Meet Caitlin O'Dell
Happy New Year! I cannot WAIT to share the exciting NEW details about Over And Out 2019, but, you’ll have to hold out while I keep some of that stuff under wraps for juuuust a little while longer.
In the meantime, let’s revisit one of the most important things about OAO: community! I know that sounds like a snooze-fest of a topic (believe me, I hate buzzwords as much as you do) but community is a thing that can actually help propel your experience, confidence and skill as a rider.
Over And Out is all about getting out in the dirt and woods on two wheels - hell yes! - but it’s also about bringing together the community of women who ride or want to ride. This matters big time because they get to see different types of riding terrain and bikes, and ride with others who are similar to them, physically and mentally.
In short, community helps riders get more opportunities to do what they love: RIDE!!!
On that note, I’m stoked to keep the community growing and help you get to know more gals who ride in the Northeast with our #FastFriends rider spotlight. Meet one of our most friendly and enthusiastic #FastFriends, Caitlin O’Dell!
CAITLIN O’DELL, KTM 350XCF-W @ceo_810
WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO ATTEND OVER AND OUT?
An all girls DIRT BIKE event? What female rider would even hesitate in saying yes to this event?!
My dirt-biking experiences had always been me and the guys, until this past year. I met an awesome group of girls from Ohio at the North East 24-hour challenge enduro. I rode in that race 2 years ago. The girls thought it was so awesome to see a girl out there, so two years later we all got together and formed our own team!
Dirt biking brought us together, and as soon as I heard of an event we could all do together I was excited to attend, and to meet even more rad dirt bike chicks!
HOW DID YOU GET INTO RIDING DIRT BIKES?
My husband taught me how to ride about 6 years ago. He’s a woods rider, a fan of harescrambles and the Northeast 24-hour Challenge. And now I am too!
One day, I told him that I wanted to learn how to ride dirt bikes. He jumped on that request so fast and found a TTR 230 on Craigslist. We got the bike during a snow storm in March, and my lessons started right away in a frozen cornfield!
I outgrew the 230 and then upgraded to a 250. Fast forward a few more bikes, and I’m currently on a KTM 350xcf-w. I am in love with this bike.
I am so glad I met other girls who ride as well though. It has helped boost my confidence and has motivated me to sign up for more races! So, again, I was really excited to continue on to a ladies-only event.
DID YOU FACE ANY TOUGH CHALLENGES?
Yes, a little over a year ago I broke my arm while riding. I hit a tree, and the tree stopped actually me from going down a ravine, so that was actually not the worst it could have been. It could have been much worse than a broken arm!
But, as they say, success is determined by how you handle challenges, and I wasn’t about to mope around because I couldn’t ride. I am an avid trail runner, and had a 1/2 marathon 3 days after I broke my arm. I powered through and crossed that finish line with a smile on my face!
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you confront fear. So this past year, with each ride I would try to improve any skill that I could to get back out riding with confidence.
DID YOU HAVE TO FACE ANY CHALLENGES WHEN ATTENDING OVER AND OUT?
Well, immediately after signing up, I thought to myself, “How the heck am I supposed to get my bike there?” It is great having my husband to ride with all the time because he takes care of hauling the bikes, not to mention bike maintenance. But I wouldn’t have him to help me this time, and I had a group of 5 girls traveling together out there from several hours away.
So, a week before the event, my husband gave me lessons on how to strap my bike down and how to haul our trailer with his dually truck. I hauled ALL the bikes while my friend hauled her camper. Once we made it safely to the event, I had a sigh of relief but also this amazing feeling of: “I DID IT!!!!!!” I felt like jumping up and down I was so happy!
I now have a hitch and dirt bike rack for my SUV so that I can go out riding whenever I want. One thing this event taught me is that I can survive riding without my husband and have a really fun time with the girls!
WHAT TYPE OF RIDING DID YOU DO AT OVER AND OUT?
I rode the grass track and the woods trails. Both the beginner and intermediate woods loops were so fun, just challenging enough and beautiful!
HOW DID YOU FEEL ABOUT THE SOCIAL ASPECT AND MEETING A BUNCH OF NEW FEMALE RIDERS?
I was so excited for this part! I follow as many female riders on social media that I can (I mean, don't we all?!) But getting the chance to meet many of these women in person was awesome! There is something really cool about learning from other females compared to riding with males, even your own husband or boyfriend.
I met so many rad chicks, and Im looking forward to seeing them all again at the next OAO!
IT SOUNDS LIKE YOU ARE COMING BACK IN 2019 TOO! :D
Currently I am 8 months pregnant with a little girl. I am super bummed that I haven't sat on a dirt bike since August (though I’m truly grateful for the little blessing that is growing inside of me of course!).
I am beyond excited to raise our little girl to be the best, badass, most inspirational moto-chick out there. And I hope she’ll get to attend some girls dirt bike events, just like I have. I’m super thankful for such an amazing event and opportunity.
So yes, I will be ready to ride in the spring and cannot WAIT to meet even more rad girls that ride at Over and Out!