Babes Ride Out

How Did Babes Ride Out Create Their Event Space? We Didn't, Meet Barnett English of the Joshua Tree Music Festival

PeopleAshmore Ellis

It takes a village is a saying we hear a lot but sometimes do not get to fully understand. The power of people coming together to build an idea, a feeling of community, and a place where people gather to celebrate music, art, culture started in Joshua Tree long before Babes Ride Out existed. Meet the creator of the Joshua Tree Music Festival, Barnett English. He has spent the past 14 years creating the space we use for our biggest event, Babes Ride Out Joshua Tree, with the help of countless people that have given their time and energy to building this unique venue. If you want to get inspired, read on. 

"I visited the campground in OCT 2002, kicked around the idea of  "this would be a great place for a music festival" ......so i moved to Joshua Tree in Jan 2003 and the inaugural JTMF happened April 11-13, 2003.  I'd worked at hundreds of music festivals (vending with our organic espresso cafe, JavaGogo), but had no experience producing an event, nor money, sponsors, or financial backers.  Just a couple of credit cards and some blind faith. Having been to hundreds of music festivals, I was (am) a firm believer in the powerful positive benefits of communing with happy souls in an outdoor setting soaking up world class music.  My life had been changed dramatically, in a positive way, and I'd witnessed that with thousands of others as well.  I was still terrified to the point of sleeplessness.  

Barnett English and crew pulling in the first pillar to the event space in the early 2000s. 

Barnett English and crew pulling in the first pillar to the event space in the early 2000s. 

Year one was about 600 of our festival friends, having a tremendous, enjoying a highly disorganized festival!  Now, 25 festivals later, the festival is a well oiled, fine tuned machine of merriment with 3500+ attendees of all ages having transformational experiences. To witness extended family and friends bonding, sharing, creating, dancing, and laughing together is a priceless experience for me. Money can't buy the goose bumps and feel good stories that transpire !  When I see thousands of people enjoying the Joshua Tree Music Festival I feel elated to the point of tears. We encourage community involvement, and have 125-150 volunteers come out prior to each event to paint, build, create, and shape the space.  Now, 15 years into it, all the installations and creations together create a magical space to gather. 

My best job is being a papa to Lola, age 12! I am happiest when hanging with my daughter, Lola, and sweetheart, Lynne of course but in addition to producing/organizing two JTMF's a year (May & Oct), I co-produce the Guitarfish Music Festival (July 2018) in the Sierras near Truckee. With JavaGogo, our organic espresso cafe, we vend at 20+ more music festivals (Coachella, High Sierra, Lucidity, Sierra Nevada World Music Festival and more) every year.   With some friends here in Joshua Tree, we've started a 501c3 non-profit - Joshua Tree Living Arts - to enrich lives, empower people, and strengthen community via educational and art programs at the festival, in the community, and in schools.  Lastly, we've got a fleet of Cozy Camper Trailers that we rent out to special events.  

Enjoy what you do, and do what you enjoy - Barnett English

If you'd like to know more about the Joshua Tree Music Festival and Guitarfish, click on the links below:

 


 
 

 

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints | Mojave Land Trust x Babes Ride Out

DIY TipsAshmore Ellis

Take Only Pictures, Leave Only Footprints on Designated Trails by Sam Schipani of the Mojave Land Trust. 

One of the greatest joys of exploring on two wheels is capturing special moments to share with your family and friends. We want your loyal Instagram followers to see your stunning snapshots of that earth-splitting desert sunset or that adorable desert tortoise, but we also want these special landscapes and habitats to stay the way they were before we rode into town.

There are a few things to keep in mind when striking out to take pictures in fragile ecosystems. Our friends at the Mojave Desert Land Trust are experts on how artists (yes, Instagram artists count, too!) can consciously engage with the desert. Their Reading the Landscape program, launched earlier this year, guides artists through the process of creating in a way that ensures the desert will provide inspiration for generations to come.

Going off road can create irreversible damage to the ecosystem. 

Going off road can create irreversible damage to the ecosystem. 

Here are MDLT’s tips for reducing your impact on the desert while still getting that perfect shot:

  • Stay on designated roads and trails. Avoid loose sand and soil – especially if you’re setting up a tripod! Designated areas are always a safe bet.
  • Take what you brought, including debris, chemicals, equipment, and liquids. Pack it in, pack it out!
  • Leave what you find, including rocks, vegetation, animals, bones, and historical trash.
  • Know who owns the land prior to your site visit, as well as how to access the land through legal routes and using an appropriate vehicle.
  • Identify and avoid on-site cultural resources, historic debris, and wildlife burrows. For example: A desert tortoise burrow entrance looks like the letter “D” lying on its side.
  • Respect the wildlife by giving them space. For close-up shots, make sure you have your zoom lens on hand.
  • Review the rules and regulations of the land management agency specific to your project. Obtain a commercial permit, when appropriate. If you intend to create art within Joshua Tree National Park’s boundaries, determine if your project requires a Special Use Permit. Commercial filming or photography requires a filming permit, but permits are not required for news crews or visitors photographing for personal use. All permit applications can be emailed to JOTR_Special_Use@NPS.Gov
  • Use Instagram as an educational platform for other photographers! If you see a photo on Instagram that is less-than-respectful of our desert ecosystem, politely let the user know. Our citizen Desert Defenders in Joshua Tree have used Instagram as a tool to educate visitors to great effect.

    With these tips, you will be able to reduce your impact on the desert – and share its beauty with all your family, friends, and followers! - Sam Schipani

When you follow these simple rules, you are protecting all these beautiful creatures and their home :) 

Meet Brianna and Her 2017 Triumph Street Twin | BRO5 WIll Be Her First Event on Her New Moto

PeopleAshmore Ellis

Brianna will be attending her first Babes Ride Out this year! We are thrilled to have her and wanted to pick her brain about her recent purchase of her first motorcycle. As a new rider, she wanted something newer, more reliable, but also had the option to customize later when she was ready. Brianna went with the 2017 Triumph Street Twin.  And even though she's been riding for less than a year, she has been putting in the work and laying down the miles to get BRO ready. Please welcome this new rider and see why she picked the Street Twin as her first bike. 

The Bike: The Street Twin is one of the most contemporary, fun, and accessible Bonnevilles Triumph has to offer. The Street Twin combines a low seat height, accessible riding position, and an exciting, responsive engine with a stripped back look for maximum fun and rideability every day. This moto was designed with the spirit of individualism and customisation in mind and is a great starting point to build your own custom bike.

BUILT FOR FUN. The new Street Twin combines a low seat height and accessible riding position with an exciting and responsive new engine. Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

BUILT FOR FUN. The new Street Twin combines a low seat height and accessible riding position with an exciting and responsive new engine. Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

How long have you been riding motorcycles?
Since December 2016

Why do you ride motorcycles? 
I’ve never felt more alive!

Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past.
My 2017 Triumph Street Twin is my 1st bike.

What first attracted you to the new Triumph?
I like Triumph’s reputation.  I’ve always been drawn to a café racer style bike.  The look and feel of the Street Twin was definitely what I was interested in.

BUILT FOR FUN. The new Street Twin combines a low seat height and accessible riding position with an exciting and responsive new engine. Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

BUILT FOR FUN. The new Street Twin combines a low seat height and accessible riding position with an exciting and responsive new engine. Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

How did you know it was the bike for you?
The first time I sat on it, I knew.  Just fit my personality, style and it felt right.

Tell us what it is like to ride?
FREEDOM!  When I’m on my bike, I feel close to the road and the world around me.  I can shut out all the other stuff, stress, etc… going on in my life and just enjoy the ride.

What made you choose your model over the other Triumph Models?
I tried out a few other Triumphs the Long Beach Trade Show.  There were several I liked but the size, style and git of the new Street Twin was exactly what I was looking for.

What has been you favorite adventure you have taken on your new bike?
I’ve only had a few rides so far since I’m still so new but I did a ride for my birthday back in April that’s been my favorite so far.  We started in Newport Beach.  Made our way to San Clemente then San Juan Capistrano, up to Costa Mesa and finished in Huntington Beach.

Do you have any fun road trips planned?
Babes Ride Out – Joshua Tree this October!  Can’t wait. This will be my 1st experience with BRO but I’m looking forward to many more.

Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

Photo by Marcella Rasmussen

Want to test ride a new Triumph Street Twin? Click HERE

Find out more about this bike's dimensions and tech, click HERE

My Personal Experience Taking the Motorcycle Safety School Class (MSF Training Course)

DIY TipsAshmore Ellis

You gotta start somewhere. We always recommend starting in the dirt if you have never sat on a bike before but once you start figuring out the mechanics, what's next? I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation's training course and wanted to share my personal experience with you. Proper training, knowing your limits, and a basic understanding of these machines is incredibly important. 

Signing up is easy. The MSF site will help you find places near you (using your zip code) that offer beginner training and advanced training.  Bikes and helmets are provided but if you have your own helmet, I'd recommend bringing it if you can. My class was small, about 13 people which was great and not intimidating in the least as everyone there was there to learn. We started in a classroom and had a bout 5 hours of going over safety, basic mechanics, group assignments (the worst) and finally were ready to head out to the bikes. The class I was in had low CC bikes of all kinds, all of which are banged up which takes out the fear of "what if I drop it?!". My instructors were amazing and helped me learn where my hands should go, shouldn't go, where my feet should be, how to counter steer, etc. These guys are trained to look for any bad habits forming and quickly break you from them before it's a problem. For instance, my right hand was hovering over the brake when in gear. The instructor noticed and told me what to expect if I grabbed it...my hand no longer hovered there. They pack a lot into the 10 hours of "on bike" learning and you stay under 10 mph. Before you know it, you are on your safety "obstacle test" which at the time was terrifying because I didn't want to fail or drop the bike (that is automatic failure while taking the final test only). But guess what.. people fail it all the time and that is ok! All it means is that you'll need some more time learning basic skills to ensure you won't fail when it really counts, in the street with oncoming traffic. We had 3 out of the 13 fail in my class and no one looked down on those people because of it. Infact, every single failed student was determined to come back next weekend and do the whole thing over again. I was excited to pass on my first try but even though I had this certificate in my hand that would allow me to get my moto license, I was far from ready to be turned loose on the freeways of CA. The MSF helped me learn the fundamentals of motorcycle safety and showed me what I really needed to practice in order to get road worthy.  Months went by of practicing in my neighborhood, back streets, up and down hills, etc. Over the course of a year I was riding from 10 miles from home to 100 miles into the desert solo. It took time, dedication, failure, scares, and some embarrassing moments to get me here. I am still learning every time I get on my moto and yes, I am still slow as hell and use all the hand signs when riding but that is just my style. 

So, let's break it down:

Motorcycle Safety School Benefits

  • You learn on their beat up bikes so you can't hurt them (or yourself)
  • They provide basic gear (helmets, gloves) and require you to wear boots & pants
  • You get a discount on your insurance after completing 
  • It's affordable! $180 - $275 and we hear some states are free!
  • You are learning from professionals who know what to look for and correct bad habits before they form
  • Classes are small and you'll have a lot of 1 on 1 help and guidance 
  • They offer advanced training after you pass the Basic Rider class 

Motorcycle Safety School Things to Consider

  • Passing this class does not mean you are road worthy. You will need tons of practice and continued education (trust me, I did!).
  • This class will not teach you how to ride in groups and you will not experience riding in traffic or on the street. All instruction is done on a closed course. 
  • The class is only 1 weekend and you'll be learning the rest of your life. 

If you have any questions about MSF, their training, and advanced skill classes, give them a call at (800) 446-9227 or email MSF@msf-usa.org

I started with the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) Standard, but look at all they offer!

I started with the Basic RiderCourse (BRC) Standard, but look at all they offer!

Our Top 5 DIY Biltwell Upgrades | Customizing Your Motorcycle

DIY Tips, REVIEWS, SponsorsAshmore Ellis

One of the biggest joys of owning a motorcycle is customization. The idea of this can be intimidating but there are tons of little ways you can upgrade that are inexpensive, fun, and can be done within a few minutes of your time.  We promise once you start, you may not be able to stop, so we picked 5 easy Biltwell modifications that will get you well on your way and will even walk you through application via their youtube "How Tos". 

Grips $17.95

Construction: Injection-molded Krayton synthetic rubber

Fitment: Biltwell grips are available in 1” & 7/8". These grips are made from the same material used in dirt bike and BMX grips: Kraton Rubber. They are softer and more comfortable but also wear quicker. Just like a dirt bike, plan on changing them often, depending on how hard you ride and in what conditions.

Details: We recommend using WD-40 to install the grips and suggest letting them dry overnight. Adding a ring of safety wire on each end is a standard moto practice and all grips have grooves to accommodate this.

Note: Using Biltwell rubber grips on H-Ds will often require that your motorcycle is equipped with an aftermarket throttle tube (our Whiskey throttle tube, for instance). The grips do not have a built in plastic throttle tube, they are meant to slide over a higher-quality aluminum tube.

 

Foot Pegs $74.95 - $119.95

Construction: Foot peg body is constructed of investment-cast stainless-steel. Clevis: investment-cast chromoly steel, tumble finish with chrome plating. Stainless-steel Allen cap hardware (clevis pivot pin/bolt and associated hardware not included).

Details: The design and proportions of our Sanderson footpegs were cribbed from Anderson aftermarket pegs made popular by chopper pioneers of the ‘60s.

Install: Drop some Loctite on the clevis shaft before you rotate your foot pegs into your ideal riding position. Add another drop of Loctite to the socket cap screw that will bolt your peg to the clevis. Tighten down and you are ready to rip.

Fitment: These pegs bolt right onto a ton of different H-Ds with female style clevises. Unfortunately, the MoCo threw us a curve ball and these pegs will not bolt-on to the following models: 13-17 XL1200V/XL1200X/XL1200C XL12000CX, 13-17 FXSB/SE, 11-13 FXS, and/or 08-11FXCW/C. If you don't see your H-D in that list, you should be good to go.

 

Mirrors $59.95 for 1 - $119.95 for a Pair

Overview: Biltwell Utility Mirrors boast clockworks precision and timeless retro style to stand out or blend in on any stock or custom motorcycle you can imagine. Precision die-cast aluminum construction with stainless-steel ball joint mounting hardware. Tempered glass mirrors available in 3.75” round. Threaded mirror stalk base accepts 5/16-18 stainless steel button cap Allen bolt for easy mounting on a wide range of stock Harley and select aftermarket hand controls. The pair version comes set up for left and right side mounting.

Construction: Investment cast and CNC-machined 6061 T-6 aluminum; hand polished.

Fitment: For ironheads, cone shovels, Sportsters and Evo’s.

Details: The rippled water droplet look is a classic styling element that appears on a number of Biltwell products, including our Ripple CV carb top and the ends of our Kung Fu grips. We recommend using a new gasket (not included) where applicable during installation.

No video needed (super easy!)

Stash Tube $29.95

Construction: CNC lathe-turned alloy end caps; black electroplated steel hardware; rugged polycarbonate clear tube.

Fitment: Mounting hardware on US-spec license plates fits into the L-brackets on Stash tube to hold the assembly in place. Plastic tube houses documents and contraband to keep info and materiel safe.

Details: Fits license plate bolt pattern in all 50 US states. Does not fit Euro, Australia, or Asia spec license plates.

May this be the start of making your bike your own and learning how to do it yourself. You gotta start somewhere and Biltwell is here to help - Ashmore

DOROTHY at Babes Ride Out 5

PeopleAnya Violet

If you have not bought your ticket yet to Babes Ride Out 5, get ON IT! In addition to camping under the stars with the most fun-loving group of women on the planet, endless perfect moto roads, tons of sponsor activations, and countless adventures to be had, we have booked none other than DOROTHY to play Saturday night! If you have not experienced this woman live yet, prepare to have your mind blown! You have exactly 12 weeks to memorize her entire album before she takes the stage! As one of our all time favorite artists we had to get to know a little more about her and what inspires her as an artist. See you soon Dorothy!

Photo by Andrea Dosouto from Babes Ride Out 3

Photo by Andrea Dosouto from Babes Ride Out 3

Where are you from originally?

-Born in Budapest, raise in Socal

Where do you live now?

-Los Angeles

Tell us about your childhood. Was music always a big part of your life?

-I started singing at a young age, was in the school choir, sang the national anthem at my high school graduation, and picked up guitar as a teen.

What inspires your music?

-Life, heartbreak, love, other people, movies, stories.

Any rock icons that you would consider to be a huge inspiration to you?

-Steven Tyler

What is something random about you that most people don’t know?

-I can cook Hungarian food and I like to paint

Tell us about your other band members.

-They’re a fun, rambunctious group of guys who love playing music. We are like family.

Can you share a story from some of your favorite performances or tour destinations?

-I went on a haunted ghost tour in Savannah, GA and had the best shrimp and grits in my life. It started flash storming and I was walking around in flip flops with my guitar player. It’s the most magical city I’ve ever been to.

Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

-I’ve ridden on the BACK.

If you were a motorcycle what kind of bike would you be?

-A vintage harley!

What did you think when you first heard about Babes Ride Out?

-I thought it was badass, and a great bonding experience for women, I’m glad you guys put it on.

What was it like to play Babes Ride Out 3?

-I’ve never seen so many screaming women in one place, and we all loved it!

Are you excited about playing our 5 year anniversary BRO5 in Joshua Tree?

-Beyond excited, I just shot a music video out there for DOWN TO THE BOTTOM. I’m curious to see how many ladies show up this time and experience the growth of the festival!