It’s that time of year again where I ride out to Big Bear Lake for the Annual Women's Sportbike rally. I couldn’t wait to meet other female riders to celebrate our small but growing niche of women in the motorcycle community. I was excited as usual but due to an exceptionally busy week, I was finding it challenging to get myself up and going that morning. Nonetheless, I wanted to be there to share my knowledge and stories in the Track 101 Workshop that Laura K. (from 'The Redhead Rides') and myself would present. I loaded my Yamaha R3 with my necessities, and I was soon on my noble steed for the ride! Slabbing it for the first hour was just as you would expect... uneventful. The 80+ degree heat made it feel as though I was going through a convection oven while avoiding the 5-0's. That's all I need to say about that!
Finally, I started to approach the bottom of the mountain while the 210 north merged into a one lane road. The bottom was hot and dry and I could see some mountain areas with ashes and black trees depicting a fire recently. My energy levels weren't getting any higher; that is until the roads began to twist sharper yet smoothly! Greenery with speckles of tiny yellow flower colonies were becoming visible and I couldn't help feeling like they were greeting me to the Lake. Ah yeah! This is what I needed! Curve after curve with the beauty of nature was reminding hyping me up for what awaited. I rode faster and faster until I reached the inevitable traffic, but I wasn't frustrated because I could now enjoy the beauty of the Lake , enormous boulders and the tall pines that indicated I was almost at the end of my journey. That tiresome start to my morning had all been forgotten and I instantly regretted not making better choices to get there earlier.
I went to the condo that my good friend and riding buddy, Nikki, had reserved for us. They were out enjoying what the mountain had to offer as far as riding and so I waited for their arrival. The condo was NICE! It was dangerous to delve into that fluffy comforter on my bed so I decided to get ready for the Workshop. Two o'clock was approaching and I was meeting with Laura K. to get prepared for our presentation. I had never met Laura before but right away I could tell that Laura was a go-getter and self starter. These qualities are those I have always admired and wanted for myself so it was nice watching Laura do her thing on the podium. We presented together and we made a great team! We made ourselves available for questions to the attendees planning their first trackdays. This is what I came for, the feeling of unification and to be resourceful for other women in the sport.
End of story Woohoo! Expectation had been met and I was ready to go back to the cozy condo and sleep right?! NOPE! Here came Robyn Diamond from Robyn Stunts to give her presentation, and while I was very excited to listen, I had my own biases and stereotypes of stunting that made me want to be skeptical of that all together. Yet when Robyn came up on the podium and started her powerpoint, I couldn't help being starstruck almost immediately! Robyn was approachable, friendly, and not at all high nosed as I expected a 'stunter' to be. Her story was interesting and she had impacting takeaways that I will never forget. For example, Robyn explained her challenging process of learning to wheelie, and how accomplishing that goal was the start to opportunities she wouldn't have otherwise. It wasn't to pursue fame or cameos in music videos ( i.e. Bad Blood form Taylor Swift.. yeah that's her doing the wheelie!) It all started with something she wanted to do that looked cool, and with some help from good people, she was successful! As a consequence, Robyn is enjoying the sport in ways I could only dream of. I was also moved by her dedication to bring more women into the sport and be a resource to those who want to practice stunting. Women who stunt is an even smaller niche of the sport (about 10 professional female stunters in the U.S), and instead of keeping the winnings to herself, she wants to help other women get started in stunting! Lastly, Robyn reminded myself to make a goal and go for it. It sounds so obvious but it's not until you see someone start small and be successful like Robyn that it really puts a fire under your ass to get motivated and make new goals. That day I made the promise to myself to wheelie on the beginning of Highland Valley Road someday soon. I always see the experienced riders from The Church of Go doing wheelies and I am done coveting them; the negative voice in my head will be muted and I will do it someday!
Later that evening was the much awaited group picture! There were riders in costumes, wearing their club vests, wearing their gear, and everyone bringing plenty of color into a herd of motorcycles. What a sight! We took a parade lap around the village of Big Bear Lake and we had people turn their heads to catch a glimpse of us strolling by. It was like riding down the red carpet, but on asphalt and on our roaring and humming machines. It felt special! As we got to the Big Bear statue by the Lake, the sun was setting over the mountain tops and giving us a natural filter that would put X-pro II to shame. It was magical and it was so nice being surrounded by like-minded people in this gorgeous setting. I didn't even know many of these Women's names but I didn't have to because we were all part of the same tribe.
The last of the sun was setting, and we headed back to finish the night with dinner together. Brittany Morrow thanked the volunteers for making the event as wonderful as it was this year. She had a thoughtful gift for them and had a carefully chosen TokiDoki Unicorno collectible along with a small speech showing her gratitude. I was awarded one for my participation in the Workshop and I was deeply moved by her kind words and thoughtfulness. I felt extremely appreciated and will always plan to dedicate my efforts to help make this event as great as possible. Always!
The party didn't stop there. A gaggle of us who had occupied two of Nikki's Condo's were off to enjoy the night with some drinks and conversation. With the company of Claudia, Nikki, Michi, Rochelle, Mercedes and myself, we were on a roll with jokes and stories and discussions about anything and everything! Mercedes mentioned that it felt like the fun, college dorms experience and I would definitely agree that the camaraderie felt that way. Besides Nikki, I had met all of these riders that weekend and yet I felt like we had a familiarity from years ago. It was unforgettable to say the least.
The next morning we went off to say our goodbyes in the final presentation by the MotoHub owners. They had been assistants and supporters the entire weekend and after their moto-towing presentation, they finished the day by washing the girls' bikes. The last stretch of the rally was the final money raising for the Skin Cancer and Awareness cause, and the boys were ready for the shirtless bike-washing shenanigans! Of course we were all laughing hysterically and ogling the fiasco, that I almost felt a little guilty. Almost..
On the way back home, I took in the beautiful scenery as I was leaving the mountain; The glistening water on the lake, the boulders that seemed to be purposefully assembled together, and the various colors from the mountains' flora. How interesting that I was coming back down the same way that I came up, yet I felt like a different and better person already. The moto trek back to San Diego was the last thing on my mind.
Oh by the way, remember that goal I set for myself to wheelie on Highland Valley Road? Guess who did that after the rally?! The Minx did! I'm proof that this event will increase your moral, motivate you with your goals, and you'll have the chance to make friends for a lifetime. Will I see you next year?!