This was an amazing trip that I was lucky enough to take part in with these ladies. This type of ride for any motorcycle rider could easily be a once in a lifetime opportunity. Maybe because of circumstances or timing in their lives, or just the fact
that it takes so much effort and energy to accomplish, that they may never want to try again. I think all of us are undecided at this point… But we got to make the attempt and we were successful.
So the end goal was for the ladies to make it to Joshua Tree, California to attend the event, Babes Ride Out 5 (The 5th year it has taken place). This is an all female motorcycle gathering, to promote female riders and their independence in the sport. The actual event spanned several days on the grounds of the Joshua Tree Music Festival venue, with amenities on-site: Food, camping, vendors, music performances, workshops, clinics, and even all-female tattoo artists providing special artwork to commemorate the event. Stephanie and Kristen went all-out, and camped in the sand on-site for the entire weekend and took part in all the event had to offer. What they quickly learned, was that unfortunately
not very many ladies travelled the distance they did, most of the attendees were local to the area, or at least Southern California. We expected that, but there was hope some others would have made that trek to be able to share their experiences and maybe hear what each other went through to do it.
The end goal was accomplished, the ride from Dallas/Ft. Worth to Joshua Tree was completed in about two and a half days time. Total mileage, approximately 1400 miles. If you don’t ride motorcycles, 1400 miles seems like a lot, even in a car, but there is no comparison. On a motorcycle you are exposed 100% to the outside elements: wind, rain, heat, cold, dirt, debris, physical fatigue, and the list goes on. Riding a motorcycle demands more physically than just riding in cars, so your body is put through different strains that you would never
experience sitting inside a “Cage”. And for 12-13 hours a day, this can be very exhausting. Unfortunately, we all have responsibilities to get back to, and the completion of this trip was on a time schedule, not an unlimited number of days to complete. So if anything came up along the way such as bad weather or mechanical breakdowns, there was little room for error, and likely we would have to push on through those obstacles no matter what it would take.
Thankfully we can report that the trip was relatively free of any of these issues. Did
we lose a set of keys the first day? Sort of, but we brought spares (And they were recovered on the return trip with a 100 mile detour at the spot they were lost). Did the bikes perform flawlessly? One of them, the other two had their glitches, but nothing we couldn’t handle along the way being prepared with the tools and knowledge we brought with us. Basically, no mechanical obstacles to slow us down. And the weather… not a drop of rain or snow. We might have been freezing on our return trip to Texas, but that is 100% our fault. We had planned to take the Southern highway route to California and on the return. But while in California decided to change things up and head home on the Northern highways. IT IS MUCH COLDER ON THE NORTHERN HIGHWAYS!!! But we made due, we made the best of the circumstances, we
improvised, and we had fun with it anyways. We saw some sights along the way, we shared some jokes, we shared some misery, and most importantly we made many memories out of this entire adventure.
The ladies made a serious accomplishment that many motorcyclists will never achieve, and they did it on less machinery than the average person attempting the feat. They have so much to be proud of as women, as wives or girlfriends, as mothers, as role models.
Total mileage from start to finish: 2843 miles, Total travel days: 6 (Avg of 475 miles per day), Total hours spent riding: Approx 72 hours on the road. These
ladies travelled from the center of the United States, to the West Coast, and back home again on a Harley-Davidson Sportster and a Harley-Davidson Dyna. This wasn’t done on big, heavy touring bikes meant for traveling cross-country. These are small bikes, strapped with everything needed for the week to the back (clothes, extra clothes, warm clothes, rain gear, sleeping bags, tents, toiletries, you name it). There was no support vehicle or person to carry the gear. If it didn’t fit in the bags or on the bike somewhere, it wasn’t an option. This was a tough
task, but completed to the fullest extent. Was there blood, sweat and tears shed along the way? Of course, but all part of the memories they will hang onto forever. The stories they will tell their families and children one day.
I was lucky enough to be a part of this adventure, and of course I took my camera. Nothing excessive (I had the same restrictions, if it didn’t fit on the bike it wasn’t coming). So I took my Nikon D750 fitted with a 50mm lens and my GoPro Hero 3+, nothing more. And what you’ll see in this article is what I was able to capture along the way. Not as much as I would have liked, but in all honesty, I was suffering through this trek the same as them, and some parts of the trip I was just happy to make it to the next stop. Hopefully you will enjoy seeing this trip from start to finish that these ladies accomplished. Maybe it will inspire you or someone you know, but the reality is, you can’t sit behind your fears or anxieties about taking on a challenge, just hit it head on and put everything you’ve got into it. You may be surprised at what you can accomplish.
Please take a minute to look through the pictures from their trip, this was quite an accomplishment for these ladies, and they would love to share their experience.