Saturday, January 30, 2016

Motolady 5th Anniversary Celebration

After 5 years of Motolady inspiration, this vibrant sparkler of the women's motorcycle industry hosted her annual anniversary party for fellow riders. The party was held in Los Angeles at Lucky Wheels Garage on Saturday, January 23 and included a Women's Motorcycle Show.

I was visiting my kids in Bakersfield and was away from my motorcycle for a few days at the time of the party. Fortunately I was able to catch a ride to and from the event that was being held 2 hours away. One of my resolutions for 2016 is to simply accept gifts from others without feeling the need to pay them back, so accepting the rides without compensating my friends was a way to put that resolution into action. Or should I say inaction? Regardless, I made it to the party and I was thrilled that I did!

Alicia Elfving, The Motolady, is a blond biker bombshell who explodes onto each place she lands. When Alicia is around, everyone knows it. With her high energy and vivacious attitude, Alicia is an attractive force in the world of women's motorcycling.

Alicia made it a point to greet every guest with a hug, a few minutes and little of her signature wild energy!

Another vibrant force in this community is Jessi Combs. Jessi is not only a motorcycle rider, she is a professional driver, metal fabricator, TV personality, brand representative, public speaker, author and more. I'm always excited to see Jessi at events since she is such a positive and enthusiastic woman to be around.

Jessi Combs and me chatted awhile about our busy schedules and her recent Baja 1000 adventure.
My ride to the party was with Brittany Morrow, Icon representative and dynamic force behind Rock the Gear. My relationship with Brittany has grown over the past year and I'm blessed to have Brittany as a friend.

Brittany and Haley getting silly over Brittany's 
After picking me up in Bakersfield, Brittany and I jumped immediately into a deep conversation about social media, personal relationships, and life. Not all of the topics were serious, with a few leaving us crying in laughter like silly teenagers. It's good to have friends to be honest and authentic with.

The party atmosphere was pretty chill, yet friendly. It was good to mingle with others in the industry, even though it is apparant that we don't all share the passion of motorcycling in the same way. Many riders like customizing motorcycles for shorter rides, some riders enjoy the social aspect of the community, while others choose to spend more time riding alone and exploring new roads. Where each person finds their niche in the world of motorcycling seems to be as individual as the person themselves.




The Women's Motorcycle Show was filled with bikes owned by, wrenched on or built by women. With women still topping the charts as the Number 1 group of new motorcycle owners, OEM's and individual builders are addressing the needs and desires of these riders. The bikes in this show, however, are all very personal rides, each one being a labor of love of these riders.





What party would be complete without a raffle? Sponsors such as Icon Motorsports, Ugly Bros., Low Brow Customs, Alpine Stars, Biltwell, Inked Iron, and Hinterland tossed up some goodies for a few lucky winners.


What would a Motolady party be without a raffle?

After a night of great tunes by DeeJay Shad, drinks and dogs served up fresh, and raffle fun, the party came to a close with riders hot-dogging as they left into the quiet streets of L.A.



My favorite part of the evening, as with most of the women's motorcycling events large and small, is chatting with the ladies of two-wheels. As much as I love long range travel, for now I can't go too far because of my physical limitations. But I've found a new way to enjoy motorcycling is by sharing stories and learning from like minded women riders. I seek out more experienced riders from which to learn and then share with a mentor new riders who come my way. To give freely what has been given to me is what builds the bonds of community.


Add a little fuel to my bank account. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. If not for you, buy a copy for a friend. The woman in your life will love you for it. Thanks!

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Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Flat Black Collective January Ladies Only Ride

My first ride after my 4 week hiatus was with the San Diego Ladies Only Ride with Flat Black Collective.

"Flat Black Collective is a group of women, riders, adventurers and individuals, interested in the road and motivated by the ride."


I had not ridden with this group before this ride, but I had been following them on Instagram. Since they are always posting great photos of happy ladies riding and they are right here in San Diego, I have been anxious to go ride with them.

I've met a few local women who ride thanks to Instagram, which I've determined to be the best social media platform to find women with which to ride. I was told by Anya Violet, co-founder of Babes Ride Out, that the primary advertising they did for the event was on Instagram.

"We promoted the event almost entirely on our Instagram account. We have a Facebook page, but didn’t do much with it."

I met up with Michelle and Kimmie in San Diego for breakfast, then the three of us rode up to San Marcos to meet everyone else. We were right on time and first to arrive.


Flat Black Collective often meets with other groups for rides, this time being Belles On Bikes. The ladies started rolling into Old California Coffee House a few minutes after 10:00 am looking fierce and arriving fashionably late.






Kari Helsten, one of the Flat Black Organizers, started giving the "10 Minutes!" call. . .


We headed to our bikes and geared up. I was quite surprised how quickly these ladies gear up and have their bikes started! I'm accustomed to women who dally as long as I do. (I can be high maintenance now and then. . . )


The ride through Elfin Forest wasn't long, but very beautiful. The temperature warmed up to the mid-60's and the skies were clear and bright. Absolutely the perfect day for a ride!




The ride ended at Pizza Port in Solana Beach. Parking was tight so I, along with a few other riders, pulled up on the sidewalk.

Photo Credit: Daniella Renee

At Pizza Port I was able to talk with a few ladies. Women rode from as far north as Covina, Riverside, Hemet, and Los Angeles and some from as far south as El Cajon and Chula Vista to join this ride.


After a salads, pizza and a little beer, women went their separate ways. A few rode up the coast to watch the sun set, others went off to check out a bike for sale. I rode back to San Diego with Kimmie and Babs, happy, tired and thrilled to be back on two wheels!

Add a little fuel to my bank account. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. If not for you, buy a copy for a friend. The woman in your life will love you for it. Thanks!

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Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Willpower

mental-toughness
Menifee FitClub at a Bowling outing. I'm standing beside Will (black & yellow shirt) and Steve is on the left (gray shirt)
The definition of willpower is self-discipline, training and control of oneself and one's conduct, usually for personal improvement.

"One more for Will! Give me one more!" Will shouted and I struggled and whimpered in pain.

I wondered what made me think I could keep up in Menifee FitClub, a bootcamp fitness class. Steve had joined a few months earlier. When I had first separated from my ex husband, Steve encouraged me to join him with his workout.

A former drill seargent for the U.S. Army, our instructor Will, a stout, thick, tough man, would shout at us like new recruits. He laughed at me when I whimpered, pushing me to try harder than I believed I was capable of doing.

mental-toughness
I believed Will lacked compassion for my health issues. I believed he was smug and condescending and I began to loath him with a seething hate after each day at FitClub. After three months I couldn't take it anymore so I quit the class and joined another gym. I wasn't going to allow myself to quit working out, just move away from a situation that I could not handle emotionally.

Looking back I realize Will struck a chord in me that reminded me of the husband I was divorcing. The misguided resentment I was feeling for my husband was probably getting heaped upon Will.

Years later I can hear Will's voice in my head when I struggle. Not just in the gym, but in times when I feel I'm at my limit.

"Give me one more! ONE MORE!"

As a result I've learned to push myself harder in life. One more push up, one more lift, one more mile, one more hour, one more. . . Will brought out in me an inner warrior that I didn't know was there. While I made the mistake of fighting against him and having little faith in myself, the warrior grew within me nevertheless.

I no longer loathe Will and find I am very grateful for him. I'm so lucky he came along in my life when he did. I was wrong to believe he lacked compassion. He believed in me in a way that I could not believe in myself.

Since that time I've done extraordinary things. I've ridden my own motorcycle 50,000 miles in 2 1/2 years, pushing through incredible weather and emotional trials. As a result I've learned I'm a tougher person that I ever dreamed possible.

I still hit the gym often and think of Will when I do. I still give Will one more rep with the weights, one more push up, 5 more minutes on the cardio, one more squat, etc.

women-motorcycle-riders"You can do it! Give me one more!" he shouts in my mind.

We all have people in our lives like Will. Someone who pushes us, believes in us, and irritates us because they see something in us that we don't realize is there. Even though my time with Will was short, his impact on my life has been enormous.

The recovery from my recent surgery has been much tougher than I thought it would be. I expected to be ready to ride after only two weeks, but that didn't happen. After a month, I am finally ready to ride, but my motorcycle is not. After the month of neglect, my battery died. Today I'll be getting it running again and take her for a ride.

During my downtime I became increasingly frustrated with my body and the healing process. But I am still pushing, still fighting, still getting there. Thanks to Will I've learned that I'm still a warrior, even when I don't feel like one. It's just a matter of digging deep and pushing harder.

Add a little fuel to my bank account. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. If not for you, buy a copy for a friend. The woman in your life will love you for it. Thanks!

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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Why Women Motorcycle Riders Neglect Injuries

motorcycle-clouds
Moving ahead while taking a glimpse behind

The length of time I would be unable to ride my motorcycle was only my second greatest concern about the surgery. My greatest concern was dying. Then of course was my fear about the pain.

1. Dying

My Dad died at the age of 50. I am now 50. On February 21, 2016 I will have surpassed his lifespan by one day. Since the day he died I've lived with this gripping fear that I would die at the the same age as he did. Somehow this magical thinking has a time limit. I believe, for some insane reason, that if I can just stay alive until February 21, I will live into my 90's.

ertainly part of the reason I waited was to stay vagabonding about the highways and byways as long as possible, but my fear of dying that stood in my way as well. I would not let myself address my mortality, nor my need for medical treatment, until I couldn't take the pain any longer. I'm now at a point where I cannot wait any longer.

2. Motorcycling

The doctor told me before the surgery that it could be between 2 - 8 weeks until I would ride again, it just would depend on how quickly I healed and how I felt. Of course, I had my goal set for two weeks, but that didn't quite work out.

I sat on my motorcycle for the first time yesterday, 20 days after surgery. My Yamaha V Star 650 is sitting in the cold parking garage just waiting for me to spark the ignition, warm the engine, and twist the throttle. I've deeply missed three weeks of riding, even more than I feared I would. At the time when I need to ride most, I cannot.

3. Pain

I've come to grips with a certain level of pain. Living with Fibromyalgia has taught me that pain comes and goes, but it never completely goes away. After 20 years, I've made peace with this fact. Unfortunately, I didn't realize I had so many injuries because I had written so much of my pain off as Fibromyalgia. In doing this I didn't get injuries evaluated when they occurred, thus causing these injuries to grow into larger problems.

What I Didn't Expect

I hadn't anticipated I would be in so much pain, screaming in agony each time the pain meds wore off. I was shocked to find myself calling my mother, sobbing with nostalgic grief. My mother and I haven't spoken since 2011. I vowed to never speak to her again. She did not take my call.

I also hadn't expected being exhausted to the point of 15 hour sleepathons, bleeding from my incision for 19 days, becoming anemic and going back to the hospital only to find out my doctor was on vacation until January.

Why Women Motorcycle Riders Neglect Injuries

"Why did I do this to myself?" I asked time and again.

I can't speak for all women, but I certainly knew why I did it.

I neglected myself out of fear. There was also some determination and ego attributing to my stubbornness. As a woman rider I didn't want to appear, nor believe, that I was somehow not tough enough to keep up with my husband. I believed that settling down for enough time to treat my medical issues was somehow quitting, and I was not about to be labeled a quitter. I told myself I was tough enough to push through the pain because I had something to prove to myself.

But mostly I neglected myself because I was having a goddamn great time riding.

Fortunately it turns out that my hubs Steve is an amazing nurse. He has been patient, generous, gentle and loving throughout my recovery. Even with the lack of sleep and my terribly moodiness, he has remained steady and compassionate without a single complaint.

For every action there is a consequence. Whether that consequence is good or bad is really in the eye of the beholder. My consequence for neglecting my body is that for the next year, I will be putting myself back together again. I'll be enduring at least two more surgeries, countless doctor visits, physical therapy, cortisone injections, meeting new specialists and learning about new treatments.

"Was it worth it? Was it worth it to put myself through all of this just to keep riding?" I asked myself while howling in pain.

You can bet your sweet ass it was worth it!

Add a little fuel to my bank account. My ebook, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" is available for purchase here. If not for you, buy a copy for a friend. The woman in your life will love you for it. 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...)