I was literally freezing my ass off in the Catskills on the Gypsy Run when I met Virginia. Que instant friendship. We spent the rest of the weekend hanging out and sharing campfires and met up in the city for the Brooklyn Invitational. If there is anything I can say about her, it's that her smile is contagious and she honestly loves riding motorcycles. Riding with her on her own turf was magic and something we can't wait to do again at Babes Ride Out East Coast. Meet Virginia Hall, Babes Ride Out East Coast Manager!
Virginia Hambly Hall, but I’ve gone by VirNinja, Ninja, Virg, V, Gin.
Location: Blairstown, New Jersey. Small, rural town about 5 miles from the Delaware Water Gap in Northwestern New Jersey.
Where are you from? New York, roughly 40 miles up the Hudson River from Manhattan. Grew up on a dead end street surrounded by woods, with no sidewalks and lots of old twisty roads. But every weekend my friends and I would go party in the city, head to art classes, or explore (what was then undiscovered) Brooklyn as underage teenagers. It was a nice cross between city slick and mountain mamas.
What do you do and how long have you done it? I work full-time as a Senior UX (User Experience) Designer creating websites and mobile apps. It’s awesomely nerdy. I like to think of it like being a super hero who fights crimes against design from the ’90s and people who think that drop shadows should be used on everything. I’ve been working full time for almost 4 years now, but doing freelance since I was a youngin' and didn’t have enough babysitting money. Photography, design, websites, business cards - I love it all. Just don’t make me draw.
What’s new with you? What do you have in the works? I guess you’ve caught me at what will probably be one of the busiest times of my life! Aside from helping plan BRO4 East Coast, playing with my cats, the daily dose of freelance work, and editing moto event photos…I’m planning my wedding in August! Don’t even get me started on the wedding. I could talk about it for hours, and you’ll all be wishing you never asked. It’s going to be an explosion of happy tears, 20w50 and lots of really drunk dance moves.
What has been the hardest or best (or both) parts of your job? That’s a good question. I guess the hardest parts are the things I enjoy most. Almost all of my job is based around working with or for people. I take the clients vision for their mobile app or website, and make it mentally digestible for their user. I do a lot of thinking about the way people think: Patterns, rationale and processes. This means I spend 80% of my day in Photoshop and/or Sketch, and get to call surfing the web “research.”
Tell us about your life in motorcycling. How long have you been riding / favorite bike / what are you currently riding etc.:
As of February I have officially started my fourth “season” on a motorcycle. Us east-coasters need to refer to it as “seasons” since we’re off the road for several months a year. But it’s not all bad. I don’t think I would’ve learned half as much as I know about my bike if I wasn’t locked up and antsy while the salt melted the ice outside.
My favorite bike is probably….my bike. Is that okay to say? I finished her last year around May, just in time for Fuel Cleveland. She’s a ’96 XL1200c and I put a hardtail on her last winter. That was no simple project. But I’ll let the video do the talking…https://vimeo.com/155694165
Tell us about your best moto trip: Babes Ride Out!! Seriously. But yes, seriously. I mean I love any trip that involves traveling by motorcycle. That’s kind of what my summers are made up of. Never unpacking our camping gear, and burning holes through my leather boots? Count me in. Long days riding without a front fender through the rain, and ending it with beer and room-temperature bourbon? Come on, that’s a summer’s dream! I just do it all for the tent snuggles and so I can spoon Jay like little sleeping bag caterpillars.
When is your next trip? Next trip will either be Ride2Skate in Philly, or The Fox Run. It’s so rad to hear about 2016: The Year of the East Coast Lady Moto Campouts. There’s such incredible people who ride motorcycles on the east coast and every opportunity to hang out, put some miles on my bike, and create some cool photos together is a place I like to be.
How did you hear about Babes Ride Out? Okay, this is a good story. It was my first Gypsy Run back in 2013 and I was riding Jay’s CB750 that summer. We didn’t know anyone who rode motorcycles. We showed up at the first campground and there were maybe 5 girls on the whole ride, out of a few hundred dudes. We were pretty far into the night, already reaching for shots of tequila, when simultaneously me and this kickass chick turn around and are about 2 feet from each other. “I like your boots,” she said, “I like you hair” I replied. And we we’ve been friends ever since. That rad chick was Ashmore, just one month before the first ever Babes Ride Out.
What did you think when you first heard about it? To be honest, that first summer riding I didn’t really expect to meet many girlfriends. I figured Jay and I were gonna ride around together, but it never occurred to us how strong a community of vintage motorcyclists there was. Mind you, this was before almost anyone had Instagram. That summer I met Anna Moore from Baltimore at Strange Days, and then I met Ashmore, Kat and a few other ladies at Gyspy Run. It was a strong group of ladies to meet my first summer on the road. These gals were badass, beautiful and had ridden hundreds of miles more than me. So the prospect of an event where I could just hang out with them, and more ladies like them…seemed awesome.
What makes you interested in supporting Babes Ride Out? I had never been part of a global community where everyone is so supportive and excited about sharing their passion. I mean, yeah - we’re all super tough biker chicks who take no shit and break bottles over each other’s heads, duh! But in reality, this has just been an outlet to find a lot of really cool people who I have such a deep respect for. We may have only ever met once under those Joshua Tree stars, taking swigs from the JD and giving each other sloppy hugs - but somehow I have such a deep connection to those girls. We don’t need small talk. We don’t need to impress each other. It’s truly just about having a good time, putting miles on our bikes, and collaborating together creatively.
Motorcycles mean a lot to me. I’ve never been the kind of person to half-ass anything I’m passionate about, and I think that to whoever reads this and is going to come to BRO4 East Coast this summer - we’re super excited to have you! Can’t wait to meet, hang and shoot the shit together. I’m excited to share our east coast turf with you. Whether you’re a new rider, or seasoned gypsy - we have the roads for you and it’s gonna be an incredible time. Those Catskill mountains have a lot of history, and now we can make our own stories to tell.