ROLL CALL

Meet Taylor Miller @tmillaaaa | See you at Babes in the Dirt East

We first met Taylor Miller at Babes in the Dirt 4 (she was the one SENDING IT on the MX Track). She drove out from Alabama to attend the event. Well…. now we are coming to her for our first ever Babes in the Dirt East in Greenville, TN. We got to catch up with her to hear more about how she got in to riding and racing as well as the difference between riding in California vs Tennessee! She has some great advice for new riders: “You can start riding at any time in your life !!! It’s never too late to start. Just throw that leg over a bike and get out there.. you will not regret it. “ Amen to that!

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Name: Taylor Miller @tmillaaaa

Location: Birmingham, Al 

Where are you from and where do you live now? I am from Alabaster, Al but currently live in Billingsley, Al at Crossbone MX Ranch.  

Tell us about how you got in to riding dirt. How long have you been riding? 

When I was three my dad got me a 4 wheeler for Christmas and that’s where it all began. After learning how to ride the 4 wheeler I got a PW 50 and started racing motocross at the age of four. My dads side of the family raced motorcycles and I quickly picked up the passion for racing when I was young. 

Was there someone specific that inspired you? I grew up at a motocross track that my dad owned.. So I was surrounded by racers all the time that inspired me growing up. My dad never pushed me into the sport I just fell in love with it naturally. I respect him for that because some dads push the limit in the sport of motocross which can end careers fast. 

 What type of terrain do you like riding the most? Track? Trails? Desert? Mountains? Dualsport? My true passion is MX .. but recently I have explored more trails and raced off-road races. 

Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your life. I have raced many bikes throughout my life .. from a PW 50 to a Honda 450. When I was young I always wanted a cobra 50 but my dad never would let me get one because of the maintenance.. I’ve never let that one down until this day haha! Some other bikes I’ve had are 65s, 125s, and 250s. All types of brands from Yamaha, Suzuki, Honda, Kawasaki, and KTM. 

What bike do you ride now? I ride a YZ 125

babes in the dirt

 What are your goals as a rider? Any specific technique you are working on? My goal as a rider right now is to just have fun with the sport. I am much older then the girls I race these days and the pace they run is super fast.. I have to keep telling myself I’m 10 years older then most girls out on the track. Age is just a number though and I use that as motivation for training. I am currently working on using my legs more when I ride.. I tend to hold on to tight with my arms when I race which causes arm pump fast. Also I’m working on using less clutch and more momentum flow out on the track. It’s all about the flow !! 

Tell us about your most epic riding experience. The most epic riding experience I’ve ever had was at the sand dunes outside of Vegas. My dad brought me out to these dunes after a national at glen helen in our Moto van. We were the only ones there and I had the entire area to myself. I used up 2 cans of race gas and even drained some gas out of the van so I could keep riding. It was EPIC!! 

When did you first hear about Babes in the Dirt? I heard about Babes in the Dirt a few years ago from a friend. Last year I finally got to experience the event and it was so rad! I grew up being the only female in the state of Alabama that raced a dirt bike.. and to attend a event with that many girls that  rode was freaking unreal.  

babes in the dirt

What was your experience like at Babes in the Dirt when you attended the west coast event? Mind blowing .. the most coolest event ever! I rode the motocross track the most but just being around such a rad vibe and meeting so many people was awesome. Not to mention my friend brought her mom along and she attended the training class and KILLED it! 

Tell us what you think about Babes in the Dirt coming to TN. Are you stoked? I’ve been waiting for this one for sure! The moment I saw the post about it I made sure to clear my calendar. It’s going to be fun!! Finally in my neck of the woods. It’s great for the girls on the east coast to be able to experience this kind of event.. let’s do it!!! 

What do you think is the most different about riding in California vs. Tennessee?  California has a huge riding scene .. MX, trails, desert, Dualsport , they have it all! You can travel an hour and be able to ride any of that. It’s a little more difficult in the east to be able to ride all that terrain. The tracks are more spread out and the riding is less convenient than California. The dirt we have in the south like in Tennessee is prime!!! More technical riding verses out west. 

Any advice for new riders? You can start riding at any time in your life !!! It’s never too late to start. Just throw that leg over a bike and get out there.. you will not regret it. 

babes in the dirt

Meet Christina Dixon - Williams | She has been to every single Babes in the Dirt Event !!!

We have seen Christina Dixon Williams smiling face at every single Babes in the Dirt event! Yep, she has battled a hailstorm, weathered the gale force winds and BRAAAP’d allover Hungry Valley State Park with us over the past 5 years. We caught up with her to hear about what the community has meant to her, fan-girl moments (we have all had them) baby wheelies and the progress she has made as a rider over the years. Read on!

babes in the dirt

 

Name: Christina Dixon-Williams

Location: Las Vegas, NV

Instagram handle: @c_ldixon

 Tell us a little about yourself:

I am a Las Vegas native, second-generation born and raised. I went to college in Utah on a softball scholarship and then moved back to Vegas after I graduated. The desert will always be my home. My career is working in finance and I volunteer with the Las Vegas Valley Humane Society. I am also a full-time kitten foster mom (#fosteringsaveslives) while also caring for my resident “fur-children”, with all the help from my husband. Our furry/feathered children are comprised of horses, goats, chickens, dogs, cats, rabbits (all rescues). Any spare time after that is spent on the bikes.  

How long have you been riding? About 4.5 years, although I really got into riding about 3 years ago when I bought my 500.

What/who got you in to it? My wonderful husband! (@dirtbikedave5) He used to race MRAN and Best in the Desert. I am a pretty competitive/ driven person (all the years of being a competitive athlete). I saw him riding and thought “I can do that” and here I am. I like to brag on him since he had to deal with my mental breakdowns in sand washes and on hill climbs for years (don’t be fooled those breakdowns still occasionally occur, haha). 

What kind of bike do you ride? I am currently riding a 2016 KTM 500 EXC – Six Days.

babes in the dirt

Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your life.

2006 Suzuki LTR 450 (I started on a quad and quickly realized 2 wheels was a lot more fun)

2007 KTM 525 XCW

1976 Yamaha YZ125 (Don’t underestimate this little bike.. it flys)

2016 KTM 500 EXC – Six Days

2015 Beta EVO 250 4T

You have been to every single Babes in the Dirt event! We want to know more about your experience!

How did you hear about Babes in the Dirt the first year? I saw a flyer for the event being posted on Instagram.

Give us a little run down of your experience at each event:

Babes in the dirt 1: The hail! Oh my hail! The weather was definitely crazy that first year. I remember when I was unloading my bike and I was just a newbie doing this without my husband and the awesome girls camped next to me were so quick to help me unload my bike.

Babes in the dirt 2: My first year demo’ing a brand new Husky! How awesome is Husqvarna to bring out brand new bikes for girls to rip on the trails? Totes awesome.

Babes in the dirt 3: I was able to join in on a ride led by Ashley Fiolek (I fan-girled a bit). 

Babes in the dirt 4: This event was only a couple months after my mom had lost her battle to cancer. Being able to attend such a friendly event was a heart lift (I know, sappy).

Babes in the dirt 5: Was it just me or was this the first year it wasn’t insanely windy?! It was perfect weather! I joined the Garrahan Off Road Training class on Sunday and had an absolute blast and got a thumbs up from Kacey Martinez (another fan-girl moment). I finally nailed a baby wheelie (if you know me, you know that’s a BIG deal).

babes in the dirt

What do you think about how much it has grown?  It’s really impressive to see how large this event has grown. Even though this event has grown hundredfold from the first year, the same atmosphere of girls helping each other load/unload, kick over their bikes and just pick someone up off of the trail is still there, which is the exact reason why I continue to attend the event each year.

 What does the off-road community mean to you personally?  The off-road community to me is a sense of belonging. It’s a sense of support and welcoming. Each thumbs up from another rider or the help pulling a bike out of a ditch and all while still smiling because we all love this sh%&.. that is community.

The Babes in the Dirt community has been one the kindest communities. At each event I have met the coolest and most badass women riders. The Babes in the Dirt event has become an annual trip that I look forward to and a chance to catch up with new and old babes.

Thank you Anya & Ashmore for hosting these events! You two have successfully created an incredibly inspiring and motivating event for beginner and pros riders alike. <3

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

 

Professional Flat Tracker Leah Tokelove is Making Her Way to Babes in the Dirt 5 from the UK!

Leah Tokelove isn’t your average 21 year old even though she says she is. Looking over her accomplishments the past few years is simply incredible as she has not only become a professional racer on her Indian Motorcycle for the Hooligan series, she also races competitively with her KTM in the Pro class. That’s not all…..she has also opened training classes, Days on the Dirt, to help ladies in the UK learn the fundamentals of riding and did we mention she’s a full time student and holds down a job that requires heavy labor at her dad’s building site? If people ever doubted superwoman, here she is. Get to know Leah Tokelove and make sure to give her and the VC London ladies a VERY warm, welcome as they cross the pond to join us at Babes in the Dirt 5!

Photo by Sarah Emma Smith

Photo by Sarah Emma Smith

Name: Leah Tokelove

Instagram Handle: @leahtokelove37

What’s in your garage?

  • Indian Scout Sixty Hooligan Racer

  • Indian Scout Sixty (For road rips), got my license in January!

  • KTM 450 SX-F – My Flat Track race bike

  • KTM 250 SX-F - For Motocross fun

  • Honda CRF125

  • Kawasaki KLX 110

  • Honda Mini Framer with a CB125 engine

  • Honda CRF 250 - (Kindly lent to me by Tara Henry for Trails)

Wow now I feel greedy, motos for every occasion!

Who are you sponsored by?

  • Indian Motorcycle

  • -Alpinestars

  • Bell Helmets

  • S&S Cycle

  • Krazy Horse Customs

  • VC London

  • STANCE

  • Greenfield Dirt Track

  • DTRA

  • Days on the Dirt

  • My awesome family

Tell us about where you are from:

I’m from Lincolnshire in the UK. It’s pretty much the middle of nowhere on the east coast of England, which is ideal as there are plenty of opportunities to ride motorcycles without bothering anyone. I still live in Lincolnshire now and I don’t think that I’ll ever really leave- I’m a country gal.

Tell us about yourself and what you are into:

Aside from racing I think I’m your average 21-year-old student. I like binge watching Netflix, eating way too much crap and drinking more than I can handle- haha. All joking aside increasingly I have very little time for that, as recently my racing has become a lot more serious, most of my spare time away from the track is focused on prep and training. I race Flat Track in the UK, racing for Indian Motorcycle in the Hooligan Series and my own KTM in the Pro class. When I’m not racing or practicing Flat Track I like to go trail riding (I passed my test back in January for my license and I’m now addicted to trails) or I go motocrossing. So really, I like riding a bit of everything. When I’m not riding I’m actually a University student, studying Business Management (yawn) and I work part-time laboring on my Dad’s building site. But have recently started my own business ‘Days on the Dirt’ (more on this to follow). Being a student and racing actually fits together nicely, it gives me a lot of flexibility to train, ride and travel for events. I really enjoy sports of any kind and just generally being active. I love traveling and enjoy writing about my experiences. I hate tuna and carrots.

What inspired you to want to ride two wheels?

Growing up in rural Lincolnshire we don’t have many cool parks, shops or attractions. There’s not really that much to do as a kid, but there is an abundance of fields for learning how to ride motorcycles on! And with the encouragement of my Father who had dirt bikes and a bike on the road it was quite natural for me to start riding. My dad got me a little PW50 as my first ripper, at the age of 5. And we used to just ride around the farm near to where we lived, he was on his KTM and I was on my little Peewee. We’d just tootle about for fun. And for a long time, riding dirtbikes was all about fun for me, I’d never considered doing anything more than that. But after one Summer of riding KLX 110’s (I still have these to date) when I was around twelve/thirteen, I had ridden non-stop and found that I was actually getting pretty good, as fast as my Dad and faster than a fair few of his mates! So, we thought that an ideal place for me to make my racing debut was just at a local series on the beach! My Dad bought me a Suzuki RM85 and it was my first ever bike with a clutch, I spent a couple of weeks getting used to that, did a lot of accidental wheelies and before I knew it I’d lined up for my first race! From there I progressed onto racing Flat Track when we realized that all the fast lads on the beach were doing this Flat Track, so I thought I’d give it a go and now well… the rest is history!

Tell us about Days on the Dirt?

To put it simply the ultimate goal of Days on the Dirt is to get more women riding motorcycles and more women racing them! I do believe that in the UK prior to Days on the Dirt, there was nowhere that a complete beginner could go and learn to ride a motorcycle. I also feel very strongly about the importance of women only events after talking to lots of women about them and knowing how I, a confident rider, do sometimes feel intimidated on generic training days. At Days on the Dirt we have created the ideal environment for women to come and learn, alongside like-minded women who are all there for the same reason- to learn new skills. Whether that be to learn how to ride a motorcycle, develop flat track sills or ride motocross for the first time- we can give women that opportunity at Days on the Dirt. I’m so proud of what Days on the Dirt is developing into and the support we are receiving from not only the women who attend but brands wanting to help out! Days on the Dirt is still young, not even a year old and I can’t wait to watch it grow!

What skills do you practice the most to stay sharp on your bike?

Obviously, I like to keep my Flat Track skills in shape because that’s my main thing but riding lots of different disciplines is so complimentary to your general riding ability. Because bike time is bike time and all of the skills are totally transferable! I also think that riding a smaller bike is good practice too. If I want to push myself harder I usually ride my little Honda CRF125 because when you’re on a bike so small you’re not really afraid of sending it- haha and you push yourself way out of your comfort zone because surely I can do less damage on that than my Indian Hooligan?!

How has learning to ride changed your life?

I actually reflect about this a lot. I often stop and think about what the hell I’d be doing if I wasn’t riding and I seriously don’t know the answer to that! Riding for me, is very quickly becoming about the people that I’ve met through riding bikes. I’ve actually done a WHOLE blog post on this because it’s had such a mammoth impact on me, haha. But in short, I think riding motorcycles has opened up a whole Narnia of opportunities for me. Racing, traveling and different cultures are all things that I have had the pleasure of experiencing thanks to Motorcycles. Take Babes in the Dirt for example. Thanks to my love of dirtbikes I’m going to be visiting LA for the first time, getting to meet heaps of new people that share my passion for riding, adventures and good times. It doesn’t get much better than that does it? Also, to now think that I’ve been able to transform my passion into such a big part of my life is crazy. All the sponsorship, support and the fact that I can do Days on the Dirt and share my passion for others is simply the best. Oh yeah and I’m actually quite fierce and love the thrill of racing- but that’s the norm for all racers right?

What are your goals as a motorcyclist?

My main goals have got to be to just keep on enjoying the ride. Racing where I can (because I’m a competitive lil’ bitch on track) and I want to do a lot of moto related traveling. I think that having fun on and around motorcycles is my main goal, obviously I want to win races too and I would love to race Super Hooligans in the US one day and maybe even some American Flat Track! But yeah mainly travel, meet new people and I’m open minded so I’m just gonna’ enjoy the ride and see where it takes me.

We can't wait to have you attend Babes in the Dirt, what are you looking forward to the most?

Ahh man, I am so stoked to be able to make it out. I turned 21 in November and this is the first event I’ve been eligible for, I don’t think you’re gonna be able to get rid of me now! Seriously though, I love what you guys are doing Stateside and have always followed it and I’ve been fortunate to be able to support VC London with their Camp- which is such a great event for the UK scene. I can’t wait to ride the trails, I’ve heard very good things about riding in California, so I’m stoked on that. I’m also really looking forward to meeting my ‘Instagram friends’ haha and actually meeting the real characters behind the handles along with loads of new people! So yeah, I think it’s gonna be a pretty good weekend of riding, hanging out and partaaayyyyyy!!!

What advice do you have for others who are new to riding or thinking about learning to ride?

-I think as cliché as it sounds learning to ride is one of those things that has a ripple effect on your life. The opportunities it opens up to you from travel, meeting new people and just having a fun way to spend your time. The personal benefits of it too are crazy the amount of stress it relieves, the feeling of freedom and pure joy when riding. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone look grumpy when they take their helmet off after a ride! I really do think that if you’re considering it then you should just take the plunge and go for it, there’s a bike for everyone out there, go and chase it! And motorcyclists are THE most supportive group of people ever and you will for sure find your squad within a much larger squad- period.

What are the 2019 dates for your clinics and how can ladies sign up?

So my dates so far are;

  • 30th March- Flat Track Intro

  • 5th April- Total Beginner

  • 19th April- Flat Track Intro

  • 10th May- Flat Track Intro

With some 1:1’s and private hires in there, with more dates for Summer yet to be announced!

Our facility is Greenfield Dirt Track and you can book in online via clicking HERE

https://greenfielddirttrack.bigcartel.com

Photo by George Pickering

Photo by George Pickering

Photo by Braking Point Images

Photo by Braking Point Images

Kayedeak Photography

Kayedeak Photography

Photo by Juan Trulijo Andreas

Photo by Juan Trulijo Andreas

Kacy Martinez Coaching at Babes in the Dirt 5 with Garrahan Off-Road Training

We are thrilled to announce that the National Enduro Cross Champion and AMA Lifetime achievement award recipient , Kacy Martinez will be coaching along side Brian at the Garrahan Off-Road Training classes at Babes Ride Out 5! This woman has been an inspiration to all of us and we are so honored to have her at the event this year! Read on to learn more about her!

“I’m super excited to attend Babes in the Dirt this year along side Brian at Garrahan Offroad Training! Being able to share everything I’ve learned throughout my career with a bunch of women with the same passion of riding is going to be awesome! Looking forward to meeting and hanging out with all the babes! “ -Kacy

babes in the dirt

 Started riding at 8 years old going out on the weekends with my dad to our local state parks. We would also do a lot of family camping riding trips with my mom and sister who also ride! Not too long after we realized there was a big race at one of our favorite parks and my dad signed me up but quickly realized on the sheet there wasn’t a girls class. While on the line waiting for the start he went down and counted all the pony tails after the race he went up to the promoters and told them there were more than three girls out there and they deserve there own class. The next race we showed up to there was now a girls class on the sign up sheet! We then started following our local District 38 Hare Scramble series and from there we were hooked! I moved up quick in all the female classes and started Racing national level races in 2006. I was at the first women’s Pro offroad race in 2008 that WORCS started and from there I was all in. My life revolved around Racing and I put everything I had Into it! My parents being super supportive drove me to races all over and was still there at the end of my career always cheering me on! Riding for Factory KTM has been a dream come true, there support has been top notch since I signed in 2014! I’m  very excited and grateful to be able to keep my partnership with them by being a KTM Ambassador! 

 

Championships

  • 2007

  • National Hare Scramble Champion

  • 2008

  • National Hare Scramble Champion

  • 2009

  • National Hare Scramble Champion

  • WORCS Champion

  • AMA Female Racer of the Year

  • 2010

  • WORCS Champion

  • 2011

  • WORCS Champion

  • X Games Enduro X Bronze Medalist

  • 2014 

  • GNCC Champion

  • X Games Enduro X Gold Medalist

  • 2015 

  • GNCC Champion

  • X Games Bronze Medalist

  • AMA Female Racer of the year

  • 2016 

  • National Enduro Champion

  • 2017

  • National Hare & Hound Champion

  • ISDE Gold Medalist

   •   ISDE USA Womens Trophy Silver       

        Medalist

   •   2018

   •   Red Bull Rocks & Logs 

        Winner

   •   National Endurocross Champion 

   •   Big 6 Champion 

   •   AMA Life Time Achievement Award

babes in the dirt

 


 

 

 

Adrienne Hunt and Her New Husqvarna FE 250

Meet Adrienne Hunt @SLOdirtgirl ! After ripping the demo bikes at Babes in the Dirt she decided to get herself a brand new Husqvarna FE 250. We got to catch up with her to hear more about her life on two wheels and why calls the FE 250 her dream bike.

babes in the dirt

What is your name?

Adrienne Hunt @SLOdirtgirl

What do you do for a living? Tell us about your job.

I work in animal welfare and am a veterinary assistant. My job duties range from day to day from assisting in animal welfare investigations, humane education to helping an injured pet in a hospital setting. I recently spent 22 days assisting up at the CampFire near Paradise, California and that was the most heart-warming and heart-wrenching experience of my life. The time, energy and love so many people put in, to make sure these animals were cared for at the front lines and behind the scenes, really reaffirmed that humans can “Be the person your dog thinks you are.”

Where are you from?

Born and raised in San Luis Obispo, California (SLO)

Where do you live?

Still walking the mean streets of “Bubble Gum Alley” (SLO)

 When were you first introduced to riding dirt? Who introduced you?

I started riding mountain bikes in 2012 after losing a bunch of weight, as I needed something to keep me busy after I gave up all the glory and retired from couch surfing. I really got into riding and I did a few downhill and XC races for fun but then started to get involved in other hobbies, so riding took a back seat for several years.

I started missing the adrenaline and physicality of it, but I also had an aversion to big climbs, enter the dirt bike. My fiancé had been riding dirt bikes since we met but it was only until June of 2017 that I was like, it’s time for me to check this out and get up these hills by a twist of the throttle.

How long have you been riding?

I’ve been riding and falling in the dirt for about 1 ½ years now.

I thought that after riding mountain bikes that dirt biking would come naturally for me, it did not, and I learned humility quickly. I had many crashes and made many mistakes when I first started riding but stuck it out, despite a few trail side meltdowns, some tears of frustration and even a few self-deprecating comments here and there, I’ve learned to stick it out and could not be happier with my progression however fast or slow it comes now.

babes in the dirt

Why do you like riding dirt?

So hard to narrow it down, riding through whoop-de-doos or pulling a wheelie, yeah! (Song: Dirt Bike rider)

As you can tell I am super serious person but truly, my favorite part is the progression. I enjoy seeing myself progress and get so pumped when I see other riders and their progression. It is one of the many things that I love about it. Seeing a trail or a section that you said “nope” to and then being able to take it on or seeing your buddy do the same. So cool!

I have made so many new friends and people I consider “family” while riding, I could not be more grateful. I like to throw together impromptu, all inclusive (male/female/squirrel) group rides or little campouts every now and then. I find that this is a great way to have people get together who may not have otherwise met up. It is so fun to see a rider meet another rider who is close to them and see them get all stoked to have someone to ride with near them.

I truly have a good time whenever I am in the dirt so whether it is “going all out” for me or helping newer riders, I love it all.

Run us through the list of bikes you have had?

In 2008 I bought a 1986 Honda Nighthawk 750 and within a few weeks, hit sand in an apex, laid it down and was hospitalized for a few weeks. My family wanted me to take a break from riding, so I respected that. In 2016, things changed and I was able to purchase a Kawasaki Versys with the intent to ADV it out and do some Dual-sport rides. After some fun adventures and mishaps I decided that I wanted something a little more dirt worthy, so I sold the Versys and bought my first dirt bike in May of 2017 which was my 1993 XR250r.  

babes in the dirt

What do you ride now?

We just bought my dream bike, a 2018 Husqvarna FE250 and I could not be more excited for the adventures to come. My first ride on her was just this Christmas at Hungry Valley OHV. We had set up one of those impromptu campouts and I was stoked to get on that maiden dirt voyage. As I confidently threw my leg over my new steed, I put her in first, let out the clutch and promptly stalled it and did a slow-motion fall to the ground.

As we set out on the group ride I knew that I felt very uncomfortable on the bike and I felt I was going to hurt myself if I tried to keep up but didn’t know the bike yet, so I broke off from the group for a few hours and just did my own thing. No pressure, no audience, just me, my bike and my own thoughts. After that I was able to ride with more confidence and a lot less of a death grip.

If you could have 2 bikes what would your other bike be?

2019 Husqvarna 701. We would love to be able to travel more by two wheels and check off some bucket list items. Having something a bit more street orientated with some off-road capabilities would help get some of that list knocked out.

Tell us what you love about the bike you ride now? Why did you choose that bike?

I was able to log some solid hours on the FE250 at Babes in the dirt last year. I think you could equate it to a groupie who just lingers near the bands dressing room, that was me at the Husqvarna demo booth (Hi Allison, it’s USAdrienne!) After taking it out for several rides, I was hooked. The throttle response, the suspension, right out of the gate it felt like a bike that met my current skill level but would also allow me to level up. The best part is it rides like a track bike but is plated for the times I do hit a dual sport ride or need to get from trail to trail.

It also comes down to how I was treated by Husqvarna and how they support riders especially us women. I was treated like I was family from the moment I skipped up the husky booth with childlike glee. They were great with the barrage of questions I had for them and when they had demos going out but had a bike that was not getting ridden, they allowed me to join the demo ride again.

Where did you buy your bike from? How was your experience at the dealership?

We live at least 3 hours from the closest dealer, so I had to call several places to get quotes and talk about what I needed as a rider and what I was willing to spend. Honestly, I was a bit disappointed with a few of the shops I reached out to as there was a lack of willingness to help someone who had to drive to see their product. I get cash in hand talks, but I was talked down to by some dealers or they would not deal with me over the phone at all. I was able to speak with Victor from HYR in Redlands and they were amazing to work with and gave me a great deal on the moto. For us, pulling the trailer, it was over a 5hr drive but it was worth the drive knowing I was being taken care of and my money was going to a shop that seemed to treat everyone with respect.  

babes in the dirt

What kind of terrain do you like riding the best?

Isn't any terrain the best terrain on a dirt bike?! To narrow it down, I really enjoy technical terrain, however you categorize that. It could be the single track that is sloughing away to a steep drop and you keep telling yourself “keep your eyes ahead...” The chunky rock section that has you working that clutch and picking your lines just so, or the steep, rutted, loose hill climb that has you sitting at the bottom of it for a few seconds, trying to pump yourself up for what is to come. I like any terrain that challenges me and helps me progress.  

What kind of terrain is a challenge for you but you want to master?

I thoroughly enjoy but am not great at rocky enduro type terrain. I find keeping the momentum through the chunk can be difficult or I’ll get in my own head and start to think too much about a rock coming up in my path and grab a fist of brake. At the same time, I love the feeling of being in control yet on the verge of being bucked off. Lots of clutch control to work on for me but again, that is why I love the braap so much, you generally can grow as a rider, as much as you are willing to push yourself.

What is the most challenging riding experience you have had?

A month or two into first starting to ride, I was all about enduro. @Crystal_loves_moto this, @Megs_braap that. I was determined to Jarvis off and do my own thing one day, so the fiancé and I went to Ballinger Canyon and I was just going to “explore” and putt-putt around for a “chill ride.” So we went our separate ways and I went to explore this little area I had eyed before that had a dry little creek bed next to it. As I explored, I thought in all my wisdom, what a great place to practice these enduro skills that I have mastered in all my two months of riding and watching videos.

I rode to the creek bed thinking I’ll drop in there and play around these rocks, it is narrow but passable. It is about a 4ft drop into the bed and as I started to drop in, I got a better visual of where I thought I could exit out of and realized, it was impassable and... the front wheel goes down. I looked back up to where I came from and there was no way I was getting it back up, so I had to forge on. With the bike being flooded and the kickstand sinking in when I tried to kick it over, I struggled for over an hour to get the bike to start in the mid-day August heat. It ended up being so sandy and deep that I dug my wheel in many times. With getting stuck several times and stalling the bike, the 1 hour or so adventure turned into a 3-hour knock-down, drag out fight with the terrain and my bike. When I got back to camp the fiancé asked how many miles I got in and I think I pulled a whopping 0.75 miles that day but many lessons learned. 

babes in the dirt

Where are some of your favorite places to ride?

Hollister Hills OHV  ranks pretty high on the list for several reasons. It combines two of my favorite things camping and dirt bikes. The park really offers a new rider a variety of terrain in a more controlled setting and for me that was really helpful to focus on my riding more than worrying about traffic coming at me at times, as Hollister has many one-way trails. One of my favorite areas there is the enduro course and the trials course. From my first visit there I eyed this big tire in the enduro course and a log drop at the trials course. I kept telling myself you are going to hit those one day and with knees shaking and heart punding, one visit I mustered the mental strength to do it. The first attempt on the tire, not bad, I made it, hit the throttle a bit too much at the top and front wheel lifted a bit, it made the landing a bit sketchy but I pulled it off. I thought, lets’ do it again, get better at it! I approached it and just as I was about to go over my brain went weird, I got scared and I just rolled off the throttle and stalled at the top and toppled over. Bike upside down, oil dripping down the frame, there was only one thing to do, take a picture. There are a few goal trails there as well that I want to ride now that I have the Husky like Troll trail but the poison oak factor makes me wonder how worth it the trail is, when I get exposed to that evil leaf, it is no joke. 

I also fell in love with Kennedy Meadows my one time there. I wish I could build a little homestead and live there fulltime. The place for me, has been the best overall riding and camping experience for me, it is just so gorgeous. The trees and meadows, the creeks, the wildlife; Kennedy Meadows just meets every expectation for me when it comes to combining my love of nature, camping and dirt bike riding. The trails vary quite a bit but unless you are an adventurous beginner, it has some fairly technical terrain. I was really able to surprise myself there and made it through many spots that myself and others were standing by waiting for the topple. I really look forward to getting back out there in 2019.

What is on your moto bucket list to ride?

Big Bear, Forest Hill Trail 6, B.C area, Moab, Sawtooth mountains, Tillamook area, race the Donner Hare scramble and many more.

Do you ride with a lot of other female riders?

I have a really solid set of ladies that I have a great time riding with, they live 3-4hours away from me but we seem to find the time to meet up and ride together every few months or so. It goes back to how supportive it can be riding with other women and the growth and bonding you all develop over it. I am able to be a small part of a bigger picture in many ways as a female rider and I really enjoy trying to foster those relationships with other female riders. I enjoy going fast and getting out of my comfort zone but at 36, I have nothing to prove, other than something to myself. With that being said, I really enjoy riding with new riders whether leading or sweeping with a group or just going out to have a good time. I like to see how they learn and if I am lucky to ride with them down the road, to see how much they have progressed. I think some of us ladies, and I am guilty of it, get in our own heads and think we are holding up a group or you don't want to be the “liability person,” You're not, ride your own ride, progress at your own pace.

The bummer thing is I don’t really have anyone that I ride with locally, it would be really nice to rip around with some ladies but they are few and far between, if you know of any that want to ride, send them my way!  

Do you have anyone in the moto world that you look up to?

I look up to so many riders for many different reasons and wish I could list them all but certainly my friend Avila (@avy119). I met her and her husband at one of the random rides we threw together at Hungry Valley. She is a blast to ride with, is willing to try any trail and gets through it with a smile.

My friend CJ (@radical_budhist) also comes to mind. She is someone who I have had the pleasure of watching progress so much since we first started riding together. She was another gal I met through one of those impromptu campouts up at Hollister Hills when we both were pros on fire roads. She is always in a rad mood, keeping the group smiling and willing to push her comfort zone. We all share so many “woohoos!” on our rides.

I look up to all the ladies of the dirt world who are making it happen; @Babesinthedirt and all you have put into this, it has changed my life as rider. Babes has exposed me to opportunities and people I may have never met otherwise. The @dirt_ladies group and what we are trying to do with getting more women riding together and being able to connect with one another.

Last but not least, my fiancé. He has been my number one fan from day one. Always supportive of my riding. Has helped celebrate triumphs, listened to my frustrations and always makes sure that the bike keeps running so we could do it all over again. There is no one I would rather have as my road dog in life. 

What was your experience at Babes in the Dirt/Babes Ride Out events?

One of the best experiences of my life thus far! 2018 was my first year at Babes in the Dirt and

I rolled in early Friday and helped volunteer for the morning until my afternoon Husqvarna demo. I was so excited to try a new bike but super nervous as well. The demo was well paced, everyone had everyone's back and the Husqvarna crew made sure that you were taken care of and had a good time. I was able to meet many of the gals I follow on Instagram and that was so neat to put faces to the names and even ride with a few. That night I made my rounds to the many trailers, tents and car campers that I wanted to say hi to. It felt like there was not enough time in this day, I wanted it to go on but sleep was needed so I reluctantly wandered back to camp for some Zzz’s.

Saturday had lots of opportunities, and it was hard to choose which to do; a Husqvarna demo, ride trail or track in the park with friends, play games at the various booths, check out the cool gear at the Fox Women’s booth or just get to know these ladies who you may only get to see once a year. Some of the dirt ladies set up a small beginner’s ride for a few ladies and we had a great time watching these gals really come out of their comfort zone and own the trails. I think that is one of the biggest things I think a lot of ladies can get out of female only events, you get a different support system, you learn that you are doing okay and that many other ladies are in the same boat. You meet ladies that are rippers but just want to support another rider and are just stoked to see you out on the trail. You also meet newer riders and you bond over the same triumphs and experiences.

Saturday night consisted of merriment and karaoke. I may or may not have had a great time embarrassing myself while singing Macklemore’s “Thrift shop” while coming down with a  cold. 

Sunday was time to say our “See you next years.” We shook the weekends sand off and helped each other load up and prepare for our various distances home. Before leaving I was able to take Brian Garrahan’s group training that afternoon and he made that was such a fun experience. I went into the class thinking I knew a fair amount of the basics for riding but found many techniques that could improve my riding or ways to refine what I was already doing but make it safer and in turn, riding into more fun.

What advice do you have for someone thinking about getting in to riding dirt?

Just be you. We all get into riding dirt for different reasons and throughout your whole moto journey you will be exposed to different types of riders and types of riding but as long as you are true to the reason you ride, the ride will always be fun and always be yours.

It is easy to get into your own head, to think maybe you are not improving enough or when you are riding with people that you are the one, “keeping them back,” you are not. It may not happen overnight but you will find your “people.” The ones you look up to and the ones that look up to you. The ones that keep pushing you to do more because they know you can and the ones that will help push your bike back up the hill when maybe it did not all go to plan. Riding is an adventure and all adventures have ups and downs, just remember, you are doing this for you and no one else, when that is the motivation that is when it really becomes fun.

Anything else you would like to add?

A big thanks to all the ladies and men behind the scenes who are supportive in getting more women riding and having fun in the dirt. Instagram groups like @Dualsportwomen , @WLFenduro, @National_Forest_Riders (NFR) and @Corva are all doing things to help support all riders and our riding community. Husqvarna motorcycles are at the forefront of highlighting this movement of women riders and putting their money where their mouth is.

Fox Womens with their support and proactiveness with their female riding audience’s needs and wants as riders.

And of course, to ALL who have supported me through this journey of mine. It has been such a fun and wild ride since I started riding a year and some change ago. When I joined Instagram, I wanted to try and find more women to ride with and to highlight the struggles and triumphs of someone my age, who just started getting into riding a dirt bike. I have made so many friends and have been able to follow along with so many adventures of others. I look forward to many more years making a fool….er…improving my skills as a rider and look forward to enjoying that journey with others as well. Cheers to #2019yearofthebraap.

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Iron Woman | Elizabeth Karcz and the Baja 1000

We caught up with Iron Woman Liz Karcz who is fresh of racing the Baja 1000 in the Ironman class. Yes, that it 800+ miles through the desert in 2 days solo. There is so much that goes in to getting mentally, physically and mechanically ready for a monumental feat such as this. Liz is the second woman in history to complete the Ironman class and finish! Read on to hear about her journey to the finish line.

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Lets start by having you tell us a little about yourself:

Name: Liz Karcz

Where do you live? Albuquerque, NM

Day Job? more like “night job” (I work nightshift) but Trauma/Surgical/Burn/Open Heart ICU Nurse

How long have you been riding? 5 years

What bike do you ride? a 2009 Honda 450X and a 2013 KTM 300 XC  

How did you first get in to riding dirtbikes? My ex’s family was big into dirtbikes. While living in the Tahoe area I really got into mountain biking, and it seemed like the perfect next hobby!

What type of riding do you normally love to do? Desert, but I love some good mountain riding as well 

Tell us about the Baja 1000 and what inspired you to want to do it?

Well, once I got the OK from Mark (Winkleman) to attempt to be the first woman to solo the entire SCORE International series, I started with the San Felipe 250 and progressively moved onto the next event. After finishing the first 3, the Baja 1000 would be the grand finale, so there was no turning back at that point.

The Iron(Wo)Man class is pretty intense, break down what that is all about and how it challenges you as a rider.  

To Ironman a race means you race the entirety of the event on your own. Events as long as these are often done as a team, with each rider focusing on a specific section and giving it their all for a certain distance. There are a definitely a few challenges when committing to the entire distance. For one, you need to know how to pace yourself so that you don’t fatigue out. You need to take calculated risks (more so than a team racer) because if something happens to you, that’s it…you don’t have a backup rider.  You also need to be very mindful of your nutrition and hydration, refueling your body well enough to be able to handle hundreds of miles and hours of exertion at a time. And of course, you need to be both physically and mentally strong. Baja is a beautiful, but brutal place… easily one of the most challenging places on earth to race, and you need to be prepared for whatever she might throw your way.

What bike prep did you need in order to get ready? Any specific modifications? 

Having a Honda 450X to work with was a great foundation for a race bike in itself; they’re proven to withstand a variety of elements and be very reliable down in Baja.  To get Juanita more race ready (yes, my bike’s name is Juanita) my mechanic Greg jazzed her up with the following:  threw in an R camshaft when rebuilding the motor, gold valves from Race Tech for the suspension, Scotts Performance Products stabilizer, Baja Designs lighting (Baja Designs also did a rewind on my stator at the beginning of the season), and converted the gas tank to an IMS dry-break set up. My wheels were built with Warp 9 Racing rims/spokes, Moose steel sprockets, KENDA tires (Washougal for the front, Parker for the rear), and SRT bib mousses. And of course, the best graphics out there to make her pretty were designed & produced by my friend Matt at REV Designs.

babes in the dirt

What kind of training did you go through to get in shape for the Baja 1000?

I’m a pretty active person at baseline, so my training regimen was not far off from my routine. I continued to cross train with mountain biking and road cycling, plus quite a bit of time at the gym doing strength training and cardio  (weights, tire flips, rowing, swimming). To improve conditioning I would try to head up to the crest [Sandia Crest, elevation 10,679ft] every so often and run, and even road cycling up to the crest from the base was a good push (elevation gain of ~3600+ ft in 20ish miles). I usually eat pretty healthy, so didn’t follow any specific nutrition plan, but did incorporate additional supplements like amino acids to help with endurance….and minimizing my ‘adult beverage’ intake helped stay on track.  

babes in the dirt

Tell us about the ride, any mishaps? How was the terrain? Any particularly challenging sections? 

The longest one I’ve been on, that’s for sure! I had no rear brake for the last 50 miles or so (after a tip over onto a rock), but overall no major mishaps! Greg built me an incredible bike. She may have a few battle wounds, but my chase crew did an excellent job servicing the bike throughout the race to keep it running great (I think we did a total of 6 air filter changes, frequent oil checks and topped off as needed throughout the day, and fresh wheels at mile 480). The terrain, variable.  Some fast & flowy sections, lots of whoops, lots of rocks, and lots (and lots) of silt.  The most challenging was everything through Catavina, mostly because of how bad the silt got. The race unfortunately ended for a lot of people between 380-535; stuck vehicles, blown motors, it was a nightmare.

How was your mental state during the race? Were you super exhausted? While you were riding did you ever ask yourself what you were doing or have any doubts that you could finish etc

I was doing pretty well until about 24 hours in. After battling the gnarly terrain between 380-535 for 10 hours straight, sleep deprivation and physical exhaustion was catching up to me and I started to get delirious. I would start zoning out and dozing off riding my bike, and my mind would play tricks with me: was I still on course? Is this the wash I’m supposed to be in? Did I miss a marker? I was tired and sore, and everything looks so different at night. I knew the sun would be up soon and the homestretch was near, so I would force myself to stand as much as I could, and just start singing to myself…anything  to keep my mind active.

I never doubted myself that I could finish, but I did start to get worried that I was going to time out. In the last 50 miles I tipped over the bike on a hill climb (it was just getting so hard to hold on & my form was getting sloppy) and got pinned between my bike and a rock. My bike felt like it weighed over 500lbs at this point, I tried to wiggle myself out but it was hard. I started crying ,cussing, staring at my STELLA watching the time go by. I felt so helpless and trapped. Then I heard a car coming and realized I had no choice but to get myself up, that I didn’t come this far to time out.  I dug down and found whatever ounces of energy I had left to give that bike one last push. I got it up, and kept moving.

Did you feel prepared or un prepared once you started the race?  

I could have used a better night’s sleep, but otherwise, I was as ready as I was going to be. Greg (Sceiford, my mechanic) worked hard with me all year to prepare me from a bike-troubleshooting standpoint, and I had the best chase crew with the right logistics, so I knew I was in good hands and could just focus on riding the bike.

How was the navigation? Did ya get lost at all?

The navigation is pretty easy to follow if you have a GPS. There were still a fair amount of markers left by race day in most sections, but once you got to the coast, they were slim. Unfortunately, after weeks of pre-running it’s just bound to happen so you need to be ready for that. I don’t know how anyone could race without a GPS, truthfully. There is just too much potential for error and to get lost out there.

Was there any other ladies riding that you came across?

When I was riding I was so focused on my own race I honestly didn’t know who may or may not be around me, unless it was at a pit or check point. However (don’t quote me on this) I don’t believe there was any other females racing on a dirtbike or quad…I could be wrong, hard to tell with helmets on; and I don’t believe I was ever caught by any of my  gal pals that race in the other classes (UTV, Truck, Car, etc)…I could also be wrong with this, in the dark it’s sometimes hard to tell, and most of the last 10 hours was a blur as far as my surroundings.

babes in the dirt

Tell us about some of the people you met.

Throughout the season I have been so fortunate to make so many awesome friends! Of course it’s been a blast getting to know some of the other ladies like Sara Price, Ericka Sacs, Kristen Matlock, Julie Boyer, Diane Giannelli, Baja Nikki (to name a few). So many other amazing racers too: Cameron Steele, Steve Hengeveld, Ricky Johnson. But one of the coolest things was having Jimmy Sones come down to help chase me during the 1000. He’s a legend, and so knowledgeable, to have him be a part of my race was really cool.  

Favorite part?

Running into all my friends I’ve made throughout the year, whether it’s locals or people from back in the States. There is nothing like moto family, and even more so, there is nothing like Baja family…it’s just such an incredible place to be experiencing together, no one ever goes home without stories.

Least favorite part?

 I would say it’s a tie between the silt, and having to share a race course with the trucks/cars/UTVs.

Describe your feeling when you crossed the finish line? What was that like?

Relief.  I was so happy to have made it back, me ok, the bike’s ok…. to see my family and friends again, and knowing I was going to get to go back home to my dogs!! The actual reality of what I accomplished would take a few days to sink in, which of course makes me ecstatic…sometimes I still can’t believe it’s over and I did it.  

Would you do it again?

Hard to say. It’s not something that is realistic for me to try to go back to for 2019, but if the right opportunity presented itself in the future, maybe? There are also other events that would challenge me in similar ways which would be fun to try, so I guess we’ll see where the wind blows.  

If you did, would you change anything about how you did it?

I would have definitely started peeing on myself sooner! For the longest time, I was super skeptical about resorting to that as a time-saving strategy…but had I not done it at the 1000, I would have timed out. It makes me wonder how much faster my times would have been at the others if I didn’t overthink it and just did it.

babes in the dirt

Any suggestions for ladies who might be interested in going for it next year?

I would say definitely do your homework. Before doing any kind of racing in Baja, I think it would be very beneficial to get down there for a fun ride beforehand, or link up with another team and go pre-run with them… to get a feel for the terrain around the peninsula, see what roads go where, what towns are where, etc. What a lot of people don’t realize (I know I didn’t until I came down to prerun during the 2017 Baja 500) is just how much the layout of the land plays a factor in planning logistics, whether you are racing on a team or solo.  Not everywhere on the course is accessible by vehicles, not every town has a gas station, not everywhere is ideal for a rider change (if racing as a team), cell phones don’t work everywhere and medical help can be hours away…the list goes on. Does that mean that someone who has never been to Baja can’t successfully race there? No, I’m sure it’s been pulled off before. However, the more you plan and the better you prepare, the better of an experience it will be. Racing down in Baja is not to be taken lightly. It is an amazing thing, but it is also a dangerous thing. You need to know what you are up against, have back-up plans, and then have back-up plans for your back-up plans. That being said, with the right amount of organization and the right people in your corner, it can be a beautiful, once-in-a lifetime experience; commit to it, put in the time and work, and anything is possible.

babes in the dirt