Tag Archives: support and encouragment

Helmet or Heels 2012 Review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 29,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 7 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Many thanks to all the lady riders who have shared their stories this past year. I am also grateful for the support many readers have given this past year – y’all ROCK!!

Here’s to a healthy and prosperous New Year! May 2013 bring many unexpected blessings and a heart overflowing with joy!

Landfill Harmonic

“Landfill Harmonic is an upcoming feature-length documentary about a remarkable musical orchestra in Paraguay, where young musicians play instruments made from trash. For more information about the film, please visit facebook.com/landfillharmonicmovie.”

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Dachary a.k.a. @DaiquiriC

I’m not sure how my next guest and I connected, but I’m guessing Twitter, @DaiquiriC her real name is Dachary – I really like that name, so unusual! Dachary is from Boston, MA and is also a blogger, Ain’t No Pillion. Follow her on both!

Dachary a.k.a. @DaiquiriC

Dachary a.k.a. @DaiquiriC

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? A little over 2 years – started in April, 2010

How did you learn to ride? My roommate at the time (now my fiancé – funny how life works!) rode and he was ATGATT and very safety oriented, so I took the MSF class. Crashed my bike the first time I took it out on the street, and that taught me cornering skills and to ride my own ride *real* fast. But I’d say I’m still learning to ride – constantly looking to improve my skills, beef up my offroad riding ability, and now I’m working on mastering a Ural with a sidecar, which throws a whole new wrench into the riding dynamic!

Bandido is loving the Badlands too

Bandido is loving the Badlands too

What was your first motorcycle? My first motorcycle was a used Kawasaki Ninja 250 that I bought off my roommate when he got a new bike. Can’t recommend them highly enough – the Ninja 250 is a very forgiving starter bike, and you can get ‘em pretty cheap used which means it’s not a big deal when you crash them! 😉

How many have you owned? I currently own bikes two and three: I upgraded my Ninja 250 to a BMW F650GS, and we bought a new Ural Patrol over the summer to bring our dogs along. Not a bad stable for someone who’s only been riding for two years! Each bike serves a different purpose and they’re very different to ride, but I love them both!

Dachary riding her Ural

Dachary riding her Ural

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve always had a fascination with motorcycles. When I was a kid, my cousin and uncle raced dirtbikes (motocross) and they had actually won quite a few trophies, but they had also taken a ton of spills and broken a lot of bones between the two of them. Whenever we went to their house, I drooled over their dirtbikes but my family was vehemently against me taking up the hobby. Far too dangerous, and not something that girls did.

Dachary's curves

Dachary’s curves

Fast forward to 2009, and I caught a ride with a friend on the back of his bike (he was the guy who I eventually moved in with and later we got romantically entangled, but at the time I was dating another guy). We were riding in the city so we never got up to any real speed, but there was one corner we took just fast enough to get a bit of a lean… and I was hooked. I wanted to start riding right then and there, but the guy I was dating told the same old story: too dangerous!

Needless to say, we broke up a few months later, I moved into an avid motorcyclist’s spare bedroom and I was surrounded by bike-related stuff. For a few months that winter, we even had a Stella scooter in the kitchen. It didn’t take long before I gave in to my obsession with two wheels, bought the Ninja off the roommate when he upgraded to a bigger bike (also an F650GS) and took my MSF class.

I wouldn’t say I “wanted to ride” as much as “it became an obsession” – it was like a scratch I couldn’t itch. And the only way to itch it was to start riding!

Dachary riding

Dachary riding

Tell us about your riding. I ride because I have to ride. If I go for more than a week or two without a ride, I miss it. I ride for pleasure; I ride to run errands; I ride to get places (we’re a motorcycle-only household – Boston has great public transit, but if we wanna leave the city, it’s on a bike or rent a car). We both love bikes so our vacations are moto-oriented. We bought the Ural so we could bring the dogs with us on extended trips. If I had a commute longer than walking across the hall to my office, I’d ride. Basically, any excuse to ride – and plenty of times when I have no excuse but just want to ride anyway.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? My advice would be: just do it. Don’t let fear stop you from doing it. Don’t let men or family members who are well-meaning tell you that it’s dangerous and talk you out of doing it like I did for so many years. Start at whatever pace you’re comfortable; take a class if there’s one available; buy a cheap used bike to start so you don’t have to worry about dropping it; and gear up.

My first time out on the bike after taking the class, I low-sided at ~25-30MPH just a couple of miles from home. I was running a short errand to a nearby hardware store. But my roommate was ATGATT, so I made sure I had good, full gear before I started riding – and I wore it. It saved me from a trip to the ER and knee surgery. I was able to get up and ride the bike home, although I had to replace the pants because they were badly damaged in the crash. Good gear can save your skin and your life, and you can never predict what’s going to happen on the road, so gear up.

It was tired.

It was tired.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? The longest trip I’ve taken was Boston to Ushuaia via Mexico, Central America and South America. It was around 18,000 miles, and we were gone for around 4 months. At that point, I had only been riding for like 6 months. It was absolutely epic – we definitely want to go back. We also want to do RTW and we’ve been loosely planning for that in the next year or two, but we really enjoyed the Americas and we keep talking about going back – South America in particular. So I don’t know what the next one will be. In the meantime, we satisfy ourselves with jaunts around the US – we did Boston to Colorado over the summer for a little over two weeks, and took the dogs in the Ural. (That was their longest moto trip, and they loved it! If you ever want to start a “Profile of a Canine Motorcyclist” – sign my guys up! 😉

Dachary at Perito Moreno Glacier

Dachary at Perito Moreno Glacier

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? Yes! I love bikes, so when I’m not riding, I enjoy the opportunity to poke motorcycle forums. I’m a member of the Yankee Beemers, which is a local BMW club based in New England – they do a lot of fun rides, often involving breakfast or lunch at someplace delicious. I’m also a member of F650.com for my F650 (we went to Colorado for their High Country Summit meetup), Soviet Steeds for my Ural, ADVRider for motorcycle adventure riding stuff, and Horizons Unlimited for world travel stuff. Also the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) because I support their fight for motorcyclists’ rights, and they do some cool stuff.

Road trip

Road trip

Do you have a favorite riding story? Oh, tons. Let’s see… there was the time I cracked some ribs riding an enduro loop with some guys from ADVRider… and there was the time we lost the bf’s license plate in Colombia… in fact, there was this absolutely crazy road in Colombia… and there was this epic day in Mexico… or the flat tire in the Peruvian desert… or the time we lost part of the bf’s hydration pack in the Atacama Desert in Chile…

Alright, there may be too many to relate here. Maybe I should start on a book? [Yes!]

Waiting in the Pass

Waiting in the Pass

What do you do when you’re not riding? In my day job, I’m a writer. For fun, I write. I also love to read or watch movies about world travel, in pretty much any form – preferably motorcycle, but also bicycle travel. (Those guys are REALLY hardcore! Nothing but respect for them. But I prefer my bikes motorized. 😉  I also love cooking… and gaming. But not video games. Board games. Mostly European ones. Yes, I know that’s a bit old fashioned, but I find it more pleasurable to gather around a table and have a good time with friends than stare at a screen, which is what I do all day for work.

If I’m not out riding, reading about riding, or writing about riding, I’m probably cooking with my friends or playing games with my friends… or both!

She's smokin' baby!

She’s smokin’ baby!

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Courtney a.k.a. Mz Pink

I don’t know how I found and started following @diamondgirlzmc but I saw her tweet, “Launched DiamondGirlzMC.com one year ago Nov 2011 and we’re over 93,000 visits! http://instagr.am/p/SrNJLhESmH/ “ and I retweeted with my congratulations. Then the lightbulb went off … here’s another lady rider to profile, I just need to ask!

I am pleased as punch to introduce to you Courtney a.k.a. Mz Pink co-founder and President of Diamond Girlz MC – an all female motorcycle club out of Boston, MA.

Courtney and PINK!

Courtney and PINK!

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? 9 years

How did you learn to ride? I always LOVED motorcycles but only knew one rider … my Brother who lived two states away.  One day I just bought a bike, called my brother and asked him to come down one weekend and teach me.  He did and after 4 hours or so in a parking lot I was ready to hit the streets and never looked back!!  It was not long until I started meeting many biker friends in the streets.  After that it is history!!!

What was your first motorcycle? Kawasaki Ninja 250- Yellow

How many have you owned? I am currently on my 4th. I spent one summer on the 250 and then thought of it as a scooter — LOL – and upgraded to a GSXR 600 which I customized all white and pink. Don’t get me wrong, the 250 was a GREAT bike to learn on but I was soon ready for more power! After the GSXR I got a R6 which I customized Pink and now I have had my 2003 Kawasaki 636 for the past 4 summers; this is my baby and she is ALL custom- Pink of course with Diamonds on her. She has won many, many shows and I love her!!

Winning with PINK!

Winning with PINK!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? It looked fun and had a sense of freedom!!

Tell us about your riding. I love riding. I ride practically every single day in the summer. Unfortunately I live in Boston so we really only have 7 – 8 months of good riding weather. I seek great pleasure in riding and love being in an all female motorcycle club because we have a sisterhood and a very tight bond that no one can break. We travel and make a lot of weekend trip plans over the summer. We go on many trips together and have a blast.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? That you only live once and why live it “wanting” to do something … live it “doing it”.  I tell every female that who wants to ride:  You can do ANYTHING you want and put your mind to!!

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle?  The longest I have ever rode was to NJ (3 times over the years) and to NY several times which NJ trip was about 260 miles one way … put it this way … I ride 🙂 I bought my bike 4 years ago with 4,200 miles on it and today I have 36,071 miles on my baby!!

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I am the Co-Founder and President of Diamond Girlz MC an all female motorcycle club out of Boston MA that was established in Feb 2008. We started with 8 females and today we have 11 fully patched members and 1 prospect (of course members have come and gone) the 3 “original members” from day 1 who are still by my side are my 2 loyal sisters Teez my VP and Jewels my SGT at Arms – Thank you ladies!!!

Diamond Girlz MC, Boston

Diamond Girlz MC, Boston

We have come a long way in 5 years and I am very proud of what we have accomplished! We do a lot of community service and have a very strong bond with one another. We also just put out our first ever 2013 Diamond Girl calendar which you can see on our website. Also all the details for our 5th year anniversary event the weekend of Feb 8th and 9th 2013 is all on our website, Please check us out DiamondGirlzMC.com Before Diamond Girlz then I was a member of a co-ed club Bikerz Finest in Boston. I saw a “vision” for an all female club in Boston and saw through it!!!

Diamond Girlz MC

Diamond Girlz MC

Do you have a favorite riding story? Every 3rd Sunday of the month is Diamond Girl day- we meet up around 11AM plan a day trip and ride and hang out for the whole day. Diamond Girl days are ALWAYS my favorite!!!!

Dressed to ride

Dressed to ride

Seasonal Fashion Help

I don’t know about you, but I find adding a scarf an easy way to update or dress-up an outfit. I found this video from Eileen Fisher demonstrating a nice variety of ways to tie a scarf. What do you like to do to accent an outfit?

Tis the Season

I’m not familiar with Wieden + Kennedy, but love the Advent Calendar they created for the neighborhood! Check out this short video.

Eat. Ride. Sleep.

Tru dat

Need some inspiration today?

Image source

Failure Club Episode 80: Eric

What a lovely tribute. I found this on Yahoo, “Eric breaks-in his brand new bike on a road trip to commemorate his father.” It is a short video. Sorry about not being able to embed the code but I couldn’t seem to get it work.

Check out the video here.

Profile of a Female Motorcyclist: Meet Sue a.k.a. @Suzknight4

Don’t you love meeting new people? I do. That’s why I hope we never run out of lady riders wanting to sharing their stories! Whether they are a newbie like me or a road warrior with years of experience, I am always encouraged and gain new wisdom from each woman!

I met my next guest Sue, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in cyber space – Twitter to be exact: @Suzknight4. Also, check out her web site Vision Eye Art. It is a business where a unique optical company and art gallery come together in one location! Hum, who’s thinking road trip to Milwaukee? We have met a few friends from there. I can think of at least three fabulous female motorcyclist: Rania, Mary, and Beth! And now we can add Sue to that list! [Chime in if I missed you!]

How long have you been riding a motorcycle? I had my first riding experience a long time ago. (As the baby sister with 3 big brothers, I had a chance to ride their dirt bikes as a kid). I later moved on to other things-windsurfing, canoeing, traveling and bicycling, and forgot about riding motorcycles. Then, 3 years ago, I became really obsessed with getting a motorcycle. I went with my gut.

How did you learn to ride? I took a class.

What was your first motorcycle? 1983 Honda Nighthawk CB650. The neighbor just happened to park it in front of my house, with a for sale sign on it, at the height of my urge to get a bike. Much like pets, he found me…

How many have you owned? Just the Nighthawk, so far. But I have my eye on a Suzuki Boulevard C50T.

Sue and her Honda 650 Nighthawk!

Why did you want to ride a motorcycle? I’ve always had a huge sense of adventure and a love of the outdoors. Wisconsin has beautiful rolling hills and scenic areas to explore. It’s an extension of my love of getting around by bicycle. Now, I can go farther.

Many years ago, my good friend and I talked about getting bikes. She did it. But I put it off, as I was about to start a family. Initially, I thought it would be irresponsible to ride a bike when my kids were so little. Now I feel that it is a powerful way to set an example for my two young daughters. I want them to grow up with confidence and the knowledge that women can do anything they put their minds to and live life to the fullest!

Look at these two sweethearts!

Tell us about your riding. As a small business owner and mother of two young girls, I have to squeeze rides in whenever I can. I do take the bike to work when possible. I get girls night out occasionally to go to “bike night” at the Harley-Davidson Museum and Iron Horse Hotel, two of the great offerings in Milwaukee. And I take short weekend rides with my friends.

What advice do you have for women who ride or want to ride a motorcycle? Take a class, start out easy, and find a good group of people to ride with. Get out there and do it. It is a great feeling to ride.

What is the longest trip that you’ve taken on your cycle? I’m still waiting for that epic trip. So far, it’s just been day trips around the Kettle Moraine Forest and Lake country. The most I’ve done in a day is around 150 miles.

Do you belong to any motorcycle groups? I ride with a local women’s riding club – RockerfoxMC (find them here on Facebook and Twitter). We go on rides and out to Sunday brunch to talk bikes, etc.

Do you have a favorite riding story? There was one Sunday when I cleared my schedule and convince some friends to ride, even though the weather forecast was not good. I think they agreed to join me just because I don’t get too many opportunities to ride, and I really wanted to go. It was a good ride until it came time to turn east to head home. There was a most intense bank of black clouds right where we were headed. I love a good storm, so it was pretty cool to see it looming before us. As we hit it, it was an absolute deluge of massive rain drops. I was really enjoying the feel of the rain, until we stopped for a friend who wasn’t seeing well, and then I realized how soaked and cold I actually was. I’m thankful that my friends put up with it. For me, it was a wonderful experience. I got home just as the sun broke through, and a beautiful double rainbow smiled down on me!

Double rainbow!

I look forward to many more years on the bike and a new adventure at every turn.

What do you do when you’re not riding? I enjoy traveling, spending time with my family, bicycling, going to the beach, camping, and water sports – kayaking, canoeing, wave running, swimming, boating, etc. I’ve been a windsurfer for years, and would like to try kite boarding next. I’m always looking for my next adventure. Maybe I’ll get a sidecar and take the kids on a cross country voyage.

Live Your Dreams

I’m visiting my daughter, favorite son-in-law, and grandson this week. I’ve walked  past this picture of Kermit the Frog before, but today I stopped and read it.

Live Your Dreams!

So I leave you with this thought, if Kermit can so can we!