Article And Photos By: Savannah Rose
Originally Published In The April 2020 Issue Of Cycle Source Magazine
Babes – so many babes. Where, you ask? At Babes Ride Out! It’s a women’s only event, founded 7 years ago, that has expanded from a single no-frills campout on a dry lake bed in Borrego, California, to a nationwide line of events ranging from street to dirt events. I personally have attended each event since the beginning and have watched it morph and grow into the success it is today. This year, Ashmore and Anya, the founders, switched things up a bit. They moved the event from its usual spot in Joshua Tree and took it up the coast to Central California in Santa Margarita. It was a welcome change for me, as I live in Wisconsin. I was really excited to be able to ride along the beach again.
I took off on Thursday night, figuring I could avoid the horrific LA traffic if I took off late. I met up with my friends Beulah and Rashel. Beulah was riding a borrowed 2020 Indian Chieftain, and Rashel was on a brand new Harley-Davidson Sportster – literally, brand-spankin new, as in rolled off the dealer lot new. We met up in Glendale at a gas station and headed towards the Ventura Coast. Typical winds fought us all. Of course I had all of my camera gear and a massive down sleeping bag stuffed into my Biltwell bag, and it put my tall sissy bar to the test. Fortunately, my hard work on that sissy held up! After a night in a hotel, we hit the Iron and Resin hosted party and met up with a ton of great ladies. Women like Tina, Brandi, and Jean, along with Cricket, the Boston Terrier met up with us and we rode off towards the event from the shop. “The 1” provided beautiful scenery and chilly winds as we rode up the coastline. We opted to take the “long way” up the 154 through the winding roads in the hills. My little Sportster chop was happy to rip the roads and disturb the silence through the gorgeous canyons.
After er rolled into camp, we were directed to a large open campsite where we all set up our tents. Shortly after was the sign-ups for the Real Deal Revolution bike show – you may have heard of Real Deal, which is run by Theresa and the late, great Jessi Combs. It encourages women to learn skills and trades like welding, painting and blacksmithing. The bike show was set up near the “Do It For Jessi” tent, where ladies left notes in her honor. Jessie made quite an impact on all of us before she, unfortunately, passed after reaching incredible speeds of 431.889 mph in her jet car. The bike show included bikes of all sorts, from a small Honda frankenbike to custom choppers including bikes from Megan and her mother Carla, who own a shovel and a Panhead long chop. Metric and modern bikes mixed in with vintage and customs which showed off an incredible variety of female-owned, and even some female built motorcycles.
Next up was karaoke time, in the large barn on the property. The ladies sang songs, some good, some bad, but they all had a blast. Just outside the barn was the Slow and Low whiskey train, which was an actual train with cocktails from the rye whiskey company. Back inside, the barn were free 805 beers, which kept the women refreshed and ready to party! And, for the first time ever, BRO hosted a special male guest – Terry Madden, who had recently proposed to Jessi. He made sure her custom Dyna made it to the event. The ladies cheered him on and welcomed him with open arms. Terry is continuing Jessi’s legacy through The Jessi Combs Foundation. Harley brought their demo fleet and the Jump Start bike This gave women who wanted to learn to ride to see what it feels like on the immobilized Street Bob, while they were still able to feel the rumble and shift the bike. The next morning, as soon as the bitter cold subsided and the sun warmed the tents, you could hear the rumble of motorcycles starting. Everyone headed out of camp, grabbing the route cards provided by Biltwell, and took a few hours to put some miles on their motos. A popular stop was the Pozo Saloon, a spot reminiscent of Joshua Tree’s Pappy and Harriets. Before I headed back to camp I had the best tater tots I have ever had.
As the sunset on Saturday night, the festivities began – the 805’s were cracked open and the ladies were ready to let loose. The motocharity MOTO F.A.M. hosted a raffle, giving away killer products from tons of companies with all profits going to downed riders. This year the band was Twisted Gypsy, which is a Fleetwood Mac cover band. The barn was packed with girls dancing and enjoying nearly two hours of live music! On Sunday morning it was time to head home. Women strapped their gear to the wide variety of bikes they had ridden in – from KTM adventure bikes to naked Ducatis, to tons of Triumphs, primarily Bonneville’s. There were quite a few Indian motorcycles in attendence, and of course, there was a large range of Harley’s from big baggers to Sportsters, Dynas and more. I hit the road with Rashel, and headed home. This event has always been a favorite – and all jokes aside from the men who are jealous they can’t come, it’s been a life-changer for many girls. Women who never thought they could ride have been inspired to get their M1’s and hit the road on their own. And for that, we should all be thankful for BRO!