Posted in Badass, Feeding America, Hoka Hey Challenge, Motorcycle, safety, Women Riders

A Bit About Me – Julie “Squirrel” Andrews

Larry Patten #941, Squirrel #942, Chip Parisi #942 at Black Hills Harley Davidson
Hoka Hey Riders #941, #942, and #943.

I learned to ride in the mid-90s on a 1972 Harley-Davidson Ironhead but didn’t know may other riders back then. Basically, I spent a few years operating a motorcycle. I gave up riding for a time when I become a mom. In 2015, I resumed riding, seriously this time, and became active in the women’s motorcycle rider community online and at women’s riding events. It was at one of these events I met Junie Rose. Junie has ridden every route of the 10-000-mile Hoka Hey Motorcycle Challenge since it began in 2010.

When the opportunity arose for me to ride the 2018 Hoka Hey, I saw it as a great way to inspire women riders to do more of what they love and challenge their limits. I’m grateful to the entire crew at Taboo Harley-Davidson in Alexandria, LA, my 2018 and 2020 HHMC sponsor, for opening this door to me and supporting women riders in general.

In 2018, online fundraising and BADASS patch sales (see link on right-side margin of this page) covered ride costs and Feeding America donations to provide “10,000 Meals for 10,000 Miles.” Feeding America is a top-rated, national non-profit network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs. After the ride, I mailed a BADASS patch to every female HHMC 2018 Finisher.

Riding the 2018 HHMC on stock 2014 Dyna Glide was a challenge in every sense of the word, but I finished. Yes, in 21 days. Let’s just say it hurt the Dyna more than it hurt me. And it did hurt riding all day every day, sleeping outdoors next to the bike, navigating the route (and getting lost) without the aid of GPS. I’ve since taken a hard look at everything I could have improved on that ride. Which was…ya know, everything.

At Legend Suspensions in Sturgis, SD
At Legend Suspensions in Sturgis, S.D.

In preparation for the next Challenge, I’ve search obsessively for the best riding solutions. I’ve asked many riders and industry experts about riding gear and aftermarket parts. And I’ve been lucky to form friendly relationships with the people (who cheerfully answered endless questions) at Legend Suspensions, J&P Cycles, Klock Werks, Law Tigers Texas, Wolfpack App, Denali Electronics, and Twisted Throttle.

In addition, Ride Texas magazine and J&P Cycles’ Countersteer blog have given me opportunities to share some of what I learned. When not riding, I’m writing about riding.  Or obsessing over how I’ll make espresso on the HHMC.

This year, I will ride fully equipped and finish in fewer days. I’ll be on my ’19 Road Glide with, first and foremost, upgraded suspension and lights. Better windshield, lighter helmet, all-weather riding suit, waterproof boots. Better coffee setup.

For 2020, I doubled my charitable goal to provide 20,000 meals with Feeding America. Sales of BADASS patches, BADASS stickers, and BADASS magnets will launch February 2020 on Facebook and Instagram @womenridetheirown and @hokaheyrider942.