Hundreds of Motorcycling Women In Joshua Tree
When my buddy Misty asked me if I had plans to go to the Babes In Joshua Tree event from Babes Ride Out (also called BRO), I honestly wasn’t sure. Obviously I wanted to go- tons of motorcycling women all in one place? Sign me up! But packing camping gear on the Monster is a hair short of impossible, and I can only carry so much on my back. Worried I might not make it, Misty offered me a space in her tent, and assistance hauling some of my other crap on her Triumph. We joked all weekend that she was the “man” in the relationship since she was carrying all my stuff… which is funny because ladies are the ones who carry purses.
Misty rode from her house in Bakersfield to my place in Ventura on Thursday night, arriving around 10p. We packed up some stuff, went out for a drink, and called it a night. The next morning we loaded up the bikes, and grabbed breakfast in town before hopping on the 101 freeway. We then took the Pacific Coast Highway, through Santa Monica, across the 10, through Los Angeles and it’s horrendous traffic, and finally ended up at the campgrounds in Joshua Tree. The whole ride took six hours, we stopped three times, one of which was a longer 30 minute rest type stop where we took off our boots and shared a giant Gaterade. The 90+ degree heat combined with extra energy spent lane splitting around the crazy LA drivers was making me delusionally thirsty.
After hours of traffic and miles of boring mostly straight road, we turned left onto Sunfair to cover the last 5-6 miles before our destination. This is when I finally stopped feeling exhausted- we were finally there! I downshifted and cracked the throttle, flying past Misty and down that stretch of road a ways. Then I saw piles of sand and dropped off the gas, my Monster’s heavy engine braking quickly returning me to a normal speed.
Our wheels hit the campground in the nick of time to set up our tent just before the sun went down. Opting to empty everything out of our bags in we then back-tracked about 15 miles into town for groceries. We grabbed the essentials- water, snacks, coffee, and Whiskey. When we returned to camp the party was already bumpin’- country western and rock blasted from the stage, ladies roamed the dusty campgrounds sippin’ on yummy mixed drinks from Ol’ Smokey Moonshine.
Misty and I grabbed grilled cheese sammiches at Madhouse (the food cart on hand during the BRO weekend), beers, and made some rounds with our fifth of Bulleit. We ended up spending a lot of our time hanging out at one of the picnic tables near the center camp area (didn’t bring chairs on the bikes), sharing the Bourbon with whoever wanted some, chatting, and finally going to sleep somewhere around 1am.
The next morning we woke up to the thrilling sounds of the Madhouse Cart’s generator, a ton of motorcycles starting up (not horrible at all), and the onset of desert heat around 7:30a. The generator may have been loud, but it allowed the ladies to make us breakfast burritos and that made it all a-okay with Misty and I.
The group ride headed out around 9am, I opted to hang back and take photos.
While hangin’ back, I found Delna (who flew down from Vancouver, BC for the event) for some photos with my Monster. When I moved the bike back across the trail to the motorcycle camping area, she was hanging onto my camera and caught some photos.
Other ladies opted out of the group ride as well, mostly because of personal preferences about riding with large groups. There was definitely a ton of chicks participating. A ton.
One of the captains of the Madhouse Motors cart looked so amazing in her gold lamé apron, I had to get a photo.
Emma modeled an awesome hat.
I even finally got to meet Lynda Lucas from La Motocylette (website), a print magazine about women who ride.
I couldn’t fathom putting on my gear in that heat until around 2p, so I didn’t feel comfortable heading out on a moto adventure until later in the day. Misty, Savannah, and I all headed out to Pappy & Harriets, a “pioneertown palace” sort of junction for good food, music, and camping options out in Yucca Valley. After putting some real food in our stomachs, we returned to camp.
Ladies were just getting back from their group ride when we returned around 4:30-5p. I spotted Kerryann and Francesca around golden hour (sunset time!) and asked if they wanted to do some photos. Check out Kerryann’s photo set here, and Francesca’s dusty burnout here. Their buddies Laura and April got in on it, too.
Oh, and we mustn’t forget the Bixby Moto scooter Pinky was riding around.
As night fell, the party started again. Though I do have to ask myself… did it really stop?
The sun went down and the bands started rockin’, tons of amazing raffle items were given away (including a MotoLady Braap tshirt and Gasmask Bandana)…
…and seeing everyone huddled around the stage it was finally apparent just how many attended. Anya and Ashmore, the awesome women we have to thank for Babes Ride Out, told me the total check-ins at registration was over 400. Not everyone rode their bikes in, some trailered them, others came with their friends because they were interested in getting into riding. Some folks trekked from as far away as NYC and Eastern Canada.
Sunday morning was even earlier than Saturday, we woke up somewhere around 6:30. Misty and I packed things up so she could head back to Bakersfield (to work a half day!) and I wandered around camp to see what was going on.
Stormie and Danita were asleep under a rug on the stage- “This full PBR was my pillow!”
I finally found the awesome diamond-shaped chopper tank that I had seen rolling out Saturday- it was so much more shiny and vibrant than I could capture.
Danielle got ready for one last freedom ride.
And Misty headed out, lighter than when she came in because April kindly offered to carry my crap back to town (she lives about 20 minutes from where I do in Ventura).
Shortly thereafter everyone else was loading up and taking off, and we left this vast expanse of awesome chick riders behind. Thank you to Anya and Ashmore of Babes Ride Out for the rad event.
Photographs by Alicia Mariah Elfving (unless otherwise stated), copyright themotolady.com 2014.