I have always been curious about how other women have gotten into riding motorcycles, and with Mother’s Day a little over a month away, I decided to write a blog series to recognize and honor some of the moms out there who ride. Many women put their riding on hold to start and raise a family, while others just keep on riding. Some start later in life when their kids are grown. My “babies” are now 25 and 23, and my own journey to riding took 10-years from the first twinkle in my eye, to purchasing my first bike.
My story can wait for another time, but for now I’m excited to share with you the stories of other moms who ride. Each story is as unique as the ladies themselves, but the common bond is their love of 2-wheels and the life of adventure that comes with the territory. This week you’ll meet Sash Walker.
Several years ago, before I even knew Sash, I read an article she wrote for Women Riders Now, about her riding adventures with her husband Steve. I remember thinking “how freakin’ cool is that!”. I was in awe. Fast forward to 2016, I stumbled upon Sash’s Instagram feed, @rudebikerchick, and I remembered her! Not long after, I hired Sash’s company Too Much Tina Marketing & Media, to build my website and help with marketing Ride Like A Girl Designs. Sash is the real deal, and her love of travel on 2-wheels, and dedication to life on the road is infectious. Meet Sash…
(Above) Sash and her motorcycle "Tatonka" in Denver
How old are you?
I’m 51. Geez, that’s starting to sound kinda old. . .
How long have you been riding, and what is your current bike?
I started riding in January 2013 on a Kawasaki Ninja 500. We left from San Diego, CA to ride around the U.S. only 3 months later. We subsequently stayed on the road for 2.5 years, so I gained plenty of riding experience out of necessity. Along the way I bought my Yamaha V Star 650 in Des Moines, IA. My Ninja was just not comfortable for touring.
Did you start riding before you had kids or after?
Well, I started riding after I had a grandchild. Does that count?
How many kids do you have and what are their ages?
I have one daughter, Olivia, age 26 (by the time this posts she’ll be 27). She is married to David, whom I consider my kid as much as I do my daughter. My grandson Jackson will be 3 on Independence Day of this year.
(Above) Sash and daughter Olivia talking shit
What were other people’s reactions to your decision to ride?
My daughter thought I had lost my mind. I had gone through a divorce, started dating Steve, who is now my husband, and was riding on the back of his motorcycle. When I told my daughter I was going to ride my own motorcycle, she threw her hands in the air, simply at a loss. “What is happening to you? You’re doing everything you always told me not to do!”
She was right. I had been really uptight while I was raising her. I realized too late that I was instilling all of my fears into her by over protecting her. It was a huge mistake that I now regret. But I’ve learned so much about myself and my daughter through learning to ride.
Was learning to ride a lifelong dream or just an idea that popped up into your head one day?
My Daddy rode a motorcycle until he died at the age of 50. My high school boyfriend rode a motorcycle. In fact, we had an accident on his bike and my tailbone and spine were fractured. I was frightened to get back on, but I did.
Secretly I always wanted to ride. I had considered it when I was a young mother but everyone talked me out of the idea. I was told that I could never ride, that I didn’t know what I was talking about, and I didn’t want to be the kind of mother wants to get herself killed and abandon her children. So I gave up the idea. I didn’t think about it when I was older, even while I was considering my divorce. It wasn’t until I started dating a guy with a motorcycle that I became excited about it again.
Do you now, or anytime in the past let your kids ride pillion?
I took my daughter on a ride for my birthday. I wanted to go to San Francisco but my husband wasn’t interested in joining me. So I offered to take Olivia. I picked her up at her home in Bakersfield, CA and we rode to San Fran. We stayed a few nights and rode back. During the ride back we got a little lost and ended up rolling into her driveway around 9 pm. We were very tired but very happy. I must say, it was one of the best things we’ve ever done together.
Has your riding influenced your kids to start riding?
She absolutely loves riding pillion and hopes to have her own motorcycle one day.
Share with us a story or anecdote about being a mom who rides…
My husband Steve and I vagabond full time, so we aren’t around the kids much. But it seems that we still see them regularly. I miss them so much sometimes that I cry in my helmet with aching.
Because of our lifestyle, we were able to spend a month in Bakersfield while my daughter was nearing the end of her pregnancy. We were able to be there with her when she delivered. My husband recorded video (from an appropriate angle!) and my son-in-law and I coached my daughter through the delivery. We were able to be there when my grandson came into this world. How remarkable!
(Above) Sash and grandson Jackson
But a few weeks later we were in Sturgis for the rally when I received a panicked phone call. My grandson’s circumcision had complications and he was bleeding badly. I couldn’t get there in time to help, even if I left right away. I was terrified.
I called a woman rider who I had met at a women’s event who lived nearby. She went to the house and helped the kids when they got back from the hospital. She held my grandson while the kids caught up on their sleep. I will be forever grateful to her for being there when I could not.
That’s what this community of women riders is all about; helping one another, wherever and whenever we can. As a Mom we want to always be there for our kids. But as a Mom Who Rides, that’s not always realistic. But in this instance, another Mom Who Rides was there in my place, and that’s almost just as good.
Sash’s Bio in a Nutshell:
As the CEO of Too Much Tina Marketing & Media, I'm a former beauty queen turned moto-writer and blogger, online publisher and marketer. My favorite aspect of my career is training other business owners how to market their own business and how to earn an income blogging.
My husband and I rode from 2013-2015 across 35 states & 50,000+ miles as vagabonds, working and living from the road. We took a break in 2016 in San Diego, but we are getting back on the road April 2017. We chronicled some of our experiences of this adventure on our site Road Pickle.
My work has been published in Women Riders Now, Biker News Online, California Road Trip, Rebelle Society, Menifee 24/7, Bear Creek Chronicle, Live Life Local, 951 Magazine, Country Review Magazine, and Mademoiselle Magazine. She self-published a book of poetry in 2009, “Finding Christ Inside” and in January 2015 my latest book was released, "Rude Biker Chick: Lessons From My Daddy" (available on Amazon & Smashwords).
“Everyone I meet has something to teach me, as does every mile. I want nothing more than to learn from each one.”