Inside headquarters there is an emphasis on kindness, family, giving back to the community & what we call “the Van-Doren Spirit.” Tomorrow we are taking a day off work to do a beach cleanup. In a few weeks one of my coworkers organized a day for the creative department to build skateboards for local underprivileged kids. I once saw Steve Van Doren literally give the shoes off his feet to a stranger who complimented his shoes and walk out of an event barefoot. And if that isn’t enough, Vans builds skateparks and venues in communities across the nation, and we support rad events I feel are super important-like Babes Ride Out. It’s a company culture I’m really proud to be a part of.
Any NEW Vans or Vans Girl projects in the works?
Honestly I’m probably the wrong person to ask, since I am kind of the last person to find out about stuff coming down the pipeline. I will say there’s a pretty rad women’s motorcycle-inspired pack that will be out in Fall 2017 I’m about to go shoot. I wouldn’t be surprised if all the hype behind BRO helped inspire that one!
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into motorcycles:
As stated earlier I was fortunate enough to grow up in Laguna Beach, CA. I love dogs (really all critters), I have a passion for the outdoors, music, & photography which I believe is a direct response to growing up in the time and town that I did.
I have been on wheels for as long as I can remember, first on rollerblades when I was little, skateboarding later in my youth, in college I played roller derby & motorcycles just seemed like the next natural progression to going fast on wheels.
When I was 19 I dated a guy with a vintage triumph and immediately fell in love with the machine. The relationship didn’t last very long but my lusting after his motorcycle did. At no point did I have any desire to ride on the back, I wanted my own immediately. I got my license when I was 20, saved for 3 years & bought a 1974 honda CB360 that didn’t run for $900. That same ex-boyfriend with the Triumph ended up becoming one of my best friends & helped me bring the Honda back to life years later. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Did I mention I love nature? The best part of riding for me is exploring-and truly becoming-different landscapes. I abhor riding in the city-it stresses me out, but being on a two-lane highway in the mountains of Colorado or the Valleys of Utah or the coastal twisties of Big Sur, breathing and feeling and leaning into the environment and the landscape-that’s paradise.
You came to the first ever Babes Ride Out ever in 2013. How was that experience for you and what is your best memory?
Super rad. I feel like I was a part of history. I sprained my wrist the week before & my Honda was acting up, I almost didn’t go but my friend T-Bone talked me into it. I’m so glad she did. My other friend Machine had been riding for a long time, way longer than I, and seeing her in awe of that many women in one place, I knew this was unlike anything else. You guys had screen printed like, 30 shirts I think, & I almost didn’t buy one. Machine goes “buy a shirt. Trust me. This is gonna be huge.” I’m so glad she talked me into that one because I treasure that shirt now.
It was such an inspiring experience, I wrote a poem that was later turned into a song called “Anza Borrego” when I was coming home from that trip. It’s still my favorite thing I’ve ever written. I knew two women who rode prior to Babes in Borrego, but that initial trip put me hip to so many women who have to this day become my best riding friends. After BRO Borrego a fraction of us who had met there did this 10 day trip up to Washington & back that summer. That wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t been in at BIB.
BRO JT has grown into this huge, awesome, well-oiled event, but the first one was so special because it was just a rugged, punk rock, DIY camp out. Literally like Ashmore & Anya posted a flier on instagram, 50 of us caught wind of it through word of mouth, nobody fucking knew each other & we all cruised down to camp in the dirt. It was rowdy. I remember after we got to the campsite all the girls were riding their street bikes on this wide, dried up lakebed just throttling it back & forth celebrating & having fun. I rode on the back of my friend Mel’s Harley that weekend since I couldn’t ride due to my wrist. It was a damn good time.