The Last Time I Cried on a Dirt Bike

Photo by Drew Martin for Atwyld

Photo by Drew Martin for Atwyld

babes in the dirt

The last time I cried on a dirt bike was about 4 years ago. I had recently taken the SoCal Supermoto class and had so much fun that I decided I needed a Supermoto bike. Like immediately.  So naturally, I made an impulse purchase that following week. This bike ended up being the wrong bike for me in so many ways. In my own defense, I was dazzled by the fact that the bike had both an off-road and Supermoto set up so I could swap it out. All I had in terms of a dirt bike at the time was my 1977 Yamaha DT 400 so I figured this would be a more modern upgrade. I took home the new 2002 Yamaha WR 426 and immediately had my boyfriend Evan help to swap the Supermoto set up for the knobby tires. He was pretty adamant that this was not a good bike for me but I chose not to listen. We were headed to Kennedy Meadows the next weekend and I was stoked to have a new dirt bike to ride the trails. I hadn’t been there since I was a kid and I let my excitement and impatience get the best of me.

Not only was the WR426 a really big, really heavy motorcycle for me but, the gearing on the WR had been adjusted by the previous owner so that there was also very little low-end power and almost zero first gear. Additionally, the previous owner was a huge dude that probably weighed 80+ pounds more than I did and had the suspension set up for him.  The perfect set up for a 125 pound person on technical single track, right? WRONG!

photos of the fun flowing part of the trails.

photos of the fun flowing part of the trails.

Once we got to Kennedy Meadows we were ripping around on some for the double track trails and all was going well. Then, I washed out in the sand and tipped over. I was not strong enough to pick up my own bike. Problem #1, right. Luckily my dude Evan was there to support. Other than tipping over, I was having a pretty good time. It wasn’t until we got to a pretty technical and rocky single-track trail that I got my ass handed to me. Like I said before, there was almost zero first gear and no low-end power on this bike. Both of which are pretty crucial in technical sections. I kept stalling and having to kick over the bike. Like over and over again to the point of exhaustion. Then I got the front tire stuck between some rocks and stalled again. I kicked it over and tried to ride it out like 5 times. Not happening. Evan was a bit of a ways up ahead on the trail so I did not have him right there to help. Then, I tried to lift this heavy ass bike out from the rocks… also not happening. By this time, I was so physically exhausted from trying to (wo)man-handle this bike, constantly having to kick it over and lift it up. I got back on the damn thing and started kicking it again and it would not start. This is when I started crying. LOL I think I might have screamed out of frustration as well. LOL. I saw Evan walking down the trail and quickly wiped my tears away. I was a little embarrassed. Not because I was crying but more because I had put myself in this situation. Wrong bike for me in the wrong terrain for the bike set up. Evan helped me to get the bike out and we made it back to camp.

My ego was hurt because I thought that I should have been able to handle that. It did not take me long to erase that kind of thinking though. Not only is it not productive but it is also just ridiculous. Dirt bikes are supposed to be fun. Challenging yes, but mostly fun. This experience made me realize the importance of finding the right kind of bike for me, getting it set up for me and the kind of riding I like to do. That day I felt like I had regressed as a rider. Like I was taking a step back and not moving forward and improving my skills. It wasn’t until I got to experience a bike that was set up for me perfectly that I really saw myself improve. I had my Husqvarna FE 250 set up for me by getting it lowered 2” and adjusting the suspension to accommodate my height, weight and riding style. So much goes in to the way a bike is set up and they can all be adjusted. You can reference my previous blog about suspension to hear more about that.

The moral of the story is not to make sure that you have an awesome partner or friend like I did to help you handle you bike. Although it certainly helps and I am forever grateful. It is to do the research and get a bike that is right for you so you don’t cry on the trail. Crying is ok and natural and I personally believe that if you have never cried on a dirt bike then you are probably not doing it right. I am not going to say that this is the last time I will cry on a dirt bike. BUT, I can say that it is the last time will cry because I bought the wrong bike for me.


babes in the dirt




Rich Oliver's Mystery School | Babes in the Dirt Training Camp

We are thrilled to partner with Rich Oliver’s Mystery School to offer a Ladies Only Training Camp! R.O.M.S. Fun Camp weekend is a mix of off-road skills training day followed by a day of flat track training. This is a great opportunity to gain control, gain confidence and gain skills. only 12 spots available so read all the info below and sign up quick!

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Babes in the Dirt Training Camp at Rich Oliver’s Mystery School

Where: Rich Oliver’s Mystery School Prather, California (in the foothills of the Sierras) 28971 Auberry Road, Prather, CA 93651

When: December 14 – 15, 2019

What: Ladies Only Off-Road and Flat Track Training Camp

On Saturday, December 14, the curriculum will take students on an off-road riding adventure on our 13-acre designated facility where you will learn how to ride over multiple whoops, through a rock filled stream crossing, up a challenging and winding hill climb, over actual logs, over many small jumps, through the woods with tight turns, through sand and mud and much more!

Learn correct body position for any type of terrain you may encounter on your trail or adventure bike and be prepared for it all!

On Sunday, December 15, we will switch to flat track riding where Rich uses a step by step process to teach you how to slide your bike into the corners with skill and confidence.  You will experience flat track riding drills and practice riding on our groomed and customized flat tracks.

Gain Skills! Gain Confidence! Gain Control!

Tuition of $649.00 includes a training motorcycle, lunch, drinks, snacks, photos, video and steel shoe.  There is no damage deposit.  Gear rental, if needed, is $80 and can be added to your cart separately. 

There are only 12 open spots to make sure and reserve your spot asap. Click below to sign up

More Info:



Fun Camp

Have more questions? Contact info for Rich Oliver Mystery School below:

Rich Oliver's Mystery School
Office: (559) 855-3089
Text: (559) 970-1928

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Babes in the Dirt East | Everything You Need to Know

We are so excited that you will be joining us for the first annual Babes in the Dirt East event! We wanted to consolidate all of the info for the event in one email. At this time, all admission tickets and transfer options have ended.

Gates open at 10AM sharp on Friday 9/20/19. There will be no access to the park prior to that. As you arrive please have your ID ready and the registration team will get you checked in and parked in your camp spot. Friendly reminder, if you are under 18, you must  be accompanied by an adult to enter the property and take part in the event. 

 Location: I81 Motorsports Park: 3507 W Pines RD Greeneville, TN 37745

Mandatory riders meeting at 12:00PM on the main camp stage

  • Event schedule: click Here

  • Concession stand menu: click HEREYou are welcome to bring your own food and beverage on site as well

At this time, pre registration for classes and demos have shut down. If you missed out, please check to see if any spots are still available when you arrive on site.

  • DC Dirt Camp Bike Rentals and New Rider Class: click Here

  • Ashley Fiolek MX Schools are completely full on Friday and Saturday BUT if you would like to drop in to the class on Sunday make sure and bring $100 cash to join. Click Here for more info.

  • Moto Anatomy Flat Track Training has a handful of open spots throughout the weekend. If you decide you would like to join please bring $100 cash on site. Click Here for more info.

 What to bring:

  • Towel & toiletries for the showers

  • Headlamp or flashlight for after dark

  • Gas for your bike

  • Plenty of water

  • Cash for merch or the concession stand

  • Food if you don’t want to eat at the concession stand

  • All your riding gear

  • All your camping gear

  • Portable phone charge (there is nowhere to charge your phone on site)

  • Sunscreen

  • Camp chair

Gates close at 2pm sharp on Sunday. Please make sure you that you are loaded up and headed home before 2pm. We will see ya next year!


  • Name on ticket must match ID

  • Ladies only (except for park staff)

  • Event is 16+ and anyone under 18 must be accompanied by an adult

  • Helmets ON anytime a bike is in motion

  • Buddy system only! Please do not go out into the woods by yourself. There are plenty of other riders on site who would join you!

  • No drinking and riding

  • No burn outs or hot doggin’

  • Trash must be properly disposed of. Please help us keep the site clean & leave no trace

  • Wristbands must be worn at all times

  • Parking decals must stay visible in rear-views

  • No Eazy Ups are allowed to be set up for safety reasons.

  • No burning of anything at your camping space. There will be a bonfire each night.

  • No one is allowed to hang banners or signage at their camp site.

  • No one is permitted to sell or handout anything on site (no stickers, flyers, business cards etc). We spend countless hours cleaning these items up as people trash them 99% of the time and again, it's not fair to our sponsors.