Estrogen Ride 2009, Day Four

by on October 12, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

Many thanks to Holly N. for providing me with a wonderful multi-part series covering the 2009 Estrogen Ride, and to Vicki D. for taking such great photos!  Sounds like a wonderful time, I’m sorry I missed it this year! If you were there, be sure to add your stories in the comments!

by Holly N.

The weather gods were with us again on day 4!  We woke up in Hannibal to sunny skies and a light breeze.  After loading our bikes up we headed to Quincy IL to the H-D dealership so they could take a look at Judy’s tire.  We crossed the Mississippi in Hannibal and headed north to Quincy.  Once the at the dealership, they got her bike right into the shop and checked it out.  Luckily they couldn’t find anything wrong with the valve stem or anything, cleaned the tire off and it held air fine the rest of the way home.  This also gave us a chance to do some shopping and several made purchases of H-D things they just couldn’t live without.

The H-D dealership is on the east side of Quincy so rather than cut through the city to cross back into Iowa, we headed north a little ways and crossed over at Keokuk.  We headed northwest on Hwy 218 to Donnellson where we took Hwy 2 west to Farmington.  This is a very pretty road that takes you through Shimek State Forest.  The original plan was to ride to Bloomfield, IA for lunch but as we came through Farmington, there was a little restaurant, The Bridge Cafe and Supper Club, that I had seen several times on trips but never had a chance to stop at.  So, being the leader I made the executive decision to stop for lunch there!  No one was disappointed!  We were shown to a private room and fed some of the best homecooking we’d ever had.  We highly recommend the sweet potato fries!

After lunch, we stopped in Keosauqua for gas.  This proved to be quite a time as only one gas station in town had high octane gas, and only one pump for it!  So we lined up on both sides of the pump and passed the nozzle back & forth.  Of course, it didn’t offer pay at the pump so we’d have shut it off, turn it on and then go inside to pay!  Quite a sight!  At some point, Kathy B. turned on her music and we were all dancing in the parking area of the station.  I’m sure the locals loved us!

As we continued north, in Eldon we stopped at the American Gothic house.  This is the original house that Grant Wood used in his famous American Gothic painting.  They have a nice visitors center and the actual house is there to walk around.  It was fun to see and several gals had no idea it was in Iowa!

Eldon proved to be our last stop (except for a brief stop on an entrance ramp) so we said our goodbyes, more hugs & kisses and promises to go on next year’s ride.  We made it through with no mishaps and no dropped bikes!  It’s always bittersweet to end a good weekend with friends – so glad we have 2010 to look forward to!

Estrogen Ride 2009, Day Three

by on October 11, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

Many thanks to Holly N. for providing me with a wonderful multi-part series covering the 2009 Estrogen Ride, and to Vicki D. for taking such great photos!  Sounds like a wonderful time, I’m sorry I missed it this year! If you were there, be sure to add your stories in the comments!

by Holly N.

Sunday morning, Corky & Jeannie had to head home so after more hugs (we sure do that a lot!) they were on their way back north. The rest of us were heading south about 43 miles to Clarksville MO. This little town has some very cute art galleries and shops plus a lock-and-dam system on the river.

Getting out of Hannibal proved to be more of a challenge than we had expected.  After stopping for gas, we promptly got split into two group when we got seperated at a red light.  Lee’s group headed north out of town (Clarksville is SOUTH) and the rest of us headed east toward the river looking for Lee’s group.  Never did find them but more on that later!  My group (I wasn’t leading this time!) ended up circling around town and back to the same gas station we had stopped at earlier!  Judy gets bold and asks a guy in his car at the gas station where Highway 79 is.  After trying to explain it and realizing that we just weren’t getting it, he says “Just follow me”.  So here are seven gals in pink hoodies following this guy’s maroon Nova back to downtown Hannibal and he got us pointed in the right direction.  In our defense, I will say that Highway 79 is NOT marked in downtown Hannibal….but if you’re ever looking for it, it is Third Street.

Once we found the road it proved to be a gorgeous ride through windy curves and gently rolling hills.  Lovely ride!  We still hadn’t seen the other girls so when we got to Louisiana MO, we stopped at a gas station to try to get ahold of them.  Now, here’s where our pink attire comes in handy.  I got to talking to another group of bikers at the gas station and asked them if they had seen another group of gals in pink hoodies.  Sure, they said, they were pulling out just as we pulled in!  So, Lee and her group had somehow gotten ahead of us (probably when we circled back in Hannibal!) and were already in Clarksville.  Such a relief to know where the whole group was again!  Louisiana to Clarksville is only about 7 miles so we were reunited in no time!

We spent some time shopping the stores in Clarksville and then road a little south out of town to Clarksville Station for lunch.  Again, a wonderful place with gorgeous gardens, a covered patio and chairs that reclined!  We enjoyed the breeze on the patio and, once again, wonderful food!  The owner (Natalie) came over and visited with us about the restaurant and her plants.  It was a great way to spend a beautiful afternoon!

Coming up next: The End, again!

Estrogen Ride 2009, Day Two

by on October 10, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

Many thanks to Holly N. for providing me with a wonderful multi-part series covering the 2009 Estrogen Ride, and to Vicki D. for taking such great photos!  Sounds like a wonderful time, I’m sorry I missed it this year! If you were there, be sure to add your stories in the comments!

by Holly N.

Saturday morning the weather gods blessed us again with clear skies.  Unfortunately, Alicia had to say farewell and head back to Des Moines for a meeting…we were all sad to see her go but glad she got to enjoy a little of the trip!  L&M also has bins of towels to clean your bike off with so we all polished our chrome and gave the bikes a little sponge bath.  Lee had handed out our ride shirts before we left Des Moines and we donned them for our ride Saturday into Hannibal, MO.  Throughout the trip, our bright pink shirts and hoodies turned more than a few heads!  We loaded up our bikes, posed for group pictures (that, of course, included “Upstate”), got hugs from Lois and waved goodbye to the L&M.  We headed south on the Illinois side of the Mississippi following the Great River Road.

We made our first stop of the day in Port Byron, IL at a restaurant called “It’s On the River”.  As the name says, it is located right on the banks of the Mississippi with a wonderful deck we promptly took over.  Given that they really were not expecting such a large group, the proprietor and waitress did a fantastic job getting us all served.  The owner came out and visited with us and then gave us all tank tops with the restaurant’s logo on them and just asked that we take a picture and send to him so he could put it up on the wall!  The food was wonderful and of course, we took this opportunity to get to know each other better, take more pictures and enjoy the lazy river.

Once again, we hit the Great River Road and even though I didn’t plan to, we went straight through the middle of Moline IL.  When will I learn to read a map!  This was the first chance that we realized the hot pink shirts come in real handy when your group gets split up.  Very easy to spot!  Being the leader it is very heartstopping when you look in your mirror thinking you have 14 bikes behind you and you only see three!  We didn’t actually lose anyone but we did get seperated a few times!  The road through Moline twists & turns and with stoplights, traffic, etc., it was hard to keep track of everyone.  At one point, some of us had turned around to go back and at the next stop light found the rest of the group on the other side of the road going the opposite way!  This was also when I pulled up beside an older man in his car, tapped on his window to ask directions and thought I was going to have to administer CPR!  I thought for sure he’d hear me pull up but guess my bike isn’t as loud as I thought it was!

Just south of Moline is the tiny little town of New Boston IL.  Now, when you get to the junction of Hwy 92 and 17, if you turn west instead of east, you come to New Boston….and the highway ends in the river!  Not believing the sign, I had to check it out myself (by this time, the group is already manuvering their turn-around without me telling them to!)  But Illinoisians are friendly people and a couple riding around town in their golf cart were glad to give us directions to get us out of town and back on the road.  After circling through New Boston one last time (why not!) we got back on track and rode down to Nauvoo IL  where we made a stop at the historical center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We got there about 20 minutes before closing time so didn’t actually tour the facilities (although the bathrooms are nice!) but did stroll through the beautiful, peaceful gardens that are adjacent to the building.  These were lovely and we were all amazed at the variety of plants and shrubs and how well kept the garden was.

At this point, we had our first mechanical problem of the trip.  Judy B. noticed that her rear tire was low.  So Judy, Kris, Kathy, Jen & Lee headed to the convenience store in town to put some air in it.  We all meant them there and Judy’s tire did have a slow leak so we decided to split into two groups.  That way, they could stop frequently to check the tire pressure and the rest of us would haul ass to Hannibal.  It was after 5:00 in the evening when we left Nauvoo and we still had some miles to cover that day.

We crossed back over to the Iowa side of the river at Keokuk and promptly crossed the Missouri border.  Missouri is a helmet state so we had to do an emergency stop by the side of the road and get our helmets on before we got busted by The Man! The main group of us made it into Hannibal without further incident and, once again, I hadn’t gotten directions to the hotel (minor detail!) and had to call for directions.  We stayed at the Super 8 on Hwy 61.  Your typical chain motel but Karen working the desk that night was very nice and accommodating.

When Judy and her four “road angels” arrived, boy did they have a story to share!  During one of their tire check stops, Lee noticed that Jen’s headlight wasn’t working.  They found an Auto Zone and bought a replacement bulb. Headlight still didn’t work. Being mechanically minded, they realized that there must be a bad fuse. Out come the leatherman tools, allen wrenches, Jen unloads her bike, they pop the seat off and start testing fuses.  About this time, a man walks out of Auto Zone, takes one look at them and says “I think I’m in love!  You girls know more than I do!”  By this time, the two Auto Zone workers are basically being errand boys for our intrepid girls, running back into the store to get a fuse, electrical tape and whatever else they might have needed!  Jen likened it to a NASCAR pit crew at work!  Yes, they are bad-ass biker bitches!

Saturday night was pretty low key with a “parking lot” party on the patio at the Super 8 with everyone turning in rather early after our long road trip that day.

Day three coming up next!

Estrogen Ride 2009, Day One

by on October 9, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

Many thanks to Holly N. for providing me with a wonderful multi-part series covering the 2009 Estrogen Ride, and to Vicki D. for taking such great photos!  Sounds like a wonderful time, I’m sorry I missed it this year! If you were there, be sure to add your stories in the comments!

by Holly N.

What could  be better than hitting the open road with a group of gals for a four day wind-in-your-face weekend on your motorcycle?  That’s exactly what happened one weekend in early September as 15 of us hit the open road “looking for adventure”!  For some of us, this was our fourth Estrogen Ride…for some, the first (but definitely not their last!)  For the entire weekend, we couldn’t have ask for better weather!  Four gorgeous days of sunshine and light breezes.

We met at Big Barn Harley Davidson in Des Moines on Friday morning and after hugs, kisses and pictures, took off for our evening’s destination – Savannah IL – home of Poopy’s.  Before leaving DM, we decided to have our lunch break at Scooter’s in Anamosa.  So off we go heading northeastish on Hwy 330.  I was leading the group again this year (my 2nd year of planning the trip) and even though I had the route marked on the map, we had a few wrong turns and turn arounds!  The worst being a 40 mile round trip “scenic detour” that landed us in LaPorte City, IA.  Nice little town…not exactly on our route but now we can at least say we’ve been there!  We also discovered it would be nice if they put the “Pavement Ends” signs right as you turn onto that road…instead of several miles down the road!

After several gas, potty and “what the heck” stops, we finally made it to Anamosa at about 3 that afternoon (normally, this is a two hour trip!) and enjoyed a wonderful late lunch/early dinner at Scooter’s.  Great food & wonderful service for roa- weary women!  We also found out at lunch that Vicki D had never ridden farther than Marshalltown, IA!  Boy, was she going to be broken in by the end of the trip!

After lunch we continued east and pretty much a straight shot to the Iowa border, crossing the Mississippi River at Sabula, IA (the only Iowa town that is actually an island) and then south a few miles to Savanna IL.  We had reservations at the L&M Motel in Savanna and as we pulled into town, I realized I had forgotten one small detail – directions to the motel!  Well, I figured since it was kind of an older motel, it must be right on the main road through town and for once that day, I guessed correctly!

It’s a unanimous consensus among the group that we would highly recommend the L&M Motel to anyone!  We were greeted by Lois & Gary and coolers of refreshing beverages and wine from local wineries. We were able to take a break and visit among ourselves and with other guests while we were checking in.  Another cool thing about the L&M is they have “theme” rooms.  My roomie, Lee, and I got the Harley room!  You need to check out their website at for the full effect.

After freshening up in our rooms a bit, we decided to head to Poopy’s.  Now, here’s another perk of the L&M – they offer free shuttle service to Poopy’s or Iron Horse Saloon!  So we piled in the van & pickup truck (along with the two dogs, Goldie & Max) and hit Poopy’s for more refreshing beverages, some appetizers, good band and, of course, a little shopping!  When we were all ready to go home, Gary & Lois (and the dogs!) came and got us and even made a stop at a convenience store for a few “I forgot to bring” items that were needed.

When we got back to the hotel, there was a campfire in the firepit and several of us hung out there visiting with some other guests and relaxing.  We met one gentleman that was bicycling from his home in Albany, NY (upstate NY) to Minneapolis.  We didn’t get his name that night but he will forever be known by our group as “Upstate”!  There were also three other bikers from the Carlisle and Newton area and it was a blast listening to their banter.  They evidently have ridden together a lot and had many funny anecdotes to share with us.

Day Two, coming up next!

Iowa Harley Girl interviews the Biker Chick!

by on June 2, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

What a treat! Stephanie over at “The Many Thoughts of Harley Girl” invited me to be interviewed for her blog recently, and once I agreed she sent over some really great questions – several of which really got me thinking! The interview posted to her blog on Friday, and I’d love for you to scoot over there and give it a read. While you’re there, be sure to browse around the rest of the blog – it’s fantastic!

Friday Fives: 5 reasons to ride pillion

by on May 8, 2009
in Other Biker Chicks

In celebration of Women Riders Month and Biker Chick News‘s fifth birthday, I thought I would invite a fellow biker-chick blogger to write the companion to last week’s “Friday Fives.” So, while I provided my “5 reasons to ride your own,” here is Stephanie (aka Iowa Harley Girl) to take the flipside with “5 Reasons to Ride Pillion.”

A big thanks to Janet at Biker Chick News for asking me to write 5 Reasons to Ride Pillion/Passenger!

1)  When you ride your own motorcycle you are unable to see all of the scenery going by because you have to pay so much attention to the road and the crazy people driving cages around you.  Being a passenger you get to see it all.  Plus you may also see hazards that the person you are riding with hasn’t noticed and can alert them of them.  One of my favorite memories being a passenger were the beautiful sunflower fields I saw on one of my trips home from Sturgis Bike Week.

2)  If you are afraid to ride your own motorcycle you can still experience a freedom like you have never experienced before even on the pillion seat.  Being on two wheels even as a passenger is such a spiritual experience and you have someone to hold on to if you need that extra sense of security.

3)  Maybe you are unable to afford your own bike so riding as a passenger is the next best thing to riding your own.  This is the reason I don’t ride my own.  I can’t afford a motorcycle right now.  Riding with my husband fulfills the passion that I have for motorcycles and the open road.  And we have such great memories of our travels that it makes up for me not having a motorcycle right now.  I can’t imagine not riding just because I don’t have my own.

4)  You may enjoy the thought of the risk factor involved in riding on two wheels but you don’t want to be responsible for piloting the motorcycle down the road.  It’s like skydiving with a partner except you are on a motorcycle.

5)  Riding Pillion usually stops you from getting hit with rocks or getting bombed by bugs because you have someone in front of you shielding you from all the hazards of the road.  The one hazard that you might have to put up with is being whacked in the head with an antenna if there is a radio on the motorcycle you are a passenger on.  Make sure you get the person that you ride with to change that because it really does hurt getting whacked with that when you are going 65 – 70 mph.

Benefit ride for Theresa, 10-20-2007

bikes gathered at kung fu tap and taco for benefit ride

Photo above: a stitched-together panorama of the bikes gathered at Kung Fu Tap & Taco.
Click here for the full album!

This was a near-perfect day in so many ways. After last weekend’s Toy Run rainout, I was anxious to see what the weather would have in store for Theresa’s benefit ride. I needn’t have worried – our high for the day was in the upper 70’s, with a beautiful bright blue sky. This in late October, in Iowa! The ride was scheduled to begin around 11 a.m. at Big Barn Harley Davidson, where Theresa works in the Warranty Service department. We arrived shortly after 10 a.m. to find there were already around 100 bikes gathered. By 11 that number had doubled and they were still coming in, so the ride start was bumped to Noon. Eventually I think they had almost 300 bikes and probably 500+ people.

Around Noon the bikes started leaving, and we made a very impressive and continuous mile-long column traveling down 2nd Avenue toward downtown Des Moines. (If you’ve never been in such a column, I don’t know how to describe the feeling. But it can be a little emotional realizing that all these people are gathered for the same big-hearted purpose.) Bikes in the lead blocked intersections so we could pass through as a group without worrying about cross traffic. (Probably illegal but what the hell… we’re bad-ass bikers, we’re supposed to do shit like this!) As we approached Downtown, traffic got a little heavier and around Court Avenue there were lots of pedestrians – the Farmer’s Market had just closed, and lots of those patrons were standing around watching us pass, some taking pictures or shooting video. There was a police officer at 3rd & Court who held off the cross-traffic there for us to pass through the intersection as a group.

Just south of the Iowa Cubs triple-A baseball stadium, we turned and headed toward the home of Theresa’s sister Vicki, theresa greeting visitorswhere T is recuperating. Family members had arranged for T to be outside when everyone arrived – I’m not sure they were expecting quite so many of us! All those bikes took up probably two full blocks! After a short benediction and opportunity for as many as possible to meet and greet Theresa, we took off again, this time for the Kung Fu Tap a few blocks away.

The stop at Kung Fu was really just an opportunity for us to hang out while Theresa’s family helped transport her to the site of the actual pot luck dinner waiting for us at the end of the ride. We were there long enough to enjoy a beverage and then the group took off again.

Our final stop was the clubhouse of the El Foresteros. This is an old-school motorcycle club; these are the folks who actually hosted the ride and dinner. They certainly don’t normally open up their clubhouse to the general public – it’s a members-only gathering spot. I for one appreciated their hospitality and willingness to let non-members show their support for our mutual friend.

As for T herself – she’s doing pretty well but still has a long recovery ahead. I wish her the very best, and I’m really pleased to have been part of such a great turn-out for this event!

Des Moines benefit ride for Theresa

by on September 20, 2007
in Other Biker Chicks

The benefit ride for Theresa is scheduled for Saturday, October 20 at 11:00 a.m.  Registration will be 10:00-10:45 at Big Barn Harley Davidson in Des Moines, 81 NW 49th Place (2nd Ave. exit off I-80).  Donations will be warmly accepted and very much appreciated.  The ride will end with a potluck dinner and raffle.  All bikers are welcome – if you are in the Des Moines area, or traveling this way at that time, please join us!

If anyone would like to donate items for the raffle or food for the dinner, please send me an email and I’ll pass along your message.

Update on Theresa 9/17

by on September 17, 2007
in Other Biker Chicks

I went up to the hospital and visited Theresa today, where she’s still recuperating from her recent accident. She had surgery on her wrist on Thursday of last week, and she said it went really well so that’s on the mend. Her pelvic fractures are healing slowly – she is still on a lot of pain meds so she’s not attempting to walk yet, but it’s only been ten days. She’s having a few issues with doctors not communicating with each other very well, and I think she even fired one already – LOL – so she’s definitely fully aware of all that’s going on. As it turns out, earlier reports about a fractured femur and dislocated knees were not correct, so at least she doesn’t have those issues to worry about. I can’t imagine all that she must be dealing with emotionally – she has a lot of support from family and friends so hopefully that is helping.

Cindy & Jamie, you are SO busted!

by on September 12, 2007
in Other Biker Chicks

(heehee) Come on out, girls, Mary B. has told me you’ve been reading and lurking! LOL Now please post a comment and, send me your pictures (with bikes please!) so I can put you in the Biker Chick Buzz! And – welcome!! Thanks for reading! ~ Janet

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