Babes Ride Out East Coast
Guest Author Nina Kaplan
Guest author Nina is a Californian, schooled in London, now living in Los Angeles. As one of the Harley Davidson Highway Runaways, she recently crossed the country on motorcycle with three other lady friends.
Los Angeles, CA | instagram ≫
The first event of any kind is usually the best, so when my friends and the organizers of Babes Ride Out announced that they were having an East Coast gathering, I knew I wanted to be there!
Babes Ride Out has been happening on the West Coast since 2013, and I have attended them all. I’ve been incredibly humbled and impressed by the women that make the trek for the event from faraway places including New Jersey, Florida, Pennsylvania, as well as further afield (women coming from the UK etc). Since I am West Coast based, I saw Babes Ride East Coast as an opportunity to show support and solidarity with the ladies who have traveled far to attend years prior, and as an opportunity to create a deeper feeling of community by being a West-Coaster traveling East.
The party was set at a great motorcycle friendly facility where other events like the Gypsy Run and Strange Days happen. Located right on the Delaware River in Narrowsburg, New Jersey, it was forecast for rain, but as the weekend wore on we were treated to the most ideal weather for riding bikes in upstate New York.
I was limited by time constraints this was going to be a super short and fun packed Memorial Day weekend! I arrived in NYC late Friday night and my dear friends Leslie, the founder of the women’s motorcycle boot company Breaking Hearts and Burning Rubber (@bh.and.hr/@missfreddiek) and Kate (@gentle_woman_of_fortune) were there to pick me up! I jumped in the car and we sped towards the city to crash out for the night and begin our ride out to the site in the morning.
Leslie, being the amazingly generous woman she is had helped secure a bike loan for me. She had a friend who kept his motorcycle in a neighboring garage lockup, the bike was a 2001 Harley Davidson FXDX, in the morning we got coffee on the corner, then opened the lockups and took the bikes out to start packing them up.
Leaving New York City, we rode up ‘The Palisades’ which are among the most dramatic geologic features in the vicinity, forming a canyon of the Hudson River north of the George Washington Bridge. As we sped out of the city the landscape opened up, the greenery surrounded us and the early warmth of the spring sun followed us and we rode further upstate.
Arriving at camp, we scouted out a vacant camp site, and set up our tent in a wooden lean-to provided. Then hung around and greeted friends old and new. I was so amazed by how many women made it to the event, and how far some of them had traveled to be there. We participated in a slow race (I was out in the first heat) and boogied all night long to a mind blowing Guns ‘N Roses cover band! We had s’mores around a fire and then crashed out to get some sleep for riding the next day!
There were beautiful routes that showed off all the attractions of the tri-state area planned out by the locally based Virginia Hall (@virninja). My riding group and I chose to ride to Woodstock NY, and then find our way up to Phoenicia to visit an old and dear friend of mine who was vending at a local vintage market. We traveled beautiful lush green highways, and saw numerous vacation houses in small old towns along the way. The rivers were full and flowing and although hot from riding and tempted to stop and swim, we continued riding. We visited with my friend at a beautiful artisan and craft market held in an apple orchard on a very old farm. Once we were ready, we packed up our bikes and selves and headed back to the city. Our next destination was Long Island to a secret location of BMX jumps built on some unclaimed land behind a gold course.
Riding out of upstate and back into the city was fun, seeing the green give way to city scape again. We rode around the bays and sea-front houses in the fancier areas of long island finally pulling over on a residential street to park the bikes and make the final trek to the BMX site on foot. We BBQ’d and watched BMX riders tackle the jumps getting huge air and flying in the process.
When it was dark, we departed back into the city. We went back to Leslie’s house first and unloaded all our gear, we then jumped back on the bikes to see some of the city by night. We rode around the Brooklyn neighborhoods, enjoying the relatively empty streets of NY due to the holiday weekend. As we finished a late night sushi dinner, we felt the raindrops starting and decided we’d had our fill for the day, so we put the bikes back into the lock up and crashed out for the night. I flew out the next morning at 9am!
The first Babes Ride Out East coast was done… and an amazing time was had by all!
- Babes In Joshua Tree (video)
- Babes in Borrego from Babes Ride Out
- Babes in the Dirt 2015
- The Dream Roll Women’s Motorcycle Campout