BTR Women’s World 5-19
Katy O. Ishee
Road Rash ‘N Road Tales
By Myra McElhaney
Katy Ishee (pronounced “Is she” like is she coming or is she going?) is known in riding circles by her nickname “Krazy” and has lots of stories where she’s lived up to that name! (Like crazy fun and audacious.)
As a young married woman, riding on her neighbor’s Vespa sparked a desire to ride. After divorcing, in 1974 Katy bought a 1967 R69S BMW which she still rides.
In the early days of riding, Katy was often the only woman riding her own in the motorcycle clubs she hung out with. She won “Most Unusual Field Event” at a Bike Party where she drag-raced several guys and beat each one. The last run ended with her smashing into the fence only to get up, covered in mud, and get back on her bike.
Described as a “free-spirited gypsy” she’s zigzagged across the country living in Florida, North Carolina, Virginia, Arizona, Tennessee, and South Dakota. Some of those states more than once. She has a motorcycle license in five states.
In the early 1980s when M*A*S*H was a popular TV show, Katy toured as a “Hot Lips Houlihan” lookalike, often appearing with a Hawkeye Pierce lookalike. Now guests to her home often ask why she has a photo of Hot Lips and Hawkeye on the wall—until they look a little closer!
In 1994 Katy married classic rock singer Virgil T in a biker-themed wedding. They met in a biker bar where he was singing. They shared a love for motorcycles and just clicked. The wedding was at 5 Flags Speedway in Pensacola, Florida during a Christmas toy drive for children. Bikers lined each side to form an aisle. Santa Clause drove up with Katy on back of his bike to give her away to the tune of “Born to Be Wild.” As they were pronounced “Husband and Wife” the attendees cranked their bikes and couple walked down the aisle to the roar of revving motors.
Katy’s first memoir Pieces of My Heart: A Free-Spirited Gypsy’s Journey Through Her Heart and Soul … and Hell, is about how, as a pregnant teen she was sent to a home for unwed mothers, as they did back in the 60s, to have her child and give it up for adoption. Twenty-seven years later she tracked down her son to find that he’s been riding motorcycles since the age of 13, is a retired NYPD officer and a scuba diver. Looks like he inherited his Mama’s adventurous spirit!
After publishing her memoir, Katy was often asked to write more stories about her adventures from the road. Road Rash ‘N Road Tales: True Stories from the Road was published in 2018 and is available on Amazon or you can get a signed, personalized copy directly from Katy at KatyIshee@MAC.com.
A painter, writer, photographer, Katy designed the book cover from a painting inspired by the bar where she met Virgil T. She now travels around the country speaking and doing book signings at women’s rallies and bike events. Yes, she’s still “Krazy” after all these years!