Saturday, October 3, 2009

Full Throttle is Now Available!

FULL THROTTLE - The Story Behind the Story

Before I met and married my current husband, I spent some time doing the Internet dating thing. I started corresponding with a guy who told me he was new in town, attending school and riding an old bike. I pictured some nerd on a Schwinn 10-speed.

He sent me his photo and I thought he was pretty cute. Pretty soon we met in person. I realized his “old bike” was a Honda motorcycle and he was attending Motorcycle Mechanics Institute. To pay the tuition, he worked nights at a printing company.

I spent a lot of time keeping him company at his job. One night I changed the clutch on his Honda still garbed in the dress I’d worn to work (which got covered in splotches of grease and oil and ended up in the rag bag), while he printed out a stack of brochures for a client. That was the night he told me he was in love.

It wasn’t long afterward that he moved into my house and convinced me to front the money for a mobile motorcycle dynamometer. If you’re not familiar with this particular piece of equipment, it’s a device mounted on a trailer that measures the horsepower and torque of a motorcycle.

We got our mobile dyno business going and attended every motorcycle event and local “bike nights” we could. It was hard, grueling, dirty work that consumed nearly every hour away from our “real” jobs. Because we were on a limited budget, we usually camped out for the weekend at rallies, adding to my work.

My boyfriend graduated and got hired at a custom cycle shop in town. Many nights I met him at the shop and helped him work on his own basket case of a Harley. His co-workers accepted me in the service bays and considered me just “one of the guys”. By day I was the executive office manager for an upscale, three-star hotel; by night I was a motorcycle mechanic. There were days I would show up for work dressed in a business suit, hose, and heels with grease under my fingernails.

Along the way I met lots of interesting people. They all became the basis for the characters in Full Throttle – from the rich guy who rode a Deuce and hired us for a full day of testing and tuning his garage full of motorcycles to the woman who rode her own huge, customized hog proudly with a group of gruff bikers.

Full Throttle’s heroine Samantha is much like me. She holds a business degree but teams up with her cousin to start a motorcycle dyno business and market their services to the owner of the custom cycle shop where Doug works, Linc Montgomery. Linc is a handsome ex-motorcycle racer who is the amalgam of several men I met while testing and tuning bikes.

Alas, my relationship didn’t last, nor did the business. I still have an MMI uniform shirt that I wear to change the oil in my truck while I remember those days. I wouldn’t do it again, but boy, the experiences… Read about them in FULL THROTTLE, available now in e-book format from Champagne Books.


  1. Beaverton Auto RepairDecember 23, 2009 at 1:51 PM

    The best part about bike culture is the people you meet.

  2. So true, Beaverton. There are tons of great people who ride bikes and they are truly nice for the most part, willing to share and help out if needed.