Ladies who ride (or want to ride) dirt bikes, enduros, dual sports and more. MARK YOUR CALENDARS! We offer beginner-friendly grass tracks, various levels of woods riding, guided advanced rides and guided street-legal dual sport rides.
"Is a women's only event a mistake?" "I don't know any women who would go to something like this on their own." These are just a few comments I heard as I was launching Over And Out, but 73 women showed up to our first event, and each girl's story about why they came was unique and inspiring in it's own way.
We continue spotlighting some of the rad girls who came to the first Over And Out, to show exactly how they made their journey happen, and to show that heeelllll-no a women's-only event isn't a mistake; it's a life-changing experience and a damn good time!
MEET MEGAN BABINEAU @alluneedisluff
HOW DID YOU FIND OUT ABOUT OVER AND OUT?
I am lucky enough to have a partner that works and is active in the motorcycle industry. He follows Kelly (the girl that runs the event) on social media, read about the event in one of her posts and mentioned it to me. He thought it would be a rad thing for me to attend, he was rather persistent as the weeks went on! He knew an all-female event would help me gain confidence in my riding.
SO, YOU FINALLY CAME AROUND! WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO ATTEND?
First, I did want to ride with other women. While I knew we wouldn’t all be the same level, the fact that we are all women would make a big difference alone.I felt that surrounding myself with gnarly women who are just as good, if not better, than men at riding would help me get over feeling sidelined in a male dominant sport.
I’m also always down for an outdoor adventure and wanted to push myself to attend a riding event without the men I usually ride with. It’s truly a personal accomplishment being able to say I traveled 4 hours away into the woods, on my own, not knowing anyone there.
DID YOU ALREADY HAVE OFF-ROAD RIDING EXPERIENCE?
I did. Besides taking the motorcycle course I actually only have off road experience. I ride in a handful of North-Central Pennsylvania locations.
WERE YOU WORRIED ABOUT ANYTHING PRIOR TO ATTENDING?
The “what if’s” were endless! I own a Yamaha TTR-125 that I am very comfortable riding.. I wasn’t trying to be anything I wasn’t or ride a bike I couldn’t handle but I was nervous about showing up on what might be thought of as a beginner bike. Socially, I thought it might be cliquey and worried people would be judgmental.
Then there was the travel and transporting my bike! I am certainly not helpless, but I don’t usually load or unload my bike on my own. I always have the assistance of the guys I ride with. For OAO, I loaded my TTR, had to FaceTime someone and Google to figure out how ratchet straps worked (because I wasn’t listening when I was told how)
Then there was unloading the bike once I arrived. Dreadful! But, not anymore. I’m the one that loads the bikes now. ;)
HOW WAS EVERYTHING ONCE YOU ARRIVED?
It was insanely easy. I’m foolish for psyching myself out prior to the event. People are friendly. It’s not high school. I drove right in and introduced myself to a few people. They introduced themselves like kind human beings do, and helped me unload my bike.
After that, another woman pulled up and we helped her unload her bike too. All four of us were at completely different riding levels, but as the event went on, we rode together, rode with others, stopped and took breaks together, ate lunch together, roasted marshmallows and BAM! Two of us are planning a riding date together for September.
WHAT TYPE OF RIDING DID YOU DO AT OVER AND OUT?
I am most comfortable in the woods, so I started out on the beginner woods loop. After a couple loops I hopped on over to the grass tracks with some ladies I met and we gave those a whirl.
Once we got more comfortable, we went on to the intermediate woods loop. It was incredible terrain. The property was amazing and plenty was offered.
DID YOU LEARN OR EXPERIENCE ANYTHING NEW?
It rained all weekend so that in itself taught me plenty about riding in the rain.... It’s cold and wet and slippery and WET. You can easily get inside your head after wiping out half a dozen times within the first hour, so it taught me a lot about keeping myself together mentally. Mother Nature can be tough, but learning to move with what she gives you is pretty rad.
I realized that I can go faster than I think, after following someone in the grass and watching her movements. She was gnarly in the grass and I had some speed on her in the woods so we bounced ideas off one another and laughed and joked while slipping in the mud. The sensation of doing something as fun as riding bikes with another female that loves it as much as I do was something completely new...and very cool!
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL ANOTHER GIRL WHO MIGHT BE THINKING OF JOINING IN?
GET OUT THERE! The motorcycle community is a very welcoming and warm one.
For 3 years I saw how much fun my hubby and his friends had when they all got together and rode bikes. 2 years ago he gifted me my Yamaha TTR-125 and now I know what the hype is all about.
I drove home from Over And Out and the very next day I rode on the street for the first time on his Yamaha WR250R.
I have dreams of riding cross country, entering races (which she has since then!) and expanding my mechanical bike knowledge all because of the unexplainable experience I had at OAO. My interest in bikes didn’t come from OAO, but my understanding and love of the sport grew substantially.
I can’t say attending this event by myself is something I never would have done, but events like this, exclusively for women, don’t happen very often. Rather than hear about the cool stuff other people do, be the person doing cool stuff!
We're excited and grateful to have MSF-dirtbike school coach, Mitch Schappert, join us at Over and Out, leading dirt bike lessons on the Yamaha Demo Fleet from Hanover Powersports! Mitch has been an MSF-certified coach since 2006, and will be leading group lessons throughout the day on Saturday June 23rd at OAO, with the support of his two daughters, Erin and Mikayla.
Lessons are all levels, whether you've never been on a motorcycle before, or you're looking to learn some intermediate or advanced techniques to improve your skill set. Sign up to take a lesson on the Yamaha Demo Fleet, OR using your own bike!
ABOUT THE BIKES
Sign Up for a lesson on your own bike, or on the Yamaha demo fleet made up of TTR 110, 125 and 230 trail bikes. These bikes are perfect for new riders, so if you've never been on a motorcycle before, this is the ideal scenario for you!
ABOUT THE LESSONS
Mitch will be conducting a shorter version of the courses he teaches at the MSF's dirt bike school. Riders will cover everything from the basics of learning controls to cornering techniques, figure-8's and going over obstacles.
All lessons will be conducted in a grass field, with access to some mowed grass tracks. Helmets, goggles and gloves will also be available for use in the lesson.
Riders must wear long pants, long sleeves and boots that cover the ankles. Please read all information on the SIGN UP PAGE, and fill in the form! Riders will be slated on a first-come, first-serve basis, and a schedule emailed to ticket holders just prior to the event.
You must be an OAO ticket holder to sign up, so if you haven't gotten your ticket yet, get on it!
Get ready to haul ass, have some fun and win some rad prizes from WEBIG INC. in the mini-mx games at Over And Out!
Signup for the games will be on-site at Over And Out throughout the day of Saturday the 23rd. We'll go over the games and signup details at the riders meeting that morning, and you'll have until 4pm to sign up, while availability lasts.
Riders will tie on a Camel Smokercross bib, guaranteed to make you go faster, and run through the game format for a chance to win one of multiple kickass prize packs from WEBIG INC.
- A bike 125cc or smaller
- Long sleeves and gloves
- Helmet and goggles
- Long pants and boots
And a smile, because this is all about having fun and winning cool shit. B)
This post is to help you get acquainted with the variety of riding options at Over And Out!
Thanks to a long winter (and zero Spring!) we'll be prepping trails and routes for Over And Out into the coming months to ensure we have the perfect variety of terrain and that everything is safely rideable. Read on below for descriptions of each option!
First, don't think you need to adhere to any schedule! Aside from the mandatory riders meeting, it's completely up to you which riding activities you take part in. Also note that the above graphic is primarily for Saturday the 23rd. Read on below so you can plan your best day ever at Over And Out!
Mandatory Riders Meeting: ALL riders must be present at the mandatory rider meeting Saturday morning at 8:30am in the pavilion.
1-hour Group Lessons (All levels): Thanks to Hanover Powersports, we'll have an MSF-certified (Motorcycle Safety Foundation) coach on site with a fleet of Yamaha TTR trail bikes! These bikes are perfect for learning on, and lessons will be done on grass. We'll slate you according to level (never ridden before, novice rider, intermediate, or advanced) and assign you a TTR-110, 125 or 230 based on your height, while availability lasts. You're welcome to ride your own bike as well. *Full Sign up details & instructions posted to the events page.
Grass Tracks / Woods Loops (All Levels - on site): The grass tracks are perfect for beginners, and fun for anyone that just wants to cruise. The Woods loops range from shorter novice loops to lengthy intermediate & advanced loops.
2-hour Advanced Guided Ride (We'll say it again: Advanced!): Advanced riders can sign up for a 2-hour guided follow-the-leader style ride. *Sign up for this is on-site only, and you'll have time in the morning to ride the other loops first.
3-hour Guided Dual Sport Rides (Intermediate): Sign up for a guided group dual-sport ride that goes off-site on local routes. Ride your own plated dual sport or adventure bike. One in the morning and one in the afternoon, each accommodating roughly 10 ladies. *Full Sign up details & instructions posted to the events page.
Mapped REV'IT! Routes (Beginner-friendly, off site): We'll be creating a mapped route that explores some of the area's most beautiful country roads and local sights. Grab a REV'IT! route map, and head out on your own. This route has finalized at a total of roughly 85 miles, taking approximately 2.5 hours in total ride time.
WEBIG Inc. Mini-MX Games (All Levels): Bust out those little bikes and HAUL ASS! Have some fun and win prizes in our mini-mx games.
After all that riding, it's time to win some awesome goodies in the raffle and chill while the BH&BR bonfire heats things up!
Also, there will be food service on site for breakfast, mid-day snacks and dinner.
Q: What if I have a dual sport and want to do the 3-hour guided ride, but also want to take a dirt bike lesson?
When it comes time to sign up we'll allow you to select a preference: morning or afternoon. If you select morning for one activity, make sure to select afternoon for the other.
Q: I'm bringing a street-legal dual-sport bike, but also a small dirt bike. I'm pretty comfortable riding them both. What type of riding can I do?
The world is your oyster! You can sign up for a 3-hr guided dual-sport ride. You can ride your trail bike on the grass or in the woods (if you have full gear). You can take a route map and head out on your Dual Sport bike for part or all of the day. You can even take the map with you and ride it on your way out after the event! If the dirt bike is under 125cc you can also ride it in the WEBIG mini-MX games! ;)
Q: What if I don't have a bike?
Any ticket holder can sign up for a 1-hour lesson on a Yamaha 110, 125 or 230, thanks to Hanover Powersports! (while availability lasts). This is a great way for new riders to get started, as lessons are on grass, led by an MSF-certified coach.
Q: How advanced is the advanced ride? I'm nervous about it, wondering what it will be like.
Some of the terrain at Hancock is known for being very challenging. Super gnarly. For example, they have one spot called "Hamburger Hill", as in it chews men up and spits 'em out haha! We will likely not be using this hill, but 'advanced' will still actually, truly mean ADVANCED!
Sign up for this will be on-site only, and we've left time in the morning so that riders can check out other trails first and see how they're feeling!
To register NOW click HERE!
Schedule as of 5-22-18 may be subject to minor change as route and trail prep continues..
Lauren's a pint-size powerhouse who can handle a Harley Dyna Street Bob (103 cubic inches - 1688cc), but discovered (the hard way) that the best bike for her in the woods is a 140cc trail bike. Meet our newest #fastfriend, Lauren Leal.
Lauren Leal, Kawasaki KLX 140L - @electricleal
Interview by Ashley Lusky.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED RIDING DIRT BIKES?
I’ve been riding dirt bikes for three years now. I actually started riding in the woods to improve my street riding skills. Five years ago I took the state’s motorcycle course to get my motorcycle license but I didn’t do much riding after that because I was really afraid to get on the road with other vehicles. My boyfriend convinced me to get into the woods so that I could improve my riding skills overall, and it did help me get more comfortable riding on the street.
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE INITIAL CHALLENGES YOU HAD TO OVERCOME?
It can be really hard for people to get into the woods in the northeast, especially in states like New Jersey where there aren’t many places to legally ride off-road. Getting seat time is the only way to improve your riding, but it’s not like you can just rip through local hiking trails! So finding new places to ride is definitely a challenge, but the more people I meet who ride the more chances I get!
WHAT BIKE DID YOU BEGIN RIDING IN THE WOODS WITH?
I had a Honda CRF 250L at first, and it was a tough start for sure because I was definitely on the wrong bike for my size and for the type of riding I was doing. It was too tall. Even after lowering it, I still had trouble touching the ground; and, it was also extremely heavy – heavier than my boyfriend’s WR 450!
I actually broke my leg on this bike, and when that happened I couldn't even lift it off myself. Needless to say starting out this way didn't do much for my confidence.
AFTER YOU BROKE YOUR LEG, HOW DID YOU GET BACK "ON THE HORSE"?
It was scary at first because I was constantly thinking about protecting that leg. I just had to get out there and do it. My body healed pretty quickly, so it was just a matter of getting my mind to recover too. Getting a bike more well suited for me also helped.
WHAT DO YOU RIDE NOW?
I bought a KLX 140L this past fall and am already in love! It’s not quite a full-size bike, which is perfect for me at 5’4”. I am able to do so much more with this bike because I can actually touch my feet down and I can pick it up if I fall. It has the perfect amount of power for the trail riding that I am doing and I am actually able to pick up more speed because I’m working with less weight and I don’t have that lingering fear of “what do I do if I fall”. It's made a huge difference to how I feel about riding, I am so pumped about it.
WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND TO A NEW RIDER WHO'S THINKING OF BUYING A BIKE?
Buying a bike is a significant purchase, so you want to make sure you get it right. I highly recommend trying out as many different bikes as possible. Since most shops won’t let you test ride dirt bikes the way they do with street bikes, you really have to take advantage of opportunities within your personal network. I’ve found that most people are willing to let you try out their bikes – I mean, they’re dirt bikes, they’re meant to get dirty!
I went to Over And Out’s kickoff event this past fall and it was one of the best examples of just how open the dirt bike community can be. All of the ladies there were willing to share whatever they had – pads, gloves, goggles, and of course bikes! I brought a Honda XR 200 all the way from New Jersey and it wasn’t kicking over. That could’ve been a huge waste of a weekend for me but it wasn’t because others were willing to share their bikes. It ended up being an awesome experience – probably better than if my bike was working – because I got into the woods on three different bikes.
WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO MOST ABOUT OAO'S FIRST PUBLIC EVENT?
Besides making smores? Just kidding. I am super excited to meet more women who are enthusiastic about getting in the woods. I’ve met a handful of great female street riders, but not as many woods riders. I don’t ride in the woods by myself – if you do, you shouldn’t… That’s just crazy! I'm excited about Over And Out because I'd love to meet more girls who ride, but also just to have another chance to ride with the few I DO know. ...and to check out these awesome trails up in Hancock!
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO A WOMAN WHO IS INTERESTED IN RIDING DIRT BIKES BUT HASN'T TAKEN THE LEAP?
Get up and go! If you know someone who rides dirt bikes, ask them if they will bring you along. There is already a ladies riding community and it’s growing so I think it’s just going to open more doors for women who are excited about woods riding.
It's weird as hell publishing an interview of yourself, but I had the pleasure of being interviewed by fellow rider Amelia Kamrad about Over And Out so you could learn a little more about me and the Over And Out event!
Yes, I'm the girl behind the keyboard most of the time, but Over And Out isn't just me, and it isn't about me. There are many people, men and women, working behind the scenes to make this event a reality. And it's really about you, the girl rider, and giving you another opportunity to get out there and ride! -K
Kelly McCaughey @kellymccaughey
WHAT IS YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH OVER AND OUT?
Well, I created Over And Out! :) I wanted to create a way for more girls to experience riding off-road but also get to see and learn the difference between a variety of terrain and riding styles.
Here in the Northeast, public recreational riding area is nearly non-existent. At the same time woods riding and enduro races are huge in this part of the country. There’s a gap between people who would like to learn or experience more off-road riding and those who have access to land or feel skilled enough to join in a race.
Community is key to bridging this gap. While I’m the main driving force behind Over And Out, there are many others involved, all working together to make this a unique and fun opportunity for female riders in the Northeast.
WHY MAKE THE EVENT JUST FOR WOMEN?
That part happened kind of organically. I’ve always ridden with men, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But over the past few years more girls have become interested in riding dirt, and some girls I knew started asking me where they could try riding. So, I had a small group of girls who’d never ridden dirt bikes come over to my house to give it a try.
Well, as much as I love riding, I found just as much joy in watching them ride dirt for the first time: Teaching them a few basics, watching them bobble off to a start, watching some of them take to it like complete naturals! One girl said “I can’t stop smiling inside my helmet!” and I’ll never forget that!
Shortly after that, I rode an event upstate and another girl found me on Instagram through the hashtag! She had some trails and wanted to ride with other girls too. So I started putting the feelers out through Instagram to coordinate a women’s riding weekend - which Is how I met you! (talking to interviewer Millie Kamrad ;)
SO THAT WAS PART OF PLANNING FOR THIS EVENT?
Pretty much! I already had some plans in the works for a public event, but this was a great way to further connect with other female riders, and meeting these women was an awesome experience.
I could go on and on about that weekend, but what I loved most about it is that those girls were there because of one fact: they wanted to ride, and they made it happen. Some of them heard about it through the grapevine and contacted me. Some borrowed bikes and trucks; some carpooled with others they barely knew. They were presented with the opportunity and they made it happen.
To see it all come together was very cool. Everyone was easy going, positive and friendly. And in the morning we got suited, booted and started up our engines together. And since then, girls from that group have connected individually to go riding together, so by meeting each other it created even more opportunities for some of them to ride.
OK, SO TELL US ABOUT OVER AND OUT!
To make a public event possible, Over And Out has partnered with the Bear Creek Sportsmen riding club of Hancock, NY. The club owns private property in the town of Hancock and holds just a couple of public riding events each year. Over And Out will be their first ladies-only riding event!
Over And Out is a two-pronged event: It’s for dirt, woods and trail bikes that can ride over the mountain on marked trails, as well as street-legal dual sport and adventure bikes that can ride out on mapped dirt routes that we will provide.
There are many different styles of off-road riding and bikes: dirt, woods and trail bikes, dual sport and adventure bikes. This event seeks to include almost all of them, and all levels of rider. The only type of riding we’re not catering to this year is motocross.
This event is not a race or a hare scramble, it's a casual friendly riding event with options for everyone, from nervous beginners to long-distance adventurers to serious woods rippers!
WHAT CAN RIDERS EXPECT AS FAR AS TERRAIN GOES?
There’s going to be something for everyone. There are miles of grass tracks and fields to ride. There will also be a variety of marked woods loops ranging from beginner to intermediate to super gnarly! We will also be doing a guided ride on Saturday for advanced riders.
For riders who have dual sports (on-road/off-road) and adventure bikes, we’ll be providing mapped routes that explore a variety of dirt roads and terrain throughout the area.
I’ll be sharing more specifics about the property, the terrain options and bike details through the blog and website in the coming months.
WHAT ABOUT THE REST OF THE EVENT, WHAT CAN ATTENDEES EXPECT?
The event will be focused on riding and having fun, plain and simple. I think the atmosphere is going to be great. It’ll be laid back, very low pressure, but also offer challenges and new experiences.
I've met some of the greatest people through riding, and I expect that I'll meet many more at Over And Out. My partners at Bear Creek Sportsmen are also fantastic, so we'll all have a really good time.
There is SO much for me to share in the coming months I can’t even begin to tap into it all here. Stay tuned for details in the coming months!
TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOU, THE RIDER.
I always tell this story because I think it says it all, but the first time I ever rode was when my husband (then boyfriend) took me to his friend’s house to learn. They all grew up riding and racing, and he had an XR100 - perfect for me to learn on.
As far as basic riding goes I took to it naturally. I got right on and cruised around. They got bored watching me go around a field in circles and decided to take me on a woods trail. That part was just amazing. It's like my brain lit up in all these new ways. I struggled, sure, but I loved it. I literally thought to myself “This is what I want to get good at.”
Fast forward 5-6 years and I still love riding. I've gotten to experience some really hard terrain, and I immediately fell in love with the feeling of exploring out in nature, and the feeling of making progress as a rider. Riding isn't easy. Some days are freezing, some are sweltering hot. I've hurt myself or had bad days, but not once I have even thought about quitting. I just love riding. So let's riiiiide!
If you haven't been following Crystal Levesque, you're missing out! Her Instagram photos and videos show that no obstacle is too tough and no trail is too gnarly if you commit to continuous improvement and approach it with the right attitude.
She shows that being the best isn't about being a perfect rider. It's about hard work and dedication, accomplishments as well as the crashes and falls that get you there! You gotta pay to play, and Crystal always plays with a hilarious and vibrant personality and a super positive attitude.
Crystal Levesque - Vancouver, BC Canada
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING, AND HOW'D YOU GET STARTED?
I’ve been at it for 11 years now. Riding dirt bikes had never really crossed my mind until a former boyfriend surprised me with my first bike – a DRZ125. Honestly, I initially wasn’t very interested in riding.
WHAT MADE YOU STICK WITH IT?
The more my boyfriend at the time took me out to explore, the more I fell in love with it. I’ve always been someone who enjoys challenges and overcoming the frustrations inherent in learning something new. Riding quickly left me wanting to prove to myself that I could do more – I could be faster, I could learn to wheelie. It spiraled into this crazy addiction of always wanting to achieve something greater. At the same time, I also find a calm in riding, so its become therapy for my mind, body and soul!
WHAT TYPE OF RIDING DO YOU DO ENJOY THE MOST?
I spent a decade riding motocross tracks, but I’ve recently fallen in love with trail riding and tackling endurocross obstacles like boulders and downed trees. I love exploring and seeing new terrain and mountain sides. I’m always linking up with new people and either showing them around my local areas or joining in on others rides across the border.
Nothing beats the adrenaline rush you get from riding through the mountains over gnarly rocks and roots! It really pushes me to my limits and I’ve learn so much more about myself and my bike.
WHAT BIKE DO YOU RIDE, AND WHY?
When transitioning from motocross to woods riding, I really wanted to have the same sort of set up in the woods. I chose a 2014 KTM 250XCF because I was comfortable with the power delivery and handling of a four-stroke.
Fast forward one year and I am ready to make some major changes with bike choices. I recently had the opportunity to ride a Husqvarna TX300 two-stroke, and that was a game changer for me!
WHAT EXPERIENCES ON DIFFERENT BIKES HAVE TAUGHT YOU ABOUT YOUR RIDING PREFERENCES?
I am proud of the gains I made on my four-stroke this year. Four-strokes are great bikes for steep hill climbs or fast and flowy single track where there are less obstacles in the way, but they have clear disadvantages for my type of riding and my size. They’re heavier bikes to maneuver in the woods, making movements like pivot turns and climbing rocky sessions tough at times.
I don’t run a Rekluse in my bike, so I am always on the clutch. Four-strokes tend to overheat and flame out in the gnarly terrain. This is a constant battle as I take on more technical terrain and bigger log hops.
So back to my new-found love of two-strokes… I found the bike to be a lot lighter and much easier to get through the slower tough terrain. The bikes don’t overheat as easily and the power is there when you need it. One of the biggest benefits of the two-stroke is the ability to get the front tire off the ground with ease, making it much easier to get over the bigger logs and rocks. The bike is just so nimble!
WHAT WAS ONE OF THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES WHEN YOU FIRST STARTED, AND HOW DID YOU OVERCOME IT?
Haha, well first I had to figure out how to keep the bike upright for more than 10 feet! Learning to balance the weight of the bike can be very challenging at first, especially in sandy terrain. I improved a lot by working over and over on the small things like balance and proper body form.
DO YOU EVER TALK TO YOURSELF IN YOUR HELMET? IF SO, WHAT DO YOU SAY?
OMG I don’t think I would survive a ride without humming a tune or talking to myself! I am guilty of swearing a lot through the tougher terrain, and quite often you will hear me laugh after a gnarly crash which is my way of celebrating the fact I am still alive!
WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR A NEWER RIDER?
Be patient! I know it’s so easy to start something new and want to be the best at it right away, but this sport takes a lot of determination, dedication, and patience. Don’t give up when you have any sort of setbacks and remember that baby steps are better than no steps. I conquered a lot by just always showing up despite many failed attempts and it made those moments of success that much sweeter! And take advantage of every opportunity to join a group ride or learn from a more experienced rider. We all start somewhere and as long as you understand the process to becoming a great rider through observation, practice, advice, and persistence you will go further than you think.
WHAT'S THE SINGLE BEST TIP ANYONE EVER GAVE YOU ABOUT RIDING?
I’ve had the opportunity to ride and learn from some really talented individuals, and one thing that was always repeated to me was proper body positioning and form on the bike. I started to practice with small drills like figure eights, small wheel hops, weighting the pegs and wheels. This helped me to understand where my body needs to be when jumping logs and rocks or navigating single track. I never worry about speed. As you conquer different techniques, your speed will pick up without you even noticing. So, #1 piece of advice: practice the small stuff like balance and body positioning any chance you can get.
WHAT RIDING PLANS DO YOU HAVE IN MIND FOR 2018?
This year I am going to do my best to attempt a few races, locally and throughout the United States with friends. I’ve been at this a year now and I’m eager to push myself to the next level and see what I can accomplish by adding some more challenging riding to my year. I have a few trips already lined up: I will race my first desert-style race in April at the Odessa 100 and will be in Salt Lake City, Utah in May to adventure in the infamous Moab. I want to host some ladies rides locally as well. I did a few of these last year and they were a blast! I love meeting new women in the sport and learning something new from one another.
I’ll be flying by the seat of my pants for the rest of the year. I don’t do well with a schedule so I am going to live in the moment and see what kind of adventures I find and people I meet along the way. From racing to exploring new terrain, I will have a crazy year ahead of me!
@crystal_loves_moto @overandoutmoto #fastfriends
Last fall, I put the word out to get a bunch of different girls together for a riding weekend. Heather showed up and quickly became everyone's favorite riding buddy, coach and cheerleader all rolled into one. She's living proof that you meet the best people on two wheels.
Get to know Heather in our newest FAST FRIENDS feature:
Heather MacEachern, 2017 KTM 250XC - Nyack, NY @heathermac909
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING DIRT BIKES?
I learned how to ride when I was 4 years old, on a little Honda QA50! I was born into a motorcycle family - My Dad used to race, my Mom used to ride, and both of my older brothers ride - so it was in my blood! As a baby and toddler they'd take me for rides on the bikes, so it was only natural that I wanted to ride too.
I only rode a few times a year up until I was about 12. Then I got involved in school sports and discovered boys and didn’t really ride for another 10 years or so. I rediscovered dirtbikes again at 22, and started racing at 26. So I guess you could say I was a bit of a late bloomer.
WHAT MADE YOU GET BACK INTO RIDING?
In college I played competitive sports that required intense training. When that ended, I moved back to NY, and felt this huge void. I'm extremely competitive by nature, and I needed something to focus that energy on. One of my brothers had just gotten a new dirtbike, so he offered me his old one to ride - a 1994 Kawasaki KDX200. I was 22 years old, and I went riding in the woods for the first time ever!
HOW'D IT GO?
I was a complete train wreck, haha! This bike was a tank. It was so heavy and I couldn’t touch the ground. I couldn’t make it over any hills or logs without help. I wrecked many times, and could barely pick the bike up when I did. After that, I was sore and exhausted, but I loved the thrill and the challenge. I was like, "This is what I’m going to do from now on!" And so I did!
WHAT KIND OF RIDING DO YOU ENJOY THE MOST?
I love riding and racing in the woods. I raced hare scrambles for 11 years, and then switched over to enduros for a few years. I love the challenge of the changing terrain, and the thrill of not knowing what obstacle might be coming up next. I would have to say that racing National Enduros are my favorite because of the format. I like the idea of being out there for 4-5 hours at a time, and (on most occasions) not covering the same ground twice. I love the constant terrain changes and the tight trail.
DO YOU EVER TALK TO YOURSELF IN YOUR HELMET?
I ALWAYS talk to myself in my helmet when racing! I curse a lot, so I probably can’t repeat anything here that I would normally say. I am usually telling myself to get my sh*t together haha. Joking aside, I do remind myself to breathe, focus, relax and not hold on so tight!
WHAT BIKE DO YOU RIDE NOW, AND WHY?
I ride a 2017 KTM 250XC, and I absolutely love it! I can’t say enough about the chassis, suspension and engine. It is by far the best bike I’ve ever owned. The center of gravity is low, so the bike feels lighter. And with its counter-balanced engine there is virtually no vibration. This is the first time I’ve ever had a bike that I didn’t feel the need to mess with… the stock gearing and suspension are perfect.
WHAT HAVE YOU LEARNED FROM RIDING DIFFERENT TYPES OF BIKES OVER THE YEARS?
My first smaller bike, the Yamaha TTR125L, was the best beginner bike for me and for the type of riding I was doing. I learned so much on this bike and raced it for a couple of years.
Then I tried a two-stroke Kawasaki KX100. I raced that for a couple of years then up-sized to a four-stroke KX250F. This was a tough change: The bike was heavier, taller, and so hard to kickstart that my right thigh became noticeably bigger than my left one!
Next, I got an electric start and made my way back to two-stroke through a streak of KTM's: a 250XCF-W, a 200XC, a 2014 250XC-W and the 2017 250XC I'm currently riding. Each bike helped me get to the next level, and taught me the importance of having a machine that's set up properly for the type of riding I'm doing.
There are pros and cons of each. four-strokes have smooth power and stability, two-strokes are lighter and easier to start and pick up off the ground (which seems to happen quite a bit haha). It's really personal preference, and you learn so much the more you ride.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE NEWER RIDERS?
1. Never, ever ride without protective gear! I cannot stress this enough. Gear can be expensive, but trust me serious injuries are even more expensive. It is worth the investment to have good quality protection.
2. Don't give up or get discouraged. This is not an easy sport, and you are going to have bad days. Just remember that everyone has to start somewhere, and don’t be too hard on yourself.
3. Find the right bike for your height, weight and riding ability, as well as the type of riding you’re doing. Take the time to set your bike up to fit your needs.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF A LADIES-ONLY RIDING EVENT?
A couple years ago I had an opportunity to join in a ladies-only ride day with Husqvarna. That was my first time riding with ALL women and it was amazing! I loved every second of it. Fast forward to this past year, I was contacted by a girl I met through Instagram about an all-girls riding weekend, and I jumped at the chance to join in!
She and I rode up together (which was the first time we actually met in person!) and that weekend I met a dozen more really great girls, all different types of riders. We rode together, helped each other out, and just had the best time! Turns out it was the planning event for Over And Out.
I'm taking a little break from racing this year, so I'm really excited to have this event to be a part of and I'm looking forward to meeting some more riding buddies!
@overandoutmoto @heathermac909 #fastfriends
The female off-road riding community has no shortage of impressive girls - from creatives, to business owners, to passionate ladies who love life and seek adventure and personal growth. To kick off the New Year, check out this interview with Over And Out's first FAST FRIEND, dirt bike rider and female fitness boss-lady Erika Hurst.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RIDING?
Ever since I was a little girl I wanted a dirt bike. I thought they were the most badass things ever! But, I never got one and kind of gave up on the idea as I grew up. I ended up getting heavy into off-roading and rock crawling instead.
Then a few years ago, in the midst of a pretty low point in my life, I was seeking something to pull me out of my hole and build me back up again. So I bought my first dirt bike and I have been hooked ever since.
WHAT TYPE OF RIDING DO YOU LIKE THE MOST?
The first time I ever rode in the woods I HATED it. I actually ran over my own leg, and two dudes had to help me pry my boot out of my wheel well. (To this day I still have NO idea how I even managed to do that). I had whiskey throttled straight into a tree and took a handle bar through my helmet and goggles right into my face.
I had only been riding for a couple months and didn’t really have any solid skills or confidence, so it really rattled me. At the time I swore I’d never go in the woods again.
That was three years ago and somehow I keep finding myself pulled back out there and craving trail riding because I know it will not only make me a better rider skill-wise, but also when something scares the shit out of me I know I have to break through that barrier if I want to grow.
Needless to say, woods riding has definitely grown on me. Unfortunately, I don’t get to do it very often because of the strict laws in CT. So I spend most of my seat time on the track – which I love too!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO FITNESS TRAINING?
After high school I gained some weight and became the girl who ran on the treadmill for hours 6-7 days a week and ate as little as possible. I thought this would make me fit, while the need for strength never occurred to me.
I started going to an automotive tech school at the time. I could barely lift a tire and I always had to ask for help breaking bolts. It was hard enough as a woman trying to get hired as a mechanic, but adding a lack of physical capability on top of that I realized I needed to do something about that. So I slowly started spending a little more time in the weight room.
I soaked up every bit of knowledge I could on how to get stronger. When I spent less time self-loathing about my body fat or trying to use the treadmill to burn off every calorie possible, and spent more time finding meaning in pursuing physical capability, treating myself well and eating to support my body, my life completely changed.
I realized this approach was working; I saw and felt incredible changes in my body. And, I felt like it was my duty to share this “secret” with other women, so I switched careers and started school for exercise science and human performance.
TELL US ABOUT HURST STRENGTH!
I wanted to create a gym where women could go to feel empowered, badass and free of judgement. I also believe what we do in the gym should enhance our lives, make us feel badass and should be used as a vehicle towards becoming our best, most capable selves so we can do more rad things outside of the gym.
So that’s what I created with my gym, Hurst Strength. My goal is to change how women view fitness, lead them to feeling more confident in their bodies and help them embrace proper strength training. This is what I work towards doing every day.