A trip to BRO3 hitting California at speed Part II Arriving from our journey, we shifted through sign in, all while admiring the sunset over the ridge in the distance. The scene around us was full of rad chicks and bikes, and charged positive in energy by 2-wheeled travelers of all kinds. As the night unraveled into one big party, we found ourselves meeting new faces, dancing barefoot to dj’s and not to forget, the giant limbo game we started.
Day 4 began in our little tent triangle, and as the heat beckoned down from the sky, we were quick to make moves to get ready to ride. The event supplied maps with a number of great routes, encouraging riders to get out on their bikes and explore California with their crews. The desert was vast, the air was dry, the four of us toured in awe of the scenery on that ride. We climbed from one landscape of desert to another of forest, tackling hairpins and switchbacks for miles one after the other. We found the riding exhilarating, and couldn’t help but howl and holler as we had our first chance to stop and sink into the excitement that the road had provided.
We rode all day on that feeling, one of absolute fun on the road, what made it even better was the countless groups of women riders saluting with peace signs and fist pumps every direction we’d go. Upon returning to camp, we further explored the grounds. It was full of artwork and sculptures by locals which set up the party with it’s desert carnival tone. From astronomy shows to moonshine, and a dreamy raffle full of prizes, there was no shortage of detail or cool surprises. 808 served free beer and you could get tattooed in a trailer, not to mention the envy inducing style of every rider there. Boots, jackets, helmets, and outfits; more biker swagger than you could dream up was found around every corner. Moon lit hues cast over bikes and tents galore, and talk about mods, gear and adventures, could be heard all over.
1200 riders who were strangers had gathered together, they were united by bikes, and became fast friends with each other. It was time for the raffle and everyone huddled. On stage, between give-aways, this year’s biggest victories at BRO were highlighted and celebrated. Cheers and tears were shared for proud women riders, whose odometers ticked over in their big pursuits to get there. Last but not least a fantastic live show, swigs of bourbon, more dancing, and an indestructible good mood in the air.
On the last day we packed up and said our goodbyes, we were hungover but blissed by the entire experience. As we took a final ride together through Joshua Tree National Park we completed our Californian mission. We laughed a lot in our helmets, did incredible riding, and were a part of history at one hell of a ride in. It was the trip of a lifetime, and the perfect end to a great first season.
All photos care of Jen Morden, Kaitlin DeBrabandere, Michelle Campbell - top to bottom, left to right: First five photos by Jen, Kaitlin, Jen, Jen, Kaitlin, Kaitlin, Kaitlin, Jen, Michelle, Jen, Kaitlin, Kaitlin, Jen & Michelle.
Below are some helpful links and info about their trip out West. If you are wondering if you can do this yourself, the answer is probably yes. BRO 2016 is already in the works for Oct. 20t - 23rd, 2016 so mark those calendars & get planning!
All the Babes Ride Out Event details: The Babes Ride out Website is where to find all the details and a full breakdown of the event. You can also find meetup locations to connect with other riders heading to the event, as well as discounts, maps and useful group riding guides to make sure you’ve got everything you need for the trip!
Tickets: Are $50 US, purchased online through the BRO website. Ticket provides 1 night of food, free beer, camping and moonshine. Committing in advance paid off this year - if you were one of the first 500 to register you got a loot bag full of goodies when you arrived.
Renting Motorcycles in California: Babes Ride Out teamed up with Eagle Rider who offered a 33% discount to any lady renting a bike to head to BRO this year. Added bonus: Eagle Riders also offers a $50 US discount to anyone renting a bike for 5+ days, as well as free luggage storage and saddlebags for rental bikes. They also have a pick up location conveniently located 10 minutes from LAX. My Triumph Bonneville T100 rental for 5 days was $385 US, an average of $77 US/day. Our rental bikes: Kaitlin - Triumph Bonneville T100 Jen - Harley Davidson Sportster 883 Michelle - Harley Davidson Custom 1200 Kendall - Harley Davidson Sportster 1200
Gear & Supplies: The timeline I’d set for arrival was to ride almost as soon as I landed, so my packing was determined by avoiding the risks associated with checking luggage. I brought everything through carry-on which included my helmet and my gear for both riding and camping. It was an interesting challenge to pack that light, but with my 30L Kreiga Dry Bag and a stuffed backpack I managed to make it work for the flight. With a simple install of Kreiga straps to the bike frame and a cargo net to secure my backpack, it was pretty effortless for me to switch from flying on a plane to living off the back of my bike. Other items I packed included: a tent, sleeping bag, and riding gear for varied weather. Fortunately, my experiences with riding and camping during my first season in Ontario this summer had me well prepared and set up with all the gear that I needed for the trip.
Bike Safety & Insurance: Bike safety is bike smarts, and travel insurance along with riding insurance was researched/purchased prior to departure. Those of us with bike insurance through State Farm were covered/insured with our policies and were able to save on a few dollars on rental insurance fees.
Routes: Thanks to data plans and a good AAA paper map, we were able to adjust to everything the trip threw at us. The route we had originally planned to take was washed out, as heavy rainfalls and mudslides had the main highways closed up. Eagle Riders gave us some recommendations for a few points of interest, and from there we found campsites and good looking roads on the fly. We gauged routes by the distance in miles, and typically set out to do the equivalent of about 300kms + a day. In the 5 days out west we traveled over 1500 kms, which to date was the longest trip I’d been on from beginning to end. Below is the route we followed. You can see it in more detail here.