Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Launch of Rude Biker Chick

On a weekend in Santa Barbara in 2012, we walked into a shop that makes custom T-Shirts. I had been mulling over an idea for two shirts I wanted to make for myself. Having them both made, I found that one didn't work out well at all, but the other was a huge hit. Everywhere we went, if I wore the shirt I got laughs and smiles.

All I had hoped to do was express my independence and clearly state what I wanted from life.

"It Ain't Gonna Lick Itself" the shirt boldly declared.

Most women who read the shirt exclaimed, "I want one of those!"

After hearing this 20 times, I wondered if I should make a few. After hearing it 30 times, I knew I couldn't afford to make enough to give away to everyone who wanted one.

"I'll pay for it! Just make one for me too!" I was told over and over again.

Before I knew it, women of all ages were giving me ideas for shirts they wanted made as well. Sayings that they couldn't very well say out loud, but would gladly wear across their breasts. I wrote down every one and shared them over and over again with people I met on my travels. More sayings came in, some went away, and many stuck. I mean STUCK! Like bubble gum to your shoe in July!

These were tried and true comments that got a laugh every time. All of these comments had been spoken by women across the country who had taken enough shit in life and had something to say about it.

I wanted to put the comments right across the rack, the spot where they wouldn't be missed. My hope was for a chick to wear these words with the same confidence she wears her breasts; a part of her that makes her proud to be a women!

"I don't need permission!" a young woman shouted in a bar in Newark, DE. I don't know what she and her man were arguing about, but she grabbed her bag, declared herself, and marched out of the door.

I couldn't believe how wonderful I felt for her. I ran out of the door and asked her if I could use the saying on a T-shirt.

"Yes, but make one for me too, will ya?"

Rude Biker Chick shirts are for all women, all of the women who've had enough of someone's shit and are ready to take a stand and declare their independence, power and value. The sayings on these shirts are the battle cry of the weary wives, grumbling girlfriends, abused employees, frustrated friends and left-behind lovers who won't take it anymore. They are for the mild mannered too, who don't want to shout it out, but simply wear their words as a badge of honor. They are for women to support one another, encourage one another, and laugh together.

Power To The Chicks!

Visit Rude Biker Chick and buy your T-Shirt now.


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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Roll the Throttle of My Soul

In the silence of my soul
I ride my own wormhole
Roll on that throttle, roll

Straddling the broken lines
White reflections in my mind
Cheating margins of time

4-wheeled tanks bump on
We dodge death headlong
Red light, ticking time bombs

My soul knows a secret way
Into the turns, we lay
In my machine lies my faith

Deep down the rabbit hole
I find the magic in my soul
Roll on that throttle, roll

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Motorcycle Haven

My motorcycle seemed to understand.

His words cut deep.

I'm sure he didn't know that his article would hurt me. He would never have written it if he had known. And loving him as a man and respecting him as a writer, I never want to impede his freedom of expression. But as I sat on the couch trying to suppress my agony, the tears wouldn't stop flowing. Eventually he saw me weeping and I knew I had to escape. I couldn't bear to tell him he had hurt me. I couldn't tell him what he wrote was killing me inside for fear he would now censor himself. But I couldn't stop weeping. . .

I kept my mouth shut and got dressed. Texting one friend after another to ask where they were, could I come and see them, I got no answers. It was just one of those times no one was available. Certainly, any of them would want to help if they could see my plea, but no one did.

Strapping up my boots I walked out to my steadfast motorcycle. As the garage door opened, there she stood, ready for me and my pain. I stowed my crap and started her up. Gracie roared to life, pleased to comfort me and heal my broken heart.

Moments later we careened along the nearly empty Interstate 5 owning our lane. The tears continued to flow, but my focus was now on the road. No music, no distractions, just riding.

Gracie has never let me down. Today she was my therapist, my best friend, my comforter and my haven.

The sun was shining and the weather warm enough to ride without a jacket. Typical San Diego 70 degrees and sunny in November, we chewed up asphalt and together we ran. I'm not sure if I'm running away from feelings or running into them headlong. Most rides I feel the emotions even greater and sink into the comfort of my collision course with reality. The wind tears away the lies, suppositions, fears and curses that plague my daily thinking. Only when I ride do I feel real and true to myself.

There's nowhere to hide on my V*Star. My heart is as exposed as my body to the elements. Danger lurks with every merging car and at any moment the scene can change. I must focus on what is before me and forget about the things that don't matter right here, right now, impacting my survival.

Just over an hour passed and I had ridden 40 miles of Interstate, city streets, boulevards and tiny neighborhood lanes to clear away the corrupted thinking. I felt solid and whole again. Now I could head back.

As I rolled into the garage again and parked Gracie, I patted her tank to thank her for being there for me. Serene, she was happy to rest a bit, catch her breath, and cool her fiery engine. I had ridden her hard and for that, she was grateful.

Now I could face reality again and deal with my sadness with a clearer mind and take ownership of my own feelings without imposing blame or assigning guilt. Intellectually, I know the article wasn't about me but try telling my heart that. That machine waiting patiently for our next ride is often times the only one who speaks the language of my broken heart.

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Motorcycle Glimmer in the Night


Embracing my two wheels so tight,
I slay the empty miles long,
Inside my helmet, into the night,
Riding alone, my own song.

Rolling the throttle,
Nudging the shifter,
Squeezing the clutch,
Snug in my leather.

You don't know me.
You don't own me.
I am a ghost, a whisper,
A glisten, a shimmer,
A glimmer in the night,
A hot dash of light.
I am gone, untouchable,
Infinite, surreal,
I ride. . .

Rolling the throttle,
Nudging the shifter,
Squeezing the clutch,
Snug in my leather.

(Thank you for the photo ~ credit Sam Katz)


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Saturday, November 16, 2013

Motorcycle Clubs are No Joke

Seriously, this ad about Sons of Anarchy and motorcycle gangs and clubs bothers me. Perhaps more than it should. But when you think about it, this is so reckless.

I grew up with 1%'ers in my home. My father rode with an M.C., one of the original M.C.'s, and they didn't find any humor in RUBS, Posers or Wanna Be's. The friends of my father saw every rider in one of the following categories:

1. M.C. - either theirs or a rival club
2. Wanna Be's - We often call them RUBS or Posers nowadays, but to them, these were Wanna Be's.
3. Rice Grinders - The men who rode metrics, who weren't even really "riders".
4. Hobbyists - Men who loved and appreciated bikes, owned one, but were just regular guys.

The Hobbyists didn't try to look like they belonged to an M.C. In fact, they took great pains in appearing to NOT look M.C. They wore their everyday clothing and kept regular haircuts, etc. These riders did not want to be mistaken for members.

Rice Grinders, or owners of a metric bike, were of no threat or consequence to the members. They were most often kids who had their dirt bike licensed for the street. Members knew that these riders just enjoyed riding and they barely gave a metric rider a glance. My Dad would tease these riders, dropping a handful of rice under their bike from his jacket pocket, leaning over and saying, "Hey, your bike is leaking." Secretly some of the members, including my Dad, admired these riders, mostly for their skill. My Dad often shared with me how much he enjoyed watching them ride.

Wanna Be's were in a dangerous category. Riders who didn't identify with a club but posed as they belonged to one were asking for an ass-beating, if not worse. Many didn't realize the dangers until it was too late. My personal philosophy is BE YOU. Boldly Embrace Your Own Uniqueness. Posing goes against that philosophy in every way. Posing as a member of an M.C., or worse, a lone rider, just taunts these members into proving their prowess within the territory. Like a naked man covered in blood running through a pride of lions, a Wanna Be strutting into a bar during the mid-1970's riding a Harley, wearing a jacket with patches (God Forbid a 3-piece patch) without actually belonging to a club, was certain death.

Netflix doesn't seem to realize these are real people, with real loyalty issues and living in real social settings. "Let's all wear cool patches and be in a motorcycle gang" is an insane statement! Given the right set, or should I say wrong set, of circumstances, anyone taking this as a serious remark, or even considering this idea, is truly The Walking Dead. There are rules, albeit unwritten rules, for starting an M.C., which must be followed. There are also clear differences between riding clubs and motorcycle clubs that anyone wishing to join a club should consider.

One night when I was 5 year old, my Dad's closest friend, Dangerous Dan, came in our front door. He was so close to our family he didn't knock, he always just walked in. I have home movies of our family from 1969 and Dan is in them. This night Dan came in late, and he looked like he had black dirt on his clothes and arms. It turned out he had knifed a man, in a bar, who was wearing a "cut" (vest with patches) that didn't actually belong to the club. His patches weren't from their M.C., but it didn't matter. He was posing. My father sat me in his recliner and took Dan's clothes and burned them in the backyard in our BBQ grill. Dan showered and my Dad rounded up some other clothes for him. The three of us were the only ones at home that night, but I wasn't afraid of being harmed. In fact, I felt very safe with these two men, because I was on their side.

I wouldn't want to be on the other side of Dangerous Dan's knife that night, or any other night.

Learn more about my Daddy, Dangerous Dan and my life growing up as the daughter of a 1%'er. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Thanks!


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Friday, November 8, 2013

Motorcycle Lessons Learned

Riding a motorcycle (actually 2) over 16,000 miles, traveling with only the things I can carry, crossing the United States twice in 6 months, taught me a few things about riding, myself and life.

1. Only carry what you use. Not what you think you need, what you use. If I didn't use something a couple of times in a 2 week span, I left it behind, gave it away, donated it, or trashed it. That included jeans, vests, dresses, scarves, makeup, jewelry, food, etc. You use less than you think and being a consumer isn't all it's cracked up to be. Try living with less. You might just like it.

2. Rain gear only works if it's dry on the inside. Once the Coca-Cola truck tidalwaved me in Suffolk, VA in a nasty rainstorm, and the water ran from my neck into my boots, I was soaked to the bone. For the next two hours, I was whining like a little bitch, negotiating rush-hour traffic, getting lost on seaside streets. That hotel bed was the warmest, driest, happiest place I've ever been, as were many hotel beds to come. It took days to get my boots dry again. Things don't always go as planned, so rolling with the punches is all in a day's riding.

3. We really are stronger than we think. I had a couple of friends who didn't think I could last the whole 6 months. There were moments that I thought I couldn't last another hour. But I did. I learned I can do anything if I just take life by the moment and deal with what is right in front of me, mile by mile.

4. Life only exists right now. I know that sounds like existential bullshit, but it's true. When you ride so many miles, you see that only this moment is happening. Spend it wisely, because the next asshole to merge into your lane may end your day, or your life. This may be your last sunset, your last breathe, your last kiss. Make them count.

5. If you love someone, stop what you're doing and tell them. Often I would roll up next to Steve, my wonderful, patient, loving hubs, and blow him kisses. The first few times I did it he barely acknowledged me. I'm fine with that because I understand he's a manly man riding his motorcycle and didn't have time for my mushy shit. After it became a regular thing, he would wave his throttle fingers at me, never releasing the throttle. After a really bad, bad day in Colorado he blew a kiss to me. I almost crashed right there I was so overwhelmed with love and joy. You never know how you can heal old hurts with love. There were enough close calls on the road to keep it ever present in my mind that Lesson 4 is some real shit.

6. Food is really good when you're really hungry. Riding really gets me hungry. I now comprehend "working up an appetite" and how good food can taste when you've earned it. I've found little snacks that work while riding, like beef jerky in my pocket for protein and Sour Patch Kids at 3pm when I need a sugar boost. I found that duct taping the open bag to the inside of my windshield works well for easy access while riding.

7. Eat what the locals eat, go where the locals go, listen to the locals. When our friends in Memphis Ed and Juliet told us to drink plenty of water and plan our days around staying inside during the day and going out early evening, I wish I had listened on Day 1. Humidity is nothing lifelong Californian's comprehend. I thought I would die. Once I listened to them, I enjoyed Memphis much more. We also ate some amazing food along the way because we took advice from the locals, who know where to get the best of everything. The best part is, they all want to tell you!

8. You're probably a better rider than you think you. I must say, I learned the best way possible. I got on after just learning to ride and rode for 6 months straight. You can't beat that. When I almost ran into a merging car in Baltimore (asshole) and performed a STOPPIE on my fully-loaded Ninja, all I could think was, "Wow! I didn't know I could do that!!" Believe me, I didn't want to try it again anytime soon, but I found time and again that I could really ride so much better than I thought, with enough experience and muscle memory. Ride often and you will ride like it's second nature. I am now riding a V Star 650 which I maneuver so well sometimes that I blow my own mind.

9. Don't overestimate your abilities. This seems to contradict Lesson 8, but it doesn't if you think about it. I always surprised myself, but never attempted any ridiculous shit. I ride as safely as I can, all the time, but shit happens. Don't go out tempting fate, because fate is a m*&herf%cker and he'll kick your lame ass. Seriously, be safe and embrace your skills, using them only when the situation calls for it.

10. I'm addicted to those lines. I've heard this happens, but I had no idea how life changing riding so much could be. I just want to keep gobbling up more asphalt, keep swallowing those yellow lines, keep breathing air forced into me at 70 mph. A long day in the saddle wears me out, certainly, but the next day I'm usually up to ride again. Then after a day or two, I'm itching to get on to the next town. Traveling is addictive. Keep in mind I'm 48 years old, I battle Fibromyalgia and chronic pain daily, and I'm little fat. These issues make riding a bit difficult, but the joy of riding outweighs the pain and physical misery by far.

11. Pain is temporary. The same can be said for rain, hunger and exhaustion. You'll get over it. Whining only makes that shit worse. Sash Up for Godsake and embrace your abilities to overcome your challenges. Intention and attitude make up for 90% of your life. I believed I could ride across America and I did it, against some pretty tough odds. You can get through pain, push through rain, and enjoy the sunshine when it comes around again.

12. The only person in my helmet is me. Ride your own ride. Being responsible for your actions, your choices and the outcome of such is key to enjoying the journey. Listening to my own head can be dangerous, but after enough hours alone in my helmet, I realized the great power I have when I own my life. Giving your power away by blaming others only weakens your spirit. Each day I take my life by the hair, wrestle it to the ground, stare it in the eyes, and make it my bitch! Once I owned my life no one can take that away from me. That includes owning my mistakes. When I drop that bike, or my life, it's my own doing. And when I achieve greatness, it's my own doing as well. Others can slow you down with their negativity, if you let them. You can always roll the throttle and blow past them. It's your choosing.

Learn more about my life growing up as the daughter of a 1%'er and my travels across the U.S. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. Thanks!


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About Sash

People call me "Sash" because I'm a former beauty queen in my old home town. My father used to ride in an MC which got me interested in the culture. After my last divorce I said "goodbye" to Susie Homemaker and became the rude biker chick I always felt inside. (Read more...)