Nation of Patriots Ride 2011 New Mexico

 

Nation of Patriots is a nationwide effort that serves to honor all of America’s Armed Forces, past, present & fallen by passing one American Flag around the country. The goal of this tribute is simple. 100 days, 48 states, 14,000 miles, 1 summer.

NOP provides financial support to families of wounded veterans. This was the 3rd year of the Patriot Tour. Bill Sherer, was the lone rider and flag bearer on the 2009 Patriot Tour, traveling 33 states east of the Mississippi on his motorcycle at his own expense. He raised awareness & money for families of wounded veterans. Bill is the inspiration behind this great cause!

This was my 2nd year to participate in this event. The flag was transferred from Terry Splawn, flag bearer for High Plains H-D®  to Keith Reeves, flag bearer for Santa Fe H-D®  on July 22nd. July 22nd was declared Nation of Patriots Day in the State of NM.

Doug Lutz, Veterans Affairs Liaison for the City of Albuquerque read the Proclamation declaring July23rd Nation of Patriots Day in the City of ABQ.

NM Patriot Guard Riders gave us the honor of a flag line as we departed on Saturday, July 23rd as we headed to Grand Canyon H-D® in Bellemont, AZ. We met up with Bob Carrion and the Grand Canyon HOG® Chapter in Winslow. The ride then proceeded to parade the flag down old Rt. 66 at Flagstaff.  What a sight with over 40 bikes escorting the flag!!!! At that time we had members of the Sangre De Cristo HOG Chapter, Turquoise Trail HOG Chapter, High Plains, HOG Chapter, Grand Canyon HOG Chapter and other riders. How amazing is that?!

Thank you to the Governor of New Mexico and the Mayor of Albuquerque for their support. 

 Thank you to Santa Fe H-D® for being a sponsor of this event. A very special thank you to the NM Patriot Guard &  everyone that held American Flags & honoring Nation of Patriots with a Flag line as we departed.  Thank you also to Grand Canyon H-D® for their hospitality & to Champion Motorsports and High Plains H-D® for being a part of this event as it passed thru NM.

 

Thank you to Kim Reiten, Bob Carstensen, Bill Ditz, Tom Johnson and, Jeanne Brooks & Deb Robinson for the great photographs. Thank you to Kelly for helping with registration. Thank you also to Thunderbird   H-D®  for their support. 

A very special Thank You to all the New Mexico Nation of Patriot Riders for being part of “the longest ride”! Mileage on my bike from Santa Fe Harley-Davidson to Grand Canyon Harley-Davidson was 408.3 miles. When our ride left on July 23rd we had 28 bikes. We had 17 continue all the way to Bellemont with us. 

Get more info, pictures & make donations at: www.nationofpatriots.org.

American Woman Riders was proud to be a part of this ride!

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/American-Woman-Riders/112117735473351 

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Angel Winged Rider Kathy

American Woman Riders would like to thank Don Bunna for sharing his love of his Angel Kathy with us.

When I ride now she’s also my Angel watching over me and I’m glad she’s on my shoulder. Thank you Don!

 

     My beautiful wife Kathleen Lyons-Bunna and I had been planning to ride the Blue Ridge Mountains for 6 months. We had both bikes packed. Kathy rides a 2010 Heritage. We had plans on staying in Tulsa for Friday night & heading out bright & early Saturday with the sunrise, down US 412 into AR. 

 

     Just before Stroud, a massive storm rolled out of nowhere & I couldn’t see anything in front of us.  As Kathy had much less seat time than I, I felt the only safe thing was to pull onto the shoulder and wait out the heavy downpour.   We left our flashers on, dismounted, stood in back of our bikes & spent the next 7-10 minutes holding hands and joking.  At one point I said a particular joke, she countered with one of her own. We broke out into laughter. I bent down to kiss her.

 

     We had our shields half way up and after releasing the kiss; I looked out of the corner of my right eye & saw a car with bright head lights coming directly at us. It was driving on the shoulder of the road, at a very high speed. As I went to grab Kathy & push her & me to safety, the driver thought of reacting identically & at the same moment, swerving to avoid hitting us, but ultimately hitting both of us.  Kathy took the brunt of the impact & began riding her new Iron Horse instantly into Heaven.  I was spared; don’t know how to this day & I came away with injuries that would heal quickly.  In determining later what may have happened, it seems this was a horrendous twist of fate & some irresponsible driving on the part of the driver. 

 

     Kathy & I met 3 years ago on match.com & on our first date I explained to her how important riding was in my life. She told me she had been thinking about learning how to ride herself.  An HR executive, well known in the OKC area, she was always about being in control of her life; so she took the beginner’s class at OKRiders & we got her a 2005 Honda Shadow to learn on.  She graduated up to a 1200 Custom Sportster & traded up for her dream bike, a 2010 2Tone Pearl Blue/Pearl Purple Heritage.  At first I thought she was learning how to ride just to be with me but, no, she was feeling it in her soul and looking forward to seeing the Blue Ridge Mountains.  She asked me 1 week before we left, what was the one thing I was truly looking forward to on our vacation. 

 

       I told her…to see your smile, from ear to ear, the moment you gaze your eyes on the Blue Ridge Mountains.  I told her I had seen them already, in a cage, but still had seen them, but my one greatest moment was going to see her smile when she finally saw the Majesty of the vast & beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. My wife Kathy has always been competitive in everything she did. Well, before I could get her there to see the majestic rolling mountains, she got an aerial view from Heaven.Kathleen was an HR exec. at a financial institution, here in OKC & had been very active for many years in the Oklahoma State and the Oklahoma City HR Society. We were married on October 9th. We had within our new home, us, an 11 year old special needs son & a 16 year old son trying hard to get through high school. Although, I can say, we had a couple husband/wife differences since we’d been together & we both had previous marriages that didn’t work. We knew from almost the very beginning we were soul mates.  We used to tell each other, we may not be perfect people but we’re just perfect for each other.

 

      I will love her forever & will cherish her & her memory forever.  Including the family she picked up from me, we had a total of 8 children, ranging from 35-11 & at the time of her bike ride into Heaven, 5 grandchildren.  The sixth grandchild was born 2 days after Kathy’s funeral. They say when one angel leaves to travel to Heaven they make way for another angel here on earth.

 

 

          Our bikes ended up in perfect condition, never touched by the driver and the car.  It has taken me awhile, but I’m starting to feel my soul and her’s while riding. You never REALLY know when your last day on this earth will be.

 

 

Note from Tina : When I read Don’s story about his love for Kathy it made me really think about not taking any day for granted and that we need to not forget our friends and loved one that have gone before us and are now Angels. American Woman Riders is making a Tribute Page to those Angels watching over us. Angel Kathy is the inspiration for this Tribute Page and will be our first Angel Winged Rider.

 

Angel Winged Riders

 

 

If you have an Angel Winged Rider please email me at harleyskyangel@comcast.net . American Woman Riders would be honored to proudly include their spirit on our page.

 

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina – HarleySkyangel – American Woman Riders 

 

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An Inspirational Woman Rider – Kristin McAllister

Below is an article written by a American Woman Rider, Kristin McAllister, that is touching more lives than she will ever know by her determination and enthusiasm for riding despite being in a terrible accident. Thank you Kristin for sharing your story.

 

 

It’s amazing how one moment can change your life.  May 16th, 2010, I was riding my motorcycle on highway 33 in California, when an oncoming motorcycle crossed over the double yellow line on a curve and sideswiped me.  Somehow, I was able to get the bike to the shoulder without laying it down.  My lower leg had been nearly severed, my bones sticking out like pins in a pincushion, my ankle broken and all metatarsals in my foot crushed.  Initial physician recommendations were to remove the leg below the knee, but after many touch-and-go moments, the fantastic surgeons at Cedars Sinai were able to save it.  To make a long story short, it’s been a rough year of surgeries, physical therapy and recovery, but I was riding bitch within weeks (walker strapped to the bike) and on my own by October.  I ditched the wheelchair and walker and started walking without assistance again in January of 2011.

 

During this past year, while unable to ride, I found out about a great group, BACA (Bikers against Child Abuse).  I got involved, and have been riding with them since September of 2010.  I proudly wear the vest and look forward to becoming fully patched so that I can become even more involved protecting the kids.

 

Another great byproduct of being laid-up for so long is how I met and got to know good people like Mando and Melissa Hernandez through the local VFW and biker events.  Their daughter, Lauren is a shining star of energy, always sporting a big smile and great attitude. 

Last year, when the California City, California VFW put on their Memorial Day parade through town to the Veteran’s Cemetery, I was unable to attend because of my accident.  This year, I was determined to take part.  So, I was there, bright and early, sporting my BACA vest, ready to ride.  When Lauren approached me with that great big smile and shining eyes, asking me ever so politely, “Kristin, may I PLEASE ride on the back of your Harley Davidson?”  I happily took her on the parade.  The various riders had flags attached to their scoots, but mine offered no easy attachment choices.  So Lauren took a flag and proudly held it up for the entirety of the parade.  I think I had the best flag out there—certainly the best presentation!  It was a pleasure to be a part of the ride—honoring those that have died for our freedoms, and a pleasure to have such a great riding partner.  Thanks, Lauren, for making a special day even more special to me!

 

Congrats to 7 year old Lauren for becoming the first

 Honorary American Woman Rider!

 

 

Lauren’s mom, Melissa says that Lauren loves the flag and loves to ride! That is a true young American Woman Rider!

Here’s to many safe rides to everyone.

Tina – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders

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Living Life Begins When…

…you get your motorcycle endorsement! I know you agree that when you started riding motorcycles you had no idea the impact it would make on your life.

Meet young American Woman Rider Dakota Sidden.

It is a absolute necessity during our lives to grab it by the horns every once in awhile.   Since I’ve been riding smaller bikes, or riding back with my dad, many have brought up the idea of riding a bike of my own.

After many thoughts and many months later, I gave into the idea and took the course at Thunderbird in Albuquerque.

I met some amazing people along the way. The support you get from those riding with you is something you can honestly cherish forever.  I can’t wait to get out on the road with some of my classmates.

With the endorsement I earned from the MSF course in hand I hunted down a bike on Craigslist and found my current Sporty.

I encourage everyone to get out there and learn or to just try it.

It is an amazing experience to be in control of such a incredible machine.
I hope to see you all out on the road

PS: I love American Woman Riders!

Picture of Dakota and her mom and dad.

Note from American Woman Riders: I watched the Riders Edge Class that Dakota was in and she totally impressed me with her confidence and respect that she gave to her motorcycle training at such a young age.

Tina Reeves – harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders

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Drinking and Riding Is A Good Thing To Do!

Drinking and Riding Is A Good Thing To Do…but only if its water!

You are out riding and your throat is dry and you are thirsty. You need to listen to your body telling you it needs water!

Dehydration is loss of water and important blood salts like potassium and sodium. Vital organs like the kidneys, brain, and heart can’t function properly without a certain amount of water and salt. 

Yes, it can happen to you. Yes it can happen while riding in cold winter months and in the upcoming summer months. 

You many not even realize it is happening to you. Dehydration can cause fatigue, headaches, and lack of focus.  All of these are big safety concerns.

Bikers sometimes avoid drinking too much so as not to interrupt the ride with bathroom stops. I’ve been on a ride and pulled over to drink water and wouldn’t ya know it others appreciated it but they didn’t want to be the one to stop first.  Come on, if you’re riding like that you’re not riding to have fun.  So don’t do that!! Breaks are good and help us to refocus and reenergize on our longer rides.

Some “experts” say that drinking one bottle of water for every two-three hours of riding time is a healthy ratio.

If you think you are dehydrated you can give yourself a pinch test.  On the back of your hand pinch your skin and if it doesn’t go back in place drink some water!!!

Riding a motorcycle isn’t as physical an activity as walking or running.  Being out in the sun, even on a cold winter day, sweating under our protective, cold weather leathers or riding in the heat of the summer sun and with the wind whipping past us can cause dehydration to any of us.

So the moral of this story is to DRINK YOUR WATER, RIDE SAFE AND HAVE FUN!

Safe Rides Always,  Tina – HarleySkyAngel

www.americanwomanriders.com

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American Woman Rider Does Hoka Hey Challenge 2011

     American Woman Rider, Carla DuBois, is taking on one very big personal challenge. August 2011, she will be participating in the Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge. This ride is an endurance ride of 10,000+ miles. It starts in Phoenix, AZ and after hitting 48 states it will go to Canada and end up in Nova Scotia. 

     Carla shares her love of riding by working for High Plains H-D© for the last 10 years. Riding motorcycles is a passion of Carla’s! She loves the motorcycles and the unique people that ride the Harley-Davidson© brand or any brand for that matter.  Riding for 20+ years she has logged over 100,000 riding miles.

     Carla has two children, Christopher and Michelle, and they both enjoy riding. Her 2 year old grandchild Micheal also loves to ride. Her big inspiration and rock is her soul mate husband, Berb.  And let’s not forget “Scarlet”.  She is Carla’s 2011 FLHX which she will be riding on the Hoka Hey Challenge.

     Carla has been very active in the High Plains HOG© Chapter for the past ten years. She was appointed Director last year and because of her hard work and enthusiasm she is still in that position. She is also a member of the Sangre De Cristo HOG© Chapter. 

     Carla wants to help women that are interested in riding their own motorcycle. She loves watching them grow as they learn to ride. “They bloom into soaring eagles becoming independent, strong and free”.  Carla goes on to say “I get a feeling of completeness as they start making their own choices as they have become confident and independent. This is how I felt when I started riding.  Rule of thumb when encouraging a new rider is that I never forget how I felt the first time. The feeling always resurfaces. I love to “play it forward” to help others”.

     By participating in the Hoka Hey Challenge this year Carla hopes to touch many women riders by inspiring them to ride their own. She will also be helping spread the word about American Woman Riders which strives to bond women together that “love to ride”.  Donations brought into High Plains H-D© will also help charities.  Carla is a native New Yorker so would like to see some of the monies go to our fallen from the 9/11 terror attack. This year marks the 10 year anniversary.  

     We would like to ask your help. We are asking for donations to assist Carla in paying for food, gas & miscellaneous expenses that will incur. Funds left over will also donated to a charity that American Woman Riders will decide on. Please email harleyskyangel@comcast.net if you or your riding group would like to donate. If you have a paypal account you can send your much appreciated donation to harleyskyangel@comcast.net.  THANK YOU to all of you that have already shown your support of a woman rider following one of her dreams!

     If you’d like to know more information go to www.hokaheychallenge.com.  Be sure to check out the terms and conditions and you’ll see what Carla will be challenging herself to endure on this amazing ride.

Safe Rides Always, Tina – HarleySkyAngel

www.americanwomanriders.com 

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FUN and SAFETY On The Back Seat

We see so many articles on riding your own motorcycle. I decided to write one for passengers that LOVE TO RIDE.  Riding as a passenger can also be an awesome experience.  FUN and SAFETY are two things that go together when riding a motorcycle. Whether you are the rider on the front seat or a rider on the back seat there are some things you should learn and share with other riders.

The most important piece of advice I want to give you is to only get on the motorcycle of someone that you trust and feel comfortable with.  If you don’t personally know that person ask them if they’ve taken passengers before. NEVER get on a bike of someone impaired with alcohol or drugs.

Do not get on the back seat of the bike until your rider is ready for you otherwise you could catch them off balance and you might find them, yourself  and the bike on the ground. Likewise, do not get off until the rider says its ok.  When sitting on the back always keep your feet on the floorboards.  Once your are on the back seat keep your body in line with the rider.  Follow their lead. When cornering this is important. Do not sit upright when you are in a corner. This will throw off the balance and if the rider isn’t aware of your doing this is could cause an accident. Yours!  Turning your head to face the direction of the turn will normally keep you in the position you need to be in.

Be aware of hot exhaust pipes. Make sure you know where they are and don’t let your leg touch them as you mount or dismount.  Stay alert when you are riding on the back. Be prepared in case the rider needs to swerve or stop suddenly. When the rider puts on the brakes suddenly it will cause a forward weight transfer. Don’t panic. Try to lean back away from the rider. If you slide forward you force the rider forward, possibly reducing their control. It also moves the weight distribution of the motorcycle forward, reducing the weight on the rear tire and its traction making it possible for the back tire to skid.

Communication between the back seat and the front seat riders is very important. This doesn’t mean that you need to have radio communication with each other but it is a good idea to decide how you will communicate with each other if you need to.  On a long ride you will get tired, yes, your butt and legs will start to ache so just tell your rider and pull over somewhere for a short stretch of your legs. If you see a hazard in the road that you don’t think the rider sees point it out to them.  In this article I shared just a few things to be aware of.  As you ride you will come up with your own safety guidelines to keep you and your rider safe.

Be sure to wave at other motorcycle riders! It’s a good thing to do and it just makes you feel good  sharing that riding camaraderie and being a WOMAN THAT LOVES TO RIDE!

Have FUN and ENJOY THE VIEW!  Put SAFETY first so that you can ride again and again discovering all the back roads and beautiful scenery that our country has to share with us.

Tina – HarleySkyAngel

harleyskyangel@comcast.net

American Woman Riders – WE LOVE TO RIDE!

www.americanwomanriders.com

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Find Joy In Your Journey!

 

Never Say Never

 

In 2001 I was content being a passenger sitting behind my husband on his motorcycle. I don’t remember exactly when I had my aha moment that made me decide I wanted to ride my own but I’m so glad that happened! I convinced our daughter to join me in taking a riders edge class. In May 2003, with much apprehension, we showed up for our first lesson. I had never even started a motorcycle before so I was very nervous and excited at the same time. I admit that It was a long, tough weekend because of concentrating on all that you are being taught. We both got our endorsement and my life has never been the same since then.

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I could ride my own big motorcycle!! Look at me…I am doing just that and I’m excited about sharing my passion for riding with other women riders. Hey ladies…YES YOU CAN!

In 2008 I was appointed Director for our local Harley Owner’s Group® Chapter. I knew that I would need to prove myself as a woman rider to some of the male riders in our group. It didn’t take long to gain their respect and for them to realize that women love to ride just as much as they do.

American Woman Riders are real women like you and me. We come from different social and family backgrounds from all across our United States of America. We are professional women with many different occupations. We are grandmothers, mothers, daughters, wives and single women. We are not perfect and that’s a good thing. We share a passion for riding, enjoying and discovering our beautiful world by using two wheels.

Only you can make that decision and make it happen. I will guarantee you that your life will change. You will make a choice to share a special bond with other women riders. If you are hesitant to take that first step at learning to ride contact me and let’s talk.  Never Say Never! Say, YES I CAN!

Tina-HarleySkyAngel

www.americanwomanriders.com

harleyskyangel@comcast.net

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When the Handlebars Are in Your Hands

Tina Reeves: American Women Riders

I was asked this question this past weeekend: What would I tell new riders to help keep them safe?

Just because you have that motorcycle endorsement and you have that new bike doesn’t mean you know everything. It’s the beginning of your learning to ride process.

You need to take the time to get acquainted with your motorcycle. Learn your controls and location so that it becomes a natural reaction to use them. Adjust the mirrors for you and always remember that even though you use those mirrors always do a head turn check of traffic before changing lanes.

Always keep scanning ahead and keep your eyes moving. Use your defensive riding skills and expect the unexpected. If you are riding in a group don’t follow so close that you can’t avoid trash or potholes in the road.

Something very important when riding is do not panic. Panic overpowers your ability to make decisions and maintain control. I remember the first time I had to brake quickly. First thing that came to my mind was don’t panic. I can do this and that helped stop me from losing control.

Go out on some low traffic streets or find a empty parking lot and practice, practice, practice and practice some more. It can sound intimidating to a new rider but it will all become second nature after you gain experience and confidence. Respect your motorcycle and be proud that you are doing something that will change your life.

Safe Rides Always and Remember To Find Joy In Your Journey!

Tina-HarleySkyAngel
American Woman Riders