Babes Ride Out U.K. was one for the books. It was our first ever overseas event and with the help of the amazing babes of VC London it was nothing short of incredible.
As we touched down in London we could not wait to head over to The Bike Shed to pick up our 2016 Triumphs. The Bike Shed is located in a 12,000 square foot venue across four renovated railway arches in the heart of Shoreditch, in Central London. It was quite impressive and the owner, Dutch, showed us a warm welcome. After a delicious dinner we got a grand tour that finished in the 4th railway arch which housed our 2016 Triumph Street Triple 675 and 2016 Triumph Bonneville. Once we saw them we didn't waste much time hopping on and taking a night ride around London with the best tour guides the city has to offer (VC London) Big Ben and Tower Bridge looked amazing at night (way less traffic at midnight) but we were spending most of our time focusing on staying on the left side of the road.
The next day after loading up we headed out of the city on our way to the event site. This was a great opportunity to really familiarize ourselves with the bikes. Once we got on the open road i thought I might open up the throttle a bit and see what the Street Triple had to offer. It only took a slight flick of the wrist and I was ripping past the whole group. This bike had a great amount of torque and low end power that just kept on coming. I have a Bonneville back home so it was great for me to try something different and I have to say I really fell in love throughout the weekend. The body positioning on the bike was really comfortable and I was pleased to see that it wasn't too tall for me at all. Later in the trip I took her through some fun winding roads and deep turns that only made me fall deeper in love.
Ashmore was on the Bonneville and it was really exciting for me to see her ripping this bike because I have one at home but its a 900cc engine and the new ones are 1200 cc’s (which is amazing). She had never rode one before and I think it was the perfect bike for her. When you are in a foreign country, on the wrong side of the road and you maybe do not know where you’re going it is so nice to have a bike that you are comfortable on and that can deliver the power you want.
As we pulled up to the event space we were blown away. Coming from California it is always so breathtaking to see such old buildings and towns. Tamsin and Craig's farm was built in the 1600’s and used a sanctuary for Quakers who were escaping persecution. It was truly amazing to see how they have brought it back to life over the past couple of years. We were lucky enough to have beautiful weather most of the weekend and walking out onto the field where the camping would go was gorgeous.
We spent the next 2 days building the campsite and exploring the town before the event started. Old pubs lined the town and cafes were everywhere but we had too much to do. Building out the event space took 8 people 48 hours to complete.
As the ladies started rolling in there were high fives, cheers, and hugs all around. We couldn't help but ask everyone where they had rode from. We had such a mixed group from all over including: Scotland, France, Netherlands, United States, Canada, all over the England, and Wales. As always at our events, there was a great mix of experienced riders and new riders, sport bikes and choppers, and of course women from all different age groups. Everyone kept commenting on how lucky we all were to get such great weather… apparently it rains a lot in South Wales but we got nothing but sunshine which made for excellent riding all weekend.
All Friday we were getting updates from the 125cc crew that left from Bike Shed at about 10am that morning. Some of you Americans may not know but you have to get your motorcycle license in phases in the UK and it starts with 125 cc’s. I actually totally back this and think it is a great way to force people to take it slow when you’re learning. They also label ridings who are still learning by putting a giant red “L” on the front and back of their bikes. Also a great idea in my opinion. There was about 15 women in the 125 crew that we ended up naming 1.2.5 %ers. Throughout the day we would get updates that they were getting closer and closer. You had to avoid all motorways and bridges on such a small bike so it ended up taking them over 10 hours to get there. As they rolled in we were all standing there cheering and handing them an 805 beer as a congratulations! They were such a fun group and still full of energy even after a long ride. Most all the riders had never left the city of London so this was a pretty big trip and they proved to themselves they could do it.
After everyone set up camp they headed to the barn to celebrate and get to know each other.
Triumph had 3 of their brand new award winning fleet of motorcycles on display. It was really cool to see some of the new riders sit on these bikes and try them out. I can't wait to see them upgrade from a 125 to a 1200! Woohooo!!! The Thruxton R kept winking at me from across the room. This is one sexy machine that would like to have a home in my garage! Here is what was on display:
The Thruxton R: The ultimate factory cafe racer, arguably the most thrilling and full-blooded sports classic motorcycle you can buy. With a 1200cc, high power, 8 valve, parallel twin engine, this moto has 68% more power than previous before. We will take two please!
Tiger: Riding, adventure, and off road touring? The Tiger can do it all. Our favorite feature of the Tiger is the switchable ABS. Brake settings have 3 modes. When Off Road mode is selected, the ABS is disabled to the rear wheel and the system also allows a level of front wheel slip. This provides the rider with a level of electronic intervention under braking whilst optimizing their off road enjoyment. Did we mention this bike can be lowered? Time to start planning your dream ride through Alaska...
Street Twin: With clean lines and minimal body work the Street Twin is a bike you can make our own. With a 900cc engine, it can get it on through twists and turns with a smoothness like no other. A lower seat position and lightweight body make this an ideal moto for any lady rider but don't let its size fool you; this bike has torque...to be accurate, 18% more than the previous year. If you are in the market, this bike is worth a look and a test ride.
Sailor Jerry had a bar set up that, needless to stay, stayed pretty busy all night. A little spiced rum after a long ride is perfection.
ATWYLD had their full Collection 1 on display and were handing out free gift bags to the first 50 to register for the event. This line of technical riding apparel was directly inspired by this community of women and so many riders were excited to see an assortment of pieces that bridges the gap between normal street clothes and technical riding gear.
805 beer had shipped over a whole palette of beer just for our event. This was the first time 805 has been enjoyed by so many in another country. It was really rad to share my hometown beer with ladies from across the pond! Now all you ladies have to come out to Babes Ride Out 4 in Joshua Tree so we can crack a few more together!
After everyone sufficiently started to let loose the beautiful sounds of Zealous Doxy brought everyone together. These two talented babes rocked it! Sami Graystone is the lead singer and also happens to be the artist who made the flyer for the event and hand painted one of the Biltwell helmets for the raffle. She is such a talented babe and one of the sweetest people you will meet!
It didn't take long for a dance party to take over and carry us into the wee hours of the morning. Despite the long night everyone woke up excited to ride. There was about 20 ladies signed up for Black Desert off-road training course so after breakfast they were suited up and ready to rip with Tamsin Jones and Craig Bounds, world champion enduro riders.
There were several routes to choose from but we headed out on the Waterfall ride which led us through the National park and alongside green hills and beautiful reservoirs. We couldn't help but notice the little white fluff balls that kept darting across the road in front of us. Apparently they don't like fences much in Wales and the sheep have a bit of a death wish. The roads were nothing short of incredible and it was a great opportunity to take turns a little deeper. There was one road in particular that simply had to be rode multiple times and while the crew was getting some roadside ice cream I decided to take a little solo trip just to see what all the Street Triple had to offer. This was probably the highlight of the whole trip for me. The countryside was so beautiful, the sheep were staying roadside, and the bike was really really fast!
My confidence as a rider really depends a lot on what I am wearing that day. If I am wearing light protection then I tend to take it really slow and careful but the more layers and armor I have on the more my confidence boosts. This happens on a subconscious level but I have really started to notice it. For this ride I wore Atwyld Alltime Jacket, Convoy Armored Shirt, Shred Moto Jeans, Biltwell Helmet, and Red Wing Boots! Me and my bike really bonded after that rip.
The route took us up into the town of Brecon. After lunch at a local Pub we watched as the 125 crew rolled in. The town center was taken over for a brief time completely by women on motorcycles and that was pretty fun!
As we got back to camp it was time to kick off the slow races. This is always a good time! Everyone lined up and many had never participated in a slow race before so it was pretty fun to watch.
After the races Stance set up a sock exchange where ladies could handover their old dirty socks in exchange for some brand new Stance socks! They were all nearly gone by the time I got there but I scored some fresh ones. Next we headed outside around the campfire for some Stance SMORES! yes smores in the United Kingdom. This was hilarious because they really don't do smores in the U.K. so Stance brought a little piece of home to the Brits and they loved it...and we loved watching them get marshmallow all over their faces, hair, and clothes.
One of the big highlights of the night was the raffle! We had some amazing items including gift bags from RVCA, a gift card for some brand new Red Wing Boots, an assortment of SENA Bluetooth head-sets, Stetson Hats, custom painted Biltwell helmets by Sami Graystone and Image Design CO. and so much more! Thank you to everyone who contributed!
The Slow Coaches took the stage directly following the raffle and basically burnt it completely down. It only took 1 song before a mini mosh pit ensued led by non other than Gemma, Mai and Namin of VC London.
The party didn't stop after the band ended. In fact, the mosh pit turned into a 90’s hip hop dance-off, the likes of which I have never seen. Note to self: Brits love 90’s American hip hop! Such a fun group of babes showing us a damn good time all night. There was even a US vs UK dance off...miraculously, it was a tie. Those Brits got M O V E S!
The next morning it was so sad to leave! We met so many fun women that we cannot wait to ride with them again. We hope to see you all at Babes Ride Out 4, Oct 20-23rd in Joshua Tree, CA.
Thank you so much to:
And all the ladies who attended Babes Ride Out UK, you made this one hell of an event.