Motorcycle Book Review: Chrome Cowgirl Guide

Mullins' motorcycle book will get women's engines roaring

The Chrome Cowgirl Guide to the Motorcycle Life ($24.95) is part biker chick-lit and part author Sasha Mullins’ personal photo album and diary entries. The book is billed as a “primer for women entering the motorcycle
community.” That it is, but with a twist. Mullins sees life through rose-colored glasses with gold-sparkling scribbles on the lens. That’s the only way I can describe the tone and feel of this 192-page book, which provides inspiration to ride more through imparting the empowering and spiritual benefits of motorcycling rather than any concrete factual reasons. To read Chrome Cowgirl is to buy into a whole new vocabulary invented by Mullins. Words like ridelicious, roadacious, windsister, windini, and motocure appear in chapter titles. “Motocure: manicures for the motorcycle, mind and mood” is the title of the section on maintaining your motorcycle. It explains how to do a tire burnout and advises carrying fun bandannas, a compact umbrella, and a Chrome Cowgirl attitude hat in your motorcycle tool kit for the road. You get the picture.

Mullins’ material is gleaned from her years riding a Sportster she’s named Tigerlily; she’s had the privilege of experiencing the motorcycling lifestyle through a proverbial backstage pass to the action and by rubbing elbows with the who’s who of the Harley world. She’s learned a lot and is a changed woman as a result of spending time on Tigerlily. This book is a compilation of that wisdom, written to inspire other women to “ditch life as you know it” and become windsisters. AIM
Genevieve Schmitt

MBI Publishing

American Motorcycle Girls 1900 to 1950 Book Review

The American Motorcycle Girls 1900 to 1950: A Photographic History of Early Women Motorcyclists is a book I’m excited about because it’s a professional presentation of a topic I’m passionate about: women riders. Actually, the book is not simply about any women riders, but the ones who paved the way during the first 50 years of the 20th century.

This 240-page coffee-table book is loaded with nearly 400 incredible vintage photographs of just about every woman who rode a motorcycle during the first half of the last century. Author Cristine Sommer Simmons spent two years scouring museums and personal collections to create the most comprehensive book on the subject of women riders from the early days. She’s also been collecting photos for 30 years. Ever heard of Nellie Jo Gill or Easter Walters? These, and the stories of hundreds of other women, most of whom are not showcased in any motorcycle museum, are chronicled with photos in this beautiful and informative book. I marvel at the clear, close-up images of these female pioneers who rode when riding was tough. The thing is, they didn’t know it was tough. All they knew were dirt roads with potholes and motorcycles that were not as technologically sound as modern bikes. They didn’t have good maps, and they didn’t have the high-tech gear and riding apparel we have today. But these women fell in love with the feeling that motorcycling gave them, despite societal limitations of the day.

The American Motorcycle Girls 1900 to 1950: A Photographic History of Early Women Motorcyclists is a glowing tribute to the women who opened the doors to cycling and paved the way for countless female riders who followed in their tire tracks. It’s priced at $50, and is well worth it! AIM

–Genevieve Schmitt as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

Parker House Publishing

Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Motorcycle Cookbook

If you’re an intrepid road hawg like “Biker” Billy Hufnagle, you know what it’s like to log in the miles in search of some decent eats. But visiting every greasy spoon along the way may leave your stomach rumbling more than your V-twin. No worries! Our man Billy has done all the dirty work, culling a wealth of fine dining information from his journeys and compiling it into one fun, food-filled book.

Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Cookbook ($19.95) takes readers on a mouthwatering ride ’round the country, stopping off at choice locations for some great chow. In addition to a bit of history about each location, Biker Billy includes recipes for his favorite dishes. But before you write off this offer as a bunch of truck-stop fare, you best read the menu again. There’s definitely something for everyone — from breakfast, lunch, and dinner to dessert and sides. Rolling through Decatur, Illinois, and have a craving for a Coney dog? Billy’s got you covered. Blasting into Knoxville, Tennessee, and looking for a hot bowl of taco soup? Check. Maybe you’ve found yourself in East Earl, Pennsylvania, and have a hankerin’ for a slab of banana cream cheesecake. Billy’s got the place for you.

With Biker Billy’s Roadhouse Cookbook, you’ve got a detailed list of some great joints to stop wherever you find yourself and your ride. So now there’s no excuse not to get your motor running and get out on the highway. If you take Biker Billy’s culinary advice, you’ll never starve while carving up the blacktop or twisties. And best of all, with Billy’s recipes, you can recreate your favorite dishes once you’ve pulled into your driveway, dumped the dusty leathers, and relaxed in your favorite reclining chair. AIM

–Adam Williams as published in American Iron Magazine, the world’s best selling Harley magazine.

The Lyons Press