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Riding Nomad With An Entrepreneurial SpiritI am very excited about this interview because we are going to be interviewing not only one woman that is looked upon very highly in the racing community and riding community, but she has an incredible story she’s going to be sharing. I know we’re going to be having a lot of conversations. Kezia Garcia, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you. Welcome. Thank you. I’m excited to do this interview with you. I’ve been looking forward to this. A little background, we’ve known each other through a racing association that does a race for the last few years. We’ve met through that indirectly. Kezia is a racer. She rides. Why don’t we go back and tell everybody a little bit about your background, where you came from and started riding and getting into it, and starting from there? When I was nine, my parents bought me this moped. It had a motor on it and we would ride it up and down the street, mostly just me. That’s where my first love came from. I hadn’t ridden in years after. When I got divorced, my kid had to go for the summer with his dad. I was like, “I need something to keep me busy.” I went and bought a motorcycle. I didn’t know how to ride it. I had to have my uncle pick it up for me and take it to the house. I rode around the neighborhood. What was the first motorcycle you bought that you were like, “I don’t even know how to ride it?” It was a Gixxer. It didn’t last very long because I realized that I have an old lady back and that wasn’t going to last for long trips. That’s how I started. I rode for a few years before I met Harley. Harley always drag race. I would watch him drag race, and he was like, “Do you want to try it?” I was like, “No, it looks scary.” Finally, I put my big girl panties on and I was like, “I’m going to try it.” I did it and I fell in love with it. You were killing it, some of the best times I’ve seen. You’ve got some really good times. I was looking at them, trust me, I was like “She’s kicking my ass.” What’s your plan? Do you continue to plan on racing? Do you think it’s going to be a hobby? What are you thinking? I’ll continue to race. We’ll probably do the temple races. With the business starting, I don’t think I can have much time off to go to all of the races in Texas. I love Temple. I take it that I might see you soon then possibly in the Temple Harley Drag Race in Evadale? I don’t think I’ll do that one. It’s a little too far for me. That’s the closest one for us. Little River is close enough for us to go for the day and come back. That’s my favorite track. Me too. When I first met my husband before we even got married and he was racing, he used to race with another team. On one of our first dates ever, we were going to Temple Party Drags and racing. He was racing. I was like, “This is crazy. I would never do that. You’re nuts.” Here you are, never say never. You said now the shop’s opening. What’s going on? Are you working on a new shop? What’s going on in your entrepreneurial world? I decided to keep the shop and keep all my vendors. I’m going to do parts in the front. What’s the name of your shop? It was Tires and Tacos. I’m changing it to KG Powder Works because I’ll be powder coating in the back. You powder coat? Really? My bigger oven gets here soon. I’m excited to be able to do bigger things because I was just focusing on smaller things like the derby covers. You had Tires and Tacos. What kind of stuff did you do work-wise with Tires and Tacos? It was motorcycle parts and service. You worked on the bikes? I helped my husband work on the bikes. You do power coating too? Yes, that was what I did while we had Tires and Tacos. I’m just learning this. He taught me the basics of it and then I just went off with it and started experimenting on used parts that we had here to get my foot in the door. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at it. I’d love to see some of your stuff one day. My first project’s going to be the drag bike. I’m going to tear it apart and powder-coat the frame and some other stuff. I can’t wait to see that. That’s cool. You found a passion out of all this. You’re going to stay where you are and work on powder coating. That’s freaking badass. I love that. What was the new name again? KG Powder Works. I like it a lot. Have you been working on your logo? Yes, I have someone working on it. They said they should have it done soon. I’m hoping to open in a few weeks. How can people get in touch with you if they want any of this work done? What’s the best way to reach out to you? I’m going to change the name on our Instagram page, the Tires and Tacos one. Change the name and then they can contact me through there. Perfect. I’m excited for you. I am too. I love the fact that not only are you a rider and a racer, but you’re also a female entrepreneur like myself, which is one thing we love supporting here. Where do you see yourself maybe five years from now? Have you thought about that? I have not thought about it now. I’m just living day by day, figuring it out as I go. I love that you figured out what you’re going to do with your shop. That’s exciting. It was a last-minute thing. We had that big sale. I remember seeing the post about it. My plan was to just get rid of everything and close it down. The day of the sale, I was like, “I can’t let it go. I need to do something.” It clicked, and then I was like, “Ordering bigger ovens.” It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. I think it’ll work out. I do too. It’s going to be a huge benefit too for a lot of people. I hear so many conversations about people needing it anyway. You’re pretty much going to be booked out right away. I have people lined up. They’re like, “Let me know when you’re ready.” How exciting is that? What about your son? What’s your son into these days? I know you guys do motocross too, don’t you? Yes. Do you dirt bike too? I don’t like dirt that much. It’s not my favorite. I do it because that’s the only thing he can do now because he can’t ride on the street. I try to take him every Sunday. We’ll load up his dirt bike and then we’ll go to Murphy’s. It’s 30 minutes away from our house. They have cool kids’ track. That’s his favorite. That’s fun. It’s safe to say he’ll probably be on a motorcycle one day. Definitely. He’s already claimed which one he wants. How many do you have to ride is the question. Now, I have a Dyna, and then I have a Chopper that Harley and I built a few years ago. I have a drag bike and a flat track bike. What’s the Dyna? It was Harley’s. I rode a Dyna Wide Glide years ago. That’s what that one is. I honestly don’t even really know. It’s all good. What would you say to women out there that want to get into either riding or racing? What would your suggestions be for somebody starting out? Just do it. Don’t be scared. Eventually, you’ll learn to love it. A lot of women that I talk to are like, “You ride? Isn’t that scary?” It is scary but it’s fun also. Just do racing. Don't be scared. Eventually, you'll learn to love it. Click To Tweet That was a rush. I never did a Pro Tree until that weekend. That was the biggest rush of my life. You did so well on it. I was like, “My gosh.” First time racing, never in my life. I had the black and blues down my legs to prove it because I was holding on for dear life. After that weekend, I was sitting down using the bathroom. I looked down and I have lines of bruises from me hanging on to the battery and the frame. I was like, “My gosh.” My knees were beyond black and blue. I was like, “Do not even share a picture. We don’t need this going anywhere down south.” It was just so funny. I sat down to P2, and I was like, “I earned it.” I was like, “My gosh.” That was the first time that’s ever happened. I was launching hard that weekend off the line. That’s why I was so bruised. I was babying it a little. Next one, I’m going to try to just launch it a little harder. We’ll see how that goes. Aside from riding, the shop, and all these new exciting things coming up, what does Kezia like to do for Kezia when you’re not working, not being a mom, and not having to run a business? What does that look like? Sleep. I honestly like going camping. I like riding out somewhere and relaxing by the water, swimming. I love camping. That’s fun, being in a tent and just going. I love that. Me and Harley rode from here all the way to Memphis, Tennessee and we tent camped the whole way. That was the best time of our lives. It was so fun. That was my wedding anniversary ride. When I met my husband, he said, “Look.” All his friends and their wives all rode. He was like, “You’re not riding with me.” When I met him several years ago, I was like, “Okay.” I took my little rider’s course. I started on my sports drive, rode it once, and I’m like, “This thing sucks.” It’s top-heavy as ever. He was like, “Pick one of these bikes in the garage.” I ended up on the Dyna. When we got married, our honeymoon ride was with a group of people. Some of them are racers that you might know. It was up through Arkansas to Mississippi to watch the ducks that walk out of that hotel. We came back through Arkansas. I highly recommend that if you ever do it, stop at the bathhouses. We did that. Was that not an experience of a lifetime? We didn’t take a honeymoon, so that was our honeymoon. That was our honeymoon. Yes, us too. We ended up going to Beale Street on a Tuesday night. Our plan was not to go to Memphis. We were going to go to Arkansas and then cut back through Louisiana and come back. We were so close to Memphis. We were only two hours away. I turned and looked at him, and I was like, “Babe, we are two hours away from Graceland. We can’t come all the way up here and not go to Graceland.” We did Graceland too. That is so insane. Graceland, the ducks, and the bathhouses were the three highlights of the trip. Graceland was my favorite. Tuesday, we were down at Beale Street at a bar and some guy came in and was asking the bartender about bike night. Harley heard that and he was like, “What?” He was sitting there, listening, and they were like, “Beale Street has the biggest bike night in the nation every Wednesday.” He was like, “Can we stay one more day?” We stayed one more day and we went to Beale Street bike night. It was insane. We sat there for fifteen minutes and the bikes never stopped rolling in. There are so many bikes. We missed that fun. It was crazy but it was so fun. How funny is that? I’m dying. That was one of the most amazing trips I’ve probably ever had. Arkansas was so beautiful alone. The beauty was just breathtaking. On the way back, the bathhouse situation, I didn’t care who was in the room, who saw me naked, or who didn’t see me naked. They put you in that bath and they give you that nice cold thing. You don’t even care. You’re riding, and they’re getting the dirt out of your nails. You’ve got a swirl face and dirt everywhere. We were in heaven in that bathhouse. I could have lived there forever. I was like, “I’ll stay here forever.” That is so crazy. I got to ask you this. You are a strong woman. It takes a strong woman that does things to ride a motorcycle or race a motorcycle or own their own business and go out on a limb and not know what to expect or what to happen. Is there anyone that has impacted or influenced you in your life that you can say made such an impact that that’s why you’re able to be where you are now? My parents are the biggest impact. They always pushed me. They didn’t necessarily always help me out because they wanted me to figure things out on my own. They influenced a lot of my decisions and my attitude towards life like, “Just do it. You’ll figure it out along the way. If you don’t, you don’t have any other option because you have to figure it out.” Giving up isn’t an option. That was my option. There was no option for giving up. It was do or die, life or death. That’s it. Your parents played a big impact on your life, and I’m sure you play a huge impact on your son’s life. What are his dreams? Does he ever talk about his dreams or what he wants to do when he grows up? He wants to be a car engineer. He wants to design cars. That’s wicked smart too. He’s pretty good at Legos, building, and putting stuff together. My dad bought him a huge Lego set and told him, “If you put this together in a day, I’ll go buy you a bike.” My dad didn’t think that he was going to do it in a day, and he did. He got a free bike. Are you serious? He’s so good at imagining things and putting them together. Kezia, you need to share with Melanie what your new business is because I’m blown away and so excited for her. I’m already thinking about the work she’s going to do to my plain black bike, my solid black empty bike. Use a little color. You’re painting? Powder coating. Awesome. I have some wheels that I may need to be done. Everyone’s lining up. You’re going to have to have a sign-up sheet and a waiting list. You should probably start that now because you’re probably going to need it now. People are going to be like, “I want this.” Forget about it. When race season’s over, you’re going to be busier than ever because everyone’s going to be like, “I need this and this.” Tear everything apart. I don’t think I’m going to have time to do my own stuff. Anytime you start anything, your own stuff goes to the back of the list. That’s very true. We’ve been talking about how long Kezia’s been riding and racing. Her parents have been a big impact on her and her life. That’s everything that we’ve been through in a nutshell so far. We’re very easy to talk to, Melanie. I’m sure you won’t have a problem just jumping in. Okay, I’ll try. You’re at the shop. I love the background. I love that you’re at the shop too. I try to stay here in case anybody wants to order parts or anything and I don’t have anything better to do. That’s good you’re staying busy. I love that. I’m already thinking about the things we could do with my motorcycle now that you mentioned the powder coating. With the powder coating, you’re going to build that in the back. She’s building it out in the back of the shop. I had to clear out the lifts, the tire machine, and all that stuff so I can have room for the ovens and the booths and all that stuff. It’s pretty much cleared out. I’m just waiting for the equipment to get delivered. What made you want to do powder coating? When we had the parts and service, we had a small powder coating area in the back. Harley taught me how to do it a little bit, so I started playing around with it. It’s like they do the dip powder at the nail salon. I know it’s similar. It’s like that. I feel like I’m doing nails or something. I’ve had stuff powder coated in the past. The way it even came up for me was that I’ve been wanting to replace the wheels on my bike and wasn’t sure what I wanted, this and that, and at the same time, I don’t want to spend a couple of thousand dollars on wheels when I need it exhaust and other things too. You know how quickly it adds up. We have some wheels, so my husband’s like, “You can take them and get them customized.” I was like, “Cool.” I don’t know how quickly it adds up. I would never know that. I’m sure your motorcycle invoices are just as much as mine, which anybody that rides a bike knows it’s not cheap. The frame we had built alone was ridiculous. When Bill and Dale bought it home, Justin Collier built a frame, you could hold with two fingers. The gas tank’s this big, it makes one pass. Literally, you could hold it with two fingers. They brought this home at 4:00 in the morning, waking me up. They come out and they’re like, “Don’t touch it. This frame is a work of art.” I named it Picasso as a joke because the frame was probably the most expensive frame I’ve ever purchased in my life. You all get the expensive stuff, though. No, I don’t. We’re backyard builders. Everything we do is either in trade or we do it ourselves. I’m a backyard builder too. I ride a regular Sportster, guys. Maybe one day when I make a lot of money, I’ll get something expensive. There’s no way I will even touch it. I won’t even walk by it. I won’t even let the air of my ass walking by knock anything over. I’m like, “Leave it away from me and leave it away from my Sportster. My little Sportster over here is not messing with you. Leave it be.” What all do you have done on your Sportster? It’s pretty quick. Chad Hart built the heads on it, so it’s 1250. I added an air shifter. That was the first time I rode with an air shifter that weekend too. It was the first time Pro Tree and first time air shifter. I didn’t even take off the first time. I was like, “I didn’t see the lights. They’re supposed to go.” I then was like, “The lights never went off.” True story. I had to show her in the video what would the lights look like. I’m like, “They’re orange and then yellow.” She thought she was looking for orange or something and then they were what she called more yellow or vice versa. I missed the lights, then I was like, “Okay,” because they switched me to open comp last minute. I’m going up to the staging lanes and they’re like, “It’s a Pro Tree.” I’m like, “What’s that?” I’ve been practicing on a Stagger Tree. I get up there, the first one. I didn’t go, and then I finally left. I realized, “This is how it works.” It was the first time that the air shifter showed. I was like, “This is fun.” I love it. I kept trying to do it with my foot and my hand, but my clutch was so hard no matter what we did. I was just getting blisters and missing gears. I put an FX1 clutch on it, which was an easy clutch and it was still hard. I was like, “There’s got to be some WD-40 or some secret magic that Chris Martin or David Esposito knows, some little knob, or somebody’s missing.” They’re all like, “No.” With the air shifter, isn’t that have to be a modified class or is that still Street ET? To my knowledge, it’s modified. If I take the wheelie bar off, I can ride in Street ET. Some of the Street ET, if you notice, had modified bikes in it and they had nitrous and other things on it. My bike’s Trailer 1200, but Chad Hart did do the head so it’s a 1250. If I take my wheelie bar off, I could do Street ET. With the shifter, wouldn’t that still be considered modified? I don’t think they consider it that for the class. It doesn’t make any sense to me because all the bikes are extremely modified. I don’t know. My bike’s technically a street bike. I put the wheelie bar on it because, two months prior, I had an incident. That’s scary. I guess I just opened it up too much, but I was also on a Kawasaki, which I’ve never rode in my life. I was at the staging lanes and wheelied at 12:00 for quite some time. The time slip ended at the 60-foot mark. I realized I couldn’t get the front end down so I dropped and then the bike went up over in the air over my head. That’s the only reason I had the wheelie bar on. I was like, “I just flipped this Kawa-sexy.” That was the name of it when I got it. I sold it a week later with the lights and everything broken on it, hanging off, except I did replace the handlebar. I got my money back and then some. I was like, “Okay.” That worked out. Melanie’s just shaking her head. I know we’ve had you on here for quite some time. Before we close out, are there any suggestions or any feedback you would give to any women on anything in general? It could be on anything at all. I don’t know. That is a tough question because it’s so general. I don’t want to be super feminist because we do need men, but we can do things just as much as they can. I’m living proof. I can drag race just as good as they can. My first time going out on the track, I got third place. The only reason I got third place was because I broke out of my time. We can do the same things. Women can do things just as much as men can. Click To Tweet Heck yes, we can. For those that don’t understand, what is breaking out? With Street ET, you have to guess your dial-in time. You have to guess what you’re going to run. If you beat it, then you get knocked out. If you go too fast, that’s breaking out. Yes, if you go too fast. Kezia is too fast, just so you guys know. That was her nice way of saying she rides really fast. I just didn’t know what my times were supposed to be. What are you in now? You’re in the low sevens, aren’t you? No. My bike was not running the way it should have been, so I was a consistent eight all weekend. You’ve been in the sevens, right? I ran a seven. You’re normally in the sevens. My bike isn’t running that great, so I just stuck with the eights. Thank you for the best advice ever. That was good advice. Kezia, I want to thank you so much for being on with us and being a guest, being on the show, letting us interview you, and sharing all the exciting things happening in your life. For everybody reading, if you want more information or you want to reach out to Kezia, which page do you want them to go to? It will still be Tires and Tacos or it will be KG Powder Works, or you can find me on Instagram on my personal page. It’s under @Throttle.Vixen.90 That is how you can contact Kezia if you want to get some work done. If you have some questions, you can reach out to her there. Thank you so much, Kezia, for being on the show. I’m so honored that you were on with us.