Babes Ride Out

People

Megan Margeson and her 1964 Harley Davidson Panhead Chopper

PeopleAnya Violet

It’s pretty hard to miss Megan Margeson at our events! She usually rolls in with her mom, both of them on insanely cool choppers. She has even won a couple of awards for her bike at our events over the years. Megan comes from a true motorcycle family and we got to catch up with her to hear more about her 1964 Harley-Davidson Panhead Chopper and one of the best moto trips of her life. Read on to hear more.

babes ride out

Megan Margeson @MeganMargeson

What you do for a living? 

Middle School Science Teacher

How long have you been riding motorcycles and how did you get started? 

I got my first dirt bike when I was 7, rode on the back of my dad's Harley for the first time when I was 8, got my motorcycle license when I was 18, and finished building my bike when I was 23.

Why do you ride motorcycles / What do you get out of riding motorcycles? 

Motorcycles have always been something that my family did together. What started as family trips to the desert to go dirt bike riding (which still happens) has grown into 5,000 mile trips on our choppers. I think family is what makes motorcycles so important to me. While the feeling of riding is, of course, what keeps me getting on the bike, being able to share in these adventures with my family makes it even more special.

Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past / currently own:

Past- Honda 70, Kawasaki KX 65, Kawasaki KX 85, Honda CRF 250R Current- 1964 Harley Davidson Panhead Chopper, 2002 Suzuki RM125, and a mini chopper

babes ride out

What first attracted you to Harley-Davidson? 

I was born into a Harley family. My dad got his 1949 Pan Shovel when I was 8, which was originally owned by my late uncle. Once I started riding on the back, I was immediately hooked. Shortly after, my mom purchased a Harley Davidson Heritage Classic. After riding that for a few years, she decided she wanted a chopper like my Dad's, so they started building her Shovelhead. Growing up, it was never a question as to 'if' I would ride but just a matter of 'when'. When I turned 18, I signed up for a motorcycle safety course and got my license. Once I started riding, my Dad said we could start building a chopper for me! About 6.5 years of building later, my chopper was complete!

How did you know it was the bike for you? 

I can't think of anything more special than having a bike that my dad built for me. The amount of love, sweat, and tears that went into this bike make it my most prized possession. We built it from the ground up, with me in mind every step of the way. I am more on the petite side and we built it to fit me perfectly. Since we built it, I was able to design every aspect of the bike: from the seat, to the sissy bar, to the paint, etc.

Tell us what it is like to ride your particular bike: 

I have ridden other types of bikes, but nothing has come close to my bike. Firstly, I am just very comfortable on my bike because it was built for me. Being comfortable is so important! Secondly, the feeling of a springer front end is my favorite! I just love hitting a bump in the road and feeling that bounce of the springer as I continue down the highway. It is a hardtail, so I am always sure to remember my kidney belt. While a bump in the road every now and then can be fun, going down the 405 freeway with no suspension can be quite painful.

babes ride out

What made you choose your model over the other H-D models? 

In all honesty, when we started building my bike, I wasn't going to be picky. I was just happy to be building a bike! My parents actually got the motor by trading their friend their old 1954 Chevy Truck for my panhead motor. I feel like when I say that, people assume I'm really spoiled (which... I guess I am, in a way). My Dad always said his goal was to build me a bike. He said he didn't have a lot to leave me with, but a bike was something he could do. Because money doesn't grow on trees at my house, it took us about 6.5 years to build my bike. I'm not complaining by any means. If anything, it made me appreciate it that much more.

Any modifications? Tell us about them if so:

Since we built it, pretty much everything can be considered a modification. I designed the king and queen style seat with Danny Grey, even had memory foam and gel put into it... worth every penny! The mustang tank, custom fender, and wishbone frame were painted by Chris Morrison, Richard LaPorte, and Dennis Babin. I wanted the bike to be period correct, so I tried to make design choices to reflect that, as well as South Bay Chopper history. The 13' over Fat's springer front end, "South Bay Swoop" style sissy bar, stainless steel auxiliary gas tank, and Dick Allen two-into-one exhaust are all elements of "old-school South Bay" choppers.

What has been you favorite adventure you have taken on your bike? 

Last Summer, my parents and I took a 5,000 mile trip to Canada. We went up the coast from Torrance, CA up into Canada, down through Idaho, stopped by Sturgis, went all the way down to New Mexico, and back up to California. We had a few bike issues along the way, which just adds to the adventure. Riding old bikes means that break downs are inevitable. We come as prepared as possible and do our best to keep up on maintenance, but things shake loose and pieces wear down. Breaking down multiple times just reminded me how wonderful the Harley Davidson community truly is. Three different strangers invited us into their homes to work on the bikes. A tow truck driver, who happens to be Harley rider, gave us a ridiculous deal on the tow. One man in Montana let my dad borrow his bike while my dad's was taken apart. Another man let us borrow one of his tools and just asked that we mail it back to him once we get home. Phil and Lydia of Cycle Works in Lynwood, CA overnighted us a Shovelhead head to borrow so that we could make it home! And countless riders stopped on the side of the road to make sure we were okay. When I begin to lose faith in humanity, the motorcycle community is there to remind me that good people still exist!

babes ride out

Do you have any fun road trips planned? 

This coming Summer, my parents and I will be riding up to Alaska and across through Canada!

Tell us about your experience at Babes Ride Out? (if you have not attended, tell us what you are looking forward to the most): 

When people ask me what Babes Ride Out is like, I find it so difficult to put the experience into words. It is the most liberating experience. It is the one place in the whole world that I feel I can go and not a single soul is judging me. We ride together during the day, and dance like no one is watching by night. Every woman there is so, incredibly supportive and we are all there because we have a mutual love that we can connect with: motorcycles. I finished building my bike the night before Babes Ride Out 2017. It was my goal to be able to take its maiden voyage to Joshua Tree for the event and put it in the Real Deal Bike Show. Not only did I make it there with no issues, I took home Best Vintage Bike and People's Choice! Could not have picked a better place to take our first ride together. Babes Ride Out is a safe place where I can sit at a random table and eat dinner with women I have never met and by the end of the meal, feel as if I had known them forever. When I'm out in public and see a woman in a Babes Ride Out hat, I always run up and introduce myself. Even though we have never met, the experience of BRO unites us. Babes Ride Out isn't just a campout, its a community.

Any advice for ladies who want to get started on two wheels?

TAKE A SAFETY COURSE!! Since I had been riding dirt bikes my whole life, I didn't see the need in taking a riding course. However, since I was under 21, the state of California required I did and I am so thankful for that! To this day, I think back to techniques I learned in the course while I am out riding. It not only strengthened my riding abilities but taught me what to do in unsafe situations.

babes ride out

Meet the Ladies of Triumph and See What They've Got Going On at Babes Ride Out 6

People, SponsorsAshmore Ellis

We are thrilled to welcome the ladies of Triumph Motorcycles to Babes Ride Out 6! On site they will be showing off their 2019 street line up, answering all your questions, hosting the MOTO GAMES (sign up by clicking HERE), and operating the BABES RIDE OUT 6 mobile post office! Bring your roladex full of addresses so you can send them a FREE postcard from Babes Ride Out 6. Meet Triumph’s best Teri and Emily below and make sure to welcome them both to their first Babes Ride Out events!

Teri Carter

I jokingly say that I crashed my way into the motorcycle industry; after nine years as a Marine, my military career was cut short due to some injuries sustained at Willow Springs International Raceway while testing tires on my Yamaha R6. Since that time, I have been fortunate to assist in the growth and development of brands such as Icon Motorsports, ScorpionEXO, Leatt Protectives and now, Triumph Motorcycles. I have ridden countless hours in the deserts of California and blew up more than one motor at full speed heading back to camp. I raced 600cc motorcycles nationally, winning a Super Sport championship in 2009. That same year I fell in love with a superbike racer and followed him all the way to Georgia from southern California. In 2010 we got married and decided to make the next moto super human (she’s still in training); our daughter, Petra, will be six next month.
Lately, I have found myself longing for adventure rides that will take me to quiet overlooks or a cascading waterfall. We have a garage full of motorcycles and truthfully, I don’t care what bike I ride; I am simply grateful for all the incredible things that two-wheels have brought tom my life. I am dedicated to growing motorcycle awareness and I feel compelled to get kids on bikes to build the future of our industry.
Insta: @TerGoLyn

Babes Ride Out

Emily Slaughter

Some of my fondest memories growing up were going to dirt bike races with my dad, and there was no challenge I wasn’t ready to meet when it came to pounding adrenaline.  I race obstacle courses, have competed in downhill mountain bike racing, rock climb, white water kayak, and even photographed brides on their wedding day for 12 years and survived (that's probably my biggest feat!).  I got my motorcycle license when I turned 18 and never fell in love with a bike until I was at a track day and saw a 2010 Triumph Speed Triple.  I was in love!  Little did I know that through a series of unfortunate events I’d end up working in their marketing department.  I have a Street triple that has given me so many smiles per mile, on and off the track, and have had such an amazing crazy ride.  The motorcycle industry has become a second home for this gearhead, and I can’t wait to see where the road ahead takes me.  But for now, I’m SO stoked for my first year at babes Ride Out!

Babes Ride Out

Babes in Borrego & The Original 50 | Meet Britt Germann

PeopleAnya Violet

Britt Germann has not missed a Babes Ride Out event yet! She is one of the original 50 women who rode out with us 5 years ago to Babes in Borrego! She’s been riding since she was a teenager and in her words “ female rider were few and far between back then”. The BRO community has carved out a special place in her heart over the years “I get shy around people sometimes, though shared experiences, particularly the really special shared experiences - can be like a powerful hug pulling people close. Babes Ride Out is like that.” Read on to learn more about Britt! See you next week at BRO6!

babes ride out
babes ride out

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. 


Britt Germann


babes ride out

· FULL NAME - Britt Germann

· INSTAGRAM HANDLE - @brittgermann

· LOCATION - Los Angeles, CA

· OCCUPATION - Art Dealer

How did you find out about Babes in Borrego and what made you want to be a part of it? Well, @blondezillagirl said I’d be missing out if I didn’t come. I was pretty new to LA - from Canada -  I was excited to explore Socal + meet other women who ride. Plus, I love camping.

When you arrived at the meet up, what were your first thoughts? Happy - tons of women riders, and everybody was excited. The buzz was real, big smiles all around.

Did you know anyone there? Is going on an adventure solo like this something you do or was this a first time out of your element kind of thing? I knew three people prior @blondezillagirl, @gringo_luva + @littlelindseymarie. Almost everybody, everywhere, in California were new to me at that time, and many of the 50 came from outside of LA - the experience was a new one in many ways! I have been riding motorcycles since I was a teenager in different parts of Canada, including the Pacific Coastal Mountain Range, where the season is short, wet and cold - women motorcyclists were few and far between.

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? It was exciting, I got the feeling pretty much right away that the group + it's leads, knew what they were doing on the road so the camping part should be a no-brainer. It can be dangerous to ride with people you don't know. At times, other riders do not know what they are doing though this group was on their game, and it is a serious game. As @littlelindseymarie has said...'it isn't Bingo..it's Motorcycle Riding...!'

What was that one night like for you? Tell us about your experience. I  remember getting to the camp out, and as twilight grew, some of the women jumped back on their bikes and were ripping, and I mean fast, back and forth across the dry lake bed - leather bikini tops, hair flying. It made me nervous, and I tried to stop watching. Even so, it was great, I can still smell the freedom in the air. I hope to never forget that.

Tell us about the ladies you met and have your friendships have evolved over the past 5 years.  Do you keep in touch? I have made a few good friends because of that night, for sure. I remember Sonora Jack - https://dirtyfree.blogspot.com/ - showing up in the wee hours that night - saw a single tiny headlight drive by and double back, then pick it's way on the dirt road toward the bonfire.  I could not believe my eyes....who is that? She must be thirsty ! - we grabbed cold ones and ran toward her, she'd just pulled in from AZ. I think she'd had a flat along the way, unreal that she found us! I get shy around people sometimes, though shared experiences, particularly the really special shared experiences - can be like a powerful hug pulling people close. Babes Ride Out is like that.

How have you changed over the past 5 years? (jobs, relationship, location, family, feel free to tell us as little or much as you want here) Lots of changes, loving LA - thank you, Angelenos. Working on a gallery project, it looks like we are opening in LA, next year.

Have you gone on any more camping / riding trips since that 2013 ride? If so, where and with who? Haven't missed a Babes Ride Out, and hope not to. I like to ride day trips in Malibu + Hwy 2, in Angeles Crest National Forest. Can recall this minute an epic trip to Palomar one wet summer day + Big Wheel/Little Wheel camp outs w The Cretins! Love those guys. 

What is it like coming back to Babes Ride Out as it has grown?  It's been really interesting to see massive growth, in both Babes Ride Out + the Women's Moto Movement at the same time - Babes Ride Out has helped fuel growth in the Women’s Moto Movement. I sometimes see a woman on the sidewalk or in a car, looking wistfully as my bike rolls by, because motorcycle riding not only looks cool, it is a really exhilarating sport, it is just great. Sometimes, I think to myself that I don't know which I like more, the motorcycles or the motorcycle riders, and I'm just glad I don't have to choose.

I must also say, I try never to forget that Motorcycle riding is sometimes without warning, a very scary and deadly sport. I try to remember that when I get on a motorcycle I may never get off that motorcycle. Sometimes, I wonder if riding motorcycles comfortably requires a touch of stupidity, or something close, especially when I'm in a car watching riders hurdle down the highway. Which I love to do. I ask my friends and family to know that if I die, or get close, doing this, know that I loved it and knew the risks.

What are your thoughts on the Moto community and industry as a whole? I try to encourage women to come to Babes Ride Out even if they are only thinking or wishing that they rode. Anya and Ashmore have created a really wonderful and welcoming community, in founding Babes Ride Out. It takes a long time to learn how to ride, and ride comfortably, for some people. It is ok. People need to take time with this sport. Babes Ride Out is a great place for women to ask questions and seek answers, to meet people, to make friends, to learn more about bikes and riding. I ski a lot, and motorcycling riding is a lot like skiing, if I see someone with their gear, or someone sees me, it's an instant hello. It's really nice.


  

Cheryl Maples Explains Why Her 2018 Triumph Bobber Black Was the Perfect Combination of Speed, Response, and Beauty

People, Roll CallAshmore Ellis

Dealerships can be a tiny bit intimidating to a rider who is looking to purchase off the showroom floor as the choices can be overwhelming as every bike has their own appeal. Cheryl Maples found herself staring at 2018 Triumph Bobber Black, a bike she didn't even know was on the market, while accompanying her friend to look for her first bike at Motoprimo Motorsports in Lakeville Minnesota.  Sure, it was perfect visually, but was it perfect for the style of riding she liked to do? Cheryl went home to do her research and found herself back at the dealership 4 days later asking for the keys to her new Bobber. Read on to see what she found out about this beautiful machine and what won her over in the end. 

  • Name: Cheryl Maples

  • Location: St. Paul, MN

  • Instagram handle: @chmeryl

  • Occupation: Student & Crew at Trader Joes

How long have you been riding motorcycles? My first time on a motorcycle was in 2013. I had my permit but never went through with taking the riders course and getting my endorsement until May 2018.

Why do you ride motorcycles? For the feeling when you and your motorcycle move as one. The adrenaline rush, the stress relief, and going fast.  The feeling of being free, open, independent, and liberated.

Run us through the list of bikes you have had in your past: I learned on my husbands 80’s Kawasaki enduro, I had a 1983 Yamaha Virago for a very short period of time and then I got my 2018 Triumph Bobber Black.

What first attracted you to Triumph?  The styling of their bikes. I’ve always thought they looked the most attractive, plus they have a great reputation.

Babes Ride Out

How did you know it was the bike for you? It just felt right. My friend and I went to a dealership for her to find her first bike, I didn’t even know that this Bobber existed.  It caught my eye and I instantly fell in love with it. From the fat 16” front wheel to it’s matte blacked out muscular body, it was my dream bike. I left the dealership empty handed but couldn’t stop thinking about that bike.  I went home and did some research, learned a bit more about this motorcycle and bought it four days later.

Tell us what it is like to ride? This bike is a blast to ride! I like it because it looks old school and stylish, but it has a very modern sporty feel to it. It has a very responsive throttle because of the “ride-by-wire” technology. Once its spooled up it has plenty of power to get up and go. The bike is a little resistant to turning compared to some other bikes I’ve experienced, which is actually nice because it wants to stay up straight when riding, requiring less effort from the rider to keep it from drifting. Despite this, it does not have any difficulty cornering when you want it to. The bike is very maneuverable and can really lean into a turn. The suspension also does a great job at eliminating most of the feedback from the road. The brakes are very effective and do not lock up no matter how hard you squeeze them. All of the electronics are easy to manage, with the controls right at your fingertips. It has a digital fuel indicator, as well as features a fuel range indicator that makes it super easy to plan your next stop for gas. The modern tech and the old school style really make this bike an absolute blast to ride, whether its to the gas station for a soda, or down the road for a day-trip.

Babes Ride Out

What made you choose your model over the other Triumph Models?  The options that this bike has are amazing. It has twin front disc brakes, ABS, traction control, rain/road mode, and features that my car doesn’t even have. I just thought it had a lot to offer along with the way they styled this bike. Triumph did a phenomenal job when they built it.

What has been your favorite adventure you have taken on your new bike? Riding alongside the Mississippi River on the Great River Road in Wisconsin. Our area has a very winding and beautiful stretch that follows a few hundred miles around Lake Pepin. There are various intersections and bridges so you have the option of completing an all day lap around the lake, or taking a short trip by crossing a bridge early and coming back up the river on the Minnesota side. No matter how long you choose to ride these roads, its always a beautiful trip.

Do you have any fun road trips planned? I don’t currently have any planned right now but I have definitely started a list of places I want to go. I haven’t gotten the opportunity to experience a Babes Ride Out event but I follow their Instagram page and the women are a huge inspiration for me.  It makes me want to be more and do more. I look up to all of these amazing women riders.

Want to test ride the Bobber Black? Click HERE

Want to get the specs on Cheryl’s Triumph? Click HERE

Babes Ride Out
Babes Ride Out
Babes Ride Out

Babes in Borrego & The Original 50 | Meet Nina Kaplan

People, Roll CallAnya Violet

We connected with Nina over instagram before Babes in Borrego was even born. In fact, connecting with her was one of the reasons we thought maybe we should extend the invite to more women we were meeting on social media. From day #1 Nina has been an encouraging, inspiring, and truly awesome fixture in this community. Her passion for a life on two wheels is intoxicating and her positive state of mind and welcoming energy make you just want to be around her. Five years later we look back and are so thankful to have met Nina on that dry lake bed in the middle of nowhere at our first ever camp out. Read on to get to know Nina!

photo by Heidi Zumbrun

photo by Heidi Zumbrun

babes ride out

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. 


Nina Kaplan


photo by Heidi Zumbrun

photo by Heidi Zumbrun

·       FULL NAME  NINA KAPLAN

·       INSTAGRAM HANDLE @niinhellhound

·       LOCATION Los Angeles

·       OCCUPATION Occupational Therapist

How did you find out about Babes in Borrego and what made you want to be a part of it?

As social media connected more and more women on motorcycles in 2013, I became aware of Anya and Ashmore, via a mutual photographer friend. We sent some messages back and forth, and I was invited to scout the site in Borrego with them for the first ever BABES RIDE OUT. Due to work commitments, I was unable to scout, however I was intent on going to the event. I had purchased my first motorcycle in 2011 and found some women to ride with in the SF bay area. I was keen to meet a group in LA as I had just relocated south.

When you arrived at the meet up, what was your first thoughts?

When I arrived at the meet up at the Starbucks in Temecula I think, I remember thinking, there’s a lot of us ladies on motos here! This is going to be a great weekend adventure.

Did you know anyone there? Is going on an adventure solo like this something you do or was this a first time out of your element kind of thing?

I did go to the event with two women rider friends I rode in the Bay area with, one of whom had recently moved to So Cal as well. Via social media, I was also connected to a crew of women from Portland were making the trek down for the event. One can feel out of their element in a new group scenario, but I tend to thrive and seek out those exact types of experiences. I love the opportunity to do and be involved in something new.

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 in a group is always tough, especially a group of unknown riders. I was fortunate to have some familiar friends with me, whom I stuck with for the ride. There were instances of passing, and going around riders who were inexperienced. We wove our way near the front, and I remember as we crested the hill and looked over into the Borrego Springs Valley, what an amazing view and feeling it was! The coordinates took us to a dirt road, which in reality was a mile or so of soft sand. The kind of sand that is like snow, it just so soft. It was wild to ride down that road together, going slow and helping others who had wiped out.

What was that one night like for you? Tell us about your experience.

I remember getting into the valley with the dry lake bed where camp would be. I had been speaking to a few other MOTO ladies from Portland and I was excited to connect with them and some friends that had ridden out from NY. As the sun set the ladies took to their bikes, and I remember them ripping around an oval on the dry lake bed in the golden hours of the day. I took a quiet moment by myself to take it all in. I thought here I am with the wild women, right where we belong. Off the grid, many of us not know to each other at that time, but sharing the common mentality of adventure and comradery, and even without knowing the other women well or at all, there was a sense that we were there to support each other. It was a powerful feeling to be immediately connected to so many like minded women.

Tell us about the ladies you met and have your friendships have evolved over the past 5 years.  Do you keep in touch?

I met so ladies on this trip, many whom I developed deep and lasting friendships with. Friendships that have taken me across the country in the US and on adventure moto trips in Guatemala. The connections made in year one are some of most cherished. I return to the even every year to continue to make new connections.

How have you changed over the past 5 years?

So much has changed for me in the years since the first event, as life is ever-changing. Something I am most excited about developing in the years since the first event is my involvement in the BRO DIRT event. I have attended for 3 years and finally was able to bring a dirt bike of my own to the last event. I am excited to make the same connections and deepen friendships with the ladies that ride dirt.

Have you gone on any more camping / riding trips since that 2013 ride? If so, where and with who?

In 2015 I was lucky to go across country with Harley Davidson and Lana McNaughton of the Women’s Moto Exhibit. Other riders included Jenny Czinder of (strange Vacation) whom I met at year one BRO, and Imogen Lethonen (who I attended year 2 with), and Megan who I met at year 2 as well I think.

In December of 2016 I did a 12 day self-guided moto trip in Guatemala with Leslie Padoll of BH.and.BR and Kate Unver whom I met at BRO east coast.

I was also lucky enough to attend year one of BRO east coast, as so many ladies from the east coast come out to the west coast event, I wanted to do the opposite. I rode with Kate and Leslie on this trip and it was a great experience, I love the first year of an event, it always seems to hold the most magic.

What is it like coming back to Babes Ride Out as it has grown?  

Initially the growth of the event felt foreign and a departure from the first year. However, as I have attended throughout the years, I have reveled in how many women the event attracts, and seen it as an opportunity to connect to a wider and wider group of moto women! Now the event is such an amazing production it feels like a moto festival and I love it!

What are your thoughts on the Moto community and industry as a whole?

I love being part of the women’s moto community, I feel that as the minority within the industry as a whole we hold a very valuable position and the ability to connect and bond with each other at events such as BRO is very important.  

Babes in Borrego & The Original 50 | Meet Sanna Boman

PeopleAnya Violet

Sanna has always been an inspiration to us! You can truly feel her passion for riding and we love to see her put down a ton of miles on her roadtrips. She is one of the nicest people you could meet and we are so stoked that she was with us at our first ever campout! read on to hear her story! “I can honestly say that the original Babes in Borrego event was one of the best experiences of my life. It was a super empowering experience rolling out of Temecula 50 women deep! The Sand Diego crew have since become some of my best friends and we've attended every BRO since together”-Sanna

babes ride out
babes ride out

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. 


Sanna Boman


babes ride out

·       FULL NAME: Sanna Maria

·       INSTAGRAM HANDLE: @cylinderella

·       LOCATION: San Diego, CA

·       OCCUPATION: Managing Editor at Roadtrippers

How did you find out about Babes in Borrego and what made you want to be a part of it?

I saw the flyer on Instagram. This was in 2013, back when it was super rare to see motorcycle events targeted at women only, other than the occasional “Ladies Night” at the local Harley dealership. I had been riding for a few years and already knew a small group of women who rode, so a few of us decided to go.

When you arrived at the meet up, what was your first thoughts?

Arriving at the meet up spot in Temecula was pretty exciting. No one knew how many people were going to show up, and more and more ladies just kept rolling in! We were all just mingling and introducing ourselves to new people. I don't think I realized then how many of those ladies I would actually become friends with later.

Did you know anyone there? Is going on an adventure solo like this something you do or was this a first time out of your element kind of thing?

I went with two friends, Nina and Jess, so it wasn’t a solo adventure for me. Jess had only been riding for a couple of months at this point, and she was on a little 250 Virago, but she totally kicked ass through heavy winds on the freeway and twisty mountain roads taking us down into Borrego. My Sportster wasn't running at the time (which was not at all unusual for that particular bike), so I ended up renting a newer sporty just for this trip.  

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?

I had so much fun on that ride. Everyone kind of naturally broke into three groups: faster riders in the front, slower riders in the back, and everyone else in the middle. It was a super empowering experience rolling out of Temecula 50 women deep, and then trying to keep up with the really fast, experienced ladies in the front. Arriving in Borrego was... interesting. To get to the camping spot, we had to ride through two miles of sand—and not the tightly packed kind. Girls around me were dropping left and right, but I somehow made it all the way through without incident. Good thing, since I was on a rental bike.

A few years later, when we returned to the same spot for the Babes in Borrego reunion, I was on a brand new Dyna that I had bought just a few weeks earlier and was still getting used to. That was even sketchier, but again, I somehow made it there and back without dropping my bike. Just the thought of riding that sandy stretch still gives me anxiety though.

What was that one night like for you? Tell us about your experience.

I can honestly say that the original Babes in Borrego event was one of the best experiences of my life. I wrote a fairly sentimental blog post about it on Red Rag Garage (a women’s motorcycle blog I run with my friend Katie) a while back.   

My favorite thing about that night: A bunch of fearless women ripping up and down a dry lake bed as fast as their bikes would go, without helmets or a care in the world. That was one of my biggest YOLO-moments.

Tell us about the ladies you met and have your friendships have evolved over the past 5 years.  Do you keep in touch?

Yes! I met so many amazing women that first day and night, and I keep in touch with many of them. Since I’m in San Diego and many of the other ladies are in the LA and Orange County areas, I don’t get to see them as much as I would like. But the San Diego people I didn't already know (Stacey, Stayc, Tasha, Dannielle) have now become some of my best friends, and we've attended every BRO since together. And it’s always like a mini reunion when we run into the rest of the OGs at other events all over Southern California.

I've also added a few Borrego-girls to my list of travel buddies, like Genevieve. We attempted to ride to the Grand Canyon together a few years ago, but got snowed in in Flagstaff. We also rode down to San Felipe in Mexico earlier this year with a couple of other friends.

How have you changed over the past 5 years? (jobs, relationship, location, family, feel free to tell us as little or much as you want here).

Oh man, what hasn't changed? In the past five years I’ve managed to meet the love of my life, land two awesome jobs, travel to 10 countries, ride motorcycles in three continents, own a total of five different bikes, and meet some of the best friends I’ve ever had. I also just started my dream job, as managing editor at Roadtrippers. Even if the world is falling apart around us, the past five years have been kind to me personally.  

Have you gone on any more camping / riding trips since that 2013 ride? If so, where and with who?

Oh yes, I go on motorcycle road trips as often as I possibly can. I have a really awesome group of about 10 friends here in San Diego who all ride, and we travel together both on and off the bikes. Most weekends we’ll rip out to the desert or down to Mexico. Four of us just got back from a two-week, 4300-mile motorcycle trip from San Diego to Banff National Park in Canada and back. It was an amazing, bucket-list experience, and I’m already itching to plan my next trip.

What is it like coming back to Babes Ride Out as it has grown?  

I’ve been to every west coast Babes Ride Out since the first one, and it’s been amazing to see it grow into what it is today. I just love how this one event has sparked a whole new generation of women motorcyclists. I know of so many ladies who started riding after seeing how much fun we were all having at Babes, and it’s such a cool thing to have been a part of. Representation matters!

What are your thoughts on the Moto community and industry as a whole?

I have a lot of thoughts on the moto industry, how much time do you have? No, but seriously, I feel like we’re in this moment in time where there’s a generational shift happening in this scene right in front of our eyes. There's still your stereotypical ultra-sexist macho biker dude who wants women to sit quietly on the back of the bike, but I think (and hope) they’re a dying breed. The people I know who put down the most miles on their bikes are all women.

babes ride out