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!
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.
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.
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! ;)
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.
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!
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.
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!