900 Miles + Blazing Sun = Happy Heart

This last weekend I took off on my own little adventure through Iowa, just me and my trusty two-wheeled side kick.  It had been a minute since just she and I went on a little adventure, so it was high time!  Of course it was the hottest weekend on record for June.  I mean you literally started sweating just looking outside.  Brutal.  B.R.U.T.A.L.

But, hey.  When the open road calls, I answer.

Friday, June 15th, 10am.  Bags packed, tire pressure checked, oil levels solid.   Time to pack it up and ship on out.   Until my saddle bag handle falls apart ever so nicely in my hands.  I laughed.  Out loud.  Of COURSE this would happen, because why not?  Sigh…   Three pieces held together by 6 itty bitty little screws.  Do you think I can find any of them?   Nope, just one loan ranger that had apparently been hanging on for dear life (and holding my lid on too).  Thanks little buddy.

Operation: fix this shit, stat.

As I am searching through bins in the garage to find replacements Clint calls and says to take his bike. Um, no. This weekend is reserved for me and my girl. His response:  Well, guess you better fix it.  Good luck.

Already on it, good sir.

A little trip to good ol’ Tractor Supply and 30 minutes later, home-girl was on the ROAD!

.

Destination: Ames, IA for a late lunch with my HS girlfriend, Erin.

Friends, I don’t think I stopped smiling the ENTIRE journey.  Well, except once, in Des Moines.  Traffic was thick, some cute bubbly blonde teenager was on MY ASS, so I turned around and gave her a little piece of my mind, hopped lanes, and went back to smiling.  Spent almost two hours catching up with Erin on personal and professional life, a nice solid hug to close our afternoon out, and back out to the heat I went.

Second time the smile left my face.  That heat hit ya right in the feelers, man.

 

That frown turned upside down the second I hit Hwy 30 headed East.  Destination: Cedar Rapids, IA to hang with my galpal Cyndi!   She had an ice cold glass of water and a PBR waiting for my arrival and I happily chugged them both.

And then it was off for a fun (and sweltering) photo sesh.

Look at this cutie!!!!!!!!

STOP IT CYNDI!  If you are cool enough to know this chick, you know her laugh is TOP 10!  More to come on that.

We spent an hour or so doing photos and then it was time for drinks, food and music to close out our night.

.

Saturday hit me like a hangover from hell.  Mind you I had three beers and one vodka over the span of 4 hours.  PBR HATES ME AND IT MAKES ME SO SAD. I mean, come on.  You’re supposed to be my friend, Pabst.  What happened between us?  My head was pounding, my stomach rolling, Cyndi wanted breakfast, I wanted a soda, so I popped some ever-so-faithful Dramamine and Aleve and off we went.  First hill I had to yell at Cyndi to slow down if she didn’t want puke in her car.  Lovely house guest I make!

Anyway… Dr. Pepper saved my ass.  Dramamine is my hero.  We all survived the morning, and it was off for a day in the sun on the AMVET Poker Run!

We cruised north and east for a little over 160 miles.  I met some of her girlfriends, we signed our names to a random wall, we sweat out any and all drinks that went down the hatch and all and all had us a solid day!

.

.

.

Poker Run wrapped up around 4pm with Cyndi winning some hundred dolla bills, y’all… (you just sang that didn’t you?)

.

4:30pm I peeled off and headed to Ankeny, IA to hit up Whiskey River to see my cousin Erika.  Guys.  4:30pm, heading west, 105 degree index… and I am the genius going straight into the sun.  And guess who didn’t give two shits?  This girl.  Permagrin here to STAY!   My mind was happy.  My heart was full.   This was turning out to be a solid weekend.

6:30pm, drinks and dinner and a few hours of catching up with the gorgeous Erika made for an even happier girl.

And this is where I excel in making plans.   I try not to solidify much until necessary.  I told Erika to pencil me in as I might stay with her, but once 9pm rolled around, I was jonesing to move again.  If you have followed me long enough and know me well, you already know night riding is my absolute favorite time to ride, hands down.

It certainly is the most dangerous, but guys.  Your senses come ALIVE at night.  Your mind becomes sharper, your eyes more alert, the sounds and smells are heightened 10 fold.  It’s magic. Simply magic.  So, 9:15pm I fueled up and pointed my headlight towards Omaha.

And we rolled in just slightly after 11:30.  It was pure bliss.

.

Father’s Day Sunday and I get a call from my dad jonesing for some open road time and a few beers, and so 20 minutes later I was out the door.   Hair hadn’t been washed in four days.  My face was a collection of at least 6 layers of lotion and sunblock and an additional 3 layers of makeup on makeup.  #killingit

Full disclosure:  Yes, I rolled into bed the second I got home Saturday night.  Sweat and sunblock and road grime and all.  Clint is a lucky… LUCKY man.  HA! #killingitagain

90 miles later I was at dad’s and we hit the road for a mini-southwest Iowa tour of bars.  It was a GREAT day!  As I was telling him about my weekend adventures he said “You are a daring little girl” to my night riding.  To that he followed up with “it’s my favorite too”

Like father, like daughter on that note.  Check!

I decided to peel off at Sidney, IA to head back to the city. I have a college friend staying with us for two weeks and I was in dire need of a shower.  It was when I reached Hwy 34 that the clouds showed their ugly head.

But, I think I had mild excitement at the thought of cold rain hitting my overly tanned shoulders.

.

I hit it.  And I have made a mental note to get some RainX for my windshield.  We had a few hairy moments on some construction zones.

Clearly, we made it home safe and sound.

And deliriously happy.

My head needed those miles.  My heart needed those miles.  My LIFE needed those miles.

I recently read a quote:

Just because your time is full, doesn’t mean your life is full

Really hits home, doesn’t it?  Once upon a time, my time was full.  Of stuff.  Of work, of training, of teaching as an adjunct for a University, of fitness teaching, of conference calls, of weekend events, of this, of that.  My time/life. was. busy.  My life is still busy as many of the above-listed items I still do, but I am prioritizing appropriately, and condensing the amount of TIME spent on each.  A balance is essential.  I also reflected and eliminated some of those things in my previous life that were once fulfilling, but then after digging deep into my heart and mind… they actually weren’t.  I was missing out on the here and the present with my friends new and old.  I was missing out on things that at the end of my life, I didn’t want to regret.  I want to spend my time, my days, my life with the people and the things that make me feel fulfilled and that I know will make my heart absolutely happy at 90 when I look back on these times.

So, if this quote resonates with you, I encourage you to stop.  Reflect.  Take action on things that are going to fulfill you and your bigger purpose, whatever that may be.  What is going to make you feel proud at the end of the road?

Now, go LIVE!

 

Cheers!!

 

Solitude

The last two weekends have allowed me to get on my bike and get in some solid open road miles, just me and my girl.

I cherish those rides

image

When I bought my first bike I was fresh out of college having just graduated with my undergrad.  It was a gift to myself after obtaining my Big Girl job and a few paychecks.

Riding on my own was what I did.   I had a few folks to ride with those first months and I greatly appreciated the backup while I gained my riding wings.  A year into my riding career I met my bestest Biker B!tch Sara and embraced the new riding friends I gained.  But that group of riding friends lived in a neighboring town, so it was always me and my Sporty making our way to them.  And then finding our way back home at night.

It was those first few years when I learned to appreciate the solitude.

It’s also when I learned a lot about myself.

I love riding with my husband.  I love riding with my girlfriends.  I love riding with groups of people, small and large.  I wouldn’t trade those days and rides for anything, ever.

But, when given the chance to ride by myself…

 I go.

image

 

The solitude of riding on your own opens up your senses.  It clears the mind of the all the uncertainties.  It brings a sense of empowerment and breathes life back into the body and mind.

Fear of riding alone?  Absolutely not.  You are talking to the girl who is known to intentionally wait until night fall to ride the 90 miles back to Omaha from Clarinda.

Riding alone forces a person to really understand their surroundings and be in tune with every last sound, light and movement that’s out there.

It’s intoxicating.

image

I have a few rules for my solo days:

  1. Full tank of gas.
  2. Layers of gear in case of inclement weather.
  3. Cell phone charged.
  4. Decide a direction but never a destination.
  5. Take the road less traveled, even if it means it leads to a dead end.  That dead end?  It tells a story.

 

image

.

This most recent Sunday sent me out West.  I rode out for about 50 miles before winding my way back home.   The air was brisk.  My full leathers warm.  I set out in sunshine and 55 degree weather.  I returned with an overcast sky and very cold wind.  The kind of wind that had me riding sideways at times.

It was a low 100 miles of everything I needed and wanted.

image

 

I encourage people to get out there.  Explore the world on your own.   Find out who you are, not who you are with others.  Find out what the open road has to tell you.   You will find a piece of yourself out there that you never knew existed.    Think of it as personal development.

🙂

I found a few quotes that seemed to describe the importance of solidarity and I combined them to fit what it was I was hoping to express, so I’ll leave you with this:

Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone, and so they don’t find themselves at all. Solitude gives birth to the original in us, to the beauty of who we really are.

 

Cheers, friends. ❤

 

 

10th Annual B!tch Run | July 25th, 2015

↓ Girls, Girls, Girls  

What a day …

19

with all these girls

And to think that it all started from these two minds.

4

🙂

So, how on earth do I even begin wrapping up an entire days worth of photos into one post?   This is the main reason why it has taken me darn near two months to even start this entry.  Do I make multiple posts?  Do I make one giant one?  And what photos of the over 450 do I share with you fine people?

You feeling my dilemma here?

And so, it was decided.   This giantnoteworthy, epic day is going to be wrapped up into one GIANT, beautiful, powerful, kick-ass post featuring some equally beautiful, powerful, kick-ass women.

Here we go…

6

The Hard Luck Saloon | Council Bluffs, IA

The Hard Luck served as our meetup point.  The start of Bloody Mary’s, shirt exchanges and pre-run group photos.  Because rain, of course.

.7

37

11:45am | Kickstands up.  Time to start the day.

81

.

83

Nothing hotter than THAT view right there.

Hey ladies. ❤

The Wild’s | Bartlett, IA

Where the drinks were cold, conversations started flowing, people loosened up and epic gift giving was had.

Wilds 7

.

Wilds 26

.

Wilds 33

.

59

Wilds 23

.

54

.

Now, why on earth they wanted to pick up my ass is beyond me.  I think Jenn just wanted to get a little frisky.

65

But it served as the perfect opportunity for the girls to give me the most thoughtful, hilarious, absolutely PERFECT gift of all time.  Sneaky little sisters, I tell ya!

66

.

I’m just going to allow the photos to do the talking from here on out.

Brace yourselves for this awesomeness.

67

Oh, NO you DIDN’T!

69

Oh, YES you DID!

Wilds 0.0

B!tches Betta Recognize!

72

The Story.   Around the 4th of July I found a photo of this jacket on the good ol’ Internet and posted it on my Harleys & Heels page reminiscing about my Junior High years when I actually DID have this exact jacket.  Fringe and all.   Who knew that a few of these girls (I believe Tracy was the mastermind in getting this all going – LOVE you, doll) would pull off searching, finding, buying and organizing a group card.

Best, sistas, EVER.

And with that… we moved on.

74

Road 0.0

The Riverside Inn | Riverton, IA

Riverton 15.

Riverton 11

.

Riverton 10

Kayla, Sara and Jess were the Jeep crew.

Fortunately, soon after this photo, they were able to take the Freedom Panels out!  It wouldn’t be a B run without a little rain! 🙂

Riverton 20

Cocktails…

Riverton 12

Selfies

Riverton 16

And more…

Riverton 3

.

Riverton was a short and sweet stop.  Enough for a couple cocktails and a little ruckus before leaving this quaint little town.  What kind of ruckus you ask?  Click here.

On to Shenandoah, IA where we caused a mild curiosity amongst the local PD.  I think we counted three drive-by’s?  I promise, we were on our best behavior.

All those women on two wheels? 

Ya, I’d do a few drive-by’s myself!

image

.

image

Fuel 2

.Fuel 5

Emerald Isle | Imogene, IA

Ah.. the home of little beers.

Imogene 27

🙂

These little guys are the reason and excuse for all remaining photos to come.

Exhibit A

Imogene 10

Exhibit B

Imogene 24

Exhibit C

Imogene 13

Exhibit D

Imogene 20

Exhibit E

Imogene 14

Exhibit F

Imogene 9

Oh, Little Beers.   You are sneaky little bastards.

WAIT!  How many did we have?!

imogene 35

.

Imogene 6

.Imogene 50

.

Imogene 40

.Imogene 22

.

Time to MOVE…

image

.

.

Emerson 15

Harley’s Bar and Grill | Emerson, IA

Click on the below photo to see what 30 Biker Chicks do when they roll into town…

Trust me.  Click on it.

↓       ↓

 Emerson 1

Ha.  See now, aren’t you so glad you did?  Thanks, Jenny for the tunes.

Emerson was full of shenanigans… and cuddles… and selfies...

Emerson 6

.

Emerson 32

Emerson 11

.

Emerson 21

.

Emerson 33

.

Emerson 26

.

Emerson 12

.

Emerson 37

.

Emerson 40

.

emerson

Emerson 17

.Emerson 13

.

Emerson 41

Alright, Alright, Alright.  

We still have TWO more official stops! 

Let’s go!

The Hood | Silver City, IA

 Silver City 29

.

Silver City 33

The C-Town Crew!

Jessica, Tina, Me, Kayla, Jenn and Jenny.

Silver City 11

How cute is this photo?

Silver City 31

Cheese!

Silver City 17

Here comes Marcy!

Silver City 2

Always and forever the Free Spirit.  We can all learn a little about LIVING from this one.

Silver City 18

Let’s MOVE!

Silver City 25

:p

The Backroom Lounge | Lake Ohana, IA

This was the last “official” stop before folks dropped off and went on with their evenings.

BackRoom 19There was a lot of “hugging”

BackRoom 20And wardrobe assistance (with cheesers)

BackRoom 35 BackRoom 40

And long drawn out good-byes.

BackRoom 22

(Adopted) Sister Love

BackRoom 32

Marcy naughtiness

BackRoom 42

Final gab sessions

BackRoom 41

Parking lot split

OUCH!

BackRoom 34

And final group hugs.

Oh, did you think that was it?

You are clearly mistaken…

Who will be the last (wo)man standing?!

Let’s move.

.

Lighthouse | Council Bluffs, IA

 Lighthouse 43 Lighthouse 46

I think it is very safe to say we all are having a grand ol’ time, ya?

Lighthouse 5

  Lighthouse 37

Lighthouse 32hahaha… Love you, Jess

Lighthouse 2

Lighthouse 4

Tyree sang a pretty fab duet with this fine gentleman.

I smell Grammy.

Oh, no.  No no no… Not done yet!  Hang with me. We are moving on to the…

LAST STOP

21st Saloon | Omaha, NE

21st 0

YES!  That is IT!

Food, Water, Feet Up.  The End to a pretty fab day.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

July 25th, 2015

A Day to Remember with some of the BEST girls you could ever meet.

image

Until next time…

Cheers!

 

SPECIAL THANKS TO:

Professional Photos 

Fun Photos

  • The Girls

Service

  • The Hardluck
  • The Wild’s
  • Riverside Inn
  • Emerald Isle
  • Harley’s Bar & Grill
  • The Hood
  • The Backroom Lounge
  • Lighthouse Inn
  • 21st Saloon

Shirts

  • My Girls Ink

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.

image

 

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.

 

image

 

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.

image

 

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.

rocker1

 

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.

proposal

 

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.

love

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.

photo

My Precious.

My love.

My Shining Star.

My Most Prized Possession.

The reason for my heart beat

bikerlarg

 

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.

 

131

 

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.

image

.

image

.

 

Cheers!

Holstein Harley Davidson Women’s Run

Holstein Harley Davidson

Omaha, Nebraska

All Women’s Run – May 31st, 2014

group

Each year, Holstein’s Harley puts on a Women’s Only cruise.   It’s a tradition that is holding steady and each year more and more women turn out for it.

Our 2014 route took us through Oakland, Iowa -> Harlan, Iowa -> Neola, IA -> Council Bluffs, IA.

 

leaders

 

The event is organized by Kristen, Holstein’s Motorclothes Manager.    She put together a flawless event this year, covering every detail imaginable.  From creating a route with the least resistance, fuel stops perfect for those with peanut tanks, solid 25 mile or more distances between each stop, lunch details to raffle prizes – the girl had it all.

Unfortunately, Kristen’s father passed away unexpectedly the day before the event.   As Kristen dealt with the loss of her father, numerous women stepped up to the plate to help out in anyway possible.   Kristen’s dear friend, Suze, reached out to Tyree to help her lead the pack and Tyree in return asked for my assistance as the route hit up all the Iowa bars that I was used to.   Several ladies stepped up and helped with the check-in and announcement making.

A biker community banding together – one of the many reasons I love the two-wheeled life.

Good people.

After we dedicated the ride to Kristen and her dad, we loaded up and headed out.

Thanks to Holstein Harley for the first three pics

leaders2

There we go!  Front of the pack!

group3

Watch out fellas.   Us chicks know what’s up.

group2

Thanks to the Riders for Christ in the road blocking assistance.  We made it out of Holstein’s safely!

The first goal of the ride was to just get out of the Omaha Metro area.  We crossed the bridge into Iowa and stopped briefly to get the girls back together again.   Street lights in Omaha are abundant!

   002

.

004

.

005

🙂

007

008

009

Marcy’s Posse 

010_edited-1

This is Marcy and her new man, Jared.   😉

crew

Next up?  Oakland, Iowa!

oakland

Shenanigans

(thanks Traci – I swiped your photo)

marcyposse

Marcy’s Posse (Thanks Kim- swiped your pic too!)

Next up: Harlan, IA

011

Clearly the red cage didn’t get the memo

girls

.

012

🙂

013

.

harlan

Thanks Lora for the pic!

Next up: Neola, IA

014

.017

,018

.

.020

Last Stop: Salty Dog, Council Bluffs, IA

024

.025

.026

 

027

.

028

.

029

.

031

.

group2

The day was a big hit and a ton of fun!  New friends, many miles and memories to last a lifetime.

 

Thanks Tyree for letting me be a co-pilot with you.  I think we did alright!

tandjend

I’ve got you, babe.