Why I Ride… Siren Princess

In the long days of winter, I find myself wandering into the garage. I have been known to start my bike and let it idle for a while just so that my hoodie can soak up the smell of exhaust. Then when I wear it the rest of the day I catch small whiffs of the fumes. Missing my motorcycle is a longing so strong it is physical. But what is it about the ride that I miss? What draws me to place my hands gently on the seat as I pass by, feeling the grain of the leather under my fingertips or to give a quick shine to the chrome with the sleeve of my shirt when I notice the smallest of smudges.

I am a person who truly values time alone in my own headspace. It’s not something that can be found easily these days. The world that surrounds me today is full of noises and distractions. The sound of a TV, cell phone, voices of loved ones, co-workers, club sisters echo in my head at every turn. My busy life does not have an off switch. I am connected constantly and find myself at the beck and call of other people’s whims both invited and not.

When I was a kid I grew up in the serenity of the country. Weekends spent on horseback camping with my best friend, walks through the fields to find a muddy creek, playing chase in the apple orchard with a pack of adoring dogs, running away with my imagination and getting lost in my own fantasy world. I was always happy to go outside and play even if I was by myself. Life was simple and losing yourself for an afternoon was as easy as stepping out the back door.

Nowadays People have grown inpatient, they have grown to expect instant responses and absolute attention. It seems as though your very existence in the same space as other people requires that you pay full attention to them. Open roads give me a place to allow myself to slide into my fantasy world without people becoming offended that I am not paying attention or listening to them.

Today it’s not easy to find time to be alone without distraction. It’s not easy to empty your thoughts of the stress and distractions. I can think about the things I want to think about and not what my audience demands of me. When I sit on my bike and turn the key, I can physically feel the stress of the day leave my body. I have no choice but to eliminate the distraction of my cell phone and disconnect from all else in the world. “I was riding” is the perfect excuse to be unreachable.

As my bike begins to rumble, I feel the vibration in my chest and it starts to shake free any of the stress of the day. My mind starts to clear of the thoughts that consumed me only moments before and I begin to think about nothing but the ride ahead. There are no interruptions, no requests and no distractions. I can work through a thought from start to finish.

As I roll back the throttle, thrust surpasses gravity in the most magical of ways. I can feel the pull of the thrust against my chest, as my body breaks free from the space it used to occupy and hurls into a forward motion. I can feel the strength of my fingers on the grips and the pull on my arms, my body resisting movement but my arms binding me to the handlebars. I tighten my thighs against the tank and twist the throttle harder allowing the thrust to pull my head back just a little so that I can feel the power of it taking over.

The only sounds I hear are the rumble of the engine and the thunder of the pipes. All other noise and distraction is lost. I can feel myself melting into the bike as it becomes an extension of me, and I it.
I love the feeling of having some play time to push my limits and discover the ability of my ride. There is nothing like the exhilaration of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and getting your heart racing. Finding some unexpected curves in the road can completely make the ride.

Being on the road you begin to experience the environment on a way you simply cannot connect with by any other means. The details you notice in the pavement, the wildlife in the fields and the smells of the road. Riding through neighborhoods you notice the smell of the homes cooking their evening dinner, at the red light you smell the cigarette in the car ahead or at times you can smell the perfume of the lady driving the car beside you. In the country the smell of rain hitting warm tarmac or freshly cut grass. You become one with that which surrounds you and you can truly lose yourself in the experience.

At the end of the day you return home with a clear head, your face road dirty and sun kissed. I love listening to the sound of the pings and gurgles of the engine cooling off as I strip my gear off after a long hard day of riding. Riding is an escape from the world, and an opportunity to rediscover myself. It’s a way to hit the “reset” button and helps me to come back to the demanding world having cleared the dust and cobwebs out of my brain.

And that…. Is why I ride.

Ride safe sisters!

Hated By The Non-Rider, Blacklisted By The Club

Haters Gonna HateThe following few statements and questions made me the “troublemaker” and outcast in my former club

  1. Can we start having mandatory rides, going from meeting to the bar once a month isn’t riding to me? That’s less than a mile and that’s bullshit. (btw- it wasn’t even voted on, that’s how unimportant riding was/is to them)
  2. How come the non rider is fully patched and even gets the same vote as me, how does a non rider prospect, and what does a non rider know about being a biker?
  3. 80/20 isn’t a real thing, all of us need to be on bikes, or we are a Social Club.
  4. How much of that last charity event went to the soup kitchen on 2nd street?
  5. Couple in the club- he rode, she didn’t, both fully patched. My question after they split/divorced and SHE managed to nag him to the point of him leaving the club: why are we not supporting the biker, and why are we letting this non rider run a riding member off?
  6. Can I see the books?
  7. Where can I read our bylaws?
  8. Why are we patching in all of these groupies, they don’t ride???
  9. Why does one of these non riders hold the Secretary position???
  10. How come our VP hasn’t had a motorcycle for over 10 month and he isn’t ridin’?

After enduring about a year of this bullshit, I dropped my colors and walked away. That was 3 years ago.

They still don’t give a shit about protocol, still have vested pedestrians. Still don’t ride.

One thing changed though, they went from a one piece patch to a 3 piece patch with City bottom Rocker and that was approved by the dominant in the area.

So yes, sometimes fuckery is taught, supported and embraced by those that are suppose to teach us.

IF YOU KNOW BETTER, YOU DO BETTER.

By Contro-versial
SFMC/SFWMC Columnist

Tired Of The Bullshit

dear gemma

Dear Gemma,
Why should I respect and adhere to protocol when men remind us we aren’t welcome here?
Tired of the Bullshit

Dear Tired
Let me be clear to the women and the men – WOMEN HAVE ALWAYS BEEN HERE. Men are not the only occupants of this house. We have a key to the door as well. The female population may be smaller than the male population, but there has been a woman on iron since the early 1900’s. The influx of men coming home from wars rode iron built in factories by a large population of women, who played a significant role for Industrial America during wartime. You’re riding machines women helped build during those eras. However, men shaped by society, live out the caveman mind frame in the motorcycle world – last bastion of pure male testosterone. Because they control it, they make the rules. That being said…the culture is pure and should be honored. The traditions should be respected. And the protocol should be followed, unless it’s the made up kind because some man has his panties in a bunch. We, as women, chose to enter this motorcycle community. Most knew coming in that it is a misogynistic society, those that did know quickly found out. Even when greeted with animosity, that should not deter us from doing it the right way. Otherwise, you become a part of the larger problem – the fuckery that has invaded this way of life. My advice is to ignore the reminders of the men – most are attempting to prove their manhood by debasing women. Do not allow their attitudes to disrupt your journey. May your destiny take you to a better place.
Gemma

Why I Ride… Siren Princess

Why I RideIn the long days of winter, I find myself wandering into the garage. I have been known to start my bike and let it idle for a while just so that my hoodie can soak up the smell of exhaust. Then when I wear it the rest of the day I catch small whiffs of the fumes. Missing my motorcycle is a longing so strong it is physical. But what is it about the ride that I miss? What draws me to place my hands gently on the seat as I pass by, feeling the grain of the leather under my fingertips or to give a quick shine to the chrome with the sleeve of my shirt when I notice the smallest of smudges.

I am a person who truly values time alone in my own headspace. It’s not something that can be found easily these days. The world that surrounds me today is full of noises and distractions. The sound of a TV, cell phone, voices of loved ones, co-workers, club sisters echo in my head at every turn. My busy life does not have an off switch. I am connected constantly and find myself at the beck and call of other people’s whims both invited and not.

When I was a kid I grew up in the serenity of the country. Weekends spent on horseback camping with my best friend, walks through the fields to find a muddy creek, playing chase in the apple orchard with a pack of adoring dogs, running away with my imagination and getting lost in my own fantasy world. I was always happy to go outside and play even if I was by myself. Life was simple and losing yourself for an afternoon was as easy as stepping out the back door.

Nowadays People have grown inpatient, they have grown to expect instant responses and absolute attention. It seems as though your very existence in the same space as other people requires that you pay full attention to them. Open roads give me a place to allow myself to slide into my fantasy world without people becoming offended that I am not paying attention or listening to them.

Today it’s not easy to find time to be alone without distraction. It’s not easy to empty your thoughts of the stress and distractions. I can think about the things I want to think about and not what my audience demands of me. When I sit on my bike and turn the key, I can physically feel the stress of the day leave my body. I have no choice but to eliminate the distraction of my cell phone and disconnect from all else in the world. “I was riding” is the perfect excuse to be unreachable.

As my bike begins to rumble, I feel the vibration in my chest and it starts to shake free any of the stress of the day. My mind starts to clear of the thoughts that consumed me only moments before and I begin to think about nothing but the ride ahead. There are no interruptions, no requests and no distractions. I can work through a thought from start to finish.

As I roll back the throttle, thrust surpasses gravity in the most magical of ways. I can feel the pull of the thrust against my chest, as my body breaks free from the space it used to occupy and hurls into a forward motion. I can feel the strength of my fingers on the grips and the pull on my arms, my body resisting movement but my arms binding me to the handlebars. I tighten my thighs against the tank and twist the throttle harder allowing the thrust to pull my head back just a little so that I can feel the power of it taking over.

The only sounds I hear are the rumble of the engine and the thunder of the pipes. All other noise and distraction is lost. I can feel myself melting into the bike as it becomes an extension of me, and I it.
I love the feeling of having some play time to push my limits and discover the ability of my ride. There is nothing like the exhilaration of pushing yourself out of your comfort zone and getting your heart racing. Finding some unexpected curves in the road can completely make the ride.

Being on the road you begin to experience the environment on a way you simply cannot connect with by any other means. The details you notice in the pavement, the wildlife in the fields and the smells of the road. Riding through neighborhoods you notice the smell of the homes cooking their evening dinner, at the red light you smell the cigarette in the car ahead or at times you can smell the perfume of the lady driving the car beside you. In the country the smell of rain hitting warm tarmac or freshly cut grass. You become one with that which surrounds you and you can truly lose yourself in the experience.

At the end of the day you return home with a clear head, your face road dirty and sun kissed. I love listening to the sound of the pings and gurgles of the engine cooling off as I strip my gear off after a long hard day of riding. Riding is an escape from the world, and an opportunity to rediscover myself. It’s a way to hit the “reset” button and helps me to come back to the demanding world having cleared the dust and cobwebs out of my brain.

And that…. Is why I ride.

Ride safe sisters!

Why I Ride… LLC

Why I Ride... LLCI ride because of the thrill and peace of mind that converge at the same time. Also, I’m doing something that some men don’t have the balls to do.

I saw the movie Top Gun and Tom Cruise was riding his ass off that was my first attraction to riding.

So here I am on 2’s. It’s that simple.

Why I Ride… Bawsee

Why I Ride... BawseeI don’t have this amazing story or anything. I didnt grow up riding, I didn’t grow up in this life and I didn’t know anybody that was even a rider.

I was at a difficult point in my life and I was online looking for a place to move to and a Pop Up for motorcycles came across my screen. I clicked on it out of boredom and there it was, my bike. I got the check and rented a trailer and off for a 4 hour trip I went. It took me 2 weeks to even sit on my bike and I wasn’t sure I would ever REALLY ride it.

Once I sat on it…I knew that was ME this void I didn’t realize I had, has been filled. I taught myself to ride and I took the class after about a month or so. During the class I learned of “Bike Nights” so I showed up and sat in the parking lot out of curiosity. And I was approached by other riders and it was amazing.

I made it a point to ride with whoever invited me because I had fallen in love with it, I was good at it and wanted any of the free time, that I wasn’t being something to someone else (mom, wife, sister, daughter etc), to be spent doing it. It sounds cliche but riding honestly became therapy for me.

I LOVE this life and it all came natural like something I was supposed to do. Being on the open road with my thoughts and my bike was something I was meant to do. Be FREE and be ME.

Ive never been a club goer but a bike party I loved because I could ride, didn’t have to dress up and could be in the presence of others that loved what I loved. Im not a prissy, pretty chick so this fit me well. I love the shock and awe when I pull up on my bike and see the look on peoples faces and the comments of “oh you ride?”

I can’t remember much of my life before. Its even strengthened my bond with my daughter because if she doesn’t do anything else with me she will RIDE and I feel like her hero every time we do. She can’t ask me about a dress and makeup but she can ask me about a helmet, some gloves or some bike parts. Even my boys are hype to tell people their Mom rides.

I could go on and on about why I ride but my ADD is kickin in!

Why I Ride… KO

Why I Ride... KOIt all started with my Dad, the day he put me on the tank of his Triumph Boneville at the tender age of 5, this girl was in love. The next step for me was in the dirt with my brothers and my Dad. I absolutely loved the dirt but it did not love me. After spending 2 weeks in the hospital and 3 months in a full leg cast I gave up the dirt.

Fast forward to my Navy days. At the amazing age of 21, I bought my first street bike in San Diego. A Honda Rebel that I rode all over the west coast.

Two’s have been a part of my life and in my blood since I can remember. To me it seems so natural to be on my bike, my second skin.

My bike of 13 years now is another Honda, a Sabre 1100, that’s that loyalty.

I guess you can “blame” my Dad for sparking that fire in me for the love of the road and my bike. Thanks Dad, best gift I have ever received!KO

Why I Ride… Bootsie

Why I Ride... BootsieWhen I came across this website by a fellow rider on FB (women who wrench) I fell in love. Here was like minded women like me, who unabashed with their knowledge of the machine and the lifestyle to which they have become accustomed to, spoke freely.

My first recollection came about 40 years ago….I came from nowhere Minnesota, on a farm, my dad had one sic purple chopper! I loved it! Now I look back and think, wow, the 70’s and Easy Rider was tits! My dad had a little beat up Rupp mini bike; I was about 9 when I jumped on my first “hog” and rode the piss outa that thing! The torque action on that piece of metal would throw me straight back and up in the air if I dared clinched and twist too much! I had the fever, thought I was invincible until I slide down a dew laid grassy ditch and had the bare muffler kiss the inside of my thigh. GOD DAMN THAT HURT! Respect. She earned it….

My dad later bought me a Honda Trailblazer for my Confirmation at about 12/13 years old, to my mother’s chagrin. In about 3 summer’s I must have put at least 3k on it! I literally thought I was Evil Knievel! I remember going all the way down to the end of the farm, hitting the ditch, where I had ridden a clean patch of 100’s of runs prior. I would give that bitch snoose; try to jump the driveway, but to only be able to bring the front tire up about 3 inches. It was still a victory!

As I grew older, of course I wanted to drive a “cage” more than anything, but always wanted a “big girl bike”. Each decade I would promise myself I would get a “hog” and make it to Sturgis. 30 came and went, and with it a beautiful daughter. 40 came and went, and I was married, and he sure as HELL wasn’t going to have me on a damn motorcycle. So, out of spite, I got my damn credit card, went online, and bought me a 150cc Chinese scooter that came 10 days later in a huge wooden box; (some assembly required)! I put it together and rode that thing like I was king shit gain. It felt great to have the wind in my hair again! Two years later I wanted a “big girl bike” and tried to make concessions. This time I was stopped fast in my tracks! I had no license; I had been an outlaw this entire time! Lol So, out of spite, I went down to my local Harley dealership, threw down the money and received my motorcycle endorsement 8 days later! My husband was actually in awe….

I bought my first “big girl bike” that fall, a 2006 Suzuki Boulevard with 700 miles on it. Perfect! No… was good for about another year, but I looked like a damn circus bear on that little one cylinder thumper! So, out of spite, I took my husband last year on Mother’s Day to several Harley dealerships, where in turn, he bought me my first “big girl bike”, a 2014 Harley Davidson Softail Deluxe.

This summer, before I turn 48, I will head on a 2000 mile trip to Sturgis with my brother. Excitement, love, fulfillment, joy can’t express my feelings on this awesome chapter of my life.

Why do I ride? Because I have come full circle….

Thanks Dad.