It takes a sense of adventure to ride out on your motorcycle to meet up with a bunch of other riders you have never met and camp at an undisclosed location. Melanie found the adventure she was looking at a pivotal time in her life when she went to Babes in Borrego back in 2013. Read on to hear more about her story and what she has been up to over the past 5 years.
On October 5th 2013, 50 women rode out to an undisclosed location for a night of camping and camaraderie. What would follow could not have been predicted by anyone. The positivity, passion and enthusiasm for those 50 women has fueled the growth and exposure of a community that has meant so much to so many. We are highlighting each of those 50 women and sharing their stories over the past 5 years.
• Melanie Lucia
• San Diego
• Hair dresser
How did you find out about Babes in Borrego and what made you want to be a part of it?
I was invited to Babes in Borrego by a chick I met at a co-ed roller derby scrimmage. I had never ridden with chicks before, and she was a bad ass on the track, so I couldn’t say no! I got my first motorcycle when I was 21 and always rode with the guys. It only took 7 years to be invited to ride with some ladies, I was looking forward to it.
When you arrived at the meet up, what was your first thoughts?
It was pretty intimidating! It was also very inspiring. I think 8-10 bikes left the first meet up. I had NEVER seen that many girls on bikes in one place at the same time. Riding into the meet up in Temecula blew my mind. Women from every direction were pulling into that gas station on motorcycles. When I heard there were 50, I couldn’t believe it!!
Did you know anyone there?
I didn’t really know anyone, I had met Machine at roller derby, once! Then met a couple of her friends in the morning on the way to the first meet up. Later on that evening, I did run into a couple friends from San Diego by the camp fire!
Is going on an adventure solo like this something you do or was this a first time out of your element kind of thing?
A few months before Babes, I was going through a divorce and riding my bike was awesome therapy. I hopped on my old sportster and rode up to San Francisco. Solo. I had done a few longer trips, but not alone.
To go to something like this and the destination be unknown is kind of crazy. What did you think of riding with all those ladies and of the destination?
Riding with all of the ladies out to Borrego was sooooo fun. That hill going down Montezuma hwy, hauling a$$ with chicks that knew how to ride....AMAZING!
Now, the dirt road heading out to the dry lakebed...that’s a different story. I had just bought my dyna, which is way heavier than my old sporty. That dirt road was a nightmare. I saw spilled bikes and burnt legs. But we all made it!
What was that one night like for you? Tell us about your experience.
Borrego was so cool. Ripping around the dry lakebed. Was this the year we brought the baby pool?! S’mores. Apple pie moonshine. Meeting tons of fun new people. Massive campfire. Fireworks!!
Tell us about the ladies you met and have your friendships have evolved over the past 5 years. Do you keep in touch?
Machine, T-bone and Genevieve were the crew I rode with to the first meet up. Thanks to roller derby for putting me in the right place at the right time! Since then Machine and I went to Seattle for roller derby national champs and have camped at multiple Babes Rides together!
I remember meeting Jackie and Daniella at a gas station...or Carlees? Daniella was the only other chick on a dyna, she was instantly cool. It took me about 6 months to find her on Instagram, only to realize she was the one that took a ton of killer photos that weekend.
Rachel (or Brooklyn) and I met in between Long Beach and Temecula. Her saddle bag was open, after flagging her down then having to haul ass to catch back up with the crew, I knew we’d get along. She was my campfire buddy, even threw my s’mores in the fire. She came to San Diego 2 years ago and we got to party in Mexico for the night!!
How have you changed over the past 5 years?
5 years ago I was going through a divorce. Rebuilding my life back in San Diego. Now I’m working with a group of awesome girlfriends. I’ve gotten to travel a lot, meet tons of new people. Go on awesome adventures with my amazing super supportive boyfriend. Life can’t be better!
Have you gone on any more camping / riding trips since that 2013 ride? If so, where and with who?
I rode up to Portland with Jackie, Genevieve, Chelsea, Daniella and Mitch. We camped and rode all up the PCH then shot over to Portland. Big Sur, Avenue Of the Giants, Oregon coast! We hit a ton of skateparks on that trip too. A skateboard fits perfectly between the bars and fairing!
Bandit town one year for the 4th of July was a long fun ride and camp. Actually, the camp sucked, I hadn’t bought a good sleeping pad yet! But the ride was beautiful, and hot. Rode through Yosemite and watched fireworks at Bass lake.
El Diablo run counts right?! Riding then camping in San Felipe!!
I was able to do the first Babes Ride Out UK! Another trip that I joined knowing nobody! About a week before getting to London, Andrea Dosouto asked if she could make the trip on the back of my rental bike. I was a little nervous renting a bigger bike (heritage softail), having a passenger AND riding on the opposite side of the road! That ride was a dream! I made that trip a huge loop of the UK. After riding through Wales with the girls I headed north solo and got to visit a good friend up in Scotland and meet a ton of awesome people along the way. Ps, the rain suits that come with Harley rentals in London ONLY fit XL men!!
What is it like coming back to Babes Ride Out as it has grown?
It’s sooooo different coming back to Babes! I meet new people every year. Some years there’s so much going on that I don’t run into people that I was hoping to see from previous years, but everyone is having a good time. It’s nice having food trucks and not having to bring tons of food, although we do anyway because it’s fun to cook over a campfire!