spend the $200, because it's so worth it. But I encourage them all to take the course, and to continue learning. I think more women should ride their own.

Do you feel you are a role model for the women of the motorcycle community?
If you ask my husband this question, his answer would definitely be yes. I guess maybe I could be, but only because I know how to ride, I'm not a complete asshole, and I show respect. I suppose some women riders don't know shit about it. But a lot of them do.

Why Harley Davidson?
Seriously? Is that a real question?? Because I can't afford a classic Indian. :)

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 can honestly say, I have very few true heroes. One is my Dad. He taught me many things, but above all, he taught me that life is short, and I should never have any regrets because when the end comes, you don't expect it.

My other hero is my husband. He has suffered through years of pain with hand, ankle, and shoulder injuries, and unknowingly walked around for more than 2 years with a broken neck. Through all the pain, all the doctors appointments, all the countless surgeries, he never once complained. And I mean not once. He has ridden for several hours, through rotten weather, while in agony and not complained. And he can't take painkillers, as he can't tolerate them. He has a strength of character that I haven't seen in another human being since my Dad.

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 pretty much hang with whoever I want, so I guess I would have to say, my Dad. I didn't get up to the front seat before Dad passed away. I would like to hang out with him for a day and ride with him. I'd like to hear his stories of riding when he was a young man. I'd just love to see the look on his face when he saw his baby girl riding that big ol' Road King. He'd love it!

Do you have a favorite rally or event?
Too Broke for Sturgis. This is Arizona ABATE's annual fundraiser. It's a weekend in July in northern Arizona, out of the heat of Phoenix. We've been going for a few years now, and when we get home each year, we're already planning for the next year.

Do you have a favorite place to ride and why?
I love taking the AZ-89 up to Prescott, AZ. It's a great road going up the mountain, with lots of twisties, hairpin turns, and great roads. Riding up to Prescott on the AZ-89 gives me a rush.

What is the wildest thing that has happened to you on the road?
I think the wildest thing was seeing our friends t-bone a pickup truck and flying 120 feet without the bike. Yeah, that was wild. After many, many months of surgeries and rehab, they're fine, but none of us will ever be the same after that night.

What has your most memorable ride or trip been?
Ha! I think the first time I went out on the road. Our friend Lucky came over and I told him we were going to practice in the parking lot. And he said, "No you're not. We're going riding!" Well, they coaxed me into it. I had been riding in that old empty parking lot for two weeks already. It was time to hit the road. So we planned a short ride to a friend's house. Took a left from our street onto 71st Ave, and that went fine. Then we had to take a right onto Cactus; the main drag. Cactus Rd is a 5-lane road with the center lane serving as a turn lane. I swung real wide and ended up in oncoming traffic's turn lane...with a car coming at me. I got out of the way in time, but gave Lucky and Daryl the scare of their lives. :)

Are there any lessons that you’ve learned on the road that stand out the most?
Yes, assume nobody can see you. I ride through downtown Phoenix when I ride to work, and this assumption has saved my life countless times. I never assume anyone can see me or knows what I'm going to do.

Do you like riding with a group or are you more of a lone rider?
We just went on a group ride with more than 300 bikes this weekend. It was a clusterfuck. I enjoy riding alone, or with Daryl, or with some of our friends. But when you get more than 10 bikes, it starts to get complicated and ugly. I'm riding to enjoy myself, not to get complicated.

What has your greatest accomplishment been?
On a bike? Probably the fact that I learned to nail that right turn! In life? There are many. I have a great husband, a beautiful family, awesome friends. This fall I will be the first in my family to obtain a bachelor's degree. And I could never have done that without the support of my family and friends.

Do you feel like there are divisions in the motorcycle community because of the type or brand of motorcycle you ride?
I guess that depends on who you ride with. I love to say, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" but I'm just giving those Honda riders shit. There are some in our community that won't ride with anyone that doesn't ride a Harley. There are certain MC's that won't let you prospect unless you ride an American bike. I'm not really into that. You ride your ride, I'll ride mine.

Do you have any advice for women that are thinking about moving to the front of the motorcycle?
The same thing I told my best friend Missy (BFG): if you're thinking about doing it, do it. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't, or you shouldn't. Yes, you might get hurt. Yes, you might go down. But if you don't do it you will always regret not trying it. And take the basic riders course.

If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?
I would spend time with the kids, the grandkids, and Daryl. Making sure they all knew how much I love them.

When you are not riding what do you enjoy doing?
Well, I don't really enjoy it, but I have a shit-load of homework and have for the last 3.5 years. I would love to have extra time to garden, and do some crafts. I really want to learn to weld. I have some crazy/artsy ideas, and I think I could make some serious money with my designs. That's definitely on my list.

If you could change anything about yourself what would it be?
Not a fucking thing! I love who I am!

What do you think makes a "Biker"?
I get it. I get the 'respect' thing, and I know how to show it. I know the true meaning of 'brothers' and 'sisters' and I love them.

You belonged to BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse), tell us a little about that.
We joined BACA in 2008. BACA exists to empower children to not fear the world in which they live. BACA escorts these children to court so they will not be alone when they face their abusers. BACA is the only organization of it's kind. They really exist only for the children. Not the parents, not the guardians, not the courts, etc. It's all about the kids. And child abuse is an epidemic. We wanted to make a difference.

We left BACA in 2011, because we have a 13-yr-old daughter who needed us at home and I have school and the workload was getting crazy. We hope we can join BACA again someday when Vicki is grown and gone. We still do and always will support BACA's mission. If you want more information, go to

Tell us anything else you would like us to know about you.
Road name: Boston (they all tell me I have an accent, but I don't hear it!)

Just for FUN!

Do you have a favorite swear word?

What are you currently reading?
Romance and smut on my Kindle.

What music are you currently listening to?
Everything but rap.

Do you have any pets?
Rascal who is 12, and Boston's Good Golly Miss Molly (we call her Molly) who is 1.

Thank you Ann for doing the interview. You are one interesting and inspiring woman that rides her own! Check out Ann's blog, Random Thoughts.

This post endorsed by Northern Wisconsin Real Estate

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Kuryakyn ISO Wings - LOVE THEM!

Comfort on your motorcycle is so important, especially when you are taking a longer trip. The one thing about my motorcycle that I wasn't digging were the foot-pegs. I always have felt like my feet were just dangling out there and with any strong gust of wind would practically blow off. The foot boards used on touring bikes really don't work on Sportsters so it's been tough to find something that I liked and that really would make a significant difference.

I mentioned to Dan that I really wanted something different for my bike and wouldn't you know it, he did some research and found me these great Kuryakyn ISO Wings. I put them on Sadie today and WOW, what a difference. No more feeling like my feet were just dangling out there.

I was able to adjust them and they are just like mini foot boards. From the short ride that I took today, I can tell that they are going to add so much comfort and stability for me when I'm out on the road riding Sadie.

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Forever Rotten

Found this cool video over @ Kemosabe and the Lodge and had to share it.