Girl Gets Inked, Again

Once upon a time a handsomely inked prince went on a date with this girl who said “I don’t understand.  Why do people do that to themselves?”  The prince patiently described the story behind each of his five tattoos.  The girl watched a few episodes of Miami Ink and found a documentary on the History Channel about the history of tattooing.  Then she began to understand…

Ankle Left

A few years later, the girl decided to honor the memory of her mother who had been killed in a tragic car accident long ago by having an anklet of daisies tattooed around her ankle.  Daisies were her mother’s favorite flowers.

Ankle Right

That summer the girl married the prince in the grandest wedding ever!  People came from California, Florida, Massachusetts, and Maine to a quaint little town on the C&D Canal called Chesapeake City, Maryland, to witness the event.  She truly felt like a princess that day, and when she looked at the daisies around her ankle she knew that her mom was there with her to celebrate the occasion.

A moment alone

So the prince and the princess lived happily ever after, riding their Harleys off into the sunset.

Chesapeake City Bridge

But the story doesn’t end there.  You see, the happy couple made lots of great friends while riding their Harleys.  Together with these terrific people, they rode to far away villages like the mountains of West Virginia, the Little Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, Skyline Drive in Virginia, a fall foliage trip to Connecticut and Massachusetts, and to the beaches of the Outer Banks North Carolina.  The princess loved riding her Harley-Davidson Dyna Super Glide alongside her handsome prince on his Dyna Low Rider. 

The princess was so in love with the prince, and she thanked God every day for this amazingly wonderful new life that she had begun.  She decided to commemorate the special day that started it all by getting another tattoo.  It took her six months to create the design of her wedding flowers, and finally on her birthday she went to make an appointment to get inked again.

wedding flowers

Terry Manning at Wildcard Studios in Marshallton, DE is widely known as one of the best tattoo artists in the state of Delaware.  He generally books appointments a year in advance.  But as luck would have it, he had a cancellation for Memorial Day weekend.  So the princess sat under the needle for nearly 4 hours while the master worked his magic.

New tattoo all goo’ed up

The result is a fabulous work of art with stunning detail.  It includes a stargazer lily, red roses, daisies (of course), and the late addition of a hummingbird.  The bird remembers a fellow woman rider and true friend who was lost just last month while riding her Softail Deluxe.  Karen always had my back, so I can’t think of a better place for her to live on forever.

Pot belly humming bird

Now the prince says that his princess looks “like a real biker chick.”  What he doesn’t realize is that the smile on her face is there because she couldn’t be happier now that she lives the fairy tale every day with him.

Biker Chick

Brosh Women’s Kevlar Reinforced Motorcycle Riding Pants

Brosh womens kevlar reinforced cargo pants

So Jay found a pair of “Sliders” Kevlar reinforced abrasion resistant cargo pants on sale in one of his catalogs… I didn’t even know such a thing existed!  What a great idea I thought, then went to find some for myself.  Herein lies the problem – Sliders pants are only made for men.  Now I could get away with wearing a unisex tee-shirt, but pants? No way!

Jay always says “If it exists, Diana can find it online,” and that I did.  I actually found 3-4 different companies that make Kevlar riding pants for women in all different styles from sexy low-rise jeans to hot pink camo pants.  I’m not sure what is “camo” about hot pink, and the pants ranged in price from $175-250 a pair.  Ouch!

Solution:  Brosh.

Brosh Tech Ltd. was established in 1990 by Chaim Sokonik, and is a leader in the field of motorcycle clothing and accessories in Israel.  Israel?  Hmm, do Israelis know anything about riding motorcycles?  Well, apparently they do… and living in the desert, they definitely have an edge on keeping cool while riding!

One of the innovative products in Brosh’s line is a pair of Women’s Cargo Pants with Kevlar and Cool Max.  They retail for only $78.  Way less expensive than anything else I had found, and with the added benefit of Cool Max panels to help me beat the heat! 

I had never worn Kevlar reinforced pants before (just weeks before I had never even heard of them!), but from my research I found that many people complain of them being really hot.  These pants are not.  I have worn them in 80+ degree temps so far, and they fare much better than my husband’s Sliders.   On the other hand, I found a product review of one of Brosh’s Cool Max jackets where the author claimed it was actually too cool in temps below 70.  Well, I wore my Women’s Cargos to work the other morning.  It was 39 degrees when I left at 6:15 am.  I can’t say that it was a toasty ride, but truthfully the only thing that was cold enough to bother me was my fingers.  The pants were great.

I think the best part of all is that these pants are stylin’ enough that I can wear them to work.  We have a “business casual” dress code, and are only permitted to wear jeans on Fridays.  So I can wear these pants for my commute, and I don’t have to bring another set of clothes to change into when I get to work.

Alright, you want some details…  Brosh Tech Women’s Cargo Pants have a Kevlar lining in the knee areas that also serves as a pocket for optional ventilated knee armor (an additional $22).  There are also removable panels for each hip that wrap pretty much all the way around your rear end as well.  These panels come out for easy laundering, and reattach with Velcro strips.  I strongly suggest making sure you have a shirt tucked into the waistband because the Velcro can be scratchy against your bare skin.  I hope I don’t ever personally have the opportunity to give the Kevlar a true test of its strength and durability, but I have seen numerous tests done dragging people and crash dummies for several yards along the asphalt.  The jeans get torn through in a matter of seconds, but the Kevlar stays intact.  In my book that will go a long way to preventing some serious road rash.  Besides, I figure if it can stop a bullet then it needs no further testing.

The pants are made of a 35/65 poly/cotton blend with cool Max fabric planted behind the knees.  This material is super-ventilated, wicks away moisture, and dries very quickly.  I believe they come in black, grey, and olive green (but you might want to email the company to verify what is available).  I only wish the Cool Max panels came in a coordinating color.  My green pants have black panels, and although no one has ever commented about it I am a little self-conscious about the color contrast when I am walking around in a non-motorcycle environment like the grocery store.

My favorite feature of these pants is the cargo pockets.  Besides the standard front hip pockets (which I have always found to be uncomfortable to put anything in), these pants have not one but two cargo pockets on the outside of each leg.  They are great to put my cell phone, cash, keys, feminine supplies, etc in a nice convenient place.  I don’t have to pack these things in bags on my bike and then go rummaging for them at every rest stop.  I can just hop off my bike and run in to the convenience store for a beverage or to use the rest room.  Velcro flaps on the pockets assure that everything stays secure while riding.

Brosh womens riding pants with Kevlar

Finally, the fit.  Brosh suggests that if you are between sizes you should order a size larger because these pants are slim-fitting.  Also, the Kevlar panels take up a little room inside the pants as well.  They are not kidding!  I actually had to return my original pair and get 2 sizes larger in order to fit over my hips.  They measure in European sizes, so I was pretty much at a loss as far as what size to order (I really don’t get the measuring flat across the front of your waistband thing).  Customer service was friendly and efficient in dealing with the exchange.  Now that I got the right size, they do fit great.  My pants are very comfortable, and just the right length.  They have a slightly wide-leg cut so there is a little extra material around your calves when trying to tuck it all inside rain pants or chaps.

I definitely have to give this product a positive rating.  As soon as I recover financially from buying my son’s graduation present, I plan to get another pair…or two!  At these prices, you can’t go wrong.  Safety, style, comfort – a quality product at half the price of the competition.

Brosh Tech also carries a wide range of Cool K jackets, Men’s Cargo Pants, Power Jeans, and much more!  They will even affix Kevlar panels into your own jeans for a very reasonable price.

May 2009 East Coast Biker Online

May 2009 East Coast Biker Online

The May 2009 issue of East Coast Biker Online has been out for quite some time now. Check out Diana’s article on Women Riders Month in ECBO on page 24. Joker’s monthly New England Update is on page 56 and my monthly Product Review is on page 58. Click Here!

I also have an article on page 34 about the April poker runs hosted by both of the Delaware HOG chapters. Below is a picture of Ben Ewing, Director of Delmarva HOG, accepting the plaque for best represented riding organization from Karen Fortner, Activities Officer of First State HOG. I love this picture, it brings back a lot of good memories.

Delmarva And First State

Why We Ride – Book Review

Tami Walker

If you are a frequent reader of our blog you probably recognize Tami Walker and Diva Customs.  You probably also know that she compiled a book filled with 101 inspirational stories of women riders and how/why they decided to grab life by the throttle.  “Why We Ride” was published in mid-April.

Some of the stories are short, some are long, some made me laugh, and some made me cry.  They are as varied as the women who wrote them.  Even despite the variations, I found several themes amidst the stories as well—divorces, marriages, childhood memories, family traditions, and perseverance.

Each story is presented on it’s own page exactly as it was submitted—with spelling, grammar, punctuation, and typographical errors intact—which gives the book an air of authenticity.  These are not storybook characters, they are real women who ride.

It was fun to flip through the pages and find stories written by women that I know and members of the moto-blogging community (and of course me!).  What I didn’t expect was to find some stories of “celebrity” women bikers.  I won’t spoil the fun (you’ll have to read the book yourself to see who is in there!), but here is a passage from Karen Fortner’s story that particularly touched my heart because of her untimely passing last month while doing what she loved to do the most—riding with her family and friends.

“While on long rides, I listen to my music, do lots of soul searching, remember those who are no longer with me, and enjoy the beauty of the world like never before.  I have never known honeysuckle, flowers, and the great outdoors to smell so sweet!  There is nothing like fresh air and two wheels under you to make you feel like one with the universe.  Motorcycling has taught me to slow down, stop and smell the flowers and enjoy life.  Many special people have come into my life due to riding.  People in the motorcycling community are some of the nicest, thoughtful and inspiring people there are, and I feel so very blessed to be a part of this special group!”

Karen Fortner

“Why We Ride” is available in both paperback and hardcover versions, and can be ordered from Amazon.com or at WhyWeRide-DivaCustoms.com

Salute to Women on Harleys

Watch the behind the scenes footage from Harley-Davidson’s new print campaign in the June Issue of Vanity Fair that salutes women riders and encourages females who have not yet hit the road on two wheels to “experience life with no regrets.” The women featured are health and wellness expert and NBCs The Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels; Grammy®-winning singer-songwriter Jewel; television and film actor Tricia Helfer; and Los Angeles rider/entrepreneur Deborah DiMiceli.

The Reality: Fatality and Motorcycling

Outer Banks Spring Trip 2009

Thank you to everyone who has been concerned about Diana, myself, the Fortner family and First State HOG. I have received many e-mails and phone calls from people representing HOG chapters and individuals who have offered support and caring through messages of hope and prayer.

Two weeks ago today a terrible thing happened and we are still dealing with it and still grieving. Diana and I lost one of our best friends in an accident caused by a reckless driver. Unlike most incidents of motorcycle fatality that we have heard or read about, we were actually there and felt helpless as we waited for emergency workers to arrive on the scene.

We were on a trip to the Outer banks of North Carolina for OBX Bike Week. We had a group of twenty or so motorcyclists excited about a three day excursion on a sunny weekend. The group was very diverse. Some riders were young men on their first motorcycle trip, others were veteran riders who have taken trips across the country and back. It was Diana’s first motorcycle trip riding her own motorcycle. The sun was shining and we were traveling down Rt 13 South approaching the Chesapeake Bay Bridge and Tunnel with grins on our faces from ear to ear. We were in our glory. Then in a split second lives changed forever!

A women named Dawn Marie Williams of Cape Charles, VA drove a red Ford Taurus straight through our pack of 20 Harley-Davidson motorcycles killing our very dear friend Karen and injuring two young men, one was her son. Dawn came out from a gravel driveway on the right side of route 13 and darted almost straight across to the turn lane without hesitation or looking to check if traffic was coming. She is being charged with vehicular manslaughter and if her blood test comes back positive she will be charged with vehicular homicide.

Dream as if you will live forever… Live as if you will die tomorrow.

James Dean

Riding motorcycles is dangerous, we all know it. It’s a rush and we are proud to spit in the eye of convention knowing that we are living life as an adventure and sneering at the cowards who play life safe. Everyday is a gift and we should continue to live life to the fullest, unfortunately there is a reality to living on the edge. This is the reality.

There was nothing we could do differently to avoid the unthinkable. This was totally outside our control. We couldn’t stop Dawn Marie from killing our friend anymore then we could stop the attacks on 911. None the less, we are heart broken and miss her immensely.

We will not forget Karen; her spirit was bigger than life. She touched and inspired hundreds of people. We will honor her by continuing to live life to the fullest, riding our motorcycles, making other people laugh and smile… and giving those who need a hug a hug before they even know they need it.