Motorcycle Mayhem and Pants on Fire

Chasing her wild side, Callie moved across the country and found a friend… who shared her love of motorcycles. That led to a life changing crash. But she doesn’t quit doing what she loves because it’s dangerous. Callie soon had a new motorcycle… and a new problem when she caught fire while riding it!

As for Andrea, she explains why you shouldn’t try to ride up the side of the volcano.

At least you never have to worry about accidentally catching yourself on fire while riding a horse.

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Read about Andrea’s incredible Costa Rica trek in her book, Crossing Bridges

This podcast is a part of the Bright Sighted Podcast Network. Learn more here.


  • Callie King 00:00
    I decided I needed a Harley.
  • Andrea Wady 00:01
    You bought a Harley Davidson course you bought a Harley, of course, the obvious choice for someone who's five foot one.
  • Callie King 00:09
    I get this thing. I was like, Alright, this is this is cool. This is a clean bike, drove it around a little bit. I'm just hitting the freeway. Of course you were went out on the freeway, cranked her up, fly down the freeway. And then I thought I was getting stung by a bee because I had an intense burning sensation on my leg. And then I looked down and I saw glowing red on my pants. And it just so happened that the owner had taken all of the exhaust shields off of the bike. So when I got out on that freeway and started screaming, the exhaust heated up real quick. Caught my boots on fire.
  • Andrea Wady 00:51
    You set your shoes on fire? Gosh! Callie.
  • Callie King 00:58
    I was doing 70 on a California freeway and my boot was on fire.
  • Andrea Wady 01:06
    Jump in with both feet.
  • Callie King 01:08
    Go Big. Follow your dreams grab life by the reins.
  • Andrea Wady 01:12
    This is how we live. Where Callie King and Andrea Wady two horse trainers always looking for adventure
  • Callie King 01:19
    and finding it. Join us for stories of dangerous travels wild animals new challenges and in the end always learning alongside our magnificent horses. So saddle up and follow along. You're listening to grab life by the reins
  • Andrea Wady 01:46
    Have you ever had a midlife crisis moment?
  • Callie King 01:50
    Well, I hope I haven't hit midlife yet. Well,
  • Andrea Wady 01:53
    that's true. Actually. You're a lot younger than me. Okay, have you ever had a life crisis where you've done something outrageous that you think? Well, I've done that.
  • Callie King 02:04
    I think I had a quarter life crisis. Yeah, this was this was a few years ago, I had just moved away from Pennsylvania. And I had traveled quite a bit. But this was the first that I that I moved away. Moving away started with six weeks living out of my little Chevy tracker car. And then I was settled into Santa Barbara, California. And I had a sweet little apartment that I rented in Santa Barbara up on the hills overlooking the ocean. I had just it about a year before gotten out of an 11 year relationship. Wow. And I was reinventing my life really moving away out of the relationship ready for something different. It was one of those periods of life. I was really happy in the sense that I knew that I was on the right track. But I also felt really restless. And I didn't knew that that things were going to shift. You know those times?
  • Andrea Wady 03:09
    Yeah. When you don't feel that grounded, not very rooted in where you were. Yeah.
  • Callie King 03:13
    And you kind of feel like you can go any direction if you're just waiting for life circumstances to pull you in a different direction that's
  • Andrea Wady 03:20
    invigorating. But it can also be a little bit unsettling for exciting.
  • Callie King 03:25
    So the life circumstance that pulled me down this this road was I started dating a bounty hunter
  • Andrea Wady 03:38
    suddenly got visions of you going out with Dog the Bounty Hunter.
  • Callie King 03:43
    This is a much more attractive. Go for
  • Andrea Wady 03:46
    that. Wow. Bounty Hunter.
  • Callie King 03:50
    Yeah. Yeah, there were wild stories. I bear. He had a big Harley.
  • Andrea Wady 03:57
    He had a hole in my Wow. Now that paints a picture. So
  • Callie King 04:00
    So and I a lot of my family rides motorcycles, and actually has quite a bit of history with motorcycles. So my, my father, you've met my father. My father is in a wheelchair. Yeah. Because he was in an in an accident. Wrecked a motorcycle when he was 22 and broke his back and paralyzed from the waist down. Yeah, I have another cousin that was in a similar accident. And I had an uncle that was killed on a motorcycle. So, you know, all joking aside, around motorcycles,
  • Andrea Wady 04:37
    moral of the story, don't get a motorcycle. Well, I understood
  • Callie King 04:40
    the risks. I really understood the risks of motorcycles. And I had been riding for that time about eight
  • Andrea Wady 04:47
    years was like climbing on a horse. It's dangerous, but we do it.
  • Callie King 04:51
    Well, and I remember when I was 20 because when I was a teenager, I wanted to ride motorcycles, but I always thought that My dad would be really against it. Yeah. Understandably, we'd never talked about it. I just thought he would be. But when I was 20, I thought, You know what, I this is something I really want to do. And I still remember I went to my dad and I said, Look, I'm, I'm gonna buy found this bike online, this little TW 200. I'm gonna buy it. I'm going to learn to ride. What do you think? And he said, you know, you got to do what you love. And if life takes you out, so be it. Yeah, that's good advice. I
  • Andrea Wady 05:27
    think it is.
  • Callie King 05:29
    So that's, that's what had gotten me started years before. So I knew motorcycles. I loved riding. So when I when I met the bounty hunter, and he had a big Harley, it was an advantage. Yeah, I loved it. Oh, boy. But I didn't love being on the back. That was a change. Because until this time, I had never, I had been on the back of a motorcycle literally two times in my life. Yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 05:53
    you would then want and riding? I was
  • Callie King 05:55
    always the one driving. Yeah. Because I remember my dad saying that to he's like, I'm okay if you learn to ride but don't be riding on the back. Yeah, well, that's sensible advice. And I should have listened to that advice. Yeah, you probably should have because I know where this is going. Yeah. Yeah. So two weeks after we have met, we'd hung out a few times. And it was a Sunday afternoon. We're like, you know what we're gonna ride. But the time before that I had written with him. Because I just moved to California. I didn't have any my gear out there. So he had a little loaner helmet. That was one of those little like, half shell helmets. It didn't fit me very good. So it was like falling on the back of my head. And he's like, you know, before we ride again, we've got to get you a good full face helmet that fits. And to be honest, I was like, it'll be fine. Like, we're just gonna ride. He's like, No, I found this helmet down in LA. It's used but looks like it's great shape. Let's just drive down and get it. Okay, cool. So we drove down that morning and picked it up, had the bike along with us in the van, found a really cool spot. California has amazing Oh, using roads for riding, found a really good spot part, bring the bike out, both jump on it take off, we're riding for probably about 20 minutes. And we got to this one point, we said, You know what, let's turn around, we're actually going to go back and we're going to take this other road. So we whipped it around, went for like two minutes. And all of a sudden there was a car directly in front of us broadside. So there had been a car parked along the side of the road. And all of a sudden, it whipped in to do a u turn across the road, and was broadside in front of us. And there was oncoming traffic in the other lane. And we were just at the start of basically going over a kind of a bridge. There was enough of an embankment to the right of us, there's no shoulder because there's cars parked, and there's kind of this, you know, embankment little drop off. On the other side, there's trees, there's a telephone pole. So thankfully, he was actually a very good rider, and he reacted immediately, because if he would have even tried to break, we would have slammed into side of that car.
  • Andrea Wady 08:14
    Oh my gosh, terrifying.
  • Callie King 08:16
    Oh my gosh, terrifying.
  • Andrea Wady 08:54
    And if you haven't of habit, then your head probably would have cracked open.
  • Callie King 08:58
    I honestly believe that if I was not wearing that helmet, I would not be here. Oh my gosh, because I was out for I don't know exactly. I'm told about 1015 minutes I was out. Wow. They were in you know, in hindsight, you could see the Huber and these things when things turned out the some of the people that had also been parked along there came to help because he was you know, not in a right state either, obviously. And so when pulled out little alcohol, like those little first aid patches that you might carry. Yeah, like the wipes. I was waving them in front of my nose to try to bring me back. Oh, that's clever. I don't know when I actually woke up. The first thing I remember is when the ambulance was there, all of the emergency crew was around me. I didn't remember anything. I didn't know who I was. I didn't know where I was. I didn't know what happened. I couldn't remember thing
  • Andrea Wady 09:59
    Did it put You're off motorbikes. No, not for a second. Wow. In fact, I
  • Callie King 10:06
    was very, very lucky that the physical damage I had some injury to my back. I had a concussion obviously. And I had definite symptoms from that concussion as you know, for a good six to eight months afterwards. Yeah, you did some pretty severe depression and mood things and seeing things and experiencing things. But about six weeks after I was totally back on my feet I was moving in I was back working with the horses. The the dating of this guy had ended hunt got for that. You could say a severe bike accident for dates and kind of changes things event. Yeah, that's
  • Andrea Wady 10:47
    that's a game changer right there.
  • Callie King 10:49
    So I decided, You know what, I'm here in California. I'm gonna stay here. I need my own motorcycle. Because I'm not riding on the back of any more motorcycles. And you know what? I've been riding these little dirt bikes for a while and then I had a little Ducati Scrambler also a small bike
  • Andrea Wady 11:07
    Well, yeah, cuz you're tiny. How tall are you? I'm five one. Yes, you're tiny. But I decided I needed a Harley. You bought a Harley Davidson? Course you bought a Harley. Of course, the obvious choice for someone who's five foot one who
  • Callie King 11:24
    I'll be honest, there was even a little bit more behind it. A lot of my family rode Harley's and I didn't really like them that much. I didn't really like some of the kind of culture behind it. And I was always like, I love motorcycles, but I don't I don't need to do the Harley thing. No, but I gotta admit riding his bike. I liked the bike. It was big. It was powerful. It was loud. It was kind of fun. Yeah,
  • Andrea Wady 11:45
    I was quarter life. Well, they're iconic for a reason on the I was kind of quarter
  • Callie King 11:50
    life crisis stage. Yeah. So I found this cool. Orange Sportster. 1200 Sportster. Down in Oceanside took the bus down and figured, alright, I told the guy I was like, I'll meet you in a parking lot of the bus station pocket somewhere where I've got enough space that I can learn to ride it around. Because I've never ridden a bike this bag that I got to take it back.
  • Andrea Wady 12:19
    Drop so you were going to pick it up that day. You go in on the bus, get on it, learn to ride it, buy it take off on it. Yeah.
  • Callie King 12:29
    And then it was about
  • Andrea Wady 12:30
    I know why we're friends.
  • Callie King 12:32
    It was about a four hour ride back to Santa Barbara is a baptism of fire right there. And you're my intention was our take backroads. Well, if you've ever driven through that area of California, there's no back roads.
  • Andrea Wady 12:46
    It says mountains but there's no back roads. It it's pretty much
  • Callie King 12:50
    just city between Oceanside and Santa Barbara until you get closer to Santa Barbara. You're just going through LA and all of the other suburbs of it. So I get this thing I was like alright, this is this is cool. This is a clean bike, drove it around a little bit was feeling a bit shaky, but still like I can do this. I got this my wrist hurt because the clutch on that thing was heavy. But I was I was figuring it out.
  • Andrea Wady 13:16
    Well a new very tenacious if you decide you want to do something, you're gonna make it work. So
  • Callie King 13:22
    I toured around Oceanside, trying to find a back road that would connect and then finally I figured whatever screw this is gonna take too long. I'm not even going to make it home before dark. I'm just hitting the freeway. Of course you were so went out on the freeway, cranked her up to fly down the freeway. Then it really hit me the like, life is good. Yeah, life is good.
  • Andrea Wady 13:47
    Life is sweet. The time is now. And
  • Callie King 13:50
    then I thought I was getting stung by a bee because I had an intense burning sensation on my leg. And I've had it happen. I've had no leg. Yeah. Ouch. I've had a bee fly into my writing jacket before and
  • Andrea Wady 14:03
    bite. So you were getting stung. I thought right,
  • Callie King 14:07
    but it kept burning and then it really burned bad. Oh, and then I looked down and I saw glowing red on my pants. And here what had happened is I was wearing jeans and I was wearing my riding boots that have kind of like that. Like acrylic plastic gay. How do I describe it? It's like that foam top that some riding boots Sport Boots have plastic basic plastic, you're really not good motorcycle boots, but what I had at the time. Wow. And it just so happened that the owner had taken all of the exhaust shields off of the bike. So when I got out on that freeway and started screaming, the exhaust heated up real quick. Caught my boots on fire.
  • Andrea Wady 14:50
    You set your shoes on fire. So I'm doing the DOS. Callie who
  • Callie King 14:57
    is doing 70 Odd a California freeway A minute was on fire.
  • Andrea Wady 15:01
    So let's just sum this up. You leave rural Pennsylvania where you've lived this idyllic life. You go across to California. you date a bounty hunter, slam into a tree, buy a Harley Davidson and set yourself on fire.
  • Callie King 15:18
    You do, which do you do?
  • Andrea Wady 15:21
    Yeah. Well, wow. Did you have to put your leg out?
  • Callie King 15:27
    Well, when you're going 70 students I had to do was stick it out of the wind at it. It killed the killed the fire pretty quick. Oh my god, but I still have a little scar on my ankle. Where it where it burns.
  • Andrea Wady 15:41
    You are lucky. It's funny you say about being on the back of motorbikes. So I've been on the back of a motorbike twice. One was it in Thailand, and the other one was on a little remote island off Nicaragua. Both were with my husband, Chris. The first one was in Thailand. And it was New Year's Eve. And we were at this big party dancing in a club. And Chris and I'd rented a moped. And Chris wasn't drinking because he was driving the moped. We came out and we got on the back of this moped. And we're driving along and it had been raining and there was this great big stinky puddle right on a corner of water. And there was a policeman stood right at the end of the puddle. And he obviously was like, if you can make the puddle. You're obviously not drunk. So Chris was like, for the love of God. You sit there like a sack of potatoes. I am the worst person on the back of a bike because I try and control the bike like I do a horse with my body.
  • Callie King 16:53
    Yeah, doesn't work the same. No,
  • Andrea Wady 16:55
    it doesn't. So the policeman's looking at us and Chris is like do not wobble this motorbike. Anyway, we're fine. We got through the puddle, and we went on home. When we were in Nicaragua, we were on a little island called Alma Tapi, which was out in Lake Hama Tapi. And it's an active volcano. So we rented a bike to go round the island. And I remember it being really weird because the roads were so perfect. And it was this tiny remote island. And apparently the Chinese had paid to do all of the road. Weirdly. Anyway. Then Chris goes, I think we should go up the volcano on the motorbike. I'm like, well, there's no roads up the volcano because I know but it's fine. It's a dirt bike everywhere on the rental. It said do not go up the volcano. There's
  • Callie King 17:48
    also a big difference between a moped and a dirt bike. Yeah.
  • Andrea Wady 17:52
    Yeah, this was a dirt bike, but not a very powerful dirt bike. Thailand was the moped Nicaragua Okay, dirt bike, but not a very powerful one. And I'm on the back. Well, Chris, if there's anything that you know if it says you could not allow to do it, he wants to do it. Like the time we're in LA rented a car. Car Rental people say the one place you should never go is Compton. Where does he head straight for? So this is Chris. So he goes off road and we start heading to the volcano. I'm on the back. He goes flooring it up. And yes, we got three quarters of the way up there volcano and we got stuck.
  • Callie King 18:37
    And it's always hard to come back down. Well, it wasn't for me because
  • Andrea Wady 18:40
    I got off the bloody bike and walked back and left him up there. So yeah, me and Motorbikes are are not a thing. So Harley girl. You still got it. Now
  • Callie King 18:51
    I sold it. But I did it. Take it for a 3500 mile ride. Wow. To Sturgis. I figured if I was doing Harley I was doing Harley all the way. Even
  • Andrea Wady 19:04
    I've heard of Sturgis from England. Isn't that a massive motorbike gathering?
  • Callie King 19:09
    Yeah. 1000s and 1000s of bikes come into this small South Dakota town.
  • Andrea Wady 19:14
    And you went by yourself? Yeah. Right from California as you do.
  • Callie King 19:18
    Well, it was really just a destination. I only went to Sturgis. They stayed there one day and thought alright, this is cool. I've seen it. Not my crowd. I'm heading out and did a really cool ride down through Nebraska through Colorado. But on that ride is when I hit the guy on the freeway. Oh my gosh, that trip to Sturgis is when I hit the guy running across the road. Oh, yeah. Well, almost the middle of the night. 11 o'clock. Yeah, but that's for another podcast for
  • Andrea Wady 19:50
    another one.
  • Callie King 19:51
    So before we end I have to ask, have you had a midlife crisis?
  • Andrea Wady 19:57
    I think I had one about five days. ago when I went into the thrift store with you and there was a silent auction and I bid on a flute and I won it always wanted to flute since I was a child, I thought, I'm gonna win that. I really want it. I've now got to go in there on Monday and drop 100 notes.
  • Callie King 20:22
    It does have a really nice case with a blue velvet liner.
  • Andrea Wady 20:28
    Chris was saying to me on the phone he was going, who? That's gonna be me next week. Welcome, Chris. Yeah, you're welcome. Who's to midlife crisis is.
  • Callie King 20:42
    And you have another Harley story too. Oh, I do. We have another Harley Davidson episode coming up.
  • Andrea Wady 20:51
    Yeah, perfect. I can't wait for that one. Well, I'm glad you're here. I'm glad you're alive. But what a story.
  • Callie King 20:59
    Yeah, to be honest, I tell that story. And looking back, you know, I can tell it with the humor. But that was a really hard part of life. Yeah, it absolutely changed my life changed it for the better because it was another moment in my life of realizing how precious life is and how we never know what's going to happen. We don't
  • Andrea Wady 21:21
    much as we love adventure and the funny stories, you know, sometimes shit gets real and bad things happen. But you've come through it and life is good.
  • Callie King 21:32
    Yeah. And on this end of it, thankful for the experience. Yeah. And ride on lessons learned. See you next time guys. Bye. Thank you for listening to grab life by the reins. If you want to see ridiculous photos from our adventures be the first to know when we release new episodes and be a part of war shenanigans. Join our email family at grab life by the
  • Andrea Wady 22:00
    We'll see you in the next program.