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CONTENTS: Wendy LaForce-Stilletto’s On Steel

6

Leticia Cline-The Iron Lilie’s

13

Krista Grotte-Nation’s Fire Movie

31

Fran Haasch-Wreaths Across America

45

Fran Haasch-Happy Fathers Day

49

Dr. Stephanie Karidas On The Road To Recovery

51

Michelle Evans-Copperhead Lodge Throwing Down The Gauntlet

57

Wanda Kenton Smith Boaterz N Bikers

70

AD INDEX: AAA Progressive Insurance

IFC

5

International Female Ride Day

8

YouTube/BornToRideMotorcycleMedia

14

Creative RV

28

Tennessee Music Revival

30

Panama City Thunder Beach

44

Cherokee Blue Ridge Run

50

TransAmerica Financial

56

Copperhead Lodge

60

Hull of a Tour Dragon’s Fire

77

Media Design Shop

78


BORN TO RIDE Magazine

PO BOX 3021 Brandon, FL 33509

PUBLISHER

Ron Galletti 813-785-3895 rg@borntoride.com CO PUBLISHER

Deb Galletti dgalletti@borntoride.com ART DIRECTOR

Shawn Jones art@borntoride.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Jesse Williams jwilliams@borntoride.com ART DEPARTMENT

Seth Wuertz, Juan Guzman, Jarred Hartman art@borntoride.com WEB DESIGN/ELECTRONIC MEDIA

Juan Guzman

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY

Jesse Williams

BUSINESS DEVELPMENT

Stan Barnhisel

OFFICE ADMINISTRATION

Nancy Ray nray@borntoride.com

MULTI-MEDIA SPECIALIST

Seth Wuertz

SALES & MARKETING

Monique Drobnak

THE EVERYWHERE TEAM

Everywhere Eddy & Lynne Motejaitis Knight ROAD CREW

Vick Velosity, Kenny Bowers, Doug Bright, Mr. Clean, Bam Bam, Birdman Mike SCENIC RIDE CONSULTANT

Steve Finzelber-Finz Finds CONTRIBUTORS

JP Brady, Neale Bayly, Paul Garson, Spyke & Mike, Susan Hurst, Eric Albright, Eric Vician, Myra McElhaney, Paul Murray, Phil Gauthier PHOTOGRAPHERS

Ron & Selena Hawks, Chris Miller, Scott Odel, Eric Albright, Tom Seiter, Billy Wright, Chopper Dave, Phil Gauthier, JP Brady

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“Stilettos on Steel provides membership and networking services to female motorcycle riders all across the United States with over 1,000 members in 11 states” Wendy LaForce

Greetings Lady Riders! Did you know that 25% of motorcycle riders are women? Yup, that’s one out of every four. Feeling the wind in your face is so much better when you’re holding onto the handlebars. Are you ready to make the move from the back seat to the front? My name is Wendy LaForce. I am the Sun Coast District Coordinator for Stilettos on Steel Female Riders Group. I started a chapter in May 2016. We have grown to over 100 members! We ride unapologetically deep! We empower one another’s uniqueness, strength, and peace of mind. We accept every female motorcyclist for who she is. We don’t judge but encourage each step in your journey. We are breaking through barriers and stereotypes one set of handlebars at a time. Stilettos on Steel provides membership and networking services to female motorcycle riders all across the United States with over 1,000 members in 11 states. Our driving desire is to help women who dream of riding to take the next step in becoming a motorcycle rider. Our more experienced members enjoy working with new riders to help them hone the skills learned in their riding class and prepare them for adventures on the open road with their new Stiletto Sisters. We have 5 chapters in the Tampa Bay area. Yes, we are near you, in 8 counties! Tampa Bay North, Tampa Bay South, Nature Coast, Skyway South, and Pinellas County.

Want someone non-judgmental to ride with? Want to gain confidence while riding? Want to have fun and socialize with other like-minded females? Want to expand your rider network? Stilettos on Steel Female Riders Group Empowered lady riders empowering lady riders. A few clicks to join today, several throttle-twists tomorrow and a smile on your soul forever. I’ve gladly accepted the position of Public Relations/Marketing Representative/Good Will Ambassador for Born To Ride. What an opportunity to connect with more female riders! I’m looking forward to raising awareness, spreading goodwill and bringing positive vibes to our biker community. Like it or not, the biker world is changing. It’s evolving. The number of women riders is growing faster now than ever before. I am committed to helping women break free from the passenger seat and to helping them overcome their fears of riding a motorcycle. This new position will give me the opportunity to reach out to even more people in our biker community. Not only women but to men as well. We can all empower each other. We can help each other remember the reasons why we began riding in the first place. Look out for my custom Fatboy Lo Cruella De Vil and me! We’ll be out and about looking for you!

Contact Wendy to get invovled with StilettosonSteel, Email: wendyl@stilettosonsteel.com

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International Female Ride Day Sat. May 4th PINELLAS COUNTY 2ND ANNUAL INTERNATIONAL FEMALE RIDE DAY WITH STILETTOS ON STEEL, SATURDAY MAY 4TH, 2019 Sponsored by Born To Ride and Bert’s Barracuda Harley-Davidson International Female Ride Day© a global movement and ride day for women motorcyclists. By participating and riding on this one synchronized, united ride-day, women demonstrate their passion, devotion, and enthusiasm for the sport. Last year, for our first annual, we had 60 bikes. Our goal IFRD 2019 is 500 BTR 8 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

bikes! Each and every woman participant is a role model for women in motorcycling and contributes to the global mission of IFRD by building awareness of female motorcyclists; growing the number of women riders and encouraging more women to take up the sport and ride. Mark your calendars! Tell your friends! We’ll see you there! Women reading this article: If you’re looking for a fun group to ride with or information on events, please connect with me on Facebook or write me an email today! We are building and growing because women want and need someone to ride with!

Contact Wendy to get invovled with this Event, wendyl@stilettosonsteel.com, Call: 727-557-8624


Greetings Lady Riders! Did you know that 27% of motorcycle riders are women? That percentage just keeps increasing! Are you ready to make the move from the back seat to the front? My name is Wendy LaForce. I am the Sun Coast District Coordinator for Stilettos on Steel and Public Relations/Marketing Representative/Good Will Ambassador for Born To Ride. I am here to help you! Stilettos on Steel provides membership and networking services to female motorcycle riders all over the United States. Our driving desire is to help women who dream of riding to take the next step in becoming a motorcycle rider. Our more experienced members enjoy working with new riders to help

them hone the skills learned in their riding class and prepare them for adventures on the open road with their new Stiletto Sisters. I have met so many amazing women each one writing their own life story adventure by adventure, since starting my own chapter of Stilettos on Steel back in May of 2016. We have grown to 109 members and we ride unapologetically deep! We empower one another’s uniqueness, strength, and peace of mind. We accept every female motorcyclist for who she is. We don’t judge but encourage each step in her journey. Featured Member of the Month: Stacy Lynn (aka Crazy Girl) Co-Regional Coordinator BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 9


Tampa Bay South. Stacy is a Wisconsin girl, born and raised. She spent a few years in Arizona before moving Tampa in December 2017. She has an adult son, who also rides, and her other child is her 6-year-old Chihuahua named Harley. Harley started riding with her when he was just 6-months-old. She is retired from a long career in Law Enforcement and she currently works for a plastic surgeon here in the Tampa area. She has been riding for over 30 years now. In her younger years, she rode dirt bikes and then learned how to ride on the street on a Yamaha Vmax. She bought her first bike (a BTR 10 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

Kawasaki racing bike!) at 15-years-old that she had to hide from her mom in a friend’s garage! She went to her first Harley rally in Milwaukee Wisconsin in 2007 and she was hooked! She bought her first Harley, a 2008 Street Glide. She now rides “Jezebel” her 2012 Street Glide. She decided long ago she was not going to wait for a man to pick her up in order to go riding and since then she has never looked back. She has a strong passion for riding. In her career in Law Enforcement, she needed to find release and a way to feed her need for an adrenaline rush. She found


out very quickly that she enjoyed the wind in her face and the freedom of the road. She joined Stilettos on Steel in 2018. She loves empowering other women and supporting their love for riding. She also loves the challenge to help others overcome their fears, teach them to become great, safe riders and share the love and passion for riding as she does. Our event last month Empowering Lady Riders was a huge success! We had 40 bikes on our ride. Skyway Virgins and all! 12 ladies signed up for their endorsement class and 5 ladies joined Stilettos on Steel! Thank you Born to Ride and Bert’s Barracuda Harley BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 11


Davidson for your continued support! We plan on having more events just like this one! Stay tuned! We’re gearing up for our largest event yet! Born To Ride presents International Female Ride Day Saturday, May 4, 2019. Mark your calendars now! Details to come! We support and empower each Stilletto Sister to ride with BTR 12 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

her head held high followed by a jet stream of confidence radiating from her pipes! Want to have an everlasting smile too? Want to fly faster than your demons? Contact me today! Wendy LaForce 727-557-8624 wendyl@stilettosonsteel.com • www.stilettosonsteel.com

Contact Wendy to get invovled with this Event, wendyl@stilettosonsteel.com, Call: 727-557-8624


“Being able to meet passionate women motorcyclists is always a blessing. My role with the Born To Ride magazine allows me these precious moments to savor, learn, and share other people’s journeys with our valued dedicated readers! The Iron Lilies is an all-women’s riding group that you will be hearing and seeing more of in the months to come!” All Women’s All Harley Riding Group, info@theironlilies.com

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I was very happy and excited to talk with Leticia Cline, one of the founding members of the Iron Lilies. Her zest runs deep for motorcycling. She is blessed with a beautiful outlook on life, love, and the knowledge of motorcycles. Sit back, relax, and take in the conversation Leticia and I had about the amazing Iron Lilies! Susan: Who gave you the motorcycling bug? Leticia: I’ve been riding since I was four years old when my dad put me on a Honda 50. I took to it quickly and even raced motocross. In addition, over the years, that evolved into some modeling jobs with motorcycles magazines and companies. I was a sports commentator for motocross for a long time. I’m also a journalist. I write for websites, magazines, and blogs. My husband and I own a co-op motorcycle garage in Orlando called Standard Motorcycle Company. We are a big motor family. I don’t even own a car; I ride my bike! Susan: You eat, breathe, and sleep, everything when it comes to your businesses! Leticia: (laughing) Definitely! It’s an amazing thing that we took a hobby and made a living out of it. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do. Susan: Where does the Iron Lilies come in to your busy life? Leticia: I moved back to Orlando in August. There was a group of women in Orlando who I would always run into. They all ride Harley Sportsters and that’s the bike I ride. We started talking and hanging out with one another. We really enjoyed riding together all the time – like four days a week! It’s amazing. We started thinking of a name for our group. We wanted to give justice and homage to women who rode motorcycles back in the early 1920s: Lillian Farrow, Lillian LaFrance, and Lillian Hauerwas. Here are little snippets of these trailblazing women taken from the Iron Lilies website: Lillian Farrow owned the most prominent Harley Dealership in the country in the first half of the 1900s. She was also the only woman motorcycle dealer in the world. Being a single mother of 3, she managed to keep the business alive during WWII by selling used motorcycles and parts since all new bikes were produced solely for the military and it’s because of that effort that her shop A.D. Farrow Co. is America’s oldest continuously operated Harley-Davidson dealership celebrating 104 years. Lillian LaFrance became a wall of death rider in 1924 after attending a carnival and seeing only men do it. She was billed as “The Girl Who Flirts With Death.” She used skull and crossbones as her logo and was the first person to ride a wall in a scaled down midget racing car. Lillian Hauerwas logged over 65,000 miles on her Harley by 1921. She was quoted in Motorcycle Illustrated BTR 16 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

8 women and all on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the group includes an MMI tech, an MSF rider coa


ach, Harley Fit Specialists, a scientist, a psychologist and women from many different walks of life.

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Most people think a group is all about “fitting in” but we’re the ones who always “fitted out”.

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on September 16th, 1915 saying, “Can a girl ride a motorcycle and still retain every characteristic that is expected of our best young womanhood? I certainly believe so, and my observations cover several years. ... As far as the girl rider is concerned, motorcycling is just what she makes it – and it’s so easy to make it simply a pleasant, refreshing and economical pastime that I constantly wonder why more girls do not avail themselves of it.” Leticia: At one point, we were talking with some people and they asked us if our name was used in reference to guys who ride over 1,000 miles and call themselves “Iron Butt Riders.” We thought about that and laughed, liked the concept, and said, ‘When we host an event and someone rides their bike over 1,000 miles, they will receive the Iron Lillie Award!’ Susan: The Iron Lilies is an actual business, correct? Leticia: Yes. We are an LLC (limited liability corporation) and are in the process of obtaining our 501c3 nonprofit organization status. We are also in the process of trademarking our name. We all have different roles. We hold a meeting every week. From the finances to marketing, to inventory and upcoming events, we have to meet weekly to go over our various business components. We are hired to attend events. Meaning, we come in and promote the event. For example, we were hired to ride to the Laconia Bike Week event. We rode from Florida to New Hampshire. Once we got there, we set up and led various rides; sometimes two rides a day. We really do a lot! Susan: What is your focus with the 501c3 non-profit you are creating? Leticia: We have established a great relationship with Orlando Harley and East Orlando Harley in setting up fundraisers and giveaways around the area. We give out small monthly donations to people that need it, and one large donation or sponsorship every year for a woman that may want to attend, for example, MMI (Motorcycle and Marine Institute). We want to empower women in any male-dominated industry. In addition, if someone wants to take the MSF course, we can provide scholarships for that. I hate seeing someone buying a motorcycle and not having the money to invest in proper education or gear. Susan: How do you get information on folks that need the help? Leticia: We have a lawyer and accountant on board that look at all the proposals. Each one is researched for authenticity and need. We don’t hand over cash; we will take a bill and pay that once the research has been completed and approved by our lawyer and our board. We are looking for that story; of a woman wanting to better herself. Susan: You talk about getting hired leading rides and hosting events. Tell me how everyone finds out where BTR 20 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD


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you are and what you’re up to. Leticia: We have a very large following of people from social media. When we let folks know we’re going to be at an event, lots of people show up. We do the guided rides, or sometimes, we have fun at an event and do some technical riding skill sets like figure eights and tight circles. We’ve even entered ourselves in some biker rodeo games. We go head to head with some of the best male riders out there. They are very competitive! I mean ‘really’ competitive! Some of us walk away with the winning trophies. We also do lady-only events at the Harley dealerships. We can teach a tiny woman to pick up an Ultra Glide touring rig all by herself. Once someone sees a 115 pound, 5’ tall woman pick up a BTR 22 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

bike, it puts a new perspective on what a woman can really do when she has proper training. We inspire people to know that they can ride a bike. We show women how to change their oil, complete a pre-ride check list, and other important items. The one thing we DON’T do is bikini bike washes! We’ve been asked to do them and we always say “no, but we will show everyone how to change the oil in their bikes.” We always said from the beginning, that if we ever did anything like a bikini bike wash, it would discredit us from being serious motorcycle riders. We work really hard to prove that we ride motorcycles. What saddens me is seeing women, setting those of us who are serious about riding motorcycles, back 20 years by

8 women and all on Harley-Davidson motorcycles, the group includes an MMI tech, an MSF rider coa


participating in events like that. Susan: I praise and commend you and the other Iron Lilies for having and keeping your high standards! Leticia: Thank you! Susan: There are other women that are a part of the Iron Lilies. Leticia: I love the diversity of our group! Here are some mini bios of the Core Group of the Iron Lilies! Leticia Cline: I grew up with my dad building bikes in the living room of our house. My baby photos are of me sitting on rat bikes and choppers and after a while it just became instinctual. I favored the smell of grease over flowers. My dad put me on a Honda 50 when I was 4 and I never looked back. We would spend summers in his

garage taking apart bikes, polishing all the pieces and putting them back together, he would handle each piece as if it were a rare and ancient artifact all while telling me what it’s function was and how it related to life. He was quite the philosopher and at the time, to a pre-teen little girl it was annoying. Once I got older I started to appreciate his life lessons more and we would ride to biker events together. When I started announcing for Supercross and Motocross races I would bring my dad with me and then when I had my son I bought him a Honda 50 for his 4th Birthday to continue the tradition. My father passed away the summer of 2008 and it devastated me. I rode his Softtail to the funeral and then I never got on a bike again until spring of 2014. Before then my life was consumed with

ach, Harley Fit Specialists, a scientist, a psychologist and women from many different walks of life.

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a motorcycle race every weekend, dealer’s conventions, motorcycle events and just riding but I suddenly found myself unable to go to any of those things. I changed my life completely, moved to NYC and became the director of Marketing and PR at a fortune 500 company. The stage was set for me to be the next powerful lady in business but it just wasn’t me. After 5 years of being on autopilot I woke up and moved to back Florida to find myself again. In March 2014 I took my son to Daytona Supercross. The smell of the exhaust and dirt, the excitement on my little boys face as he watched the race only assured me of where I belong. The ride home was emotional but I knew what I had to do. The next day I rented a Thruxton, rode 300 miles to a motorcycle event and bought my dad a patch to place on his grave. The following week I purchased my Iron 883 and now I ride all over the country. I was afraid that riding would be to unbearably sad to not share it with my father but strangely I feel closer now to him than I ever did before. And that’s one of the great things about motorcycles: they’re more than a form of transportation ... they’re a form of transformation. Currently I’m a journalist for some of the top motorcycle magazines BTR 24 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

and blogs. Every day, I get to test parts, gear, and motorcycles and write about it. I am also in the process of getting my MSF Rider Coach Certification and have an all-women’s traveling class planned for 2016 along with a 10,000 mile trip across America with Kristen Lassen called, The Lost Latitudes. Kissa Von Adams, KVA is a Florida native, born and bred in Seminole County. She is a performance artist by trade and is a founding member of one of the first & longest running burlesque shows in Florida. She is currently rebuilding her ‘96 rigid Evo Sportster with the help of Jared Agin. Tracy Herendon: Born and raised in south Florida, I’ve always had a passion for being outdoors. Exploring beaches, swamps, everglades and living in a bikini was just the way I lived my life. I translated that love into my current career as a merchandise analyst at an international swimwear corporation. Dana Cooley: I always had a passion and desire to ride. So I went and got my first brand new Kawasaki 250 right off the showroom floor. I rode it for the first three months and realize this is just a souped-up lawn mower. So I turned around and I purchased a Kawasaki 600. I loved that bike, and had a lot of memories with

If you would like to be a part of Born To Ride Womens Club, Email info@borntoride.com


it. When I started working for Harley, I fell in love with their bikes. And after 4 years with the Kawasaki, I purchased my first Harley. Owning a Harley has been one of the best decisions I’ve made. It leads me to meet some amazing people. I love the direction my life has gone, and having these girls by my side through my journey. I couldn’t ask for a better group of friends! Kasey Carrere: “Presently, I work for a biological consulting firm fulltime as a Project Manager, conducting data analysis on water treatment, plant growth and threatened endangered species, and negotiate credit sales with local, state and federal agencies for large restoration and enhancement projects. I am also a business student at Valencia Community College and I’m in the application process to get my Masters in Business Administration. On the side, I help with the promotion and organization for the Iron Lilies, I am an organizer for The Hive, a chapter of an environmental awareness non-profit organization called Ideas For Us, and work in the garage on my Evo chopper.” Dee Basualdo: “My real name is Deneille but I go by Dee. I was born in Queens, NY but raised in Miami, FL. My nationality is Argentinan / Italian/ Spaniard. Growing up I always had a passion for sports, All Women’s All Harley Riding Group, info@theironlilies.com

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especially soccer. I grew up playing travel soccer until I was 18. Till this day I participate in a coed soccer and flag football for a local league. I was raised by my mother and step father, where his passion is cars and motorcycles. He introduced me to my first dirt bike when I was 12. The moment I jumped on to my very own Yamaha 50cc I knew I was born to ride. I rode that dirt bike nearly every day, falling left and right, popping the clutch, and eating dirt, but never gave up. The more I rode the more I fell in love with it. When I turned 15 my stepfather gave me my first motorcycle which is a 1985 Honda rebel 250. I love that bike so much that I still have it and will never let it go. In 2015, I joined the Orlando HarleyDavidson team as a stock manager, and bought my very first Harley. I must say ever since I made that purchase, my life has been falling into place.” Sara Fury: Sara moved to Florida from Hawaii after living with her dad who was in the military. “I’ve always loved motorcycles and all that comes with them. The first time I rode, I knew it was where I wanted to be. My first bike was a 1975 Honda CB200. The first replacement I did was change out one of the floats in the carb, and accomplishing that tiny procedure made me feel so proud of myself! I wanted to do more, learn more, fix more. I’m definitely the type that I can’t sit and watch. I wanted to be the one getting my hands dirty, and that’s exactly what I did. After moving to Orlando, I made it a mission to find anyone and everyone who rode bikes in town. I met Leticia and lots of awesome people who shared the same love for motorcycles as I do. Being part of the Iron Lilies and having that sense of community is fuel for the soul. I’m so grateful for this group of girls and everything they bring to the table.” Samantha Campana: She graduated with a BA in Psychology, and by day is a Clinical Psychiatric Technician for a mental health recovery center. She started riding over a year ago but not without hardships. In 2012, she had a close friend pass away in a BTR 26 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD If you would like to be a part of Born To Ride Womens Club, Email info@borntoride.com


motorcycle accident, and it made her rethink her decision for a couple years, yet the urge never went away. When she made the move to Florida, she noticed many more people riding bikes all year around and suddenly the feeling of freedom and two wheels started creeping back into her mind. She went by herself to Daytona Biketoberfest and then her mind was set. She started looking for a motorcycle, and landed on her Voodoo Purple Iron 883. Once she’s sat on it and turned the throttle, it all felt right. The joy overpowered the fear of riding. Now she is looking forward to doing more work on her own bike and continuing to meet more like minded people. Susan: Did you all come together as friends or did an event bring you together? Leticia: A couple of us knew each other just by seeing one other around town. Social media is where it really happened. We put together a night where we all met. We all clicked and it works. The core group is eight of us. A lot of people want to join. But we have to keep the core group together because that’s our business. We allow others to ride with us, but it will always be the core eight because of the business aspect. In addition, the core group ride Harleys AND must ride at least 10,000 miles a year. We do love riding with other motorcyclists! Susan: Image is very important to the Iron Lilies. That’s impressive. Tell me, in your own words, why? Leticia: Yes! We strive to be the best when it comes to our business and when we’re out in public. We can’t, nor will we ever, water that down. We have to make sure that being a member, we have to be accountable, represent the companies that hire us, represent our name, our reputations, profession, etc. If something goes wrong, it makes us all look bad. We’ve worked too hard to let the slightest error or missteps occur. Susan: Thank you, Leticia, for spending time with me talking about the Iron Lilies. All of us at Born To Ride look forward to seeing you very soon! Susan Hurst All Women’s All Harley Riding Group, info@theironlilies.com

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“It was such a Great Honor to Co-Produce this Awesome Movie Nation’s Fire.” Ron Galletti


Let Born To Ride Market, Promote & Advertise your next event. 888-795-5779

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Tell us about this movie? It doesn’t seem to be just a biker movie? Nation’s Fire is an Action/Drama that is very, very different than the stereotypical biker movie. Biker movies are most notably celebrated or de-celebrated as exploitation films, and this is where Nation’s Fire is different. We have the action, drama, deaths,

killings, drugs, and good vs evil; however, there are many elements in this movie that give it a beating heart. We all can relate to the struggles the characters face in this movie; whether you’re a diehard biker or have no clue what a “cc” is, you will relate. The beating heart in Nation’s Fire is family, loss, strength, redemption, manly under-

Born To Ride Magazine, Real Editorial Content, Real Value for you the Reader.

ground situations all while secretly celebrating a woman’s true place in the biker community and every other community for that matter ... as I state in the movie, “Our men know we are ride or die chicks.” Nation’s differs from typical exploitation films and societal stereotypes in that we, as biker women, we aren’t victims, we have a voice, BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 35


we use it, we love to celebrate our womanly curves AND we ride. We handle our jobs, kids, and family business. We treat others with respect, loyalty, charity, and kindness, but you don’t EVER want to cross us. This movie is not only an adventure, it is heart and soul, as do many characters. So, to answer your question, no this is not your BTR 36 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

typical biker movie. As Gloria Nation, you explode on screen as a true action superstar. How did you get inspired to take on this role? Wait, you didn’t know I was a freakin’ Action Superstar? Well, now you know my brother! Haha. In all seriousness, the action is where I excel; it’s what I have always enjoyed and

it’s where I’m comfortable. Plus, I’m nuts so it’s a great release for me! I love doing my own stunts! I love the choreography of fighting. I like to throw my kicks … right and left hooks so fast you hear my fist in the wind. I love it. In movies I have done over the past 17 years, I have often been type-cast for “blonde chick” or rainy tank top roles, which

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is fine, and many I didn’t take, but I have always had a whole lot more to offer than that. The look I have is the complete opposite of my capabilities and it’s actually kind of fun and funny now that I think about it. I kind of play with people’s emotions with the look almost all people categorize me under and with whom and what I really am. So all

of the aforementioned has inspired me to take on this role, and as a producer, I have the choice as to what I really want to take on vs. what I am only “limited to” take on. Today I make my own offers, I don’t wait for offers. How was it working with a Hollywood legend like Bruce Dern?

As an actress who has worked so hard for so many years and dealt with so much traumatizing bull while not giving up in this what can be a very ruthless industry, I must say, it was pretty amazing working with Bruce Dern. This guy is one of two villain actors to kill John Wayne in a movie, he’s a classic. Not to mention, he has had two Oscar nom-

Would you like to be a part of our Next Movie as a Sponsor or Product Placement. info@borntoride.com

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inations for “Coming Home” and “Nebraska” and has worked with the greats such as Jack Nicholson, Peter Fonda, Alfred Hitchcock, Quentin Tarantino (one of my favs), Billy Bob Thornton, Kirk Douglas and Roger Corman to name a few. It was fascinating to sit in the makeup room and talk to him, he’s been doing this for almost 60 years. I gained strength from his wisdom, his experience and approach on how he makes his roles his own. I enjoyed hearing about the legendary greats he has worked with and inspired; he took me back in my imagination long before my time; to me, moments like that with people are priceless. Was having the biker community a part of this movie special to you, why? The biker community always has and always will have a special place in my heart. There is a lot of backstory behind why, and maybe one day I will elaborate on that with you. The bottom line is, I love the people of the biking community. I’m not close with my blood family, and that’s fine. I’ve been on my own since 14, became a mother at 16. I lived pretty rough and literally slept on bus stop benches before being put in a girl’s home—this is a great script in itself. There wasn’t too much family support there and that’s ok, they were trying to make it too, I suppose. With fellow bikers, I have just always had a safe feeling of home and acceptance. Looking back, I know now that God, life, and fate put me with the biker community for a reason. I believe that because seven years ago I got sober, and the irony is, it was due to a couple of 1%ers who told me I was better than the way I was treating myself. They refused to let me take myself down. After many talks with appointed babysitters who made sure I didn’t get into any more trouble, I finally listened and put in the work to get sober. Because someone actually cared enough for me to fight ME for the sake of me, I am living the life of my dreams today. I am forever grateful. Not only am I grateful, I love what we stand for. As a proud member of The Suncoast Brotherhood, the community and bike groups do so much for those kids who were once like me. We do BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 39


things for families who struggled like mine … without judging, and without looking for anything in return. The bond within the community is special, the family unit. The fact that we all can just be ourselves, barefoot and crazy, and not be judged is special. Just like this movie, amidst the drama and perceived chaos, there is heart, family, and strength. Working with Born To Ride you have met many bikers, but you have been a part of BTR for many years now and Ron Galletti is so excited to be a part of this project. How has that worked out? Yes, I have been working with Born To Ride nearly 10 years now. I have seen the dedication, the hard work, and the drive put forth by Ron, Debbie, and the Born To Ride family. Having Ronnie as the creative producer for Nation’s Fire was a no-brainer. We had been throwing around the idea of a biker movie for years and when Writer/Director Thomas J. Churchill came down for the BTR 20th anniversary to promote a movie we did called “Check Point,” which is now available on Netflix, the concept of Nation’s Fire was born. Ron has been instrumental in making this movie larger than life. He is a creative powerhouse: from brilliant ideas on scenes, details on characters, on set photography, marketing strategies, business meetings, and priceless behind the scenes interviews with Bruce Dern, Chuck Liddel, Paul Sloan, Kristen Renton, and many more of the cast. He has provided so many valuable artists, musicians, meetings, product placement, motorcycles, and crew members. He has put together trailers, hours of notes, direction on our post-production, and shot and directed riding footage. The list goes on and on. I am so thankful to Ron for all that he’s done to make Nation’s Fire a reality. I thank Producer Andy Lalino too for his work on Nation’s Fire. Ron, Thom, and I had a plan from that day over a year ago, and here we are with a 2018 release, an amazing cast and one heck of a movie in the can! You are executive producer and the main actor in this movie. How does that all work? What does that all mean? Plus, you are CEO at your real job, tell us about what you do on that job too? Well, acting is just in my blood, it’s what I do and have done since the days of childhood remaking “Annie” in my bedroom with my Aunt’s video camera. Executive producer is a whole new animal. With a movie, there are BTR 40 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

Let us tell your Story here in the pages of Born To Ride Women’s World: 888-795-5779


so many moving parts, hundreds of people you are hiring and feeding every day on set. There are SAG union rules that must be abided by or your facing heavy fines, there is the payroll company, the different departments, and all the employees working for you within those departments. There is lots of money to be accurately spent and accounted for. As executive producer, perspective differs substantially from that as a role of actor. The goal of executive producer is to be certain to get a return on the investment. When we are talking about something as subjective as art—that can be a very scary thing. Thankfully, we have an Oscar-winning producer on board with great experience in distribution. As an actress, my goal is to live as Gloria Nation and deliver the most important performance of my life because that will have a direct impact on the executive producer’s success. No pressure there! I did not tell any cast on set that I was an executive producer, and that changes things for talent when they feel more under a microscope. I did not want anyone to act differently around me in any way and it worked out well. I want to thank my husband Robert Ori and Jerry Roberts for their roles as executive producers, not only are they executives, but Bob brought his mother down from the Midwest for our final day of the shoot. She began cutting the onions and peppers at 4 a.m. Bob and Jerry jumped in the kitchen on the day of Unity Run at Scooter Haven to help Screwie Louie and his team cook for 300 plus people. This just goes to show you the sense of family we had on set; it was a pretty miraculous day. A very special thank you to Screwie Louie’s Scooter Haven! As far as my company, I am chief executive and founder of TeKnocentric a movie production, aviation software, and gaming company. Because we develop custom software for airports, we decided to continue that along with movie production, hence Nation’s Fire, in addition to gaming (online

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lifestyle game and casino slots). So, it is where the arts and sciences procreate. I have always felt that software development is also an art. You create, beginning with an idea and a sketch, much like a movie concept. You then pitch your idea to users, potential investors or clients, elaborate and/ or eliminate elements in the software (or story), determine benefit vs risk, and then begin production and go live with test launch or post-production in movie terms. So all that we do at TeKnocentric goes hand in hand technically. You can find out more on my website teknocentric.com kristagrotte. com & plan-tech.com So you aren’t just another pretty blonde in the movies; you have major brains and true leadership qualities. What can you say to people out there who think they can’t reach their goals or potential dreams? Where is the movie now? Where and when can we see it? What I will say to someone who feels they cannot reach their goals is yes, you are right. If you THINK you can’t reach your goals, then you never will. What we think about, we bring about. Change your thinking, change your perspective and start to understand that the true key to success is motivation and gratitude. Start being thankful for the small step you took toward reaching your dream today. Once you are truly grateful for that step, you will subconsciously be inclined to put more emphasis on the next step. Before you know it more steps will come, and they will get bigger with each thank you that you say. You will hit obstacles, that is life, keep going. Before you know it, you will be making giant leaps until you land your dream. It’s really pretty amazing how once we fight through the negative voices in our minds that we are conditioned to believe, how truly simple life really is. The only threatening obstacle we have is ourselves. Positive or negative: every single thing you focus on grows. Last words? Love you all and thank you, thank you, thank you for your support!

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Experience the Born To Ride EQ Lifestyle: 888-795-5779


“We had the privilege of visiting Wreaths Across America’s National Headquarters in Columbia Falls, Maine. Although we have sponsored the wreath laying event in Bushnell for several years, touring their facility and forest gave us a true appreciation of the meaning “From Stem to Stone.” Morrill Worcester, his family and volunteers do such an incredible job teaching our youth the importance of honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our freedom. It was truly humbling to learn and understand their mission: Remember our fallen US Veterans, Honor those who serve, Teach your children the value of freedom!”

FRAN HAASCH BTR 46 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

THE WREATHS STORY

Remembering his boyhood experience Morrill Worcester, owner of Worcester at Arlington, Worcester realized he had Wreath Company of Harrington, Maine, an opportunity to honor our country’s Veterans. With the help of Maine was a 12-year-old paper boy for the Bangor Daily News when he won a trip Senator Olympia Snowe, arrangements were made for the wreaths to be placed to Washington D.C. His first trip to our nation’s capital was one he would never at Arlington in one of the older sections forget, and Arlington National Cemetery of the cemetery, a section which had made an especially indelible impression been receiving fewer visitors with each passing year. on him. This experience followed him As plans were underway, a number throughout his life and successful career of other individuals and organizations in business, reminding him that his good stepped up to help. James Prout, fortune was due, in large part, to the owner of local trucking company Blue values of this nation and the Veterans who made the ultimate sacrifice for their Bird Ranch, Inc., generously provided transportation all the way to Virginia. Country. Volunteers from the local American In 1992, Worcester Wreath found Legion and VFW Posts gathered with themselves with a surplus of wreaths members of the community to decorate nearing the end of the holiday season.


each wreath with traditional red, handtied bows. Members of the Maine State Society of Washington, D.C. helped to organize the wreath-laying, which included a special ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The annual tribute went on quietly for several years, until 2005, when a photo of the stones at Arlington, adorned with wreaths and covered in snow, circulated around the internet. Suddenly, the project received national attention. Thousands of requests poured in from all over the country from people wanting to help with Arlington, to emulate the Arlington project at their National and State cemeteries, or to simply share their stories and thank Morrill Worcester for honoring our nation’s heroes. Unable to donate thousands of wreaths to each state, Worcester began sending seven wreaths to every state, one for each branch of the military, and for POW/MIAs. In 2006, with the help of the Civil Air Patrol and other civic organizations, simultaneous wreath-laying ceremonies were held at over 150 locations around the country. The Patriot Guard Riders volunteered as the escort for the wreaths going to Arlington. This began the annual

“Veterans Honor Parade” that travels the east coast in early December. The annual trip to Arlington and the groups of volunteers eager to participate in Worcester’s simple wreath-laying event grew each year until it became clear the desire to remember and honor our country’s fallen heroes was bigger than Arlington and bigger than this one company. In 2007, the Worcester family,

Remember the fallen, honor those who serve, teach our children the cost of freedom

along with veterans, and other groups and individuals who had helped with their annual Christmas wreath ceremony in Arlington, formed Wreaths Across America, a non-profit 501-c3 organization, to continue and expand this effort, and support other groups around the country who wanted to do the same. The mission of the group is simple: Remember. Honor. Teach. www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

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THE FLORIDA CONNECTION:

Cemetery this year, those wreaths will be placed on 1 December. The wreaths Wreaths Across America’s mission left from Dulles Airport and are currently is to “Remember” our fallen veterans worldwide, “Honor” those that have and in route to France. It is estimated that are serving, and to “Teach” our children 2 million wreaths will be placed on about Patriotism, and what our veterans veterans graves this year, at over 1,600 cemeteries which 15 are in your viewing and their families sacrifice to preserve area. To find a location you can go to the freedoms that we enjoy. Started in Arlington in 1992 and has wreathsacrossamerica.org. The date for covered every headstone in Arlington for Wreaths Across America this year is December 15th. the past five years. This year Wreaths Our wreath goal at Florida National Across America will be at over 1,600 Cemetery in Bushnell, FL is 30,000 cemeteries in the US and for the first wreaths, last year we placed over time, Wreaths will cover ever marble 27,000 wreaths. We are currently short cross at the Normandy American Cemetery in Normandy, France! Wreaths of our goal by 15,000 wreaths. Wreath placing will begin approx. 10:40 AM and Across America received approval to our ceremony will begin approx. 11:40 place 9,387 wreaths on every white marble cross at the Normandy American AM. We generally have upwards of

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9,000 people attend our wreath placing and ceremony. The USCENTCOM CoS will be our keynote speaker this year, and the USCENTCOM All Service Color Guard will be posting and retiring the colors. We also feature two motorcycle escorts for the wreaths going to the cemetery, one escort which stages and leaves from Poly Technic University, and the other out of the Walmart Distribution Center in Brooksville, FL. Leave times will vary. The wreaths will arrive at both the Walmart distribution center in Brooksville and at Saddle Creek Logistics Services in Lakeland, FL between December 12th and 13th. Sponsor a Wreath Today www.wreathsacrossamerica.org

Remember the fallen, honor those who serve, teach our children the cost of freedom


While on a family trip to Austria two years ago, Fran spotted an Almhütte and commented to her father Werner how she would adore a hut like this in her back yard. An Almhütte is an Alpine hut that is found in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany. It’s commonly used for animals grazing in the wild to seek shelter from weather. It has a peaked roof with an approximate 4-foot overhang on the sides. It’s common in Germany to see a huge boulder on the roof to hold the roof down during windy conditions. You see, Fran has a love for all animals; she has goats, cows, donkeys, and dogs … they all have names and personalities. Fran could only imagine how her animals would benefit from such a structure. Werner saw Fran’s imagination going wild. He found some photos and his mind began working on the plan. Werner was going to build Fran her animal hut. After returning to the States, Werner began the design on paper; soliciting help from a family friend Edward Fitzpatrick and his grandson Henry, the project was underway. He made a list of materials needed, which included properly treated cedar from Chiefland, FL. He had a wood burned “Almhütte” sign made to hang over the door which has an image of a goat and a cow. There are four layers to the roof; the inside layer made of small tree logs to give it an authentic rustic ceiling when you look up once inside. The outside has wood shingles. And yes, the boulder is going to be mounted on the

roof to replicate the authentic Almhütte. It’s all in the details. But there are two extra special touches that are going on Fran’s Almhütte to complete the project. One is a masterpiece work of metal that Werner twisted himself by hand in 1957 while completing his apprenticeship in Germany as a metal worker. It adds the perfect Alpine look to the Almhütte window and comes from the heart. The other special touch is slightly difficult to explain. When Fran was able to open her first law office, she chose a site in Palm Harbor, FL. The property had an existing small building and next to it a unique historic free standing door with old rusty hinges and a door knocker. Image just a door standing there alone. Werner could never have been so proud to see his daughter break ground on that site and grow her own business into what it is today. He kept that old rusty hardware from the demolished door and has been polishing it diligently to place on the Almhütte. For Werner, this special Almhütte is a one-of-a-kind for a one-ofa-kind daughter. It signifies where they both came from and where they are today. There have been proposals from others for a similar build, but Werner declines and explains he will be the one to complete the task for his daughter who has become a wife, mother, business woman, and philanthropist. He is proud of her accomplishments and wants to create an authentic Almhütte for his Francoise.

Happy Father’s Day from Born To Ride to All the Fathers out there reading this.

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Put this on your Bucket List, Cherokee North Carolina, Vast Beauty and Heritage, it’s priceless, www.visitcherokeenc.com


There is assistance available when someone you know and love has had a traumatic brain injury resulting from a fall, an accident, or physical assault. People who have had an accident may not know what to do or what options they may have in order to treat these issues. Educating the public is very important when it comes to understanding Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI) and Aphasia. BTR 52 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

In this month’s cover story, we are going to introduce you to Stephanie Karidas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP. Stephanie is an accomplished speech-language therapist, sailboat racing competitor, and Harleyloving rider! Stephanie knows just too well what consequences a head injury can have. Stephanie helps those riders and others who suffered a brain injury to rehabilitate their communication


and cognitive (thinking) skills. She has met many different clients throughout her career as a speech-language pathologist and has seen the positive long-term benefits of early, but also late intervention. Brain injuries can impact an individual’s ability to think, speak, write, read and drastically impact someone’s quality of life. But not everybody knows what to do after a head injury or stroke.

Only a few know how many resources can be utilized to rehabilitate from an acquired brain injury - and this is why we are introducing Doc Steph to you in this month’s cover story! Stephanie is easily approachable when it comes to helping folks who need help. My conversation with her was fun, enlightening, and educational. Tell us a little bit more about yourself, your life, and your family! “I grew up in Germany. My family is pretty big, and they have been my major support throughout my life. I left Germany in 2007 after I graduated university to continue my studies at the University of South Florida (USF) in Tampa. I graduated with my second Master’s degree and a Ph.D. in Communication Sciences and Disorders and actually planned on moving up North to pursue a career in Speech Pathology. But, I met my husband about a year before my graduation and decided to stay.” Tell me about your husband! “Nate and I met at the Davis Island Yacht Club through racing sailboats competitively. We traveled together from one regatta to the next. Nate also introduced me to motorcycles!” “One day I decided it was time for me to get my own license – after all, riding on the back is only half the fun! At that time, my husband was working on oil rigs in Louisiana and when he came back from one of his trips, I proudly showed him my new ‘two-wheel-independence’ license! We are both very responsible and careful riders and before I rode on the streets, I asked him to continue practicing riding with me, riding in large parking lots. I learned a lot from my riding class but didn’t feel accomplished enough to face the heavy traffic out there. I think it was about two weeks of daily routine activities, such as practicing turns, sudden stops, figure eights, anything you could think of, where I finally felt more comfortable to face the heavy traffic. We started riding on the road and I actually rode his Honda Fury for a pretty long time until I got my own bike, a Sportster 48, 1200cc. She is a pretty one and she can certainly hang with the big boys! I take her to different events, but when it comes to long rides, I still hop on my husband’s Road Glide and just enjoy the ride with him.” What are signs of a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)? “There are many signs and symptoms that can occur, such as emotional and behavioral changes, cognitive complications which present as problems with memory, learning, making decisions, problem-solving, concentration/attention, reading, and writing, but also speech and language impairments. Aphasia is a language disorder that can occur after a stroke but also through a TBI.” What is your mission as a therapist? “My mission is to provide language, speech, and cognitive treatment for individuals suffering from TBI and/or Aphasia. I provide individual sessions, which are offered as standard sessions of about two hours per week or as an intensive package (five or more hours per week). I am an Aphasia and TBI advocate – I want to spread the knowledge! Many people do not know about acquired communication disorders such as Aphasia. The term ‘Aphasia’ is often unknown! TBI is very common and obviously more of a general known medical term than Aphasia. But do you really know what it means to suffer from a TBI on a daily basis? Do you know how the life of a loved one changes after an accident and/or a BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 53


stroke? And do we know what resources to utilize after a brain injury? The results of a communication and/or cognitive disorder can have major impacts on an individual’s social life, their families, and friends. It can cause social isolation, depression, and emotional distress. Simple tasks that we take for granted are often impaired, such as speaking and understanding, maintaining attention, solving problems, remembering events, names, appointments, organizing and following a daily routine, and interacting socially. But, there is so much more help out there than one might imagine! And that is where I come into play – I support and rehabilitate individuals with TBIs and Aphasia. I teach compensatory strategies for impaired skills, I strengthen skills that remained intact. I consult with the individual’s families and train them how to make adjustments to these immense changes. My goal is to improve and maintain the quality of life after a traumatic incident or stroke through therapy. I urge everyone to think about loved ones in their family or circle of friends who have suffered a brain injury or stroke that may need help. The sooner we start the rehabilitation process, the better the outcomes!” What are the options for people suffering from a TBI and/or Aphasia? As a Speech-Language Therapist, I provide individual, client-centered therapy that is based on the client’s personal needs and skills. I focus very strongly on functional therapy outcomes to improve the client’s everyday life to help provide a better quality of BTR 54 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

life. Life changes drastically after experiencing Aphasia and/or TBI, and it is my mission to deliver the most effective treatment to you and consult with your family.” Stephanie, you mentioned that you also volunteer at a nonprofit organization in St. Petersburg! Tell us about that! “Yes, I am volunteering and working for Voices of Hope for Aphasia (VOHA) in St. Petersburg. VOHA was established in 2012 by Mike and Kathy Caputo. Mike suffered from a stroke at the age of 51 years which resulted in Aphasia. Until then, Mike was living a normal life with his family in New Jersey. He was a director and International leader for a large company. His life changed after his stroke; he had to learn how to live with Aphasia. Mike and his wife decided to form an organization to help others with Aphasia. VOHA is a communitybased aphasia program for people living with aphasia and their families. They offer several programs, such as a 2-day Workshop, which is designed to educate people with aphasia and their families about different communication strategies and resources available. VOHA also offers group meetings for people with aphasia where members get together to talk about current events, do different and fun activities, discuss interesting topics, and many more things. At these meetings, therapist like myself, lead the groups to provide skilled support for members with Aphasia. These meetings are fun and get people with Aphasia (and other neurogenic disorders) involved in different activities. They are able to socialize with others

Stephanie Karidas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP, Bay Area Speech, Language & Cognitive Therapy LLC


who are also experiencing a communication disorder and are just ‘getting back to life’ as we say at VOHA. VOHA also offers many more program options which you can access on their website www. vohaphasia.org. I have been with this organization for many years, they are like family to me, and I highly recommend them! You will

“Simple tasks that we take for granted are often impaired, such as speaking and understanding, maintaining attention, solving problems, remembering events, names, appointments, organizing and following a daily routine, and interacting socially”

What would you like everyone to take away from your story? “Know that therapy is vital during your recovery process. Seek my professional help. Ride with me on the road to recovery and let’s work on this together!” Thank you, Stephanie, for helping those in the motorcycling community with TBI and sharing your story with the readers of Born To Ride magazine!

greatly benefit from joining the many programs offered by VOHA, and I promise that you will meet the most amazing people who will eventually all become your friends.” One particularly successful story is when Stephanie worked closely with a young teenager who was in a serious car accident and suffered from a severe TBI about two years ago. He is the son of dear, good friends who also ride motorcycles with Stephanie and Nate. Their son was in a long coma and the doctor’s initial prognosis was devastating to his family and friends. But, against all odds, he started progressing and finally came home! Stephanie explained, “I spent 7-9 hours a week with him for about 8 months. I worked with him on metacognitive skills (identifying errors, reflecting on his own performance, applying used strategies independently, etc.), attention, memory, problem solving, reading and language comprehension. Once it was time for him to go back to school, I had meetings with the school officials and therapists to make sure everything was set up correctly for him and his needs (in my area of expertise). I’m still working with him this summer, a few hours a week. He is a fantastic kid who has a great amount of outstanding support and truly unconditional love from his family. His accident was a terrible experience for his family and friends, but he is blessed with very strong and amazing parents who did absolutely everything right and possible during his recovery process.” Let’s say someone got into a motorcycle accident and a TBI has occurred whereby it has affected speech, language, and cognitive skills. What is the process of getting them the help they may need? “I get involved when he or she is released from the hospital (out-patient rehabilitation) and speech, language and/or cognition skills need to be rehabilitated. The first six months of recovery is an important part of the recovery process; individuals usually notice fast improvements during this spontaneous recovery phase. It is very important to know and understand that progress still occurs after this speedy recovery phase. Recovery can occur even after two Who: Stephanie Karidas, Ph.D., CCC-SLP years post-injury. Our brain has the ability to ‘rewire’ itself after an What: Bay Area Speech, Language & Cognitive Therapy LLC injury by forming new neural connections; it can adapt to the changes Where: 716 S Oakwood Ave, Brandon, FL Web: www.bayarea-speech.com in its environment which are why therapy is so vital for everyone Email: office@bayarea-speech.com suffering from a brain injury or stroke. This phenomenon is called Tel: 813-956-9564 Neuroplasticity and it truly has a profound impact on the recovery process.” Susan Hurst “Stephanie is a very Kind and Caring Person that will go the extra mile to help you.” Ron Galletti

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Would you like to ride through stunningly, beautiful scenery? Are you tired of dangerous bumper-to-bumper traffic? Well we have the answers for you! Escape to the beautiful northeast Georgia mountains and north Georgia’s best motorcycle resort, the Copperhead Lodge in beautiful Blairsville, Georgia! It’s 47 acres of biker heaven with special amenities geared to bikers who want the best in accommodations, food, entertainment, and of course, some of the best motorcycling roads in the country. Smooth blacktop, minimal traffic, challenging curves, valleys, and twisties that seem to be made especially for adventuresome riders. Waterfalls, lakes, mountain streams, quaint villages and towns it’s all here. The central headquarters of this motorcycle mecca is the Copperhead Lodge! Beautiful cabins and rooms are just the beginning of this delightful stay at Copperhead Lodge—making sure that your stay is something you will never forget and guaranteeing that you’ll come back time after time again. So we’re headed for the mountains to have a chat with Michelle Evans. BTR 58 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

Hey, this is Debbie with Born To Ride TV and we are here at the Copperhead Lodge in Blairsville, Georgia. This is Michelle Evans, the owner of Copperhead Lodge. I’m going to coin you on this trip—The Biker Den Mother! You’re looking out and taking care of everybody. So Michelle, just give us the geographic location of Copperhead Lodge. Where are you located? Michelle: We are about an hour and a half north of Atlanta, Georgia, tucked in the very northeast corner. In 25 miles you can be either in Tennessee or North Carolina. We’ve got 47 acres total. The Lodge is located in the center of the resort. We have 20 acres on the front side of the resort and 27 acres in the back where the creek is. It’s a bit more private and woodsy set up. We have 28 cabins on the property right now. When we’re done, we’ll have 52. Debbie: So you’ve got the cabin atmosphere, the lodge atmosphere, the swimming pool, the amphitheater; you’ve got everything! What we’ve really been impressed with is the catering you do for the biker.

Michelle: Absolutely! This place was built with all of that in mind. That was the vision. We’re the second owners. We have a vision where motorcycling enthusiasts can come but also people who are not on bikes. We have a great mix of folks here. We do cater to the bikers. You will see that when you walk in; a big rock fireplace with a motorcycle set inside of it. That really sets the true vision. There are a ton of amenities that the bikers love. For example, last night we had a great band, we have guided rides all week long that our local folks do for us. It’s just motorcycle euphoria here! Debbie: Michelle, you have created something very special at Copperhead Lodge. When you took it over what changes did you make? Michelle: Mostly “lipstick and rouge” to the building to make it more welcoming. We also altered the model to welcome everyone— not just motorcyclists. Of course the built in amenities are still geared toward them, but we have expanded in to hosting many others as well.

Michelle knows Mountain Resort Marketing and you can own the Lifestyle. Call 706-835-7433


Debbie: The vision to build and the development stages have continued to grow. Was that your plan and did you have a time line on the growth? Michelle: Yes, the plan was to build out the resort. Our original time line was 5-7 years, however, the area was saturated with foreclosures for the first few years and stifled our growth in the beginning. We’ve sold 8 units over the last 18 months. Debbie: It seems like it’s more than just a business to you. I know first-hand how people love you because of how special you treat them and personal you are to your clients. Michelle: When you are a business owner, I believe it has to be more than a business to you—this is what sets you apart from the rest. Debbie: The personal tours you give on your motorcycle to guests are amazing and it really makes a special bond for future sales networking and long lasting friendships. Michelle: The guided rides are the favorite part of my job since it allows me to actually

Scan to see Copperhead Lodge come to Life

get out and ride. Our guests love the rides and it gives them an experience in the Mountains they wouldn’t have on their own. Debbie: Those are things you don’t have to do but you do them. Is that your special customer service or is it just natural? Michelle: Customer service comes natural to me, but our “brand” focuses on making our customer feel like they are at home. We understand that people work all year to spend their vacation with us, and we want to be sure they make many memories with us. Debbie: Everyone I know who has been to Copperhead Lodge want to come back; how does it make you feel? The one thing I hear from them is it’s an unbelievable place and that extra special customer service is awesome. How did you create that brand loyalty? Michelle: This is the thing that makes me the most proud. I take exceptional pride and ownership in our customers and their experience. The motorcycle community is a tight niche one, and the brand loyalty we’ve

built has spread through word of mouth—this has allowed us to grow year after year during a tough economic time while others didn’t fare so well. Debbie: How has the marketing with BTR worked for you; it seems together we have a super relationship? Michelle: BTR was willing to “get out of the box” and do creative marketing with me, not just paid ads that look like all the others. The exposure from BTR has brought us many more new customers than I’d ever imagined. I would recommend them without a doubt to any business that is looking for a media partner to not only help them get their message to a target audience but also to get quick results. Debbie: Michelle Evans, thank you for taking the time to share this with us; is there anything else that you would like to say? Michelle: I’d like to thank every person who has visited us, and to welcome them back. This isn’t the end, it’s simply a new beginning!

People tell me all the time, Michelle and her staff know how to make you feel at Home. Ron Galletti

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For only a fleeting moment I see it: a flash of blue streaking around a corner before disappearing behind the shoulder of a mountainside. Two bends in the road later, I see it again, but this time a prodigious amount of lean angle to the left has been added to the picture before me. I am deep into an exciting ride dubbed “The Gauntlet” and there is a smile on my face and a twisting throttle under my right hand. That flash of blue? That’s my riding buddy, Mr. Sarcasm, astride his Triumph Trophy SE, and he is wringing out every ounce of goodness that the twisting, turning, undulating “Gauntlet” has to offer. Read even more on the Navigator’s blog about this trip go to www.BornToRide.com and click the link

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30 Hours Earlier It’s 6 a.m. and darkness still envelops the land as I ride north on I-75 from the Tampa area. My goal for the day is to make it to Blairsville, Georgia, and the Copperhead Lodge, where I am slated to spend several days exploring the area and experiencing a loop-ride that has been dubbed, The Gauntlet. As the minutes and the miles tick by, I see the first signs of the rising sun off to my right; a thin sliver of light traces the horizon and backlights flat, featureless land east of the highway. Off to my left the mist of early morning ground fog clinging to the bases of trees like cotton batting. Sunrise is never as beautiful as when seen from the saddle of a motorcycle. By 10 a.m. our little band of motorcycle travelers is crossing the state line into Georgia. This trip is in full swing as we are officially BTR 62 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

out of Florida and my thoughts drift ahead to visions of twisty asphalt and scenic mountain vistas. Motorcycle riding may be about the journey, but this time it is the destination that beckons to me like a siren’s song calling me closer and closer to a place where my soul will be renewed by cool air and curvy roads. After 12 hours and 566 miles, we pull into the parking lot of the Copperhead Lodge. It is time for some much needed rest. Thankfully, getting settled at the Copperhead Lodge is a non-event. We are greeted by friendly staff who are expecting us and have all in order for our arrival. Within minutes I have keys to a cabin, a map of The Gauntlet, and a full briefing on what’s available for dinner in the Copperhead’s restaurant. I smile to myself as I realize that I have arrived at a place where the people not only understand motorcyclists, they are motorcyclists, and they use that shared perspective to ensure their guests will

have an enjoyable and satisfying stay. The Gauntlet Following a tasty and filling breakfast at the Copperhead Lodge, we roll out early the next morning to challenge this route called The Gauntlet that we have heard so much about. My expectations—along with my standards for what makes a good ride—are high. As a veteran of many motorcycle excursions to the mountains, my frame of reference reads like a Who’s Who of twisty roads: the Dragon that stalks U.S. 129 north of Robbinsville; the Cherohala Skyway twisting above the clouds toward Tellico Plains; NC 80 from Marion to the Blue Ridge Parkway; NC 226A, a road so twisty legend says it makes NASCAR drivers squeal like little girls; and “The Snake,” that serpentine section of U.S. 421 slithering across the mountaintops

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from Shady Valley to Mountain City, TN. These are the experiences that will inform my time on The Gauntlet. GA 60 Within minutes of leaving the Copperhead Lodge we are riding southbound on GA 60 toward the community of Suches. The road between here and there is a tasty medley of mountain meadows, sweeping curves, and a nice sprinkling of twisty turns to hold your attention. This stretch of highway is as smooth as it is undulating and its looks to have been recently paved as shiny black asphalt and bright yellow lane markings are on display. The smooth, defect-free asphalt is a joy to ride on. Riding along and enjoying the curves, I can’t help but notice the views as well. This stretch of The Gauntlet offers up some beautiful vistas that consist mostly of open

fields giving way to mountains rising in the distance, as well as farmland and natural scenes that are as impressive as they are foreign to this born-and-raised flatlander. At one point a pair of deer run across the highway about a hundred yards ahead of me; a good reminder that this part of the country is home to a sizable population of these “forest rats” and that I would do well to adjust my riding habits to suit. I watch the deer bound across an open field as I pass through the spot where only seconds earlier they crossed the road in front of me. For the few seconds the road will allow, I marvel at the speed and the grace with which deer can cover large expanses of open ground. Arriving in Suches, we pull off into the parking lot of the Woody Gap Elementary School for a quick break and to let the slower riders in our little entourage catch up. The break is a good idea for several reasons,

not the least of which is that a much more challenging section of The Gauntlet lies directly ahead. Wolf Pen Gap Road Turning left off GA 60 onto Wolf Pen Gap Road (GA 180), I start to get a bit giddy with anticipation of what lies ahead. You see, I passed this way once before in 2005 on my way to the Honda Hoot in Knoxville, TN, and that first encounter with Wolf Pen Gap Road is still etched deep in my memory. Today’s ride will only serve to confirm and renew those memories of serpentine goodness. The first few miles of Wolf Pen Gap Road are pretty sedate from this side of the run. Passing through some residential areas the road here is benign and gentle, belying what lies just ahead. Rolling downhill into a hard left turn onto a narrow bridge we have arrived at the Lake

People tell me all the time, Michelle and her staff know how to make you feel at Home. Ron Galletti

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Michelle knows Mountain Resort Marketing and you can own the Lifestyle. Call 706-835-7433


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Winfield Scott Recreation Area, and it’s time for another stop to take photos while enjoying the scenic vistas that lie aside the bridge. Fall color is present and the fiery leaves look especially inspiring as they are reflected by the still waters of the lake. The silent beauty here is broken only by the sound of digital shutters snapping open and closed as we all do our inadequate best to capture the beauty on display before us. Back on the bike and rolling eastward once again, my heartbeat quickens as the curves tighten and the road begins to demand more and more lean angle from me and my Triumph. Yes, my memories were honest ones; this is a challenging and enjoyable stretch of road. My riding buddy, Mr. Sarcasm, is making the most of it and I marvel at his ability to sling his heavy Triumph through these demanding curves with an ease normally reserved only for the best of dancers. This section of The Gauntlet has us riding the shoulder of Blood Mountain. Some say that the name of the mountain comes

from a long ago bloody battle between the Cherokee and Creek Indians. What is known for sure is that Blood Mountain, at 4,458 feet, is the highest peak on the Georgia section of the much-vaunted Appalachian Trail. And that geography serves to inform this fantastic stretch of motorcycling bliss as the asphalt pathway struggles to follow the contours of this impressive mountainside. All too soon Wolf Pen Gap Road comes to an end as it intersects with U.S. 129. According to the map provided to us back at the Copperhead Lodge, it’s now time to turn south and ride downhill off of Blood Mountain to continue our exploration of this twisting, turning route they call The Gauntlet. Beyond Blood Mountain From Wolf Pen Gap Road, The Gauntlet turns south to follow U.S. 129 down to GA 75A, which is used to pickup GA 348, also known as the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway. The highway was named in honor of Senator Richard Brevard Russell, Jr., in March, 1969. Russell, who died in 1971,

served nearly 40 years in Congress, was twice a Democratic candidate for President of the United States, and, at the time of his death, was the senior-most member of the Senate. The “scenic” in this highway’s name is accurate and this stretch of The Gauntlet’s route would prove to be one of my favorites. Between the views, the sweepers and the twisty curves, and some freshly laid asphalt, GA 348 is motorcycling bliss. In fact, this stretch of The Gauntlet is so good you may want to allow extra time to traverse it in both directions ... more than once! The only downside about this road is that it is very popular with cagers as well as motorcyclists and you have a better than average chance of getting stuck behind a slow-mover just as you are feeling the need to lean through the twisty bits. Patience is definitely a virtue when it comes to enjoying the Richard B. Russell Scenic Highway.

People tell me all the time, Michelle and her staff know how to make you feel at Home. Ron Galletti

Brasstown Bald At the end of the Richard B. Russell BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 65 59


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Michelle knows Mountain Resort Marketing and you can own the Lifestyle. Call 706-835-7433


Scan the Code and watch the Born To Ride Mountain Getaway TV Episode People tell me all the time, Michelle and her staff know how to make you feel at Home. Ron Galletti

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Scenic Highway, the route for The Gauntlet takes you easterly on another section of GA 180. This stretch of riding leads to the entrance to a national park that encompasses the highest point in all of Georgia, Brasstown Bald. While not officially a part of The Gauntlet, the side trip up to Brasstown Bald is well worth the couple of hours it will take to enjoy the park and the stunning views of the Georgia countryside. The road to the park entrance is well maintained, fully paved, and very twisty. Admission to the Brasstown Bald park is $5 per person. After paying your admission fee, you are ushered into a large, paved parking area that allows easy access to the visitors center, restrooms, and even the opportunity to buy a hotdog from a sidewalk vendor. Thankfully, the visitors center is also where you can catch a tram ride rather than having to finish what would be a strenuous climb to the top. At the top of the mountain you will be delivered to a large complex that houses a museum, more restrooms, and a large observation deck affording 360-degree views of the mountains of northern Georgia. The experience and the views are akin to what one finds at the summit of Mount Mitchell in North Carolina, but here, at 4,784 feet above sea level, the landscape is a gorgeous combination of mountains and lakes. And, if you are fortunate to visit on a clear day, you BTR 68 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

can even see the skyline of Atlanta out on the horizon some 70 miles away! Back to The Gauntlet Leaving Brasstown Bald we turned northerly from the terminus of GA 180 at GA 17/75. The next section of The Gauntlet’s route takes you through a mix of open country and more developed areas. One thing that is consistent, though, is that every mile of The Gauntlet is good riding in one way or another. Drawing closer to the end of the official route, we turned onto Gum Log Road, which proved to be another really nice stretch of highway. This time, however, it wasn’t so much the curves or the scenery, but the combination of the two along with glimpses of life in rural northern Georgia that gave me a sense of being “behind-the-scenes,” so to speak. The final leg of The Gauntlet routed us around Nottely Lake on GA 325. Once again, the road and the scenery were topnotch. Catching a glimpse of the lake with mountains as the backdrop is always an inspiring sight, and there was no shortage of inspiration on this final section of The Gauntlet. Back at the Copperhead Lodge Very conveniently, the last leg of The Gauntlet returned us to the Copperhead

Lodge where we dismounted after a full and satisfying day of riding through roads and scenery as diverse as they were beautiful. We had rolled out at 8 a.m. to start a ride that returned us to our starting point at 5 p.m., with 150 miles showing on the trip odometer. Of course we did add about 2 hours with our visit to Brasstown Bald, but any way you slice it The Gauntlet is a fullday’s adventure. Adding to the sense of convenience was the fact that once back at the Copperhead Lodge, we had everything we needed to finish out the day in spectacular fashion. Our cabin was just up the hill and our bikes would be sheltered from the elements in the garage sitting right next to our accommodations. Back down the hill at the Lodge, a hot and tasty dinner was just minutes away. And, now that we were off the bikes, some of the Lodge’s tasty adult beverages could be added to the evening agenda. And that’s exactly how we closed out this awesome day of riding. Dinner was excellent burgers enjoyed fireside in the Copperhead Lodge’s main dining room. Cold beers were enjoyed as part of the day’s closing ritual, as well. After dinner we strolled the short distance up the hill to our cabin where we all retired for a goodnight’s rest while we dreamed of doing it all over again the next day. Bill “The Navigator” McDaniel

Michelle knows Mountain Resort Marketing and you can own the Lifestyle. Call 706-835-7433


The 2013 Boaterz and Bikerz of America: HULL OF A TOUR was a nine-day event from Destin, FL to San Diego, CA. In 2015, The Freedom Ride ran nine-days from Sarasota to Washington DC, with stops at five Freedom Boat Clubs, plus visits to Harley-Davidson’s York, PA factory, the Gettysburg Battlefield and Jefferson’s beloved Monticello, wrapping into DC’s famous Rolling Thunder. This year’s “Pacific Coast Rush” held July 23-30 was a spectacular 1,750-mile wild, wild west adventure, from Seattle to Big Sur, with a loop back to San Francisco. As is tradition and the unique component to this ride, it mixes the best of motorcycling with special boating events, in keeping with the composition of marine industry folk and BTR 70 68 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

their friends. Pacific Coast Rush brought together 16 bikes and 25 experienced riders from Florida, Ohio, Washington State and California. A dozen machines shipped from four Florida cities a week in advance via 4D’s Trucking private transport, aboard owner Mike Dengel’s trusty 72’ semi. Riders rendezvoused with Dengel in Seattle a week later to offload bikes. We gathered early Saturday and navigated through interstate traffic to downtown Seattle, arriving at the waterfront enclave of retail sponsor Alexander Marine USA and its global manufacturer and joint event sponsor, Regal Boats. As the dealership had already sold through its Regal cruiser inventory, our riders were treated to a fabulous two-hour

brunch cruise aboard a stunning 78’ Ocean Alexander motoryacht. What an awesome way to get the party started! We toasted the tour, explored the magnificent yacht, mixed and mingled and enjoyed delectable hors d’oeuvres including fresh salmon. We cruised leisurely along Lake Union and Lake Washington with the famous Space Needle and Seattle skyline on the horizon. As our cruise came to its close, we thanked our gracious hosts, then revved it up for our ride to Mount Rainier National Park. After a brief pit stop In Enumclaw, we began the stellar climb to the Sunrise Visitors Center, the highest drive point in the national park. Unfortunately, our only incident involved a rider breaking down half way up

For more than 32 years, Wanda Kenton Smith has been on the cutting edge of both media & marketing.


For more info about these services or others of interest, Contact wanda@kentonsmithmarketing.com

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the mountain. Due to the late afternoon hour and lack of emergency towing services in the area, he spent the night at the ranger’s station. Our hero was transport driver Mike Dengel who drove his bike 2.5 hours to pick up a new battery AND then returned with it so our pal could rejoin the tour. What a champ! The rest of the crew rode an hour and checked in at the rustic Paradise Inn, operated by the National Park Service. Our first group dinner together was fun, but dessert was even better. We licked ice cream cones around a large, blazing fireplace! Some riders rose early to trek half a BTR 72 68 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

mile up the mountain and were treated to a bewitching display of fragrant blooms, with a front-row vista of Mount Rainier in all of her craggy, snow-capped glory! Our first official stop was the Mount Saint Helens Windy Ridge View Point, a parched, somber and a bleak reminder of nature’s fierce power. We rode as close to the volcano’s caldera as possible and observed the lingering signs of devastation wrought by the original blast in 1980, and a second in 2008. We maneuvered down the mountain to Cougar for lunch, then cruised into Oregon where we stopped to view the famous Columbia River Gorge. We swung east and

passed a series of waterfalls, stopping at Multnomah. Breathtaking! We overnighted at Hood River and rose early to ride to the famous Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood, one of two year round ski resorts in the Northwest. We were surprised to spot skiers on the slopes in July! The next encounter was one of my favorites. Crater Lake is situated in south central Oregon within the Crater Lake National Park and is the second deepest lake in North America with a 1,949’ water depth. The water color is a shimmering indigo blue with a brilliancy that defies description. We rode much of the 26-mile rim, stopping for a group photo. We then

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headed to the hip ski town of Bend, OR and lunched at the local brewery en route to our final destination for the night, White City. Tuesday dawned a brisk 55 degrees as we suited up for our ride to Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park, the film location for the blockbuster movie, Jurassic Park. En route, we stopped for lunch at the Chart Room waterfront restaurant in Crescent City, CA, where we were greeted by a foggy coastline and a happy cacophony of barking sea lions. Ride captain Jim Krueger then led us through our first spectacular canopy of giant redwoods, which served as a brief teaser for the day ahead! We rode to Eureka for the night,

excited about the special dinner hosted by our event title sponsor, Freedom Boat Club at the popular restaurant, Black Lightning Motorcycle Café. Owners Jeff and Cassandra Hesseltine hosted our private event and couldn’t have been more welcoming! We ordered off an eclectic menu featuring tantalizing soups, fresh salads and pressed panini sandwiches, all bestowed with names of famous motorcycle brands. We filled our bellies as we dined on handtooled tables, among a cool array of bikes, gear, merchandise and classic moto movies. The following morning, we experienced the Avenue of the Giants, an enchanting, 31-mile strip of heavenly grandeur. We

slipped onto a secret side road where we parked our rides. The sun peeped through the slumbering forest, monkeys squealed overhead and we breathed it all in, gathering for some fun group shots atop a humungous overturned stump. On our way out, we rode under and through the massive trunk of one of the most photographed redwoods in the world. To reduce our travel time to Rohnert Park, we opted to take an inland interstate vs. the coastal route. BIG Mistake! We suffered the radical temperature shift from the cool mid 50’s of the morning to a blistering 111 degrees in the afternoon. We resembled a fire- breathing dragon as we BTR WOMEN’S WORLD | BTR 73


hot-tailed it to a rest stop to peel off leather and mesh. At the second stop, we dumped icy-cold gallons of water directly on our heads to cool our core temperatures. The heat was brutal! The next day brought new challenges and opportunities. First, we took a thrilling ride through the beach towns of Stinson Beach and Point BTR 74 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

Reyes, and then wound down to Fort Barry and the Bonita Point Lighthouse, the latter which juts out as the entrance to San Francisco Bay. The road was marked for miles by harrowing hairpin turns and riveting switchbacks. Awesome riding! We tightened the formation for our group ride over the famous Golden Gate Bridge, which was shrouded in the traditional light

layer of fog. The bridge crossing was a breeze ‌ but unfortunately, that euphoria came to a screeching halt at our exit, as we found ourselves smack dab in the middle of major congestion. Due to an accident, we were forced to duck-walk our bikes more than a mile uphill and through a tunnel, an intense and tiring exercise. As we cleared the accident, though, we cruised like rock stars along the world

In 2013, Wanda organized Boaterz n Bikerz Across America: An 11-day, 3,000 Mile adventure.


famous Pacific Coast Highway, reaching Half Moon Bay where we feasted at Café Capistrano, a small and outstanding familyowned Mayan restaurant. And then, it was on to Monterey and Carmel for the night. Two of our California rider pals who rode in the first Hull of a Tour had joined us the day before and agreed to lead the pack to Big Sur on Friday. The wildfires had been

raging, but the mountain road remained open. We set off for a three-hour ride through the legendary stretch of Big Sur, en route to San Simeon. The thick, soupy recipe of fog and smoke created difficult navigation, but our hardy group pressed on, stopping midway for warm beverages. There were points along this curvy road where visibility was reduced to one or two taillights. Every so often, the

grey clouds would lift their skirts, allowing a quick peek at the dramatic cleavage of mountain and surf. Skies cleared as we descended into San Simeon where we lunched at the foot of the Hearst Castle while seated in a corral, surrounded by horses and cattle. We then scooted up the mountain for an afternoon tour of the publishing magnate William Randolph Hearst’s majestic American

If you’re a Boater and Biker, Contact Wanda for her next Adventure. wanda@kentonsmithmarketing.com

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palace, rich in its old Hollywood glamour and steeped in stories. On our return ride, the fog and smoke had dissipated. We found ourselves cushioned between a long trail of fire fighters during their afternoon shift change. Trucks and equipment were stashed all along the mountainside, amid handwritten signs posted by locals thanking these tireless, hard-working crews for their selfless service and sacrifice. We stopped to view the huge elephant seals who gather each year along the shore to give birth, sleep, and molt. These marvelous mammals were literally stacked side to side, sacked out and kicking up sand! We finally rolled into the picturesque Monterey Marina at sunset, where several of us enjoyed a Japanese tepanyaki-style dinner. It seems like the months preceding a vacation drag on forever, while the last day of vacation always arrives like an unwelcomed guest. Saturday morning, BTR 76 | BTR WOMEN’S WORLD

we headed to the Santa Cruz mountains, riding through fertile farmlands, then up through gentle hills to dappled forests with easy sweeps and turns. A few switchbacks with some wide banks kept the adrenaline flowing. Around noon, we pulled up to Alice’s Restaurant in Woodbine, where you can, in fact, get most anything you want. A biker’s hangout, hundreds of motorcyclists come every weekend and create a virtual bike show. It’s the happening spot for a great meal, friendly conversations and some exciting riding all along Skyline Drive. Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. We hit the interstate, heading to the Perkins Harley dealership near San Francisco Airport where we reluctantly turned over our bikes and keys to Mike Dengel, who loaded ‘em up and moved ‘em out. He would be making a stop in Sturgis with our loyal steeds before returning them to the Sunshine State a few weeks later. We’ve all become fans of Mike and 4D’s Trucking!

The tour’s grand finale was held at San Francisco’s famous Fisherman’s Wharf where we gathered for a “Sunset Sailabration,” hosted by Freedom Boat Club. Our last ride was aboard a spacious 48’ power catamaran which cruised 1.5 hours around San Francisco Bay, past Alcatraz and beneath the Golden Gate Bridge. We toasted the amazing time we’d spent together … and the fabulous new friendships we’d made. There’s a lot that could be said about riding with a group of boaters and bikers, but one description says it all … it’s one hull of a tour! Wanda Kenton Smith is the co-founder and event producer of Hull of a Tour. She is president of Kenton Smith Marketing (www.kentonsmithmarketing.com), president of Marine Marketers of America and chief marketing officer of Freedom Boat Club. She is also the national marketing columnist for Soundings Trade Only since 1998, and served previously as editor of several consumer boating magazines and trade newspapers. By Wanda Kenton Smith


Boaterz n Bikerz of America Prepares to Slay the Dragon

For the fifth year, a group of marine industry executives and their friends will shift gears, moving from the familiar waters and helms of their favorite boat brands to navigating some of the best backroads in America aboard a nimble fleet of sleek, two-wheeled machines. Boaterz ‘n Bikerz of America: Hull of a Tour 5 is revving up to slay the beast during its May 5 – 10 adventure in the Great Smoky Mountains. This year’s event, dubbed “The Dragon’s Roar,” will headquarters at the famous Iron Horse Motorcycle Lodge & Resort in Robbinsville, NC and set out with day trips throughout the tristate region to explore legendary motorcycle routes including the infamous Dragon’s Tail. “There is a huge following of avid motorcycle enthusiasts within boating industry ranks,” said Wanda Kenton Smith, president of Kenton Smith Marketing and co-founder/event producer of Boaterz n Bikerz of America. “There is such a crossover between boaters and motorcyclists as we share such a passion for living and fully enjoying and embracing the great outdoors. Our event celebrates the best of the boating and biker lifestyle and is unique in that we integrate both into our tour agenda.” Kenton Smith is a senior marketing executive of 35+ years, national marketing columnist, former advertising agency owner and boating magazine editor. She launched the tour in 2013 with partner Jim Krueger, himself

a 46-year year marine industry executive recently retired from Regal Boats. The twosome created a vision, collaborated and extended an invitation to fellow marine industry enthusiasts to exchange their deck shoes for boots and to participate in epic adventures across America that combined the best of the boating and motorcycling lifestyle. The tour has included a cross-country ride from Florida to CA; Florida to Washington DC with a fold into Rolling Thunder; Seattle to Big Sur via Pacific Coast Highway; and a four-state New England trek dubbed The Lobster Roll. The tour continues to gain traction, attracting national sponsors and

boating industry riders from as far away as California and Wisconsin to participate. “Our motorcycling rides are always matched by thrilling boating excursions,” said Kenton Smith. “We’ve witnessed the Blue Angels aboard a fleet of Freedom Boat Club boats; chartered a 90-foot yacht and explored Lake Grapevine, TX; have gone cruising in San Diego, San Francisco and most recently in Newport, RI. This year, we’re all stoked to go surfing with our awesome boat sponsor, Malibu Boats, on Lake Tellico in Tennessee.” This year, Born to Ride joins the tour as an official sponsor along with returning 2x sponsor Evinrude/BRP as title sponsor, 2x sponsor Sea Tow International, 4x sponsors Soundings Trade Only and Kenton Smith Marketing, and tour sponsor newcomers Malibu Boats, Jim Krueger Photography,

and Boogey Lights. “We are very excited to sponsor this year’s Hull of a Tour,” said Evinrude Regional Sales Manager Andy Lindstrom, a 3x event rider. “Besides Evinrude, BRP also owns the Sea-Doo and CanAm Spyder powersports brands, so our partnership with Boaterz ‘n Bikerz of America is a perfect fit for our recreational lifestyle.” For more information about Hull of a Tour 5, The Dragon’s Roar, email Wanda Kenton Smith at wanda@kentonsmithmarketing.com or www.kentonsmithmarketing.com or www. kentonsmithmarketing.com/dragon-s-roar. html

Be a Part of Boaterz n Bikerz 2019, Dragon’s Roar, call Wanda, wanda@kentonsmithmarketing.com

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Born To Ride Women's World Issue #2, Exclusive Online Magazine is Now Available at BornToRide.com  

Wendy LaForce-Stilletto’s On Steel, Leticia Cline-The Iron Lilie’s, Krista Grotte-Nation’s Fire Movie, Fran Haasch-Wreaths Across America, F...

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