Hello, I’m Miss Heather, or Miss H for short. So, who are Fat Bob and the Blonde? Well, Fat Bob is the Harley Davidson model I ride and I’m the peroxide enhanced blonde. To make things more interesting, I tow a camper trailer, Mr T.
I was blessed growing up on a farm 30 km out of Coonabarabran, a small town in the Central West. With almost 3000 acres of playground to run free in, I was encouraged to explore, challenge myself, take risks, pick myself up, dust myself off, and use my imagination. I believe those early farm days made me the adventurous and resilient spirit I am today.
I developed a passion for motorcycles early. I don’t know where it came from. We didn’t have motorcycles on the farm. I didn’t know anyone who rode a motorcycle. Yet an intriguing love affair started in early childhood.
At age nine, my parents sold the family farm and we moved to Wagga Wagga. I was devastated. Becoming a townie took adjusting; I yearned for the big, wide-open space to run free in.
It wasn’t until I left school and moved to Sydney aged 17 and got my motorcycle licence that I bought my first motorbike, a Yamaha DT 175. My parents wanted to kill me. ‘Good girls don’t ride motorcycles’ was my mother’s response! Dad threatened to cut it up with a chain saw if I ever brought it home.
Over the next four years I changed my bikes as often as I changed my jobs and regional towns I lived in. I didn’t own a car – I was a biker. Sunshine, rain, or hail, I rode.
In 1988 I sold my Honda CB 900 to travel overseas. I left Australia with a backpack, tent, and sleeping bag, not returning until 1998 with three children, four bags, and about $400! I don’t remember reading that chapter in Lonely Planet.
I spent the next 17 years as a single mum back in Wagga Wagga. My focus shifted to raising my children and building a career in community/cultural development.
In late 2010 I got back into motorcycling. Then in 2014 I became an empty nester! My three fabulous kids went off chasing their dreams – they had survived my parenting and I had survived motherhood!
I figured it was the perfect time for me to reconnect to my gypsy soul and pick up where I left off when I hit the pause button for marriage and family. I was craving freedom and adventure.
In May 2014, with Fat Bob and Mr T ‘locked and loaded’, I hit the road, combining my three passions – motorcycling, travel, and people.
I ran a blog which gave me the opportunity to flirt with writing – a subject that’s teased me for some time now.
For me, very early into the road trip it became all about the ride. I loved riding through all the amazing landscapes; the more remote and isolated the better. The sense of freedom was addictive. Immerging myself in nature, especially that red dirt. It got into my skin, heart and soul.
I met the most wonderful people along the way; their conversations, laughter, friendship, generosity and stories generosity were priceless.
More recently I have been recovering from an accident – a limb threatening injury! In late 2016 I was on a borrowed motorcycle when the headlight failed as I crossed a bridge at night in Far North Queensland. It has been a long recovery – physically, mentally and emotionally. And, I have discovered things will never be quite the same again – it is a permanent injury!
I used my recovery time to self-publish a book: Fat Bob & the Blonde – Girl Torque. It is an entertaining memoir about my travels, however, important messages of resilience, adversity, thinking big and creating a life you want are also woven into Girl Torque.
I am finally back riding my beloved Fat Bob and out on the road again with Mr T in tow and I am combining my three passions again.
However, things are a little different this time around, as I reinvent myself and transition Fat Bob and the Blonde from a travel blog into my work. I now use my motorcycling and travel experiences as a metaphor to living life, empowering people, in particular women, to live their life at full throttle, through my author talks, motivational speaking and workshops. My greatest wish is for people to gain inspiration, courage and motivation and to go out and do what makes them happy – to create their journey and follow their own unique road map!