Pinky's Motorcycle Passion
Here at Minden
Motorsports, we see just about every kind of motorcycle imaginable.
Our customers ride everything from big rumbling American V-Twins to
high-revving sport bikes. They own dependable ride-everyday bikes and
full-out drag racers. But they all have one thing in common -
everyone wants to get the best performance from their bike.Dyno tuning, or
"mapping" is essential to accurately calibrate your fuel
and ignition maps to take full advantage of performance
modifications. Baseline runs are made to establish the current state
of tune, and to provide a reference point for all modifications to
follow. Mapping runs are then made through the full range of engine
speed and throttle positions. Careful analysis of the AFR after the
mapping runs lead to adjustment of the "map" as needed to
bring the air/fuel ratio into the desired range. This custom mapping
process optimizes your bike's performance and quantifies the results
of your modifications. Our shop uses a
state-of-the-art Bazzaz Principia motorcycle chassis dynamometer,
equipped with sophisticated load control technology and exhaust gas
analyzer to accurately measure your motorcycle's performance.
Our Technicians are MMI-certified, and trained by 3-time AMA
National Champion crew chief Ammar Bazzaz. We tune Domestic and
Metric motorcycles. Minden Motorsports is the very first Bazzaz
Certified Tuning Lab in the United States!Minden Motorsports
offers dyno tuning by appointment at hourly rates. Most mapping can
be done in 4 hours or less. Special introductory rates are being
offered through January 31, 2013. Please call (318) 377-1920 to
discuss your needs and to schedule an appointment.
RODNEY PIKE - PHOTO MANIPULATED CARICATURE ILLUSTRATOR
Rodney Pike is a Photo-manipulated caricature illustrator who is from Baton Rouge, Louisiana and now resides in Mississippi. I had an opportunity to interview Rodney recently.
Mary: “You were born in Baton Rouge. Did you grow up there? How did Louisiana culture influence your art work, if at all?”
Rodney: “I was born and raised in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. As a kid I wanted to grow up to be an illustrator like Norman Rockwell. I’ve been an artist as long as I can remember and sold paintings in Junior High and High School. I was a passionate artist as a young man and worked hard at it. I was, and still am, a dreamer and saw myself as a professional artist one day. Well, my dad, the economy, and the negative people that surrounded me convinced me that it was just a dream and wasn’t practical. After 2 years of struggling to make it as an artist in a city that sells no art, I joined the military to get away and make a living. I did my 4 years and when I got out, I stumbled into the car business which led to marriage and kids and life, ultimately setting my art aside for nearly 30 years. Louisiana culture has had absolutely no influence on my life and I think the main reason is when I was a kid showing in galleries, it was the trite swamp scenes that are still around and flowers that won the contests in the shows. I was a young man trying to paint among a sea of old ladies with their flower and swamp paintings. I didn’t have a chance in Louisiana and I couldn’t afford The Art Student’s League in NYC which is where I wanted to study art.”
Mary: “You live in Mississippi now. Do you miss the Louisiana culture, and do you still have family here? Do you ever have an opportunity to visit?”
Rodney: “Louisiana culture is everywhere here and every bit of it is commercialized. I’ve been exposed to Louisiana culture for 50 years. I never got why people want to visit here. I guess it’s that way no matter where you live. I know what you’re thinking, Mardi Gras right? I’ve grown to appreciate New Orleans and the history behind the city. It’s about a 45 minute drive from my house so we go to the art museum there and the French Quarter once a year or so, mainly gallery hopping. Mardi Gras is a different story. I stay as far away from that insanity as possible. I’ve been several times and have had enough to last me a lifetime. I have blood kin all over Louisiana. I’m one of 6 kids and my siblings live in the Baton Rouge area but my family are my friends from Google+, Facebook, and my other social networks. My blood kin look down on me for what I do for a living and have turned their noses up at me since I started this. It makes no sense, but that’s the way it is so, no, I don’t visit them anymore. I drive an hour every Friday to spend the day with my mom. I did recently fly to New York and met up with about 100 of my friends from Google+. It was a wonderful experience. I’ve found that the people who really care and are there for me every day are my brothers and sisters. I have no room for negativity in my life. I have been given a rare second chance at my dream and I’m making it happen this time, with or without them.”
Mary: “I understand you were always interested in art. When did it become a career? When did photo manipulation and caricatures become your primary focus?”
Rodney: “October 14th, 2010, after a 20 year bout with depression, I entered my first Photoshop contest. It was fun and I loved working in Photoshop even though at the time, I had a bootleg copy of Photoshop 7 and a mouse. I did several contests and won a couple with small cash prizes so I got fired up about it and did 300 more. Well, it was obvious during this period that I had found the medium in digital art and Photoshop that was my home. I worked in many mediums through the years but I felt fulfilled for the first time with digital art. I dove in head first as that fire that once burned in my gut had returned and I worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week for 2 years. I started experimenting with caricatures after a couple of months and apparently tapped into a new niche, Photo-manipulated Caricature Illustration. I had found my calling and within a very few months, I was contacted by Bauer Media and offered a five piece commission for FHM Magazine. This totally blew me away as I had never even considered selling this work. It was just fun and it got me out of a 20 year funk. I accepted my first commission with confidence and delivered my best work by far and FHM was extremely pleased. This first commission afforded me a new customized jacked up 27” iMac, a 21” Wacom Cintiq, and all new software, oh, and an iPad for my wife. I have since done many jobs for FHM Magazine and many other publications around the world. My present client list includes FHM Magazine, Tennis Magazine,The Village Voice Magazine, Elite Magazine, The Sun, Cater’s News Agency, New Coast Productions and Catchphrase Entertainment in Hollywood, among many other publications and organizations. I will be starting a killer commission soon for a Brazilian Metal Band called Almah. I’ll be doing all promotional material for an orchestrated Metal Tour. I’ll also be joining them for a week.”
Mary: “I read somewhere that you served in the US Navy. Many of our readers are veterans and would be interested in your military service and how it might have impacted you in your artwork. Do you have any illustrations from that period in your life?”
Rodney: “Yes, I joined the Navy in 1982. I was stationed in Scotland on a small boat command for 2 1/2 years and drove the Admiral’s boat. I really had a cushy job. I traveled a lot while there and saw a lot of the world. I decided to get underway for my last tour and was assigned to the USS Biddle, a guided missile cruiser with a 400 man crew. We made a 7 1/2 month Med-IO cruise. Our intent was to stay near Iran but Gadhafi started his mess so we were pulled back into the Med and sat in the Gulf of Sidra for 6 months ultimately thumping on Gadhafi for the first time in 1986 which was just before I was discharged. I also did a lot of sightseeing on that tour. We actually made it 14,000 miles from home to Penang, Malaysia for Christmas of ‘85. I also went to Rome, Venice, Amsterdam, and many other countries. I was glad to have served under President Reagan. Did the military influence my work? No, I hate gray but it was a good experience. My artwork has been influenced by a wide range of artists and people. Of course, Rockwell was an influence along with Sebastian Kruger, Jason Seiler, Dominic Philibert and Max Sauco to name a few. There are other people who have influenced and inspired me in life: Albert Einstein, Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Michelangelo, Gottfried Helnwein, Istvan Sandorfi, Picasso, Dali, etc.”
Mary: “Do you ride a motorcycle; have you associated with any riders, famous or not? Do you have an opinion about bikers or their lifestyle?”
Rodney: “I think bikers are awesome. I rode for a few years myself and they were like family--a great bunch of people. I didn’t have the money for the bike I wanted so I rode a Honda 750. I’m between bikes right now because the next time I’m doing it right and getting a Hog. The biker community reminds me a lot of another community I really admire and that’s the tattoo artists and enthusiasts. They have been more accepting of my work than any other group of people. They are also some of the most talented artists I know. They are totally open-minded and accepting of all forms of art. I have a few “tats” myself.”
Mary: “Were there any moments you recall as true breakthroughs in your career?”
Rodney: “The FHM commission was great but that’s not the only breakthrough. It’s really the culmination of lots of breaks along the way that have added up and taken me on this wild ride. I’ve also grown quite a following in social media. I have 10,000+ friends on Facebook, 12,000 on Twitter and over 250,000 followers on Google+. My following is growing at a rate of about 10,000 per day now which is insane. I also have a blog with 500,000 visits from 202 nations in two years. The future looks bright!”
Mary: “What have you learned over your lifetime that you’d like to share with others?”
Rodney: “The American dream is still attainable. I’m often asked in interviews what I would say to someone who aspires to do what I am fortunate enough to do for a living. My thinking is really quite simple. I believe that talent is nothing more than the sheer desire to achieve an artistic goal. The only limit to your success in art, or anything you aspire to achieve in life, is the limit that you put upon yourself by your own doubt. I don’t set goals. I believe goals are limits. I try to set milestones, moving from one to another continually striving to improve and getting to the next level. Why put a limit on yourself? Aim to be the best, believe you can be the best and work with passion to be the best,without doubting, and I think if you want it badly enough, you will achieve it. I have a personal belief about my own work. This may or may not be for you. When I finish a piece, it is history. I never revisit old work. I take what I’ve learned and move forward striving to make the next one much better. Why waste your time repairing old work? The best is still inside you. When I’m asked what work of mine is my favorite I tell them,“I haven’t created it yet”. Surround yourself with people and things that inspire you, stay positive and work your ass off. There is a quote that I love: “The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?” ~ Unknown author.”
MADDOG SILVER and MRS. MADDOG'S SEWING have moved to a new location. 1601 Market St.
Across the street from Coyotes, directly across from Standard Printing
Hours of operation
Mon – Wed 10am – 6pm
Thursday 10 am – 8pm
Fri & Sat 10am – 6pm
Maddog (903) 215-6668 Mona (903) 931-3916
Riders visiting Shreveport have an opportunity to enjoy the entertainment provided by our casinos. On line gaming is popular and in your down time you may want to visit the online site, playpoker.com where you can win big. But, if you're visiting the Shreveport/Bossier area, a trip to one of the five casinos may be in the cards for you. The casinos and Harrah's
Louisiana Downs racetrack
offering great deals on food and lodging, there's reason enough to
visit. But with the lure of the bright lights of the video
slot machines, and the action at the table games, the excitement
often mounts, and one might want to try their luck. World class
entertainment is available 24 hours a day. Each
of the casinos has something different to offer in the way of
atmosphere, food, and events, but one thing they have in common is
the action on the boats. All of the casinos are located on
riverboats, and once aboard, players have an opportunity to win big.
The five boats are the ElDorado
Casino, Resort and Hotel,
Casino and Hotel,
Hotel and Casino, Sam's
Town Hotel and Casino,
Jack's Casino Resort and Hotel.
The rules are simple; play hard and have fun. However, there are a
few requirements, and I've provided a few tips for the visitor, which
make sure you're 21 if you plan to embark on the boats or visit the
casinos. Your ID will be checked before boarding.
you don't care for crowds, but want to see the action, consider a
day time, weekday trip before 5pm.
is allowed in the casinos, so if you're sensitive to smoke, consider
this before making plans.
hotels have great weekday specials, so consider a trip during the
the valet parking. It will save you a long walk and is not
a customer card and use it. You can earn free meals and lodging just
one of the fine dining restaurants for a true culinary delight. Cost
without alcohol will set you back about $60 per person.
you're not interested in the fine dining experience, all of the
venues have other options, such as Fudrucker's at the Louisiana
Downs, buffet meals at all casinooperations,
snack bars, coffee shops and cafe restaurants.
music is often provided free of charge.
and special events are great times to visit and have even more
opportunities to win big, as each of the casinos offer specials.
away from the daily grind. Plan now for a trip to the
Shreveport/Bossier area and see what everyone's talking about. No
matter what, you're certain to win big.
Order your copy of Pinky's Passion Motorcycle Magazine to get stories and information about places to go and things to see in the Shreveport/Bossier area and across the country.
Buffalo Chip is the best party anywhere! Slash featuring Myles Kennedy and the Conspirators are set to rock the music festival hard on August 10th. Concerts are FREE with camping. Passes available at www.buffalochip.com
A guy on the Louisiana motorcycle scene for many years is in need of our help. Poet Sisco, former ABATE of Louisiana State Board president, is about to face major surgery and we need to step up and help his family. If a chapter or organization runs a fund raiser or passes the helmet for donations or individuals can give what they can, the Sisco family will be most appreciative. Poet has pledged to make a donation to the Share the Road program after he sells his scoot to show his appreciation to the membership. Presidents, please get this out to your membership ASAP. Contributions can be sent to James SiscoPO Box 1748LaPlace, LA 70068
Anyone who knows me, knows how much I love a road trip. It doesn't matter if it's in a car, on a plane, or a boat, Sam I am. And, it most certainly doesn't matter if I'm on a motorcycle, Sam I am. I love to travel. Impromptu trips or well planned trips, it doesn't matter. That's why anyone who knows me also knows that I am in my element, writing a blog while traveling. I was fortunate enough to have an opportunity to go to Daytona Bike Week and I have a husband who loves traveling almost as much. He's asleep, snoring and dreaming of God only knows what while I sit in a hotel room and update you on the first day's ride. I can't say it was uneventful, because rides are always full of eventful happenings and we always meet people along the way who impact us.
Plans were to leave Thursday, but because heavy rain was forecasted for Shreveport, we planned to leave a day early (really half a day early). I went to work on Wednesday and at noon was firing up the bike and headed east. I had booked a hotel on hotels.com and easily found one in Hattiesburg, MS, so our destination ride would be 305 miles, 5 hours 11 minutes according to google maps. We know it takes longer to travel on bikes and always plan for 50 miles per hour. And, that's exactly what it was. Six hours later at 6pm we rolled into Hattiesburg. Of course we drove around for 20 minutes trying to find the hotel. That can be aggravating. Tired and worn out from a 3 am start - yes I was up at three am packing and finishing up last minute details for the ride; the bike had to be backed before 7am when I rode to work, so I wouldn't have to go back home and waste time; I knew it was going to be an order pizza in the hotel room kind of night.
The trip was mostly unenventful; the first leg was around 125 miles in the seat and our first stop about 50 miles from the state line and Vicksburg, MS. To this day as I ride over that bridge a smile comes across my face. I love bridges and the one in Vicksburg is one of my favorites. We fought a cross wind nearly all the way to the state line, but then things calmed down a bit. We pulled over for a bike broke down, cause that's what we do. They didn't need our help; they had help on the way. Good for them. We passed through Jackson, MS and Jackson is just about my least favorite place in the United States. The roads are horrible and of course, we have memories in Jackson of flat tires, delays and upsets that keeps us out of the area if we can avoid it. I saw the little white airplanes painted on the highway and was reminded of when I rode through there during the Ironbutt and was so tired that I pointed to them to warn riders behind me of an unknown object in the road. LOL.
The trip down Hwy 49 was smooth, and as I said except for the delay in finding the EconoLodge, tucked behind a truck stop and hiding from us, it was uneventful.
Let's see what day 2 brings. Come back tonight or tomorrow morning to read about our adventures on the USS Alabama, docked in Mobile Bay and a walk on the beach in Panama City. Until then, ride safe, my friends.
The saga continues: Read "Sunny Daze" the story of a young woman inside a fictional motorcycle club. Read in Pinky's Passion Motorcycle Magazine. Go to http//pinkysmotorcyclepassion.com to get the first issue, or a subscription that will guarantee you won't miss anything. Here's a little teaser from the April issue scheduled to be in circulation March 1st.
"This was the Memphis she had fallen in love with, just over a year ago. Tonight they would drink and have fun at the clubhouse. He had spent his anger and would have nothing but love and kindness and soft touches for her when he took her in his arms later this evening and caressed the scars that he, himself had placed upon her body. He would kiss each bruise and tell her he was sorry, that he didn't mean to hurt her. He would justify it by placing the blame on her, telling her she's got to understand, she's got to do right. And, he would plead with her to sell her motorcycle. That, however, was Sunny's one possession that she would never part with. It was only when she was riding, that she had a carefree existence, that nothing else mattered; she was one with the world. She would try to explain it to him, and he would understand, but he still wouldn't like it. He wanted her on the back of his bike. He wanted her to embrace the position of “Old Lady” and accept that history and unspoken protocol dictated that she act a certain way. Sunny was blazing unchartered territory. She was causing him grief and anguish within the club. But, he loved her. In the only way he knew how, he loved her."
On October 30, 2011, Tim and Cindy Butler were in a horrible motorcycle crash. Any time you collide with a pick up truck, the results are going to be nasty, and it was devastating to this couple. A pick up truck turned left in front of them and both were airlifted to Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. Cindy had a collapsed lung among other injuries and spent several days in the hospital. Tim, on the other hand, was not as fortunate. He has severe breaks to several bones and injuries that have left him paralyzed from the waist down. Whether or not this is a permanent condition is yet to be determined. He is struggling through therapy each day to regain strength while his wife sits by his side at the hospital. This family has some long struggles ahead of them, but they can rest assured that the motorcycle community will be right beside them on their journey to recovery.
Yesterday, several riders showed their support by coming together in a Poker Run fund raiser to get donations that would assist them with their financial needs. The day was sunny and cold, but it didn't deter the riders who donned their leathers and took to the streets in for this cause. It is well known in the motorcycle community that bikers are a segment of society that takes care of their own -- when one is rowdy or messes up, they will be taken aside and scolded. When one is hurt or injured, likewise, they will be given all the assistance the community can muster. Five locations volunteered to use their place of business for stops along the Poker Run; Coyote's Bar and Grill, the Showdown Saloon, Four Way Country Club, Camp Joy Marina and Our Place Bar and Grill. A great big thank you to each of these biker friendly businesses that support clubs and independents throughout the year. Several individuals and businesses (too many to list), donated money, services or gift certificates for the cause.
In the end, the community raised nearly $3,000 for the Butler's. Thank you to everyone who came out and supported this great cause.