Like 1800 other women who ride, we spent October 19-22 in Joshua Tree living the dream at Babes Ride Out.
As you may have guessed from our previous posts about Babes (here and here), we love this event and pretty much consider it a holiday weekend. From the moment you hit the road to the moment you get home, it’s a whirlwind of adventure, friends, and good times. Anya and Ashmore have truly created a community of women who are well suited to spend entire weekends indulging in some of their favorite activities.
This year, we ended up riding through Joshua Tree National Park twice! It’s a good thing the park is beautiful and impossible to get sick of. It’s almost unbelievable how the landscape transitions from the north end to the south end. The rocks and Joshua Trees give way to cacti and vast openness. The road that cuts through the length of park is divine – gentle twists, lower traffic than the north end of the park, and stunning vistas as far as you can see.
Somehow, the weather was chilly this year. On Friday we’d intended to head all the way to the Salton Sea – but as the day wore on and the sun started to sink, we realized we didn’t bring enough layers to stay comfortable on the ride back up to camp so we called it quits and headed back when we hit the I-10. It was a lucky decision too, not long after we returned to the event space the winds picked up seriously, whipping tents and chairs around the campground.
Since we were back a little early, we poked around the RealDeal bike show, watched the Brodeo practice, and spent some time admiring the wares at the Moto F.A.M. raffle booth.
We took the opportunity on Friday night to check out the astronomy show. The presenters were well informed and generous with their knowledge of the cosmos. We even got to view the rings of Saturn through a telescope!
The winds picked up again as night fell, and we huddled in our tents to keep them anchored to the ground. A few women in neighboring camps fled to their cars to sleep through the night, but after a few of the complimentary drinks from 805 Beer and Sailor Jerry (plus some earplugs) we managed to snooze through a lot of it.
We had originally planned to meet up with friends at a pool in Desert Hot Springs, but we took too long and ended up back at camp in time for the slow races!
We didn’t get a shot of it, but the winner was a woman on a dual sport bike who is a CHAMPION at keeping that thing upright on the dirt. The crowd went wild when her last competitor – a Honda Grom – finally put a foot down.
Since we were (literally) blown away from a campfire party on Friday night, we had one on Saturday night instead of seeing Dorothy (don’t hate us!). It was just the bonding we wanted to end our weekend on, and just the company we wanted to spend it with.
On Sunday we packed it up and headed home – dirty, with 625 miles added to the odometer, and our hearts full of love for all the women we were fortunate enough to spend our weekend with.
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As you may have heard, we lost a member of our community in a tragic accident while she was riding to the event on Thursday, and another is in critical condition from an accident while she was leaving camp on Sunday. If you haven’t already and you have the money to spare, please consider donating to their GoFundMe campaigns. Our hearts are with their family and friends as they navigate these challenging times.