What a boost to my day today to learn that the outdoor interests website, NoPlaceLikeOut.com, had included me on their new list of – “Top 25 Motorcycle Bloggers You Need to Follow Right Now.”
I am in such great company on this list – Cyrile Huze Blog? Industry leader Joann Donne? Fuzzy Galore? Traveler/adventurer Carla King? BOTH Rude Biker Chick and Steve Johnson? And so many others! Come ON, people, this is a rather amazing list. I am thrilled and honored to be included!
On this and other blogs you can read about my passion for motorcycles, hunting for vintage treasures at flea markets, family life, kids’ clay art, news and happenings in my local area, and – at least for a few brief months during the last Presidential election – my political rantings.
But this year, my riding season was severely curtailed when my life took a turn that I really could not blog about. It didn’t seem right or fair to the others involved to do so, and I don’t think I could have focused my brain enough to do it anyway. Hence the sudden and lengthy absence from Biker Chick News, just as the riding season was getting started, in what was to be a joyous tenth year of blogging.
What I have learned – among other things – is that my passions for riding and writing remain. And staying away from those things removes me from the world in a way I don’t wish to be removed. So I plan to return to both riding and blogging in 2015.
For now, let me just say that I hope your Thanksgiving and Christmas were beautiful and that your New Year sparkles!
I hope mine does too :)
Wherever you are now / Whatever evil you’ve found / Bring all of your troubles / Come lay ’em down
I do have a couple of really neat rides to report on… more on those soon, but first a little horn-tooting if I may.
I was recently offered the opportunity to write a guest post for the Allstate GoodHands Community website. They invited me to submit several topics for consideration, centered around motorcycling from a female perspective. My best thought – and I’m glad they picked this one – was to round up a little info on some of the community organizations that female riders support through rides and bike-centered activities.
Here’s the post, which specifically mentions a few of the efforts I’m familiar with. If you’re a woman who rides and you are involved in supporting a community organization or cause that speaks to your heart, I encourage you to leave a comment on the Allstate site mentioning your event or cause. I would love to make it an even bigger “round-up” of ideas, and I really do thank Allstate for the opportunity to contribute to their site!
Disclaimer: In exchange for researching and writing the article linked above, Allstate compensated me via cash payment. Groups and causes mentioned in my article did not pay to be included; they were included solely at my discretion.
Okay, okay, yes it’s been awhile since I’ve updated things around here. I admit it, I’ve been a total SLUG the entire month of September. In fact, I was going to post a picture of a slug, but boy are they ugly! So I found these sweet crocheted ones instead. Because even though I have been MIA for awhile, I am still adorable. (Photo and original crocheted slugs are by Alison at Pepperberry Crochet.)
I think I seriously need my butt kicked, need some motivation, some direction. I can read the writing on the wall, and right now it says “If you don’t change direction, you’re going to end up where you’re headed.” Which is no-where, man.
SO, in the interest of establishing the fact that yes, I still exist, I still ride, I still blog… here are some quick updates, and then I am officially “back in the game” when it comes to all of those things!
It has been a difficult summer on the job front, but I am determined to fix it SOON, one way or another. I’m currently unemployed, diligently searching in my longtime field of endeavor but not having much luck, so thinking about starting my grocery career. And I don’t mean that in a derisive way at all – I mean I am seriously considering switching gears career-wise. In fact, I am feeling another line of work “sort of” beckoning to me, but I’m not sure if it’s really a new calling or just another distraction that will lose its lustre in six months. Anyway, I’m working on that issue.
I have only taken a few rides, but one in particular was a LOT of fun – rode with Steve, Garry, Shirley, Janet & Gerry down to Prairie City (southeast of Des Moines) back at the end of August and we stopped at the Neal Smith Wildlife Refuge. This place is seriously awesome – an interactive educational museum and many, many acres of beautiful restored prairie land. (It deserves its own post, and I’m going to write one to go up this weekend.) I also took a couple of solo rides. They were awesome attitude adjusters, as always!
I had two more articles appear in regional motorcycle magazines – a profile of Fat Baggers, Inc. in the August issue of Throttler, and an op-ed in the August issue of Thunder Roads Iowa. My thanks to both of these pubs for the opportunity to write and connect with their readers!!
This blog topped the 30,000 visitors mark in August – wow!! There’s always a surge of interest in the days leading up to and immediately following the Sturgis Rally, so I wasn’t surprised by the jump in traffic. But I WAS pleased and surprised to finally surpass all previous traffic records! THANKS for lurking, reading, and commenting here!!
My birthday was back on September 17 and my dear hubby Steve gave me a gift certificate for a vanity plate for the bike. I’ve sent in my application and am awaiting arrival of the plate itself. I’ll certainly post a picture as soon as it arrives!
Two friends who were in accidents and hospitalized this summer are now both home and recovering well. I am SO thankful!!
I do not like “Sons of Anarchy.” There, I said it. I’m sorry, I know it’s the Sopranos of the biker world, and I really loved The Sopranos. So it should’ve been a shoe-in. But, as interesting as it was to see Peg Bundy in a totally dramatic role, it wasn’t enough to carry the show. And for whatever reason, the rest of it just didn’t grab me. (There’s still hope – “Seinfeld” didn’t grab me til it had been off the air for five years and was only available in re-runs.)
I also do not like that Taco Bell commercial where the bikers ride up to the restaurant in the middle of nowhere. I mean seriously, do you SEE that dude dragging his foot as he skitters to a stop? (Maybe I’ve been watching a smidge too much TV…)
Okay, can you tell it’s 2:30 a.m. and I’m FINALLY getting tired? :) More soon – really!
A big THANK YOU to all who participated in the drawing to win copies of Sonny Barger’s new book, “Let’s Ride”! The winners of the books, whose names were drawn randomly by Corn Dog’s teen-age daughter and then notified via email by Corn Dog, are:
Jules B., aka “Dr Tigger” of Rhodes, Iowa, and
Cathie K. of Clermont, Florida
Congrats to Jules & Cathie!
A new “real” post is coming up shortly! For the moment, if you’re reading this, please take a moment to attempt to leave a comment on this post. I say “attempt” because I’ve had reports from some readers that comments they’ve left are not appearing on the site. (And, I’m pretty sure a few comments that WERE here – are no longer here!) I have no idea how to begin trouble-shooting these issues, but thought I would start with a quick test to see if I can isolate the symptoms. So – click on the “comments” link and write something, and we’ll see if it shows up! Thanks!
I bought a Motorola Droid for use with my Verizon wireless service this past weekend, and discovered a neat website called www.womenwithdroids.com. What I noticed was that the site had a “mobile edition” that appeared by default on my new phone, while still giving me the option to view the full site in a browser. I loved the idea of offering a fast, slimmed-down version of the blog content on the small device, so decided to create one for BCN.
So – if you’re visiting Biker Chick News on an iPhone, Droid, or other smart phone, you’re probably getting our new mobile edition! I’m excited to provide this feature – it offers “just the basics” of BCN in an easily readable format for smaller screens:
- The top 10 most recent blog post headlines – a click takes you to the full articles complete with photos.
- Links to the full “About” and “Archive” pages
- The text of the “About page” in its own little box.
- A link to exit the mobile edition and view the full website.
Of course, the full site includes so much more – that’s what your device’s web browser is for – but for a quick and easy way to keep up with the blog, hopefully you’ll dig BCN Mobile.
(By the way, if you blog using WordPress and have the capability to use plug-ins, try the plug-in available from AlexKing.org which auto-generates the mobile edition.)
Been spending a little time lately setting up some tools to help folks find Biker Chick News in a few more places on the web.
First, I created a Facebook Page, Biker Chick News. I like Facebook a lot for connecting with old friends and keeping up with everyone in my life. The blog’s “fan page” is a little different from my personal Facebook page – it’s designed especially to keep “fans” updated on what’s new at the blog, AND I’ve also enabled the “discussions” feature so if you want to ask a question or just start a topic for conversation among other “fans,” you can do that too!
I’m also an occasional user of Twitter. Conan’s late-night scoffing aside, I found that twitter was really useful in my previous line of work. But, I was “tweeting” a combination of things from work and personal life, which I think was a bit confusing to the friends who were (are) following me. I don’t tweet much for work anymore, and most of my personal stuff is bike-related. So I decided to set up a new account under the name of the blog so the bike-related stuff I’m sharing would be associated with the blog. So, short version: if you use Twitter, you can follow @BikerChickNews and that will be me!
The site averaged just over 20,300 visitors per month in 2009.
I almost (but not quite!) broke the 25,000 mark in monthly visits with 24,795 in August!
The number of visitors in each month in 2009 was higher than the number of visitors in the corresponding months in 2008, so, it was another record year for traffic despite some pretty big gaps in posting frequency.
It’s always interesting, too, to discover what search terms people are using when they find this site – generally my traffic report shows that most people are searching for pictures when they click through. And that’s okay with me – I’m sure the ones looking for “sexy biker chick pics” are disappointed, but at least their eyes get opened to the fact that real women actually ride motorcycles instead of just posing on them.
All that said, the one stat I’m resolving to really pay attention to in 2010 is this:
- There are currently 172 people who subscribe to site updates, either through an RSS reader or via email. (I’m sure that number is higher for many other “biker chick” blogs, and that’s okay too.)
Those people – you! – are the ones who are really interested to know when something new has been added. You’re the ones who actually read my posts and create the community that surrounds this blog.
My goals for this site have always been simple: to express and share the joy of riding, and to encourage other women to ride their own. Hopefully, for at least 172 of you, I’m doing just that.
Well how’s THAT for falling off the face of the earth?? I swear I didn’t mean to, and I am planning to re-start, jump-start, or whatever to get things going again. I have lots to share, lots to write about, and lots of great links to send your way – and hopefully, time to post everything while our Iowa roads and landscape are covered in snow!
I’d like to take a moment to thank the gals who sent me concerned emails, asking if everything was okay – it sure is, and I’m touched that you wrote and asked the question!
And, I also wanted to send well-wishes to my blogging friend and kindred-spirit-in-riding, Steph (aka Iowa Harley Girl) – I hope she’s feeling better and will be ready to ride this spring!
Finally, here’s wishing each of you a happy and healthy New Year!