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West Coast Thunder ®
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Lady Riders Stories
My Story – Kathy Bradford
I started riding in 1993. It was that year that we bought a 1993 Low Rider Custom Harley Davidson. After putting on the obligatory 500 miles for the "break in period"; we headed to Laughlin Nevada for the River Run. I rode on back.
At the "run", it was an eye opener to all things Harley Davidson, the crowds, the sounds, the roar of the motors, the clothes, I could go on. Most importantly though, was the riders, in particular the female riders. Women rode their own bikes! What a concept!
The women were of every shape and size and so were the bikes they were on, but, they rode their own. I wanted that!
In May 1993, I attended my first I.E.HOG meeting, at a pizza restaurant on La Sierra, (years later we would wind up there for the Activities meetings ). Apparently they had already scheduled a beginners safety motorcycle riding class, but fell short of the 12 participants to get a discount, "would anyone else be interested?", of course I had to raise my hand. I had a 500 Yamaha to start with and August that same year, I had an 883 Sportster, purchased through Skip Fordyce as was the 1993 Low Rider. I officially Joined the Chapter in June 1993.
In 1994, I got involved with the activities group, and just continued to grow from there; 1995-1996 LOH Officer, 1997-1998 Assistant Director, 1999-2000 Director, two years as Blood Drive Chair and a few years as Activities Co – Chair.
In 1995, I inherited the Low Rider and rode that until 1997 when I got my Heritage Classic – which by the way, I still ride today(also from Skip Fordyce). Along with the many rides with the Chapter, my Heritage has taken me to and from the 95th and 100th Anniversary of Harley Davidson in Milwaukee and the Iron Butt Association Ride of 1000 mi in 24 hrs and the 1500 mi ride in 48. I may try the 1500 in 48, but I can tell you, I will not do the 1000 in 24 hrs again, it was a tough one for me, but I did it!
This will be my 13th West Coast Thunder. I am very proud of our founding members and even prouder that I was there in the beginning, right from the first meeting to help pick out the name!
Inland Empire HOG has been a very important part of my life, it has seen me through some trying personal times, but I am happy and very glad that Brian and I are still part of the best chapter around!
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I just wanted to say thank you to everyone for helping me learn how to ride safely and graduate from a chick who rides a Harley to a "BAD ASS BIKER CHICK"...
I've been asked why I started riding especially when someone finds out my husband doesn't ride. Well when I was little my parents rode and I guess it just got in my blood. I started talking about getting my license about 4 years ago and my brother was going to take me under his wing and teach me the road. However, he went to bed one day and never woke up. It made me realize that life is way too short. With that said I joined Riders Edge.
The day I graduated, it was bitter sweet, because I didn't have my brother there to show me the ropes. Little did I know that I'd have so many brothers and sisters to take his place when I came to my first IEHOG meeting.
I remember walking into the Elks Lodge and was "immediately greeted" by a nice "friendly man" as I walked in the door. Then Kevin (who was expecting me) came up and introduced himself and I realized the nice man wasn't a HOG member, but a patron of the bar and Kevin pointed out the guys that were safe to hang out with (that was my first lesson).
My first ride with the group was the "moonlight ride thru Idyllwild" yes I said my FIRST ride. I remember how everyone took good care of me made sure I had a road captain looking after me. Well we got to the top of the hill and stopped for a break, someone came over and was explaining how to use my engine to slow me down as we went 'down' the hill. My comment was "we are going DOWN?? I realized then that if you go up the hill you must go down the hill. Well believe me I heard all the advise (as I realized I was on the wrong side of the line) say "ride your ride" slow down if you need, we are not going to leave you behind and there will always be some one at your back and that made all the difference.
This brings me to my first "over-nighter" to State Line and the one that pushed me to bad ass (thanks Jim for suggesting that I go). I learned that Jerry likes ranch dressing and extra croutons on his salad, how do I know this you ask - because I stole it (but don't tell him, he thinks the waitress messed up) - and if you were there Friday night you know how impeccable the service was and that could not have possibly happened. I learned how to dance with Earl (or at least SHARE the dance floor, because Earl is in his own dimension when the band plays). I learned when we went to the Pioneer that a lot of my brothers and sisters are real "assholes" and are proud of it - they even have Certificates to hang on the wall and cards for their wallet. (and, If my husband asks - you did NOT see me smoking a cigar or dancing on the table)
But most importantly I learned so many skills this weekend, I'm not afraid of the cars passing me on the freeway (which I'm sure Dave is glad to hear) and on the way home, I learned how to ride like the wind (or should I say IN the wind) thanks to all who road home with me what a trip!!
So with that said I think I've graduated from just a chick who rides a Harley to "BAD ASS BIKER CHICK" and maybe next year I'll even be an "asshole" like so many of my brothers and sisters.
So I lift my 'Red Solo Cup' to all of my brothers and sisters of the IEHOG group and say thank you for teaching me the skills to ride hard and safe for many, many years!!!!
Love your IEHOG sister,
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Hi my name is Donna K. Wandro. I have been a H.O.G. member and a lady rider for just over a year and a half and I will admit my big mouth is what got me interested in riding.
In September 2009 my husband got his first Harley. We agreed, "you get a Harley I get your bike." It was supposed to be a joke. No way did I want you riding. Little did I know it would be the beginning of something wonderful.
Well, he got the bike and I put off getting on his bike. I did not care for bikes and thought they were a step towards turning into roadkill. I finally got on the bike in my shorts and tank top in November. Wow, what an amazingly awesome feeling. I rode up and down our easement then around the neighborhood. It was such an awesome feeling.
I started think if I am going to ride I will do it right. In December I took the Riders Edge class. I never imagined that class could be that fun and feel that amazing. I smiled from sign up till they said you passed your test and have not stopped yet. I got my license, joined HOG and got an 883 low for Christmas. I met Dan Alexander and he lead the first ride I went on with the chapter. It was short but my face hurt by the time I was done. I smiled and screamed for joy the whole way.
This chapter has always been so great, patient and amazing with me through my learning curve and on each ride. I truly feel like I have gained a family. I love my life. I love my bike. I love the feeling of being out in the fresh air smelling everything good and bad. I love the new experiences that I am having.
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