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Saturday Edition


“My Motorcycle Life” Spending the day with the Biker Belles

by Cat Hammes


Tuesday August 8, 2017, Buffalo Chip’s 9th year for the Biker Bells event. “A time to celebrate women in motorcycling and connect with those who are shaping the industry and driving change,” and of course that leads to a fantastic way to start a sunny morning!

The day starts out with registration at the Chip, where you get to meet the ladies from all over and those who want to support them, like Jesse Combs, this year’s Grand Marshall. Well known for her speed records, fabrication and also a South Dakota native. We also got a reveal up close and personal with Diva Amy Skaling’s beautiful Diva Glide 2, a customized Paul Yaffe bagger. A visitor from Sweden said how beautiful with brilliant blink blink. I will say definitely the most incredible tattooed metal work, and done by a veteran, freehand

Diva Amy Skaling isn’t just another pretty face but a power house, who has supported and encouraged women riding since she began many moons ago. She may show up with colors and crystals but that woman can ride; her Diva Glide retired due to miles! She is the founder of Team Diva setting up the comfort zone in Deadwood. Vendors, hair care, nails and massages are available, when you land at the Deadwood Lodge, so you can let the pampering begin! She believes everyone needs a little Diva and pampered.

The Biker Belles ride snaked throughout the Black Hills with cooperation from the local police department. Without putting our feet down, we were escorted by the Black Hills finest. What a great way for the city and areas to embrace women and motorcycling! The ride ended at Deadwood Lodge for lunch, the panel discussion, meet and greet; just a fantastic day!

The early afternoon started off with our special guest moderator Marilyn Stemp a powerhouse in female motorcycling. Special guest speaker and land speed record holder Valerie Thompson spoke. She talked about how she came into motorcycling and racing. She will be heading back to the Salt Flats very shortly, shooting for well over 300 miles per hour! Positive vibes for this power house!
The panel also had other women who shared how they turned their passion of riding into a business. Malinda Johnson with Open Road Girl, Lisa Bone, of Bone Mountain Motor Gear and Jacqui Van Ham who spoke of her love for riding people. The speakers just reiterated their passion for motorcycling and how to turn it into a job they love. Marylyn opened the floor to women and my question was how can women in the industry pass the torch and support each other. Be available, reach out and encourage. Fantastic thoughts and ideas shared!

What was so cool literally looking around the room, the powerhouses like Gloria Tramontin Struck, still riding a Hall of Fame inductee with daughter Lori Struck DeSilva and granddaughter Kathy DeSilva. Laura Klock Hall of Fame member, with daughter Karlee Cobb both land speed holders, to Cris Sommer Simons also Hall of Fame inductee, author, Cannon baller with husband Pat Simons from the Dobbie Brothers out to support women in the industry. To Jesse Combs, Kelly Quinn long distance endurance motorcycle rider, Betsy Huelskamp but also the Jeri Buckingham a MFS/HD Coach and husband, Shawn, the two of them supporting since the beginning have assisted with anything and everything even to moving around bikes or assisting when lost the support is fantastic.

Jack Estes and Melissa Hughes from AZ presented the Biker Belles with a large donation representing the Bikers for Boobies charity, because “We all need to support each other.”

It's amazing, the Buffalo Chip, year after year, continues to support and advocate for women in the motorcycle industry. I had special shout-out to Tony Woodruff who's just made it her passion to continue to show what women in the industry are doing and how they are making a difference.

A day full of riding, laughing and smiling. I am still amazed how many people two wheels have brought into my life through my vice of motorcycle riding! If I can be of service and share my experience, I can’t think of a better way than two wheels!


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