Welcome to October my friends. The month of pumpkins, Oktoberfest, and Babes Ride Out. The annual ladies only motorcycle ride and camp out. A weekend filled with amazing rides, free whiskey and beer, moto games, live entertainment, hands on classes (tank painting, welding, iron work, leather making), tattoo booths, vendors, food trucks and the list goes on. For the first six years it was held in Joshua Tree, CA. This year, it was held in the little town of Santa Margarita, near San Luis Obispo. It’s located in central California just off the coast.
It started out with a group of 50 women and a bucket of PBR on ice. It is now a gathering of about 1,500 with so much happening. I learned about BRO early on, but I have not attended until now. I always kept saying I would go, but there would always be a conflict. My good friend Berta has gone to all but the first one, so she was the perfect person to go with on my first BRO event. We both arrived on Friday, and damn, it was hot in the sun. As soon as I got there I peeled off the riding gear and got in my shorts and flip flops. Tents were set up in an open field with lots of these thorny guys around, so extra care had to be taken with the air pad and kneeling on the ground!
Camp was set, which was followed by a a walk around the property in search of liquids.
Our first item on the agenda (after getting the free beer and whiskey) was the whiskey train. This train held about 60 people at a time, and did a 15 minute tour around the property. With 1,500 women, it was first come, first serve and they only made three rounds. One of the gals made a whiskey drink called Slow Poison that she handed out to each of us as we boarded the little train.
After the train ride, it was back to the barn for karaoke, more free beer and whiskey, and some food truck delights.
The next day we woke up to a chilly 38 degrees. The bikes had frost on them, and I was thinking hot coffee and breakfast was a better idea while we waited for the sun to heat things up.This is the Country Touch Cafe in Atascadero. Mouth-watering food and fantastic service. Lots of carb-loading for the days ride and the evening’s festivities.
After breakfast, we took a beautiful, scenic loop on windy backroads that eventually led to the historic Pozo Saloon.Cute place (minus the flies), but we didn’t feel like more burgers so instead we got the onion rings and tater tots. Lunch of champions. Once we got back to camp, it was time for the moto games!
These ladies were pretty amazing. There were slowest rider contests and some of these women were doing it on huge adventure bikes…much harder than it looks, especially on a field full of ruts and holes. Also there was the barrel pushing contest, and one where they rode 2-up and the passenger had to place tennis balls on top of small traffic cones while passing by. I didn’t think that was possible but after a few practice runs, they were getting their technique down. I’ll never forget the MC yelling out; “ladies! Hold up your balls!”
After moto games, we headed back to the barn under a full moon for….yep, you guessed it. More free beer, whiskey and live music. However, on the way I saw a few bikes that caught my eye. The band for the night was Twisted Gypsy, a Fleetwood Mac cover band and damn, they were good! We hung out by the barrel campfires, had our drinks and met lots of great people. The grounds were pretty at night.It got pretty cold as soon as the sun went down so not long after the band was done, we headed back to our tents to hunker down in our sleeping bags for the night. The next morning was chilly, but as soon as the sun rose higher in the sky, things warmed up. We packed up our things and said goodbye. Berta pointed her bike South while I pointed mine North. On the ride home I thought about all the fun we had, and the amazing community of women riders. I rode away feeling inspired and renewed. I’ll definitely be back next year.
Thanks for following along!