LA La la la

August 23, 2010

LA loves Chicks on Bikes. Must be true because I had a great reception down there and met some terrific characters.

Off to a miserable start, I flew from San Francisco to Longbeach and found my drivers license had expired. No car rental without a valid license, remember that people. And everyone knows you can’t be in LA without a car (or a motorcycle). So I spent the afternoon with the downtrodden masses that waited in line with me at the DMV.

The day took a quick upturn when I was rescued from the DMV by Craig Franz owner of Westminster Harley. They are stocking Chicks on Bikes at their Huntington Beach store.

Craig Franz

And I took the opportunity to do a few shots of their lovely employee LJ. Check out that foxy tail on the back.Add an Image

Then over to Dainese store for a terrific turnout of about 50 women. I’m a big proponent of wearing good gear, all the time. Dainese has great gear that looks awesome and will save your hide. Here’s what fabulous stunt women Leah Peterson says about Dainese gear: Video.

Chicks on bikes who wear good gear. Thanks Dainese.

Tom Monroe the manager was the gracious host. And here he is with one of the many historical suits they have on display –Eddie Lawson’s, from his 1986 world championship. The store a veritable museum of famous racer leathers. Some are totally trashed and quite interesting to see what a beating leather can take.

Tom Monroe

Powerlily was the sponsor and if you don’t know about this group – go right now to www.powerlily.net Really, go. Don’t even finish reading my blog. But if you’re still reading, I’ll tell you its the spirit of women riders. Powerlily has no agenda other than to further the support, kinship and success of women in the power sports industry. Here’s me and the Powerlily founder Jessica Prokup.

Jessica Prokup of Powerlily and Christina Shook

One of the only men there, Walt Fulton deserves a shout out for being a big supporter of women riders. Nominated by Helmet Hair Magazine in the Top 10 Men who Support Women In Motorcycling. Here he is with Street Masters Motorcycle Workshops (which I’d like to take) partner Nancy Foote:

Walt Fultona and Nancy Foote of Street Masters

This is a handmade Aztec skull key to the bike of Nancy G. Toscano, of another terrific resource for women riders www.ChicRiders.com

Aztec Skull key

Coming Next: Cretins Club House and the East Side Motor Babes.

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aches pains and adventure – Beyond Bucharest book review

August 16, 2010
Beyond Bucharest – by Bob Goddard
book review

I’m not sure the exact age of Bob and Liv as they set off on their Eastern European moto adventure, but I’m going to say somewhat beyond middle age.  Add aches and pains and the normal rigors of motorcycle travel to the monstrous conditions they encounter on the roads of Eastern Europe and even a seasoned motorcycle adventurer would shudder. Beyond Bucahrest is a humbling, humorous and charming read as well as an interesting insight into eastern europe.

Inspired by Ewan McGregor’s moto adventures the husband and wife team set off on bikes from England to the Black Sea in Bulgaria. They themselves would be daunted if they knew what lie in wait.  I won’t plot spoil but the floods are hair raising.

Beyond adventure their ulitmate goal it to visit some of the charitable works of EveryChild. All royalties from this book will go to the UK based charity.

I’ve recently been thinking about what place the aging motorcyclist has in the bike world. While everyone loves a tale of hardship and overcoming or succumbing to the trials and condition of travel, not many address the added issues of age with the candor and good humor that Bob Goddard does. I feel great empathy for Liv and I cheer for her when her hands freeze up so she can barely control the bike but she rallies on.

Bob’s writing wonderfully personable and so very English. I just have to giggle over some expressions like:

What a prize pratt!
Due to road conditions…we were cream crackered.

And speaking of international distintions, do French motorcyclists really wave their foot in greeting?

I recommend buying the book Beyond Bucharest for a good cause and reading it for a good adventure.

Beyond Bucharest book by Bob Goddard

Chicks On Bikes comes to Los Angeles – Angels Rev Their Engines

August 13, 2010

August is the month I gave up on LA many years ago and I sometimes look back at the life I didn’t lead. Within 24 hours of deciding, I’d boxed my few belonging to post and pointed my Yamaha XS11 north to San Francisco where I remain to this day. But that’s another story.

This August, I’m heading down for a few fab dates with Chicks On Bikes. A big thank you shout out to Dainese of Orange County for bringing me down.

Dainese Store –  Ladies Night

Thursday August 19th,  6 pm
1645 Superior Avenue, Costa Mesa, CA 92627-3612 (949) 645-9500

But wait… there’s more…The East Side Moto Babes! (ESBM) Like an awesome indie film, gritty, glamorous and fierce – they laid hollywood rubber in getting me a couple more spots.

I’d already bonded with the Cretin’s in Seattle last month (pictures at the end of this entry) so I’m psyched that the ESBM is their sister club and hosting me for a late Chicks On Bikes night at the LA Cretins Club House. With a skyline view of the city, I’ll be shooting on the scene.   If you’re a chick on a bike, come on down and maybe you’ll be in the next book.

ProItalia in Glendale is having their big Cafe Desmo Italian Bike Show.  And surely they need some Chicks On Bikes too.  The ESBM are coming out for the kick off Cocktail Party at the shop.

Cretins Clubhouse

Thursday August 19th, 10pm
1460 Naud St. Los Angeles, 90012
Look for ramp, Party located on 2nd floor roof parking structure.
Located Near Chinatown

ProItalia

Cocktail party Cafe Desmoto kick off
Friday August 20th 7pm (I’ll being doing my slideshow about 7:30)
3319 N Verdugo Rd., Glendale, CA 91208 | 818 249-5707
(next blog will be Cretin pix, really)

Lived to write about Book Tour

July 19, 2010

I didn’t get a thing done on the road but talk to a million people, find my way to a new location daily, and make sure my two girls were fed and decently clean. I’m home now so  let the blogging begin…

The grey skies of Portland spit upon me to say – no one is coming out on a weekday night to see  Chicks On Bikes. But the warmth and welcome of the small crowd at Cascade Moto proved me wrong. Laurie Winslow the water restistant avon lady rode in on her nicely styled Triumph:

A true Portlander rides in the rain

Vrrooom - Avon calling

Here’s a link to her Avon website. All Portland Bikers should go to Laurie for their Avon needs.

This photo is by my 9 year old Ella. The perspective and composition are spot on. The gentle giant who welcomed us:

Welcome

And my name in lights!

My name in lights!

And these two sisters have been riding dozens of years. I love this kind of family and biker bonding.

Sisters

And a special thanks to the R.A.T. Pack for coming out.

More to photos and adventures of the northwest to come… because sometimes you just have to get started.

Northwest Book Tour Dates

June 30, 2010

THE places to be for Chicks on Bikes ROADSHOW:


Thursday July 1st 7pm

Cascade Motors

14705 SW Farmington Rd.   Beaverton OR 97005
(503) 574-3353
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Friday July 2nd, 6:30pm

MotoCorsa

2170 Northwest Wilson Street
Portland, OR 97210
(503) 292-7488
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Sat. July 3rd & Sun. 4th

Latus Hareley Davidson

7421 Northeast Beech Street, Portland, OR
(503) 249-8653

All Weekend event – FREE

I’ll be at a book table with the famous Wall of Death trick rider Cookie Crumb who rode The Wall back in the 50’s.  And I’ll be doing my show a couple times daily.

The Wall will be there and you can see the show yourself. Food, live bands, games for kids…

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Wednesday July 7th, 7:30

Cretin’s MC presents Rubberneckin’ night

Seattle Cretins MC clubhouse 3600 E. Marginal Way south 98134
* due to street construction approach the clubhouse from the west
Seattle, WA

Come early 5:30 to view vintage motorcycles and stay late for punk rock band to follow.

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Friday, July 9th 4pm- 6pm

South Sound BMW

3605 20th Street East, Fife, WA –
(253) 922-2004

Come on down Beemer folks – I’m on the cover of BMW owner magazine on the Level next month!

Woman biker envisions the future on electric motorcycles

June 1, 2010

Jennifer Bromme raced the first ever electric motorcycle race in America at TTXGP last month. She’s among my favorite photo muses. There’s so much to say about this that I’m paralyzed into inaction. But does every blog need to tell all? Wouldn’t you rather just see the pictures?  Good. Because I find writing really hard work. Hats off to those of you who do it so well and blog so diligently. Read these articles by Suzanna Schick instead.

I’ll just get to the photos because that’s what I do.

photo Jennifer Bromme at Infineon Raceway on Mavizen electric bike

Plug in the electric motorcycle

to the future and beyond...

Jane Jetson knows electric bikes are the in thing.

Book me for a Chicks On Bikes tour show

June 1, 2010

What better public image for motorcycling than a mom and her kids thumping up the coast talking about women motorcyclists? Its a good thing, maybe a bit mad, but surely its good. Chicks on Bikes is coming to a town near you (if you live in the Pacific northwest).

As I make my way up the grand coast from San Francisco to Vancouver, I’ll be hualing audio visual equipment, cameras, my two girls ages 3 & 9, and if can’t get a grasp on my common sense I’ll bring camping gear too.  Now the pacific northwest is a hard territory to dazzle, maybe they don’t take to dazzle at all. But I’ll be putting on the best dang video projection show with all my hero’s in Chicks On Bikes.  I’ll be telling their stories along with my own personal stories of how I found these women and what went down over the course of making the photos. I’ll be including some of those heartbreaking images left behind on the editing table and everyone’s favorite game “where are they now?”

And what’s best: ITS FREE!  Yep, I’ll come dazzle you with my show and afterward sign your Chicks On Bikes book myself with a sparkly silver sharpie.

I’m keen to book events all along the way and I’m taking bookings right now. I’m particularly looking for some venues in Seattle and Vancouver. You are my ideal contact if you:

a. love women and at least suspect that women are indeed smarter than men.

b. Think motorcycles are the perfect vehicle

c. are fascinated with the frozen moments and million words embodied in great photography.

d. own a motorcycle related shop

e. belong to a motorcycle club. I love clubs, great excuse to gather your buds.

My dates are June 26 – July 11th and here is my flyer. Email me through http://www.ChicksOnBikes.us or comment here to contact me.

Not a Harley Girl – or am I?

April 8, 2010

I’m a sport bike girl at heart. I like the speed and focus of flicking the bike through a twisty road. I like the tucked in feeling of the bike bonded to my body. I like the hyper, buggy, plastic body work of performance bikes. I like the general demeanor and style of fellow sportbike riders (not the squids).

As author of  Chicks On Bikes that embraces all kinds of bikes and riders and styles I do my best to disregard personal preferences. I am forever enthused to learn what individuals love about their bikes. The character and the bike they choose are an inseperable part of the story and every rider has a story.

But I’m going to confess the big cruisers have never called to me. Its kind of the way I feel about birds – its fascinating to encounter other people’s birds but never ever do I want to own a bird. They’re loud, they poop on you and I don’t like the herky jerky way they move.

The maverick in me just does not want to own the #1 selling bike in America, the Harley Davidson.  I’ve actually entertained ideas of buying seriously ugly but beloved bikes such as the V-Strom. In part just to be ornery.

But as I contemplate doing a major road trip book tour this summer. Possibly with my 9 year old daughter. It behooves me to take an earnest look at the biggest lux touring ride in the Harley stable -the Ultra Classic Electra Glide.

I think the wonderful writer photographer Bob Stokestad summed it up well in this article on the Big Mama as he calls it. And from now on I shall call all Ultra Classic Electra Glides Big Mama too.

I will just say its the closest thing to a 2 wheeled Lazy Boy and the highly visible color orange with a hue that nods to the 70’s suits me just fine. Here is a picture of me and Ella on it at Dudley Perkins Harley dealership in San Francisco at their recent Garage Party.

seat testing Big Mama at Dudley Perkins Harley, San Francsico

The Garage Parties that Harley dealerships have been putting on this spring are aimed at encouraging women riders.  I gotta love that. I give HD a hearty thump on the back for the wisdom of promoting women riders. Its that kind of smart marketing that keeps them the #1 seller. And another kudo to Dudley Perkins, a SF institution, for being such good people. If were plunking down my change to buy a brand new Big Mama, this is where I’d plunk it.

I just saw a video where a knee is dragged on a massive Goldwing. Now that’s the kind of rider I want to be, comfy but fast!

Motorcycle Riding For A Good Cause – Diamond Posse

March 11, 2010

Giving back to your community is a basic element to a life well lived. If I were to smash myself to bits in a motorcycle accident tomorrow and lay there dying a slow death and taking account of my life, I’d really like to have some good deeds to cough up.

The motorcycle community seems to be doing this all the time. Is it because life and death seem a bit more in perspective for bikers?

I want to put a plug out for the Diamond Posse. I’ve met a couple of them and they are some big hearted ladies. As they say, they have been “forged under pressure” thus creating diamonds.

As past members of the military or lives of personal challenges, these 5 women will set out to ride this May from San Antonio, Texas to Milwaukee, Wisconsin to celebrate Women’s Riders Month stopping at veterans’s centers along the way. They are fund raising for the Fallen Hero’s Fund to build a privately funded physical rehabilitation center.

Here’s what they need:

Sponsorship
Donations for books.. Heart of a Military Woman Book Donation: Books will be given out to veterans at VA Stops . Proceeds benefit the Fallen Heroes Fund .
Sponsor the Riders
Donate to the Fallen Heroes Fund

Contact Eldonna aka Pink Biker Chick for more info.

Here’s who the are:

Riders of the Diamond Posse

Riders of the Diamond Posse

10 Best Motorcycle Songs

February 21, 2010

Looks like I’m a bonafide something since  I’m actually getting paid for speaking next Month at Santa Rosa College and presenting Chicks On Bikes: what real women motorcyclists are all about. Its National Women’s Month, you know.

So I’m spiffing up my slideshow and need some music for the intro. I contemplated many songs and dismissed the most obvious right off the bat. I’m going to make a heretic state right now. The fine old song Born To be Wild is a practically embarrassing cliche. That’s why its not on the list.

But first alllow my my motherly rant on ear drums and safety. If you listen while you ride, you’re either cranking it up to hear over wind noise and that causes ear damage. Or you have ear buds that seal out the sound and then you can’t hear around yourself on the road. Best to have all your senses sharp.

So lets get right to it. As a bonafide biker chick, here my highly personal list of the top 10 best motorcycle songs (about motorcycling that is):

10. For most bizarre and comic the award goes to: Funky Moped by Jasper Carrot.

9. And just to show you everything sounds better in French – check out this Bridgette Bardot song. I don’t know what she’s saying about that motorcycle but I like it. I’m not even going to ask if she’s ever ridden a motorbike.

8. Because I am product of 80’s new wave: Motorcycle by Love and Rockets

7. In honor of guitar hero’s who love to ride: Ride by Joe Satriani

6. Fine, I reconsidered Born to be Wild because I did quite enjoy this performance by The Cult.

5. Warning this silly motorcycle ditty may get stuck in your head. I don’t want a pickle I Just Want to Ride My Motorcycle by Arlo Gutherie

4. I admit I just found this song while cruising around the web, but its immediately catchy rockabilly tune set to the Japanese animation will hook you too. I’m a Mutha Fucker on a Motorcycle by Machine Gun Fellatio

3. I’ve sung this song into my helmet on many a road trip.  Thanks Neil for a putting a woman on the bike and making another classic. Unknown Legend by Neil Young

2. I do love my Bob Seeger and its not just because I’m from Detroit either. It’s all about freedom baby. This is a true classic: Roll Me Away

#1. Not because I’ve been particularly concerned with an accurate list of ranking (nor even in a serious critique of the genre of motorcycle songs) but the song that won me over to go with my Chicks On Bikes slideshow intro: Two Wheels Move the Soul by true biker chick Sasha Mullins.

Oh wait, make it 11 best motorcycle songs: I forgot about this classic piece of 70’s: Motorcycle Mama by the Sailcats

Now that I’ve had my say, comment and tell us your favorites.