Tattoo Artist Stephanie Chillindrina is Rocker Chic

Stephanie's clothing line - Ninth Life clothing - has a crazy, “Tokyo-street vibe mixed with an American urban punk flavor.” The clothing line is street-inspired and heavily influenced by cartoons and music.

Stephanie’s clothing line – Ninth Life clothing – has a crazy, “Tokyo-street vibe mixed with an American urban punk flavor.” The clothing line is street-inspired and heavily influenced by cartoons and music.

JunichiAkiraShe’s the ultimate powerhouse rocker girl. Wild hair. Tattoos. Outlandish style and a thirst for adventure. That’s Stephanie “Chillindrina” Simon. Stephanie is a tattoo artist from Denver, Colorado, who spends her days tattooing at 80D Tattoo studio.

When she’s not tattooing, she is designing clothing and accessories for her personal line, Ninth Life Clothing. But when it comes to letting loose and having fun, Stephanie swings a leg over her Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R and rides into the sunset, just like the rest of us whenever we can escape the 9 to 5. I was able to catch Stephanie for just a few minutes during her busy schedule so she could tell us more about her art, her clothing and how she responds to drunk girls asking for rides on the back.

MI: When did you start riding?
Chillindrina: I began riding in 2012. After a couple months of riding on the back of a Yamaha R6, it starting getting old. I demanded to learn to ride for myself. I bought a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja 250R, which I had for about a year and then moved on to a Kawasaki Ninja 650R. I just recently bought my Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R this year.

Stephanie is definitely a Kawasaki fan. The green fits her alternative flare perfectly. Careful of the baseball bat though.

Stephanie is definitely a Kawasaki fan. The green fits her alternative flare perfectly. Careful of the baseball bat though.

MI: That’s a lot of Kawasaki’s!
Chillindrina: I’ve always stuck with the Kawasaki Ninja because it was my first bike and it has always treated me well. I feel comfortable with Kawasaki, so I’m loyal to it!

MI: Where do you ride? Do you have any crews that you roll with?
Chillindrina: I am a bit of a nomad, so I ride with different crews. Most often, I ride with my friends in Devious and sometimes MHOz. I love Sunday night cruising on Federal Blvd. and mountain rides through the rockies. Denver is super close to some amazing mountain spots with fun, curvy runs.

MI: How long have you been tattooing?
Chillindrina: I have been tattooing for two years, and just recently graduated from apprentice to full-fledged artist. I work at 80D Tattoo in Denver, CO. I love all styles of tattooing, and I will do whatever the client requests, especially illustrative pieces with a touch of realism. My goal is to travel in and out of the country to guest spot in different shops.

quotescover-JPG-55MI: Do you do a lot of alt-modeling?
Chillindrina: I wouldn’t refer to myself as an alt-model per say, but I do photoshoots here and there for my clothing company I founded in 2007 called Ninth Life Clothing. I design and sew all the pieces and then find photographers who are inspired enough by the pieces to do fun shoots.

MI: What is it like to be a tattooed female rider in Denver?
Chillindrina: As a female rider, generally people stare, sometimes in a positive way and sometimes not. I’ve found more often than not people will give back-handed compliments in a snide tone rather than ask me about my ink or why I ride. There’s always going to be a fair share of people who judge and are “haters,” but that’s not something I worry about. I’d rather concern myself with the thoughts of people who matter to me.

MI: So if a stranger walked up to you and asked for a ride on the back, would you do it?
Chillindrina: I’ll have both guys and girls asking for rides on the back. Sometimes it’s easier for me to pick up girls than it is for my guy friends! I don’t like to take passengers though. Especially ones I don’t know. Cruising at the end of a night often attracts drunk guys AND girls leaving the clubs who will insist on getting a ride on the back but that just equals trouble — no thank you!

Here are some examples of Chillindrina’s art. The sketch of the girl in the helmet is my personal favorite.

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Was that a biker in a corset?

The more flamboyant, the better. That was the rule at the Inland Empire Corset Run.

The more flamboyant, the better. That was the rule at the Inland Empire Corset Run.

Have you ever seen both men and women bikers riding down the road wearing vintage corsets, crazy wigs and other garments most sane individuals wouldn’t dare be caught wearing in public? During the Inland Empire Corset Run, bikers do just that and for a good cause too.

The Inland Empire Corset Run is an annual motorcycle event that started in 2010 when Jackson Dodd of Skip Fordyce Harley Davidson in Riverside, CA, asked Terri King to create a way to bring female riders together in honor of Women Riders Month, a time of year Harley Davidson has dedicated to women who ride motorcycles. Terri, who has worked in the motorcycle industry for as long as she can remember and is a motorcyclist herself, is an Ovarian cancer survivor and she says the event has come a long way since 2010. “I only had three weeks to plan it when it started,” Terri says, who began planning the Corset Run while

Even the water bottles wore corsets.

Even the water bottles wore corsets.

still helping to organize the West Coast Thunder event. Despite the time crunch, the first Corset Run was a hit….literally. “We caused a couple of accidents with people doing double takes and I thought ‘oh no, this is not a good way to start!”

The motorcycle ride begins at Skip Fordyce and ends at Big League Dreams in Perris, CA. While on the ride, the bikers stop at beauty salons, boutiques and accessory stores to celebrate womanhood while sporting their burlesque corsets. At each stop, every rider has the option to roll the dice at Yahtzee for a chance to win a $150 gift certificate good toward Harley Davidson parts and accessories.

After the ride, 1,000+ riders converge on the vendor area where there’s a huge BBQ, an all female rock band playing songs specifically written for the event, a dunk tank, a corset contest and a dedication ceremony for the survivors in attendance. “The set up is different than most other charity events,” says Candace, a representative from the Thirty-One Gifts vendor booth. “It really intrigued me a lot.”

The guys can't miss out on the fun, can they?

The guys can’t miss out on the fun, can they?

But during the past three years, Terri has worked out the kinks. Attendance has quadrupled since 2010 and with 50+ vendors on site, Terri has created a board to help her organize everything. “It’s such a wonderful event that has so many people interested,” she says. “What better way to celebrate women and independence than to donate money to a good cause like breast cancer.”

With that revelation, Terri and the board joined ranks with the National Breast Cancer Foundation to use the corset run as a means to raise breast cancer awareness. All proceeds earned during the event are donated to the foundation. The response has been so amazing, Terri and the board are in the process of creating their own foundation just for the Corset Run.

Anyone who attends this event is bound to see or experience something they won’t forget and if you’re into busty garments, the wind in your hair and donating money to a worthy cause, you can find out more about the Corset Run at inlandempirecorsetrun.com.

Second Ladies Can Wrench Seminar scheduled for February 2, 2013.

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The second Ladies Can Wrench seminar will take place from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. on February 2nd, 2013 at M1 Sportriders, a sportbike oriented service, parts and accessories shop owned by Jenn and Pete Jaynes, in La Habra, CA. The address is 345 West Whittier Blvd., La Habra, CA, 90631.

This seminar will be more hands on than the last one. We will be doing oil changes, as well as cleaning, adjusting and lubing the chain. We will be able to work on three bikes at a time, so be prepared to get your hands dirty. We will get to as many bikes as we can within the three hour time frame, but EVERYONE will get a chance to turn a wrench.

Oil, oil filters, chain lube and chain cleaner will all be available for purchase at M1 the day of the seminar. Details of pricing are TBD. For this seminar, bring your bike, work gloves, and wear clothes you don’t mind getting dirty. See you there!

Again, this seminar is meant for women who have never worked on bikes before and the pace will be slowed down so everyone can get something out of the workshop. Please forward this invite to anyone you think might be interested.

Click here to view the Facebook invite.

Dena Sodano’s new stunt video

Here is Dena’s most recent stunt video demonstrating her insane freestyle skills. She is one of a hand full of women in the country who can swing a bike around easier than a baseball bat. I am extremely envious of her ability but remarkably impressed and proud as well. Check her out.

Dena Sodano Lives Beautiful

Dena Sodano with her 2003 Kawasaki 636.

I remember when I first found out about Dena. I was combing the Chic Riders forums, fascinated by the number of women stunt riders populating their pages – women like Jessica Maine and Alicia Speck to name a few. After perusing a few myspace pages connected to Chic Riders, I stumbled across some video of Dena skitching (assuming I have the terminology right). Anyway, she rode a sport bike like it was a bmx bike – easily and flawlessly. She was smooth and her movements controlled. She was the only other female I’d seen who could ride like Jessica did. Amazing.

Dena rides her motorcycle with none of her appendages actually touching the handlebars or the seat. I didn’t know that was even possible?

Fast forward a few years later and Dena became the first woman to do circle wheelies on a full-size motorcycle. Now she does wheelies effortlessly aboard her 2003 Kawasaki 636. Dena erupted onto the scene at a time when women were finally starting to populate the XDL series and she was able to take two women’s XDL championship titles before the XDL eliminated the series due to a lack of consistent participation.

Dena makes wheelies look easy.

Dena is the first of few women to take the risk of competing and be successful. I think too many women are pushed out of the stunt scene because of pressure from the audience and their peers. This proves that the successful ones have walked through fire and come out perfect on the other side because their love of riding outweighed the scrupulous eye of the “stunt scene.”

There is a small group of elite women stunt riders emerging as the new power circle amongst professional women riders. Dena is undoubtedly a member of this group and I think Dena is doing a pretty good job of proving that stunt riding, like road racing, is a level playing field for both men and women riders as long as you have the heart to live your life fearlessly chasing your dreams and the discipline to train for hours a day.

Read on to discover a small visible secret to Dena’s inspiration – her “Live Beautiful” tattoo.

From Dena:

Dena’s visible reminder to live her life in a way that’s best for her.

“My favorite tattoo isn’t big. It’s located on the inside of my left forearm and reads ‘Live Beautiful’ in a calligraphy font called “Scriptina.” I got it in 2009 when I was really fed up with where I was and what I was doing in life. It suddenly dawned on me the only reason things weren’t going the way I wanted was simply because of me. So I skipped out on work that day and got this tattoo as a reminder to live my life the way I want and happily. I learned you simply go fix it and move along. I have a life and your damn right I’m going to live it! Live Beautiful.”

Thank you to Dena’s sponsors because without them, we’d have no Dena!

Sodano Auto Body & Paint (You’re the best Dad!)

Speed & Strength – www.ssgear.com

Racing 905 – www.racing905.com

Shinko Tires – www.shinkotireusa.com

HEL USA – www.h-e-lusa.com

SARTSO Jeans – www.sartso.com

Bikemaster Parts & Tools – www.bikemaster.com

Motul – www.motul.com

Team Lojic – www.Lojicindustries.com

Righteous Stunt Metal – www.righteousstuntmetal.com

Zombiemotoworkz- zombiemotoworkz.com

Hindle Exhaust – www.hindle.com

Team Motion – www.teammotion.com

Check out this video to see some of Dena’s mad skills.

Special Ink: Stacey “Get Gone” Hicks

I’m a huge fan of Stacey’s. Any woman who can make a decent living wrenching AND own her own shop is an awesome rarity that makes the world of motorcycling a very interesting place.

I had a chance to get to know Stacey a little bit through this interview I did for IMS. I admit, I was completely enamored by her, her life, her mechanical know how and her shop. She owns RFL Customz, a motorcycle shop specializing in sport bike customization. But not only is she a confident black woman who can wrench like a pro, but she also works alongside her daughters and together, they can do pretty much anything when it comes to transforming a sportbike into a one-of-a-kind show piece. Stacey’s shop is currently being filmed for the Cafe Racer TV show, so we will probably be seeing more of Stacey, her shop and her family on TV soon.

There is nothing this woman can’t do. I would love to see one of her customs in person.

Luckily, Stacey took some time out between builds and filming to tell me a little about two of her tattoos, which have special meaning to her.

Stacey’s words:

“Get Gone” Motorcycles. I’m adding a custom bike by Stacey to my bucket list.

“These are two of my most important tats. The one on the elbow is a symbol of a bike build I did where I converted a sport bike into a Harley Davidson-style bike to match the customer’s Harley truck. At the time, he did not want a Harley, but bought one later anyway!

A piece of living history on Stacey’s body.

The tattoo of the “35” is to memorialize my late Dad, Roger Brown, who was the first Indiana Pacer signed in 1969.”

MI Featured Rider of the Week: Stunt Rider Lily Garcia

Lily aboard a 2010 Kawasaki ZX6-R. Photo by tavaresashanti.com. Make-up by Christina Poplett. Photo shoot at Blue Monkey Tatto in Rialto, CA.

Meet Lily Garcia. Stylish, sleek black hair, glasses, bright white smile. She’s approachable, friendly and when I first met her, I knew she rode, but I had no idea how well. It’s funny how we got started on the conversation of what a stunt rider looks like. She’s about as feminine as they come with a bubbly personality – no sign of a tom boy on her. It was obvious that first impressions can be deceiving. Just check out her ink.

Lily’s mermaid tattoo, a symbol of her days as a junior olympic swimmer.

She’s got a mermaid on her forearm, a visible remnant of her days as a junior olympic swimmer. “It helps me to remember a huge part of my life,” she says, understandable considering how important fitness is to maintaining control of your machine while performing stunts.

Having fun on a sunny day. Free and uninhibited like the ink on her arms.

Her 2008 Suzuki GSXR-600 started off as a showroom beauty, white and gold with gleaming plastics, at least until Lily met Tony Carbajal. She saw what he could do and found her calling. She started playing around on a mountain bike before transferring her curiosity to her gixxer. “You’re going to eat it,” she says when I asked if she was scared when she first tried to do wheelies. But she insists the occasional get-off is worth it to basque in the adrenaline rush it produces. And if you think about it, her stunt born street fighter machine has much more personality anyway.

For Lily, it’s all about enjoying the time you spend on your motorcycle. Grab life by the handlebars and ride it like no one is watching.

Once I talked to Lily, it was apparent the high that drives her stems from independence and breaking through the walls we build for ourselves. She does things most people are too scared to try and she believes in herself every step of the way. When she tells other people about her love for stunting and they shake their heads in disbelief, she shrugs her shoulders and says, “I did something I never thought I could do.” Her unbreakable heart and steadfast spirit are a model for other women to resemble. I was so impressed with Lily, not just because she does stunts like staggers and burn outs, but because she doesn’t let others’ opinions get her down. She lives her life to the fullest, practicing three to four hours a day to fine tune her skills.

Lily stands tall the way many women wish they could. Why not follow her example and start living your life the way you want to!

I asked her if she wanted to compete and it seemed the thought hadn’t crossed her mind. “I do it cause it’s fun,” she says, that feeling of freedom and release being her only motivation for lofting a front wheel to the sky. But she’s still humble. “It’s something to do,”she says. Although her modesty was admirable, I have a feeling this “something to do” is only the beginning for Lily.

Lily’s floral collection that she proudly displays on her upper arm.

Lily’s featured ink is her upper arm tattoo, a collection of flora including the Diablo Dahlia, Tiger Lilly, Hibiscus and Cherry Blossoms. The color is the perfect compliment to her olive skin and she wears it proudly.