If you follow Sleaze Dolls on Instagram, you may have seen a few posts and stories about my recent trip to Sturgis. For me, this was a trip of a lifetime. Total bucket list item checked off. But this post isn’t so much about Sturgis itself; it’s about Gary Gibbsville.
This is Personal
I have a pretty cool man in my life. His name is Gary Winkelhorst. He’s a fuc*ing badass. I use the * today because he’s not a big fan of my cursing. Gary came into my life when I was a lil gangsta. He met my mom, they eventually got married and their years of happiness are still going strong.
Gary is not my biological dad, but what are genetics, ya feel me?
Gary is my father in all aspects of the word.
He grew up in Wisconsin. Graduated high school class of two (no he wasn’t the valedictorian). But what’s maybe even more astonishing is the fact that he is the youngest of all his siblings and the ONLY BOY. He grew up with dat farm life (basically doing everything).
As a teenager, Gary drove truck for the one and only Gibbsville Cheese Factory.
Now if you are not from Wisconsin, you may not know about this hidden gem. But as a cheese connoisseur, let me tell you, this place is the cow’s utters.
Gary and I shared one very important dream.
We both wanted to own a Harley Davidson.
At 68 years young, Gary saw that dream come true.
I was able to see that dream come true for me shortly thereafter. I’m very grateful for that. Not many people get to say that. For all you ladies on Harleys, we are some lucky lil bada**es aren’t we?
A Turn of Events
I’m from a suburb of Milwaukee, WI. So as a Harley-lovin’ girl does, I took a trip home last February for Mama Tried.
Before heading to the show, I went to dinner with my parents. On the way to dinner, my docile father started screaming in the car. Mind you, in the 25+ years I’ve known this man; he’s never once raised his voice.
I could feel his pain vibrating through each motion.
As he tried to pull over in a safe spot.
As my mother and I screamed at him to “just pull over.”
We were maybe 10 minutes from the hospital.
I aged ten years waiting for the ambulance.
When the doctor told us three hours later that it was an aortic aneurysm, I walked out of the room.
You see, this surgery has a 90% fail rate and my Google results told me he was gone.
You need to be in surgery within 30 minutes of a burst. He didn’t get in until three hours later.
As I watched his skin pale, I put all my faith in the doctors.
The Miracle Man
Hours later, Dr. Larsen came to the waiting room.
Gary, well, he survived.
At 73 years old, he survived a surgery more than 90% of people died from.
They call him the miracle man at the hospital these days, but he’s been a miracle man my whole life.
The thing about traumatic surgery is this though, survive or not, it’s never the same. Gary made the decision after five too short years, he needed to sell his Harley.
I jumped at the chance to buy it.
But you know what they say, best-laid plans.
Nothing about going to Sturgis proved easy.
Plans fell apart.
I couldn’t figure out if it was going to work.
And, it didn’t look like it was going to.
I planned to fly to Minneapolis, visit my sister, and drive with one of my bada** friends from Minneapolis to Sturgis and ride home with my boyfriend.
At the very, and I mean very, last minute my best friend from childhood and her kicka** dad came through. Her dad picked up Gary’s bike, and she trailered that lil fuc*er to pick me up in Minneapolis.
And pick me up she did. Gary’s bike in tow.
Things That Matter
I’ve taken so long to write this because it’s hard for me to put into words how much this means to me. To Bill Krzyzanek from Kaliber Collison, thank you for last minute picking up the bike. A thing that wasn’t your responsibility, but you did, because you’ve always supported me.
To Ashley Krzyzanek (@ashweewae) thank you for trailering that bike. Thank you for being there. Thank you for being my friend.
I got to ride Gary’s bike for the first time in South Dakota.
Did you know South Dakota is nearly the most beautiful state in the US?
I road some amazing rides in South Dakota (which I will talk about later), but I got to ride Gary’s bike back from Sturgis to San Diego. That’s the icing babe, that’s the icing.
But Now What?
So now, the bike is named after two things I love: Gary and Gibbsville Cheese Factory.
You’ll be seeing a lot more of this bike.
I plan to take a lot of parts of my original Sportster and move it onto this bike.
I plan to make sure this bike honors its namesake.
I plan to ride across the universe on this bike and keep it forever.
Gary is still with me today and although he may not ride much anymore, this bike is his and I’m beyond honored to be the new owner.