Motorcycle Lifestyle

Motorcycle Lifestyle

2018 Harley Davidson LIVE Reveal


About a week before the new 2018 Harley-Davidson motorcycles were shown to the world, I got a call. I about pee'd myself when I found out that Harley wanted to include me in the reveal of their beautiful lineup. 10 people from all different backgrounds and all over the world were chosen to reveal the motorcycles, and how in the world did I get so lucky?! I won't question it, but I do want to say thank you to everyone who has believed in me on this journey. I love sharing the passion for two-wheels with you all. The community of Harley riders is one that I am ultimately grateful for. You all just get it. 

I am SO honored to be receiving a 2018 Softail hopefully in October. I will then be able to give you guys a first hand look at all the changes/upgrades/rideability factors. Until then, I hope you guys have gotten the chance to take them on a spin! 

Stay safe, take care, and enjoy the road yall! 

Motorcycle Lifestyle

The Heritage Run 2017

The Heritage Run was a 6,500+ mile trip from Florida to California and back with people who became like family to me. We spent 24 days uncovering stories from the road and all the people that we met along the way.

People from all over the country stepped up and lent a hand, a place to stay, or a meal to share as we made the trek. I think that's one of the most beautiful things about adventuring with today's technology. Social media allowed us to expand our network of like-minded riders who give a damn. 

The adventure was perfect. Perfect in the sense that I've accepted all of it's harshness and the rollercoasters that came with it. Going into a trip like this, you have to accept the inevitable. This shit will be hard. You're going to spend time with people in the lowest of lows, and you have to fight it all together. As I'm writing this, one specific time comes to mind. 

While traveling through Arizona, making our way to Nevada, we encountered the desert heat at an extreme that was almost unbearable. Well, actually, it was unbearable. The temperature had rose to 118 degrees and we got stuck in a ride through a canyon, with the rock walls acting as an oven furnace baking us inside of it. I literally felt like my skin was peeling back as I was riding. Luckily, we had our Sena Bluetooth headsets connected to each rider, and I could hear everyone else screaming and feeling just as much of the burn as I did. Not that I wished that upon anyone else.. but at least I knew we could communicate through it together. 

The canyon seemed like it would never end, and there was no exit was in sight. We finally had the chance to pull off, after what seemed like an eternity as we watched our engine temperatures rise at an alarming rate. The exit had nothing but a small overpass where we could seek refuge. Meanwhile, some miles away, we could see a storm brewing over the mountains.. but it didn't seem like it would hit us anytime soon with relief. We were out of water, and we laid out on the rocks for a solid hour trying to regain our right states of mind. 

Jimmy, one of the other riders who was somewhat familiar with the area, was adamant that another exit was only about 5 minutes down the road where we could get water. We decided that we would only make the move together as a unit and only when the bikes cooled down. When we got back on the road, 5 minutes turned into 30 minutes of that blistering hot weather and we felt that same terror all over again until we hit the exit. 

We stopped at a McDonalds (not my preferred choice, but it had A/C at least) and we met 3 other riders from Canada who were making the trip out to California for Born Free as well! They were escaping from the same heat, but had been smart enough to strap bags of ice to their gas tanks to relieve them along the way. We sought out refuge at this McDonald's sharing tales from our respective journeys. 

We met up with the Canadian riders again in California. It's funny how things work out. 

I crossed a few bucket list items off on this trip as well. We summited Pike's Peak for the first time collectively. My bike with its carburetor handled beautifully up the 14,000+ feet of mountain range thanks to throwing on a more exposed air filter by Kuryakyn before the trip. All loaded up on my bagger, me and all my 115 pounds could handle those switchbacks and tight curves easily, but the only struggle I think throughout the ride was trying not to look down the mountain and feel afraid. That would be quite the fall! There wasn't much room for error on this ride, as there are not many guard rails to potentially save you. But I think that's part of the excitement. We made it through, and still are living to tell the tale and ride on. 

Our timeline had us arriving in Costa Mesa, CA just in time for the Born Free Stampede, where Jimmy would park his Indian Chieftan and hop on one of Roland Sand's SuperHooligan Indian Scouts (about 500lbs lighter) to race flat track.

As a rider in the dirt and a professional freestyle motocross rider, Jimmy had gotten his endorsement to ride the road for this trip specifically. I loved seeing this transition, and hearing the differences that road-riding offered riders that had never dived into the sort. I remember him at first feeling overwhelmed with the monotony of the road as we made our way to Atlanta. As we started to cross into the more desolate riding with the most incredible views, he would stand up on his motorcycle and exclaim about how freeing the experience felt. 

Giselle, my best friend, has had her license for about 4 years now and was riding her Iron 883 Sportster the whole way and handled it so gracefully. Her longest trip had been about 12 hours from Orlando, FL to New Orleans, LA. It was amazing to be a part of her journey through the ever-changing landscapes that America's roads provide as we ventured forward. She remained tough throughout the whole experience, through the ups and the downs. This trip was a highlight of our friendship, and a memory that I will cherish forever. I just packed up and moved 8 hours from her,  and we deemed this a parting gift to each other. 

Pedro, a fellow Motorcycle Mechanics Institute graduate, came to the USA from Portugal 2 years ago and had never road much past Florida's borders. With a limited image of what America had to offer, his views broadened as each mile passed. He was quick to take the lead and ride his own ride whenever possible to enjoy the pure power of his Dyna FXDX. I will admit, I was afraid a few times. We would lose sight of him for what seemed like forever, but as soon as a gas station would come about on the side of the road, there he would be with a smile that went from ear to ear. 

There are so many tales from the trip that I could sit here forever trying to articulate. But for now, I will leave you with this: get out there and seek your own adventure. Don't be afraid of the what-if's. Handle them as they come. This was my first time leading a ride, and the first trip of this magnitude without my dad by my side. WE MADE IT BACK. And we came back stronger with the lessons that only something like this will provide. 

Until next time! 

Motorcycle Lifestyle

Lessons I've Learned From A Father Who Loves Motorcycles



Motorcycles have been the vehicle that has brought my father and I closer than I had ever thought to have been. Growing up I didn't get to see him much, my brother went to live with him, and I with my mother. I had such angst when I would see my father and it was always an inevitable event when we would lock horns. Both of our stubborn attitudes would collide leaving nothing but little pieces of our dysfunctional family scattered all over the United States. He was a military man, and my mother would try her best to keep us close enough to keep a relationship thriving. It was a pivotal moment when my father paid for my motorcycle safety course and offered me a motorcycle when I was 17 to join him on a trek from the panhandle of Florida all the way up to South Dakota and it's neighboring states. I took the course, and the next weekend we began on our trip. Since then, our relationship has not only thrived but has blossomed into what I could have only wished for as a little wrecked girl.

It's taken many times falling over on the bike, him rushing over to pick it up off of me, many times calling for expert advice on how to fix my newly acquired bikes, and even times spent in the hospital, where he would tend to my every need so very selflessly.

But now I have this crazy, and some may say I'm stupid for, passion for motorcycles and what they mean to me. They've brought an idol and father into my life, and some of the most amazing and what seem to be unreal experiences as well.

I wanted to share a few of the many life lessons I have learned from my father and our times spent together that have changed my life. While they all originate from him teaching me how to ride, they all apply to the bigger picture of him passing down lessons to his little girl. Lessons that I'm sure he wished he could have taught me earlier, but regardless, I am so thankful for them everyday now.



Lesson One: Always ride your own ride

My father would always remind me to "ride my own ride". I remember returning to conquer the Tail of the Dragon after crashing on the way there just the summer before. After a quick debriefing in front of the giant metal dragon at the beginning of the highway, I kept repeating that very phrase. Ride my own ride. Ride my own ride. My boyfriend had taken off in front of me. He had just gotten his license a few months before, and this had been his first real challenge in riding and he was ready as ever. I took a deep breath, and let my throttle pull me through. I rode it at my own pace, and yeah, that was quite slow. I was pissing off quite a few sportsbikes and old men wishing to regain adrenaline in the process.

I didn't care, though. The most beautiful secrets and experiences from the world whisper to you when you follow your own path. I was conquering a fear that won me over for a year, no matter how slow I was doing it. Learning this, I've been able to adapt to the phrase, sinking it into every part of my life and letting it carry me through, just as those two wheels have, in conquering my battles. I know adventure lies ahead on my path though, and I'm rolling the throttle right through and pressing forward to ride my own ride.

This is such an important lesson in life that we just seem to forget. Amidst societies standards of what women we should be, of what careers we need to pursue, and what ideas we need to form, we are all just left to travel down the highway - all facing the same pissed off people, honking horns, overheating cars - congestion. Sometimes it is just best to veer off for a while, and explore the lonely road. Most of the time that is where unforgettable moments of self-discovery occurs.


Lesson Two: When the going gets hard, go back to the basics

I bought a 1974 Honda CB750 a while back and had been working on a few problems to get it back kicking on the streets. Naturally, I would call and Facetime my dad frequently to get his wizardly advice. Seriously, he can fix anything.. Not even while being there. A wizard, I tell you. My headlight wasn't turning on when I'd start the bike up, so I figured there had been a wiring problem. After all, it is an old bike. Tracing back the wires again and again, learning wiring diagrams in depth, taking apart the bike until it looked like a little skeleton - my dad calls me back. "Kristen, go check the handlebars for a switch", my chest puffed when I found a headlight ON/OFF switch. Oh, the things you learn when you work with these antiques. Industry standard or state laws have made motorcycle manufacturers wire the headlights to remain on at all times nowadays, which meant no longer needing a switch to turn them off. Obviously this happened after 1974.. While I had to solder on some wires in the meantime for the ignition switch, I still had done WAY too much work for something so.. so simple.

If you're anything like me, the details seem to bog you down, scenarios play in your head of a million different what ifs that seem to branch out.. take a breath. We are simple animals that have created such a complex programming for ourselves to call us human and forget that there is such a thing as basic instinct. Sometimes it takes just cutting the crap out and assessing the bare bones of problems where you will find your answer staring right at you.

Lesson Three: Stay hydrated

If you're ever around my dad, you'll know that he will tell you to drink water to cure any ailment ever. You've got a headache? Drink water. Cough coming on? Drink water. Broken bone? Drink water. It's a wonder that I've seem to have created a perversion toward drinking water. Seriously, give me a full glass of something and I'll probably be sitting on it for hours.

Going on across the country trips via motorcycle and camping calls for some serious physical aptitude. Including drinking your water. Every stop we made to fuel up on gas my dad would buy me a bottle of water and keep nagging at me to drink it all. While for the first ten minutes you feel like you're going to puke out your whole stomach, when you take off against the wind and heat on your bike - it's a blessing.



I made what could have been a fatal mistake when we took a trip to the Tail of the Dragon, though. I didn't even make it past Deal's Gap before I passed out and went straight on a curve, causing the passing motorcycle and I to collide. It took a number of broken bones and a totaled bike to understand the true importance of evaluating my mental and physical state before getting on the road. It also has made me become a shadow of my father in telling everyone to DRINK WATER.

Now, while literally drinking water is a big life lesson in itself there's more that comes along with this one. I've learned the what can potentially-lead-to-a-fatal-breakdown sort of life lesson in the department of keeping yourself fueled. Keeping the mind, body, and soul quenched is essential in leading a life that you love, one that keeps you motivated, disciplined, and reaching for something more.

When we find ourselves beaten down from working, studying, trying to maintain relationships, sometimes it becomes something so overwhelming that we just find ourselves crashing. The soul crying out is something that needs to be tended to, not ignored. I've ignored myself many a time, and have paid the price for it when I've literally and metaphorically crashed. It's funny when you can cause yourself to become your own worst enemy. But really, when you think about it, you are all you've got. So you might as well keep yourself quenched, thriving, and striving. Drink your water.

Lesson Four: Understand the friction zone

While I thought I was all badass swinging my leg over the seat to mount my pretty little Sportster, learning to ride made me revert to looking like a complete fool. FRICTION ZONE, my dad would yell out right before I would let the clutch out, jolt forward, and topple over, trying to scramble out from under the bike before the exhaust burnt a hole through my leg. It's a weird concept to try to grasp when you've got a machine that is just roaring for the throttle to be rolled in sync with the let go of a clutch. I was 17, only having history of riding BMX bikes and four-wheelers. Regardless, I had plenty of states to roll through until I was sure to have the friction zone down pat.

But that's what it takes. It takes practice to understand these things that are unfamiliar. Understanding the synchronicity of gaining traction and pushing forward is monumental in life. There are plenty of lost opportunities that I could have accepted and moved forward leaps and bounds had I pushed myself when they was presented.

Again, it takes practice. It takes getting back up after having fallen down, being so scared to just let the throttle guide you and keep your balance. But once your on it, putting all you've got into the ride.. you're set. You're speeding down interstates into worlds you've never imagined existed. All it takes is a little trust in the concept of your friction zone. Practice.

I could go on for a while talking about all the knowledge my father has passed down in the short time we have had to flourish a relationship. But I'll end here, in hopes that you will seek out the people that you love and really listen to what they've got to say. Sometimes it takes a lot of pain to peel back the layers and find the gold underneath a person, but in the end it's so very worth it.

Thank you Dad, for all you've taught me, and I know there is so much more. You are appreciated - Kristen

Motorcycle Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Revival Rally 2014

Revival Rally '14 this weekend was just what I needed. The second annual event boasted with riders from all over Florida. Although it is December, we are still hanging on to the luxury getting on our motorcycles and riding with the sun beaming over us.

Motorcycles and scooters were lining the Milk District, and as you walked in to the back alley an exhibition of vintage bikes originating from across the world were waiting to be judged. A live band played rockabilly tunes, people sipped their beers from the local bars, and flaunted shirts that read the most sly sayings. My favorite being "PETROSEXUAL". There were food trucks and a dessert stand selling vegan cupcakes that I was lucky enough to try. Bourbon and rasberry really gets the night a goin.

The coolest part of the event was that they were doing this all for charity - K9s for Warriors. The charity provides service canines to our warriors suffering from post-traumatic stress and/or traumatic brain injury as a result of military service. Ladies dressed as pinups shuffled around endlessly to promote and raise money. A silent auction was held in the SpaceBar, with designs from local artists painted on Bell Custom 500 helmets. Then, as if all this wasn't enough already, a charity bike was built by Orlando's very own Cafe Moto Club. These guys are all garage builders who dedicated so much time and hardwork to provide a motorcycle for a winner of the raffle contest.

I was so damn ecstatic to see a woman who had just received her endorsement the week before had been chosen to give the motorcycle a home. Some things just seem to happen for a reason, huh? ;)

Hope you all enjoy the little video I put together. I hope to get out more with my GoPro in hand to capture more of my shenanigans, along with the wonderful events and beautiful people around me.

Hope you all get out there and enjoy the open air. Until next time!

Motorcycle Lifestyle, Uncategorized



Truly one of my favorite short films to date. It reminds me of all the adventures I've been able to have across the states. Moments and memories that I still cannot believe are real. If this doesn't get you itchin to get outside and break some rules... I feel bad for you.