off-roading

Stacy Dixon & the Dirt Ladies do LA-Barstow-Vegas

2 days and 400+ miles off-road sound fun to you? Us too! Stacy Dixon @pikeylady and @dirt_ladies did the LA-Barstow-Vegas dualsport ride last week and are sharing there awesome story with us. Adventures like these are filled with triumphs and mishaps that help shape us all in to better and more prepared riders. Read on to hear more about her experience and the advice she has for other riders thinking of joining in the fun. Congrats on crossing the finish line babes!

babes in the dirt

Name:

Stacy Dixon (@pikeylady)

Where do you live?

Lancaster, CA 

How long have you been riding?

I’ve been riding dirt on and off for about 8 years, and street for about 2.

What bike do you ride?

For dirt and racing, I ride a 2017 KTM Freeride 250R (two stroke!), and for long moto camping trips or street rides, I use my 2014 Honda CB500X. I’ve turned it into a mini adventure bike.

What is LA to Barstow to Vegas?

LAB2V is a self-guided, two-day dual sport ride that’s been running for 35 years! It attracts hundreds of riders on everything from vintage bikes, to sidehacks, adventure bikes and dual sports. Any street legal bike is welcome, and it’s cool to see what kind of bikes people have used to complete this ride. The routes and mileage vary a bit every year, but it usually totals around 450 miles over two days. It starts in north LA County (Palmdale, CA), stopping in Barstow, CA the first day, then continuing on to Las Vegas the second day. The terrain includes sand, rocks, whoops, gravel, pavement and everything in between. Fortunately though, LAB2V plots multiple route options to suite all kinds of riding abilities. There is the standard “Easy Route”, which is primarily off-road and great for the average dual sport. For those who like to be challenged, there are “Hard Routes” which periodically break away from the Easy Route and contain enduro obstacles like rock gardens, deep sand, boulders and step ups. There are also some “Bail Out” options. If you’re on a heavy adventure bike or need to make up lost time, you can choose to take a stretch of pavement or a well maintained dirt road and give yourself a break.

 

What made you want to participate in LAB2V?

This year it was a matter of continuing what’s become a new Thanksgiving tradition for me, and riding my favorite dual sport event. My first LAB2V was in 2016 after buying my first dual sport and finally getting my motorcycle license. I had always felt so intimidated by street and dual sport riding, but I also couldn’t ignore the desire to try it, and I love a good endurance challenge. One obstacle I faced back then was that I didn’t have a lot of riding buddies, and I didn’t know anyone who wanted to do the ride with me. But I wanted to try it so bad that I was prepared to ride LAB2V solo. I spent months researching the ride and prepping and I had the support of my Mom, who agreed to drive a chase vehicle and help me with pit stops. I also had the peace of mind of there being an amazing volunteer group that puts on the event, including sweep crews, Rescue 3, and experienced riders that were full of helpful tips. The week before the 2016 LAB2V ride, I met someone on a District 37 forum who matched my riding style and also wanted to give it a try. So that year, I showed up to the start, barely knowing that one other person, and we set out on the ride. He wound up crashing towards the end of the first day and couldn’t continue, so I rode and navigated day two by myself. It was a little scary, and my bike gave me a lot of problems that forced me to finish the ride on a bail out. I think I was the very last person into Vegas after dark, but I finished! I also met some good people on that ride and through the social media afterwards, including the amazing Sara Dinges (@dualsportwomen). In 2017, I rode LAB2V again with much better luck, and this year was my third ride!

babes in the dirt

 

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

This ride requires a lot of prep! Every year, I’ve actually made a spreadsheet months in advance to keep track of what I need to buy, do and pack so I don’t forget. This year I decided to do some bike upgrades before the ride: a Seat Concepts seat, TUbliss system, JD Jetting kit, new tires, and a Giant Loop gas bag to go with my Giant Loop Mojave saddlebags. My bike’s fuel tank is less than 2 gallons (with no aftermarket options) and LAB2V fuel stops can be 100+/- miles apart, so carrying extra fuel was absolutely necessary. After the upgrades, my amazing friends Ruben Arizaga and Hollie West helped me with hours of bike work including an oil change, new brakes, a carb clean and rebuild, silencer repacking, air filter cleaning and prep, new fork seals, and an overall deep clean and inspection. My fellow LAB2V rider Christina and her boyfriend Giancarlo also provided some much needed mechanical help the weekend before the ride. Then there were the logistics: ensuring my 6-year-old son was taken care of during the ride, booking hotel rooms in Barstow and Vegas, coordinating with the other riders, getting time off work, and organizing the ride home. I also made sure I had all my trail gadgets ready to go: my Antigravity XP10 battery pack (my bike doesn’t have a kick starter) and mini compressor, Garmin Montana GPS, SPOT tracker, Tusk helmet lights just in case, and a GoPro for the fun sections.

Who did you ride with?

This year I was excited to have three women riders with me, and it was their first LAB2V. I rode with Christina (@motorobot), Erica Kim (@itsericakim) and Casey Jaeckel (@tonedapollo), who was recovering from a broken wrist due to a recent street bike accident (such a trooper!). I’ve ridden trails with Christina, who is also on a KTM Freeride, and she put me in touch with Erica and Casey through our Dirt Ladies group.  

babes in the dirt

Tell us about the ride, any mishaps? Did ya get lost? How was the terrain? Any particular challenging sections?

As usual, the ride starts the Friday after Thanksgiving in Palmdale, CA.  We were in line for tech inspection around 5:30am, and there were already hundreds of bikes ready to go! After tech inspection, I picked up maps, a roll chart, rider instructions and GPS tracks for Day 1, then regrouped with the girls to make a game plan. Since I had some experience, I was asked to the group and navigate. Our chase crew included my mom Lori driving the MotoMinivan, Christina’s boyfriend and our team mechanic Giancarlo in a truck with their two pups, and Casey’s friend Kyle, who was also keeping an eye on two other LAB2V riders. We all confirmed where our first pit stop location would be, then hit the road.

As we made our way north to California City, I kept looking in my mirror and thinking how cool it was to see three badass, brave women taking on this new adventure. We kept up a great intermediate pace, and were staying on schedule to make it to Barstow before sunset. Although we carried extra lights for night riding, we didn’t want to use them! After the first gas stop, we headed east towards the lunch location in Johannesburg. Along the way, we decided to test our first Hard Route opportunity in Last Chance Canyon. There were some bottlenecks with other riders once we hit the deep sand and rock sections, which made riding through the obstacles even more challenging. With Casey’s injury, she made the very smart call to preserve her wrist and go back to the less crowded route, with Erica by her side. We communicated to our chase crew that we were briefly splitting up, then continued on. Christina and I put our two strokes through their paces in the long stretches of rocks and deep sand before meeting back up with Erica and Casey at the end of the canyon. It was at that point that Casey was having trouble getting her bike started. Some friends of ours, Billy and Joe passed by and they were able to get Casey’s bike running well enough to get back to the main road, and be picked up by our chase crew. Once again, Casey’s selflessness insisted that we press on while she figured out the fate of her poor CRF.

The trail was from there was fun and flowing, with amazing views overlooking Searles Valley. Then we arrived at a steep downhill with a bit of a rut, which is my biggest fear in riding. I know how I’m supposed to ride downhills, but executing it is another story. As I looked down the hill I saw a vintage XL600 on its side part way down, with its rider looking stuck and unable to fully lift the behemoth of a bike. I got off my Freeride and walked (slid) down to assist. As I helped him lift his machine, I learned he had no front brake! The bike would quickly pick up speed when we lifted it, pulling us all back down to the ground. We decided to push the XL on its side into the rut for leverage, where it could be stood up and walked down in gear, using the clutch as a brake. After the rider caught his breath and expressed his gratitude, he was able to get down the hill more safely. The other riders now had a clear path down, including Christina, who tackled that downhill like a pro. Fearless and confident, she rode down flawlessly as I watched from the rut. Then I realized I still had to walk back up to my bike! This made me realize how steep the hill felt and made me psych myself out even more. Despite being inspired by Christina’s success, I didn’t feel confident about riding down, and I wound up walking my bike halfway down the hill too. I got back on my bike and coasted to the base of the hill, where it plateaued before descending again into a second hill. I tend to be a stubbornly cautious rider, especially in the middle of a 400-mile ride. 

Our entire group reorganized at the lunch stop in Johannesburg, where my mom greeted us with sandwiches, gasoline and ibuprofen. Casey’s bike was still in the truck, where it would stay until we could get to Barstow and let Giancarlo take a crack at getting it running well enough for day two. After a well-deserved lunch break, Erica, Christina and I got back on the road. Johannesburg to Barstow had a lot of fast, flat sections, and it was fun to open up the bikes after all the previous rocks and ruts. The very last dirt stretch of the day was a long, wide whooped out dirt road just outside of Barstow. This is where Erica really showed her speed and skill, as she opened up her 250 and flew across every rut and whoop section with ease. This girl can rip!

We eventually rolled into Barstow to end day one around 4pm, an hour before sunset and ahead of many other riders. I was proud of our pace as we picked up our roll charts and GPS tracks for day two. I immediately started bike prep before my fatigue totally set in. For me, that meant topping off my gas tank and gas bag, swapping out my air filter, replenishing my camelbak, cleaning and lubing the bike’s chain, checking tire pressure, mixing gas for tomorrow’s pit stops, charging all my electronics, loading the new roll chart, and previewing tomorrow’s route options as part of my navigator duties. All I wanted to do was eat and sleep but this ride is all about prep. Giancarlo already had Casey’s bike torn apart by that time and he discovered that, despite his outstanding efforts, the bike simply required new parts and wasn’t reliable enough to ride day two. We were heartbroken that Casey’s ride had come to an end so early in the weekend, but thankful that she stuck around and continued supporting her friends for day two. After carb-loading at the best Italian restaurant in Barstow, we got some rest before another early morning start.  

The next morning we were all a bit sore and were starting to feel the muscle fatigue. Despite how much we wanted to ride the super rocky Hard Route through Calico Canyon that morning, we decided to stick to the Easy Routes and save our energy for Red Rock Canyon at the end of the day, which for me last year, was the highlight of the ride. We left Barstow and rode alongside the Calico Mountains for a bit. It was so difficult to pass up the Hard Route turnoffs into the canyon, but I felt that staying conservative was the best option for the group to get to Vegas while the sun was still up. A small consolation for missing out on the rocky canyon was watching the still-visible full moon hang over the mountain ridges while the sunrise cast long shadows of our bikes on the short stretch of pavement past Calico. It’s easy to get caught up in the fast pace of the ride, but I tried to remember to look up and enjoy the beautiful scenery that we are fortunate enough to be able to ride through.

The pavement faded to dirt and the dirt to sand in a canyon. This turned that beautiful sunrise into a challenging one, as we were now heading directly east in clouds of hazy dust. Ultimately, we popped out onto some fast, wide dirt roads that paralleled powerlines and railroad tracks near Yermo, and the wind helped clear the dust. Giancarlo met us at a railroad crossing so Christina and I could top off our small tanks before the next gas stop in Baker. As we headed off towards our first checkpoint, we turned on to the sandy and curvy Powerline Road. I could see that Christina and Erica were eager to click through some gears behind me, so I waved them on ahead, knowing that navigation wasn’t going to be an issue for several miles. Moments later, I came around a corner to see a group of riders huddled around someone on the ground near a small washout on the left side of the road. Then I saw a Freeride with no one on it and my heart sank. But just as quickly, Christina’s face appeared through the small crowd as she was sitting upright and looking my way with a slightly bloody half grin. I knew then that she was okay… relatively speaking. Erica was by her side and so were a handful of other riders who had stopped to check on her. Christina took some time to recover and felt good enough to press on, so we did. We sped off towards Baker, home of the World’s Tallest Thermometer, and arrived there just before 9:30am. We were still ahead of schedule to be able to ride Red Rock that afternoon, and we took advantage of that with a long break. Giancarlo went to work fixing a few things on Christina’s bike while Erica and I indulged in more of Mom’s sandwiches.

After Baker, it was a quick 50ish miles to Sandy Valley, a tiny little town in Nevada where we were served a hot lunch by the local student council at an elementary school. Once again, the volunteers that come together for this event are amazing! We realized that Christina’s front tire had a slow leak after her crash, so a repair was in order. Giancarlo saved the day with a post-lunch tire fix that allowed Christina’s Freeride to keep going. With a little time lost on the tire change and an ankle issue creeping up on Erica, we decided to take what can only be described as a dirt highway from Sandy Valley to the entrance of Red Rock Canyon to make up some time. On this final leg of the trip, we had a couple other friends tagging along as well: Scott and Ichi.

We arrived at the start of the Red Rock Canyon Hard Route and were immediately greeted with some fun, winding single track leading us to the base of the canyon. We twisted our way through stone-filled dips and climbs until we arrived at a rocky downhill, where sheets of dark red shale were stacked like stairs covered in loose rocks and small boulders of the same color. This place was appropriately named. The downhill ended with a sharp right turn into deep, deep sand where other riders’ tracks wound tightly around Joshua trees and more rocks. I had to keep looking up from the faint trail to find the signature LAB2V ribbon markings and make sure we stayed on course. The sand ended into a deep wash filled with nothing but rocks and boulders, with gravel underneath. Some parts were narrow enough for only a single bike to fit through and the wash’s walls came up over our handlebars at times. But I felt like a kid in a candy store. My little Freeride was built for this type of terrain and my excitement outweighed my fatigue. My bike gobbled up the rocks and crawled up a few small step ups without issue. Eventually the wash widened and leveled out a bit, so I stopped to check navigation while waiting for the others.  

I realized the roll chart and GPS both alluded to a right turn that I had missed, which could get us back to the main road more quickly. This was the first time on the ride that I felt uncertain about navigation, and I certainly didn’t want to lead the group through more enduro riding then they had to, since shadows were getting long and muscles were getting tired. The group caught up and took a break while I turned around and unsuccessfully tried to find a cutoff back to the main road. Other riders passing by confirmed that they didn’t see a turn either, so I double backed to my group. We decided to keep following the wash, since more riders were heading that way as well and none of them had turned back around. It wound up working out and we reached the blacktop a short while later. I linked back up with the GPS track and I knew we were around the corner from the grand finale. 

After a very brief paved reprieve, we were back on winding dirt two track, ascending to the rock garden at the peak of Rocky Gap Rd that seems like the most sought after section of Red Rock and the LAB2V ride itself. I arrived at the peak to find 4x4s blocking all the non-Jarvis lines through the first stage of rocks and step ups. Some riders tried going around the trucks but were having trouble because the lines were nonexistent. Ichi hopped off his bike and assisted the riders ahead of us. Eventually the trucks moved but I was already set up for a less-than ideal line choice. I tried it anyway and dropped my bike. I repositioned, and gave it another shot, and successfully crawled up the first rock face, with Ichi spotting me just in case. He stayed behind and helped some others while I charged ahead with Scott right behind me. There were more 4x4s coming towards us on the trail, which took away more line choices, but we were there for a challenge anyway. I bounced around from one rock to the next, smiling and feeling at home in the rocks. Within minutes, the hardest part of the section was over and it was just a matter of flowing back down some rocky two track before emerging into the beautiful Red Rock Park.

One of the best parts of the ride, is the sense of accomplishment felt when reaching the pavement after Red Rock Canyon. The dirt portion of the ride was over, and I could see a glimpse of the Vegas skyline poking up between the Red Rocks and horizon. I felt so proud of our little group for finishing despite the challenges along the way. I was elated to riding into town, even though we had to jump on the freeway momentarily and caught every red light down Flamingo Blvd on our way to the finish line at The Orleans Casino.  We pulled into The Orleans’ parking garage around 4:30pm, with the last bits of daylights fading behind us. My mom and Giancarlo were waiting proudly at the finish, taking pictures and sharing in our excitement. After some high fives and two stroke revs, we lined up to have our picture taken with Santa Claus and two Vegas showgirls; a traditional LAB2V finish. 

I loaded up my bike and gear in the MotoMinivan, then and rushed to my hotel for that long awaited shower. Next it was time for the LAB2V rider’s banquet inside one of the casino’s ballrooms, which is a cool ending to the event filled with awesome giveaways, photos, drinks and grub. For those who stayed in Vegas through Sunday night, there was an LAB2V bowling event also at The Orleans, which I participated in for the first time this year. My bowling team happened to also win the 50/50 pot that night, so thanks to my teammates Dave, Abigail, and John!

babes in the dirt

 

How was the navigation?

It takes some practice, but this year I felt more confident with navigation and was able to lead the group without getting lost. I use the mandatory roll chart issued by LAB2V, alongside my Garmin, which is loaded with LAB2V tracks before the start of each day. I also carried a SPOT tracker, which was a huge help to our chase crew. They could see our movements every few minutes on an app and receive check-in messages that we were okay when we stopped.

 

Were there a lot of ladies on the ride?

I didn’t hear the official count this year, but the last couple years there were less than 20 women riding out of over 550 participants. That makes it even more awesome to have a group of 4 women take on this ride together! We hope to inspire more female participation by sharing our experience and giving women a resource for information about the ride and how to prepare.

 

Tell us about some of the people you met.

Because of the Sunday night bowling event, I was able to spend time with some of the volunteer 4x4 sweep crews, and learned even more about what they do. One of the volunteers, Abigail Williams, was on her second year of teaming up with her husband and using their truck to rescue several bikes and riders each day. Sweep’s job is stay behind all the riders and help get every last broken bike or stranded person safely off the trails. No one gets left in the desert because of these amazing volunteers and their collaboration with Rescue 3. We can’t thank them enough for their efforts.

Favorite part? Least favorite part?

My favorite part was definitely Red Rock canyon. It offers some challenging but rideable enduro obstacles in the middle of gorgeous scenery at the end of an amazing ride. My least favorite part was that steep downhill, and there is definitely LAB2V drone footage that proves my discontent. Maybe someday I’ll get over my fear and tackle it the “right” way.  

babes in the dirt

Would you do it again?

Absolutely! I hope I get to do this ride every single year, and some day, I’d love to be able to ride LAB2V with my son. He’s only 6, so it’s gonna be awhile! This year, there was an 85 year old man that completed the ride, so there’s no shortage of inspiration when it comes to returning year after year. 

Any suggestions for ladies wanting to participate next year?

Here’s some essential tips:

1)     You don’t need a 500cc, high speed desert rocket to do this long ride. Reliability is key, and you’ll be much happier on a smaller, lighter bike that you’re comfortable picking up multiple times. You’ll need to be able to hold onto it for 8-10 hours straight for two consecutive days. All our girls rode light 250s at a steady, consistent pace and did great.  

2)     You also don’t need a bunch of bike upgrades and gadgets to make this ride happen. My first year, I just used what I had and learned what was essential for the next year. If you love it enough, you’ll accumulate the “nice to haves” over the years as your budget allows. I’ve also borrowed friends’ gear before, and pooled resources with other riders. And don’t forget to get creative! Padded bicycle shorts can be a life saver when an upgraded moto seat is not in the budget. Fuel bottles can be carried instead buying an aftermarket tank. And you can buy an old, cheap smart phone on eBay and load it with a GPS app as opposed to spending hundreds on a dedicated GPS unit.

 3)     Start prepping months before the ride. This includes bike maintenance and training. Ride as much as you can before LAB2V to prevent things like arm pump, blisters and cramps. The gym is helpful too, but nothing beats seat time. The more you ride, the easier it gets.

 4)     Do a shakedown ride during the weeks before LAB2V using all the gear you plan to wear and pack for the ride, and consider the temperatures you’ll be facing. Give yourself time to fix any issues you find before Thanksgiving.

5)     Practice navigating ahead of time, or better yet, find a buddy that’s done the ride before and is comfortable navigating and leading. That way you can focus on enjoying the journey during your ride, and maybe learn navigation along the way. Babes in the Dirt would be a great place to network for LAB2V riders and navigation experts, as well as various dual sport groups on social media, like @Dirt_Ladies and @dualsportwomen.

babes in the dirt





 

Meet Stephanie Anderson @throttlefortwo and her Husqvarna FE350S

She has been riding for over 20 years and been coming to Babes in the Dirt for the past 2! Stephanie has ridden some of our bucket list locations and constantly has us drooling over her awesomely remote photos on the trails. We caught up with her to hear more about her life on two wheels, love of her Husqvarna FE 350 S and her lust for the new fuel injected 2-stroke TE 250i.

babes in the dirt

What is your name?

- Stephanie Anderson

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

- Well, for a few more days I am a Property Manager of a mobile home park, but as of next week, I will be unemployed for a few months.  Me, my husband, and our two Siberian Huskies, will be traveling around the country with our travel trailer and motos in search of a new place to call home and start our own business.

Where are you from?

- San Diego/Temecula, CA

Where do you live?

- Mammoth Lakes, CA

babes in the dirt

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

- When we moved to Temecula in the mid-90’s, dirt was pretty much everywhere, so I was lucky enough to make friends with kids in school that grew up riding quads and dirt bikes.  Unfortunately, my parents never let me have my own dirt bike as they were always worried I would seriously injure myself (which, now that I’ve crashed at least a dozen times and broken my fair share of bones, I can see why J).  So I spent most of my younger years on a variety of friend’s loaner bikes cruising around the wine country and out in the southern California deserts (Ocotillo Wells/Glamis).  

How long have you been riding?

- About 20 years, but more actively for about that last 10.

Why do you like riding dirt?

- I like riding dirt for too many reasons to list!  But one of the main reasons is that it opens a whole new world of places to go and things to see.  There’s no better feeling than being able to take a spontaneous trip down a random dirt road and find that it leads to a secluded lake, or takes you to the top of a mountain with 360-degree views.  Not to mention, you can take dirt detours when there is traffic J.

Run us through the list of bikes you have had?

- Handful of CRF/XR 50s

- 2013 Honda CRF150R

- 2014 Kawasaki KX250F

What do you ride now?

- 2016 Husqvarna FE350S

- 1980 Honda XL250S

babes in the dirt

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

- A new fuel injected 2-stroke Husqvarna, of course ! Actually, as much as I would absolutely LOVE a new TE 250i, I would really like to add more of an adventure bike to the collection.  Our ultimate dream is to take an international motorcycle trip, and having a bike that can still handle dirt, but also be able to put down some serious road miles with a full load of camping gear would be optimal.  What exact bike that is, I really have no idea yet, but I am hoping over the course of the next 5 or so years, manufacturers will continue to cater to smaller riders such as myself, and I will have more options. 

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

- The FE350S is the ultimate adventure mobile!  There aren’t a lot of motorcycles that you can say are completely capable in (and meant for) the dirt, but also street legal.  We can be on technical single track one minute, and then cruising the highway through Yosemite the next.  The places we can go are almost endless!  Also, because of fuel injection!!!  You just can’t beat being able to ride at 8,000ft. elevation one day, and then 800 ft. elevation the next without skipping a beat or needing to re-jet (it was a serious problem when I had the CRF150R which was carbureted).   

 

What kind of terrain do you like riding the best?

- Hmm, that’s a tough one . . . I really love it all!!!  But if I had to narrow it down, I would say snow.  I’m not the best at it, and to be honest, I used to try to avoid it, but I’m slowly getting more comfortable with it and it couldn’t be more fun.    

 

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

- Definitely rocks . . . Being vertically challenged, I am still working on clutch and throttle control to account for the fact that I can’t ever reach the ground to put my darn foot down J.  Thankfully, I finally did some much needed upgrades to the suspension and steering, so hopefully my skill level will catch up to my confidence level sometime soon ha.

What is the most challenging riding experience you have had?

- When we first got the Husqvarnas, we had some friends visiting with their dirt bikes so we decided to take a trip completely in the dirt from Mammoth Lakes to the ghost town known as Bodie.  It was about 65 miles one-way through all kinds of different terrain.  We hadn’t owned the bikes for very long, so I didn’t have the bike set-up and dialed in specifically for me just yet.  We hit some really deep and soft sand/silt on the backside of Mono Lake that just seemed to go forever, so I was struggling for a while to keep the front end stable, and then proceeded to take a literal face plant into an actual plant J.  I was too worked to go back home the same way we came, so I also go to experience my first solo ride on the highway, and at night too.  It was definitely a trip I will never forget!       

Where are some of your favorite places to ride?

- Definitely right here in my own backyard!  The Eastern Sierra is packed full of places to ride, with everything from mellow fire roads and sand dunes, to tight single track and even snow.  It really is an off-roader’s paradise!  And the views aren’t too bad either J.  I also really enjoyed the moto tour we took in Maui.  It was one of those once-in-a-lifetime experiences and the terrain was like nothing I had ever been on before (we went through a sugar cane field that was so dense we couldn’t even see the actual trail).  We were fortunate enough to be the only two riders on the tour that day (which was usually a group tour), so we got really lucky and the tour guide took us on an epic journey which ended so high up that we found pine trees! 

What is on your moto bucket list to ride?

- Australia

- Russia

- Moab, Uta

Do you ride with a lot of other female riders?

- Unfortunately, no L.  My few female friends that do ride live about 6 hours away, and not a lot of women in our area have motorcycles.  99% of the time it’s just me and my husband, but I am really hoping that will change.  I have been fortunate enough to cross paths with some super cool ladies thanks to Babes in the Dirt and Instagram, who I would love to get together with someday soon.   

babes in  the dirt

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

- Megan Griffiths . . . girl seriously rips and is ALWAYS smiling.  She really makes everything looks so easy but is always so humble about it.  She is so passionate about riding and it shows!  I really hope to someday be able to attend one of her clinics and learn to go over logs instead of crashing into them J.  Also, because I struggle so much in the rocks, Sarah (aka @spacecat.moto) . . . lady KILLS it out there in Utah in some truly epic terrain!  Pretty sure she eats rocks and vertical walls for breakfast J.

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

- I made it to Babes in the Dirt both this year (2018), and last year (2017).  Although I always bring my husband and fur kids so we always camp outside of the actual event, it’s still one of my favorite weekends of the year.  The first year, I was solo and ended up crashing attempting to go back down the big hill climb (ha oops).  Within seconds there were several people more than happy to help get my bike upright and down to the bottom.  One of the nicest Park Rangers I have ever met found some ladies to bring my bike back to the road, went and tracked down my husband who was cruising around in my 4Runner, brought me back to the main camp, and treated my wounds.  The Babes in the Dirt staff and many of the other ladies there for the event kept coming up to me and asking if I was ok or if I needed anything.  It was so awesome to be completely alone and not know anyone, but still feel welcomed and right at home.  This year we could only make it for a day, but it was still an epic day of riding and I even convinced my fellow female rider friends from San Diego to attend as well (and they loved it).  From the most experienced rider to the first timer, it really is an event that can be enjoyed by all. 

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

- Take it slow and start off with something nice and mellow.  There are all kinds of fire roads and open riding areas to practice at that are great places to get a feel for the dirt without having to worry about obstacles or other riders.  As someone who learned to ride in the dirt before learning to ride on the street, I can tell you there is a learning curve both ways, so just do what you feel comfortable with and practice, practice, practice.  And remember, you don’t have to be a pro to have fun!

Anything else you would like to add?

- I would like to say thanks to the Babes in the Dirt staff, Husqvarna, and all those involved with putting together such a rad event.  Seeing so many ladies from so many different walks of life come together for the love of motorcycles is truly an amazing experience!  How many beers will it take to convince you to do more Babes in the Dirt events?!?!? JJJ

Off-Roaders Guide to Babes Ride Out 6

Hey Off-Roaders!!!! As you know, Babes Ride Out 6 is an event focused on street legal motorcycles. But... that does not mean that you dirt lovers can't come out and have some fun! The desert has a couple of great OHV areas for you to play in if you don't have your M1 and is a dual sport paradise if you are plated!

Photo by YVE Assad

Photo by YVE Assad

Some of the many dualsport trails you can enjoy in the high desert!

Photos cutesy of WLF Enduro

JOHNSON VALLEY:

Home of the famous King of the Hammers Johnson Valley is a dirt riders dream. Full of fun trails, hill climbs, dry lake bed and open dirt roads.  There is something for every level of rider here!

Here is some info about the OHV area HERE

Directions to Johnson Valley OHV from the event HERE but there is a closer staging area option HERE

babes in the dirt

GIANT ROCK:

Giant rock has a history all its own! From UFO conventions to mysterious phenomenon, this place has drawn in people from all walks of life. It just so happens to be excellent terrain for off-roading. There is plenty of wide open spaces for Braaaping and tons of interesting trails and terrain. 

Here is some info about the OHV area HERE

Directions to Giant Rock from the event HERE

Please remember, there is no dirt-bikes allowed off the truck or trailer in the campsite. No braaaping in or around the campsite whatsoever. This is the property owner's wishes so please respect it. Both of the above riding areas are not far and you can totally have some fun! Enjoy! AND see you at Babes in the Dirt 4 in April 2018!

 

Photo by Drew Martin for Atwyld

Photo by Drew Martin for Atwyld

Pioneertown to Big Bear OFF-ROAD:

Watch the Joshua Trees turn in to pine trees as you leave the desert for the mountain. Pioneertown to Big Bear is a 19 mile moderately trafficked point-to-point trail located near Rimrock, California that offers scenic views and is rated as moderate. Make sure you down load GPS so that you stay on trail. There are many websites that share info about this commonly used route! Plated bikes only! Click HERE for more info

WLF Enduro | Mission II

Last weekend we all gathered in Johnson Valley at for the WLF Enduro Mission II event! WLF is a community based platform that unites people thru two-wheels and a throttle. Operation 2 Wheel Freedom was a concept created to simply say THANK YOU to the service men & women for their service. Its a special project that the WLF Pack do to support the riding community and go FURTHER TOGETHER.

It was an amazing weekend of meeting new people, group rides, Husqvarna Motorcycle demos, campfire hangs and an epic raffle. This pack knows how to show people a good time while helping a great cause! A percentage of the proceeds from their latest gear release will be donated to the below organizations to benefit Veterans. 

War Fighter Made      @warfightermade

Veterans Back 40 Adventure       @veteransback40adventure 

 

Check out all of the greatness on their by clicking the icon below


babes in the dirt

 

BRAND Sponsors:

@husqvarnamotorcyclesusa

@fmf73

@bajadesignofficial 

@answerracing

@seatconcepts

@nitromousse

@stancesocks

@nixon

@deusemporium

@fasstcompany 

@imsproducts

@biltwell

@tecolorcraft

@giantloopmoto

@fasstcompany 

@bulletproofdesings 

Meet the WLF Pack

It's true, you meet the nicest people on a motorcycle! We first met WLF Enduro on a fun day of riding out in Johnson Valley. After a weekend of camping and riding some really amazing trails, they felt like family. We are so excited to welcome them back to Babes in the Dirt 4! Meet the crew and read on to hear about what they have in store for the event. 

*  We’re here to help!! Our moto is always been, "FUTHER TOGETHER”. We’re here to witness the radness of what all you ladies have built together, and a full focus on the community of women rippers! 

*  Trail Patrol; running around all over Gorman with white helmets and noticeable Stumble Bee jersey, just waive! We’re here to assist in any way with the bike issues, direct routes back to camp or you just need a high five after you did the epic hill climb you’ve been trying to concur! Also want to rip some of the fun trails that are available, look forward to getting after it with ya’ll! 

* Bringing the HEAT! Literally, we’ll be filling out trail support trailer coined “THE DEN” with a ton of free firewood. Please come up and help yourself to keep warm in the Gorman eve’s. 

* WLF / Cub Camp; We’ll be staging a camp for Dads, Husbands, Kiddos, Boyfriends or just bro friends (we dont judge) to get everyone together while you gals do your thing in the event space! You know what they say “it takes a village” especially without the help of our wonderful ladies! This is just a full homie and grom zone to hang out, nothing formal but, it is good to know that we’ll all be ok while you gals are having a raging good time!!! 

ALSO, check out WLF Enduros' event coming up in April  Operation 2 Wheel Freedom .

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Keith @culver

Name: Culver (my mom calls me Keith=))

Where are you from: Earth

Where do you live? Orange CA

How long have you been riding? 9 years

What kind of bike do you ride? Whatcha got??! Sometimes a 99’ XR400 or a 07 Husky TE450, New Demo Husky’s whenever they allow it!

Why do you ride? Endless possibility, makes me feel like I’m surfing on dirt and 2 wheels…love when the bikes pinned, looking over at one of your best friends riding side by side and you can’t see it but you know there’s a huge smile under their helmet!  

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Anywhere my pack is…Colorado or Oregon are close 2nd.

Bucket list place you want to ride? Africa would be crazy amazing, riding next to a lion or something rad like that…Indonesia with the Deus homies would be mental too!


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Jake @js_smitty

Name: Jake Smith

Where are you from: Orange County

Where do you live? Anaheim

How long have you been riding? I have been riding a motorcycle on and off for the last 30 or so years

What kind of bike do you ride? I currently ride a 2012 Husqvarna TE 310 and a 2001 Suzuki RM 125

Why do you ride? I ride off-road for the fun and adventure

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Johnson Valley because it just feels like home

Bucket list place you want to ride? Anywhere all my friends are


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Mike  @mfrank67

Name: Mike Smith

Where are you from: Orange County CA

Where do you live? Fontana CA

How long have you been riding? Riding for about 30 years

What kind of bike do you ride? I ride a Husqvarna 2015 FE 501s

Why do you ride? I ride for fun, the challenge and the freedom that you get out on the trails

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Johnson valley because I grew up riding there

Bucket list place you want to ride? Anywhere I can get on trial with all my family and friends


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Luke @tarakadak

Name: Luke Takahashi

Where are you from: Orange County CA

Where do you live? Brea

How long have you been riding? riding for 7 years

What kind of bike do you ride? Husqvarna FE 501s

Why do you ride? : I love the outdoors. Being on a bike anywhere in nature with some mates could be the best activity known to mankind. The combination of technical skills and energy needed to ride along with the amazing scenery drives me to ride as much as possible. Can't get enough.

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Moab Utah

Bucket list place you want to ride? Central America, Costa Rica or Guatemala


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Chaz  @chazr

Name: Chaz Reta

Where are you from: Somewhere west of the Mississippi

Where do you live? Fullerton CA

How long have you been riding? Been riding 9 years, if you call the first 2 riding.

What kind of bike do you ride? 2007 Honda CRF450

Why do you ride? I can thank my good friends and my wife for showing me the ropes..they all keep me hyped on riding too!

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Love riding in the Sierras and JV

Bucket list place you want to ride? Buck list location was Tillamook Forest, now is Indo, Colorado, and Idaho.


Photo by Drew Ruiz

Photo by Drew Ruiz

Greg @dusted_501

Name: Greg Schlentz

Where are you from: Orange County CA

Where do you live?

How long have you been riding? About 10 years

What kind of bike do you ride? 2017 Husky FE 350

Why do you ride? I ride for the Fun and Freedom and to hang with good friends it seems to take me places I would have never thought I would have been

Favorite place you have ever ridden? Tillamook, Oregon

Bucket list place you want to ride? Tillamook was my bucket list location... Ummm  Bucketlist riding location... TBD.

 

 

 

 

 

Husqvarna Motorcycle | Meet the Fleet

Whether you have been riding off-road all of your life or never before, you can rest assure that riding a brand new Husqvarna Motorcycle will be a highlight of your moto-loving life and help to take your riding to the next level. Top of the line suspension and having all the power you need makes for a fun day in the dirt. Trust us! Meet the fleet of Husqvarna Motorcycles that will be available to demo at Babes in the Dirt 4. Stay tuned for sign-ups and info.

This year at Babes in the Dirt 4, Husqvarna Motorcycles will be bringing 20 demo motorcycles for beginner, new, and experienced riders. Beginning with the small displacement bikes, best for those “new-to-moto”, we have two, 2018 TC85’s. From there the bikes go up in engine size and seat height. The majority of the fleet will consist of 2018 FE250’s and a selection of other off-road and motocross models. Read on for a brief overview bikes that will be available at this event and visit www.husqvarna-motorcycles.com for full model range and technical specifications.

Photo by Genevieve Davis

Photo by Genevieve Davis

The 2018 FE 250 will comprise the majority of the demo fleet at Babes In The Dirt. FE models are dual-sport motorcycles, dual-sports are capable off-road bikes that are plated and ready for the road. The engines are second to none in terms of overall performance and versatility making the bike accessible to both novice and experienced riders. These models will be lowered by shortening the Rear Shock 12mm, which lowers the seat height from 38.19'' to roughly 36''. The forks are then raised in the triple clamps balancing out the front and rear of the bike.

babes in the dirt
babes in the dirt

Featuring seven updated models and an all-new TC 85, Husqvarna Motorcycles 2018 motocross range combines cutting-edge technology with high-end componts to offer riders of all ages and riding levels one of the most efficient and sophisticated motocross line ups on the market.

The 2018 TC 85 17/14 is our standard size 85cc, meaning the wheel size is standard with a 17’’ front wheel and 14’’ rear wheel. This is a great beginner motocross bike with a low seat height of 33.46’’. A lower seat height gives a new rider the necessary confidence to feel comfortable while riding and stopping.

2018 TC 85 19/16 this is our big wheel 85cc, this bike has the same engine as our standard size 85cc but with larger wheels, a 19’’ front wheel and a 16’’ rear wheel offers a slightly taller seat height of 34.45’’.

2018 TC 125, is our standard size Motocross bike with a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel. This bike is the natural progression for a rider who is out growing their 85cc and wants something bigger but with a minimal jump in power; perfect for those who are still gaining confidence in the dirt.

2018 FC 250, is a standard size Motocross bike and raced by the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Zach Osborne in the 250 class. It features a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel.  These models will be lowered by shortening the Rear Shock 12mm, which lowers the seat height from 38.19'' to roughly 36''.The forks are then raised in the triple clamps balancing out the front and rear of the bike.

2018 FC 350, is our standard size Motocross race bike with a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel. These bikes will be available for demo at the stock seat height of 37.8''.

2018 FC 450, this our standard size Motocross bike, the same bike Husqvarna Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Race Team riders Jason Anderson and Dean Wilson ride in the 450 class for Motocross and Supercross.. The FC 450 features a 21'' front wheel and a 19'' rear wheel, this bike will be available for demo at the stock height with a seat height of 37.8 and should only be ridden by the most experienced riders.

 

Stay tuned for sign-ups and info.