MI Featured Rider of the Week: Living Brakes, Heather Rowe

Photo by Tony T-Bone Colombini from Blacktop Magazine.

Heather Rowe has an interesting hobby. She likes to hang her “ass” off the edge of a Sidehack, which is a speedway motorcycle with a third wheel attached. She races with her husband at local Southern California speedways every chance they get. The Sidehack has a 1000 cc motor and no brakes, which Heather says is the fun part! The Sidehack can reach speeds up to 100 mph in the dirt, which can get exciting when you have several Sidehacks racing on a small oval course enclosed by a wall.

Husband and wife team – Heather and Jeff – in action.

“People love the Sidehacks,” she says. “It’s pretty strange to see a person driving while another person hangs their ass over in the dirt.” Since the Sidehacks have no brakes, the person hanging off acts as a brake as they shift their weight over the back axle, thus helping to propel the machine out of a corner and avoid the wall.

Heather and Jeff having some fun between races.

So what is it like to hang your body off a slammed, over powered machine in the dirt? Heather says “It’s like a dance with an 80-year-old woman who wants to kick your ass!” I’d assume you’d have to be a racer to understand what that means, but I’ve met some pretty tough old ladies, so I can relate.

Superbeast Sidehack racing under the lights.

Heather and her husband race their Sidehack at the Inland Motorcycle Speedway in the San Bernardino-Industry Hills area on Wednesdays, and they also race in Victorville and Costa Mesa. She said that her and her husband also plan to race in Las Vegas and Auburn this season.

Heather in true rocker style aboard a bike just a little bit smaller than what she’s used to.

As you can see, Heather is fully inked from head to toe. Her right arm is made up of skulls with different kinds of pony tails, as she believes a woman can be strong but feminine at the same time. A saying by Pablo Picasso is inscribed on her left arm, which reads ‘It takes courage for a man to listen to his own goodness and act on it.’ Do we dare to be ourselves? “That is the question that counts,” she says.

Heather has full sleeve tattoos on both arms.

Heather’s cake toppers and portrait. Pretty cool.

Heather’s Day of the Dead cake toppers and portrait. Some pretty alternative, yet fascinating art.

A chilling portrait of her great, great grandfather who was the war chief of all apache is showcased on her left cafe while her mother’s portrait adorns her right thigh. She has a Day of the Dead-style wedding cake topper with the words “better together” over it. She and her husband have been married for 17 years and say this phrase to each other often.

Heather’s war chief on her left calf.

Heather’s back is completely inked with the same scheme that is painted on her and her husband’s chopper. Additionally, she has a bird and “steam-punk” gear tattoo on her back designed by artist, Jason Greely of Lowbrow Ink in Grand Terrace.

Heather’s full back tattoos.

“I love racing for the fans and I love the family of Sidehack racers we have,” she says. “We’ve got each others back, at least until we get out on the track, then it’s all about racing!”

To find out more about Heather’s Sidehack racing, visit her Facebook page or check out her website. If you’d like to learn more about the schedule, Heather or Sidehack racing in general, you can email her.

Photo by Tony T-Bone Colombini from Blacktop Magazine