Babes Ride Out

motorcycle safety

First Responder | Advice from Dr. Jenny Kim of what to do when you see a rider down

SafetyAnya Violet

Accidents happen. We all do our best to avoid them and hope that we never are witness to one! Dr. Jenny Kim, our on site medic from BRO3, shares her first hand account of witnessing an accident and shares some key things of what to do and what not to do on the scene of an accident. 

Photo by Lanakila Mcnaughton of Womens Moto Exhibit

Photo by Lanakila Mcnaughton of Womens Moto Exhibit

Babes Ride Out 3 was over.  The camp was deserted and the creaking of the wood shack that had been the first aid station seemed loud.  I loaded the last of the unused bandages, gauze, and ointments into my truck. 

I pulled out of the ghost town with my bike in tow and drove onto Sunfair Road.  What an incredible weekend it was.  I was joined by a group of talented women nurses, paramedics, and a firefighter that all shared a love of motorcycle riding to offer basic first aid to fellow riders.  We took shifts and took call at night treating road rash, pipe burns, corneal abrasions, and offered advice on general medical problems.  It was tremendously rewarding and gratifying.

Then suddenly, I saw settling dust ahead on the empty road.  I slowed down the truck as I approached.  There were two riders standing on the side of the road and one sitting on the ground.  Up ahead on the other side of the road was a motorcycle down on its side.

I pulled over and rushed over to the riders.  As I got closer, I assessed the area.  It was empty of cars, there was no debris or fuel on the road.  All three riders were off to the side of the road.  The rider on the ground was sitting, helmet off, moving all her limbs and talking coherently. 

If you ride, you have been or know someone who has been in a motorcycle accident. Motorcycle crashes can cause serious physical and emotional injuries.  If you are witness to a motorcycle accident, there are actions that you can take to decrease injury to the rider down.  Anyone can be of help and make a difference.  Below is a limited basic starting point and does not take the place of a medical professional or advanced emergency training.

1)    Take a breath and stay calm.  The rider down may be scared and in panic.  They need you to be cool and rational.

2)    Assess the situation then call 911.  Every minute counts.  Listen carefully.  Answer their questions clearly and succinctly.

3)    Protect yourself and keep yourself out of danger.  Make the area safe to help.  If, there are other bystanders, instruct them to warn traffic.

4)    Move the rider only if they are in imminent danger, such as fire or on coming traffic.

5)    If the rider is conscious, talk to them.  Reassure them and be encouraging.  Hold their hand so they know that you are there for them. 

6)    The rider may be going into shock.  Cover them to keep them warm.

7)    Don’t remove their helmets.  They may have cervical spine or spinal cord injuries.  Removing their helmet may cause further damage.  Only remove the helmet if it is a life and death situation, such as not breathing.

8)    If there is bleeding, elevate the limb and use pressure with a clean cloth.

9)    Do not give them anything to eat or drink.  If they lose consciousness, they may aspirate or choke.  Also, the rider may need emergency surgery.  Surgery is safer on an empty stomach.

10)  If you are trained to do so, administer CPR or BLS to the rider without a pulse or is not breathing.

11) Stay with rider until paramedics or professional help arrive.


Here Janea's account of the accident ( the rider who went down)

The last day at Babes Ride Out 3, I will never forget. I called my husband to tell him we were packing up and heading home soon. He asked me to call him before we left.

I packed up, got on my bike and looked at my gloves stashed behind my fairing.  The cafe we decided on for lunch, before heading home, was just down the street from camp.  I put the gloves on.  It was warm this October in Joshua Tree, so my leather jacket stayed in my pack. 

I took the lead down Sunfair Road out of camp.  The warm wind embraced me.  It had been an amazing week.  First, the moto trip through Arizona with the girls.  Then to Babes Ride Out 3 where I met women from all walks of life following their passions.  Lastly, my volunteer work with the inspiring MotoFam.  It was all gratifying, rewarding, and immensely fun!

Then suddenly, my handlebars began slapping my tank. I don’t know what happened.  I couldn’t control the bars.  The bike began to buck.  There was nothing I could do.  I let my hands go and closed my eyes.

I don’t remember what happened.  I opened my eyes and I was in a dust cloud.   I was filled with adrenalin and felt nothing.  One of the girls was running to me yelling “Lay down! Lay down!”

The Importance of Practice by Francesca Michelle

SafetyAnya Violet

As we are gearing up for Babes Ride Out 6 we are highlighting some important topics to help you stay safe on the road. One of those topics is PRACTICE! It's easy not to think of riding a motorcycle as something that you need to practice. However, practice can mean the difference between you being as prepared as you can be for the unexpected or not. For some, its as simple as practicing holding your line on a fun twisty road or quick stops in a parking lot as you wait for a friend. Taking your riding skills to the next level will help to keep you safe on the road. We caught up with Francesca Michelle of the Eastside Moto Babes to get her thoughts on practice. Read on and enjoy!

babes ride out

The Importance of Practice

by Francesca Michelle of Eastside Moto Babes

 Back in 2016, my best friend asked me if I wanted to ride on her team in a 24 hour endurance race. The race, put on by M1GP, runs noon-noon for 24 hours straight, with a team of 6 people keeping the bike on track at all times. I was 23, had been riding for almost three years, didn’t own leathers, and had never ridden on a track before. Obviously, I said yes.

My logic was: I was a skilled, fairly fast rider on the street. I practiced a lot in parking lots and rode canyons regularly. Track couldn’t be that different; I’d probably be fine.

Cut to the day of the race. It’s around 95 degrees in the high desert. There’s 15 teams on the track, in different classes ranging from 50 cup to mod 125. We’re the only stock Grom in the 125 class and all six of us are really excited. We’re running stints an hour long, and I’m near the end of the lineup. I get on track for my first stint, and it takes me about four seconds to realize I don’t have a clue what I’m doing. My street riding skills don’t help me here. As anyone who’s ever been on a track will tell you: it’s a completely different kind of riding than on the street, and I’m getting an up-close look at it. I’m pretty much the slowest out there. I get passed, a lot. I get lapped, a lot. It’s massively frustrating. When my hour is over, I get off track, pass off the bike, and go off by myself to be grumpy.

 The night session passes pretty similarly. Things start to turn around during my morning stint. The sun is rising. The Grom is running strong. I think, this is silly. It doesn’t matter if I suck at this. If I give up on it now, I’ll always suck the same amount.

I finish my session happy. My lines are cleaning up, my body position is getting better. I find people on track I can trail behind and watch how they ride. Between my first sessions and my last, I drop six seconds on my lap time. But, more importantly, it starts to be insanely fun. OK, everyone is going to pass you. Who cares! Don’t worry about being faster. Just be smooth and make yourself harder to pass.

 My team placed second in the stock class that year (completely due to my teammates, who are excellent riders and terrific people). Shortly after, I started volunteering at Socal Supermoto in Riverside and riding their TTRs whenever I could. Slowly, I got better. I practiced, and I listened, and I started to improve. I bothered Brian and Frank about everything I could think of, and every weekend at supermoto I’d pick up something else. I bought my own TTR and converted it to minimoto. The next time I raced with M1GP, it was stupidly fun and I was ten million times better than the year before. 

It’s easy to look at people who are really good at something, and beat yourself up because you’re not as good as them. It’s easy to feel like they have some kind of intrinsic ability or innate skill that you just don’t have. (To be fair--those people do exist, and it’s incredibly annoying.) But often, that’s not true. All you have is a snapshot. A girl on an MX bike railing a berm. A girl on a track bike blowing by you at unrealistic speeds. That’s insane, you think to yourself. I can’t do that. This person is just better at this than me.

 I’ve been there. I’ve thought that. But here’s what you don’t see: the hours of practice put in. The questions asked. The mentors and friends and coaches, pestered with questions. The hours--and I can’t emphasize this enough--of doing something a million times, failing at it over and over until you start getting better. Skill is practice. Practice is a habit, and a willingness to try again. All the skill you have at something comes from a willingness to be terrible at it first.

Take the classes. Ask the questions. Find som eone who knows more than you, and bug them. Think you can’t do it? You can. Just get out there and do it. Get out there and suck at everything for awhile, screw up and fail a bunch of times and you will get better. You will! Failing is a part of it. Give yourself the grace to suck at something you love. It’s more fun than you think.

Options for further training:

Safety Refresher Course  Westside Motorcycle Academy www.westsidemotorcycleacademy.com  Sign up: HERE

Intermediate, advanced 1 & 2 rider courses: https://www.totalcontroltraining.net

Socal Supermoto: https://www.socalsupermoto.com

M1GP, racing and rider clinics: https://m1-grandprix.com/m1gprc/

UMRA, racing with fleet rental options: http://www.raceumra.com/faq.html