I think we all got a case of whiplash when the Boston Moto Babes rolled in to Babes Ride Out East Coast this last year. 25 ladies on all different kinds of bikes single filed down the packed gravel towards us and we were in awe. More than ever ladies are coming together and riding motos and they aren't forming clubs, rather they are forming communities open to all ladies. These women give others a place to meet like minded women, get advice, and always have fun rides planned (in search of ice cream). Our very own Virginia Cagney caught up with the Boston Moto Babes and asked them all about their community, best riding through Boston, and how you can get involved.
How did your group come together? What’s your story?
We live in an amazing time where we can connect with people all over the world so easily through this little device we carry in our back pockets. Boston Moto Babes was born of that idea, but it was about making those connections local. So many female riding groups had been popping up all over the country, and it was like, “wait a minute…Boston needs to represent!”
While the intention of Boston Moto Babes was never to be a group, per-say (it originally started as a dedicated place to share photos and stories of women in the area), it's definitely evolved into a cool little fellowship. However, BMB isn’t the only driving force behind the growing camaraderie of female riders in the New England area. The increased visibility of the Litas across the country first brought a lot of us together. It was a great catalyst for sparking interest in rides and meetups, and from there smaller, localized groups have formed based on schedules, location and common interests. We are extremely grateful to those who've worked hard to unite and empower female riders in the region, including The Litas Boston and the Women's Motorcycle Network of New England. I think there’s a responsibility for us to stress that BMB is about ALL Boston ladies, not any group or type of rider in particular. In a sense, Boston Moto Babes acts as a base for many of us — local, centralized communities in the Boston area where we can reach out to plan rides, maintenance advice, share experiences and more. And we all have ownership in this venture. It’s crazy to think how many like-minded women live so close to each other, but they never even get the chance to meet. This is us having none of that nonsense! Now with all the hashtaggable key phrases out of the way, we think it’s #superduper important to stress that in the end, we really do just want to have fun. What’s the point of the journey if you can’t fart and laugh at yourself along the way?
What’s important to you about having a group of women to ride with?
Before finding each other, some of us had never ridden in a group made up of more than three or four people, and more often than not, we had only ever ridden with men. While a lot of the men in our life are great riding buddies, we’ve all encountered our fair share of bozos on the road. But the dynamic when riding with only women is so different. Women just relate to each other differently than men, and that shines through in our respect for each other and the road.
At the end of the day, we're all out there for the same reasons — to ride bikes, have a great time, and eat some snacks. When you’re riding with the girls, you never feel any pressure push it or show off. It's super relaxed and everyone is really supportive. We don’t care if you ride a Harley, a vintage Honda or a sup’d-up Puch. We encourage each other, we learn from one another, and we can be ourselves together. It’s really like this indescribable, gnarly wave of mega feels that we’re all riding on, mannnnnn.
On top of that, for a lot of us, the women we ride with have also become really good friends. It can be so weird and hard to make friends as an adult, and we’re beyond thankful that we’ve met some amazing ladies through motorcycling. The riding season in New England is shorter than we all want, so until we figure out a way to sell our souls for a 10-month season, it’s nice to at least have people to commiserate with about wanting to ride when it’s, like, 20 degrees in February and the roads are covered in salt, gravel and potholes. Plus, when you’re riding in a group of women, you also come to appreciate the more frequent bathroom stops, and the understanding that if you see a taco truck or an ice cream stand, YOU STOP. You just…stop.
What have been your favorite memories together?
We did a quick survey, and our favorite experience so far is hands-down Babes Ride Out — East Coast. Some might even say it’s in our top five goosebumps-worthy moments EVER. For many of us, BRO is what helped cement our friendships. When we talk about that powerful feeling of riding with all women, oh my, did this trip encompass that vibe To. Tha. Max! Not to mention cruising the Catskills and, oh yeah, the partying — it was all just so amazing!
We planned the sh*t out of this trip, and had initially departed for New York in a few groups. One of those groups, dubbed the “Thursday Girls,” left a day early to cruise on all backroads before staying overnight in Western MA. That route was complete with cooling rides through state forests, a detour through New Hampshire so we could pick up some banana bread from one of our girls’ moms, a stop at Nova Motorcycles for snacks and coffee, and dinner at a restaurant that patiently waited for our arrival and stayed open late just for us. The icing on the cake of that day was being greeted at our motel by the inn-keepers’ two little girls, who came running outside in their nightgowns in absolute awe of us. Every single one of us was all smiles, ear-to-ear. We all had an amazing first leg and we’re really glad we planned extra time into our route to be able to appreciate the different areas we were riding through!
The next morning, we had breakfast at a nearby cafe, enjoyed Shelburne Falls’ “Bridge of Flowers,” and were about to take on the hairpin turn in North Adams when, all of a sudden, we were greeted by about a dozen more Boston girls who left just that morning! It was incredible being able to sync up so seamlessly and arrive at camp four hours later, two dozen deep.
After we were all amped up from our New York trip, we immediately planned a pool day at the Verb hotel, where one of our very own is marketing manager. Luckily we couldn’t hear the Toby Keith concert going on next door at Fenway, so we were able to enjoy our time in the sun with some poolside sushi before riding around Boston, Cambridge and Somerville. That day was great for us because we were able to enjoy our city with some women who, otherwise, might never have thought they could safely ride a bike in Boston.
When you ride on the weekends, where do you guys go? What are the best spots to ride in New England?
New England has tons of great roads, it’s so hard to not name 100 destinations, but we’ll try to keep it to a few. The heart of the city has some cool routes, like the Emerald Necklace and Memorial Drive, but if you want to get outside of town, Massachusetts’ north shore offers Rts. 127 and 133 heading toward Gloucester/Rockport, complete with INSANE coastal views. There are also old state routes toward Plum Island and Newburyport that are lined with large open marshes. Boston — and New England in general — has so much history, and that endearing old-town vibe is prevalent in most of its surrounding towns. And, guys, there are so many ice creams stands. SO MUCH ICE CREAM! If you’re venturing outside of Massachusetts, you can’t go wrong with the coastal route through NH and Maine — old route 1A through Rye, NH (the views of the ocean on that route are absolutely gorgeous) up to Wells Beach, Maine for some clam rolls and arcade games. Or plan a camping trip along the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountains. And while you’re there, definitely take the trip up the Mt. Washington auto road — just be sure to dress warm! An 85-degree day at the base is mayyyyybe a 50-degree day at the top, not to mention the winds — the highest wind speed ever recorded by man was at the top of this very mountain! (Thanks, Wikipedia!)
Your group rolled in 25+ bikes last year, what’s the plan to get to BROEC this year?
Oh man, rolling into Narrowsburg with so many women was the highlight of so many of our motorcycle careers! We’re definitely hoping we can pull it off again this year, but our main priority it to make sure everyone plans for a safe, comfortable ride. We’re going to hold our second annual BRO planning party in April alongside the Litas Boston to go over route options, safe traveling tips, comfort levels, and more. We’d love to be able to have all of our plans intersect so we can roll in together, but we don’t want that to be our priority. We’re just excited to have more than three dozen Boston-area ladies represent this year! On top of that, we can’t wait to see some familiar faces from last year’s event and meet those who will be attending for the first time. It’s going to be a blast and we’re seriously so pumped!!