We’re Baaaaaaack! Ready to Ride?

Helllllooooooo, all my Biker Babe Tours peeps!

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Needless to say (but I’m a gonna say it anyway): it’s been a while, hasn’t it?! Yep, almost a year since you and I’ve connected.

This past year has been a wild ride, I’ll tell ya. I decided to let BBT cool for a bit, wait for the economy to catch up to us, and finish some other projects. For example, I started another blog about positive body image and that took me off in a whole other direction, which has been amaze-balls and life-changing. But, this here is the fun stuff, too; so, I’m back, breathing some life into it, and seeing where we all end up together. Hopefully, on some long, dry, breezy, and curvy road in the middle of nowhere. Ha!

We’ve made some changes in format to lower the tour costs for you and have some exciting, soul-affirming tours lined up for the coming months. Stay tuned and keep your gear handy, ladies, because this season’s gonna be rockin’.

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Kickin’ It In Kanab Tour Was Krazy-Fun!

Biker Babes! The Kickin’ It In Kanab, UT tour, a couple of weeks ago, was just loads of and loads of fun! Though the group was really small (two participants, two tour guides), it was an exciting and heart-warming adventure, nonetheless. We four biker babes rode up to Kanab together from various spots in northern AZ. This turned out to be a blessing, because it extended the time that we had to get to know each other’s riding styles and personalities. We all had such a good time!

Rhonda, Donna, and Pat, Getting Ready for the Ride to Kanab

Rhonda, Donna, & Pat, Getting Ready for the Ride!

About halfway to Kanab, we hit our groove and started riding as if we were one unit; it was truly awesome. I just love when that happens. Riders who have never been on the road together just automatically begin to anticipate each other’s reactions and movements in the pack. I remember thinking: “Now, this is how it’s supposed to work. This is the dream that I envisioned for so many years while forming this business, a group of women riding together as one and feeling the pure enjoyment of riding together. This is how it’s supposed to be.” And, though not every woman rode at the same level of skill or pace, we proved that there is room for individual expression and differences inside the container that we all created together. I was loving it.

Quail Park Lodge Pool and Bike

Loaner Bike at Quail Park Lodge, Kanab, UT

On Thursday afternoon, we pulled up to the ever-adorable and fun-spirited Quail Park Lodge. Hotel manager and host, Ladd greeted us outside and gave us all huge hugs. Ladd is a total sweetie.  He was so happy to have us there. We felt the love immediately. What a great business that is, I tell ya. And, for anyone taking notes, that’s how it’s done, folks. Make people feel welcome, be of service, and be kind to others and you know what? You’ll have business for life. The owners, Matt and Travis, who also own The Canyons Lodge in Kanab, will have my business for life, because they understand on a cellular level how to treat guests. The best part of their business is that people arrive as guests and leave as friends. I love these men so much.

Red Rocks of Zion

Zion Canyon Red Rocks

On day one of the tour, Friday, we had a delicious, home-style, country breakfast at the historic Parry Lodge and then rode to and through Zion National Park; we stopped for lots of photo opportunities, and eventually made our way through the red-rock grandeur to lunch in Springdale, UT. Although it lightly rained on us (even though there wasn’t any rain in the forecast), we did not mind. We did what any true bikers do; we just kept going, albeit at a bit slower pace to be extra safe, and we made the best of it. We ended up taking some pretty hysterically funny photographs of each other and gut-laughing at all of our silliness, alot!

More Zion Beauty

More Zion Beauty

Lunch in the adorable Oscar’s Cafe of Springdale was good fun; the food was wholesome and delicious and the patio seating was great because we watched the rain and only got dripped on a little bit. After lunch, the rain let up, so we walked around Springdale and did the “girl thing”–SHOPPING! Hey, if you’ve never been there, Springdale is a really cute little town and a definite must-visit. It’s nestled into the immense and spectacular Zion canyon and has adorable shops, good food, art, and tree-lined, quaint streets. I found myself trying to figure out how I could move there. LOL! I’m still trying to figure it out. ; )

Rhonda and Donna in Zion

After Springdale, we rode back through Zion park to Pink Coral Sand Dunes State Park for more photo opportunities of the amazing, HUGE coral-colored dunes. The photo below simply does not do it justice. You have to see this amazing place to believe it. As far as your eyes can see, just these huge swaths of orange dunes swirled onto the earth in amazing, massive patterns. And, with the rain-clouds and winds, we practically had the entire park to ourselves. It was so awesome. My only regret is that we didn’t get quite enough time at the park because we dallied so long in Springdale and had to get back to Kanab for dinner, but that just means it’ll be something to explore better when I go back.

Pink Coral Sand Dunes

To cap off the first day’s touring, we walked to dinner at the best restaurant in Kanab, The Rocking V Cafe, where we were treated to totally sumptuous and delectable food followed by equally tasty desserts. With full bellies and even fuller hearts, we walked back to the hotel and called it a night. What a great start to our tour!

On day two, Saturday, we had a good breakfast and then headed out to Angel Canyon to visit the Best Friends Animal Sanctuary, the largest no-kill sanctuary in the United States and home to some 1700 rescued animals.

The Best Friends Animal Sanctuary Sign

What an awesome place the Best Friends Sanctuary is; they help so, so many animals every single day of the year from a gorgeous, huge, and tranquil farm nestled into a very scenic, lush canyon. Best Friends Sanctuary houses everything from horses, goats, sheep, bunnies, pigs, dog, cats, and any other animal you can imagine. We pulled up, parked the bikes, and walked all around there to see some of the rescue animals.

A Gorgeous Mare at Best Friends

With the horses, we could tell that they had had less-than-stellar relationships with humans, because few of them seemed to even take notice of us, but I stood there telling them in my mind how vital they are to all of existence and how proud I was to simply stand there and look at them and share those moments with them. I also told them that not every human being is a creep, just some of them. It made me feel better; I think some of them got the message. While visitors are not allowed to touch the animals, we certainly can take photos of them, so that we did!

The Best Friends Gift Shop Patio

We mostly communed with the horses and pigs. I didn’t trust myself to go see the cats and dogs, because I would have wanted to save them all. It was already difficult enough for me to see the horses and pigs; I just wanted to take them all home with me. Good thing I was on the bike, because it made that logistically impossible.

We ended up getting to meet the cutest pot-belly pig named Cherry. She was resting in the shade when we first walked up, but soon decided that we were interesting enough to strut around her pen and show off for us. Here she is just posing for all of us. She stood there for at least five minutes just swooshing her tail and grunting at us. What a total cutie she was! If you click on the photo to expand it, you can totally tell that Cherry is looking right at me. I swear pigs are so smart; she knew exactly what we wanted and then complied. What a darling girl!

Cherry, the Pot-Belly Piggy

Cherry, the Pot-Belly Piggy

I wanted to climb in that pen and smooch her, but it’s against the rules and for good reason. Not all of the animals at the sanctuary are necessarily social or accommodating to people they don’t know. I was content just connecting with her in spirit. Besides, I was kissing her and loving on her in my mind, and I know that smart pig felt it and welcomed it. I mean, look at her very pleased face!

After the Best Friends Sanctuary, we rode over to Moqui Cave in Kanab. I have been to Kanab many times and never stopped there but have always wanted to, so this tour gave me the perfect excuse to share something really special with the ladies.

Entrance to Moqui Cave

Entrance to Moqui Cave

Moqui Cave was an Anasazi sandstone cave that was rediscovered in the 19th century and turned into a speakeasy and dance hall during prohibition in the 1920s. It has been owned by the same Mormon family since 1951.  There are two large rooms in the cave where the family has preserved literally tons of amazing rocks and Indian artifacts along with actual 140 million-year-old dinosaur tracks that are petrified. This was such an interesting journey back in time. The two girls working in the cave were just about as sweet as two humans could possible be; I meant to write down their names, but didn’t and now I regret that because they were ooing and awing over the fact that we were lady riders. We encouraged them to consider riding their own bikes someday. It was a special connection between us all.

Lastly, we rode over to the Little Hollywood Museum, where we then walked around the movie sets used in various Western movies of the past, such as the Outlaw Josey Wales, and various famous western TV shows.

Sets in the Little Hollywood Museum

Sets in the Little Hollywood Museum

I love the Little Hollywood Museum so much. You can walk around the actual movie sets. Most of the sets have been moved to the site but all of the surviving sets came from Kanab or its close environs. It’s a fascinating step back in time and you can just feel the history off of these buildings. We had a blast there.

To sum up, this was a completely heart-warming and fun tour. I really hated for it to end. The women were awesome. They made this tour and the trip so special and not that they knew this but, they restored my faith in this business. I now know that I can do this, peeps. If I have more tours like this one, with people who actually get my heart and the heart of what this business is all about, this is going to be the best and most fun way to spend the rest of my years on this planet. I only hope that I can give to others as much as they give to me. But, in my heart, I know that I do.

And, finally, the following snaps are probably my two very favorite photos from the tour.

Having Too Much Fun!

Having Too Much Fun!

What awesome biker babes! What a sense of humor on these women. God, I just love them so much. : )) This is what I’m talking about! We were laughing so hard we could barely take the photo. Thank you so much, Rhonda, Donna, and Pat. You three will forever be in my heart and a core part of this business because you gave of your hearts on this trip and thus, gave me hope again. To you three wonderful, powerful, independent, and soul-connected women, I owe so much. It’s an honor to have ridden with you. I hope we get the chance to do it again real soon.

Beautiful Women on a Beautiful Tour

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First Biker Babe Tours Newsletter is Here!

Hi, all! Our first-ever, quarterly newsletter (in PDF) is available for your viewing, reading, and well, general pleasure. Give it a whirl!

BBT Newsletter Spring 2013

 

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Biker Babe Tours Adds a Half-Price Tour

Biker Babes! Check out our latest Press Release:

Sedona, AZ. March 28, 2013. Biker Babe Tours, Inc., a Sedona, AZ motorcycle touring company for women, has added a half-price, three-day tour to the 2013 schedule in order to accommodate women who might be feeling the pinch of the economy.

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Kanab, UT

The “Kickin’ It in Kanab Utah” tour, slated for Thursday May 16 through Sunday, May 19, 2013 in Kanab, UT will include scenic rides to Coral Pink Sand Dunes State Park and Zion National Park, plus other fun rides and events. Participants will stay at the fun, comfortable, and retro-chic Quail Park Lodge of Kanab, UT.

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Lead Tour Guide and company CEO, Liz Casey says, “Adding lower-cost options to our tour schedule is the right thing to do in this difficult economy of ours. Lowering prices lets us serve a wider spectrum of women who might not otherwise get a chance to participate. In fact, we’ve found several ways to trim company costs and have lowered the prices on all of our 2013 tours. We just want to send the message that no matter how tough things are financially in this country, women still need to take time away to recharge themselves and focus on what they want in life. A motorcycle tour retreat with other like-minded women riders is the perfect way to do that. ”

Biker Babe Tours serves women riders who bring (or rent) their own bikes and protective gear. The company provides single-day and multi-day motorcycle specialty tours for women in beautiful locations across Arizona and Utah. Multi-day tour packages include lodging, most meals, a special treat (such as a massage, facial, manicure, pedicure, cooking class, crafting class, or adventure activity like a helicopter or hot-air-balloon ride). Participants also get a tour T-shirt and thrilling guided rides on roads that are ideal for motorcycles. The company has exciting motorcycle tours planned throughout spring, summer, and fall.

Biker Babe Tours, Inc., a motorcycle touring company for women, conducts motorcycle tour retreats during the months of April through October. For more information, visit their Web site at www.BikerBabeTours.com.

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Riding Spirit; Spirit Riding

So, I’ll let you all in on a secret that isn’t really a secret at all because (A.) You all know this and (B.) I’ve written about this before. But, riding a motorcycle is a highly spiritual, even a (dare I say it), holy practice. Yep. Riding is one of the most holy, sacred, and vital activities in which human beings can engage, because it brings the inner and outer together. Now, before you begin rolling your eyes and chalking me up as some Sedona hairy-fairy, woo-woo, meditation fruitcake (which, you know, I kinda am, but that is a discussion for another post), hear me out.

Riding a motorcycle is an exercise in wholeness. What does that mean to me? It’s an activity where one is totally focused, totally present, in action, in the moment and yet, also simultaneously surrounded by a soft, gauzy, dream-land bubble of euphoria, pleasure, and relaxation. So, it’s about feeling and being whole, which is totally spiritual. At a deeper level, riding is the converging and commingling of the inner terrain of one’s own self (feelings, thoughts, and sensations) with the outer world of a racing landscape, a racing engine, plus the wind, the scenery, the road, and nature. Riding is one of the few activities that let you be completely inside of yourself and yet completely in the world at the same time. Again, spiritual.

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Whether you describe yourself as religious/spiritual or not, a believer in a higher power or not, riding a motorcycle is about finding a connection with the self and the world, and is simply the most delicious way, in my opinion, to do that, to achieve that connection, that contentedness (which I believe we are all seeking in one way or another, regardless of belief system).

Yesterday, for example, I rode all over the place with several members of my Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson HOG Chapter. Several times throughout the day, I was able to achieve that all-encompassing sense of being at one with the inner and the outer worlds. I knew what the bike in front of me was going to do right before he did it. I knew the feelings that the other riders were having right as they were having them. I knew and felt the landscape reacting to our presence as we sped across her lovely hide. And, I felt such appreciation and love inside at being given an opportunity to dig deep, to hold that awe and wonder, and to witness the marriage between the inner and the outer.

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I just LOVE seeing other riders feeling this, too. Few things bring me as much joy as seeing my brothers and sisters as happy as I am and as happy as human beings can be in such a simple and immediate way. This is why we ride, whether most of us would characterize the experience in this way or not. We are all doing it. We are all getting closer to who we are, why we came to this planet for more lessons, and how we can act in love and unity. The happier people are, the more they give to others, the more they tap into the universal themes of love and freedom, and the more they have to offer others.  We are all riding spirit, regardless of the vehicle chosen. And, spirit is riding us.

(What about you? Do you agree? Do you think I am out of my tree? Tell me. Let’s start this discussion and we can cap it off by ripping through the desert together, pulling up to a traffic light, looking over at each other knowingly, and smiling like the sun! Let’s do this.)

Posted in Motorcyclist Essays, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Biker Babe Summer Trip, Part II

So, in one of my last few posts, I outlined Rebecca’s and my two-day, 1700-mile ride out to Carson City Nevada (last July 2012) for the sixth AMA Women and Motorcycling conference. Part two of the tale, which will take us through some of the conference highlights, follows. Are you ready to roll? Well, get ready, babies, ‘cuz here it comes. LOL!

Day one of the conference, July 26th, started off with conference participants gathering on their bikes at the rear parking lot of the Gold Dust Casino. We were welcomed by event organizers and then led through the process for how to ride the parade route safely.

Parade_Ride_Safety_MeetWomen riders at the AMA safety briefing

Conference goers, escorted by the local police, then rode through the streets in parade formation to the AMA opening ceremony, held in the beautiful, outdoor Carson City Capitol Amphitheater. The day was fresh, warm, and bright and the mood of the crowd, jovial. Our very funny emcee, Jessica Irving, who is the grassroots coordinator for the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), introduced herself, the head of the AMA, and various other speakers, including the Mayor of Carson City, who issued a hearty welcome to all of us from the entire city.

Capping off the opening ceremonies was a performance by a local Native American tribe. Alas, I’m so ashamed of myself for not writing down these folks’ tribe. I think they were Washoe, but I might be wrong about that. Anyway, four members of tribe performed: two men who drummed and sang and two dancers, a son and a father. The son was a pre-teen who was in training and learning the sacred dances from his father. This kid was so totally adorable and very talented. The dancers’ hand-made regalia was absolutely breath-taking and their warm welcome to us, by way of sacred song and dance, brought tears to my eyes; it was so moving and such a huge treat.

P1030465_re-sizedNative American dancers

Obviously, one of the coolest aspects of the conference was the fact that everywhere you looked, all over town, we saw women on all different kinds and sizes of bikes. It was truly a spectacle. The streets were crowded with mamas on their machines. And, surprisingly, lots of men attended, too. It was so fun to see all those dudes representin’ for their women like that. Personally, I was lusting after all of the motorcycles. I mean, every kind and color imaginable. I just walked up and down the rows of parked bikes drooling on all of those gorgeous machines. None of my wind-sisters seemed to mind. LOL!

BikesBikes!

A huge highlight of the trip for me was meeting two remarkable women who, on day two of the conference, rode up together as I was going in to catch one of the seminars. I met the prolific and talented writer, Genevieve Schmitt, founder and editor of Women Riders Now magazine and the very sweet, Amy Skaling of Team Diva. I’ll start with Genevieve Schmitt. First off, she rides a bad-ass, custom Street Glide with a killer paint job. Her bike is leather-brown denim with orange and white flames, pictured below.

Genevieve_StreetGlideBecca Looking at Genevieve’s Street Glide

Genevieve’s an itty-bitty woman (thin as a rail), but she rides a ton and just slaps that big bike around, which impresses the hell out of me. Ms. Schmitt has done a ton for the female motorcycling community. Since 1999, she’s been a journalist writing articles about women motorcyclists and products of interest to women riders including reviews of motorcycles. Through the pages of her online magazine, She has given women riders a place to connect with each other, form a supportive community, and become inspired. Check out Genevieve’s online magazine here: WomenRidersNow.

Amy Skaling, founder of the company, Team Diva, is also a huge inspiration to female bikers and a real hoot, to boot. I’ve written about Amy before. She runs a company, Team Diva, that specializes in custom, hand-made, bedazzled hats, and other headwear, that are, like her bike, equally shimmering and beautiful creations.

Diva_Amy2Diva-Amy Skaling of Team Diva

Speaking of her bike, Amy rides a big-ass Road Glide that she lovingly calls her “Diva Glide”. When I saw her bike, I nearly fell over from shock (and glee). Amy has bedazzled her entire bike with Austrian lead crystals. It’s beautiful and so over-the-top that you just have to smile when you see it. In addition, Amy’s bike has an absolutely gorgeous paint job. Her bike shimmers with color and “bling”. There’s no missing Amy or her bike.

Diva_AmyAmy and Her Diva Glide

Amy attends numerous motorcycle rallies and conferences selling her wares and doing activist work for American Veterans. I love Amy. She has done so much to advance female ridership and further causes that support our country’s Veterans. Oh, and by the way, Amy is also the organizer of the up-coming all-chick ride and drive on April 11th, during AZ Bike Week. The ride will benefit “Helping With Horsepower “ program, which helps troubled and at-risk youth by letting them build or restore a motorcycle together.

Diva_GlideAnother Shot of the Diva Glide

Tune in next time for the conclusion to this adventure of ours. I promise, peeps. I’ll finish writing this tale before we hit the one-year anniversary of this trip. At least, I hope I will. LOL!

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The Hag Speaks; My First Ladies of Harley Article

Thought you all might enjoy reading my first LOH article to my Harley Owners Group chapter for our newsletter, The HOG Log. So, here ya go:

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Hi, my HOGgy peeps! First of all, thank you so much for voting me in to lead Ladies of Harley for 2013. Granted, I was the only one on the ballot, which made the whole thing pretty easy-peasy in my book (Ha!), but your confidence in me to take on this role and hold up the tradition is truly flattering. I am filling shoes that are, frankly, hard to fill, but I’m not doing it alone. I have loving sisters and brothers of HOG, helping me along the way. So, I’m honored to serve and hope that I do the position justice.

As I see it, my role in LOH is to inspire women riders and passengers to become more involved in HOG and Ladies of Harley. But beyond that, I hope to encourage all chapter members to participate in the LOH activities as well as chapter meetings, board meetings, rides, and events. LOH is not about division or relegating things to gender lines and opposing forces, it’s about bringing people together in a common spirit and function. You are always welcome to attend LOH event, whether you ride your own or not and whether you are female or not; you all are a vital part of LOH and necessary to the strength and cohesion of our chapter of which LOH is but a part. I love LOH and women riders, but at the same time, I wish LOH had been named POH for “People of Harley”, because I believe it takes all of us to make this work at a beneficial level.

At the recent board meeting, both Joe and Fernando brought up a good point: that maybe we have veered away from an important element of why we’re all HOG members, which is to ride and have fun. Yes, perhaps we have veered a bit away from that, but we can fix it. Being out on a Harley (the best brand of motorcycle in the world, in my opinion), whether at the front of a bike or the back is vital to experiencing happiness and finding our freedom as individuals. Riding is about what happens inside of us when we ride, that wonderfully satisfying, meditative, and enriching experience that’s intensely personal and yet shared by each of us. Riding keeps us sane, whole, and happy. And, if I may be so bold, it’s vital to our existence.

Riding is why we are a part of this great organization. But, I propose that a direct outpouring of the health and happiness achieved by riding is the philanthropic work that we as HOG members do in the community. Riding makes us happy and centered and only in that state of balance, do we have enough to reach out and give to others, both in our personal lives and in a wider spectrum. So, I’m calling 2013 the year of the ride and I’m hoping to see all of you at the upcoming chapter rides and events. We’ve got some really fun stuff planned for February, a General Meeting on the 9th, a dinner drive to Cliff Castle on the 15th, a CPR class on the 16th, and Big Brothers, Big Sisters Bowl-a-Thon on the 23rd. Please come and hang with your HOG brothers and sisters, and let’s get a jump on this year of the ride! Yours truly, Lizzy-bean

Posted in Harley Owners Group, Motorcyclist Essays | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments