Riding with CLASS Motorcycle School at Virginia International Raceway

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Nope, we didn’t crash and have to get our bikes towed! (Kendon Motorcycle Trailer)

Not Just Your Average Monday.

Earlier this week I had the honor of attending back to back track days with my friends at Reg Pridmore’s CLASS Motorcycle School.

I attended a special, unique event earlier in April just for women riders but this one was one of their regular 2 day events at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, VA. My husband and I loaded up our bikes on the RevZilla Trailer (#IloveMyJob) and drove out Sunday, October 14th.

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

Here I am dancing with our bikes?

We rented one of the fancy garages at the track and made our home for the next 2 days.

By the way, we didn’t bring half the stuff most people bring with them to the track. Everyone will tell you something different, but I can tell you that you’ll probably use half of what you actually bring. So this is our simplified list in order of importance:

  1. Our track gear (duh!); suits, helmets, gloves, boots, back protectors

  2. Our bikes and keys

  3. Painters tape and duct tape (painters tape goes first, then duct tape. You’ll see why in a minute)

  4. Clean clothes for 3 nights since we left Sunday and got back Wednesday

  5. Chairs (because standing around all the time is tiring)

  6. Tool box (we have this one from Sonic). Of course we didn’t use everything but it does have some nice moto specific tools that can come in handy. I mainly used the tools to remove my mirrors, reinstall them afterwards and tighten up some loose ends.

  7. Cleaners, paper towels:

    1. Mucoff products: dry chain lube & degreaser, protectant, goggle/faceshield cleaner

    2. Simple Green; general, all purpose cleaner

  8. Tire compressor (so you can adjust your tire pressure below street levels. I drop mine to 28 front and rear for a little more stick)

  9. Tie downs to tie the bikes down to the trailer

  10. A few snacks/drinks

Oh and did I mention that because we went to the South Course on Day 1 (not North as planned), we had to leave our cozy paddock behind! So we managed all day without anything with us, and relied on track friends to help us out.


In retrospect I could’ve used extra fuel, but there was a Sunoco station on site, just on the other side of the parking lot. This was the first track day where my fuel light actually went on at the end of the last session!

We got in Sunday night a little late but stayed up to tape up our headlights and turn signals. You didn’t have to take your mirrors if you didn’t want to but I found them distracting and they were easy enough to remove.

This is why you need duct tape and painters tape, so you can make eyes! Let’s just say my husband’s creativity inspired me. Remember to never directly apply duct tape to your lights and mirrors, you want to use painters tape first and then you can go crazy with funny colors and what not.

Although Hurricane Michael hit the weekend before, we had the privilege of riding both courses at VIR; both the North and South Courses. Originally we were only supposed to ride the North Course but it just worked out that we were able to do South on Day 1 and North on Day 2.

The South Course was a shorter, slower paced track. The upside to this is that I got to do more laps than I normally would have. The schedule for CLASS was a little different than track days I’ve done in the past with other organizations.

As with every track day, the day started first thing (7:30am-8:00am) with Check In and Tech Inspection followed by a safety meeting where rules and information for the day was presented and shared by Reg’s team.

These rules were imposed on both groups, regardless of experience level or training so you know that everyone is on the same page and things will go as safely as possible.


Reg also impressed upon us a few other thoughts that he truly believed were important to our time at VIR for the next 2 days. I find these messages are important, not only for the track but for the street too:

  1. Slowing down, maintaining control

  2. Courtesy and consideration

  3. Learning not speeding

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I can feel the instructor’s (orange shirt) eyes on the back of my head watching my pitiful form.

I found this message to be comforting, empowering and set a positive tone for the riding ahead. One of the many personal rules I have about riding motorcycles is not riding in large groups of strangers (outside the confines of an organized, training ride with a dedicated riding organization e.g. large public rallies and parades. It simply makes me nervous because out on the street, the training and riding environment is vastly different. When a group of riders are at the track together, we’re generally on the same page. We know we’ve come here because we know it’s safer, and our environment is controlled and organized in a way that cannot be matched to a track day. I always feel 100% safer on the track than I do on the street.

As the day went on, I found myself finally figuring out this track and feeling the most confident at of course, the last lap. It took me all morning and afternoon to get my lines just right.

And as much as I wanted to get my knee down, I decided to shift my focus on hitting my apexes just right and keeping my line tight, not wide because on the street that can be a very dangerous outcome. (Imagine going wide on a 2 lane, 2 way road over the double yellows!) I finally started feeling more confident to take my lines tighter and get over my fear of going wide.  

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

Trying my best to hug those apexes and keep a tight, inside line per the Mantra of Reg Pridmore.

There were only two groups, A and B. A was for Advanced Pace and B was for Relaxed Pace. I started out in A the first day on the South Course. Although I did fine in that group I wasn’t feeling comfortable with the pace of the other rides so halfway through day 2, I opted to ride in Group B. The group was smaller, so more room and more laps! I hardly ran into any traffic and it felt like I had the track to myself. I also had lots of opportunities for coaches to follow me and for me to follow them. Pretty much every session, there was a coach available if I needed help.

There was also a small Triumph contingent, which was also comforting.


You might be able to see in the background, that there were quite a few non traditional sportbikes that attended too!

And yep, they also fully attended both days. SEEE?? Track Days aren’t just for Sportbikes!

It’s for everyone, anyone. It’s all about finding the right one for you, and contacting local track schools to see if their program fits in with your goals and objectives as a rider. I have a list on my website here, of advanced, nontraditional track day training around the country that I highly recommend.

But if you do some searching online I’m sure you’ll find local schools that will be more than happy to provide you advanced street training on the racetrack.

Or, sign up for a class with Reg and Gigi and tell them I sent you!

For more information on CLASS Motorcycle Schools including dates and prices, visit their website: You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.


Shoutout to Shoei Helmets and Honda for sponsoring CLASS and making sure that the instructors have the best helmets and bikes as well.

My Gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Race Star, Ace Cafe

  2. Suit: Alpinestars Womens Motegi V1 Race Suit (new version)

  3. Gloves: Racer High Racer Womens Gloves

  4. Boots: Dainese Womens Torque Out D1 Boots

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars Nucleon KR-1, SM

And in case the men out there are wondering about my husband’s gear:

  1. Helmet: Bell Star Helmet (Pre 2015)

  2. Suit: Revit Venom Suit

  3. Gloves: Held Evo Thrux

  4. Boots: Dainese Torque Out D1 Mens Boots (same as mine)

  5. Back Protector: Alpinestars KR Adventure; he said it was more comfortable than the model I have

Dainese North America Custom Works Tour 2018


The Custom Works Tour Is Now Seamlessly Integrated With A Multi-Channel Experience That Begins With Their Online 3D Configurator

COSTA MESA, Calif. – September 28, 2018 - Dainese ( the world leader of protective wear for dynamic sports, announces the 2018 USA tour of Custom Works, which provides fully-customized and made-to-measure motorcycle racing suits and jackets for race and street enthusiasts.

The Custom Works tour will visit USA cities where Dainese has partners with select retail stores. Through Custom Works, a master tailor will take measurements and walk the customer through the selection process of materials, color choices and the potential wish list of add-ons, logos, special numbers and other options to ultimately create their dream suit.


The program, is now fully integrated with a multi-channel experience that begins online, with the 3D Configurator, and continues in the Store where the personalized garment is delivered to the Customer; an engaging process that combines the practicality of digital configuration with the craftsmanship of a unique, handmade product. Accessible via the website, the 3D configurator allows each motorcyclist to personalize his/her leather suit, jacket or pants in real time, with a simple, engaging and interactive digital experience. The customer can see a preview of the garment, change the colors of the various parts, select accessories (plates, sliders), and upload words and/or images that are immediately visible on the 3D garment. 

Once the design is complete, the customer saves the model and books an appointment during which sizes are taken. The purchase is then completed at a Certified Custom Works Center - a network of stores authorized and certified by Dainese to offer the Custom Works service. 


The 25 anatomical measurements needed for the personalized garment are taken with the support of a specialized consultant. Special consideration is also given to the customer's specific needs and the expected use of the product. At the Store, customers can actually touch the technology, materials, finishes and accessories that give life to the most advanced leather suits.

Once complete, the measurements and customization specs are sent to Dainese’s production facilities, where each piece is hand-sewn by professionals, many of whom do custom sewing for Valentino Rossi suits. 

“We at Dainese always stress the critical importance of fit for optimal protection and safety. And we’re bringing that on the road through the Custom Works Tour, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get a completely made-to-measure, Dainese suit that’s fully customizable - literally every stitch is made for you,” said Roberto Sadowsky, Dainese North America Executive VP. “We are proud to bring this opportunity to riders across North America who are looking for the very best and trust Dainese’s heritage and craftsmanship to make it happen.”

Since its inception in 1972, Dainese has remained at the forefront of technical innovations in motorcycling gear, making racing leather suits for champions including Valentino Rossi, Giacomo Agostini, Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, Sr., among many others. The company’s forward thinking and uncompromising design approach has brought protection advances including knee sliders, back protection, aerodynamic hump and D-Air® technology to the market for ultimate performance and safety.

Over 40 years of experience in the field culminated in this launch of the Custom Works program, which allows every client to get the perfect leathers of their dreams, made by the trained specialists of the leading manufacturer of protective motorcycle wear.

Custom Works North American Tour Dates & Locations

  • OCT 2 - 3 – RIDERS CHOICE - 2276 Dixie Rd, Mississauga, ON L4Y 1Z4, Canada

  • OCT 4 – 613 MOTORSPORTS - 1456 Cyrville Rd, Gloucester, ON K1B 3L9, Canada

  • OCT 5 - 6 – NADON SPORTS - 645 Rue Dubois, Saint-Eustache, QC J7P 3W1, Canada

  • OCT 12 - 13 - DUCATI AUSTIN - 3232, 812 E Braker Ln, Austin, TX 78753

  • OCT 15 DAINESE CHICAGO 1216 N Clybourn Ave, Chicago, IL 60610

  • OCT 16 - 17 BATTLEY CYCLES DC 4147, 7830 Airpark Rd, Gaithersburg, MD 20879 

  • OCT 18 - 19 DUCATI BOSTON 83 Mystic Ave, Medford, MA 02155 

  • OCT 20 - 21 DUCATI DETROIT 33828 Woodward Ave, Birmingham, MI 48009

  • OCT 23 - 24 DAINESE NYC 140 6th Ave, New York, NY 10013

  • NOV 3 - 4 DAINESE ORLANDO 100 W Livingston St, Orlando, FL 32801 

  • NOV 6 – 7 DAINESE LA 1418 Lincoln Blvd. Santa Monica, CA 90401

  • NOV 8     DAINESE SF 131 S Van Ness Ave, San Francisco, CA 94103

  • NOV 9-10 MOTOCORSA PORTLAND 2170 NW Wilson St, Portland, OR 97210

  • NOV 11 – 12 PACIFIC MOTORSPORTS 21000 Westminster Hwy #2120, Richmond, BC V6V 2S9

Women's Sportbike Rallies 2018


I'm excited to announce I'll be participating once again in this year's Women's Sportbike Rallies on the East and West Coasts. As a volunteer, I'm working closely with the event's National Director, Brittany Morrow who you may already recognize from RockTheGear

Sign up for the newsletter here to find out when registration is available and as more details are announced about each event. 

Brittany Morrow

Brittany Morrow

There are two semi new locations, starting with the West Rally. This year it's going to be headquartered in Camarillo, CA July 13-15 at the Hilton Garden Inn Camarillo.  Camarillo is nestled right between the Los Padres and Angeles National Forests. Twisty, mountain riding awaits!

For the East Rally, we'll be headquartered at an all new location within Deals Gap at the Iron Horse Motorcycle Resort. It's an amazing spot that caters specifically to motorcyclists of all walks of life. There are many events that take place at the IH each year and we are lucky to have them host us this year. 

What makes the Iron Horse special is the unique housing it offers; everything from swanky houses to simple camping spots are available on it's huge resort. You can stay at whatever level you want, at whatever price you want. In addition to private houses, you can camp (tent or RV), stay in a bunk bed/house, or stay in a private room in a house. Check out their website for more details. 

Pic of one of the private cabins available for rent at the Iron Horse. 

Pic of one of the private cabins available for rent at the Iron Horse. 

Leaving San Francisco for Philly

2009_scion_xb Finally, I can sit down and write this Drive report. (Too bad it's not a ride report. *sigh*) In 8 days we drove from San Francisco to Philadelphia and here's how it went.

First off, let me say that the decision to leave was a difficult one. Leaving our friends, family and the only state we've ever lived in for an unfamiliar, imaginary place called Philadelphia was hard. I have to thank my husband Evan for being the most supportive, incredible partner a woman could ever have. Lucky for us, his job is literally mobile, as he is knee deep in mobile app development with a startup he founded called Dazzmobile. (if anyone needs a kickass mobile iPhone / Android app for their next event/conference, let me know!)

Our trusty ride, a Scion XB aka Buster, was packed as fully as possible (see above). We needed a few weeks worth of clothes and what not to keep us going, as well as some things to drop off in Southern California. I don't know how it got so full.

Sadly we had a mishap with our Uhaul box and delayed our trip a day. Our plan was to pack our box on Tuesday evening, 1/14. They switched our location without telling us and we ended up having to leave Thursday afternoon since we had to pack our box that morning.

Finally packed and ready to go.

Here's a little summary of our drive including all the pet friendly hotels/motels we stayed at as we drove across the country. We had to find all pet friendly motels and I also wanted smoke free. And knowing we were driving in the dead of winter, we picked the logical choice. South! As far south as possible without going to Mexico.

1st stop: Oxnard, CA

Distance: 350 miles


2nd Stop: Palm Springs

Distance: 170 miles Route: Hwy 101 to 10 East. Motel: Monroe Hotel  $76/night + $15/night pet fee This was such a great hotel. Very pet friendly, clean, easy to find and just a really nice place to stay.  I highly recommend staying here.

3rd stop: El Paso

Distance: 697 miles Route: 10 East. Hotel: Guesthouse Suites El Paso, $72/night This was also a nice, clean hotel. Inexpensive and great if you're looking for an all suite hotel.

4th stop: Austin

Distance: 576 miles; LONGEST drive ever! So flat, just so flat. Route: 10 East Hotel: Hyatt Austin, a fabulous hotel, right downtown. We used Hotwire to book a nicer hotel (at half the price!) since we ended up staying 2 nights instead of 1 like the others. Austin was awesome. One of the few suburb like cities that I would definitely live in. The stores were cool, the food was delicious and everything about Austin is just cool. See my pic for Breakfast Taco!

5th stop: New Orleans

508 miles Route: 10 East Hotel: Clarion New Orleans, 1300 Canal Street. NOT the best spot to stay. It was cheap so I booked it since we went all out in Austin. I would stay in the French Quarter next time, instead of saving money to stay outside of it. Hotel room was fine but the area was just too iffy. Not right in the fun part of town if you know what I mean.

New Orleans was awesome. A beautiful city, delicious food and such a cool place to hang out. I just wish we had more than 2 nights to spend there. It's definitely on my list to go back and take 3-4 days to see more of the city. While you're there, be sure to stop at District Donuts for sliders and super tasty donuts.

6th stop: Charlotte

713 miles Route: 85 North Hotel: Quality Inn & Suites Spartanburg. Really nice, clean hotel. Very pet friendly and free breakfast!

Sadly this is where the weather turned on us. It went from 70 degrees to 40 :( It was also on the way to Charlotte that I my iPhone 5 decided to take a swim from my back pocket into the toilet at a brief gas stop in Alabama. As I walked out of the bathroom, I saw this bag of rice and immediately bought it, shoved the phone in and prayed. After 3 days submerged, it came back only to live the rest of its days as an iPod, since it wouldn't connect to the ATT network anymore. Luckily I brought my iPhone 3 to load up audio books and music so I begrudgingly used that until we got to Philly. (btw, if you have 14 hours to kill, you must listen to Marcus Luttrell's book Lone Survivor. The audio book is great (from iTunes), his story is amazing and something every American should read or listen to.)


We also ate a delicious southern restaurant called Martin's Restaurant. Best fried chicken I've ever had an unlike any others I've had as well. Just SO good.

martins restaurant mobile al

Temp Housing #1 and #2

So after 8 days on the road, we rolled into Philly late on January 23rd. For some reason, we decided to pick the cheapest option by the airport, since nothing was less than $100/night. Looking back, we should've splurged which would've saved us SO much time and money. We ended up at the Extended Stay and it was the Worst experience ever. First we arrived and they made us wait 40 minutes to check in. Something about computers updating or whatever. Then after overbooking their hotel, they put us in a smoking room because it was all that was left. Unfortunately they failed to tell me that until after we got to the room. For some reason we decided to give it a try but after 2 hours we gave up, got online and tried to find another hotel nearby that would take us asap.

san francisco philly road trip scion xb

At 2am we moved to the Aloft down the street, an outstanding hotel AND they didn't charge us the walk in rate of $180. I told them what happened down the street and they graciously accommodated us for $90 night!  The Aloft was great. Clean, comfy beds and a huge bathroom.

Lesson learned. When your room smells like tobacco and cigarettes, leave immediately, no matter how late or tired you are. There's just no point. You won't be able to sleep because it smells like shit and your sinuses are burning. That is of course, you enjoy the scent of dried, disgusting tobacco smoke in everything you're touching.

Temp Housing #3

The following Sunday we rolled into our next piece of temporary housing since we didn't have a place to live yet. Our idea was to stay somewhere for a week and find a place to move into. Here's the little studio we found for $500 for the week on Airbnb.

Studio courtesy of airbnb

Settling into Philly

It's been interesting. Of course when we rolled in, it just happened to be part 2 of the arctic/polar storm so temps were between 10-20 degrees. From watching the news, it seemed like we might be heading into the storm of the century. But really, it wasn't that bad. A little chilly but not too bad.

One of the many fantastic things about Philly that I'm loving so far is the FOOD. I'm going to do my best to not gain 100lbs over the next year. I could easily eat my way through this city and double my width. But I just have to avoid that at all costs. Philly is a food city, not just cheese steaks either. So far, Paesanos has impressed me with their unique, creative sandwiches. They make amazing hot and cold sandwiches that aren't your usual hoagie or sub. Delicious ingredients, toasty bread, just fantastic. Probably the best sandwich I've ever had.

Finding a New House

A little ambitious I suppose, but we found it! Unfortunately the existing tenants and owners of the condo we're moving into couldn't leave until closer to March 1st. But the good news is it's totally worth waiting for.

Something that is really difficult about living in downtown Philly is that garages are extremely difficult to find, unless you have San Francisco money to spend. About $2500-$3000 for a dedicated, private attached garage to your rental. Not bad relative to SF, since large 2-3 bedroom homes with garages are renting for well over $3,000 these days.

GARAGE! to park our motorcycles!!

I just couldn't stand the thought of moving into a high rise apartment or a cute brownstone without a garage! I am dying to ditch this car commute and get back on two wheels. And if we didn't find a place with a garage, I knew it would make buying bikes all that much more difficult. I didn't want my bike to live outside and I just knew there had to be something.


Ride Report, Highway 1 CA

  paper maps tankbag motorcycles highway 1 cambria

Last weekend I took a long weekend trip to Cambria, CA along the central coast. Needless to say it was a fantastic weekend of riding and having fun with my fellow women riders. I also got to ride the infamous Rossi's Driveway.

My 2 girlfriends and I rode down Highway 1 at a leisurely pace on Thursday and then we took some sweet roads Friday and Saturday.

Friday - Rossi's Driveway

From Cambria, we took the following route:

It was a hair under 130 miles all together and took us about 6 hours to complete the whole loop. We had a couple of pitstops and took our time on the Driveway, riding it back and forth a couple times because it's a short Highway.

If you look at the map, point F to H is Highway 229 aka Rossi's Driveway. Why do they call it this you ask? Well, I think this pic pretty much sums it up:

Rossi's Driveway aka Highway 229 california twisties motorcycles

Imagine a road, so perfectly paved (just like a track) with barely any traffic. Short, tight twisties and no dirt, potholes, rocks, or gravel ahead of you. No hairpins/switchbacks, just beautiful twisties.

I must admit, however, the 2-way traffic was a little worrysome at times so I didn't get to fully enjoy this road the way I wanted to. But it was beautifully paved and allowed for some really nice lines when I could see the next 2-3 twisties ahead.

But it was smooth and my tires responded well to the warm pavement. (best tires ever, btw)

rossi's driveway california highway 229

girlyride 9


rossi's driveway california highway 229


Sadly it was almost 100 degrees while we were out there, but I was extremely comfortable under my leathers, thanks to 2 important accessories:

1. Icebreaker merino baselayers - written review coming. You can also listen to my review on Episode 20 of 

2. Revit Challenger cooling vest insert

I never would've made it without these two. I feel like I have the perfect riding outfit for summer and look forward to a couple more rides before Fall!

Almost 100 degrees!



Saturday - Nacimiento-Fergusson Road

I tried to find other pics of this road, but I think this one really shows the main reason why you want to ride up it and over the mountain.

Hwy 1 CA, Nacimiento Fergusson Road motorcycles twisties

This was a much shorter, simpler route. We went north on Highway 1 from Cambria and turned right at Nacimiento Fergusson Road in Big Sur. It's right before the Kirk Creek Campground.

The road takes you from sea level all the way up to the top of the mountain, towards Fort Liggett.  It's not a long ride, but great for some sight seeing or just a quick detour to extend the ride home up or down Hwy 1.

girlyride 20

Once you ride through the clearing, there's a large paved space on the right before heading further east to Jolon Road which eventually takes you Highway 101.

After we took some group pics we went right back the way we came, west to Highway 1 and then south back to Cambria. It was a beautiful, HOT afternoon but somehow we had a really great time.


Recent MSF Graduates = Highest Risk Group?

San Francisco Ninja 250 Say it isn't so! That's what this article from the WSJ is saying, based on accident rates in the Golden State from recent MSF graduates.

MSF Training won't prevent some people from making terrible judgment calls in terms of what they're going to buy and how much time it can take to build up enough experience to that 800cc, 150hp motorcycle they've just bought. (Doesn't matter if it's a cruiser either. If you don't know how to manage your entry speed, you're screwed).

I think that although "..... collision claim frequency was 10 percent higher (in CA) compared with 28 states without those requirements", the claim frequency would be Even higher without any requirement for people under 21.

And, women represent 20-30% of students in "some" states. How many is "some"? If it were all 48 states that the curriculum is in, that would be a pretty strong argument for 20-30% of riders in the US being women? Hmmmm.

Article: Data show risk highest for new motorcycle riders. Wall Street Journal, April 15, 2012