The name Babes Ride Out is fairly self-explanatory – It’s all about women getting out and riding, whether it’s in the dirt or on the road. Started in 2013 by Anya Violet and Ashmore Ellis, Babes Ride Out started as a small event to camp and ride in the desert of SoCal, but immediately grew into something larger than expected.
Since then, the events held by Babes Ride Out have been steadily growing in popularity and gaining major traction. We sat down and talked to Ellis at their track day at Fox Raceway to learn more about the organization that has been filling a major niche in motorcycling for the past six years now.
You mentioned that you’ve got newcomers and experienced riders alike. Is it pretty mixed, or do you feel that there is a heavy emphasis on one or the other?
We have more newcomers than anything else, which is really exciting to see. Once they try dirt for the first time, they’re pretty much hooked on it. If you’ve never ridden the street before, it’s a great place to learn and make mistakes there because it’s a safer environment.
We really encourage girls who are interested in two wheels whatsoever to come try a dirt event first and see if they’re even into it. We’re really getting a lot higher numbers with our newcomers because of that.
Babes Ride Out has been around since 2013, but when it comes to motocross-focused events, how many have you done?
This is actually our first track day here at Fox Raceway and it has been pretty successful, so I’m sure we’ll do a few more. It’s really great to have the Vet track all to ourselves and have the ladies come out and feel welcome to ride it. There are some pretty serious rippers out there and I’m really impressed [laughs].
For people that maybe haven’t heard about Babes Ride Out, explain what you’re all about.
Babes Ride Out is about getting out there and exploring the world on two wheels, whether that’s street or dirt. We cater to complete beginners – girls who have never even sat on a bike – to girls that have been riding for decades. There’s always something to do at our events.
We have classes, track schools, and things like that. We’re trying to bring longevity to the sport and grow it as best as we can.
Is there any riding coaching going on today?
Today isn’t training focused, it’s just a full-on track day, but at our Babes in the Dirt event, we’ll coaching there. We have, “I’ve never sat on a bike,” coaching and more advanced courses as well. We’re actually launching our first East Coast event for the dirt. That one will actually be in Tennessee and we’re working with Mike Brown on that.
Ashley Fiolek is going to go and Johnny Lewis is going to come out and do flat track classes. It’s going to be a great learning center that weekend. We try to show people how to do things the right way so that they stay in the sport long-term and try to keep them from getting injured because it is dangerous.
Babes Ride Out has built some great relationships with Fox and Husqvarna, how did those connections get made?
It’s crazy. We’ve been with Husqvarna since day one. I emailed them, had a meeting with them, and they were absolutely into it. They’re really incredible, they’re all about pioneering, building the brand, and building a love for the sport of off-roading.
They’re such a great brand to work with. Last year, they brought thirty demo bikes and even lowered some of them and installed Rekluse clutches. It’s amazing. We’ve been with Fox Women’s for four years now and have been so supportive of us.
Once we talked about the vision of bringing women together and creating a common ground to learn together, there hasn’t been even a blink of an eye for them to get involved. We’ve been very fortunate with our partnerships.
As I understand it, you didn’t expect any of this growth to happen so quickly. What has it been like trying to stay a step ahead of the amount of interest that people have in this?
It’s funny because the interest has always been there, we’re just finding new ways to tap into it. It has been insane to watch it grow so fast and never in a million years did we think that so many people would be involved or even want to be involved.
It’s full time for us. We have four events a year between our street and dirt and it has just been nonstop, but we’ve become more of a platform for girls to find information about rider safety, what events are going on, and it has been really relatable stuff. We’ve been super busy curating that for the past – well, since 2013!
I’d imagine that taking the next step with your East Coast event is a pretty big deal, but from there, what is the next place that you’re looking to take Babes Ride Out?
Oh man, that is such a crazy question because we’re really shaking the magic eight ball and looking for the answer sometimes for what to do next. I think as long as we continue to grow organically at our own pace and work with our own partnerships to do the best possible thing for these girls, we’ll keep growing over time. Hopefully, we can grow our East Coast event and also our West Coast event.
At that one, we have over 700 women come out to that one and we’re expecting close to 1,000 this year, so we’re making sure the infrastructure is good enough for everyone planning to attend. By the time that they take the time off from work and get the bikes out, it’s a lot to ask of them, and that doesn’t even include having to find a babysitter or something for their kid.
We want to make sure that these events are worth it to them by giving back to them as much as they give to us. That’s our main focus, and once we do that well, we’ll find more spots and stuff like that. It’s a lot [laughs].
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