Book Review: The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to The Motorcycle Life
An inspirational book for all women who ride or dream of riding
Did you know that according to latest statistics women represent 10% of all motorcyclists in the U.S.? That means that 1 out of 10 riders or 4.3 million of the 23.5 million people in the United States that operate a motorcycle are female. I am one of them and so is Sasha Mullins. Mullins has appeared in several TV shows and has written “Bikerlady: Living and Riding Free.” Her latest book to be published is “The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to The Motorcycle Life.”
This book is an inspirational, spiritual, motivational, women-empowering “pick-me-up and keep on riding” work rather than a practical how-to guide. For example, the Table of Contents is to be read as a Road Map, leading the reader from Ridelicious Route 1 to Romantic Route 8, allowing a glimpse of the fun ride ahead. Sasha, the Chrome Cowgirl, takes her readers on a road trip intended to motivate and inspire women of all kinds to saddle up and ride, and to become strong and confident powerhouse rider chicks.
Girls, if you’re having a bad day, open any page in this book, and you’ll find inspiration and motivation to be strong and confident. It encourages women to get on a motorcycle and ride, forget all doubts and troubles, and clear their minds and souls. If you’re looking to learn the secrets of motorcycle riding, which lines to take, better braking technique, improving cornering skills, or otherwise, you might need to refer to other materials.
Mullins describes the freedom and changes motorcycle riding can bring, as well as difficulties, how to overcome them and how to create one’s own destiny and life path.
As a sportbike rider, I gained some insight into the cruiser lifestyle for the first time as I read this book. It is all about packing your bags, and going on a road trip, feeling the wind in your hair, and cruising down long stretches of highway. I could really imagine the soul cleansing experience, even if I am not a very spiritual person.
However, every picture of the author riding without a helmet or any kind of protective gear, as well as reading about protection (as in prayer) made me flinch.
According to the NHTSA, 65% of all motorcycle fatalities in states without a universal helmet law result from head injuries due to the rider not wearing a helmet, and 14% in states with a universal helmet law. Those numbers speak for themselves. I feel that those of us (this includes Sasha Mullins) with seemingly countless miles or years on two wheels have a responsibility to provide riders with information and tools which will keep them safe. Especially when motivating them to start riding in a country where every 18 year old can get on any kind of bike, without practical training, and ride. The Motorcycle Life starts with preparing to keep it.
Sasha Mullins loves to take her bike, “Tigerlily,” on the road trips to Sturgis, to hang at the festival with her Chrome Cowgirl power friends, and have the time of her life on the road. She gives tips on packing nifty things for the trip, riding, camping, as well as partying and rallying with her riding sisters.
The author focuses on what we generally know as the “cruiser lifestyle,” the feeling of freedom and exhilaration we get when on a motorcycle. There is this kind of unexplainable something we all feel when we’re on the bike that keeps us going, even if we are aware of the risks riding brings. Having said that, experienced riders and newbies alike should always keep an open mind about picking up additional material on riding techniques and skills.
Road Diary excerpts from the author’s trip to Sturgis include inspirational women’s quotes, phrases and terms, “Trip Tips,” empowering “Fuel for Thought,” road trip photos, road-inspired art, poetry, the author’s favorite riding music from Motocure to Girls Ride Out and finally, prayers. Inspirational “female” terms are intended to motivate women to leave their mediocre lives as they know them behind, and become goddesses on two wheels.
Toward the end of the book the author starts talking my language when she mentions, briefly, the importance of developing and improving riding skills and learning the proper techniques. She even suggests books and classes. I was happy to discover some good and useful advice on how to choose the right bike or riding style, how to make a bike fit, check your motorcycle before every ride and advice on learning basic mechanics as well as how to pick up a fallen ride.
There is a short list of motorcycle apparel manufacturers, but mainly for fashion reasons. The right gear will help keep your bones together and skin on when you hit the pavement. Road rash is an ugly thing, and hospital bills can be expensive.
The author doesn’t forget about men completely. She includes a photo gallery of her favorite Chrome Cowboys and concludes the book with an expression of her softer side, paying respect to her relationship and the main man in her life.
To all Chrome Cowgirls out there: If the title speaks to you, this book is your inspirational guide to motorcycle girl power. Get inspired, empowered, motivated, change your life, be a strong Chrome Cowgirl and take the ride of your life!
But please, don’t forget about training, skills, and all the right gear.