The Hobby | Biker Photos

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It all started summer 2017 with this girl, this bike and a camera I had received as a gift nearly three years prior.

I didn’t completely know what I was doing, and I certainly still don’t, but I knew I wanted to try and capture a few photos of Liz with her bike.  And what started out as a fun night of unknowns, turned into a hobby worth exploring.

But not for reasons you might think.

I am connected to many influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women.   Add to the equation a woman who rides her own motorcycle and you end up with a pretty powerful subject.

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According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, the number of women riders in America is growing daily.  In fact, in 2015 female motorcycle owners made up 14 percent of the industry.   In 2003, an estimated 9.6 percent of the motorcycle owners in America were women, which shows us an increase of over 50 percent in 10 years.

Nice work, gals!

Women Riders Now provided us with an even larger breakdown:

  • Slightly more than 17 percent of Gen X owners (born from early 1960 to mid-1970s), and 17.6 percent of Gen Y owners (born in the 1980s and 1990s) are women.
  • Among Boomer owners (born between 1946-1964), women make up 9 percent.

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We are a highly educated group as well!

  • 47 percent of us have a college or post-graduate degree.

 

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As I said…

 influential,

intelligent,

beautiful,

gracious,

inspirational

WOMEN

Before I knew it, one session turned into another and another, and with those sessions I started to grow in my confidence, abilities and knowledge.   Each shoot I critiqued and analyzed to find something new to take away, whether it was a new technique or studying the settings I had used to get the desired outcome.  I fully invested in studying aperture, ISO and shutter speed and how they intertwine.  The importance of angles and subject placement started to take shape.

The positioning of the sun and the effects it had on the shooting range was an eye opener for me.  Using natural light to enhance the subject while avoiding unappealing shadows or bright, nearly drowned out spots, can be tricky depending on the time of day and location.

 

I started to work on the concept of depth and subject placement in order to get the end result desired, whether it be a bold, loud full landscape statement, or a naturally blurred or bokeh effect background with the focus on the subject.

 

I have learned so much, and have so much yet to learn.  I don’t want to be a hobbyist who is a simple “point and shoot” type.   There are plenty of “photographers” out there.  Anyone with a fancy camera can wave their hand in the air.

Am I a professional photographer?  Absolutely not.  Do I want to be?  No.  Am I trying to be?  No.

I am enjoying learning a fun hobby while working toward producing products for people that have a look and feel of minimal effort, but polished and a semi-professional edge.

 

But, my dear friends… it’s more than that.

Those influential, intelligent, beautiful, gracious and inspirational women I am fortunate enough to know?  I want you to see them too.

 

And I want them to truly see it in themselves.

 

 

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I want to help boost confidence in the individuals in front of my lens.

I want them to own and embrace what makes each of them unique.

 

I want to pull out the happiness and joy these girls exude and put it in print for the rest of the world to experience.

 

I want these girls to feel pride when they see themselves in print.

 

I want to help build self-esteem, self-confidence, pride, happiness and joy into each of my subjects

one shot at a time.

 

And with that,

I think I found my niche.

 

I look forward to the spring months ahead where I hope to hit the ground running with more opportunities to capture photos of not only my friends with their bikes, but also to the many other strong, powerful women (and men) out there riding their own.

When you are ready, so am I.

 

 

 

 

June 2016 Wrap-Up

Final two weekends of June in review starring:

Harley’s, Beers, Best Buds and the Hubs.

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Two weekends ago I parked the Jeep on a Thursday night and didn’t get back in it until the following Monday morning.   I miss those days like summers past.  Teaching + Summers Off = no 4 wheels unless I had to.  Life now doesn’t give me that luxury anymore, so when I get the opportunity, I take full advantage!

Friday, June 17th

Jeans Day Friday’s is my favorite day of the work week.  These have only been implemented in the last year and when it did, my Harley and I sent a Thank You note to our President.

No, I am definitely not kidding.

This was big time, kids.  BIG TIME!

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An invite to Testicle Festival in South Bend, NE with a group of friends had us on the road for a fun little Friday.

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An evening of cold beers and fried testicles?  How could you say no to that?  😉  After a handful of hours, four of the five couples in attendance decided to ride down to Louisville to Heron Bay, my fave little bar on the river.  Unfortunately some bike issues had Tracey and I sidelined while we waited for the boys to work their magic a few miles back.   The neighborhood dogs didn’t much appreciate our presence, however, the neighbors were eager to help out a few damsels in distress.  Even offered a beer while we waited.  Thanks small town Nebraska.

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Soon after we were rolling on home to a sweet lightening show and a few sprinkles.  A most perfect and serene Friday night ride.  Some of the best!

Saturday, June 18th

Each year Tyree and I head out on a Thelma and Louise day, without the lunatic ending.  The last few years we’ve used it as a not-so-dry run to the annual B!tch run.  I like to test out my map, check the roads, notify the bar owners of the date and use that day as my chance to make any necessary adjustments, which works out perfect.  Our day began at 10am and we were off!

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Slightly overcast in the morning but after a few of these ridiculous shots of hell, recommended by a bar patron, we were nice and warmed up.

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Many miles, new friends and laughter later, our photos always turn into nonsense.

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Certainly nothing to do with these…

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Now the question is, were these our shots of schnapps and crown … or something more yummy and a new location?

We don’t shot and tell.

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A perfectly magnificent Thelma and Louise day and have the 11th Annual B!tch Run nailed down.  Check Check to another lovely June summer day.

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Sunday, June 19th – Father’s Day

Due to an unfortunate last minute Fathers Day plan cancellation courtesy of an illness,  I found myself flying solo Father’s Day morning.

Which was a-ok with me!

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I set out mid-morning for some solo riding, of which are most often my favorite rides.  I started riding 12 years ago and when I wasn’t on a poker run (which seemed to be every single weekend back in the day), I rode on my own during the weekdays.   I’d set out in a direction and go, just me and my Sporty.   I was in a deep transition period both physically and mentally while I was closing out my life in Clarinda and making the plans for a clean slate in Omaha.  It’s those solo rides that always put everything into perspective and truly helped define who I was.  I still love those solo rides and heading out on Father’s Day Sunday was like a breath of fresh air.  I rode all the backroads leading out of NE into IA for a few hours and then soon found myself in Clarinda, crashing Clint’s fathers day plans with his dad, Kyle and the rest of the fam bam.   Ok, so I didn’t crash it, I was always welcome, but I had planned to be elsewhere, so I like to say I crashed it. 🙂

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They had just gotten in from riding the horses around the acreage when I rolled in.   How cute is this pic of Clint and Kyle?   They are alike in so many ways.

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A few hours of shooting the shit, beers and dinner on the breezeway was a perfect ending to what started out as a botched Sunday.

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And then it was time to roll!

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For my two-wheeled riders, you know how much gravel sucks.   But, I’ll do it.  Just give me time.

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Tuesday, June 21st.

Justin Bieber – Lincoln, NE.

Brooke had some extra tickets.

Jessica asked, “wanna go?”

I said, “You bet!”

Belieber?  Nope.   Life experiences?  Yep.

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Bieber was a total douche on stage, lacked enthusiasm in the worst way imaginable, rarely interacted with the audience and was so self-righteous he paused to take at least 6 water breaks during the concert and made a complete spectacle of it by pausing all music, standing center stage, spotlight on him.

While he chugged a water bottle.

Really, Biebs?  REALLY?

Get over yo’self.

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Friday, June 24th 

Date night with my hubby and my first glance at his newest bulletin board!  Walkup Woods is coming along, folks!

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Saturday, June 25th

A day of riding through Southwest Iowa with Tina, dodging rain drops and rain clouds.

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A few hours spent with Troy, Sara and their two girls in the late afternoon before heading back to Omaha for dinner with Clint, his mom and Gaylen rounded out Saturday and as for Sunday, an early afternoon INSANITY class followed by some pool and sun time with Claire and Briton.  I might have gotten schooled on Shopkins too. 🙂

 

Basically,

Summer needs to NEVER end. 

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Cheers!

 

10 Year Harley-versary

This fall marked 10 years since I bought my first Harley-Davidson.

10 Years

Harley-Davidson has been in my blood since I was little.   The loyalty to Harley bloomed early on, thanks to my dad.

Live To Ride

Ride To Live

Those words signed every letter written between my dad and I.   Harley-Davidson was the only connecting piece for a period of time.

In some ways, it still is.

Harley’s; the lifestyle, the dream, the freedom.  It goes much deeper for me.  It isn’t about being a woman and “hearing me roar”.   It isn’t about making a statement.

Harley-Davidson is me.

Harley-Davidson is us.

I made a promise to myself that I would buy my first Harley as soon as I graduated with my Bachelors degree.   And I held to that promise.

October, 2004, my first beautiful blue baby came into my world.

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And my world forever changed.

In that first year of riding, I met some INCREDIBLE people.  Several of these folks remain a very large part of my life to this day, one even a best friend.  My Best Biker B!tch. ❤

I learned a lot about myself that first Harley year.   That open road… I’m telling ya.

It does magical things.

 

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I also learned that I looked like a dude with short hair and a do-rag.  Buying my first Harley also meant it was time to grow back out the hair.   No dude, here.

I kept my Sporty until 2008, when I traded her in for a bigger, meaner, faster bike.  Why?  Because my Sporty was becoming uncomfortable.   And, because my boyfriend, now husband, had bought a new Chopper and I was immensely jealous of the newness and the attention his bike got.  I wanted a head turner too, darnit.

Enter Harley #2: The Rocker C.

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She was a beauty.   She was fun to ride in the city.  And she got a lot of head turns with her “floating” back fender.  People were intrigued.  This was a new venture for Harley-Davidson.  It was a risk.   They were following the Chopper trend and attempted to make one of their own.

Just look at the big back tire.   Be still my heart.

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I loved riding that thing.  It was fun riding around the city.  It hugged the corners on the back roads.  It had some get-up-and-go.   People asked me a lot of questions.

And then we went to Sturgis.

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And Clint proposed.

This has nothing to do with the Rocker C itself, but, I can’t start a post about my love of Harley-Davidson and not include this incredibly precious and important moment in my life.

Clint and I bonded over bikes.  Our friendship began thanks to the two-wheeled lifestyle.  He and I never would have established a relationship, or even met for that matter, if it hadn’t been for two-wheels.   Remember when I said my love of Harley goes so much deeper?

Well, it just keeps getting deeper.

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Let’s go back to that Rocker now.    After Sturgis?

I HATED it.

Dude.   That ride sucked.  That seat sucked.  That suspension could take a hike.

I was SO OVER IT.

Sorry, baby #2, but you’ve gots-ta-go!

Time to make room for my beautiful, sexy, old-school Baby #3.

My Softail Deluxe.

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My Precious.

My love.

My Shining Star.

My Most Prized Possession.

The reason for my heart beat

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Ok, ya.  Too far.

But, you get the idea.   I am in love with Baby #3.  She and I are going to have a long relationship.

 

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I mean, she married me off, after-all.

I love my two-wheeled babies.  I love the life it has given me.  I love the people I’ve met.  I love everything that is Harley-Davidson.

It isn’t the brand to me.

It IS me.

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Cheers!

Women of Harley: Marcy L.

Harleys & Heels | Biker Bitch Feature #7 | Marcy L.

 

Meet: Marcy

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1. How long have you been riding?

Been riding my own for about 6 yrs now!

 

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2. What do you ride?

I ride a 2003 Harley Davidson Heritage Softail

 

jared

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

This the 3rd bike I’ve owned.

And for the record:  

I didn’t choose it, he chose me.

 

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4. Does your bike have a name?

 

jared name


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

Quite honestly, I got tired of waiting for jerks to come take me for rides.

 

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

Many of my “sista’s of the wind” are my inspiration.

 

marcy crew

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Marcy 4

 

But, my daddy?  

He’s my hero.

 

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And my grand-kids?

My heart.

 

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

I love all the awesome people I have met while riding.

marcy 2

 

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I also love all of the rallies I’ve attended and all the different places I’ve traveled.

Can’t wait to see where the road will take Jared and I next.  

marcy


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

One of my most favorite bike trips was a 6 hour ride to Soldier, IA with my girl Chris Yager.   The trip should have only taken maybe a little over an hour.   Let’s just say, we showed some of those country boyz how to greet a biker bitch.

marcy and chris

 

I also can’t forget the Algona Freedom Rally Trip.   

mary algona

 


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

While riding, NEVER let anybody take you out of your OWN comfort zone!

 

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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?

What NOT to wear while riding is a biker code I like!  Some people just don’t get that flip-flops & shorts are not safe to ride in!

 

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11. Final words?

Marcy didn’t leave you with any final words – but I will.

I met Marcy a few years ago and I can tell you… I have NEVER met anyone like her.

This is one chick that lives life to the utmost fullest and one we could all take lessons from.  

Marcy is full of life, lives in the now, is a true free spirit, never follows the norm, lives the life she wants to live, is loyal to her family and friends, doesn’t know a stranger, lives EACH and EVERY day with such passion and does it all with ZEST, enthusiasm, charisma, passion and a whole heart.

 

If we could all learn anything from Marcy – it would be to not take yourself so seriously and experience everything you possibly can.

Marcy Spirit

Thank You, Marcy for being you!

You are a true gift to the Biker Community and our little crew known as the Biker B!tches.

 

 

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.

 

You might also be interested in:

The 9th Annual B!tch Ride

The Making of the Biker B!tch Crew

Women of Harley: Ashley H.

Welcome to the FIRST of many Biker Bitch Features

I am beyond excited to introduce you to some of the most beautiful, confident, bad ass women I have the privilege of sharing the open road with.  I’m always intrigued to learn more about why fellow females choose to ride two-wheels..  Years ago you didn’t see women riding their own bike as often as you do now.   Why is that?  What shifted?  And what are the stories?   I love asking questions and learning more from the females that I meet out on the road.  I figure it’s high time I start sharing their stories with you as well.

 

So, without further ado – I introduce you to our very FIRST Female Feature.

 

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Meet Ashley H.

 

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1. How long have you been riding?   11 years

2. What do you ride?   2002 Harley Davidson Sportster 1200

 

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3. Does your bike have a name?   Bitch – because she’s cold blooded

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

I have had 2 bikes. I have my current bike because it was what my Dad had when he got back into riding and then the bike my mom learned to ride on and rode for a couple years and then they gave me the chance to buy it.  The Bitch actually joined our family the day of my Junior Prom so of course I had to sit on her and ended up getting my dress all dirty!

 

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From the Left: Ashley’s sister Cathy, mom Connie and Ashley

 

5. Tell us the story behind why/when you decided to ride your own bike?  My family got me into riding. I used to ride behind my Dad and my Uncles and one day decided I wanted to try it out. Ended up with 5 guys chasing me down the driveway toward the ditch, but I didn’t let that scare me!

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6. Do you have a biker who is your inspiration?  My Dad, he is an awesome person and has taught me so much over the years. He’s one of my favorite people to ride with and even though we don’t get to do it very often, it is definitely one of my favorite Daddy/Daughter activities.  Also, before I even learned to ride, my Dad and I built a Rail Buggy together that was street legal so I could get the idea of shifting before really trying to learn to ride. He’s a pretty amazing guy!

Can I have two? My Mom is also one of my inspirations, she has always been there for me and we actually took our riders test together and got our actual motorcycle licenses at the same time!  How cool is that?  I can’t express how much these two people mean to me!

 

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Ashley and her Dad, Buddy

7. What are some of you favorite things about the biker lifestyle?   I love that the biker lifestyle is like a family! They base everything on respect and with most bikers, you know where you stand.

 

 

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Ashley and I – cheesin’

8. Give us one of your favorite two-wheeled stories. If I have to pick just one, I would say the wiener dog biker games.  There were a couple of guys that kept going through the game and decided that my sister and I should do it as well. She got on the back of my bike to be the wiener biter and we completely dumped it in front of everyone. I had a nice bruise on my back from her boot but as we were laying there laughing my buddy and brother-in-law were picking up my bike for us. I so wish someone would have gotten a picture of us laughing on the ground that day!

 

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Ashley competing in the slow ride with her bro-in-law

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9. What advice would you give other females who are thinking about riding their own?   Do it! It’s so much better than being stuck on the back of the bike!

 

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Ashley and her sister

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

Respect

 

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2014 Biker Bitch Crew

 

11. Final words?  Get on your bike and ride!

 

AshleyH9

 

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