This weekend was about the roads. Back roads, dead ends, seemingly simple roads that twist in to adventure rides and then some. And as the Hoka Hey kicks off, I realize that there are some funny folk out there. I might be one of them. Where I stand, every day you have a chance to go down an unexpected road that will lead you to discovery, adventure and enlightenment. ‘Cause really it’s about knowing you.
Yesterday was not a day for epiphanies but definitely for some possible outcomes for the Rendezvous. After all my goal is not to be famous, but to help change how you, the rider, view the world. My favorite inquiry was if I would have rides for dual sport. Of course. The Hill Country is a playground. You may have some dead ends, but take a camera. Be prepared to turn around too. Because the ride is just beginning.
As the weeks get closer to the Oxford Ranch Rendezvous I will release maps, suggested ways to get to us, and more details on the Rendezvous.
See you soon!
Motorcycle Rallies have transformed over time and have been transformative for many. I remember my first and it was not what I was expecting. In fact, it was the antithesis of what a rally should be. Everyone looked bored and in search of fun. I was there for only a short while, but it was long enough to make wonder “what the hell?”
Months later, I tried again but had no luck. The biker I had picked up at the Old Forge wanted to ride. He probably knew it was going to be more fun. So I hopped on and toured the north side of the 10 stopping in at Luchenbach for a couple of beers. By the time we returned to my place I was hooked. All I could think about was the next rally.
Fall 2015 I went in as a vendor to scope things out. It wasn’t fun. Nobody was there. Sales were less than $100 but I made new friends. I spent most of my energy taking picture and posting what I saw. Someone had to it. I had befriended the hired photographers but nobody was on social media shout out “show up!”
When asked if I would vend again I said “hell no, but I’ll come in and make you
relevant.” Thus a storyteller was born. I’d love to say there was just me, but I think I was the only one doing it under the guise of the event. My number one goal: learn the ins and outs of the event. Lucky that I had met a cool dude along the way who was willing to let me cut my teeth from the back end as a designer.
I was hired on in 2015 to do some work for Carts, Bikers and Babes. Lonnie Fitch took me under his wing. Not sure this was a good thing because three years later I find myself digging in for my first Rendezvous.
Let’s be clear. Before we get all emotional, this was going to happen. For three years I asked myself “what would I do to be different?” Fame and fortune meant nothing to me as I mulled over this question. I realize the event started out with a different name, but it needed to be simplified. Brought back to Earth. Had to be about the biker and his/her experience. No vendors. No commercialism. Just some good old fashioned hippy, dippy fun. Guitars around the fire, jam sessions, bike games that made everyone laugh, a dirty bike contest to show off the miles under your two wheels…needless to say, not your typical modern rally.
This is our first year. Every biker who rolls in will help to shape the event. Will we count our women riders? Maybe. But this isn’t about breaking world records or getting famous. It’s all about the ride.
See you there!
I love that whole theory that mileage makes the man, or woman. We are constantly finding ways to define what kind of biker we are: hard core, old school, weekend warrior. The essence of the biker culture was to run away from these definitions and restrictions. If, indeed mileage defines how hard core you really are then most of us will fall short. In my experience, it’s experience that defines us. I’ve had many experiences on and around my bike that would never have happened if I was in my truck or on foot. If I may be so bold, my bike is taking me places that my car couldn’t take me.
So let’s look at this from an experience perspective. The motorcycle I own is on its
third owner, me. The first owner had one bad experience after getting her license and vowed only to be a passenger. Granted, my Honda Shadow is 750 pounds. This is a daunting weight to anyone. After dropping the bike six times I found that the biggest weight on me was my brain. The sixth time I didn’t have anyone to rescue me so I forced the front wheel in the direction it should go and heaved. The damn bike popped up and I nearly fell over the other side because I thought I would have to use a lot of force.
The second owner drove out to Arizona to get the Honda. He confessed that he never used his bike around town. He had a Harley for that. The Honda instead racked up the first 18,000 miles on long distance runs to Big Bend and New Mexico. Upon seeing the bike parked outside the quilt shop, he told me that he missed his Honda and was sorry he gave it up.
I am the third and last owner of Chief Honda. He has been my around the town, on and off road, as well as long distance pal. I am only at about 12,000 miles in less than two years, but the experiences count for much more. At one point, and this was the day I met my husband Larry, I was going to marry my bike. So if you calculate the 42 years of experiences I have had then you will get a real human. If you pin my numbers up against other bikers, you might get weekend warrior. If the mileage doesn’t define me as a biker, then my experiences should. End effect, I am as much a biker as the seventy year old dude who rode hard, partied harder and his skin was like leather from the endless open rode he chose as his path. Every time I get on Chief Honda (aka Hidalgo) I say my prayers in thanks for another great journey whether short or long.
Here’s a thought. You could ride a hundred miles in to the desert and see nothing. Get off your bike and see a thousand things. Or, find yourself not wanting to stop because you wanted to go five miles more. Free yourself of what you think the ride should be. Free yourselves of the restrictiveness of definitions and just let it be…said the hippy dippy wild horse biker chick.
Jenn Kulick, Wild Horse
Texas Hill Country Biker
In 8 months the Texas Hill Country is going to be woken up with a new kind of motorcycle event that takes place on Oxford Ranch Campground, a private 160 acre ranch just 15 minutes south of Llano, Texas. In an attempt to keep this event a tried and true rendezvous, Back Roads Ramble will be all about the ride. No vendors, no amped up stages with noisy bands, no B.S.
What you can expect is a community campfire, a nightly cast iron cookout during the event, complimentary breakfast tacos, two types of mileage challenges, demo bikes, old school and the Rever challenge, live music unplugged, some goofy bike games, and a camp-out atmosphere fit for any type of motorcycle enthusiast.
Let’s talk about Rever, though. Rever and Butler Maps are probably the best motorcycle guides out there. Butler Maps have intense research behind them and even the advanced riders can find a hundred ways to re-invent the ride here in the Texas Hill Country. What about the new-school riders who love the old-school vibe? Rever has us revved up about our BRR Challenge that will be part scavenger hunt, part adventure, part intuitive…well, you get the picture. It’s gonna change the way we look at our experience at a motorcycle event.
Before you arrive you will need to know two things: how to download your Rever app and who you’re gonna ride with (unless if you are one of those lone wolf types). When you check in, you will have a chance to check in for the Rever OR Old School Challenge. Old School is all about the miles you rack up and there will be different rules. Winners of the Rever Challenge and the Old School Odometer Challenge will be announced Saturday evening at the community campfire. Prizes are gonna rock!
Soon it will be time to get those bikes out, check the tires, oil and top off the fuel. Need a campsite set up? We have that covered! Challenge on!
http://www.backroadsramble.com – Registration is open NOW!
We are excited to announce the first annual Back Roads Ramble, an event that will not be like any other in the Texas Hill Country. Our first step is to strip away the commercialism and focus on the fundamentals: the ride, the camaraderie, the memories.
The Ramble is about the old-school vibe of the 60’s when bikers huddled up around the campfire sharing tales, grub and good times. It was a rendezvous, a moto camp out, a great way to get out and ride. The Rambles is a no frills, just the thrill of the back road rendezvous and moto camp out in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. This is primarily a tent and bonfire adventure mixed with homestyle grub, kumbaya moments and hopefully someone will pack a guitar or flute. Yeah, it’s gonna get a little hippy-dippy BUT we can’t imagine a better way to honor the H.C. than with good times and good memories.
October 2018 has already proven to be a great year for the motorcycle world. We kick off the Spring with several great rallies and ADV meet-ups. My first stop will be Thunder in the Hill Country as one of the lead photogs and social media influencers. This is a great honor after the last couple of years doing this for fun. Spring 2017 I was boosted to main photographer/influencer. With that buzz still going, I was called back for 2018.
Next stop will be Carts, Bikers and Babes…an old school rendezvous type rally with all the rock ‘n’ roll you need. You can b.y.o.b. or head over to the rally bars like Sidecar Saloon. This is year three for Roadhouse Rallies and it’s the charmer for sure with enough rides for the people who came to ride and party. The main stage kicks up dust around 4 pm and there are some day things going on too like biker games. And for the naughty bikers you can cross over to The Zoo. I will leave you to write that part of the story (wink, wink).
For the bikers for bikers types, you can catch Texas Iron in Kenedy, TX in May, 2018. You
have Texas Motorcycle Campings, Mel there to promote and Bikers for Bikers team member Curtis with mic in hand. This is a self-contained rally located off the beaten path.
Don’t forget the Hill Country Run based out of Luchenbach, TX! While there are dozens of rallies, these are the ones you will find me taking pics, going blind posting on Instagram and hopefully having a great time!
There is an on-going debate about what it means to be the empowered woman. What do you do when you are a single mom with two boys and you are suddenly the man and the woman? You step up, learn through your children and rise above the situation to become a leader. And, this is just one aspect of empowerment.
2012, Annamarie “Swingz” Sesta founded Chrome Angelz RC with the premise of creating “a philanthropic organization that promoted sisterhood, empowered women, and gave back to communities and veterans, all while remaining drama free.” Being a single mom of two boys msyelf, I can easily relate to our Shero. She cut her teeth with motherhood, took up riding becoming stronger and more confident through her riding and, after her experiences with another club, founded a club of her own that inspires and empowers other women. She is a strong woman, breast cancer survivor, motorcycle enthusiast, Mother, mentor and leader. For this Annamarie “Swingz” Sesta is one of our Sheroes.
Chrome Angelz RC seeks “to unite women motorcycle enthusiasts worldwide, to inspire women to embrace the interest of riding for recreation, philanthropy and sisterhood, all while promoting a positive image of the motorcycling community.”
Annamarie “Swingz” Sesta will be participating on the Sheroes panel Thursday, September 28 at 6 pm.
Texas Hill Country Biker
NOTES: Quotes provided by Official Bio / Chrome Angels RC Site
I know that a nationally magazine that is Texas-based and all about Texas doesn’t need a shout out. Their covers and articles pretty much tell you everything you need to know. They scream “pick me up!” every time. What you didn’t know is that Ride Texas is really about you and me. They are unofficial official sponsors for adventure. And, I love it!
Why is this relevant? Hmmm….well, Kathy McFarland and Anne Heinen will be out and about helping us tell the story of Lace, Grace and Gears’ 2017 event held in the H.C. Yes, you will catch me abbreviating things because the H.C. sounds way more hip than the hill country which could be anywhere. This years Fall rally is not just making a rumble. LGG wants to break a world record, has incorporated Bandera in to the theme with bull riders and campfires, and instead of the usual bike games, the registrants will be teaming up for a scavenger hunt that includes the businesses between Pipe Creek and Bandera.
If that’s not enough, there will be guided rides and thanks to Wolpack, official sponsors of The MX Factory Dirt Track, our captains will have a plan and the packs will stay connected. Saturday, the all things Medina ride will include another sponsor of adventure, The Old Timer General Store and Rusty Dawg Weenie Wagon. No doubt most of the riders coming in to Bandera will also pass another official sponsor of adventure, Vincent’s Automotive. What I am trying to say here is that in one way or another everybody is a part of the adventure. Some will reveal themselves during the Scavenger Hunt so I can’t say a word 😬.
We are honored to have Women Rider’s Now coming along with a hand full of voluteer documentors to help talk about the events within the event. Hands down, we are all biting our nails in anticipation for Saturdays “Parade of Sisters.” The only way to know for sure is to show up and guarantee the U.S. the World Record for most women riders in one location!
Don’t worry…for our Sisters across the nation…WE CAN HEAR YOU CHEERING US ON! WE GOT THIS!!!
Texas Hill Country Biker
“I am fearless when it comes to riding. I want to learn evey trick in the book and make some of my own. I am well on my way to doing that!” Jennifer Rios
Jennifer Rios loves anything on two wheels. She is a certified motorcycle technician and welder who loves teaching others how to work on and ride bikes. Since 2012, she has been trail racing, motocross racing, and competing in FMX (freestyle motocross) amateur events.
Jennifer has nine First Place trophies in her house. This year, 2017, was her first overall series at Main Event Mx, where she took second place. Freestyle motocross is her passion. She’s building her skills to reach her “beginning and end goal”– to flip a motorcycle!
Women Ride Their Own
Notes from Texas Hill Country Biker, Jenn Kulick: I wanted to add an aside because this girl is uber amazing. She’s doing things that most of us dream of…taking flight fearlessly. Her ambitions are totally reachable and I feel that Jenn Rios will go beyond her dream of doing flips.
Porsche Taylor is one of our guest speakers at the Sheroes Panel for Lace, Grace and Gears Motorcycle Rally coming up in September, just 27 days from now. She is an artist, entrepeneur, marketing guru, dj and inspiration to Women riders everywhere. Porsche’s focus is not just on one kind of women but all women and for this she is our Shero.
“What does it mean to be a black female rider? Great question… As a black female rider, we represent the small percentage of women in our community who are determined enough to ride. We are strong, independent, and knowledgeable. We are caretakers in our community, leaders in business, and fearless on ground. To the little girls who see us, we are superheroes.” (Womens Moto Exhibit)
January 1, 2011, Porsche founded Black Girls Ride Magazine. As Editor-in-Chief she set up BGR to be “an inclusive celebration of all women who live to ride. BGR celebrates the triumphs and accomplishments of these women, while shining a light on their sisterhood.” (PorscheTaylor.com) What I have discovered in my short amount of research is that not only is Porsche a dynamic woman with all of her talents on the table, but she is also, simply put, a woman like you and me. Porsche is relatable, strong, adventurous and willing to shine bright enough for all of us as a Mentor too.
“Women of color in motorsports had been rarely featured until
I created Black Girls Ride Magazine. The magazine was immediately embraced by women excited to see themselves in our pages. Our goal is to continue to feature and educate women who ride across all colors and backgrounds.”
Porsche has been an ambassador for BMW Motorrad USA and is currently working with Polaris in a partnership with BGR to promote Indian Motorcycle,Victory Motorcycles and Polaris Slingshot. Ask her what she rides? A Victory Magnum X-1.
Porsche is now a cross-country rider with her round trip adventure from Long Beach, CA to Brooklyn, NY. She is a proud member of the Steel Horse Motorcycle Club.
I haven’t met Delshateki Izquierdo yet, but I know that in the world of Influencers, this motorcycle rider is breaking new ground for generations of women to follow. Not only has she embarked on a journey that takes her all over the U.S. but what she brings back home is a kind of worldliness most of us hope for at such a young age. “She has spoken at The All-Female Ride in Jacksonville, Florida, the P.R.O.C in Baltimore, Maryland, Black Girls Ride Beautiful Bikers in Long Beach, California and at the International Female Ride in Killeen, Texas.”(Official Bio) This year she will be a contributor to the Sheroes panel at Lace, Grace and Gears Motorcycle Rally in Bandera, Texas.
Delshateki stands out as a mentor for women of any age. Her pursuit to ride her own motorcycle was just the seed planted to help her grow as a rider. With her adventures across America, she has been faced with weather, road conditions, motorcycle issues and varied traffic situations from town to city. In a short period of time she has stepped up from new rider to empowerer just through action alone. For this she is one of our Sheroes.
Delshateki will be joining a panel of other extraordinary women known as Sheroes, Thursday, September 28 at Twin Elm Guest Ranch as part of the kick-off party for Lace, Grace and Gears. She can most definitely cover the categories of beginner biker, long-distance rider and adventure riding. We can only hope there will be enough time for everyone to get their questions answered with such an incredible list of Sheroes.
The Panel of Sheroes: Gloria Tramontin-Struck, Lupita Velasquez, Porsche Taylor, Junie Rose, Delshateki “Dirty Bird” and Alisa Clickenger. This will be a history making event for rallies in Bandera. LGG is focused on empowering, educating, inspiring and breaking new ground. I think Dirty Bird couldn’t have joined a better group of women. And the Hill Country rocks too! @dirtybird @delshatekiizquierdo @lacegraceandgears
Texas Hill Country Biker
LGG / Quik Bio:
Seventeen-year-old Delshateki has been riding since April 2016 and by the end of this summer she will have ridden her motorcycle through 48 states. She combines her passion for her Sportster and her Victory Cross-Country with her passion for people by being a motivational speaker for young and older women riders. Riding is a family event: her mom and dad share in her motorcycle adventures by riding with Delshataki on her long trips. She dreams of riding in other countries and spreading her good news message about female empowerment on the back of an iron horse.
I found my mind wandering from the main highways after my meeting with Alisa Clickenger a couple weeks ago. As I drove east on the 10, the concept “Where The Adventure Begins” turned over in my brain. There are other mentors and adventurers but I happened upon Alisa one day by chance when searching out groups to follow on Facebook. I was looking for something different than group pages filled with items for sale and “Good Mornings.” I also knew that I would be riding a dirt bike, a dual sport and eventually upgrade the Chief, or not one day. Alisa’s page was straighforward. Women’s Motorcycle Tours. And my mind responded…where adventure begins.
Being a Mentor carries a great weight. We have been blessed with many women who just through action inspire us. These are the women who may have existed before we were born like the Van Buren Sisters. I had no idea how deep the history was with women motorcyclists until I joined the LGG team. Suddenly I was looking at old movies again, old photos and historical dramas where we were given hints of how this all started.
Thanks to my buddy, Julie (Women Ride Their Own), women like Alisa were suddenly in my path as we started work on the Sheroes panel. And the question remained, how will the Sheroes change the perspective of the women who will be there to meet them. Each Shero has her own story to tell, riddled with adventure of trial-and-error, overcoming the “can’t do’s” and breaking new ground with documented journeys from which we as students can find inspiration. Mentors are teachers whether they have profound lessons to teach or just words of guidance. They give us comfort when we are unsure of ourselves and hold us up when we feel a little weak in the knees.
The one thing all these women have in common with us is that they had to make the choice to throw a leg over and lean back in the seat. Each one of these women had to answer a question they had and let go of what they thought they knew. We all know that once the engines are revved up, there are two choices: stall or get out of first gear. I, had the worst time getting off my property because my bike had gear issues. Yet every time I stalled, every time I dropped the bike because I was looking down and not ahead, every time I made it out of first, I knew that second to third would be way easier. And my quest for the open roads began.
One thing is certain. I don’t look at any road the same. Those side and back roads get you closer to the picture and the place. They ask you to slow down and pay attention to all thats around you. I am by no means a mentor. If anything I am a docu-mentor because from where I sit, the roads are wide open. Whether you have a go pro or just take metnal snapshots of where you have been, it’s what is ahead of you that matters!
Texas Hill Country Biker