Babes in the Dirt 4

Stepping Outside of Comfort Zones and Advancing Your Skill Set - Brooke's Experience at Husqvarna's New to Moto Training Course at Babes in the Dirt

Careers, marriage, kids, friendships, family and more are things we often try and balance but sometimes we forget to make time for ourselves even though we love all of those magic moments that life gives us with the above. We caught up with Brooke Spiva, former teacher, mom to 4 small girls under 8, and with an attitude of "hell yeah let's go" who took one of the Husqvarna training courses at Babes in the Dirt this year.  Her feedback on the experience including what she learned, how the bike handled, and her overall thoughts on the event as she was able to take the weekend to herself in order to step out and enjoy the camaraderie of hundreds of like minded ladies was refreshing and appreciated. 

I met so many fabulous women who were so very skilled and fearless.  I figure if they can do it, then I should at least try to get over my fears and advance. 
— Brooke Spiva, 36, mom to 4 girls, total ripper!
  • Name: Brooke Spiva, age 36
  • Location: Ventura, CA
  • Instagram handle: I'm too old for instagram!
Photo by Genevieve Davis

Photo by Genevieve Davis

What you do for a living:    

I am a stay-at-home mom with four girls under the age of 8. I used to be a teacher in a private elementary school.  In that school I taught third grade. 

How did you hear about Babes in the Dirt and what made you want to attend?

I heard about Babes Ride Out about two years ago while getting my hair done.   I was busy telling the stylist how I used to surf, snowboard, run, and ride dirt bikes when one of the stylists chimes in and said I should do Babes in the Dirt. Once I heard about the event that was it, I had to go! 

Why did you decide to go for it and sign up to learn?

I’ve been riding dirt bikes since I was a young girl, so I didn’t need the basics, but I wanted to try out a Husqvarna.  I am short, so I definitely needed the beginner class for the tall demo bikes! I also wanted to go on a guided ride, because I could push myself and get better. 

Babes in the Dirt

What was your off-road experience like before you took the class?

I have been on a dirt bike since I was a toddler (on the front with my dad).  I can hill climb a lot of things, but I’m scared of downhills and speeding.  I think the biggest preconceived notion about a Husqvarna class is that you will be on a bike that fits you.  Just know that if you are not comfortable on a huge bike then sign up for the “never been on a bike” class because that’s where they will put you after you struggle with the big bikes.  I made that mistake and had to wait until the end to get on an 80 and boy was that bike fun. 

What was the training class like?

Two years ago (@ Babes in the Dirt 2) I was able to ride the lower bike and I learned how to use a rekluse clutch.  My guide, Ashley, was amazing. She let me ride her lowered bike and I was able to follow the leader on the trails. She was patient and right there for anyone who had fallen. 

How did you like the Husqvarnas?

I love the Husqvarna bikes.  I tried the TC85 and had a blast!! It was super responsive and fast! I took it around the beginner track a few times and then around the advanced track, and had so much fun! 

Did your opinion of off-roading change by taking the class?

I learned that I have a long way to go to get better that I really need to get comfortable on the downhills and on the taller bikes.  I met so many fabulous women who were so very skilled and fearless.  I figure if they can do it, then I should at least try to get over my fears and advance. 

Are you looking into furthering your off-road skills?

Of course.  I want to get to be the best rider I can be so that I can go more places and have more fun. I’d love to be able to keep up with the advanced class someday. 

Will we see you in the dirt again?

Definitely! I plan to get out to every single Babesin The Dirt there is! I think it should be called just Babes Ride Dirt! I can’t wait to sign up for the next class and jump in that TC85 again!  

Babes in the Dirt

Pushing Limits | My Experience on a Husqvarna at Babes in the Dirt 4

It's not everyday you have the opportunity to try out a brand new Husqvarna dirt bike. Coming from a street background, dirt is still very new to me. You'd think if you had years of experience on the road, dirt would be  breeze but its not. It takes discipline and courage to get better at riding off-road and every time I've had the chance to ride a Husqvarna, I always walk away a more confident rider but this year, I actually shocked myself...

Anya about to take me on some of the green routes behind camp. I like to take my time, get used to the machine, and no one is more accommodating than my road dog Anya 

Anya about to take me on some of the green routes behind camp. I like to take my time, get used to the machine, and no one is more accommodating than my road dog Anya 

With the event space changing, I was challenged to try new things. I'd never been on a mini track. Quail Canyon had 2 on the premises and after a few rips up and down the hill side getting used to the Husqvarna, I felt ready to try it. Turns out this track was the perfect area to practice my cornering. The track was wide, offered tons of visibility, and had a few opportunities to get a tiny bit of air. After 20+ times around the loop, I wanted to step it up. 

Ripping it up on the mini track! Cornering was something I needed work on. This track helped me improve my skills! With every loop, I learned so much on the Husqvarna. 

Ripping it up on the mini track! Cornering was something I needed work on. This track helped me improve my skills! With every loop, I learned so much on the Husqvarna. 

In the past I never would have hit the big track as most tracks have tons of fast as hell riders and for me to try and weasel my way in woud have caused carnage. Having the track groomed and all to ourselves only happens at Babes in the Dirt so I knew it was now or never. With a heightened confidence and a pep talk, I hit the big track on the 250.

You could not get me off that track. I stayed on it until my body couldn't take it anymore. There was another girl out there cheering me on the entire time (I don't know who she was but if she is reading this, it meant the world to me). The bike cut into the dirt like no other and soon I found myself going faster and faster. The thrill was like nothing I had ever felt before and the the time I spent out there seemed like a flash. To be on that bike, on that track, in that moment was pure bliss. 

Anya telling me I slayed it! 

Anya telling me I slayed it! 

That night I couldn't stop talking about my experience on the bike and hitting the track. I was so proud that I pushed my limits and hearing that others did the same while demoing the Husqvarna fleet made me smile until my face hurt. Thank you again to the entire Husqvarna team for providing these incredible machines for us during Babes in the Dirt 4. You made hundreds of ladies incredibly stoked and helped me personally push myself further than I thought possible. 

Roll Call | Meet Ashleigh Kaliszuk @ashkaleigh

We first met Ashleigh through some of the amazing images she shot at Babes Ride Out 4. Her photography is what first caught our eye but it didn't take long to see that there is so much more to this talented babe. As a fellow Husqvarna FE 250 rider and lover of dirt, it can be hard to keep up with Ashleigh as she travels all over pursuing her passion. We got to catch up with her and hear more about how she fell in love with dirt bikes. 

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What is your name?

Ashleigh Kaliszuk

What do you do for a living?

I’m a Red Seal mobile crane operator, and self-taught photographer.

Where are you from?

I’m from Vernon, British Columbia

Where do you live?

Edmonton, Alberta

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

I was first introduced to riding dirt over 20 years ago by my childhood best friend Victoria Hubáček (Hett) and her family.  They would host a lot of races for the community, and her mom would always tell us to keep busy and go ride while they were setting up— so I would get on her little brother's bike and follow her on the trails.  In retrospect, it’s pretty impressive because I would just ride without thinking about what I was actually doing and I did fine!  I only launched the bike into a creek once (sorry, Malcolm)!  

How long have you been riding?

I’ve been riding on the street for four years, and I only started taking dirt seriously again last summer. 

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Why do you like riding dirt?

I love how technical it is!  It’s a full body workout, and you’re never done learning and practicing. I love how many different facets there are from casual dual sport riding to intense Supercross.  To be honest, I haven't ridden much on the street since getting my dirt bike.  I’m hooked. 

Run us through the list of bikes you have had?

I have only had one dirt bike, my Husqvarna FE250.

What do you ride now?

The same Husqvarna FE250— a cute four-year-old named it “Mint.” I also have access to my boyfriend’s FE501, and I’m so stoked to give that bike a try! 

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

It’s so hard to pick just one, but I would have to go with the 2018 Husqvarna FC350 with a custom suspension from TNT Racing Development Inc. to get it flat track ready!  That’s one of my major riding goals for this year and I am already signed up for school with Flat Track Canada.  Just for fun, if I could have a third bike I would like Jason Anderson’s Rockstar Energy Husqvarna FC450 at the end of his season!  So if you’re reading this ElHombre, hit me up! 

Tell us what you love about the bike you ride now?

I love that it’s an FE model!  Meaning it has turn signals, headlight, and a license plate bracket so I can legally take it on the street as well as off-road. I also love that it’s a Husqvarna.  As a brand, they promote the adventure / exploring aspect of the sport which is something I can really get behind and relate to.

What kind of terrain do you like riding the best?

I’ve been told I’m crazy for thinking this, but I’d have to say sand!!  Maybe it’s because I am biased towards the desert and spend so much time there, but I enjoy how challenging the simplest things are in the sand.

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

Rocks.  I want to be able to get over the mental aspect of looking at a bed of jagged rocks and thinking about what it would feel like to fall on them.  So much about dirt biking is getting past the mental part and just committing.  I’m spending the last bit of winter in Arizona, so that’s a prime place to practice! 

What is the most challenging riding experience you have had?

The first time after I got my bike!  I picked up my shiny, brand new Husqvarna FE250 and the next day drove out to an all women’s dirt bike rally in Revelstoke, BC.  I figured that since I have been riding on the street for awhile that it can’t be that hard.  Holy crap, was I wrong!  Lexi Pechout was there teaching emergency braking, cornering, hill climbing, etc. and I was probably the least experienced person there.  I was hardly able to do anything and yet the next day I felt like I had ran a marathon!  Needless to say I had learned a lot that day and was able to apply it to the next time I rode. 

Where are some of your favorite places to ride?

My favourite spot to ride is a hidden gem just minutes from my place, called Hellbilly Ranch.  My cousin’s and their buds designed a compound with FMX jumps, MX tracks and a bit of single track.  Three days a week a close groups of friends all head out with their kids, dogs, and bikes and it’s the best vibe you can imagine.  I like to hit the MX track and make new goals for myself every time— like going up a gear, clearing the table top, getting higher into a jump, upping my endurance and staying out for more consecutive laps, etc.  It’s been such a great environment for me to practice and build confidence on my bike.  Maybe this season we can bring in some rocks and logs!!   

What is on your moto bucket list to ride?

I’ve always wanted to ride the Bolivia high desert!  They have one of the largest salt flats in the world with saguaros around the perimeter— it just looks so beautiful to me.  I would also love to do a Baja run on a 701 Enduro!  And an Isle of Man tour with David Knight!!  This next one may sound like a joke but I would also like to roll an actual Supercross track… just to say I did it.  I could go on!  Haha

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Do you ride with a lot of other female riders?

I do!  The evenings I spend out at Hellbilly Ranch there are always a bunch of rad women to ride with.  It’s awesome because we observe how we’re all advancing and progressing and encourage each other.  Alberta has a huge women’s dirt bike community and I am super pumped to be apart of that.  When I ride on the street I enjoy the solitude of riding alone, but on dirt I find it far more rewarding and enjoyable to be around other people. 

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

Victoria!!!  I met her when I was 5 years old walking down the street and noticed a new girl had moved into the neighbourhood!  I asked what her name was and have looked up to her ever since (in all aspects, not just moto).  She was pretty much raised on a dirt bike and I always thought that was the coolest thing.  She’s a very accomplished rider and has medalled in the ISDE multiple times and won multiple championships.  I never thought I would one day be riding along side her on a couple of Husqvarna’s on the backroads above Kalamalka Lake, but we did last summer, and it was awesome! 

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

I have been to two Babes Ride Out events and they both blew my mind.  I think the craziest thing for me is how over 1,500 women can get together and it still feels so open and freeing.  There’s no judgements on what you ride, wear or look like— just common ground for the love of two wheels.  There’s nothing like it out there!

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

Just take the plunge and do it!  It’s never too late, and you’re never too old.  

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Babes in the Dirt 4 | It's G-O Time Ladies!

ITS GO TIME!!!! Babes in the Dirt 4 is in full production mode and we are on site setting up to ensure you have the best time of your life! Since we are not available to answer all your emails while we build out the experience for you, read this entire post at it will answer 99.9% of your questions. 

Registration is closed but do not fret! If you missed the cutoff for registration, you can pay the $20 per non registered guest entrance fee at the gate + $10 parking per vehicle. Cash Only (Sorry! No wifi). Thanks for understanding <3 

Babes in the Dirt 4

The Basics

Welcome to our most bare'ish bones campout we produce, Babes in the Dirt. This email covers it all so if you still have a lingering question, this means you haven't (a) read this blog in its entirety, (b) gone to babesinthedirt.com and read all the information pertaining to every detail, or (c) the question is not something vital <3. Grab a coffee, sit back, and give us 3 minutes of your time to review the below. 

This year we did get some MAJOR upgrades so make sure you educate yourself on the amenities the site offers (click the events tab). There are no fire pits for grilling and coals are prohibited due to fire protocols. Small camp stoves are ok (Jetboil makes a great one!). A food truck is also on site (full menu is linked on babesinthedirt.com/events). Plan accordingly.

Rules and Regs

We know these are no brainers but we have to remind all guests one more time as violation of any of these rules & regs result in the attendee being kicked out immediately and banned from all future events. We take your safety and our guests safety VERY seriously.

  • Event is 21+
  • Ladies only :) 
  • Don't forget your $10 per car/ truck rv/ etc cash fee that must be paid at kiosk
  • Must have government issued ID to enter
  • HELMETS ON anytime a bike is in motion. Nothing will get an attendee kicked out faster than riding without a helmet. We have a 0 tolerance for "stupid". 
  • No drinking and riding. A ranger will escort anyone who apprears to be riding intoxicated off the property.
  • No ripping through camp on your bike or mini bike. Keep speeds low at all times when in camp. 
  • No burn outs or hot doggin. It's not only super lame but it damages the property. 
  • Trash must be properly disposed of. Please help us keep the site clean & leave no trace. 
  • Wristbands must be worn at all times. Do not take off until you leave for good as our staff will be checking.
  • Parking decals must stay visible
  • No Eazy Ups can be set up for safety reasons (far too windy!)
  • No burning of any kind at the camping spaces 
  • No charcoal grills are permitted
  • No one is allowed to hang banners or signage at their camp site. It obstructs the natural beauty of the park and  it's not fair to our sponsors who've put a lot of work into this event. 
  • 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. 

Alright! Now that the worst part is over, Let's get to the "what the hell do I bring" portion. By no means is this list the all mighty everything under the sun kind of list but rather necessities we think are important. As always, if you have special needs, pack what YOU need to stay comfortable. 

Camping Basics | What to Bring 

  • Tent (there are no trees for hammocks). Hot Tip: Pre-check your tent to ensure all parts are there. Nothing is worse than missing stakes, rods, or flys. 
  • Sleeping Pad 
  • Sleeping Bag Hot Tip (check weather to see temps to see if you'll need additional blankets)
  • Headlamp 
  • Water bottle and a gallon of water per person per day! There is NO drinkable water on site
  • Cooler full of snacks and adult beverages (extra favoritism points if you give Ashmore a Coors Light). 
  • Wet wipes / face wipes
  • Sunscreen! The weather is looking bright and cloudless! 
  • Basic toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, face lotion etc)
  • Portable phone charger
  • Hand sanitizer 
  • EXTRA toilet paper. It's for your own good. 
  • Your favorite pair of sweatpants to chill in
  • Camp chair
  • Trash bags. You are responsible for your garbage | leave no trace
  • Pillow (camp size)
  • Extra fuel for your moto
  • Clothes for warm days and cold nights (we will have Babes in the Dirt hoodies and windbreakers for sale!)
  • Your motocross gear if you have it
  • $$ always have cash on you no matter what. Where we are set up has 0 wifi so no credit cards can be used. 
  • $$ cash for merch (just wait until you see the Babes in the Dirt exclusive merch!)
  • $$ cash for food truck
  • $$ cash for coffee
  • Credit Cards (doing our best to get wifi)
  • Camera or GoPro
  • Positive mental attitude. Be nice, say hello to your neighbor, and remember, ladies are here because the love to ride dirt or are interested in it. 
  • HOT TIP: Before you start packing up, have your dirt bike serviced and ensure it has a spark arrestor BEFORE you come to the event. Tickets can cost up to $800 in fines as the state park takes fire prevention in California very seriously. As always, it is no one's responsibility but yours to fix ya hooptie so take it in and be confident that your bike will be a runner.

Have more questions? We have a feeling you might want to cruise babesinthedirt.com/events as everything that is slightly important can be found there w/ clickable links. If it's not there, relax, we promise it will be ok! 

Safe travels and see you at noon on Friday! 

-Babes in the Dirt 

Roll Call | Meet Fox Womens Nina Buitrago

Nina Buitrago is hands down the most influential woman in BMX. In college, she discovered her love for the sport when she didn’t have a car and turned to a bike. She went to the local dirt jumps with friends and was instantly hooked. Most recently, she was named by ESPN as one of the "20 most unstoppable women in action sports” and we aren’t surprised. Respected by everyone, Nina not only proves she can hang with the boys, but she is passionate about growing the BMX scene for women and showcasing their skills on a bike.

Nina embracing Babes in the Dirt&nbsp;

Nina embracing Babes in the Dirt 

How long have you been on the Fox program and what do you enjoy most about being a part of the team and representing the brand?

I am proud to officially have been with Fox since 2013.

Fox has deep roots from two-wheels, and it’s been an amazing partnership and adventure getting to discover my love for other two wheels: dirt bikes at Babes in the Dirt and mountain bikes at Crankworx!  Also, important to me is that Fox has nothing but love for women who shred, always innovative, and supportive of women and their needs to be comfortable no matter what kind of “shred” we are doing, head to toe!  No one wants to think twice about their gear, and I since day one with Fox I haven’t ever looked back.  

How was your experience at Babes in the Dirt 3?

So awesome!! I have a Harley Davidson sportster at home I rip around Austin, but I have always wanted to try riding dirt bikes and Babes in the Dirt seemed like it would be an ideal event to give it a shot!  Fox had a tent with gear to demo, Husqvarna had a fleet of bikes to demo, Flat Track Coffee was there to keep us caffeinated, 805 beer kept the karaoke going until midnight, haha, it was a blast!  I met so many rad ladies who road tripped from all over, got to go on so many rides, huge thank you to Fox for this experience I highly recommend this event for any of you want to try dirt bikes, and any gals who already ride bring your friends!!! Memories for a lifetime.

Babes in the Dirt

What brought you to Austin? 

One visit turned into an annual visit which eventually turned into every chance I could make it back to Austin until eventually I moved here 7 years ago.  The people, the food, the spots to ride, the great weather most of the year are what brought me here.  

Babes in the Dirt

You’re really into the music scene, name a few of your favorite bands?  

Aside from classics like Black Sabbath, Motörhead, MC5... living in Austin has me diggin some tunes by bands I recently got to see like Sheer Mag, Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats, and the Dirty Fence’s.

Nina Buitrago Babes in the Dirt
Nina Buitrago Babes in the Dirt