Saturday, June 15, 2013

A Stimulating Ride

real-biker-chickThe driver motioned for me to pull over twice, after waving and flirting with me for miles. Doing my best to ignore him, my being flattered was turning into irritation. Obviously I wasn't interested, but he persisted. This was the type of thing that happened to me in my 20's, but never has it happened since. Well, not until I started riding a motorcycle.

When I ride alone I notice the way others respond to me differently than when I ride with others. I'm not sure if I'm seeing it just more keenly aware of my surroundings, or if I really do get more attention when I'm riding alone. But the fact remains that I'm really surprised by it.

I don't feel I'm looking my best on my motorcycle. The position I sit in only accentuates some of my less attractive features. I'm usually wearing my leather jacket, which I absolutely love, but doesn't do much for showing off my better assets, namely my 38E girls, Chloe and Mimi. Also, wearing my new Nolan helmet hides my face with my 'other' better assets, my full lips. Highway would argue that my best feature is my eyes, but we all have our favorites. So I have to wonder men are so damned attracted to when they see me riding.

A woman on a motorcycle isn't exactly unique. I see women ride on a regular basis. On our Road Pickle trip I've seen quite a few female riders. And certainly I'm not the youngest, nor the shapeliest female to ever straddle a bike. Don't get me wrong. I'm not berating myself. I'm a tornado of sexy, but the part of me which is most sexy, my attitude, is really hidden when riding. Or is it?

Do men see a woman riding a motorcycle sexy simply because she is harnessing the power of a two-wheeled rocket between her thighs?

And here I thought that my love affair with my Katie Scarlet was my own little secret.

Yes, there are times when I become aroused sexually when riding. Perhaps it's the thrill of taking a few miles of twisties, or screaming at 90 mph for a short burst of exhilaration, or letting my mind wander as I feel the vibration in the seat that gets to me. But my Kawasaki Ninja is in many ways like an intimate sexual partner. She roars with power, she vibrates with excitement and she responds to my touch. Isn't that something like sex?

While the similarities are there, it's nothing like a real relationship with a human being.

But I can't help but wonder if that pleasure I derive from riding is something men pick up on as they see me blissfully cruising along. A woman who is confident is always sexy, but a woman who is powerful and confident is hard to resist. Do they see me loving that motorcycle, handling her with confidence and feel a sense of attraction to that? Perhaps. I guess it's possible.

What could be more attractive than a woman making love to a beautiful machine on the open road?

real-biker-chick

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Friday, June 14, 2013

Lissa Hill Leather - Half Chaps and Vest Bag

Lissa-Hill-Half-ChapsAccording to Lissa Hill, owner and creator of Lissa Hill Leather, "I have found that women riders, in particular, struggle to find jackets that fit, cover the waistline, do not fill with air, protect you from the elements, look fabulous, are made in North America, and do not have a “biker” look." She has promised to address these issues and make a not just jackets, but a number of products women will love. Hearing this, I was excited to order her Custom Half Chaps and Patented Vest Bag.

Let's just start with the fact that the fit was extraordinary. I sent Lissa my measurements and she created her Custom Half Chaps for me. When they arrived and I zipped them on, I almost hit the floor with shock. I'm not easy to fit, being 4'11" and a size 12, so for something to zip up beautifully the first time amazed me. Usually I need 3 or 4 fittings for a good fit. But this was different. The chaps stand on their own around my calf, hugging the curves in all the right places. The supple leather, detailed stitching and great craftsmanship made them all the more delicious to wear and feel, as well as admire.

They are incredibly warm too! I've worn other chaps that don't fit as well so they allow a great deal of heat to escape the body. I have issues with my knees when they are cold, especially while riding, but not anymore. With these Half Chaps my knees are cozy, warm and safe. Getting off the motorcycle is so much easier when my knees still work after 250 miles!

Then there is the durability vs. style issue. Ladies have the toughest time finding items that look great and still give adequate protection on the motorcycle. But Lissa has promised her customers that she has addressed this and I wasn't disappointed. After riding a few days through some rough terrain, I thought the ride through the plains of the Midwest would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong. Hitting rough 70 mph winds and blowing dust seemed to have zero impact on my chaps. They kept me clean, safe and warm throughout the ride.

While riding through Oklahoma we hit a swarm of grasshoppers. For less than a minute we were pelted by the little suckers, but as anyone who rides knows, riding through something like that can be painful as well as ugly. My Half Chaps protected my calves and softened the blows significantly, even though they took the brunt of the little monsters. When we arrived at our motel a soft wet cloth was all I needed to wipe them down, bringing my chaps to brand new condition once again.

Lissa Hill Leathers are truly custom made, meaning your leathers are made for you based on your measurements and requirements and fit to your body in a four step process. I also received Lissa's new Patented Vest Bag. The fit, again, was extraordinary and customizable with laces on the sides. Made from the same durable, supple leather, beautifully lined with her signature red, breathable, comfortable jersey lining.
Lissa-Hill-Leather
Lissa-Hill-LeatherThe vest is more than a vest, but a versatile bag as well. It can be worn four ways to meet any biker chick's needs. I love wearing it as a vest, but I love that it can be a handbag as well. The outer pockets are sizable enough to be useful without looking bulky. The inner pockets are hidden and perfect for a couple of credit cards or keys. Made at the same high caliber of the chaps, I feel I've hit the jackpot with the products I ordered. A biker chick couldn't ask for better!

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Monday, June 10, 2013

Ride Ladies Ride

real-biker-chickThe two pre-teen girls opened their mouths wide with a look of shock in their eyes as I walked in the door. They nearly choked on their pizza, gawking at me as I entered the Quik-Mart in Perry, OK. The blond stared at my new Lissa Hill Half Chaps and the brunette seemed enamored with my pink hair and shaved head. Most likely they had never seen anyone quite like me strolling into their local hangout to use the Ladies Room.

When I finished washing up, I couldn't resist talking to them.

"You ladies look like you're having a good day. I'm Sash."

They stared, barely able to speak.

"I see you here, looking so pretty and full of potential, and I wanted to share something with you. You can do anything you want in life, so don't let anyone tell you different. Anything you set your mind to. Do you see that little red motorcycle out there? That's mine and I've been riding her for the last 6 weeks from California."

They turned their attention to Katie Scarlet, then back to me. The blond finally spoke.

"You rode all the way from California to come to PERRY?"

"I'm on my way to Tulsa today. We're just making a pit stop."

The three of us spoke for about 5 minutes about the Road Pickle trip I'm on and women riding motorcycles. They asked a few questions but the shock never left their eyes.

"I'm no different than you ladies. I just decided I can do this. Whatever you want to do, decide you can do it, and then get to doing it. Don't ever let anyone, anyone, tell you that you can't, OK?"

"OK" they both whispered through their smiles.

 While riding, I thought about those two young ladies for hours after. I could see the admiration in their eyes, and although flattered, I knew I couldn't miss this chance to pass on a good message. These two girls in this tiny town in Oklahoma probably don't meet too many women who inspire them to go beyond societies limits and their family's expectations of them. I wanted them to KNOW they could reach for any star and grab it. All they need is to believe.

I wish I had met someone like me when I was they're age. My inspiration came from books, movies and my teachers. It seems every year of junior high and high school I had one teacher or another take me aside to tell me I was different, I had something special, and to always push forward to be true to myself. Often these same teachers knew a bit of my terrible family life so they wanted to give me what I was missing at home. Encouragement.

I hope these beautiful young ladies, filled with potential and dreams, realize I was talking about much more than motorcycles. I'm talking about dreams, hopes, goals, and believing in oneself. I want them to know that while life is filled with disappointment and setbacks, the really happy people are the ones who don't give up riding. . . riding their dreams.

For me, Katie Scarlet is my dream. She delivers me from my past, my limits and my fears. She's my magic carpet, my wild pony, my angel. I hope I keep riding, for the rest of my life, because Katie has taught me I can.

Believe it and it will happen. Ride Ladies, Ride those dreams. I hope you ride.

real-biker-chick


Road-Pickle

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Saturday, June 8, 2013

Next Time

real-biker-chick
I should have terrified, but I felt nothing. Even though I was just a few feet from the oncoming car, barreling towards a head-on collision at 80 mph, my emotions never kicked in.

That morning, filled with anticipation for a beautiful day's ride, we pulled out of Dodge City, KS. The sun was shining, there was a slight breeze and the locals seemed unhurried as they went about their day this Saturday morning. We headed south on US 283 towards Minneola on our way to Meade, KS.

The ride was spectacular in it's modesty. Sorrowful, abandoned farmhouses and barren, open farmland lay all around with fields of past crops dry from the relentless prairie winds. As soon as our tires grabbed the blacktop of US283 the winds picked up. We drove headlong into it as it blew northward into our visors. It was hard to judge how hard the wind was blowing towards us, but I determined it must have been rather strong as I had Katie Scarlet at full throttle at only 70 mph. If I lay on the tank I gained a little speed, but she was pouring her all into the great resistance.

Hitting Minneola KS, we turned onto US 54 behind a couple of semis heading west towards Meade. The short jaunt of 20 miles turned into a rougher ride as the headwind we had been riding into was now blowing across us. Following Highway, I watched his motorcycle Blackbird tilt sideways as he plowed ahead. Leaning into the unforgiving Kansas prairie gusts, I focused on my husband and relaxed my shoulders. I've learned that I hold the handlebars too tightly when the wind blows and I wear myself out quickly. Relaxing my upper body and resting on the tank and handlebars, I was able to control Katie without clenching the bars.

The oncoming semis tossed us about with a down draft as they passed. I always could tell when one was coming as Highway would move to the outside of the lane to get his distance from them. We tooled along behind the two semis heading west for about 5 miles, plodding along at 50 mph. Finally, I realized Highway was planning to pass when he stopped moving away from the broken yellow lines with the onslaught of passing semis. He hugged the line, waiting for our chance.

real-biker-chick
I pulled Katie up tight behind him so he would know I was ready. He peered around the two westbound semis until he saw the right opening. For a moment I wondered if I could get enough speed out of Katie to get past them. Then Highway pulled away to pass.

I swung into the open eastbound lane behind Highway and Blackbird, pulling Katie's throttle all the way back. I lay on the tank to gain speed, but unlike the dozens of other times we've passed these monsters, she seemed lackluster in her attempt. Highway pulled far and away from me, passing with little effort.

Nearly passed the first semi.

There lay no space between them, so I must pass both.

The second semi tapped his brake lights.

The broken yellow line turned solid.

Pulling the throttle, moving it nowhere, as it was already maxxed.

Katie's heart pumped with all she had; mine stood still.

Headlights were coming towards me in the same lane.

"C'MON KATE!! C'MON KATIE GIRL!!! C'MON HONEY!! WE CAN DO THIS!!!" I screamed.

Pressing my chest upon the tank, I glared at the oncoming sedan just over the windshield.

The gap began to close between the front of the semi and the oncoming car.

I'm so close to the oncoming sedan I see the driver's shocked expression.

I slip into the gap, into the westbound lane, ahead of the semi.

Highway gave me a thumbs up.

I had made it, barely.

I didn't want to cut the semi off, as I knew he was doing his best to let me around, but with the other semi hugging his ass, he was limited in what he could do. When Highway had pulled into the lane to pass we could see for a mile, easily, and saw no oncoming vehicles. As Katie struggled in the wind to pass the two trucks, passing took much longer and much more effort than expected.

It never occurred to me to be frightened until after it happened. I was entirely intellectual, gauging the distance, looking for an escape, deciding moment to moment how to proceed. There seemed to be just enough room to share the lane with the oncoming car, if need be, for only a split second. This was not my first choice, but a last resort. It wasn't until we rolled into Meade, 12 miles later, that I wondered if Highway was scared.

A calm rolled over me as we drifted into the sleepy town of Meade around noon. I didn't feel proud of myself, nor brave, nor stupid. I rode my best, given the circumstances. I learned a lesson, as I seem to do each day we ride. I hadn't chosen to be reckless, quite the contrary. We had waited for a good opportunity, a clear path. My mistake was overestimating Katie's ability.

Delivered by chance, or fate, or luck, or providence, I breathed a sigh of relief. Next time I would know. I'm just grateful there's a next time.
real-biker-chick

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Friday, June 7, 2013

Consumerism and Motorcycling in Kansas

Real-Biker-ChickDodge City is filled with history. One name that stands above all the rest is Wyatt Earp, former Marshall, Sheriff and famous buffalo hunter of the frontier. It seems every historical character I read of in Kansas was a buffalo hunter. I can think of no group of people more heinously wasteful than the buffalo hunters, so I wander around Dodge City simply nauseous with the thought. 3 million buffalo were slaughtered for their hides over a 3 year period throughout this territory, carcasses left to rot on the frontier, crippling the way of life for the American Indians who had persevered here for centuries. Waste, greed, and the race for wealth, fueled by Manifest Destiny, nearly wiped out my ancestors. So yeah, fuck your buffalo hunters. You bastards make me sick.

But that rampant consumerism still exists today. It feeds on our insecurities and is bred in every media outlet possible. I have no issue with buying something one needs and uses. It's more than that. To me it is more than just consumerism, it is matter of the wasting of excessive disposable resources. We buy more because we can throw away the old and get new so easily that we continue to absorb, consume and destroy. Who gives a shit about using something for life when you can use it for a year and then buy a new one?

I'm as guilty as anyone. New shoes, new handbags, new clothes, etc. I love to adorn myself with pretty things. Because women attach themselves emotionally to items they purchase, "things" become more about the feeling one gets from having them than their practicality. So we consume, buy, amass, collect and hoard. I have 80 pairs of shoes. Since I left on my Road Pickle trip I've been using 4 pair and I find I'm pretty happy with just the 4. Even I have a hard time believing it.

The Road Pickle trip has taught me so much about the difference between what I need and what I want, and why I want things. I love my Kawasaki Ninja 500. We chose that motorcycle due to it's weight, seat height, reliability, and affordability. The brand name was a non-issue for us. What shocked me, and still shocks me, is that the brand name of a motorcycle means a great deal to others. In fact, it's a great big mother fucking deal to many, many riders.

In the comments of a post of another blog, Lucky recently wrote, "Also, short guys are the ones who need to compensate with an over-chromed, overly-loud, over-hyped piece of butt jewelry."

I have another friend who remarked, "Call me a conspirator, but I think Harley Davidson was actually invented by women as an early alert system for douchebags."

I'm not knocking Harley, my girlfriend was. And there's no need for me to go into it, because anyone who's ever slapped their ass on the seat of a motorcycle knows that part of the fun is being seen on one. The ratio of being-seen-fun to riding-fun is determined differently for each person. For me, being seen is a small part of the equation. For the most part, I don't give a fuck what other people think of me and the way I look. I like the way I look. If you don't like the way I look, go fuck yourself. But don't bore me with your opinion because I truly just don't fucking care.

But for others, being seen is everything. And because being seen on the brand name is everything, putting around on a brand of bike that doesn't stroke one's ego is a waste.  If it doesn't make your dick hard just to look at it, it won't make the chicks come a'running or the Jones' jealous that you're a step ahead of them when you pull into your driveway.

For me it's really ALL about riding. It's about going from one place to another on two wheels. It's about the feeling I get pulling back on that throttle and shifting into high gear after winding 4th and 5th gear out to a scream. It's the lurch forward as I slam into 6th and launch past the cars trying to keep me behind them. It's about riding behind my lover and rolling through open land that begs to be photographed, admired and loved, if only for a moment.

The lesson of Road Pickling has been realizing I don't need a bunch of shit to be happy. It's realizing I only need my two wheels, my best friend and a source of income. Now that I've pared down to pretty much just that and a few items to keep me safe when I ride and clothed in public, I have found a sense of serenity I find hard to explain.

I guess you'll have to get rid of all of your belongings, including your home, convince your spouse to ride a motorcycle with you for 6 months, and mount up to understand. Regardless, I don't think I'm changing society by getting rid of my shit. If I only change myself, well then, that's all I have to be concerned with.

So all of you buffalo hunters and your brand name shit and expensive butt jewelry, you keep the wheels of commerce rolling. I'll focus on just the two under my sweet ass.
real-biker-chick

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Product Review - Nolan N90 Helmet

Motorcycle-House-Nolan-N90When I was recently contacted by Motorcycle House to do a product review I told them "I need a fricken lightweight helmet! Bad!" 

I have been struggling with neck pain and headaches since I started on our Road Pickle Tour. Motorcycle House is a company providing gear for avid motorcyclists and carries a complete line of premium and popular brands, including Viking Bags, Tour master, River Road and Answer. Providing helmets to boots, parts to luggage, Motorcycle House combines a good selection with competitive prices.

I ordered the Nolan N90 Motorcycle Helmet. I was quite pleased with the speedy shipping.

This ladies full face helmet fit me snuggly without squeezing the life out of me. It is nearly sound proof with the vents and visor closed, which makes for a more comfortable ride. The thing I like most about this helmet is lighter weight than my previous full face helmet, nearly eliminating my neck and shoulder pain after a 300 mile ride. It is also a bit smaller than my previous helmet and when stowed away, fits into smaller spaces.

Motorcycle-House-Nolan-N90

The look is attractive too, without being ostentatious. While I love the flashy style of my previous helmet, the graphics and detail, I thought that I would be more comfortable with something more understated. The flat black actually hides small scratches better than a glossy finish and the fine, red trim gives it just enough color to have it's own sense of style. But in the end, I just ended up putting my own stickers on it to make it SASHtastic!!!

As I stated, once the helmet is strapped on tight it's nearly soundproof. I added speakers inside and have them hooked up to my MP3 player. They work great and I'm really alone in my helmet with my thoughts and my music. Road noise is a thing of the past.

I am currently traveling on our Road Pickle Motorcycle Bohemia 6-month road trip, putting in many hours of riding very long distances. Having one helmet that meets all of my needs, rain, hail or high temps and sunshine, is crucial. I am really like the weight, style and performance of this Nolan N90.

Real-Biker-Chick
Being my Sashy Self in Golden, CO.

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Sunday, June 2, 2013

Oasis of Peace

Real-biker-chick
In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit. ~ Albert Schweitzer

My emotional tank was on empty when we rolled into Taos, NM. My emotions had worn thin from our horrendous argument in Las Cruces, the affects of which still lingering into our stay in Albuquerque. I found myself simply limping from city to city, with only the ride keeping me alive from day to day. The thrill of rounding turns into new landscapes eased my soul, but my broken heart still needed nurturing. Dismounting Katie Scarlet I hobbled into the Taos hotel room, still fully geared up and lay on the bed with my head still strapped in my helmet. I was completely and utterly spent.

My physical tank was dry the next day when we rolled into Trinidad, CO. I was pushing myself to ride as far as I could in spite of my chronic pain disorder Fibromyalgia. This day I had endured nearly 100 miles of consistent twisties, a rain and hail storm, and my second long day in the saddle. I had taken my body to the brink. So much so that we had to stay an extra day in Trinidad just to rest my weary, painful, swollen body. Almost every joint was swollen to the point of being unable to bend. The assortment of organic muscle salves, prescription numbing creams, mild pain meds, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatory meds were not impacting the rock-hard cramped muscles of my 47-year-old frame. The pain was dibilitating and I was nearly bed-ridden. The hotel hot tub was my saving grace and released me from the crippling tension, allowing me to relax enough to sleep and ride on to Denver the next day.

220 miles from Trinidad, CO to Golden, CO (just outside of Denver) was the long, boring, straight Interstate 25. Highway and I entertained ourselves taking photos of the scenery and one another, taking turns riding hands-free, and letting our minds sort through the emotional baggage we had burdened ourselves with. I was hoping for relief, for both of us. Steve's mother Maki, brother Mark and sister-in-law Bev live in Denver and were anticipating our arrival. My high-school and now Facebook friend Kimmy, who had recently moved to Golden, CO, had invited us to stay in her guest suite of the new home she and her husband Guy had just purchased. Deep in my heart I hoped that Highway and I would both find sanctuary for our broken hearts as well as my broken, tired body.

Our first night I encouraged Highway to go visit his family on his own so he could catch up privately with them. After 17 months of intense emotional therapy, we both had brought many old scars to the surface to be properly sorted and dealt with for one final time. We were stunned to find how much these old hurts were driving our daily behaviors and longed to make real changes in how we relate to one another, as well as everyone else. This visit would be part of Highway's process.

For my part I was hoping to just get in a little girl talk and reminisce about our hometown. Kimmy's husband Guy also came from our hometown of Fontana, CA, and my parents as well as Kimmy's both graduated from our alma mater, Fontana High, in 1958 together. But from the moment we hugged as she greeted us at the door, it was so much more.

I feel replenished here with Kimmy. The spring I hoped to find became an enormous lake of support, understanding and love. In my lifetime I've had trouble trusting women and allowing myself to be honest with them, but in the later years I've learned to forge real female friendships. To my surprise, our shared past would be only a jumping off point for Kimmy and myself. The empathy and insight between us seems to have built a bond that I feel I can trust, for perhaps the rest of my life. I feel at home here in their home, moreso than I ever had at my own mother's home as an adult. Having never felt anything like this, I chose to embrace the feeling, cook them a special dinner and treat them to a night off after a hard's days work for them both.

For Highway, he's been somewhat forthcoming about his family visits, only one of three I've been a part of, but he seems introspective, contemplative and finding a bit of serenity himself. Even more taciturn than usual, Highway is working out his feelings before expressing them, as most men do. But I'm pleased to see a sense of peace coming over him that he's been chasing for a very long time.

What one finds on a road trip often surprises us. Nothing could have surprised me more than to find my old friend become my new friend, hopefully for many, many years to come. My oasis of peace, my nurturing, loving supporter, my cheering fan, my partner is silliness and mayhem flirting with young men, Kimmy has healed my broken heart utterly effortlessly. All she had to do was be genuine, be honest, be herself and just be . . . a friend.

real-biker-chick

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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...)