Body and Machine

Rocks for Roses

Saturday July 21st a great group of Jeep Riders gathered at the Doe Valley OHV area in Windber, PA to show support for “Rocks for Roses” an organized Jeep trail ride with the goal of raising awareness and funds for Cystic Fibrosis.  Event organizer Katelyn Heinbaugh is a sweet young woman who along with her brother Billy, has been battling and continue to battle Cystic Fibrosis, a genetic disorder that affects mostly the lungs, but also the pancreas, liver, kidneys, and intestine. Long-term issues include difficulty breathing and coughing up mucus as a result of frequent lung infections. There is no known cure for cystic fibrosis.  As you can imagine, Katelyn and Billy have spent most of their lives in and out of the hospital and dealing with all this disease offers.

In comes the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation with a main goal of driving research to make a difference for people living with Cystic Fibrosis. They are able to do this with drug development, clinical trials, and advocacy work. The foundation steps in and helps in every aspect of battling this disease, along with helping patients afford the massive medical bills.

Katelyn is an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys trail riding with her fiancé Rain, so it was pretty natural for her to organize a Jeep trail ride that would support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  Now in it’s 4th year, Katelyn was hoping to meet her goal of raising $5,000 from this years event.  We just got word she is at a little over $6,000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  We are so happy to have ben able to show up and help support Rocks for Roses and we want to give a shout out to Star Brite (they are one of our sponsors for the Ultimate Biker Makeover).  Star Brite stepped up and sent us a ton of Garage products that Jeep riders would enjoy.  Katelyn was able to hand out awesome products like Extreme Clean, Salt Off, Corrosion Blocker, Snap and Zipper Lubricant, Water Spot Remover and the popular Liquid Electrical Tape. (We heard that was in big demand with this Jeep crew)   Thank you Star Brite for supporting Katelyn and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Let’s spread the word about Rocks for roses and help Katelyn double her goal for the 2019 Ride!





Star Brite-Shine Brite

By Chris Gibbany, past #ultimatebikermakeover winner

I am not easily impressed AND I have used a ton of products over the years but I am in LOVE with Star brite’s Xtreme Clean product.  One of the products that my husband and I use a lot of and have not had great results with is degreaser.  Between the both of us, we have 10 vehicles and 7 motorcycles!  Yikes!  Everything we have is vintage and my 1973 Rallye Challenger is the newest thing I own.  When I bought my ’68 Charger last year, I put the 4-speed in the carport because I didn’t want to deal with cleaning the years of oil and grease off of it.  One day after cleaning two oil pans with Xtreme Clean and getting unbelievable results with very little effort, I decided to tackle it.  OMG, my husband couldn’t believe the difference when he came home!

Xtreme Clean is non-caustic and non-acidic, with no harsh odor and it takes very little water to wash the product off.  The trigger on the bottle allows for an easily maintained two-finger squeeze and it can be sprayed upside down. The greatest thing about it is, of course, the amazing way it tackles grease and dirt.  Just spray it on, distribute with a brush, cloth or sponge and allow it to work for 15-20 seconds and then rinse off.  You can actually see the dirt lifting while you are waiting to rinse the product off!

Since the Xtreme Clean was so awesome, I decided to try a couple other Star brite products.  My ’56 Panhead was very dirty as I haven’t cleaned it since getting back from North Carolina last June.  I have NEVER actually washed the bike, just wiped it here and there. I don’t like to use up a lot of my time cleaning when I can be riding.

I first removed the rust from my Spartan springer with a MasterPro refinishing scuffing pad. I only worked on the frontend for about 30 minutes and the pad did a great job.  I then washed the entire bike with Xtreme Clean.  Once the bike was dry, I applied Star brite Ultimate Bike Guard to all of the metal, including the exhaust pipes, tank, fender, seat pan and other misc. chrome pieces. Bike guard is a detailer and protectant that you just wipe on and wipe off, plus it smells AWESOME!  It leaves a mirror-like shine and has protective polymers that repel UV rays, so it’s like sunscreen for my bike.

I then used Star brite Xtreme Protectant on the tires and it made them shine.  Since I only have a small piece of leather on my seat pan, I did not put the protectant there as I learned my lesson when I put it on the dirt bike seats; it made them super slippery!  I can’t wait to use this on the interior of my cars though.  It also smells really nice and has UV protection and is anti-static so it repels dirt.

After I got finished with that, I applied Star brite Corrosion Blocker to my springer.  The springer is raw and has to be protected and what I’ve been using doesn’t seem to last. The Corrosion Blocker actually bonds to the metal and forms a protective barrier that is clear. I try not to get caught out in rain, but sometimes it happens.  The Corrosion Blocker dries quickly and if you apply too much, just wipe off the excess.  It is like a clear coat for my springer. I can honestly say I couldn’t be happier with these Star brite products and my Panhead has never looked better!

Looking for a way to carry only what you need?

If you like hiking but are looking for a way to carry just your necessities, then you might want to consider Hill People Gear​. This chest rig pictured can be worn in conjunction with a back pack, or on its own. Perfect for phone, keys, knife or firearm. We have been seeing a bunch of motorcycle riders using these to keep important things in easy reach. Sara just got herself one at the Overland Expo and will report back on what she thinks of it.  Stay Tuned!

Sixth Annual FXR Show & Dyna Mixer Brings Friends Back to Sturgis Buffalo Chip® Aug. 5

Snap Fabrication’s Joe Mielke brings the custom culture charity event of the season back to the Buffalo Chip® CrossRoads to benefit LifeScape of South Dakota on Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018

Talented fabricator Joe Mielke keeps the FXR love going strong as this is the sixth year for his FXR & Dyna Show.  Joe’s been doing this event pretty much as grass roots as you can, and he has had much success because, hell everyone loves FXR’s now.  Over 100 FXR and Dyna motorcycles are expected to show up to the Sturgis Buffalo Chip.  One of the coolest parts about this show, is instead of Joe making trophy’s he’s been able to gain support with some of the best manufacturers in the industry and is able to grace the winners with quality motorcycle parts and merchandise.  The garage builders really dig this part as it gives them a starting point to another build.

Entrants are encouraged to ride in their FXR or DYNA and enter for free. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m., the show opens at 11 a.m. and awards are presented at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 5, 2018.

“To many FXR riders, the FXR never went away, however, FXR fans both new and old are riding a new wave of popularity that continues to swell,” said Joe Mielke, show organizer. “The Buffalo Chip provides a great place for this event with all of their resources. We draw a lot of people who are there just to hang out and talk motorcycles. Come early and stay late for all the entertainment the Buffalo Chip has to offer. It’s a great fit.”

“This is a great show,” said Rod Woodruff, Sturgis Buffalo Chip President. “We love having the cool bikes and even more so the people who thought to build them all at the Chip for a big social event. The fact that they raise money for LifeScape is such a bonus. I’m looking forward to being part of it here on August 5.”

To add to the uniqueness of the show, those who have motorcycles in the show act as the judges by selecting their top three in each class. The general public also has an opportunity to vote for their favorite, with the top vote-getter receiving “The People’s Choice Award.”

During the show, a raffle is held with all proceeds donated directly to LifeScape of South Dakota, formerly known as Children’s Care Hospital and School of South Dakota. New this year, Paughco has donated a frame, tank and swingarm, the basis for an FXR project. Additional parts are being gathered to create a roller. The FXR roller will have its own dedicated raffle tickets.

Donations The show graciously accepts donations at any level. Those interested can contact Joe Mielke at

More information is available at

May is Motorcycle Awareness Month!

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation Urges Car Drivers to Use Turn Signals Consistently During Motorcycle Awareness Month; Turn Signals as a Barometer of Safe Motoring:

There is a clear and present danger in today’s traffic environment: only about half of all car and truck drivers use turn signals.  Whether due to drivers being distracted or careless, motorist-to-motorist “communication” is at an all-time low.  A study conducted by Response Insurance found that 57 percent of drivers admitted they do not use their turn signal when changing lanes.  Their reasons:

They don’t have time (42%)

They’re too lazy to bother (23%)

Fear of forgetting to turn it off (17%)

Too busy changing lanes a lot to use it (12%)

Simply not important (11%)

No one else signals (8%)

Adds excitement to driving (7%)

(Note: total exceeds 100 percent since respondents could select multiple reasons. Study conducted in 2006.)

Similarly, a 2012 observational study published by the Society of Automotive Engineers found that 48 percent of drivers did not use their turn signals while changing lanes and 25 percent of drivers did not use signals when making turns at intersections. SAE estimated this neglect causes roughly two million crashes each year.  Along with this behavior, drivers also do not always look over their shoulders or glance at their mirrors before changing lanes.  These combined inactions threaten all roadway users, especially motorcyclists, who are more vulnerable to unexpected intrusions into their path of travel than car or truck drivers, since they lack the four-wheelers’ thousands of pounds of protective structure. “Using turn signals is one of the most basic rules of the road, as it connotes respect and cooperation, and is the primary method of vehicle-to-vehicle communication.  Drivers need to take driving seriously and pay attention to the traffic environment,” said Dr. Ray Ochs, vice president of training systems at the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

To that end, Dr. Ochs said MSF is calling on car and truck drivers to make a renewed effort to consistently use their turn signals during Motorcycle Awareness Month this May, in the hope that this will become an ingrained habit.  Ochs added, “This could lead to more alert, more responsible, and safer motoring on American roads.”  Serious motorists know that safe driving is built upon a host of small acts – using signals, looking over one’s shoulder before changing lanes, maintaining an appropriate following distance, keeping right except to pass, alternating the merge when two lanes become one, using a speed appropriate for conditions, and more.Sustaining these small tasks helps support the higher-level tasks of driving, such as controlling the placement of the vehicle on the road and within the traffic mix, identifying risks, making split-second decisions and being able to execute the proper action (braking, swerving, etc.) in emergency situations, passing safely and correctly, and more.  As such, turn signal use can be thought of as a kind of barometer of safe, cooperative motoring.

The Motorcycle Safety Foundation promotes safety through rider training and education, operator licensing tests, and public information programs.  The MSF works with the federal government, state agencies, the military and others to offer training for all skill levels so riders can enjoy a lifetime of safe, responsible motorcycling.  visit to learn more


We caught wind of this and the first thing that came into mind was how trucks will flash brake lights 3 x to say thank you to a vehicle that acknowledged them and let them in a lane, or gave them room to pass.   MotoChat and its cousin CarChat is a communication device using a miniature Bluetooth microphone, a universal voice recognition system, the driver can dictate the instant registration of messages on a LED board positioned in the back of his vehicle.

We also look forward to seeing people using this the way we all know it will get used, telling people to F*ck Off or get the hell out of the way…..  To learn more visit their Facebook page here 

Little Angel Gowns

We recently stumbled across this website while doing some work with our friends over at Biker City Guide. We were of course saddened at first, but soon realized what an amazing thing this group is doing, offering comfort at a parents most devastating experience, the comfort of a beautiful burial outfit to lay their sweet angel to rest.  Little Angel Gowns is a charitable organization that transforms donated wedding gowns into beautiful infant burial attire.  Almost everyone knows someone who has suffered the loss of a baby or perhaps even endured this pain themselves.

Founded in Indianapolis four years ago by Marie Murphy, a career NICU nurse, who observed firsthand a very sad need –  appropriate burial garments for infants who do not survive. The devastating loss of their baby was compounded with the realization that no suitable garments were available for their precious child’s final journey.  Following research and consultations, simple designs were adapted to address the specific challenges and requirements of medical and burial professionals.  By transforming donated wedding gowns, beautiful yet practical burial gowns and infant pockets for the tiniest babies, were created to fill the need.  Through a network of dedicated volunteer seamstresses across the United States ‘Dream gowns…become Angel Gowns.’

This is the part that we like best; these beautiful little garments are provided as a gift to the grieving family.  There is never a charge!   Little Angel Gowns are suitable for infants from one pound to approximately 13 pounds. For infants, too small for a gown, they offer a specially designed pocket that best accommodates their size.  they have available gowns for girls, unisex, and small boys; a modified tuxedo design is available for boys three pounds to 13 pounds.  Also available are matching or compatible outfits for multiple births.  Each gift is individually packaged and includes a matching cap and keepsake heart memento for the parents.

Yea, we know this is heart breaking, but simply amazing at the same time.   To date they have provided over 6,000 angel gowns to over 200 hospitals and funeral centers in 34 states. They can also provide burial gowns to individuals who contact them direct and offer overnight shipping.

Finding my “Redemption”

From our 2014 Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner Chris Gibbany

Since my last update, a lot of amazing changes have happened in my life; I sold my 1981 Ironhead “Iron Man” after owning it eight years to finish building my 1939 Knucklehead; I sold my 1974 Dodge Charger to purchase a 1968 Charger; I opted to paint my 1973 Rallye Challenger flat black instead of purple and I even covered up my Chevy bowtie tattoo with Mopar art!  None of these changes were easy but I felt that they had to be made to keep moving forward.

After writing for Renegade Magazine for over four years, I am now the editor.  I also started working with Throttle Gals Magazine in 2016.  My “Throwback Thursdays” event at the local Kenda Drive-In gained national attention in several magazines plus an article published via Street Muscle Magazine-  I finished my Knucklehead half-sleeve on my left arm and I hosted the first ever Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride (DGR) in my hometown.  I even received an award for raising the most money on my ride for their cause.

Last year after coming back from my trip to The Smoke Out in North Carolina, I was asked to become the official Ambassador for motorcycle tourism for the entire state of Arkansas where I am featured in their promotional video as well as having two pages in the 2018 Arkansas Motorcycling guide!  I was also pleasantly surprised to find that my 1956 Panhead received a four-page feature in The Horse Backstreet Choppers and this month got six pages plus the cover of American Iron Garage Magazine!

My narcissistic mother died in 2015 and after fighting my brother (who is also a narcissist) for over two years, the estate was finally settled.  I used my portion, the part that didn’t go to attorney fees, to purchase a 1937 Knucklehead that I have dubbed “Redemption”.  From the moment I brought the bike home, GOD put the name in my head as my redemption is to set others free.

I have already gotten some big-name sponsors for this project.  Avon Tyres has come on board with a set of MK II’s since I run 16’s on  both the front and rear of all of my builds (this will be my fourth); Baker Drivetrain has provided me with the coveted N-1 that puts neutral on the bottom which I install in all of my four-speed transmissions; Spectro Oils  is supplying oils and other lubricants, and Motorcycle House is donating $150 worth of motorcycle gear for when I get the project up and running.

Even though I am very active in the car and motorcycle communities, it is all unpaid work.  For the last 12 years, I have dedicated my life to volunteering to causes that I am passionate about.

I will forever be grateful to Sara and Garage-Girls for selecting me as the winner of the 2014 Garage-Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover. Winning this contest changed my life and has provided so many amazing opportunities.  I love to promote women and the hobby in general and am thankful for the continued support from the sponsors of the Garage-Girls Makeover.

My articles appear in many publications and websites to empower people to live their best life.  I am super passionate about spreading my love of vintage cars and motorcycles to everyone, young and old, male or female.  I want to let people know that if you have your priorities straight, that you can accomplish almost anything regardless of what you have been told!  I live my life to the fullest, not just for myself, but also for others by constantly promoting people and products that I believe in.  Living well truly is the best revenge!

I am accepting donations to not only complete this project but to purchase brochures, bracelets, motivational cards, and T-shirts that I would like to get into the hands of others who have been victims as well as the general public to raise awareness to narcissistic abuse.  Telling my story is not easy, but I feel it has to be shared to keep moving forward.

If my wounds were visible, you would not recognize me. There is always hope.  There is always REDEMPTION.

I have created a GoFundMe if you would like to help-

Goth Girl; Ride in Peace 1955-2018

Everyone remembers how they first met someone that is special, someone you share a connection with, someone you enjoy spending time with.  For some reason I can not for the life of me remember how me and Goth met.  It’s like we have just been friends forever, I honestly don’t remember who introduced us, or where we were.  What I can remember, perfectly in my mind, down to some really small details are some of the best times we shared together, and there were plenty.

Of course most of those times revolved around Morgan “Samantha” Storm and the the American Motor Drome Wall of Death.  Samantha was the best female wall trick rider and if you were lucky enough to ever catch her ride the wall, you would have seen just how special she was, and always will be. Samantha passed away in 2008 and left a major hole in our hearts.  For a few years at most of the major bike rallies, us three Amigo’s would be raising hell having the time of our lives.  I’m sure when you hear “raising hell” at a motorcycle rally you picture drinking whiskey and beer, risky behavior and such.  Nah, that wasn’t our crew.  We were too busy goofing off making runs to the dollar store to find weird things to prank people with, and don’t forget the skim milk, that was Sammy’s preferred drink.

For those of you that didn’t know Goth Girl she was a legend through and through.  She lived life on HER terms, she played hard, learned lessons and applied those lessons in her every day life.  I have yet, to this day found another human as loyal and solid as this woman.  Her word was gold, and a hand shake was all you needed to know just how trust worthy she was.

My friend  wasn’t like anyone else.. period. She was a Graduate of Berklee College of Music, and an understudy to old-school jazz greats, Ray Santisi and Bill Evans.  She rode a motorcycle, she stood up for the weak, she fought for what was right, and she did this all with the goal of making someone smile and or laugh.

Goth was a warrior in so many ways, she let her heart lead her in everything she did.  This was a woman that would never sell out, it had to be a legit operation, with a goal she was passionate about, or she just wasn’t on board.  She was a recording artist, she was an esteemed piano player and was the house pianist for many years at Rincon Center and One Market Plaza in San Fransico.  Goth was also the co-founder of the infamous Devil Dolls M/C, affiliated with Hell’s Angels, with chapters in the United States and Sweden.  Goth held a full patch. She was also a co-star in the widely seen Discovery Channel show “Motorcycle Women”, along with a great group of ladies I’m fortunate to share friendships with.  That show alone was responsible for influencing many young riders you see all over instagram today.  She was an entrepreneur and developed  “Goth Block”  a  sunscreen with “SPF 666”, she later sold that to a major corporation.  I could never go anywhere without my “Goth Block”.   The girl was hip to the damage the sun can do to your skin, and her pasty white skin was flawless, her beauty was ageless, her style was classic and glamorous and her heart was genuine.

She loved animals and along with myself and Samantha we were determined to help animals however we could. She loved nature and took a stand when the city was trying to cut down a tree outside her apartment building. There was no stopping this girl.  We used to tell each other stories of how if we were super heroes we would swoop in and help out the innocent, the children, the animals, we would fight to right a wrong, we would make a difference in someone’s life, human or animal.

  When I learned of her passing, after the hurt I was comforted with the thought of her joining Samantha up in heaven to fulfill our goal of looking after the animals, they are both now those superheroes we all envisioned ourselves as.  Ride in Peace my dear friend, thank you for sharing your beauty with us all, I’ll see you and Samantha soon, but not too soon.  I still have our work here on earth to tend to, you guys got the bigger shift upstairs.

Catching up with 2017 Ultimate Biker Makeover Winner; Patricia “Ditch” Thurston

It’s that time of year, the time we like to reflect on all the wonderful outings we were able to enjoy through the year and the people we have met thanks to motorcycles and all thing we find near and dear to our heart in our garages.  Of course always high on our list is the opportunity to help out a fellow rider in need with our Ultimate Biker Makeover Contest. Without the help and support of our amazing sponsors we couldn’t spread the magic we have been so fortunate to do for the last 9 years.    We reached out to this years winner, Patricia “Ditch” Thurston and took some time to get caught up on what she has been doing with all her winnings.

GG; Can you tell us how how you felt when you got the news that you were selected the 2017 winner?

PT; The feelings that overcame me when I checked who had won the Garage-Girl’s Ultimate Biker Makeover, were a flood of emotions as I stated before, “…cried like a sissy” lol. Seriously, I was busy for a few days with motorcycle family in town for a biker wedding, and didn’t have time to check for a few days after returning from Sturgis.  So after entering four of the five last few years, I was literally overwhelmed to see myself, I actually closed the page and relaunched it to be sure, and the slobbering tears began, like WOW!

GG; Where there any parts in the winnings that you were really in dire need of?

PT; I’m ever so grateful to Avon Tyres and Spectro Oil for bringing the two things to keep us safe on the road, tires for me to ride and plenty of fresh oil, for the engine to run right. My only reason for entering the contest, I was in my garage, just finished some maintenance and looked longing at my Dyna, with a heavy layer of dust and so wished I could take the Dyna to Sturgis,  enter the Buffalo Chip’s show and in a burn-out contest to earn the rear tire I couldn’t afford! And then there was oil, I scrounged through the closet and found enough for a change, but not good enough after sitting, it would need another change after a few hundred miles to get the “yuks” out from sitting. I realized I couldn’t afford to get the Dyna safely on the road and it dawned on me, I had an avenue and it may not make Sturgis, but I could possibly be riding my favorite bike soon if I entered the Garage-Girls contest!

GG; Would you encourage others to enter this contest?

PT; As for encouraging others to enter an essay in the Garage-Girl’s contest, I’d have to say yes!  I’m wearing the awesome shirt S&S Cycles sent, Grant was great in sending out a huge box of gear right away and of course, already being a fan, I couldn’t wait to wear a shirt out riding, and whoa!!! the compliments! I’d no idea and happen to be at a party with a group of bikers’ very aware of S&S Cycles in our motorcycle world. I was still so humbled by the attention when they learned of the contest, a few folks were taking phones out to view on FB and Instagram and I believe several follow Garage-Girl’s now. I’m pretty certain at least two ladies at Indian MC of Denver follow, Colleen was awesome helping me with sizes to order the gear from Indian MC, my full helmet, leather/denim jacket, gloves and those (redwing) boots. Even my riding bff’s, Debby and Michelle will tell folks, about my winnings, they both loved my Mustang seat; so I think the Garage-Girl word is definitely spreading.

GG; Has winning this contest inspired you in a certain way?

PT; Winning the Ultimate Biker Makeover has strengthened my desire to get my Dyna prepared for the Hoka Hey 2018 ride. I need to have a bike better set-up for the distance/miles that are endured during those few weeks of riding and had been acquiring parts for a few years, drawing pictures in my mind and a few on paper. Winning the Garage-Girls Ultimate Biker Makeover  sent my design mode into overdrive as I sorted through the sponsor gift offerings that would support my desire to ride and endure the 10K miles of Hoka Hey for the charities I decide to ride for. A way to pay it forward! Thank you Patricia for taking the time to chat with us, we are certainly excited to see all the places you ride to in 2018 and will be following to see how the bike has come together with all your new gear!  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us here at Garage-Girls!