Athena ‘Chickie’ Ranson
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®: Chickie conquers, in a handful of full-time jobs. Each one is a handful in itself – and she’s on top all of them. Athena “Chickie” Ransom is the mother of three, when she’s not being the CEO of Vagabond Choppers — which is her own shop, where she sells custom-crafted bikes, and rebuilds and restores motorcycles for riders all over the country. She‘s recognized as one of the top bike builders in the industry, and you might recognize her from reality TV shows including “American Thunder,” “Corbin’s Ride On,” and “Miami Ink.”
Athena Ransom grew up in Illinois, California and Florida, always around motorcycles. “Vagabond Chickie” first remembers being on a motorcycle at age four, up with her dad on his stretched Harley-Davidson Sportster. By 16, she had built her first bike — a 1945 Harley-Davidson Servi-Car Trike. Her boyfriend helped, and she laughs that she’d get bummed if he spent too much time having beers with the guys – she wanted to ride with him.
Even though she was talented at building bikes, it was unheard of for a woman to work in a bike shop in the 80s, when she started. She stopped working on bikes in 2001, but it wasn’t because of hassling from condescending men; her mother was ill and she wanted to spend more time at home. But when she went back to building bikes, it was on her own terms – and her own shop, Vagabond Choppers. 2005’s Hurricane Wilma was the most intense tropical cyclone ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, and it destroyed her garage but it couldn’t dash her dream. Chickie reopened her shop in a bigger space, and began building bikes again. Today, the custom cycles from her Deerfield Beach shop sell all over the country, for as much as $75,000 each.
She’s a member of the Motor Maids, America’s first all-women motorcycling club, but she wanted more, and she keeps proving she can nail it and share it. Her 2010 “Chicks Rule and Boys Drool” tour hit 12 stops across the nation. The traveling display was designed to educate, network, and showcase what female riders need to know.
Vagabond Chickie Ransom brags that she can take daring steps that guys can’t. She laughs, “I’m a chick, that’s why I did it!” and says her female hormones give her an edge men don’t have. But her accomplishments and philosophies transcend even her daring. She says, “If it all went to pot tomorrow, I’ve succeeded in everything that I’ve done — because I’ve done things that most people only dream of.” She’s had to fight to achieve her goals, but that’s okay with her. She sums it up this way: “Life is too short for a bad attitude.”
Athena’s independence, actions, and words reminds each of us to live our full potential and engage in life with a joyful spirit. It is just the kind of inspiration we seek. Please join the Sturgis Buffalo Chip’s® Biker Belles™ celebration and ride Wednesday August 8th, during the Sturgis Rally and share your story. Join others supporting women on their life’s journey and the role motorcycling has played in their lives.
Biker Belles raises funds for two South Dakota charities: Helping with Horsepower, a program to aid young women and girls who are victims of or at risk for abuse, and the Sturgis Motorcycle Museum and Hall of Fame for exhibits that focus on the history of women in motorcycling. 100 percent of rider contributions goes directly to the charities. For more information or to sign up to participate, please go to www.bikerbelles.com
or call 605-347-9000
Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys®, We Ride We Care We Win