The following are excerpts from e-mail conversations between Rhiannon and her Uncle Guy (her father's identical twin) on May 22, 2003 - I see by your list that you are looking at 600's, so I'm going to let your dad try to talk you into a smaller first bike. Jeez! Why don't you just get a 1000 HA! I do know where there is a nice Suzuki GZ 250, 2 years old, only 556 miles. It's not a rocket-bike so you could get insurance cheaper. They are asking $2000 and you could touch the ground. It's a 2-cycle cruiser style bike. I guess you need to decide if you're riding to ride, or trying to look cool. God, I'm sorry if I sound fatherly, but I am close.
Rhiannon's reply - Don't worry - dad and I have already had it out about getting me a smaller bike. I put up a pretty good argument... and I don't think you're going to talk me into it. I surely don't need the two of you ganging up on me. Don't encourage him. Just because the bike GOES faster, doesn't mean I'm going to drive it that fast. My car goes faster than I drive it!!! Plus, I don't want to buy a small bike just to sell it next year for one that I'm going to keep. Might as well learn on what I want and keep it for years. Right? Please stay calm. I'm sure I'll drive like a sissy. You can come riding in a few weeks when I'm home with me and dad and put your 2 cents in on my riding skills then. Dad's not happy about my riding at all, from what I can tell. But he also realizes that if he doesn't teach me how to ride... some 20-some year old guy down here will. So he took me up on the request.
Rhiannon writes to her mom - I passed my motorcycle road test today! I had to take Corey's little bike though. Last night I practiced slow moving corners on my bike... and I suck at it! It was really frustrating. It was like I didn't know how to ride! But I passed w/ Corey's. We're taking a short run right now - tomorrow has 50% chance of rain so the Lake Lure ride might be off. I'll still call you when I get a sec. Talk to you later. Love you.
Rhiannon had asked her dad what to do so her bike wouldn't get stolen. He told her to get insurance. She said she couldn't afford it, and he blew a gasket!
Uncle Guy writes August 21, 2003 - How many miles on the bike now? Cycle World Magazine says the #1 bike stolen is..... that's right! Yamaha R6! So get some insurance! It doesn't matter what it costs! That's my fatherly advice for the week. Take care. Be careful.
Rhiannon's reply - I have about 1200 miles on the bike now. Getting rained out all too often around here. Hopefully the rain will ease up for a while. I switched all of my insurances to State Farm last week. I now have liability and comprehensive so I am covered if it gets stolen. I can't put full coverage on it (to include collision) because they want over $2200 per year! BS! In 4 years I'd have the bike paid off TWICE! That's just ridiculous! Especially considering I have a clean driving record (for the past 3 years at least) and a clean insurance record! Going to Biketoberfest in Daytona in October! Can't wait for that! Never been to Daytona before! Woo hoo!
Will, Jason, Frank, Joe, Rhiannon, and Mike at Daytona Bike Week. She had this picture as an 8 x 10 in her office.
E-mail from Rhiannon shortly after she got her bike - Lowering my bike an inch will definitely help… On flat pavement, I can touch flat foot on one side and tippy toe on the other. Crooked pavement I can’t touch with both feet. My biggest problem arises when I want to back up. ESPECIALLY if I’m backing up an incline, it’s nearly impossible. See – I don’t like walking next to my bike – especially not backwards. The trick would be to put your left hand on the left handle bar, the right hand on the back seat, face the back of the bike (looking where you’re walking) and simply walk. This is not possible for me. For one… I have NO BRAKES when I do that, and can probably not stop the bike with arm strength (on a decline). So I attempt to keep both of my hands on the handle bars, hold the bike up with my hip, and try to walk backwards without looking. This is no good – and I’m afraid that if I put muscle into it instead of leaning, it will tip away from me. So – if I want to back up, I would like to be sitting on it – that way I have a foot on both sides and will not tip. Well, when you’re tippy toed on both sides, and trying to push off to move the bike backwards… it’s very difficult. Then if there’s gravel or I lose my footing – I’m trying SO HARD to move it, I would go down if I slipped. Plus – if I get into a situation like the last time, where I’m on a hill, angled and stopped – and happen to stall out… with one foot on the ground – lowered, my bike would be at much less of an angle, and easier to raise up if it thought it was going kiss the blacktop. There are two things I’m worried about by lowering it – being too low, meaning it scrapes on corners in the mountains and bottoms out on speed bumps. Now I don’t know how worried I should be… I don’t think one inch is going to matter much with those… but it is something to keep in mind. Getting stuck like a teeter-totter on a speed bump would not be my idea of fun, and will probably fall over. Hopefully an inch will not affect that. The other thing is the steering will be different. I was told it will almost be like it over steers. I will not have to lean so hard to make it corner hard. I guess that makes sense. Sucks, too, because I was just getting comfortable with slow 90 degree corners. Maybe it won’t effect those so much. Guess we’ll have to see. Mike got the bushings switched out on my support bar, so I guess I’ll be finding out soon!
(At left - the guys working together to lower her bike for her.)
When she was picking out something to put on a personalized plate, she really wanted something unique. When she came up with this one, she really liked it - so much that everything had to say it! FETISH on her shirt, FETISH on her bike plate, and PHETISH on her car plate. I tried to get the same Michigan plate for her car, but they wouldn't let me have it - said it was too suggestive! The back of her bike has a bit of damage now - but not really too bad.
From Andy Nguyen - I first met Rhiannon at Grady Millers and we were all about to take off for an afternoon ride. We continued up the mountain until we got to Ceasar's Head. It was still cloudy up there from the rain and her being a beginner rider, I thought she might turn around and go home, but of course she didn't. We all sat up at the top of the hill, smoked a cigarette, and chit chatted about anything and everything. She came over to me and introduced herself. She had just gotten her bike and asked my advice about how to lower it to fit her height, and how she could keep from cutting off in first gear when taking off (keep in mind at this point she had only been riding a few days). I helped her understand how it ws best to lower her bike, and how to handle the throttle when taking off. Time went by and we became pretty good friends. She came to the house a couple of times to eat dinner with me and my wife and son. When she rode, she really wanted to learn. She was very patient and always took advice serious. We lost touch for a while, and last summer when I started seeing her again she had really improved on her riding! She was better than some of the guys I knew! Rhiannon always wanted to ride. I called her the "weather woman" because she always let us know the weather before a ride. Sometimes she was wrong about the sunshine and we all turned up soaking wet! It was a pure tragedy what happened. She will never be forgotten.
From Randy (Slider) - I rode with Remi a few times. She was always smiling. I was there the first time she went to the mountains, you could tell that she enjoyed it very much. I just wanted to let you know that I have this web site in my favorites folder and check it from time to time to see if there are any new stories. We all still think about her. I just lost my father suddenly a few months back and loved the poem you guys put on here. I just wanted to say thanks for the poem and she is not forgotten by anyone.
This was taken August 3, 2003 on Hwy 64 which has a waterfalls you can drive behind. It was a great trip with "the crew" that included Ceaser's Head and Lake Lure.
At left, riding a wheelie with Jason Brashier. I remember her telling me that she was nervous at first about being a passenger for stuff like this, but also that it was a lot of fun! But then she was a passenger with Carey for an endo and her butt left the seat by over a foot. I told her she should have had her feet UNDER the back footpegs for that to help hold her down! At right, Carey doing an endo alone.
When she needed new tires, she decided to do her first burnout. There was no way she would let anyone else do it! She was so proud! When she sent me this in e-mail on 6-22-04 this is all it said:
That's all I can say...
Rhiannon had this one named "Chillin' at the Station".
From Jason Brashier - We were on our way home from a long week at Daytona only to wake up the following morning to go to Tennessee to ride Deals Gap. We were all so tired from getting a late start home so we stopped somewhere in GA for a break.
They were so pumped to do Daytona and then Deal's Gap back to back. I don't know how they had the energy - I'm sure they were running on pure adrenaline!
Jason, Mike, Rhiannon, Frank, Joe, and Will at Deal's Gap. I remember her being so excited to ride "The Tail of the Dragon" with 318 curves in 11 miles! It was a dream road to her, and I can understand the thrill even if it does give me sweaty palms just thinking about it! As a passenger roads like that are scarey. As a driver it would be a blast! She had a video of it - oh, my God! Some of her ashes are scattered here....we know how much she loved this mountain....
Somewhere along the road there is the "Tree of Shame" that is decorated with broken bike parts - many of them with messages. She told me of a mirror that said "Borrowed bike 3 days old." Yikes!
We came to SC to visit in early December, 2004, and Rhiannon was talking about doing wheelies. She had been telling me in e-mails how her friends were trying to get her to let them do a wheelie on her bike, but she adamantly refused! She said SHE would be the only one to do wheelies on her bike. There was one time when her dad used her bike on the Tail of the Dragon and created new chicken lines for her, and she was real mad about that! She wanted to be the one to create her OWN chicken lines - or lack thereof. Naturally that became a personal goal, and her tires finally had no chicken lines at all. For those of you who don't know what chicken lines are - they are the marks on the tires that show how far you are leaning your bike around corners. When you lean far enough the marks go right to the edge of the rubber - any further and you would lay the bike right on its side. She leaned her bike that far - and the guys told her that if she hit a smalll bump in the road she could be in big trouble. They were insisting if she wanted to ride like that that she needed leathers. She was working on that purchase... In any case, back to the wheelie story - she couldn't believe that I asked to see her do one, but she got right up and we went outside. We discovered that her parking lot was just not quite long enough, but she did send me a photo of her doing a wheelie! It's not a very good picture, but you can see she wasn't just playin' - she actually had it up in the air!
From Doug Harrison - As I read about the chicken marks on her tire I was reminded of the morning she came into the office and put her foot up on the table beside my desk. "Look at that!" she said. I looked at her foot, but didn't know what I was looking for. She then pointed it out. She had rode into a corner and got her bike so low that it scuffed her boot on the road. She was really proud of that!
From James Jernigan - I rode with her in the mountains on numerous occasions. She had a loop that she liked doing on Hwy 218 and even if we didn't want to go she would do it anyway. We would end up following her just to make sure she was safe. She was very strong willed and didn't need anyone to lead or follow her. She was gonna go her way, and that's one of the many reasons so many people loved her in so many ways. I will always miss her. :(
A big group of guys got together and made a video of this loop on Hwy 218 to share with us. It's incredible! With enough straight stretches to get up some speed, and enough curves to make it fun!
I see why she loved to go there!
"You ride what?"
This picture was taken when Rhia and some friends went to Florida for the Stunt Wars March 10-12, 2005. They were just kicking back for the evening at the motel. Someone asked her, "Rhiannon, what do you ride?" She just said, "I don't ride." and turned away from the camera. They pushed it and asked her again, and she turned back and said over her shoulder, "I ride, bitch."
From Nate Hopkins - Well what can I say. I was there when it all ended. I can still remember the smile on her face as we pulled away and the end result. I try to block that from my mind with the good thoughts of her coming to my house for Thanksgiving dinner or talking about computers, to her riding at the Dragon with her dad. I along with many others planned to go with her on the next trip! But all I can say from this whole experience is that we lost a great friend. She touched my life as well as others. She made me enjoy riding as well as checking my e-mail for those funny e-mails she sent. I will always love her and wish that it wasn't her on that day because I never knew she had so much to look forward to in life. And I might say that if it wasn't for what her dad said I don't think a lot of us would still be riding.
From Andy Nguyen - On the day before her funeral serivces here in Greenville my right leg hurt very bad like I have never felt before and I couldn't even walk. My watch died at 2:15:28, and then right after 3:00 it started working again and my leg stopped hurting me just like nothing was wrong. Weird. Then on Wednesday on the ride when we are at the crash site I asked Ryan about the time of the accident (which was about the time of my watch stopping), and Mike told me her right leg was hurt. I feel like she was telling me what was going on. I still can not belive what happened. I will be missing her.