IFRD turns 10 – May 7

by on May 6, 2016
in Events

IMG_20160505_151700Although I will not be riding on May 7 (International Female Ride Day), I certainly hope YOU get the chance to do so! Be safe and have fun on IFRD’S 10th “ride-a-versity”! As for me, I will be traveling to Orlando to visit my daughter, the beach, and the Magic Kingdom!

 

 

Will this be the year you learn to ride?

by on May 4, 2016
in Get On

Will 2016 be your year, the year you learn to ride your own motorcycle?

If you’re like me, you don’t just jump in to something like this: you take some time to educate yourself about the potential joys and dangers, pros and cons, and what you need – physically, practically, and mentally – to get started.

And if you’re EXACTLY like me, you stomp around for two years in your wanna-be boots, trying to visualize your two-wheeled future. But I digress.

GET ON e-book | Biker Chick NewsWhether or not this does turn out to be “your year,” you might find it helpful to gather perspectives from women who DO ride, on what you need and what it takes to be successful in getting started.

If you follow this blog you already know I love to write… So hopefully it’s no great shocker that I have compiled my perspective on those very topics into an e-book. :) An e-book that I hope you find entertaining as well as helpful! An e-book that costs less than nearly everything at Starbucks! An e-book that has been judged by other women riders to be “not completely hideous!”

“…the final push I needed to get started. Janet is educational, honest and very funny.”

“Love the book and what it stands for. If you are a woman who has thought that maybe you’d like to ride, check out this book to see that you certainly can!”

“Janet Green nails it with great solutions and answers to difficult questions potential riders will struggle with. Don’t think about riding, just read this book and ‘Get On’ right now!”

Here are the shopping links to purchase your copy of “Get On: A Guide to Riding Motorcycles for Women Who Think Too Much” for just $3.99 (cheap!):

Buy GET ON for Kindle here!

Buy GET ON in PDF or ePUB formats here!

Beyond the e-book, I am always keen on fielding questions about anything related to riding. Share your questions anytime by commenting on blog posts, finding me on Facebook or Twitter, and/or by email! See my sidebar links to connect via other social sites, and thank you for reading!

 

 

Divas ride: a truck, a tree, a trail, and some cool vintage bikes

by on May 1, 2016
in Iowa Rides

Okay I promised to try to share some of last year’s rides, so here’s a wonderful trip that our Chrome Divas chapter took in April. This was our first ride of 2015, but as it turned out, the weather was really crappy so we ended up riding together in Seven Over’s truck instead. (Her plan for the day was irresistible, and we decided that having “social time” would be just as valuable as having “bike time.” Turmed out, we were right about that!)

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Our monthly chapter rides are always the fourth Saturday of the month, and in 2015 our date happened to coincide with Arbor Day. As it also happened, author Mark Hirsch was making an appearance at the Iowa Arboretum near Madrid to showcase his unique book, That Tree. Janet/Seven Over is a huge fan of this book, and in fact has met Mark several times.  Our first stop was therefore the Iowa Arboretum, where Mark was scheduled to participate in a tree planting.

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An experience like this always fascinates me because it seems you just never can really know another person’s path unless you take time to talk with them. What I mean is – on the surface, isn’t it cool that a guy used his iPhone to post a picture-a-day of a particular favorite tree, and then published a book of the photos? Sure – but, there is so much more to the story. In Mark’s case, he was an active photojournalist who became the victim of an accident that left him with long roads of physical and emotional recovery. The photos he took and shared of “That Tree” actually became a huge part of his healing process.

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We attended the tree planting at the Iowa Arboretum along with Mark and several other brave-the-weather Arboretum supporters, including a group of Cub Scouts. It was here that one of the folks on the Arboretum’s board of directors told a joke that made me giggle to the point of distraction. “Did you hear about the two silk worms who competed in a race? They ended up in a tie.” I’m serious, I almost peed my pants over that one.

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But I digress. After meeting Mark and participating in the tree planting ceremony, we traveled just a couple miles up the road to Luther, Iowa where we took some time to discover BFE Vintage Motorcycles.

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BFE is a cool little bike shop filled with old bikes of various makes and models, in various stages of repair or restoration. They have a small showroom full of bikes, multiple projects going at once, apparel for sale, and of course friends and fans on hand to talk shop.

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Our final stop on the day’s journey was a fun little restaurant in Woodward called The Whistlin’ Donkey. This is a great example of a phenomenon in Iowa that I call trail bars. We have an extensive network in Iowa of bicycle/recreation trails, and there are bars and restaurants along many of them. Primarily they cater to bicyclists using the trails, but they’re often great stops for motorcyclists too and we have tried out several. The Donkey served up an excellent lunch and also invited us to record a message for their Facebook page.

Despite the mostly uncooperative weather, we had a wonderful day of fellowship and Iowa sight-seeing!

 

A new season underway

by on April 25, 2016
in Iowa Rides

Haha so here we are again, yes I’m still riding… last year was not without some wonderful days on the bike… it was just mostly without blog posts!

radioWhen last we left, I was just getting ready to go on the air with Iowa radio legend Keith Kirkpatrick, who had invited me on his “Sportsman’s Notebook” program to talk about being a woman rider, a motorcyclist in general, and my e-book, “Get On.”

It was a lot of fun, and last year gave me two other opportunities to share my love of riding in Iowa: In May I gave a talk at the senior community where I work, really just a slide show of some of my favorite rides and sharing some great stories… the residents loved it and as a result of that in August I was invited to give a similar talk at our sister senior community in Indianola. The residents – again mostly from Iowa and familiar with many of the towns I was featuring – seemed to enjoy the stories I shared as well as the photos, and they were excited to step outside with me and have photos taken with the bike. It was truly a highlight of the year!

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I’ll try to share a few more rides from the year as soon as I can – I’ve acquired a new computer since then and a lot of my photos are on the old machine. (blah blah excuses blah blah)

Anyway, THIS year we have had a weird Spring. I took two short rides back in February, then none in March, and here we are near the end of April and I just had my “next” pair of rides.

April 23 was the first ride of the Season for my Chrome Divas chapter, and it happened to coincide with the annual Blessing of the Bikes event at Big Barn Harley Davidson. So the Divas met up at Sambetti’s (our official gathering spot and Chapter sponsor!) and rode as a group up 2nd Avenue to Big Barn. We rolled in and were able to park as a group despite the crowd, which was… in the words of a current political candidate… HUUUUUUUGGEEE!!!

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In fact, the drone photo below by Found Photography beautifully captures the scope and size of this year’s Blessing. (A sincere thanks to FP owner Jack for allowing me to use his photo – please be sure to check out his website for some absolutely stunning photo work!)

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Photo courtesy of Found Photography, www.fpphotovideo.com/

Enjoyed the Blessing and lunch (as always) and the Divas then took a short ride up to Saylorville Lake where we rode to the water’s edge… a brief stop to assess the lake level (it’s low) and take some pictures, and we headed our separate ways for home since some of the gals had late-afternoon plans. In all it was a lovely day but I was wishing the ride could have been longer.

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The next day, Sunday, I was still wanting to ride but became ridiculously conflicted about whether to just go on a solo ride. You might remember I am not that big a fan of riding alone, (although I have certainly had some enjoyable solo rides)… but a number of factors convinced me to just do it. A look at my weather app suggested that we might get a thunderstorm late in the afternoon, and it was already about 2 pm. So I decided on just a short loop to the south along Highway 28, then east on Highway 92 to county road S23, and up S23 to the north through Palmyra – home of one of my favorite country churches.

Having discovered the Palmyra Church in 2012, I was a little saddened to see that its condition has deteriorated since that visit. Still on the National Historic Register, the exterior is showing some decay. I’m hopeful that there is still a group working on keeping this lovely little treasure intact.

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Fun weekend… still very early in the season here but starting to work on my biker tan!

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50,000 watts of Corn Dog! Listen Sunday, June 28!

by on June 26, 2015
in Get On


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This Sunday, June 28, I have an amazing opportunity: I’m going to be the guest on “Sportsman’s Notebook,” a Sunday morning program on 1040-WHO Radio! My Iowa friends and followers will know two things: 1 – The host of the program, Keith Kirkpatrick, is an Iowa Treasure, having been an on-air personality at WHO Radio for more than six decades. And 2 – WHO Radio is the premier talk and news radio station in Iowa. It’s signal reaches far and wide across the country – and did so even in the days before the internet. Keith tells me his show normally focuses on hunting and fishing in Iowa, but he saw my presentation at Edgewater back in May and invited me on because he could tell I was enjoying the beauty and bounty of Iowa in my own way and wanted to showcase it. I am THRILLED – we will be talking about riding and enjoying Iowa by motorcycle, my e-book “GET ON,” and much more! You should be able to listen LIVE at iHeartRadio or the WHO Radio website itself at http://www.whoradio.com/main.html.

 

 

Main Street oddity in Milo

by on June 19, 2015
in Iowa Rides

Hard to believe it’s mid-June already and I’m still working to get caught up on blog posts, but that seems to be my life these days… A little behind and getting behinder! But no matter, its a beautiful summer so far and i have some fun rides to share with you!

In mid-April a friend and I took a nice scenic ride down to the town of Milo. We had heard that there was some kind of tower in the middle of town that you could get up into and look around which, it seemed to me, was a great reason to ride!

We took a semi-scenic route through Des Moines which included a run through the blooming crab apple grove in Water Works Park, then down Highway 5 to the Palmyra Road (aka S-23), down to Highway 92 and then jogged over to pick up S23 again to the south. I have been through the north end of Milo several times over the years, always on my way to somewhere else, but never actually rode down to Main Street.

This time we sought out the little business district and discovered there really is a tower… a sort of super-gazebo on stilts. Unfortunately, it must’ve been too early in the season for the tower to be open because the little ladder staircase was hitched up tight against the floor of the gazebo so we couldn’t climb up. (I think this “closed attractions” theme is getting a little out of hand – ahem, CRESTON.)

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This structure is certainly the oddest thing I’ve seen in the middle of a Main Street intersection in all my years of riding… in fact, it might be the only thing I’ve seen in the middle of a Main Street intersection… but I do think it would be neat to re-visit on a day when one could climb up and get the bird’s-eye view, assuming one is a bird perched… say, 12 feet off the ground…

april11Anyway after puzzling about the gazebo for a brief time we headed south out of Milo on S23, then at Lacona we turned west and took G76 – another favorite road! – over to New Virginia. Came back up north on R45 at New Virginia, then up Highway 28 through Martensdale, Norwalk, and Lakewood into West Des Moines.

In all it was about 120 miles and part of a lovely start to the riding season!

 

 

Des Moines Vintage Bike Night provides a twist

by on June 12, 2015
in Events

I don’t attend a lot of bike night events, nor a lot of farmer’s markets. But recently we discovered that Valley Junction (the old “Main Street” area of West Des Moines, now a historic district) was hosting a vintage bike night at its Farmer’s Market. This was enough of a twist on both events to get me there, and truly enjoyed it.

I’m still terrible at estimating crowd size, but I would say there were maybe 100-150 bikes parked four columns wide down a block-long stretch of 5th Street – a cool collection of vintage BSA’s, Triumphs, and other models.

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There was live music up and down the street, too, and at the end of the block a terrific group called Sons of Gladys Kravitz played 60’s and 70’s tunes and got our attention. (I’ve never heard ANY band cover Ringo Starr’s “It Don’t Come Easy.” These guys did so, flawlessly, among other great classic tunes. You’ll have another chance to hear them at Indianola Bike Night on June 19.)

We also made an obligatory stop at Nan’s Nummies, where I stocked up on Jelly Bellies and chocolate-caramel pretzel sticks.

But the focus of the evening was on the Des Moines Vintage Bike Night, which is coming up again July 2, August 6 and September 3. If you’re in the area, I recommend helping this event grow!

 

 

Early-season rides have been fun!

by on May 29, 2015
in Iowa Rides

self6I didn’t really write up a “first ride of the season” post this year, but thought maybe instead I’d just recap some of the shorties I did earliest in the season. The first time I was on the bike was back in March, just a quick jaunt around town after juicing up the bike on a battery tender. Then maybe a week later I took a “real ride” a few miles west over to Van Meter – this one was about 40 minutes, but was just enough to get out on the highway for a bit and reassure myself that yes, I still remember how to do it!

On April 1 I took a very nice solo run up around Saylorville Lake that included a little shopping at Big Barn, some stops for “selfies,” and a short stop at the water’s edge for some overly-dramatic bike pictures (“bikies,” I’ve decided to call them).

I also stopped at an overlook by Camp Dodge, the Iowa National Guard training camp, to admire the retired military equipment. Do you remember a place from your childhood where you always wanted to stop every time you drove by with your parents, but they never would for some reason? Well, “the tank” at Camp Dodge was just such a place for me. So now that I am an adult, I do try to stop here whenever I can.

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I wonder which place my daughter would name as The Place Mom Would Never Stop…?

 

 

How did she get to be such a Rude Biker Chick?

by on May 26, 2015
in Commentary

rudebikerchickY’all probably remember (because, come on, who can forget…?) my dear pal Tina “Sash” Walker and her husband, Steve “Highway” Johnson – they came to Iowa on their original Road Pickle journey in 2013 and I had the privilege of taking them around some of my favorite sights and roads. (Hey, the girl wanted to see Iowa CORN – what else could I do?)

Anyways, Tina has her own internet-based marketing/coaching business, numerous blogs, and an open book of a life that sometimes puts her in the hot seat but always keeps her memorable.

Hopefully, you already read her primary blog, Sashmouth, and follow her adventures on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And if you do, you know her no-holds-barred personality. And you might have occasionally wondered just how she came to be – well – herself. In her latest e-book, Rude Biker Chick, you get the good, the bad, the ugly, and the beautiful about what drives this amazing, amusing, unforgettable lady.

Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy is just as no-holds-barred as Tina herself. It ruthlessly covers her early life experiences with an abusive mother, a distant father, and a deep connection to traditional biker culture.

But she doesn’t stop there, and believe me the book is not about pointing fingers for “who’s to blame.” Tina goes on to chronicle a disastrous first marriage, a more-than-brush with death itself, and the life-changing days that followed both as she rose from the rubble not to re-invent herself but to become who she really was all along.

Rude Biker Chick isn’t rude at all – although that’s what some people say about Tina. It’s a raw, honest look at how one human being took all the crap from a life that wasn’t hers… and turned it into something beautiful and right. This book is seriously fearless, and seriously worth every moment it takes to read it.

 

Memorial Day 2015

by on May 24, 2015
in Commentary

May your weekend (and beyond) be filled with gratitude for those who gave all in service to Freedom.

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