I always loved Harley Davidson motorcycles but didn't really know any women that road them. I would see an occasional woman rider and think how cool it was. I moved to Des Moines around 1999 . A few years later my sister moved to town. If you know the "Boom Girls
", then you know that our hair is our thing. Little M found a hair stylist named Kristen Herridge
and we both in trusted our locks to her to cut, color, and style. To say that Kristen is one totally cool chick is an understatement. She is such a free spirit and so much fun to talk to. Through conversations with Kristen, I found out that she road a Heritage Softail and had been riding since she was 15. We'd talk about motorcycles non-stop when I'd visit the salon to have my hair glamorized. I started hanging with her and her dad, Don, at Porky's
bike nights. One bike night we were sitting around talking about Sturgis and some how I got invited. I was so stoked because it was something I'd always wanted to do.
Before Sturgis, Kristen decided to sell her Heritage and purchase a Road King. I had told Kristen how much I had always wanted to ride my own. One evening Kristen told me to come over and we'd go up to this church parking lot, by her place, and she'd let me try to ride her Heritage. I was excited and freaked out because I'd never ridden a motorcycle by myself. I can't believe how much Kristen trusted me to ride her Heritage. I remember her encouragement and patience because I did not understand the whole clutch thing. Finally I got the hang of it and made some circles around the parking lot. I was so excited and happy that I'd accomplished this step. I had the riding part down, now I had to get this rather large motorcycle stopped. Well, needless to say I dropped Kristen's Heritage. I was so freaked out that I'd damaged her motorcycle but she just calmly walked over and said, "Take your hand off the throttle." We got her bike picked back up again, Thank God for crash bars. We inspected the bike and there was no damage. I couldn't believe how calm she was about the whole thing. I remember leaving that night with the hugest smile on my face. Even with the less then desirable finish, I had ridden a motorcycle on my own. I still smile whenever I drive by that parking lot. Thanks Kristin for giving me that memory!
Months later, Kristen had her new Road King and Dan had given his blessing for our travels to Sturgis for the 2004 Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. I'm not sure if Kristen realizes how special that trip was for me. Even though I've gone since, the experience that Kristen and I had together, because of our kindred interest in motorcycling, can't be matched. From Billy Lane, Rhett Rotten, and our Indian Larry sighting at the Full Throttle Saloon, to the wild nights at the Buffalo Chip. And all the other cool trips we took through South Dakota, when we'd meet up with her dad, Don, and go riding. It was a trip I'll never forget and we still conger up the memories now and then. I always giggle when I think about her and I and our crazy times! I'm smiling and laughing as I write this post! Good Times!
Life kind of happens and a few years after Sturgis Kristen got hitched, opened her own salon called Blondies Beauty Parlor
, and started a family. Kristen sold the Road King but that Biker Spirit has never left her. We still talk about motorcycles non-stop and laugh about all the good times we had. I look forward to the day when Kristen gets back on two wheels, so that her and I can ride together again. Thanks Kristen for all the encouragement you gave me along the way to my own ride. You really put up with listening to me talk about riding my own for way too long. I'm sure at some points in our conversations you were thinking, "would you do it already"! I feel like if our paths hadn't crossed I would probably still be dreaming of my own motorcycle and never realized my dream! You Rock Sister!