deals gap

Women's Sportbike Rallies 2018

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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

www.womensportbikerally.com

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. 

Women's Sportbike Rallies 2017

Left: National Director Brittany Morrow, Me, Jennifer Eskew/Volunteer 

Left: National Director Brittany Morrow, Me, Jennifer Eskew/Volunteer 

This year I was honored to be a volunteer on the staff that put together the Annual Women's Sportbike Rally. 

I went once before in 2015, but only as a sponsor / attendee. This year I joined as not only a sponsor of the workshops for both West and East rallies, but I also climbed in board to help Brittany with marketing efforts. I'm excited to continue volunteering time next year to such a unique rally experience. Both rallies served to help women who love sportbike riding, to meet other women who enjoy the same riding lifestyles and to educate and inform. 

Any profits generated from the event are fully donated to the Skin Cancer Foundation. As riders, are are constantly exposing ourselves to the outdoors and communicating this message important for the event due to the loss of Tiffany Weirbach “Sportbikegirl”.  After losing her life to Melanoma, the event has carried on her memory by sharing her story over and over again to the next generation of sportbike women riders. 

I was too busy having fun with my girls so I didn't heavily document my trip but if you followed my Instagram earlier this summer you saw some awesome riding photos. 

Here are some highlights:

I also had the opportunity to borrow a wonderful friend's Triumph for the event. Does she look familiar? :) Actually she's a much more glamorous version of Goldie with her awesome Rizoma farkles. This was bike was actually lower (but not lower-ed due to the change in seat type) and sportier than mine. More details on that in a separate post to come. 

Here are some of her highlights (look familiar? :P) 

Birgit in My Pants at the West Rally :D

Birgit in My Pants at the West Rally :D

But my favorite moment from the rally was connecting with Kiona's mom, Birgit.    

She had remarked to me how difficult it was for her to find proper riding pants. And she wished she had a pair of comfortable leathers that she could feel protected and comfortable in. 

Well lucky we're almost the same size. I gave her my two piece Rev'it outfit and told her to take them for a spin! 

Birgit was very petite and trim. Although she could have sized down to a 34, she preferred the looseness of the 36 that I have. (my hips are too big to fit a 34). 

She didn't know that pants like this existed and would fit her so well. 

And now she does! 

Here's a pic of her on Instagram: 

Kiona's mom wearing her own Rev'it Galactic Jacket and Gear 2 Leather Pants.

Kiona's mom wearing her own Rev'it Galactic Jacket and Gear 2 Leather Pants.

I couldn't be happier for her, I'm so glad she found something she loves to wear. It's these little moments with people that I enjoy the most. If I can help someone I'm thrilled to do it. 

At the East Rally I met so many cool women again and got to chat with a few gals who needed help with gear. I also did a Helmet Fit Workshop which I think got everyone rethinking their helmet size (one gal needed to go down 2 sizes!). I'm excited to teach and sponsor workshops again next year at both events because they're so important to increasing rider skills and education. 

Check out some of the highlights and visit my Instagram feed for more pics including towing our bikes with the Jeep all the way down to Deals Gap!

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And last but not least, I was able to meet with Laura Smith, coFounder of Worse for Wear riding denims for women. We sat down for an hour and I recorded a podcast for Moterrific, my side podcast gig. I hope you'll take a listen and let me know what you think! I learned so much about riding pants and how to make sure they protect every inch of you but more importantly how Laura's pants do that better than any other women's jean on the market. Take a listen now:  

http://www.moterrific.com/blog/2017/9/18/episode-98

I am looking forward to next year's rallies, although I may not be able to attend both events, I will be supporting them 100% with volunteering as much free time as I can to ensure both locations are a success. 

These events would not have taken place if not for the contributions of these specific sponsors who provided money, raffle donations and / or volunteered their own time to assist with our event. THANK YOU TO THE SPONSORS!

ROK Straps USA, LLC – RokMotoStraps.com

Hoo Rag – Hoorag.com

GearChic – GearChic.com

Women’s Motorcycle Tours – WomensMotorcycleTours.com

Worse for Wear – WorseWear.com

MotoHub USA – MotoHubUSA.com

In addition. the following businesses donated raffle items for giveaways for our attendees: 

Eagle Rider @ BMW of Murrieta

Sargent Cycle Products North America

Rock the Gear

Modern Moto Magazine

Helmet Halo

Raci-Babi

Rachael Maltbie, Independent doTERRA Consultant

ICON Motosports

Racer Gloves USA

Fable Riders

On-Track Wellness

TechNiche International

If you're interested in attending or sponsoring next year's events please visit:  womenssportbikerally.com

Next year's dates have NOT been announced as of this post. Please sign up for the newsletter and follow the rally on Facebook and Instagram to find out as soon as dates and locations are announced for 2018! 

Women's Sportbike Rally East and West 2017

Photo at Fontana Dam, Women's Sportbike Rally East 2015

Photo at Fontana Dam, Women's Sportbike Rally East 2015

Two years ago, I went to my first Women's Sportbike Rally at Deals Gap. It was also my first time riding to the infamous Dragon. It was the longest solo ride I'd ever taken, and on Goldie too. 

This year I'm not only going to try and attend both rallies (still need to get time off approved) but I'm also assisting my friend Brittany Morrow, the National Director of the Rally. You may know her as Road Rash Queen. I just know her as a cool ass rider named Brittany.  

I'm excited to help her promote and share the rally with my fellow women riders who love riding sportbikes! Nothing else like it exists, and we want every female who rides a sportbike or is interested in riding sportbikes to attend. 

For the 3rd year in a row, the West Coast will take place at Big Bear Lake, CA in Southern California. And for the 12th year in a row, the East rally will take place near the infamous Dragon in Fontana Village, NC.

If I attend, I'll be hosting seminars and workshops too so stay tuned for updates when I make my final announcements for both events. 

For registration details and event info visit the website. 

Ride Report, North Carolina and the Women's Sportbike Rally

Bikes lined up at the Fontana Dam

 I had a great time at the 10th Annual Women's Sportbike Rally at Deals Gap two weeks ago. Between doing a track day and getting sick, I'm just getting around to finally sharing my trip.

The Women's Sportbike Rally East has been going on for 10 years now, and this year was the inaugural West Coast event which had a great turnout! I had heard of this event a few years ago but could never take the time off work to make it to Deals Gap. It would have been a daunting trip from California as well.

Riding from Philly made this the longest trip I'd ever ridden solo as well; 6 days and 2,000 miles! Definitely the longest trip on Goldie as well. I decided to take Skyline Drive to the Blueridge Parkway on the way down.

The Rally took place Friday Sept 9th to Sunday Sept 11th. But riding in from Philly was going to take more than a day so I left on Wednesday the 7th and came home the following Tuesday the 13th.

The Rally took place Friday, September 9th to Sunday, September 11th. But riding  from Philly was going to take more than a day so I left on Wednesday the 7th and came home the following Tuesday the 13th.

I mapped out an ambitious route taking my time to get down there so I could hit some of the famous roads before getting to the Gap.

WEDNESDAY

Riding from PA to VA took a bit longer than I expected. I decided to take 95 South to 301 into Annapolis. My friend followed me for a bit, and we stopped for gas and decided to grab a bite to eat (301 Plaza, 920 Middletown Warwick Rd, Middletown, DE 19709) since there wasn’t going to be anything for another hour or so. I really really wanted to get to VA as quickly as possible so I didn’t do any sightseeing in Annapolis, just stopped for some water and got back on the highway heading 66 West towards Front Royal, VA. (I really don't recommend this route, only because it was a little boring. In the future I will either slab it down 95 or take the Westernly route through Western Pennsylvania instead.)

Did I mention it was 90+F that day? It was HOT, hot hot. And yes, I’m wearing my full Gore-Tex suit! I’d like to go off on a tangent here and just share the joys of wearing Gore-Tex. If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that I can be a fussy rider sometimes. (Only sometimes!) I get uncomfortable fairly quickly. This suit greatly helps me stay comfortable enough to get through the ups and downs of quick changes in temperatures without having to pull over and change layers. Baselayering is REALLY crucial here, as it can change the comfort underneath your riding gear (even while wearing mesh textiles!). An inexpensive option is going to Target and buying a basic tech shirt like this one. It’s $20, and it will let you sweat, sweat, sweat, but still keep you comfortable. I know I keep saying comfortable, but it’s all you can really do in extreme heat because it’s going to be hot!

Horizons Unlimited California, 2012

Horizons Unlimited California, 2012

Check out my review of the REV'IT Legacy Suit that I’m wearing here. Although this suit is discontinued as of 3 years ago, they've recently launched a new, improved version!  

As far as my gloves, I knew that it was going to be a really wet trip the next day through VA and WVA, and then a cooler trip the rest of the way into NC. I could’ve easily grabbed a lighter pair to wear before the wet weather but I frankly forgot. It worked out well, these Rukka Apollo Gore-Tex X-Trafit gloves are different in that they are not insulated or fleece lined for extreme cold. They only offer the Gore-Tex membrane to keep you dry. But the reason they’re called X-Trafit is because they bond the membrane to the leather so when my hands were hot and sweaty I could easily get them on and off without a problem. There is only 1 women’s specific pair like this, offered by Rukka called the Vilma. Unfortunately my palms were too wide to wear the size 6 (I have small, wide hands) and my fingers too short to wear the 7 so the men’s Apollo in 6 was perfect! 

Rukka Apollo Gore-Tex Gloves

Rukka Apollo Gore-Tex Gloves

Ok, back to this trip.

Somehow I spent 6 hours to get from Philly to Annapolis. By the time I left and crossed Washington DC via 66 West, I didn’t get to Skyline Drive until ~2pm. Skyline was perfectly paved with very very little traffic. I really didn’t get stuck behind anyone, but there are so many turnoffs to take pictures it didn’t matter. And no, I didn't get any tickets, and I didn't get pulled over. :-)

As always, my trusty Kriega Packs were perfect for a week's worth of riding.

First Skyline Drive Selfie

First Skyline Drive Selfie

With the slower speeds (35mph), it took me awhile to get down just 40 miles. I was starving so I decided to find food and grabbed a bite at Burgers N Things in Sperryville, VA. By that time it was 4:30pm! Ack, where did the time go?

A little foggy, but smooth

A little foggy, but smooth

It started raining as soon as I found my late lunch, so I sat under the tiki table. Since it was raining I didn’t pull over for more photos, just kept going to make it to the motel before sunset. I hate riding at night in the rain! By the end of Day 1 I clocked in about 340 miles.

Trying to stay dry while eating lunch!

Trying to stay dry while eating lunch!

THURSDAY

I stayed the night in the Super 8, 2045 Rosser Ave., Waynesboro, VA. It was nothing special, super cheap, clean and easy to stay. The next morning, it was a quick breakfast at Waffle House! Have I mentioned how much I love Waffle House when I'm on long trips? 

Breakfast at Waffle House. Goldie staring me down as I eat

Breakfast at Waffle House. Goldie staring me down as I eat

And then onward to continue down Blueridge Parkway. After Roanoke I jumped off the Blueridge onto 221 South and hopped on and off a bit without any real plans. I pulled over on the parkway and grabbed a few pics along the way :-) One of the best parts of traveling on your motorcycle! 

Another Skyline Selfie

Another Skyline Selfie

20-Minute Cliff. Definitely Not What I Thought It Was.

20-Minute Cliff. Definitely Not What I Thought It Was.

Off Skyline Drive. Can't Remember Exactly Which Route This Was

Off Skyline Drive. Can't Remember Exactly Which Route This Was

Skyline Drive was lovely, but for me, it was a very scenic ride and not very technical. I've spent a lot of time riding scenic roads in PA and was itching for something technical. 

Then I stayed the night at Holiday Inn Express in Blowing Rock, NC. Somehow Day 2 was a bit shorter, just 275 miles. 

FRIDAY

One of my goals for Friday was to ride Little Switzerland! A slice of heaven in the NC mountains. One of many, really. Looking at Google Maps there were a ton of roads I wanted to ride. But I was trying to avoid riding at night so I wasn’t able to get on all the roads I wanted. But I did make time for this little gem. 

There's nothing like this in PA!

There's nothing like this in PA!

For me, riding in the Smoky Mountains and all around the Blueridge Parkway is exactly what I miss the most about California. This little piece of heaven took me about 40 minutes to finish. I didn’t stop anywhere in the circle, I just headed up the right side of 226 and rode it counter clockwise back to 221 South. There were a couple restaurants and inns inside the circle and they looked really cute. 

After that I rode rather quickly to get into Deals Gap before dinnertime but managed to stay off the freeway. The rally was a mix of socializing, riding and more socializing. I met a lot of cool women and made some fabulous new friends. I just wish they lived closer so we could go riding together more often! :-(

Group Pictures at the Fontana Dam

Group Pictures at the Fontana Dam

Saturday was so much fun. I went riding with some new friends. The route started at Deals Gap, heading South towards Bridal Veil Falls in Highland, NC. We followed 28 South into Franklin, NC and stopped for lunch at Caff’e Rel, a tasty Italian restaurant behind a gas station.

Lined Up at Bridal Veil Falls

Lined Up at Bridal Veil Falls

I took another 2 nights to get home, stopping in Wytheville, VA and then Winchester, VA at the Country Inn & Suites (my favorite hotel chain). By the end I was a bit drained, and ready to get home.

I left rather early Sunday morning and was able to finally make the Killboy.com hall of fame with my photo. This was the only time I rode the infamous Dragon. It was fun, but for me just a shorter version of the wonderful roads I had been riding previously in Northern California (3, 36, 49, 84, etc.). As a California girl, it's really hard for me to be impressed by this road. It's nice and all but the roads South of 129 and in and around North Carolina are even better, in my opinion.

Leaving Deals Gap on Sunday on The Dragon. Photo/  Killboy.com  (the original Dragon photographer!)

Leaving Deals Gap on Sunday on The Dragon. Photo/ Killboy.com (the original Dragon photographer!)

My ride home was pretty uneventful, as I decided not to head north into Kentucky to ride some of their delicious roads. I didn’t want to do any night riding so I made an effort to get into my hotel by 6pm at the latest each night. Each day was about 300 miles, so nothing too painful.

By just focusing on my riding technique and getting back to basics, so to speak, it really made me feel better about my riding skills. Before this trip I’d felt like I had to start all over again. I think I was a little hesitant to ride the more technical roads, so I mainly stayed on the lightly curvy ones. Which for many people would still be too curvy, but I really longed for the technical twisties; decreasing radiuses, hairpins! I thought I was ready to attack them all at once, but I decided to ease up a bit.

I do feel at the end of this trip, it healed me in many ways. I’m far less nervous or anxious than I used to be. One thing that has totally changed the way I feel is that I put on new tires as soon as I got back.

Michelin Pilot Power 3 Front and Rear

I really wish I had them installed before I left. I used these on my first SV for about 25,000 miles. They’re the most comfortable tire I’ve used so far, super sticky and a really wide contact patch. It just feels like the tires are glued to the pavement when I’m cornering. My bike did come with a really nice sport tire, the Diablo Corsas. They’re a really good tire and have great reviews. But for some reason they just didn’t feel good to me. Even when I lowered my tire pressure a bit to 32front/36rear (Triumph recommends 40psi in the front and rear, ridiculous) the tires felt hard, as if they weren’t sticking to the pavement. I know they were but I had zero confidence in them.

Mysterious Sunflower Field in Maryland

Mysterious Sunflower Field in Maryland

For me, and I think for many riders as well, trusting your bike is the only way you can really push yourself to try new things. Or simply having enough trust to lean, to push the handlebars, to counterweight; to really do anything! I’ve always thought of motorcycling as a true relationship.

The enjoyment and learning experience you gain from riding a motorcycle is wholly dependent on the choices you make with it. It should make you happy, help you boost your self confidence and become a partner in the learning process. 

At this point, I feel much better about my riding. I’m still cautious when I see what appears to be water on the roads, in case it isn’t. I’m looking forward to early Spring so I can ride back to Deals Gap but this time with my favorite riding buddy, my husband.

To find out more about the Women's Sportbike Rally, East and West, check out their website.

2015 Women's Sportbike Rally, East Coast Version

wsrxdealsgap  

I'm excited to announce that I'll finally be attending the 10th Annual Women's Sportbike Rally this September (11th-13th) at Deals Gap, NC! But more than that, I'll be sponsoring the bike night event and giving away all new gearchic shirts that I'm in the process of designing and producing. I've never ridden down to Deals Gap and am excited to explorer new roads. I'm excited to attend my first WSR, and am looking forward to being a sponsor.

For Registration Info and More Details, click here.

Here's some info about the event and what to expect:

The Women's Sportbike Rally presented by Cycle Gear is returning for its tenth event in the Smoky Mountains the weekend of September 11-13 for fun, friends, riding and raising funds for the fight against Melanoma.  The event headquarters and activities also return to the Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort which lay at the foot of the famous 318 turns in 11-miles also called the "Dragon." It is a fun and exciting location for those who love to ride regardless of whether you are a novice or veteran rider.  This year, we are excited to have also held the inaugural West Coast event in Big Bear, CA the weekend of May 29-31.  This event marks our first, but not last visit to the West Coast to introduce the Women’s Sportbike Rally to a new group of women riders.

In addition to the beautiful riding in both areas, there will be plenty of event activities for all attendees and their guests to enjoy. There will be Friday and Saturday evening festivities, the Sportbike Night and the Sportbikegirl Pit Party, which will feature games, raffles, door prizes, entertainment and camaraderie. The most important reason to attend is to help support our fight against Melanoma. The event donates all net proceeds to The Skin Cancer Foundation in memory of Tiffany Weirbach, the original "Sportbikegirl" who succumbed to the disease in 2001 at the age of 24.

The event has been fortunate to gain the support of many companies over the years and this year is no different with Cycle Gear signing on as the presenting sponsor. The host of additional sponsors is growing each day, with plenty of room for more.

“If you haven’t already done so, start making plans now to attend this year's rally," said Event Coordinator, Dawn Chappell. "Two days plus two wheels equal new friendships, great fun and lasting memories all while supporting a great cause.” There are many options for area accommodations and special rates have been arranged with Deals Gap Motorcycle Resort and Fontana Village Resort. Registration for the East Coast event is now open. Visit our website atwww.womenssportbikerally.com for more information.

About the Rally

Established in 2006 at the famed Deals Gap, aka "The Dragon," the annual September event brings women from all walks of life and types of sportbikes together with their friends for a weekend of activities, entertainment and spectacular riding. Thanks to those who attend each year and our sponsors, this event continues to grow along with all the wonderful new memories and friendships. In addition, this event supports the fight against Melanoma - the deadliest of all skin cancers. All proceeds generated are donated to The Skin Cancer Foundation, in memory of Tiffany Weirbach, the original "Sportbikegirl" who succumbed to Melanoma in 2001 at the age of 24.  With the East Coast rally bringing together so many great women riders, we have decided to also hold a West Coast rally. 

If you follow my friend Brittany Morrow's social feeds, then you know she attended the West Coast Rally earlier this year. This is the same event, but the East Coast version!