As we all know, 2020 has been the year of canceled – well – everything. All the big women’s motorcycle events had been canceled and even with Covid cases going down, there wasn’t much going on in terms of gatherings or rides. I decided to bring some of my close girlfriends together and plan a motorcycle camping trip to Alabama Hills – a public BLM land space up the 395HWY in Southern California. The original dates of Babes Ride Out were reserved for a lot of us so that’s when we decided to do our own ride. After a few weeks of planning, we decided to just make it an open invitation to any women who wanted to come along. The space was really big and spread out, there’s lots of good riding in the area and lots of space for us to hang out without being too close!
The view from our camp spot in Alabama Hills
The post we shared for women to find us
Adri Law helped me post about the ride and get the word out so on Friday morning, we loaded up her truck with her bike, camping gear and all the necessary equipment to clean up after everyone and keep our space dialed. I took off from Downtown LA on my 1993 Harley Davidson FXR and cruised up through the Angeles Crest Highway.
My route through Angeles National Forest and up the 14 to 395.
My bike on the Angeles Crest Highway on the way to Alabama Hills
I could feel a bit of a cold front coming on, especially with how hot it had been in Los Angeles lately. The weekend was gonna be a bit chilly! But I knew it was nothing that we couldn’t handle – these biker babes are tough. Adri and I linked up in Palmdale and off we went up the 395 desert Highway through Mojave, past the Red Rock State Park, and up towards Lone Pine. Lone Pine is infamous for the movies that were filmed there. It was a hub for Western Movie production back in the day and is still being used for filming to this day.
When you reach the town of Lone Pine, you take a left up Whitney Portal Road. That’s where you will find Alabama Hills – a totally open, amazing BLM Public land space that is full of really amazing rock formations, rock climbing spots, and dirt bike spots. This is also where all the movies have been filmed: Movies like Gladiator, High Sierra, How The West Was Won, Star Trek V, Iron Man, and many, many, more.
My view rolling into Alabama Hills on Friday Afternoon
Adri and I figured out the perfect spot for camping, visibility, and social distancing and set up camp. We shot a few photos for Russ Brown and then the women started rolling in on their bikes. Most of the women I hadn’t even met before. Some brought Sportsters, some trailered dirt bikes, some showed up in trucks and some had big mama baggers. We lit up our propane fire pit and had a cool night getting to know each other.
Ladies bikes rolling in on Friday afternoon
The overnight temperature was about 58 but after a few whiskeys, the ladies had no problem falling asleep in their tents. In the morning, we decided to go on a ride up towards Bishop to find hot springs and warm up. Some ladies were going to go rock climbing, some dirt biking, and some hiking – totally cool with us! It was a minute-by-minute kind of trip and everyone could kind of choose what they wanted to do. My crew was into the Hot Springs idea so we rode North up the 395 about an hour to a spot that my friend had told me about. When we got there, the water wasn’t hot enough for us so some locals told us about another secret spot only 10 minutes away. It was a really cool adventure and when we finally found the hot springs, it was totally worth it – and totally going to stay a secret!
Hot Springs in Bishop!
Riding with a few ladies in tow
A couple of ladies needed some bike work done and we restocked on drinks and snacks. When we headed back into Alabama Hills, there were quite a few new women at the camp. There were tents set up all over the hills, behind rocks, in-between rocks, and even right in the parking lot. There was so much space and cool little tucked away spots for women to make a little home for the night. Camp was vibrating and everyone was sharing what they did during the day. The campfire was getting going and Adri started cooking up quesadillas for the ladies who were too busy to eat all day.
Tent spots in the hills
Bikes ready to call it quits for the night
The sun setting on our final night
The fire was warm and the night was cold. We laughed and talked all night as more and more ladies rolled into the campsite. Lots were staying in hotels, some camped at real campgrounds and some were just pulling up in their Vans to party for the night. Adri and I suspected about 50 women who came and went throughout the weekend.
Our fire on the final night of Camping
The next morning was a bit slow, my tent was cold until about 9 am when I decided to finally start packing up. I knew it was going to be a bit cold and windy riding home so I tried to get as much rest as I could.
The view from my tent on the final morning
Everyone packed up and said bye to each other. The women were thanking me for putting the ride together but I kept saying, “all I did was drop a pin and choose a date!” But really, that is all it takes. It’s really cool how with just 1 post on Instagram, women from all over came together and met, hung out, and took the risk of putting themselves in a weird situation with people they didn’t know. I love it and that’s what this is all about! There were women who rode from Bend Oregon, women who came from Vegas, and some who came from Portland. Most of us were from LA and were stoked to talk with everyone who came from all over but it was time to say goodbye. Around 11 am, we all separated and hopped on our bikes to head in all different directions.
Adri and I before we started our journey home
The ride home was so windy. I’ve ridden some crazy terrains but this wind was something new. I didn’t even take my helmet off for the entire 200-mile trip because if I put my kickstand down, it looked like my bike was going to blow over. Adri followed me in the truck the entire way back to LA and I ended up splitting from her and going back into the Angeles Crest Highway just to get off the freeway. The RVs and big trailers coming home from a weekend in the desert were everywhere and swerving into my lane over and over. I got a call from the other ladies who were behind me and they were getting their bikes trailered home after one of them was blown into 2 lanes of traffic and then dropped her bike in the ditch. It was a freak windy day!! This is also the day that the fires in Orange County started – due to the winds. The wind isn’t usually something I worry about or even check before a motorcycle trip but NOW I WILL.
Just before the wind hit me on the 395 heading South
Although that wind was crazy and the ride home was tough, the weekend summed up to be a pretty awesome experience. When a bunch of women who ride get together – it’s a really cool vibe. It’s not something you see in many other hobby avenues and there’s something to be said about that. Thanks to everyone who made the effort of coming out and we hope to see you again soon!