Posts in Fast Friends
Meet Becca Sheets: GNCC Racer and Member of the 2018 ISDE Women's Trophy Team
 Photo by Ken Hill

Photo by Ken Hill

Becca Sheets, 25, Ohio - @bsheets551

KTM 250sx

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED RIDING DIRT BIKES?

I’ve been around dirt bikes since I came out of the womb! My dad always raced for fun with his buddies, so I spent a lot of time at the track growing up. It wasn’t until I was 6, turning 7 that I asked my dad for a dirt bike for my birthday.

On my 7th birthday, my dad picked me up from school with a PW50 on the trailer and a new (used) pair of boots in the truck and we went riding! 

WHAT BIKES HAVE YOU RIDDEN AND HOW DID YOU MAKE PROGRESS?

I learned to ride on that PW50. I ran in to ditches and fences but I got the hang of it pretty quickly. I kept riding it until I was 9!!

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By that age, most kids had the oil injected KTM50s, or 50JR or SR bikes; they don’t stay on the PWs for very long, but I had ridden a KTM50SR that I didn’t care for, so then I went straight from the PW50 to a KX60. 

The ole KX60 was what I learned to shift and use the clutch on. It was a raw powered bike and It was pretty hard to ride from what I remember.  I rode that bike for a year then moved to an RM65. Once I learned to shift and use the clutch on the 60, riding the RM65 was a breeze!

By the time I was on 65’s, racing had become a lot more serious. We put a lot of time into learning proper cornering techniques, jumping, and just getting faster in general. I did another two years on the RM65, then two years on an RM-85 and a year on a KTM105.

My 85s and 105s were great bikes. I started to get a lot faster once I was on 80s. Being on a little bit bigger of a bike gave me more confidence to jump bigger jumps! 

Then I switched to a YZ125 (4 or 5 different bikes within 6 years) I rode 125’s for what seemed like forever. I also had the most injuries I had ever gotten in my entire childhood of racing once I was on big bikes. So, I would say the transition was a challenge for me. I eventually got the hang of it. I really liked the 125’s and I put a lot of time and effort into improving my riding skills in those years. 

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WHAT CAME NEXT?

Next came my YZ250FX which I rode for 2 years. This was my first 4 stroke bike! I waited a long time to switch to four strokes because I liked the light weight two stroke bikes in the woods.

Learning to ride a four stroke was so different. The bike was heavier, there was engine brake, and well it was just totally different. I would say it took me an entire year of racing before I really got the hang of it. This bike ultimately lead me to win my first national title so I’m quite partial to it. 

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Next, came my KTM250XC-F (1 year). Switching from a Yamaha to a KTM was definitely one of the hardest challenges I’ve faced so far in my racing career. I had ridden only Yamaha for the past seven years.  The KTM handled very differently, the suspension was different, just everything about the bike. My team and I put a lot of time and effort into getting myself comfortable on the bike last year and it paid off.   

My current bike is a KTM250SX-F. This is my second year riding KTM’s and I truly love these dirt bikes. I am very grateful to receive the support that I do from KTM. 

CAN YOU TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR EARLIEST YEARS RACING?

My earliest years of racing started out with motocross. We raced locally for a few years. And when I say locally, I mean we traveled to Indiana, KY, and TN and all over the state of Ohio. My dad always encouraged me to go faster, jump bigger jumps, beat more people, and to just become a better rider always. You know, the things dads do. 

In 2004 at the age of 12, Dad told me we were going to try and qualify for Loretta Lynn’s motocross. I was able to qualify although my results weren’t the best. I was just a kid seeing motocross at an amateur national level for the first time. 

From that year forward it became my personal goal to win an amateur national title which I think instilled that drive inside me to become the best rider I could be. 

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My dad spent so much time and money to make sure I could practice at least once a week and race every weekend we were able to.  Our focus was to get to Loretta’s each year to fight for a better finish and eventually a title. 

2007 was my last year I was able to race the Girls 9-13 65cc-105cc class at Loretta Lynn’s. I was so confident I was going to win that year. Kiara Fontanesi (a now 5x World Champ in Europe) showed up that year for her first time and got the win. I came in second and never won an amateur national title.  

2008 was my first year on big bikes. I got a brand new YZ125 and I was ready to go race with the big girls. Unfortunately, I broke my back early in the qualifying season which resulted in a spinal fusion that took me out for the year.  

In 2009 I was back in action and ready to give it another go. I practiced a lot and tried pretty hard to improve my bike skills.  I made it to Loretta’s and finished in the top 10 in the Women’s 14+ class. 

2010 had no plans for me to race a dirt bike. I suffered two major injuries six months apart and I didn’t accomplish much. Motocross is a grueling sport and I had done it for my entire childhood. My dreams of becoming a professional motocross racer seemed hopeless. At that point I was pretty tired of getting hurt and I just wanted to ride for fun.

Until I discovered GNCC racing…..HAHA

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The first GNCC I raced was in 2011. I had spent the previous years on and off the bike with injuries from motocross. So the four GNCC’s I raced in 2011 were just supposed to be for fun but it quickly became something I took very seriously which lead me to race the full series in 2012.  

As a lower middle class family with my parents raising 3 kids in the house, things were hectic. I played other sports growing up too like soccer, softball, and basketball; as did my sisters. I literally owe it all to my dad and mom for all they have done for me.  Racing dirt bikes has made me the person I am today and I wouldn’t change a thing. 

FOR RIDERS WHO HAVEN’T YET VENTURED INTO THE RACING, BUT ARE DYING TO GIVE IT A TRY, WHAT INSIGHT CAN YOU OFFER? 

I would recommend doing a riding clinic or take lessons from a better rider that can teach you basic techniques. This way you have a bit more confidence on the bike going into a race setting.

I have always benefitted from riding schools even if I am the one teaching! Practice makes “permanent”. If your form and techniques aren’t correct, it’s good to put yourself in check every once in a while, so you can continue to improve.  

There are so many awesome local harescramble series and motocross series that cater to all levels of riders. Ask around and find out which tracks are easier vs the ones that may be a little more technical and give it a try!  

 Photo by Ken Hill

Photo by Ken Hill

DO YOU HAVE ANY FAVORITE RACES TO DO EACH YEAR? 

My favorite GNCC is the Ironman in Indiana. There is always such a huge turnout there and racing against 900 other bikes on an 11 mile loop makes it pretty wild. I love the energy from the crowds on the hill climbs, the smell of fall, and the cold creek crossings.

Everybody wears pink to show their support and help raise money for breast cancer. It’s just a good vibe there. This year will be my 8th year in a row racing that race.  

THIS YEAR YOU SUFFERED A BAD INJURY, CAN YOU CATCH OUR READERS UP ON WHAT HAPPENED? 

At the X-Factor GNCC in Indiana I crashed at a pretty high speed in a field section. I came out of it with a severe concussion and broken jaw on both sides. I had surgery so they could plate bones and wire my jaw shut. I spent the night in the hospital, went home, drank smoothies, and ate baby food for 6 weeks. 

At first I thought it was one of the easiest injuries I’ve ever had to deal with, because I was still able to walk around freely and do my day to day activities. I just couldn’t train as hard or ride. 

It actually ended up being a very mentally challenging injury to overcome. But as we all know; racing is dangerous and things happen. I just tried to keep it positive and know that I would come out of it as a stronger person and rider.   I consider myself lucky that it wasn’t worse! 

 Photo by Art Pepin @offroadpaparazzi

Photo by Art Pepin @offroadpaparazzi

YOU WERE PART OF THE WOMEN’S ISDE TEAM IN 2017, WHAT WAS THAT EXPERIENCE LIKE? 

It was a really cool experience. First of all, it was such an honor to be selected to represent the USA. It was very challenging, one of the hardest things I’ve ever accomplished. Getting to ride your dirt bike for 8 hours a day through farms, countryside, backyards, woods, and main roads was definitely the coolest part about it. If an average joe went to tour the country of France, they probably wouldn’t have seen it in the same way that we did. It was very surreal and something I will remember forever. 

 Photo by Mark Kariya @kato.photo

Photo by Mark Kariya @kato.photo

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR BIGGEST POINTS OF FOCUS AS YOU APPROACH THIS YEAR’S ISDE?

SPEED! 

Endurance racing is my strong suit so the hardest thing about ISDE for me is flipping the switch from a steady speed on the technical transfers to a full sprint level speed at the special tests throughout the day.  

I’ve been training really hard this year and with the help of my awesome boyfriend Tyler; we’ve been putting a lot of work into my initial speed on the track, trying to push the limits. It’s made me a lot faster. Racing the Full Gas Sprint Enduros has helped me a lot also. It’s set up similar to ISDE but without the transfer trails. 

We are still working hard! My USA teammates, Brandy Richards and Tarah Geiger are both really strong riders as well. I can’t wait to see all of our hard work pay off in Chile.  

WHAT TYPE OF TRAINING DO YOU DO (ON OR OFF THE BIKE) TO STAY IN TOP RACING SHAPE?

I focus a lot on my nutrition because I believe it’s the most important. You have to have good energy to do the things that make you stronger and keep you in shape.

Cycling, mountain biking, running and strength training are things I work into my days outside of riding. I almost enjoy training as much as I do riding my dirt bike! I kind of have to find joy in it and mix it up or it can become very humdrum. It’s basically always a competition with my own self.  

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HOW HAVE YOUR SUPPORTERS HELPED YOU? 

I’ve had so many great people and companies as sponsors over the years.  I wouldn’t be where I am today without the help of those people. People have sacrificed time and money to help me improve as a racer on and off the bike.

My biggest supporters have always been my parents. My boyfriend Tyler is such a great sport. He helps me be a better person and understands my love for racing just the same as his. My best man friend Johnny has given and taught me so much over the past few years of my racing career.  

I can’t thank them enough. Racing a dirt bike may not be a team sport but you definitely can’t do it alone!

Raffle proceeds from Over And Out’s first event in 2018 were donated to help support the US Women’s Trophy Team in the FIM International Six Days Enduro (ISDE).

Click here to read more about the team and the donation in an interview with team manager, Antti Kallonen of KTM North America.

We Support the US Women’s International Six Days Enduro Team!

Over And Out was created with the goal of supporting female riders at ALL levels of the sport - from teaching new riders at our event, to building a community that helps female riders get more opportunities to ride and learn, to supporting the girls representing the U.S. at the 2018 FIM International Six Days Enduro!  

I’m proud to announce Over And Out’s official support for the 2018 US Women’s ISDE team, with a donation generated by this year’s event attendees and raffle participants!

 2017 US Women’s ISDE team (Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez)  Photo by Mark Kariya

2017 US Women’s ISDE team (Becca Sheets, Brandy Richards and Kacy Martinez)

Photo by Mark Kariya

I recently chatted with ISDE off-road racing team manager, Antti Kallonen of KTM North America to talk about the upcoming Six Days and this year’s Women’s Trophy Team made up of Becca Sheets, Tarah Gieger and Brandy Richards.

 Photo by Shan Moore

Photo by Shan Moore

I’M EXCITED TO SPEAK WITH YOU, THE ISDE IS SUCH AN EXCITING EVENT!

It is yes, it’s been considered the Olympics of Motorcycling.  I’ve managed the men’s teams (US World Trophy and Junior Trophy) since 2012, and now as of 2017 manage the Women’s Trophy Team as well. 

LAST YEAR WAS THE FIRST YEAR FOR THE US WOMEN’S TEAM IN BRIVE, FRANCE. AND THIS YEAR’S IS COMING UP THIS NOVEMBER IN VINA DEL MAR, CHILE…

WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE WOMEN’S TEAM FROM THEN TO NOW? 

Yes last year was the first year so all 3 girls on the team were rookies to the Six Days format, but they all worked hard and finished 2nd overall behind Australia, the champs for 5 years running. 

Obviously, no great success happens overnight. We have a 3-year plan to get the championship. [To put that in perspective] the Men’s team previously had a 3-year plan to get the championship and it took 5 years, so we’re building and progressing. 

This year, all 3 girls on the team have ridden Six Days before so they’re more knowledgeable and prepared and they now know what to expect.

 Image by John Pearson Media

Image by John Pearson Media

WHAT SKILLS OR QUALITIES DO ISDE RACERS IDEALLY NEED TO HAVE?

Many girls are fast but the Six Days format adds to the challenge…It’s a long Six Days and riders need to be fast but also consistent for all 6 days, which can include 8-hour days of riding, dealing with weather, plus long transfers which offer their own challenges.

Prior to a few years ago it was much harder to find female riders in long endurance racing.  A major benefit of racing off-road is that these riders have the endurance to do it. This format can be tough. 

At Six Days there are no techs, so the rider also works on their own bike. Riders can take instruction from us, but they have to do the work. 

 Photo of Becca Sheets by Ken Hill

Photo of Becca Sheets by Ken Hill

WHAT’S DIFFERENT ABOUT MANAGING THE WOMEN’S TEAM VS. THE MEN?

I’d say about 70% of the training program could be the same for the men’s Junior or Trophy program and the women’s, but the other 30% or so has to be tailored for the women. 

They work differently, their bodies are different, they react differently. For example recovery time is quite different in the women compared to the men.  We take all of this into account, so even recovery routines are different. 

WHAT MISCONCEPTIONS DO YOU THINK PEOPLE HAVE ABOUT WOMEN TRAINING FOR THIS SPORT? 

Some people might think that things like the tire-changing would be more difficult for the women due to basic strength, but in reality that’s all about technique.  The real difference here for men vs. women could be fatigue due to different recovery times.

Mental struggle can set in and cause a rider to take a shortcut in the technique. But other than that, knowing and performing proper technique makes the task the same for men and women. 

It’s also surprising just how determined the women are, some more determined than men. 

(We saw this of course at Over And Out, where no single girl gave in when the technical Hancock terrain became slick and challenging in the rain!) 

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

Becca Sheets, for example, she pushed through some very tough bike issues. I saw her push through issues that might’ve made a man quit, but she pushed through. 

Going back to the traits that are valuable in a rider, that’s another one: Becca is not only fast, she has the determination and will power to push through. 

She also had to adapt to take verbal guidance and do the work on her own bike and she did it. It’s something she should be very proud of, and I’m very proud of her.”

 Photo by Ken Hill

Photo by Ken Hill

WHAT IS THE TRAINING LIKE AS THE RACE NEARS AND BEGINS? 

I host a training camp closer to the event where we cover things like sprint training on the bike, tire-changing and basic maintenance.  Sprint enduros are excellent training for this type of event.

There will be 6 days of riding but also 8 days of preparation and walking the tests, not to the mention travel involved, so overall health and fitness is important. 

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

WE’RE SO PROUD TO BE ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE SOMETHING FROM OUR FIRST EVENT TO SUPPORT THE US WOMEN’S ISDE TEAM!

HOW WILL OUR DONATION HELP?  

There are a lot of costs involved with getting each racer to and around the races, including flights, hotels, fees, per diem… as you can imagine it adds up. It roughly costs about $15k per rider to be able to take part in the 6 days. 

It’s a pretty steep bill to pay for the opportunity, so we do our best to manage the budget, gather manufacturer and sponsor support, and racers even fundraise for themselves.  Of course, we do our best to get everything covered so that riders can focus on their training and the ride.

As of right now we’re in mostly good shape though we do have a few gaps in the budget so your donation will truly make an impact, and 100% of it will be going to support the women!


If you’d like to support the women of the 2018 US ISDE team, route for them this November 12-17 as they race the Six Days in Vina Del Mar, Chile!   

And, stay tuned as we follow up with an interview with US Women’s Trophy team member, Becca Sheets!

Special thanks again to all of our 2018 raffle contributors and participants!

Meet Megan Babineau

"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!  

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

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. 

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

SO, YOU FINALLY CAME AROUND!  WHAT MADE YOU WANT TO ATTEND?

Many things! 

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.

 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

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. ;)

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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.

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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.

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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. 

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

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!

 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

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.

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

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! 

Meet AMA Pro Hillclimber Molly Carbon

It blew my mind to discover that this badass girl who flies through the air and launches up gnarly climbs was drawn to Over and Out so she could step outside of her comfort zone.

It just goes to show you that appearances aren't everything, and beginner riders aren't the only ones feeling outside of their element when they head off to an event like Over and Out.  

Read on to meet Pro Hillclimber and #fastfriend, Molly Carbon.

 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

MOLLY CARBON - Bellingham, MA  @mollyc_32

KTM 150xcw, and Hillclimb bikes: A CRF450 and 500cc Triumph T120 on 100% Nitromethane

SO, YOU'RE AN AMA PRO HILLCLIMBER!  CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT THIS IS FOR THOSE WHO ARE UNFAMILIAR?

Of course!  AMA Pro hillclimbing is a professional hillclimb series where riders race to the top of nearly vertical inclines on bikes from modified 450cc motocross bikes to 1000cc+ fully custom motorcycles burning 100% nitromethane.

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The hills can consist of motocross-style jumps, vertical rock ledges or even chest-deep ruts. Traditionally hillclimbing was rider vs hill, and riders would make solo runs with winners determined by either footage (distance) or time.

Now the sport has evolved to include side by side racing called verticross, where as many as five riders attempt the hill at one time in a tournament format.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED RIDING, AND HOW DID YOU GET INTO HILLCLIMBING?

My earliest memories are of my father throwing my sister and I on whatever had a motor and taking us for a ride. Once we learned how to ride a bicycle my mom allowed him to teach us how to ride a dirt bike. After watching my dad hillclimb, my sister and I decided we wanted to try it. 20 years later I’m still enjoying every race!

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WHAT'S DIFFERENT ABOUT THE BIKE YOU RIDE TO DO A HILLCLIMB?

The bike I race in the Pro Single class is a modified CRF450 with an extended swing arm and a paddle tire.  (The extended swing arm helps keep the bike from flipping over backward, and the paddle tire is for extra traction)

For the Xtreme class, I race a fully customized 500cc Triumph that runs on 100% nitromethane. Compared to most other motorcycles this has a much longer wheelbase and utilizes chains on the rear tire for traction.

A nitromethane-fueled bike, runs on an extra-explosive chemcial mix instead of gasoline.  This blog post puts it into perspective: "The end result is an engine that’s about as gentle as using a hand grenade as a night light." 

WHAT KIND OF GOALS DO YOU HAVE FOR FUTURE RIDING AND RACING? 

As far as hillclimbing I have achieved most of my goals, turning professional, becoming the first female to hillclimb a motorcycle on 100% nitromethane, and competing in a West Coast NAHA event. I’d love to compete in an International hillclimb event. 



Beyond hillclimbing my goals are to become a more well-rounded rider by developing my skills in the woods and on the track. I'd also like to share my experience and knowledge with young riders. This year I hosted my first rider class and would like to continue to have more events. 

Molly Carbon Pro AMA Hillclimb.jpg

YOU ALSO RIDE AN ENDURO. WHAT'S YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THAT TYPE OF RIDING? 

When I first started riding with my dad and sister we rode the trails around the house. While that’s where I got my start, I never actually developed greater skills for woods riding. 

I was asked to be on a team for the 24 Hour Enduro last year and I prayed to make it out alive! The sadistic side of me enjoyed the challenge and not long after that first time doing the 24-Hour I was already planning the next! 

I enjoy the physical challenge as well as the mental challenge that comes with longer duration and demanding riding that woods racing offers. Recently I did my first harescramble and plan to attend as many as I possibly can! 

 Photo by Megan Maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy

WHAT WAS YOUR EXPERIENCE AT OVER AND OUT? 

My friend Crystal told me about the event and I knew right away I wanted to attend. I knew that going to an event without my dad or boyfriend would be a step outside of my comfort zone and I wanted to take on that challenge.

 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel 

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel 

The experience I had there was beyond what I imagined.  It was so great to meet other female riders, to get to know them and hear their stories.  I met many female riders during the event and I'm still stay in contact with several of them. In fact, two of them joined me and Crystal to form an all-women’s team for the 24 Hour Enduro. (We raced against some other girls from OAO!)

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There was such a laid back atmosphere and I loved riding in the woods with other female riders. I also loved how comfortable and supported I felt when it came to challenging myself here.  

Going into Over and Out I wasn't that familiar with my new bike. But I took a lesson with Mitch (@ssschap) and Mikayla, learned some new balancing and clutch skills... I feel like I really bonded with my bike and that I rode the best that I ever have on the trails!  I can't wait until next year!

@mollyc_32  @amaprohillclimb  @ama_racing 

Meet Lisa Davison

"Is a women's only event a mistake?" "Aren't you cutting down your chances of attendance by half?" "I don't know any women who would go to something like this on their own."  These are just a few of many comments I heard as I was launching Over And Out.  

I wasn't sure how many women would find a way to get to the first event, but 73 women showed up hauling their own bikes in trucks, vans and trailers - some for the very first time! Each girl's story about why they came was unique and inspiring in it's own way. 

We'll be spotlighting some of the rad women who came to the first Over And Out, to show exactly how they made their journey happen, and to show the world that a women's-only event isn't a mistake; it's a life-changing experience and a damn good time!  -Kelly

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

MEET LISA DAVISON,  Framingham, MA

KLX250,  @agentmisskitty

HOW DID YOU FIRST HEAR ABOUT OVER AND OUT?  

Back in December of 2017, my friend in Queens, NY texted me about it!  She and her husband went to the International Motorcycle Show where they saw a female speaker talking about it!  She sent me a photo of the presenter, Kelly McCaughey, and the website URL.  I immediately subscribed to emails on the website so I wouldn't miss a thing!!!

DID YOU ALREADY HAVE OFF-ROAD RIDING EXPERIENCE? 

Yes and no.  At the time I learned of this event, I was on a 2013 Kawasaki Versys 650 and had a good 7 years riding experience previously on a Suzuki GS500, and a 1981 Yamaha XJS550. While I had ridden some dirt roads on my Versys, I wasn't really confident in my skills and I found it challenging to experience more and improve with a bike of that size. 

 Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

 Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

I knew if I scaled back in size I could improve my skills which could also translate to how I rode on my Versys.  Once I received more details from Over And Out about the terrain options and requirements, I had a better understanding of how I planned to improve my off-road riding experience.

SO WHAT WAS YOUR PLAN AS YOU LOOKED FORWARD TO OAO? 

I decided to get a lower-to-mid-range cc dual-sport, and my riding partner and boyfriend Seth helped me do that. Seth rides a KLX400, and together we found a 2006 Kawasaki KLX250 that seemed perfect for me.

 Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

The bike needed some maintenance of course, as well as some upgrades, including:  knobby tires, sprocket & chain, spark plug, carburetor modification, fluids changed, and replacement of some parts and painted plastics.   

Every day I'd get a package with new parts, and every free moment was spent working on the bike.  During winter we'd bring the bike inside to work on it, a common occurrence for our house that doesn't have a garage!

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We also decided to add a steering damper to help cut down on deflecting.  I then ordered a single hitch-hauler and ratchet straps and did a couple of trial runs loading my bike and driving around the block. 

Lastly, I ordered some new gear! ;) I bought a new jersey, pants, chest protector, elbow and knee guards... and Seth even surprised me with a new dirt bike helmet for my birthday! :-) 

 Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

Photo courtesy Lisa Davison

SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAD IT ALL ON LOCK!  ANY LAST MINUTE SURPRISES? 

Only the good kind! About a week out from the event, Kelly (the event producer) contacted me. Someone in my area was looking for options to catch a ride to the event, and Kelly reached out to see if she could bridge any connections.

I offered to help, and to my surprise the girl that needed a ride was Erika Tango Bean, one of the REV'IT! women's team riders who'd come out all the way from Arizona to Boston. 

 Erika Tango Bean @bmwmotorcyclegirl and Lisa Davison @agentmisskitty 

Erika Tango Bean @bmwmotorcyclegirl and Lisa Davison @agentmisskitty 

I had an empty seat in my JEEP and room for her bags, so Erika's husband dropped her off with me, and we drove to the event in NY together!  It was great having the opportunity to meet someone new, to have great company on my way to the event and to start my journey this way.

Once we arrived it was time to briefly part ways, get our campsites set up, check in and start socializing with the other ladies!  As the day turned into night it was so cool to see so many other ladies arriving with their bikes, setting up camp and meeting one another!  

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

HOW WAS YOUR RIDING EXPERIENCE AT OAO?

It was great! I took advantage of every opportunity I could, and in the morning at the riders meeting I was able to meet other ladies who were interested in riding the same things as me, so it was easy to grab a buddy or two! 

I started on the easiest, roughly 1-mile, woods loop.  It rained pretty good that morning and, whoa!, that made for some slick riding! Having never ridden in muddy single track before I was apprehensive at first, but the positivity of the other riders kept me pressing on!  

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

About halfway through I hit a muddy rut and fell. A sweep rider came up to make sure I was ok - and I was! Still laughing and smiling!  One of the girls helped me pick up my bike and the sweep showed me how to get it started after dropping and flooding it. And we were on our way again! 

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

WHAT ELSE DID YOU RIDE AT OAO?

I rode the grass tracks next. While the rain still made things a bit slippery, at least there were no ruts, rocks or roots to contend with for a little while. This allowed me to go a little faster and relax a little more! 

 Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Photo by Megan Maloy @megan_maloy

Then I took a 1-hour lesson with the MSF-certified coach, Mitch. I learned more about throttle control, sitting and standing, counter-balancing and performing tight circles.  I was thrilled to have this opportunity to take this free lesson!

 Photo courtesy Victoria Zandonella, Northeast Dualsport Riders.

Photo courtesy Victoria Zandonella, Northeast Dualsport Riders.

And, finally I joined a 3-hour guided Dual Sport ride on an AMAZING route planned by guide Victoria Z! The perfect blend of a little street, some dirt and lots of back roads, winding through stunning landscapes and small towns.  Thankfully the rain had ended and we enjoyed a great group ride with 7 riders and a sweep.

SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAD THE TIME OF YOUR LIFE! 

I loved the experience of a Women's Only event.  It was inspiring to meet and see other ladies who have a love of adventure like I do. They were all so open-minded and easy to talk to.  I bonded with ladies by sharing a trail, sharing a bench at lunch time, roasting s'mores, and laughing together a LOT! I made so many new friends. I can't wait until the next Over And Out!

Until then...a big THANK YOU to everyone involved! xo

Northeast 24-hour Enduro Women's Team: Interview with Amelia Kamrad

One of my goals for Over And Out is that it help serve as a gateway for female riders of all levels to discover more opportunities for riding, be it through connection to new friends and a broader riding community or by building up the skills and confidence to join a race or try a longer or more difficult ride. 

For me, as a casual recreational rider, meeting Amelia Kamrad became my own gateway to trying my first race. I was stoked to experience it, but what I actually ended up getting out of it, I never expected.  That is: the addictive high of working hard at something I love, but as part of an incredible team.

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I played team sports all through high school and college, but this experience was different. Maybe because there were only six of us. Maybe because riding enduro is a sport I love more than anything I've ever done...I'm not sure, but I have to thank Millie for recruiting me to be on the team, and I've got to do it again!

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NORTHEAST 24-HOUR CHALLENGE, WOMEN'S TEAM: INTERVIEW WITH AMELIA KAMRAD

I asked Millie to tell us a bit about the race experience. Sure, we're not the first all-girl team, nor did we capture first place, but it's all too common to read interviews with people who are already killing it.  I wanted to share some information for those of you who might be trying new things in the world of riding two wheels, just like we are. 

I hope you enjoy and that it maybe encourages you or someone you know to give something new a try, be it a race, an event or simply riding for the first time.  

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TELL US ABOUT THE NORTHEAST 24 HOUR CHALLENGE! 

The Northeast 24 Hour Challenge is a true test of endurance! Riders tackle an 11-mile course, but aim to complete as many laps as possible within 24 hours. You can form a team of up to six people, or ride as an ironman or woman, aka just one rider for the full 24 hours.

The race starts with a Le Mans-style start - riders start with a run to their bikes, having to start them up before taking off and heading into the woods. Each team also has a transponder that gets handed rider-to-rider to track their laps.

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The race goes for a full 24 hours, meaning riders continue to ride throughout the night, and must make use of headlights and helmet-mounted lights to make their way through the densely wooded course in the dark.

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WOULD YOU SAY THIS IS THE TOUGHEST PART OF THE RACE? 

Riding all through the night definitely adds an additional test of endurance.  The pits get quiet while riders who aren't currently riding try to get some sleep, and some teams aren't able to keep a rider on the course through the early hours of the morning. Managing sleep, hydration, and nutrition are key, so riders can continue to put in laps throughout the 24 hours. 

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Watch Part 1: Team Theft Recovery at the Northeast 24 Hour Challenge.


WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO ASSEMBLE AN ALL-GIRLS TEAM FOR THIS YEAR'S RACE?

Last year I joined a friend's team, and I had a ton of fun. I thought it would be a really interesting experience tackling this with five other women. This was in November 2017, and with Over And Out's first women's riding event on the horizon I realized I'd be meeting a number of female riders keen to take on new challenges.

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There weren't that many female riders at the 24-hour challenge, so I thought if I could gather five other women to join me in a team, I'd be significantly adding to the number of women riding at this event. Hopefully, our participation this year will inspire more women riders to take on this challenge next year!

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WHO ENDED UP ON YOUR TEAM AND WHY DID YOU SELECT THEM? 

We had a few changes to team lineup over the year. Because race entry opens in January but the race isn't until July, naturally some changes came about throughout the year that forced two girls to drop out by early June. 

BUT, Over And Out was set for the end of June so I knew I'd likely meet some more riders game to join.  I met so many positive, awesome female riders at OAO, I was able to fill the open spots! 

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The final lineup of "Team Theft Recovery": Tracy So, Megan Babineau, Ashley Lusky, Liz Kiniery, Kelly McCaughey and me, Amelia Kamrad. All of the girls that joined the team are great riders, but riding ability was only a small part of what makes a good team. 

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I was hoping to find teammates with positive attitudes, ready to take on an endurance challenge, and I couldn't picture any of these girls giving up easily.

I also knew right from the start that they would help to build each other up; it's super important to be team-focused. When we finally settled all six team members, it felt right. 

WHAT DID YOU DO TO PREPARE FOR THE RACE? 

One thing we did was join Erika Hurst's Gnarly Babes Fitness program together!

Erika was one of the first east-coast female riders profiled on the Over And Out blog. She started a fitness program for women who ride, and took us on as clients. 

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The majority of our team committed to the fitness program to improve our strength, modify eating habits, and also stay in touch and motivate each other to stay fit and healthy as the race approached.

In 90+ degree weather, your physical fitness (or lack thereof) really comes into play.  It's a recipe for complete and utter exhaustion if you haven't prepared in advance. By around week 4 I could tell the program was making a difference in my strength and in my riding.

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We also needed to prep our bikes appropriately. While the race lap is only about 11 miles, if you have an issue with your bike it could take you two hours to get hauled back to the pits. That's two hours that you won't have someone completing laps for your team, and it will definitely make a difference in the race.

Solid Performance KTM (based just outside of Philadelphia) came through for us in so many ways: They let us borrow a KTM 250xcw that they professionally lowered 2 inches. 

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Funny story: the bike was actually stolen from their shop at one point. It was ridden in inner city Baltimore for a while before it got impounded and Solid Performance got it back. This is where our team took the name "Theft Recovery" from!  

They of course put a lot of work in to ensure this bike was in top shape to race. Solid Performance is the only WP suspension shop on the East Coast (they lowered my Husaberg for me last year - a MUST do if you've got short legs like me!). A lot of women don't realize the difference that lowering a bike can make in your riding. These bikes come stock built for the average size man, so lowering the bike by 2 inches made it much more accessible. 

Solid Performance even came through big time by lowering Tracy's bike for her the week before the race!  They gave us assurance, confidence and amazing support!

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I Imagine (and hope!) we might have some women who end up reading this who are curious about trying a race for the first time. During the actual race, WHAT WAS IT ACTUALLY LIKE FOR YOU GIRLS?

Well, like I described above, a 24-hour race is inherently a test of endurance. It was fairly exhausting! Basically, when you aren't expending energy actually riding, you're trying to chill in between rides, conserve energy, hydrate, eat, fix things on your bike that you may have broken on your last lap...and a million other things.

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It helped to be organized.  We had organized areas for food, gear, prep, stretching and recuperation. And we helped each other. While a rider got geared up in anticipation of their riding time, other riders helped them do whatever they needed: bring them food, help find a piece of gear or tape or some other solution they needed. 

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The weather also threw in a few challenges.  We had a few thunderstorms roll through, so overnight the course turned into a soupy, muddy mess! 

Not only is it extra challenging to ride in sticky, slippery rutted-out mud, it's a bummer come the morning when you're already getting sore, and you have to put cold, wet, muddy gear back on for your final laps...  


Watch Part 2: Team Theft Recovery at the Northeast 24 hour Challenge.  


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Oh yeah, by the time morning came around, putting the gear back on felt a bit like punishment. But before you know it it's time for the last lap to be ridden and seeing your teammate cross the finish line is an incredible feeling.  

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We may have been exhausted and ready to get home and into a shower, but as we packed up our pit, gear and bikes we were already thinking about doing it all over again next year!

@millieonthemove @kellymccaughey @lizismoto @tracysowhat @motogal315 @alluneedisluff @solid_performance @erikahurst_ @hurststrengthct
Images and video by Steve Kamrad @steve_kamrad
Guided Dual Sport Rides with Victoria Zandonella
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Victoria Zandonella, Northeast Dualsport Riders

Yamaha XT250, BMW F650gs, Zongshen RX3, Suzuki Gladius. 

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING? 

40+ years! I started riding dirt when I was 10 years old and off-road riding always remained my foremost passion. I dabbled in enduro racing in my youth, and got my first road bike at age 16.

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TELL US A BIT ABOUT YOUR RIDING EXPERIENCE...

From a street-riding perspective my two-wheeled travels include all of the Northeast and Canadian maritimes and Mid-Atlantic as well as much of the mountainous western states.  

From the dirt side I’ve ridden all of New England extensively. PA & NY is my regular Dual Sport playground!

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN GUIDING OFF-ROAD RIDES, AND WHAT OTHER EVENTS HAVE YOU GUIDED?   

I’ve organized and led many road tours over the years, both on-road and off-road.  I started Northeast Dualsport Riders in 2013. I have led over 100 rides with NDR. Currently I am hosting the Mid-Atlantic Back Country Discovery Route (MABDR) as I write this! 

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WHAT MADE YOU INTERESTED IN WORKING WITH OVER AND OUT? 

Upon hearing of the Over and Out event I was thrilled for the opportunity to join the event and assist in any way I can to promote female dirt riders in the Northeast. A female-focused event like Over And Out is something we have yet to see offered in the Northeast until now. 

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WHAT WILL THE DUAL SPORT ROUTES BE LIKE AT OVER AND OUT? 

There are a couple of options:  Riders can head out on their own using maps that will be provided on-site, or they can sign up for one of the guided rides! Here are details about each:

Self-guided Mapped Route (Easy as it gets):

This route in its entirety will cover roughly 85 miles of scenic dirt roads and blacktop, roughly 2.5 hours of riding. Ladies can grab a REV'IT! route map on-site and head out to explore on their own for however long they like. This route is friendly for big bike riders, newer riders or anyone looking for a less intense ride experience. 

Guided D/S Rides (Intermediate):

I will be leading two different guided D/S rides, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. 

This route will consist of 80 miles of intermediate level terrain, meaning it will be mostly dirt and class IV (unmaintained) dirt roads. Each of these rides will take roughly 3 hours.  

Ticket holders can sign up for a guided ride here, please be sure to read all the details! 

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ANY FINAL WORDS OF ADVICE FOR LADIES SIGNING UP FOR A GUIDED RIDE? 

Definitely be ready to roll at ride time with a full tank of gas, and an empty bladder! We'll put everyone in an order that makes sense and will ride to the pace of the least experienced rider, making a few routine stops to do rider checks and make sure everyone is feeling good. 

Read ALL of the details and requirements on the Dual Sport Sign-Up page and get ready for an adventure!

Meet Meghan Milligan, Coordinator for Over And Out
 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Meghan Milligan - Pittsburgh, PA - @meggymilly

KTM 200xcw

HOW DID YOU GET INTO OFF-ROAD RIDING?

My fiancé Adam was the one who got me into riding off-road. When I first started riding in 2014, I only wanted to ride street and never have thought that I would get into riding dirt. Now if I ever had to choose between the two, street or dirt, I would choose to ride off-road, hands down! I would always watch videos of Adam ripping through trails and was completely mesmerized — I wanted to experience that same adrenaline feeling. 

I first learned how to ride dirt on my 1992 Suzuki DR350. It was a great bike to start out on, but once I got a taste of a 2-stroke dirt bike that was it — I needed something more compatible for the riding style I craved.

 Photo by Adam Frye

Photo by Adam Frye

Adam then surprised me for Christmas one year with a 1996 Kawasaki KX125. That's the bike that made me completely fall in love with riding 2-strokes. The power completely changed my outlook on riding off-road and I couldn't stop smiling underneath my helmet.

However, my KX was at times challenging to ride due to some minor imperfections. I wanted to desperately advance in my skill set so instead of putting tons of money to fix up an old bike I decided to sell it to RIDE ORANGE!  I am now the proud owner of a 2009 KTM 200 XC-W and couldn't be more pumped! It's an incredible bike to ride trails and help me grow as a rider. 

 Photo by Adam Frye

Photo by Adam Frye

WHAT KIND OF TERRAIN DO YOU LIKE RIDING THE MOST? 

There is nothing more thrilling than riding through the woods trying to get through each obstacle that comes your way. You get to ride through nature's very own playground — log crossings, rocky terrain, ruts — the list goes on. What really keeps it exciting that you can ride a route one weekend and by the next one it can change completely! Riding trails really improves your technical skill set — especially when riding tight single-track. And let's be real, it doesn't hurt that you're surrounded by the amazing scenery of the woods. 

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WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE THING ABOUT RIDING? 

I love that you are constantly challenging yourself off-road. There is always something new to learn and you’re continuously working on improving your skills.  It's an incredible feeling when you are able to get through an obstacle that you once struggled with.

WHAT IS YOUR INVOLVEMENT WITH OVER AND OUT? 

The first I heard about Over And Out was when Kelly mentioned to me that she wanted to create a ladies-only off-road event here on the East Coast. There was no event like that on our side of the country and Kelly was determined to make it happen! While she worked on plans for a public event, she organized a smaller trial event with a handful of women (of all levels) and women loved it. After that I was ECSTATIC to hear the official plans for Over And Out were a GO, and that we were finally getting a women's off-road event here on the East Coast!!  

 Photo by Adam Frye

Photo by Adam Frye

As far as my involvement with Over And Out, I'm helping to bring in great items for the raffle, am assisting with event set-up and...pretty much whatever else is needed to produce an event like this! It's really fun to coordinate all of the exciting things to come! 

WHY IS THIS EVENT IMPORTANT TO YOU?

I feel honored to help assist Kelly in the planning of OAO — it's great to have an incredible woman in the off-roading community be the brains behind this event, but even better to help a friend that I have connected with through the love of riding dirt bikes! We met at the first Babes Ride Out East Coast and I was pumped to meet a woman who loves riding trails like me! 

When Kelly first told me that she was planning Over And Out I immediately volunteered to help in any way I could! I always wished there was a dirt bike/off-road event out here for women and I couldn't be happier that it is now a reality.

Riding dirt bikes has become such a huge part of my life so being able to help with Over And Out is very important to me. I can't wait to meet more great people, and I can't wait to RIDE!

 Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Photo by Sarah Van Tassel

Meet Flyer Artist Lydia Roberts

I don't know about you, but I pretty much flipped out when I saw the final flyer artwork for Over And Out, drawn by artist Lydia Roberts aka @lydiarobotica. I've always loved the artistic vibe of punk and hardcore flyers, or skate art with an east-coast edge. I wanted to bring that vibe into Over And Out, and when I discovered Lydia's work I knew i had the right girl.

This post is a bit longer, but it's worth it!  Not only is Lydia an amazing artist (and a girl who rides motorcycles), she was able to explain her artistic process in such a fun, interesting way! Read on to learn more about Lydia and see photos of the flyer process from start to finish!

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Lydia Roberts - Brooklyn, NY - @lydiarobotica

Kawasaki KLX140L, 2003 Suzuki SV650S

LET'S DIVE RIGHT IN HERE....THE FLYER YOU DID FOR OAO IS JUST AMAZING! CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE BIT ABOUT YOUR LIFE AS AN ARTIST? 

Thanks so much! It was a ton of fun to work on this flyer. I love doing hand lettering and I love drawing bikes, so getting to combine the two was awesome. Plus it's for a sick event, so that's even better! 

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I am a freelance artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. I do illustration for the most part, but I love working in a ton of different mediums and techniques. I tend to get a little antsy when I do any one thing too long. If I do comics too much, I want to paint, and vice versa.

 Artwork by Lydia Roberts @lydiarobotica

Artwork by Lydia Roberts @lydiarobotica

Lately I've been finishing working on a sci-fi graphic novel with Jessica Abel called Trish Trash: RollerGirl of Mars, I do layouts and the background art for it, as well as a bunch of world design, vehicles included! But that's been going on a while now, so it will be nice to finish that up and start some new projects.

HOW DID YOU NURTURE YOUR ARTISTIC TALENTS?

At some point in middle school I realized art was probably what I was best at. I had always drawn and painted, but I really started focusing in on art to the slight neglect of the rest of my schoolwork haha. I kept sketchbooks over the years, worked on random paintings and drawings, did some flyers for local bands and events. 

I was living in Albuquerque at the time, and for school we went to an art show in Santa Fe called "Our Grotesque". It was a crazy range of art dealing with weirdness, sculptures, paintings, drawings, animations. and comic books. I had never seen "adult comics" before, things created solely for a weird twisted purpose instead of a squeaky clean superhero or newspaper comic. After that, I started reading comics and borrowing them from friends, trying to make a few of my own. This was what led me to go to school in New York City at The School of Visual Arts. They were and still are one of the few accredited colleges to offer a Cartooning degree, so I got my BFA in Cartooning and Illustration.

 Artwork by Lydia Roberts @lydiarobotica

Artwork by Lydia Roberts @lydiarobotica

Since then, I've worked on comic books, storyboards for commercials, freelance illustrations, T-shirt designs, painting commissions...all sorts of randomness. For a few years I did pin-striping and filigree decorative painting in a mini-mansion being restored on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, lots of murals, painting things gold, painting ceilings and moulding.

Over the last couple years I've been trying to make a drawing a day, partly as an exercise to myself that I don't obsess over a piece and partly to try to get my speed up. 

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WHAT WAS THE PROCESS LIKE, CREATING THIS FLYER? 

First, I draw ideas in my sketchbook, trying to get some loose images worked out. With flyers like this, or really any illustration involving text, I write out all the information that is needed to see what space it takes up, arranging them by importance and size. Sometimes things I thought would work turn out to be too crammed or awkward. It's like playing with puzzle pieces at this step and figuring out how all the elements fit together. 

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Next, I start the pencils and do a first pass of super wispy sketchy pencils by massing in words and figures, making sure everything fits, tweaking sizes and placement as I go.  I usually keep it loose initially because there can be course adjustments that happen during the first pass. Once everything seems to be flowing and fitting correctly I begin fleshing things out and dedicating to the pencils. 

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This stage is interesting because there are tons of guides and a bunch of under drawing lines that help me execute the final inks, but don't actually show up in the final image. As one of my old art teachers put it, "Pencils are where you make all your mistakes and explore your choices, inks are the the final selection you lock down." With heavy technical drawings like this, I try to do really tight pencils. Lettering and machinery are usually what I try to do the crispest pencils on and this flyer has tons of both, so this stage took a bit of time! 

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For the riders that are all over the place I tried to use a bunch of reference photos- especially because there's no faking machinery. Some of the riders are from the overandoutmoto.com blog ;) while others are from enduro riders I follow on Instagram, so there are some secret cameos going on I guess! 

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At long last I begin the inks! It always seems exciting after slaving over the pencils, although once I begin I'm reminded of how scary inks can be because you start feeling the finality. It's funny how much your mind can mess with you when you have "the one chance to do it right". With something like hand lettering its sort of a masochistic, tedious process. However, despite these lurking thoughts inking is awesome because all that pencilling was worth it. Your pathway is laid out and you're not second-guessing yourself half as much as you would with loose pencils.

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Once I get all of the inks done with the nib, I get to do an extremely satisfying thing and erase all those smudgy pencils and under drawings! Generally I don't bother with much of the spot black and shadows or thicker linework that I do with a brush until after erasing. Also, something VERY important and easily forgotten: Wait for the ink to dry before you erase. Sounds simple, but there are so many times I jumped the gun out of impatience and smeared wet ink across the entire picture! So I do my best to be patient.

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I used watercolor paper for this so it could handle the ink-washes without warping or doing strange things. If you don't tape it down/stretch it, it doesn't matter too much, you'll just have to sepnd a long time flattening it with tons of heavy books. Since this is an event flyer, I had to make sure I kept the emphasis on the information.  I thought about doing a limited palette, but ended up deciding on wanting to keep that realistic summery vibe of riding in upstate- blue skies and green everywhere.  Like many of the other stages, I try to get a vague all-over pass of color values done before going back into final details and deeper shadows.  

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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN RIDING DIRT BIKES? 

Its been about 3-4 years, but its a bit sporadic since my bike stays upstate for the most part and I live in the city. I first learned on my Kawasaki KLX140L. It belonged to my boyfriend's sister who is a fairly experienced rider on both the dirt and street. She wasn't using the dirtbike as much as she used to and was willing to sell it to me.

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I also just got a Suzuki SV650S last fall, so I only got a couple times in before winter really kicked in. It has definitely been interesting learning to ride a street bike here in Brooklyn. There's a lot of people, no space, and some craziness. But it's a ton of fun!

WHAT WAS YOUR FIRST DIRT BIKE RIDING EXPERIENCE LIKE? 

Hahaha, I thought I was going a lot faster than I was, that's for sure. I laughed when I saw the video my boyfriend had taken. I didn't fall, but I did manage to hit a tree that first time. I gassed it a little too hard and zoomed off to the side instead of down a hill. I managed to hit one of the few trees dead-on with my front tire. I kind of jolted forwards out of my seat and lightly tapped the tree trunk with my helmet. I wasn't hurt though, it was more of a reminder of why gear is important, hahaha.

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WHAT DO YOU LIKE MOST ABOUT RIDING IN THE NORTHEAST?

The terrain is pretty awesome. There are a lot of woods, and weird rocks and boulders dispersed throughout since its the top end of the Appalachias, and a lot is weathered and rounded. Crossing rivers and streams is fun, and well, you have the potential for all sorts of mud and crazy slippery riding conditions. I do like the woods not only for the riding style, but because you get some relief from the sun and the wildlife you see can be really beautiful.

HAVE YOU EVER RIDDEN WITH OTHER FEMALE FRIENDS?  

Sadly I haven't really. Probably the closest was letting female friends take some turns on my bike, haha. Although I've only ridden with a handful of people anyways, so it's not really a comment on gender. Also, I don't know too many girls who ride bikes in general, and even fewer with dirt-bikes. One day soon though! 

Meet Lauren Leal

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.

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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. 

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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!

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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!

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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.

 Photo by Lauren Leal

Photo by Lauren Leal

 Photo by Lauren Leal

Photo by Lauren Leal

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.

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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.

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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!

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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.

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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.

Meet Kelly McCaughey

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

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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.

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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!

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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.

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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.  

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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.

 Photo by Kelly McCaughey

Photo by Kelly McCaughey

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!

 Photo by Amy Batog

Photo by Amy Batog

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.

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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!

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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. 

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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.”

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

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!

 Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

Photo by Dan Sternaimolo

@overandoutmoto   @kellymccaughey  

Interview by Amelia Kamrad @millieonthemove

Meet Crystal Levesque

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.  

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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.