Life Lately – A Glimpse Back to August and September 2017

Summer 2017 flew by like all summers do.  But for those who liken summer to just the months of June, July and August are selling themselves short.   Why stop at August?  Because school starts up again?   Hellooooo… who lives for the week when there is always a weekend?   September is always an extended summer month for this girl and it’s been slammed full of awesome. Plus, let’s just note the horrid temps we’ve been having lately.   Mid-90’s at the end of September?

 WHAT WAS THAT?!

Let’s take a step back in time.

{August}

The first part of the month was Jessica’s annual girls trip to the Ozarks with a few newbies along for the ride but minus a few previous attendees who were unable to make it.  The Ozarks trip looked quite different than years prior (recap of previous years here and here), however, you can guarantee fun was had, drinks were ingested, a few belongings were lost at the bottom of the lake and a hangover or two may have happened.

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Thanks again, Jeff and Donna for opening up your home to us.

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August 11-12th

Clint officiated a wedding in Red Oak, IA the second weekend of August so we headed down on the bikes Friday the 11th to help with rehearsal.

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Added bonus: one of the best meals we have had in a long time courtesy of the Red Coach Inn Lounge.   Had NO IDEA their food was so legit.  I take back my Red Roach sentiments.  *shoulder shrug

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The wedding on Saturday was absolutely gorgeous and everything went off without a hitch!

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And I, of course, loved every second I got to hang with Sara’s cute little fam.

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The entire month of August provided a lot of two-wheel time.   The number of sunsets captured was pretty spectacular.  This particular night we were just leaving The Twisted Tail after dinner and headed straight into the sunset.   I can’t get enough!

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Mid-August we had the opportunity to take my in-laws to dinner and we picked out the Driftwood Inn and Blair, NE.   The views during our pre-dinner drinks and appetizers were enough to make me want to go back for another evening cocktail anytime!   If you head that way, be sure to check their hours and give yourself plenty of time.  The seating is limited, the days and hours are limited and the wait time to get in is long, but clearly, worth it.  The place was packed!

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HOLD THE PHONE!

Did you know Clint has an award-winning truck?  At some point in August, we popped over to a car show with this man-manipulated beast I lovingly call Mater.   Listen, it’s apparently a thing because it was quite the conversation starter.  All I know is it’s a former dump truck (I think) that he put a box on.   It won best unfinished.

To me, it wins the title of “just another one of Clint’s unfinished projects”.

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And then around came my 37th birthday weekend.   Plans?  What plans?   Friends, let me tell you, August hit me like a ton of bricks!  I was out of the office traveling every day for over two weeks and facilitated 17 orientations where I was front facing students, parents, and administrators.  That’s a LOT of people and questions… and repeated answers.

So, I started to make plans, I didn’t like them, I changed them, I didn’t commit to anything, then I committed, people were busy, and then I uncommitted from it all because dang it… I just didn’t want plans.   None.  So, that’s what I did.  Whatever the hell I wanted on a schedule that didn’t matter if I was late or early too.

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And it was glorious.  

I got a solid long run in at my fave Zorinsky Lake and then we put some more miles in on the bikes.   Two-wheeled therapy, beers, dinner, and a nightcap to watch the Mayweather vs. McGregor fight at Tyree’s.   It was absolutely perfect and what I needed.

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And let’s not forget about this ooey gooey bowl of sweetness!  She makes every day a great day! ❤

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And then Tuesday the 29th hit and all of a sudden I’m 37.   THIRTY-SEVEN!   And super proud of it.   If you are one of those who keeps aging backwards… yo.   Stop it.  Own it!   Look at all the cool things you’ve experienced in your life to this point.  The things you’ve learned.   The mountains you’ve moved.   I proudly state my age.  Who gives a shit anyway?   Life friggin ROCKS!

The day started with getting absolutely SPOILED by my INSANIANCS and a 6 pack of beer from Jordan L.

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{Ok for real.  The number of people who actually thought I drank that bad boy at 5:30am after posting it on FB was a little ridic.   5:30am is a bit early don’t ya think?}

I mean clearly, I waited until the more respectable hour of 10:30am to crack it open.  #duh

 

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Thanks to Kelly for the extra steps in making my morning start off just right.  Look at that load of goodness.

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And the day of happiness continued with fresh out of the oven muffins from Bridgette, lunch with my mama, Dave and Gabe, goodies from some very special co-workers, flowers from the hubs, a hand-delivered cookie from Jess, love from the cat and sushi dinner to close out the night.

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37.  

You fine.

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{September}

I am still continuing working on my photo taking skills and fortunately for me had two more incredible test subjects.  Check out a few sneaks below!

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Pirtlefest Preps started happening on September 2nd and lasted through September 16th.   The weekends preps consisted of truck repairs, hole digging, pole barn cleaning, cabin sweep, human fooseball construction while also consuming a fair amount of food and booze.

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Friday, September 8th was Clarinda’s homecoming and my beautiful cousin was part of the Homecoming Court.  I made a last minute decision early that morning to take a 1/2 day off work and make my way to Clarinda to see her in action.  Fortunately for me, I caught a gorgeous sunrise on that two-wheeled beauty.

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And speaking of gorgeous!  Megan- red is your color!

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No trip to Clarinda would ever be complete without a stop to see Kayla and fortunately for us, Nicole stopped by and joined in on the fun as well!

An afternoon of beers and besties?  YES, PLEASE, ALWAYS!

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I timed my departure to coincide with the sunset.  The backroads of Iowa never disappoint, so there I sat, by myself, no traffic, the only sounds coming from the low grumble of my bike and the chirps of bugs, watching the sunset ever so softly until it disappeared.

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You all know how I feel about finding time to reset and self-reflect.   For me, the best time to do that is on the bike at sunset with nothing but miles ahead, miles behind and the only sounds heard are from the bike and my own thoughts.

Be comfortable being by yourself.  Get comfortable having hard conversations with yourself.   That’s where true growth begins.

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Saturday the 9th was the annual Scroggs memorial run out of Clarinda, so instead of heading to the farm to continue helping with the Pirtlefest shenanigans, I took off on the bike BACK to Clarinda to enjoy an afternoon of riding.

The weather was perfect, the miles long and the company a treat.

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Sunday, September 10th marked 6 years of marriage.

Killing it!

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Monday, September 11th marked my first day back as a playing member of the Nebraska Wind Symphony.   It had been 6 years since I had touched my clarinet and 11 years since I played repertoire that challenged me. I was a member of NWS from 2004-2006 while still living in Clarinda but left the group during a transition period in my life and then actually left music altogether in 2011 when I stepped away from teaching.  Joining the music world again had definitely been on my heart for the last year. In fact, my Christmas present to my Gr’pa Goecker last year was a written promise to see what I could do about becoming a playing NWS member again… and Monday the 11th I fulfilled that promise. He’s delighted as he’s certainly been the one to consistently bring up how he wishes I still played.  It’s been GREAT to be back… but I’ll admit the Monday evening 7:15-9:15pm rehearsals are an adjustment for my 4am Tuesday alarm clock.   Ouch!!

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Mid-September brought some changes at work.  The details are unnecessary, but the love I feel for my colleagues and the future of my position is promising.  Thanks to many special people for helping lead into that transition and through the changes yet to come.

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And with that, I’ll leave you be.   We’ve got Pirtlefest and an Arkansas trip to round out September, but those adventures certainly deserve their own post.

… Oh, the stories and photos to share!  🙂

 

Cheers!

 

 

 

Biker Feature {Jenny}

An August evening in Emerson, IA served as the setting for my photo practice session #2 with none other then Jenny and her green machine.   Jenny lovingly called this session her “senior” photos, referencing more age then the traditional HS milestone.  We had a fun evening and I learned a lot about lighting and what the lack there-of does to photo quality.  Each session I learn something new, which is exactly my intention and purpose.

Thanks, Jenny!  Enjoy a few of my favorite photos from the night.

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Cheers!

Women of Harley: Elizabeth S.

Harleys & Heels | Biker Bitch Feature #8 | Elizabeth S.

 

Meet: Liz

Liz

 

1. How long have you been riding?

I have been a back rest for about 5 years, but riding my own for about a year and a half.

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2. What do you ride?

I have a Black 2006 FXSTSI Softail Springer

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3. How many bikes have you owned and why did you choose your current model?

This is my one and only, so far.  To be honest, it was actually a bike my boyfriend had always really liked and so when I saw this one, I honestly believe it helped persuade him that I should be riding my own.  I do really really really love this bike, though.  It had big ole’ 12 inch apes with about 3 inch chrome risers and it just looked so amazing!  I sat on it and it just felt like it was meant to be.

Like, this was the bike for me.

I have since done some upgrades and have many more ideas that I will eventually get to, but we all know that takes money!  My lil work in progress.  🙂

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4. Does your bike have a name?

Not yet… I am totally stumped on a name!   I think a name will jump out at me once I get all the upgrades completed.

 

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5. Tell us the story behind why/when you decided to ride your own bike?

My dad always had his motorcycle endorsement but he didn’t have a bike when us kids were growing up. Occasionally he would borrow a buddy’s bike and take us for a spin, but that was about it.

Later in life, I met my man, Andy, who had grown up riding motorcycles.  It was in his blood.

Liz 10 Andy & Older BroAndy & his older brother

Naturally, I started riding on the back of his Road King.  It was about 3 years ago that I decided I wanted to take the motorcycle training class through ABATE of Iowa.  I took it, passed it, loved it, but still didn’t have the bike.  I would dream and search endlessly for bikes online. About a year and a half ago I ran across my dream bike and emailed it to my boyfriend and said:

I think I’m in love!

He thought it was a pretty sweet ride as well, so I started checking into it and the rest is history!  I was SO excited the day we went out to pick her up!   It was a Friday and my boyfriend had just landed at Eppley Airfield after two weeks of business travel and he headed straight for Dillon Brothers Harley Davidson.   He took it for a test ride, looked it over thoroughly, I signed all the papers, we loaded it up in his truck and took her home!   Sadly, I had to work at the bar that night AND had a ton of stuff going on the day after, so it wasn’t until 2 days later that I was able to ride her for the first time.

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6. Do you have a biker who is your inspiration?

I don’t know that I have one particular person in mind, but I can name a few!  For starters, before I was riding my own, every woman rider that I would see got me thinking “I could do that”.

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Secondly, my new girls: the “Biker Bi!ches”.   Those gals are so freaking awesome and inspire me to get out, be me and ride! We are all such awesome chicks and so glad that I have met each and every one of them!

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And of course, my best friend and boyfriend Andy.  He knows so much about bikes and can tell you the exact year, make & model of a bike that is 300 yards away.  I just wish I knew half the stuff he does.  He has stood by my side and pushed me to get on my own bike.  I am so happy that he did!  We have made so many memories already and can’t wait to make many more!

Liz 11 Algona

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7. What are some of you favorite things about the biker lifestyle?

My favorite thing would be the camaraderie and the sense of friends/family that comes with it.  I have met some of the best people through riding motorcycles.  I think about 90% of my friends ride.   Riding creates an instant bond and no one cares about your social or financial status. The point is you ride and you like to ride. Everyone is so accepting of every walk of life and that makes for one heck of a party!

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8. Give us one of your favorite two-wheeled stories.

I’ll give a funny one.   Last year, after I got my bike, I was riding with my boyfriend and all of the sudden a giant bug went up my nose and down the back of my throat.  Nothing about going 70mph down the highway that involves bugs is a good experience. Trust me when I say, it was horrible.  I ended up slowing way down, trying to spit it out and trying not to throw up at the same time ALL while keeping the two wheels moving forward.  Meanwhile, my man had pulled over to the side of the road, so by the time I reached him, I looked mighty fine with watery eyes and slobber all over my cheek and shoulder. all thanks to trying to spit a bug out.   I got off my bike, regained my composure and then off we went again.

Oh, the life of a biker; those bugs never stand a chance, but they sure try!

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His and Hers

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9. What advice would you give other females who are thinking about riding their own?

Just do it! If you have ever even thought about riding your own, then I highly suggest the ABATE of Iowa learning course. It teaches you so much and the teachers are great.  Just get out there, don’t be scared.

It is very empowering… not to mention bad ass.

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10. There are many “Biker Codes” out there. If you had a favorite what would it be?

I’m not really sure if this is a “biker code” but I absolutely love the saying;

“Never get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.”

I think it fits with us bikers. Yeah, we can be serious and get things done, take care of our families, hold down good jobs but we know that there is still so much more!  The experiences and the views are what we miss when we are so wrapped up in making a living. We have to be able to relax and for us, that’s riding!

We might not know where we are heading but we are out there enjoying the ride…

wherever it may take us!

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY WEEKEND, LIZ!!!

 

 

Cheers!

Keep up-to-date on all Biker Bitch Features:

#1: Ashley H.

#2: Jen M.

#3: Chris Y.

#4: Lora J

#5: DeAnn P.

#6: Tyree S.

#7: Marcy L.

 

You might also be interested in:

The 9th Annual B!tch Ride

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

Women of Harley: Tyree S.

Harleys & Heels | Biker Bitch Feature #6 | Tyree S.

 

Meet: Tyree

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1. How long have you been riding?

I grew up on a farm and can remember riding little dirt bikes around the age of 10, maybe even a little younger.  As for a street bike, I have owned my Harley for 4 years now.

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2. What do you ride?

2008 Harley Dyna Street Bob.

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3. How many bikes have you owned and why did you choose your current model?

 One, because it looked good on me.

 

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4. Does your bike have a name?

 No, but she is my baby girl!

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5. Tell us the story behind why/when you decided to ride your own bike?

I met Jordan the summer of 2007 and thought she was a pretty amazing lady.  I admired her for riding her own.

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Tyree and Yours Truly

Fast forward a few years when my brother came to live with me.  He was daring enough to let me ride his Honda Shadow and it was then I realized how much I still loved “going outside to play” and knew I had to get my own!

 

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Tyree and her brother, Clint

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6. Do you have a biker who is your inspiration?

My Dad.

I remember being a kid and he would have my sister sitting on the tank sitting “criss-cross applesauce” and me on the back with my feet thrown up over his legs so I wouldn’t get burned by the pipes. Dad would do some of the craziest dirt bike stunts and I thought he was so cool!  He really taught me how to ride.

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Tyree’s dad and mom


7. What are some of you favorite things about the biker lifestyle?

The friends and people you meet. It is like no other!! A respect and love for something that is so rejuvenating, thrilling and that gives a since of strength, power, and freedom.

It is something that someone who doesn’t ride, can’t understand.

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A few of the BB’s.  Regeana, Marcy, Elizabeth, Jen, Tracy, Me & Tyree

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8. Give us one of your favorite two-wheeled stories.

How can I pick just one?

Every “B!tch” ride has been amazing and the long trips to bike rallies are some of the best trips I’ve ever been on.  Even just jumping on a back winding road with one of your biker friends is a memorable event just the same.

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Back Road Shenanigans : Tyree & Jordan style

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9. What advice would you give other females who are thinking about riding their own?

Do it!!!! If you have ever thought about it, it is so worth it.

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10.  There are many “Biker Codes” out there.  If you had a favorite what would it be?

Bikers have a brotherhood and sisterhood like no other. 

Unlike so many groups, bikers truly are a family, and bikers live by a code of respect.

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11. Final words?

Life is short, break the rules, forgive quickly, love honestly, laugh easy, keep it simple, ride often, ride free and never regret anything that makes you smile!

And, my dad always said “I work hard, and I play just as hard as I work“.

Thanks, Dad.

That’s the way I am choosing to live my life as well.

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Cheers!

 

Keep up-to-date on all Biker Bitch Features:

#1: Ashley H.

#2: Jen M.

#3: Chris Y.

#4: Lora

#5: DeAnn

 

You might also be interested in:

The 9th Annual B!tch Ride

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

 

 

 

Women of Harley: Lora J.

Harleys & Heels | Biker Bitch Feature #4 | Lora J.

 

Meet: Lora J.

 

Lora J
1. How long have you been riding?

I grew up on mini bikes, but I was always just a little scared of riding back then.  When I was 18, my husband would let me give him rides on his dirt bike.  On Mother’s Day, seven years ago, I got my first bike and have been riding my own ever since.

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Lora’s First Bike

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2. What do you currently ride?

Harley Davidson Heritage Softail

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3. How many bikes have you owned and why did you choose your current model?

I have owned two bikes.  My first one was an 1100 V Star.   I have since purchased my Heritage Softail, which I got for a screaming great deal.   I kept my V Star for my 16 year old son who has now been riding a few years.

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Lora’s son on her V Star


4. Does your bike have a name?

I haven’t gotten around to my new bike.  Any ideas?


5. Tell us the story behind why/when you decided to ride your own bike.

I love riding my own bike and I feel more safe when I am in charge.   I actually had my first street bike before my husband got his.  I have always felt free riding my own bike. Riding is like Prozac.  It relieves a lot a stress.

Riding is something I had wanted to do for a long time, but I waited until my kids were old enough to watch themselves.  Kids first, riding second.

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Lora with some of her riding sisters.

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6. Do you have a biker who is your inspiration?

All women riders are my inspiration.  I have found that women tend to ride safer then men, and women always form a bond, no matter the age difference.

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7. What are some of you favorite things about the biker lifestyle?

The freedom.

Meeting new people.

Motorcycles are always a great ice breaker.   There is always a story.

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8. Give us one of your favorite two-wheeled stories.

My favorite two wheeled story was my first women’s trip with about 20 ladies.  The oldest was 66 and the youngest 32. We rode to Wisconsin, got rained on and ended up drying our clothes out at a Casey’s along the way.   We rolled into the Dells in matching shirts and people everywhere wanted to take our pictures with them.   It was my first time to go on a trip on my bike with only women.

Our trip was full of adventure.  We had a couple ladies wreck, we lost stuff along the highway, people left their blinkers on (apparently this makes a few ladies really bitchy).  For the record, it wasn’t my blinker, but it was a lesson!  I now always make sure my blinkers are off and I learned how to ride in formation.

All in all, it was a wonderful experience.

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9. What advice would you give other females who are thinking about riding their own?

My advice would be:

  1. If you lay your bike down get back on.  
  2. Don’t buy a brand new bike to begin with get a nice used one.
  3. Ride alone on less populated back roads so you can get in uninterrupted practice.
  4. Never let your bike get dusty.

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Lora and DeAnn


10.  There are many “Biker Codes” out there. If you had a favorite what would it be? Or, if you were to add your own code, what would you say?

Always ride like a lady.  Keep it classy, girls.

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11. Final words?

Ride every chance you can, you never know when it might be your last.

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Cheers!

Keep up-to-date on all Biker Bitch Features:

#1: Ashley H.

#2: Jen M.

#3: Chris Y.

 

You might also be interested in:

The 9th Annual B!tch Ride

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

 

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