Posts tagged Fast Friends
Meghan Frye Hits Babes In The Dirt 5!

We introduced Meghan Frye last year on the blog, in our #fastfriends series that celebrates women in our off-road riding community! In honor of International Female Ride Day, we could think of no better feature than to take a look at Meghan’s recent trip out to Babes In The Dirt in Lebec, CA.

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Babes In The Dirt has been an amazing sponsor for OAO since the beginning, even before we were a public event. Now in their 5th year, they bring together hundreds of female riders from all over the country to ride the beautiful California trails.

Let’s catch up with Meghan, get some tips about making the trip, and celebrate this amazing community that supports female off-road riders!

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO MAKE THE TRIP OUT TO BABES IN THE DIRT THIS YEAR?

What made my trip to Babes In The Dirt so special was how it all happened. I was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in July '18 and went through chemotherapy, radiation, and all the other hardships that come with cancer. I felt weak for months and wasn't able to ride off-road as much as I wanted.

This past Christmas, I was SURPRISED by my husband, family, and friends with a trip to Babes In the Dirt! This trip was the perfect opportunity to forget about cancer for a while and focus on what I love — riding dirt bikes.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

HOW DID YOU PREPARE FOR A RIDING TRIP ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE COUNTRY?

I always thought this would be hard to plan for, but it wasn't that bad! Once you book your flight, rental car (if needed), and bike, the bulk of the planning is done. Since my trip was a surprise, I was lucky enough to have everything planned out for me, even a bike thanks to the best crew out there, WLF Enduro.

In my opinion, the hardest part is finding a bike, but there are bike rentals in the area, and they bring the bikes to the event for you.

When it came to packing for the trip, my Fox Racing gear bag SAVED MY LIFE. I was able to pack my gear (helmet, boots, chest protector, water pack, knee/shin guards, etc) throughout the bag and still had enough room for extra clothes and camping gear. My bag also allowed me to keep my dirty boots in a closed off section so everything I packed wouldn't have a lovely coating of dirt.

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

TELL US ABOUT THE TRAILS YOU RODE!

I rode the black diamond/single track trails for the majority of the trip. Raven Ridge was an awesome trail that included sections where you were riding on a tight trail alongside a cliff — the views were breathtaking!

A lot of the trails out there were fast and flowy so it felt great to just open that throttle and cruise right through!

DID YOU LEARN ANYTHING NEW WHILE RIDING OUT THERE?

I definitely learned what it's like to ride in thick sand — woof. There were some sections on the black diamond trails where you would come to a turn filled with sand and that was tricky for me. The more I rode in the sand, however, the more I discovered that it was best to have my body position/weight further back on the bike.

I also rode the motocross track which was my first time on a track, ever. It was awesome to experience a completely different style of riding.

After my Husqvarna demo, I also learned that I may need to add an FE 250 to my garage! ;)

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

WHAT WERE SOME OF THE BIGGEST DIFFERENCES IN TERRAIN?

The trails out there vs. the trails I ride at home were COMPLETELY different!

The single track at Hungry Valley were sandy, hardback, and very open and flowy. I was able to ride a lot faster than I do back at home and had an extended line of sight amongst riding the trails.

In Pennsylvania, our trails are full of rocks, trees, roots, and ruts. There are a lot of sections where the woods are so tight, you can barely make it through with your handlebars.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

SO, YOU KNOW HOW PEOPLE LIKE EAST VS WEST COAST RAP? WHAT ABOUT EAST VS. WEST COAST BRAAAP?! HAHA WHERE DO YOU STAND?

That’s a tricky question because the riding is so different. I may be biased, but I love the hard enduro single track that we have out here on the East Coast. I would love to try riding some of the wooded trails in the Pacific Northwest too.

Compared to where I live, the West also has more legal riding areas which is a plus. And, who doesn't love to go FAST on some fun, flowy trails?! I definitely need to ride more out West for a more accurate comparison, but for now I'm gonna have to say East Coast!

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Meghan riding at Babes In The Dirt 5, photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE TRIP?

The community! Anya and Ashmore (from Babes In The Dirt) have created an incredible event that brought in over 700 ladies who all share the love of riding dirt! It shows you how amazing the off-road community really is.

So many rad organizations (WLF Enduro, FMF, Husqvarna, The Kurt Caselli Foundation, Fox) come together here to help make this community what it is today — a family. Babes In The Dirt is an event that I hope all ladies who ride off-road get to experience.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Photo by the WLF Enduro crew.

Over And Out is proud to be a part of that community, with Babes In The Dirt as our amazing sponsor! We look forward to offering some special items in our raffle from Babes In The Dirt, and making our way down to their first dirt event further east, in Tennessee this fall!

Learn more about Babes In The Dirt here!

Meet Heather MacEachern

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: 

Photo by Jared Kramer

Photo by Jared Kramer

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.

Photo by Bob Steiner

Photo by Bob Steiner

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!

Photo by Jim Danvers 

Photo by Jim Danvers 

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. 

Photo by JoAnn Galley

Photo by JoAnn Galley

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!

Photo by Jared Kramer

Photo by Jared Kramer

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.

Photo by Jared Kramer

Photo by Jared Kramer

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