#53 Kersten Heling
I’m Kersten Heling, the one & only daughter of the spectacular Steve “Doc” Hopkins. My lineage is deeply rooted in motorcycling. My Mother tells me I was born with a grease rag in my hand making vroom noises. I’ve been testing the limitations of various vehicles ever since. Following my Dad’s lead, I developed a fond love for drag racing nitro Harleys. At the ripe age of 4, I professed that I would one day ride one of these fierce machines. In 1995, at 16 years of age, my Dad helped me put my tenacity to the test & I was licensed as the youngest Nitro Harley pilot in history. To present, there are still very few women to have ridden a nitro Harley & no one 16 or younger. For over 23 years I’ve indulged my passion for Nitro Harleys at various drag strips across the country acquiring a personal best ¼ mile of 7.55 seconds @ 178 MPH.
In addition to drag racing, I have dedicated my life to the family business, the greatest dealership in the world, Doc’s Harley-Davidson of Shawano County, Wisconsin. I’ve worked my way through every facet of the dealership & I’m proud to say that I currently serve as General Manager. It was through the dealership that I met my amazing husband, Shannon. Shannon began working for our dealership in 1989 at 15 years old. He has dedicated his life to learning every aspect & co-manages at my side. We are a great team at home, at work, & at the drag strip.
In 2016, I had the honor of assisting in sharing my Dad & Dawn’s Cannonball Journey with the World. Although I was only able to accompany for about a week, I was deeply inspired by the Cannonball experience. When the opportunity arose to participate alongside my Dad in 2018, I knew it was an opportunity of a lifetime. I am absolutely thrilled to get out & bond with the 1922 Harley-Davidson that my Dad has so thoughtfully built for me to ride. Most of my endurance run experience has taken place in a minivan full of kids. “Perfect days” in that setting are far & few between & I rarely get a sticker at the end of an arduous day. With that said, my greatest love & pride in life are my three boys, Ethan (7), Aksel (4), & Aidan (5 months). I believe one of my greatest challenges will be the time spent away from my precious boys. I will do my best carrying the #53 plate on “Stewball 2″ in Cannonball 2018 & perhaps one day my boys will aspire to do the same.
For more info on Doc’s Harley-Davidson visit WWW.DOCSHD.COM
To follow our 2018 Cannonball journey visit our Face book page: www.facebook.com/Docsmotorcyclecannonballjourney2016