Krystal Hess: On a Motorcycle Mission

November 8 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Riding With Life's Punches

When we are experiencing difficult times, we often grasp at anything and everything that might make us feel better. Maybe we try to learn knitting because Aunt Bethel says it calms her nerves. When that doesn’t work, we give gardening a go, until we’ve killed our fourth onion plant and give up.

The truth of the matter is there’s only one thing most of us need to hear when we’re in a tough spot: Do what works for you. Whether it’s refocusing your energy on mastering the worlds of Mario Brothers, binge-watching sob-inducing chick flicks or sweating it out in Zumba class, just do you, girlfriend!

WOMEN IN NUMBERS: More Than $6 Billion

Such an activity that might rev your engine is cruising on a motorcycle. Yep, when it comes to choppers, modern women like to do more than just pose for photos perched atop a motorcycle, or slide onto the back of a man’s bike. We like to ride, and we’re pretty darn good at it!

According to the Motorcycle Industry Council, in 2014, women owned some 14 percent of motorcycles in the U.S., more than double the number from a decade earlier. In fact, the growth of the female riding population is one of the biggest shifts taking place in the $23 billion power-sports industry, with women accounting for more than $6 billion in industry sales.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Krystal Hess, Founder of Motorcycle Missions

Krystal Hess wears a lot of different attire. There are the scrubs for when she’s saving lives as a pediatric and surgical nurse, the face mask for when she’s powder coating motorcycles through her customization business, Ricochet Customs, and the helmet for when she’s riding.

And if there’s one word to describe this formidable chick, it’s “resilient.” After escaping an abusive marriage in Canada and moving to the United States, Krystal fell for a man who loved motorcycles. But after the relationship crumbled, Krystal was left with little money and only a broke-down motorcycle the couple had originally planned to rebuild. Krystal eventually found a buyer for the bike, a solid guy who asked if she’d want to learn how to rebuild it with him. She jumped at the chance, and soon also learned the fine points of riding.

From that moment, motorcycles became a therapeutic mechanism that gave Krystal a real purpose. While riding, she focused on the movement of her body and the bike, allowing her to push aside her shred emotions and fragile mental state.

Krystal says unequivocally that motorcycles saved her life. And she became inspired to help others who are struggling, so she created a unique nonprofit called Motorcycle Missions, which aims to aid people in battling trauma by finding hope and healing through motorcycles. Those who are struggling, like veterans with PTSD or women fighting cancer, are invited to hop on a motorcycle, learn to ride and experience the life-changing camaraderie and adrenaline that result.

With a headstrong resolve, Krystal was able to look misfortune and hardship dead in the eye and turn her troubles into triumph. But it’s her compassion for others that truly drives her.


Krystal Hess is the epitome of a gutsy gal. But isn’t that what life is all about? As Helen Keller said:

“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”

This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.

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