Husqvarna Motorcycles has been supporting this community since day 1. Yep, the first year we all gathered in the dirt there was about 60 riders and a bit of a hail storm and flash flood warning haha. None-the-less, Husqvarna believed in it and was there on site demo’ing bikes and talking to riders about technique. Since then, they have supported us more and more and we are so pleased to announce that they will be joining us for our Babes in the Dirt East event in Greeneville Tennessee this September! Stay tuned for demo sign ups and more info. But in the meantime lets take a little trip down memory lane with this amazing brand!
What a truly incredible weekend!!! This was our 5th year hosting our ladies only off-road campout at Hungry Valley State Park and by far our best year yet. It has been so rewarding to see ladies who started on dirt with us years ago on borrowed or rented bikes with borrowed gear now coming back on their own bikes with their own gear and ripping it up out there. To all the women that learned to ride for the first time or bettered their skills, conquered an obstacle they didn’t think they could, to those who came out to spend quality time on two wheels with friends new and old, YOU are what this is all about and we thank you! This community is full of such amazing and inspiring people and we are lucky to have you growing the sport with us.
So what went down this year for Babes in the Dirt 5? It was back to Quail Canyon MX park, our favorite off-road riding area just 1 hour north of LA. This private space is now our home and with an MX Track, GP track, peewee track , 6+ miles of private trails and direct connection to the entire trail system it could not be a better place to host 700+ for a weekend of good times, good friends and two wheels!
The weekend was jam packed with awesome thanks to our partners!
Husqvarna Motorcycles came out for the 5th year in a row. Yes, they were with us when we were 60 women in hail storm covered in mud! They brought out a brand new fleet of 30 demo bikes for Babes to enjoy and were able to get over 130 women out on the trails for one of their group rides. We hope everyone walked away as blown away as we are at how incredible these modern machines are and how much they can help to take your riding to the next level. By bringing out the crew of Coach 2 Ride, Husqvarna helped to give over 40 women an opportunity to try out a dirt bike for their very first time and learn the proper skills. We hope to see you all back out there next year, practice is everything. We cannot thank Husqvarna enough for what they are doing to grow the sport! Thank you to the Husqvarna team for believing in us and being such an integral part of growing this amazing community! If any ladies are interested in purchasing one of the demo bikes they rode please contact Jet World Powersports! They are hooking up Babes in the Dirt 5 attendees with KILLER deals! (Ashmore has already bought one of the FE250s from the Demo fleet!)
Fox Womens made sure that Babes were kitted out in the right gear that fit by offering roost protectors, Moto Boots, and helmets to any riders that needed them all weekend. We can’t stress the importance of having the proper fitting, quality gear when you are out on the track and trails. Fox hosts a survey at their booth every year where they give you the opportunity to share feedback on product. How cool is it to have a major brand like Fox actually listen to you in a way that affects the products they make. Thank you FOX for all that you do for women that ride! Please note that Cinderella moment above as Joy from Fox Racing fits a rider with her MX “slipper” for a perfect fit.
Toyota SoCal helped to take Babes in the Dirt 5 to the next level by turning our humble little pavilion into an awesome hang out zone! They brought the party by hosting a DJ dance party on Friday night and Karaoke contest on Saturday night. I mean really…. what is more fun than a dance party after a day of trail riding? We saw a ton of awesome Toyota rigs rolling in to camp and each and every one of them went home with a Toyota SoCal swag bag. Trophies ranging from mini bike races, to karaoke and dance contests were handed out throughout the weekend thanks to Toyota SoCal. You make off-roading easy!
FMF was there to support by hosting Mad Moose Media to shoot photos at the event. Each rider got a pro shot of them in action sent to their phone. We can’t wait to see everyone’s shots from the weekend. Post away ladies and make sure to tag FMF and Babes in the Dirt!
FMF has been around since 1973 with a goal of taking the most advanced machinery to its limit by building the world's best performing exhausts! One lucky winner was able to upgrade their ride by winning 1 free FMF exhaust this weekend at the raffle. Thank you for the support and for putting the !!!! in BRAAAAP!!!!!
The Kurt Caselli Foundation has been with us for 2 year now helping to promote safety and providing Ambulance support for our events (no that is not a Franco brother above) Thanks to them and their Riders First Responders Program, 30 attendees came out to Babes in the Dirt 5 as certified first responders fully trained in CPR. KC66 is such an amazing organization and we are honored to have Nancy Caselli participate in our riders meeting and inspire us and remind us that women that ride always have a place in this community and industry.
WLF Enduro came out for the 3rd year to provide trail support throughout the park and ride sweep on the Husqvarna Demo rides. It’s hard to even find a place to start with this amazing crew of people. They do so much for the riding community and it is a true honor to have them as a part of the Babes in the Dirt family! They spend the weekend helping to pick up bikes, tow motos back to camp, and guide lost riders and just give high fives to the total rippers! You will not find a better crew of people and their motto of Further Together runs throughout our event thanks to them. HUGE shout out to Brooke, Trieste, Kate, and Jenna aka SHEwolves for all of their help this weekend working the event. These awesome ladies put their time and energy in to helping out and we are so grateful!
Thousand Oaks Powersports spent the weekend wrenching! This shop came out for the 4th year in a row with their trackside support rig to help problem solve any bike issues and help to get ladies back on the trails. Thanks to them many riders were able to enjoy the rest of the weekend even after unforeseen bike issues.! Mark and crew put the tools in the attendees hands and helped to guide them while they fixed the bike TOGETHER. If their crew helped you out over the weekend make sure and give them a shout to say THANK YOU
The National Hare and Hound Association came to Babes in the Dirt 5 for the first time this year. They were on site to help answer any questions about getting in to racing. With decades of riding and racing under their belts these ladies provided so much info to so many riders! We hope to see more of you give racing a try! NHHA hosts a ton of ladies classes in their race series so check them out to see what’s happening in your area. The ladies of NHHA took our little mini bike races to the next level this year to say the least. With classes like 50 cc minis, 60-80cc’s, lemans start 125 cc, relay race, obstacle course race and the ever popular 2-Up Friendship race there was some fun for all. Quite the highlight of the weekend and endlessly entertaining to watch! Thank you for your support and to all the babes that participated in the races.
Brian Garrahan of Garrahan Off-Road Training taught over 100 women the proper skills of riding a dirtbike. With classes ranging from beginner to advanced him and his crew helped to get riders to the next level. Huge shout out to the champ herself Kacy Martinez for being there to coach and demo alongside Brian all weekend. This was such an incredible experience for so many riders. He offers ladies only classes once a month so make sure and check out his website if you want to take one of his classes! You will not regret it!
Our good friends at VC London came from across the pond to enjoy the weekend with us. Not only did they get to experience the beautiful terrain of Hungry Valley State Park by hitting the trails and track but they also participated in the Garrahan Off-Road Training course! It was so cool to host them at one of our favorite events. VC London also brought us the first ever Babes in the Dirt Team Talks featuring Leah Tokelove (Pro Flat Track Racer from the UK), Nina Buitrago (PRO freestyle BMX rider) and Kacy Martinez (AMA Lifetime achievement award recipient and 2018 Endurocross Champion among a long list of other outdoor championships) It was so inspiring to hear their stories of how they got in to a life on two wheels. Thank you VC London for sharing this with us!
To the awesome staff and crew of Hungry Valley State Park. This is our 5th year there! They spend so much time prepping the track and trails for all the Babes and not to mention the clean up crew giving it their all. Thanks to them we have this amazing space to share with everyone on one of the best weekends of the year.
What we all have built together is truly awesome! We are all leaving this weekend with full hearts and sore muscles. If you enjoyed yourself this weekend will be surviving on throwback for the next few months like we will then please join us for the first ever Babes in the Dirt East!
Photos by Heidi Zumbrun
Its almost impossible to put into words how much we appreciate the team over at Husqvarna USA. Ever since day one, they have believed in our movement to strengthen the ladies off-road community and have been the absolute best to work with on all Babes in the Dirt initiatives. Ask anyone of them and they will tell you “Its not what you ride, or how you ride, just as long as you are out there having fun”. Their passion for motorcycles (street and dirt) has been fuel to the fire of what we do. We encourage you to stop by their booth, check out the demo bikes, ask questions, and say “hi!” as they can’t wait to meet you all at Babes in the Dirt 5 this weekend.
Andy Jefferson of Victorville, CA began racing in 1976 and won his first professional purse race at De Anza Cycle Park in 1979. He raced as privateer on a Suzuki until an injury in 1981 and in October of 1981 he received a phone call from Mitch Payton of Pro Circuit Husqvarna offering him the opportunity of a full factory ride. This began Andy’s career on a Husqvarna racing all over Southern California chasing the CMC Series number 1 plate. He also raced selected nationals and supercrosses with his best finish in supercross at 17th place and earning a 10th place at Saddleback National 500cc Motocross overall. Andy retired from professional racing in 1985 due to injury. After 1985 he continued riding and remained relevant to the industry. In 2010 Andy took an after sales manager position with the re-branded Italian made Husky’s and followed the brand after the 2013 acquisition by KTM Group. He now currently serves as the Media Relations Manager for Husqvarna Motorcycles. This will be his fourth year at Babes in the Dirt, affectionately known as Andy’s favorite event of the year.
Hi Babes! My name is Taylor, and I recently moved from a Husqvarna specific Marketing Specialist position to a KTM Group Marketing position. Now, not only am I working on advertising, PR, and media for Husqvarna Motorcycles; I am working on it for KTM as well. It is an exciting new role and what makes it even better is I still get to participate in the best event of the year! This is my fourth Babes in the Dirt and every year that I have attended, has been one I will never forget. I started riding when I was a kid with my entire family. From there, I moved to racing truck and buggies. My passion for off-road and action sports runs deep and I am lucky to work in an industry that I love. Seeing ladies who are new to dirt and even new to riding anything two wheels is exciting and enforces why I love BITD so much! Anya and Ashmore pour their hearts into this event and it shows. Thank you for allowing me to be such a big part of the event and I look forward to seeing everyone out there and ready to ride! Come say hi!!
My two-wheel background began in the early 2000’s in the mountain bike industry working for Intense Cycles in Temecula, CA. I have been with Husqvarna Motorcycles since shortly after the acquisition by KTM a little over 5 years ago. I was hired as the Office Administrator but hopeful that a foot in the door would lead to growth opportunities within the company. I am in my fifth year with the company and my current role is Marketing Specialist.
Aside from my daily duties of tracking print and digital press, I manage all brand social media and coordinate efforts for special partnered projects and demo events such as Babes in the Dirt. I work closely with the events team to translate the marketing message for Husqvarna Motorcycles by bringing awareness to the brand.
I have been riding motorcycles for a little over six years and although I have had my M1 endorsement for that entire time, I have only really been riding on the street for about 2 and half years. Before I felt confident enough to get on the road, I took my time learning to ride. I became a better rider through coaching at MX and road course track days and I jumped at every opportunity to ride off-road with riders more skilled than me. My coworkers and the motorcycling community I’m part of have always lent an encouraging and helpful hand in my growth as a rider. Outside office hours I spend time with my 16-year-old son Ethan. I ride motorcycles often, travel, and enjoy strengthening my friendships and picking up new hobbies.
Thanks for having us again, the fifth year, WOW! Our entire team loves seeing the happiness that comes with the love of motorcycling brought to new riders and new fans of Husqvarna
ANTHONY DA GRACA
My name is Anthony da Graca AKA “Meatball” I’m the Media Relations Specialist at Husqvarna Motorcycles. I’ve been in this position for a little over 3 years now. My role in the company is to build and prep our dirt bikes and street bikes for magazine testing and articles, I attend media motorcycle shootouts, to ensure that the motorcycles are set up for each test rider in order to provide the best feedback possible. This will be my 4th Babes in the Dirt and I’m really looking forward to being involved in another one. I started racing dirt bikes when I was 16 all just for fun. On my free time I enjoy going riding on the weekends and relaxing at home to mentally prepare myself for every Monday.
Hello, my name is Scott Burtness, I am the Event Specialist here at Husqvarna Motorcycles. My role consists of scheduling events, mechanical work for all the demo and event bikes and looking after special projects for brand ambassadors. I have been working in the industry for 10 years and here at Husqvarna for 2 and a half, in that time I have been part of a lot of special things, from working with and on the bikes of past champions to someone riding a motorcycle for the very first time. I also work with people who have been around motorcycles their whole life and still have the same love for motorcycles that they did when they first started riding! I got my first dirt bike when I was 10 years old, but my love for motorcycles started around the age of 6, when I watched my first Supercross race, from then on, I was hooked! The motorcycling community is very special, and I love being part of it!
1995 was a year that changed my life forever. In that year I had been introduced to my first motorcycling experience. I am not like most of the riders you hear about today that have been riding since they were in diapers. I was well into my awkward preteen years and it took seeing a supercross on TV and making the connection to a couple of old rust buckets in the garage to capture my interest.
You see motorcycles were a huge part of my family on my paternal side and these old rust buckets would be an important connection point to many of the males in my family. My grandfather had been an owner of a motorcycle shop in Norwalk, California in the 50s and 60s and sponsored many racers in all facets of motorcycle racing – from flat track to hare scrambles and anything in-between. He himself also raced, and at a young age (maybe too young) had my dad and uncle racing. My aunt also rode, and even my grandma threw a leg over sometimes!
1995 would mark the return of the iconic Lake Elsinore Grand Prix and my dad would rebuild one of those cobweb collectors to race in the vintage and legends classes. It was a 1972 Husqvarna 450 and was adorned with a metal fuel tank, which is iconic to that era of Husqvarna Motorcycles. My dad spent almost 11 months working with a vintage motorcycle shop in San Marcos, California rebuilding the machine and restoring it to its former glory. I remember the very first time that I ever rode on a motorcycle. My dad finally got one of the bikes home and started it up. I hopped on with him and we ripped around the properties and through a hole in the back fence
which opened into some rugged, hilly, rocky, terrain. It was loud as hell and vibrated like a jack hammer. All the neighborhood boys had the newest Kawasakis and Yamahas, and laughed at my dad’s old Husky. But I really didn’t care. I didn’t have an understanding of what “cool” was yet and to me this was it. It was also the first time I ever thought my dad was cool (and he was a rodeo cowboy, military veteran, fire fighter!). Plus, the Husky was foreign to me and everyone else, somehow making it cool in its own right. It was also the first time I ever felt connected to a place outside of the US – Sweden. I knew I was part Swedish myself, but a Swedish dirtbike really made me feel cultured and unique.
Shortly after my dad alongside my grandfather returned to racing at that Lake Elsinore Grand Prix and our interest in watching Supercross and Motocross on TV grew, my dad got my brother and I our first dirtbike (which we had to share). It was a 1990 Yamaha PeeWee 80 and it was ugly as sin. My dad tried to modernize it for us by adding some modern blue plastics to the pink, purple and white colorway – but it just got uglier. Plus, I might have been already a bit too tall for it at 10 years old, but we rode it into the ground (and once into a tree). Not too many years later, I graduated to a shiny new TTR125 which was the best bike for me as a young teenager with the skill level I had. I enjoyed pinning it through the wash but wasn’t too fond if taking it off jumps yet. We enjoyed growing up with enough space to have an off-road loop and our own mini moto track which was built by an industry track building professional. We also enjoyed trips to the desert and local moto tracks. I, however, feel my skill level on a bike is still somewhere between where I was at during my time on the PW80 and the TTR125.
As time went on I got more interested in other things besides riding dirtbikes (like dirtbike riders) and stopped riding. I went off to college and upon graduating found myself working as a personal banker (completely unrelated to any career path I had ever wanted to pursue in life). In 2011, after a very unusual twist of fate, a random stranger reconnected me to an old friend who had told me that there was a job opening at his company for a marketing coordinator – that company was Husqvarna Motorcycles. “HUSQVARNA STILL MAKES MOTORCYCLES?!” I exclaimed. Having been submerged into dirtbikes and motocross my whole life, I surprisingly had never wanted work in the industry. But Husqvarna Motorcycles?! This was the coolest brand, with such a rich heritage and provided a deep connection to the men in my family. I couldn’t believe they were still in existence and seeking to remerge in the scene. I took the job with Husqvarna (then owned by BMW), became a rockstar in my family and learned from some of the industries coolest people (including current colleague, Andy Jefferson). After a couple of years, the brand was sold to Pierer Industries and was realigned under the KTM Group umbrella. Through the transition I took on a role in KTM sales department but it wasn’t long before the Husqvarna brand was ready to take off again and I found myself heading up the marketing efforts, with the support of industry legend, Mark Blackwell.
Now the marketing manager for North America, I have a small but solid team that absolutely lives and breathes all things Husqvarna and together
we look after all aspects of marketing including PR, advertising, social media, motorsports, events and other marketing communications activities. We cover all segments of the brand from off-road to street, racing to lifestyle. I also serve on the executive board of a not-for-profit corporation known as the U.S. Motorcycle Coaching Association aimed at growing the sport of motorcycling. This is our fourth year being a part of Babes in the Dirt, and my third year attending. It is our favorite event of the year because the people are rad and the experience is priceless.
I'm the Marketing Manager for Husqvarna Motorcyles Canada. As I write this we still have snow on the ground in many places in Canada so myself and our Canadian Husqvarna Motorcyles ambassadors Lexi Pechout and Desirae Hildebrand are super excited to be heading down for another edition of Babes in the Dirt!
This will be my second time venturing down to Babes. As an action and outdoor sports participant and marketer for 20 years, I was blown away last year by the community spirit and camaraderie of 700+ lady riders that came from throughout the United States and Canada. The diversity of riding levels was amazing to see.
I've been a recreational off-road rider for a few years and last summer I completed 40 hours of rigorous training in Montreal to get my street license. As a long time, snowboarder and mountain biker I'm now absolutely loving off-road riding more than ever now that I have some motorcycle training under my belt! So many skills/ fundamentals cross-over from other sports. (DO NOT LOOK AT THE TREE!)
I still may be a bit slow but there are so many women in this community that inspire me to improve and get faster each season. Meeting women that are absolutely ripping after 2 seasons is so rad. I will be fast!
I look forward to meeting all of you when you come and see us for your Husqvarna Demo rides!
Hi Babes! I started my career in the motorcycle industry at Thor Motocross. During my time at Thor, I worked in various roles, including supporting sales and marketing, and sports marketing with athlete relations. Athlete relations was where I found my true passion, and eventually I moved into the role of Amateur Motocross Team Manager. My role included contracting top amateurs and planning race events, social media and maintaining OEM sponsorship requirements.
After 12 years at Thor, I decided to make a change in my career. I moved to Hanoi, Vietnam where I taught English to Vietnamese students. While in Hanoi, I worked for a program funded by the US Embassy, English Access Microscholarship Program. The students earned scholarships to the program where they learned English, American geography, customs and holidays. In addition to that, students also worked on an initiative; Helmets 4 Hanoi, where students performed different activities to encourage youth of Hanoi to wear helmets while riding on motorcycles.
After a year in Hanoi, I came back to San Diego where I started my career at the KTM Group (KTM, Husqvarna and WP) as an Event Planner. I’ve had the opportunity to plan events for all three brands. These motorsports-driven events have included global and national press launches, team introductions, dealer meetings, consumer facing events, and motorcycle rallies in the US, Canada and Mexico. I recently received my motorcycle endorsement and I’m excited to take the streets on two wheels. I’m even more excited to experience my first Babes in the Dirt!
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