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Hell's Canyon Motorcycle Rally 2015

Thursday, April 30, 2015

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If You Don't Understand

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Yesterday was an incredible day here on the West Coast. Those of us that live in the area know that before about June days like we experienced can be far and few between. It was one of those days you have to take full advantage of if you ride a Harley.

There are so many times I'm asked why I do what I do, why I ride a motorcycle. Yesterday was a perfect example of why I choose to. There's something about being in the open air, wind blowing on my face, and feeling free, as we cruised the perfect, sweeping country roads we were on.

Riding past sawmills with the smell of freshly cut wood wafting through the air, watching as eagles soared above, and smelling the scents of springtime, are experiences a person can seldom, if ever, have while traveling by car.

We rode through rolling farmland, beautiful rivers lined by gigantic evergreens, small towns, and centuries old graveyards. All would have been nothing but a blur in a cage. However, on a Harley every sense, every sight is one with you.

Riding the country roads provide perfect sensations for a biker, sweeping curves, straight stretches, seeing the newborn farm animals at play, and other bikers riding past. Having a windshield on my Heritage, and wearing a full face helmet, I was spared from being pelted by bugs on my face, my boyfriend wasn't so lucky. It's springtime and the flying creations are plentiful, and hurt like hell when they make contact with your bare skin.

At one point we stopped along the road, and walked over to a grassy patch in the shade. It was the perfect place to lie down for a moment, stretch out, and breathe in the fresh spring air. As we looked through the bountiful needles of the massive evergreen trees into the bright blue, cloudless sky, we saw the moon staring back. It was a site that would have been missed had we not been on bikes.

We stayed there a bit talking, laughing, living in the moment, before mounting the bikes once more to make our way home. Meandering through farmland is mesmerizing, and then came the Interstate that led us back to where we live.

That's another thrill. Rolling back the throttle, hearing the pipes, and flying down the perfectly paved road for miles. Much more caution comes with that part of the ride. Cars were everywhere, not many see bikes. They're too busy on the phone, blasting their radios, or in their own bubble, and the thoughts that they alone are entitled to the road.

The danger vastly, in my opinion, lies not with riders, but with people that don't use turn signals, don't look before changing lanes, and attempt cutting in between bikes obviously riding together.

Riding is something that is my time to think, not to think, to see, to enjoy, and to be free of modern technology. It's my time to live.








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Imagine if You Can

Saturday, April 18, 2015

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Imagine if you can, some of you don’t have to imagine, the first ribbons of sunshine making their way through your bedroom window. You roll over and look at the clock, there’s no more time, you have to get out of bed and face another day of fear and uncertainty.

Slowly sitting up, wiping the dried tears of the night before from your eyes, dread and oppression fill your body. You know you have to face the day, you know you have to face people, people that don’t understand you and people that you don’t understand.

Every movement you make to ready for the day is in slow motion. Your innermost being screams out, “Please God, not today.” As the words echo in your mind, you know the encounters you’ll find on this day will be no different then those of days past.

Enter my friend, and director of photography for our TV Series, “The Biker Diva,” Andre Khrul. I've also asked Andre to do my next photo shoot, and he does amazing wedding photography

My first impression of Andre Khrul was how awesome he was, down to earth. He had the “look,” an incredible, welcoming smile, he was easy to speak with and he definitely knew his craft inside and out. To me, Andre is one the coolest, most talented, people on the planet. He's also an incredible family man, with a beautiful wife and picture perfect children.

A couple of weeks ago Andre and I were speaking. To my shock, Andre was born, and lived until the age of 9, in Russia with his family. I asked why his family made the huge decision to make such a giant leap to another Country a half a world away, another culture, another life.  

His reply,“When communism existed in the former Soviet Union, it was hard for anyone who believed in God. So my parents fled. I remember when my dad asked if I wanted to go to America, I was really excited. I replied,  'I want to go and see the world.' And so we went."

I can’t imagine such a move, not only to another country, but culture, food, language, and alphabet. Andre spoke no English. Imagine how scary that had to have been for  9 year old Andre to face hundreds of faces that could not understand a single word he said, or for him to be in such a state of fear of not being able to communicate with a single person.  

Andre’s family was poor. His clothes were out of style, and different. Andre was super skinny, wore glasses, and was artistic, not into sports, and he was the only Russian kid in school. He was the perfect target for bullies, and bullies pinned a bulls eye on him.

Having a child myself that was continually bullied through school I can empathize with Andre. I know a lot of what he went through, although with the language barrier things had to be so much worse for him. Andre developed strategies that helped him cope, something school systems rarely do as I found out. 

He put the strategies he learned in a book you can download for 2.99 from Amazon.  Andre realized that those that have low self esteem choose victims so they, themselves, can boost their own egos. They never realize they leave scars, some seen, some not, but none forgotten. 

What Andre conveys, through his book, I Was Bullied: My Story And Advice: How To Stop Bullying,  to the person being bullied, is how to help themselves. Bullies will always be around, even through adulthood. So those of us that have been in the situation Andre found himself in can have tools, tools that work from within, to get through situations when you think there is no way out. 



There is a way out, it lies within yourself. Andre does an incredible job of offering how he learned to survive the constant harassment he, and many more, encounter.  

If you, or your child, are experiencing the terror Andre did I strongly encourage you to download his book. It's a decision you will not regret. 


Andre Khrul working on the Biker Diva Project

Neico giving Andre a helping hand

Nieco, Me, Andre....what a team

 

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