As a motorcyclist, it’s more than likely you’ve heard of Babes Ride Out. Women want to go, or have gone and loved it… men wish they could come to the party and live vicariously through photos and video. Let me begin by saying… it’s actually not as fun as it looks–it’s far better!
Each year the event gets bigger and adds fun stuff to do. This year I was invited to do leather craft demos with the Real Deal ladies. Real Deal was started by land speed racer Jessi Combs and builder/painter Theresa Contreras to celebrate the makers and hands-on women in the world. Their Babes Ride Out booth consisted of two “rooms” where every hour in the evenings of Friday and Saturday, various demos were held. Women could get their hands dirty with welding (Jessi Combs), pinstriping (Theresa Contreras), blacksmithing (Joy Fire), jewelry making (Lauren Landa), and leather craft (me). Every “class” provided the materials for gals to try it out and even have something to take home with them. How cool is that… a souvenir they got to make.
Our crafts were very well received, every sign-up list was filled almost immediately. My heart was brimming with happiness getting to see these ladies jumping right into all the different activities with such vim and vigor. Their smiles and excitement for learning was completely infectious. It gave me goosebumps over and over again.
The overall vibe of the event this year evolved and a more calm relaxed groove seemed to fill the Joshua Tree RV park and campground. A total of 40 acres, the whole property was ours to take over this year! The upgrade and space made it almost double in footprint from last year and the year before. I walked over 6 miles over two days… and I rode my little Honda Rebel almost everywhere! A friend who helped it on foot all weekend ticked over 11 miles. I think most my steps were taken running around trying to get photos of everything. Everywhere your eyes landed–bad ass woman and cool bikes!
Some of the coolest lady rides could be spotted on Saturday night at the Real Deal booth in the custom motorcycle show. Two long rows of bikes sparkled in the setting sun while Jessie and Theresa made their pics for class winners. Best Dual Sport, Best Chopper, the Real Deal Choice, People’s Choice, and Best Metric. Later, they announced the winners on stage and then awarded them trophies shaped like lady riders and bikes that they helped make in the earlier welding demos.
On top of the little maker booth, there were vendors like Triumph, 805, Atwyld, Pack Animal, Lucky Wheels, and Sailor Jerry. Food carts included Pie for the People, the Sidewalk Cafe, as well as a vegan spot that kept us all happy and full. Moto FAM put together a huge raffle with amazing art pieces, parts, custom jackets, gear… all benefiting downed riders. A DJ got everyone dancing on Friday night, and Dorothy rocked the stage for fans on Saturday. During the daytime the camp was desolate while everyone was out on their motorcycles enjoying the twisty roads and beautiful scenery in Joshua Tree National Park.
With the quaint town of Joshua Tree featuring food, gas, grocery, bars, all a fifteen minute ride away… Babes Ride Out is the perfect location for women wanting either a middle-of-nowhere camping or city-reliant road trip experience. With 1300 women in attendance, you found all walks of life enjoying the weekend. Mother and Daughter pairs rode during the day and danced the nights away. Groups of friends convened from all across the country to build on friendships founded at Babes Ride Out past… and years to come.