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Sheppard heads out on the highway

Folsom resident picked out of national field for Victory’s True American Road Trip
By: Laura Newell Telegraph Staff Writer
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Folsom’s Sydney Sheppard is cruising through her 50s. Victory Motorcycles chose 10 riders to take part in Victory’s True American Road Trip this summer. Out of a field of more than 350 entries, Sheppard, 55, was chosen. Victory Motorcycles accepted entries throughout the country during the past two months before deciding on the 10 that best showed each rider’s creativity and passion for a great motorcycle road trip. “The True American Road Trip is the physical manifestation of the unique relationship Victory Motorcycles shares with riders across the country,” said Josh Kurcinka, marketing manager for Victory Motorcycles. “Victory understands the power of a great ride on a great bike. This program allows us to help 10 people fuel their passion with the open road, and a chance to tell their story through the road trips they construct.” Sheppard, aka Fishy, said she filmed her entry video at Negro Bar in Folsom. “I’m very involved with our local Victory Motorcycles, so I decided to enter,” Sheppard said. She is the Southwest regional representative for Victory Motorcycles. Garrett Chissie is the manager of Twin Rivers Polaris, a local dealership for Victory Dealers in Yuba City. He has worked alongside Sheppard for many Victory Motorcycles events. “She has always been a real sweet gal and I think Victory did a good job on choosing her,” Chissie said. “She has always come to support Victory and we appreciate her. They couldn’t have picked a better person.” He said Sheppard has been an active member with Victory and helped with numerous events. “I started (riding) in 2005 when I turned 50,” she said. “I was an avid skier but got burned out. So I wanted an activity that I could do by myself, but also with friends sometimes.” After starting her new hobby, she said she knew she wanted a cruiser bike to ride around but didn’t know about the process of becoming a rider. So, to learn about the activity, she said she literally walked into a local Folsom motorcycle shop and asked for help. “I went on the Internet, took classes and asked questions to learn,” she said. “Then I found my first bike, a Yamaha V-Star 650. My first ride was about 300 miles from Napa to Truckee.” She said she bought her first Victory motorcycle in 2005 and has ridden approximately 138,000 miles on it. Sheppard said, that is more miles ridden on a Victory than any other women in the country. “I bought my bike to ride and I’ve been riding ever since,” she said. “We have beautiful roads outside us, so it’s easy.” Each rider on the Victory’s True Americ#an Road Trip will plan and execute monthly road trips in May, June, July and August, documenting their experience through a variety of online channels, such as YouTube and Facebook. As each of the road trips are completed, photos, videos and text captured by the riders will be shared on TrueAmericanRoadTrip.com. In real life, Sheppard works the night shift as a flagger in construction. Still, she finds time to ride. Recently, she participated in the True American Road Trip, ride one, from June 18 to 22. During her first ride, she traveled a total of 1,302 miles of California back roads. “We do four True American Road Trips in May, June, July and August,” Sheppard said. She is also planning to ride from the lowest point in the U.S. in Death Valley to the highest point in Colorado. “I love to ride. I have a ton of fun going out and I’ve found a lot of neat places in California by doing it. If I get lost, I get lost,” Sheppard said. She said after she started riding, has learned to relax and enjoy her time on the bike. “I take my time. It’s a peace of mind,” she said. Still, she said this activity is also thrilling. “I’ve always been a wild spirit and a free spirit,” she said. “It’s all an adventure.” To follow Sheppard’s route and read her blog, visit TrueAmericanRoadTrip.com then click “Maps.”