Thursday, April 29, 2010

Talimena Scenic Drive

A ride we love and have enjoyed several times... is the Talimena Scenic Drive in Oklahoma and Arkansas.  We've been lucky enough to experience the Ouachita Mountains in both the spring when everything is blooming and in the fall when all the autumn colors are in full force.

We always stay in Talihina... at the Hootie Creek House Bed and Breakfast.  The owners, Carolyn and Essex let us park the bike on the front porch, and Carolyn makes the best apple pancakes in the world!

The Hootie Creek House Diner

Downtown Talihina

The scenic drive stretches over the mountain tops... from Talihina, Oklahoma to Mena, Arkansas.  We've never seen him, but the area is declared as the home of Big Foot.  


There are all kinds of things to see along the drive... historical markers, parks, wildlife, and an old cemetery from the 1800's where some of the graves are marked with scratches on rocks.  

On this particular trip... we saw a very large turtle in the middle of the road.  I asked Cliff to turn around so we could go back and move the turtle.... I didn't want him to get hit by a car.  We turned back, I got off the bike and approached the turtle.  I was planning to just pick him up and put him in the grass.  However,  he was not the friendliest turtle I have ever met, that's for sure!  He had a snarl on his face, I swear!   Cliff started laughing, and said... "What are you so scared of, it's just a turtle, it's not like he can come after you or go very fast!"

The next thing I knew... the turtle moved with amazing speed toward me!  Cliff jumped off the bike to get a closer look.  He recognized it being an Alligator Snapping Turtle... then the turtle lunged at Cliff and took a chunk out of his boot!  I've never seen Cliff move so fast.

Now I'm laughing...  Um yeah... it's just a turtle, how scary can it be?

Long story short, Cliff punted the turtle off his boot, into the grass, and we sped away!

And that my friends... is another tale from the back of the bike.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Beautiful Oklahoma

Cliff was laughing... 

Because we were racing a hearse!

It's just not something that happens every day!

It started to rain... so we found the nearest shelter, which was an abandoned cobblestone cabin.  We ducked inside and waited for the rain to pass.

Cliff added a little something to the graffiti in the cabin.

I had never been to Lawton, Oklahoma... but experiencing it on the back of a bike is the only way to go. That area of Oklahoma is truly beautiful!  We rode through the Wichita Mountain Wild Life Refuge seeing buffalo, longhorns, wildflowers, and winding roads that seemed to go on forever.  




I can't remember where we stopped for lunch, but I seated myself next to a bison!

The next day... we rode over to Medicine Park, another place I had never been, a place like no other!  An adorable little community created out of cobblestone.



There was a music festival going on, so Cliff and I followed the crowd and joined in.
We loved Medicine Park!

On the way home... we stopped in Oklahoma City to see the bombing Memorial & Museum... photos don't do it justice.  It touched me in ways I can't describe.  Everyone should visit and be touched too.


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Biker Mamma 101

Response to Chrome has been fantastic... Thank you everyone!  Lots of people have emailed me directly to ask questions about being a biker babe.   So dear readers, I will share.  Here is Biker Mamma 101, a special post just for you...

Dear Randi, when are you going to get a hog of your own?  Truth is, I am a better passenger than a driver.  I have no plans to get my own bike.  I like being on the back where I can text, sip my Starbucks, and take in the scenery.  Some Harley stores offer classes for women who want to learn how to ride their own bike, but I prefer to ride on the back with Cliff.  We can talk and I can hug him whenever I want.

Randi, please tell me you don't really wear a doo-rag!  What the hell is that thing on your head at the end of the Texas Hill Country post?  Hey!  You making fun of my doo-rag?  ha! That thing is a hair saver... when you have big hair like mine, you have to cover it up or it becomes a tangle fest.  I've tried everything from a basic pony-tail to bandanas, caps and scarves.  The thing I'm wearing is a z-wrap from Schampa.  I like this best because it's made from nylon with little air holes so you don't get too hot.  It has a cotton stretchy band that keeps it in place.  I tie the tails under my pony-tail and it keeps my hair from hitting me in the face and becoming a mess.  It's also great under a helmet and keeps your head from getting itchy.

My doo-rag of choice! 
I bought it a a biker store in Medicine Park, Oklahoma 
called Chaps My Ass they had lots of colors and styles.

Hey Randi, can you send me the routes you take?  Yes I can!  Just email me, at or better yet, I will start linking the routes we take on each post.  Cliff plans our routes, and sometimes uses the Harley Ride Planner that can be downloaded in to our GPS.  Often, Cliff takes it a step further and checks out the routes on Google Earth Street View and Bing to make sure we are going to see cool stuff on our trips.

Ewwwww... don't you get hit by bugs?  Yes.  I've been pelted in the face, arms and legs several times.  It's not a bad as you think, but sometimes it hurts.

Randi, do you always wear a helmet?  Actually no.  I know it's best to always wear a helmet, but I'm not trying to be the Safety poster girl, so don't email me and tell me how dangerous it is not to wear one.  Helmet wearing depends on several factors...

1.  The helmet laws of the state we are riding in.
2.  How cold and windy it is -- cold and wind usually make me want one on.
3.  How hot it is -- really hot temperatures make me want to toss the helmet in the trash.
4.  How often we will be getting on and off the bike...  If we are participating in a rally or poker run, wearing a helmet can be a pain.
And 5.  I know this is cliche, but sometimes it just feels good to feel the wind in your hair.

While we are on the subject of helmets... we have a voice command wireless system in our helmets so we can talk, which is great!  We have the Cardo Scala Rider Team Set.

Hi Randi, my boyfriend / husband has a bike, and I think I might like to ride with him, but what do I wear?  Oh girlfriend, there is really only one basic thing you need... motorcycle sunglasses.  Other than that, you can wear whatever you want!  Regular sunglasses just won't do.  You need motorcycle sunglasses with the little foam insert to keep the wind from drying out your eyes and protect your eyes from debris and flying bugs.  You can also get them with clear lenses so you can see at night.

However, I do have strong opinions... about Biker Chick fashion.  Avoid wearing shirts like this:

Real Women Drink and I'm The Bitch That Fell Off
have a tendency to send the wrong message, unless you are into sending messages like that!

"Why yes, your butt does look fat"
Not something I want to hear on a nice sunny day on the bike.

Instead... go to your local Harley-Davidson store and get a tee-shirt or two just for riding.  A long sleeved-tee and a short sleeved-tee will get you started so you can layer them.  I never dreamed that I'd have a collection of Harley apparel nestled in my closet next to my Talbot's and Ann Taylor, but never say never!

Here's a cool store in Tulsa that has some great tee-shirts for riding... All Access.

If you are going to ride a lot... you must invest in some motorcycle boots.  Not only do they protect your feet, but they keep your leg from getting too hot next to the pipes.  I prefer the kind of boots that zip up on the side so you don't have to mess with the laces every time you take them on and off.  Take it from me, never wear flip-flops or sandals when riding on the back of a bike!


Let's talk purses... you really can't ride with a big shoulder bag strapped around you.  I love these little clip-on purses that Harley makes.  They clip on to your belt loops and are perfect for taking only the necessities along... money, ID, credit cards, cell-phone, and Chapstick... you know, the small stuff.  Plus, they are way cooler looking than a fanny pack.

Let's not forget about cold weather... there are two kinds of jackets you'll need.  A leather one and something lighter, like a denim jacket.  I made sure that my denim fits under my leather so that I can peel off layers as needed when it's cold.


Don't forget about gloves... nothing is worse than feeling like your hands are going to freeze off, even if you have them stuffed in your jacket pockets.  Make sure you have good gloves that fit.  I went a whole year wearing ill fitting gloves that actually turned my hands black!  Once I got some good ones, I wondered why I didn't get them sooner.

The thing is... you want to be comfortable and weather appropriate when on a bike.  And remember,  people are looking at your back.  You don't want to look like this!  

And no, this is NOT me!

Got questions?  Ask me anything.
More cool ride posts coming soon!