The next day it was finally time for CHICKFEST! The most super awesome women’s dirt bike riding event of the year!
They had me design the t-shirts this time. 🙂
The previous year was a total blast and I used the event as an excuse to hit the road yet again. Of course, the SV650 wouldn’t have been much fun, but luckily my buddy Dave who splits his time between Tucson and Salida just happened to be around and have a WR250 to loan me for the event. :):
So I garaged my SV next to his KTM200 2-stroke (which wasn’t running, otherwise I would have been all over it) strapped my luggage onto his KLX400 (everyone needs three dirt bikes!) and he led me off towards Chickfest via some kickass dirt roads.
I set up camp and chit chatted as more riders flooded in. I think we had 75 chicks register this year? Something like that.
We had some very young attendees this year!
This was a 3-day event, but I’m just going to post it as one big thing, because I don’t really remember what happened which day. So anyway, here is all the fun stuff. :):
Megan and Karen put on the event again this year, leading riding skills courses for beginner and intermediate riders.
First they went over basics, like body position.
Then we rode down a graded road and practice braking drills.
Even though I’m not really a new rider anymore, I still find the practice helpful, especially being on a new bike. It’s good to know just how much you can brake before locking the tire and how quickly that bike can come to a stop (actually very fast, with its brand new trials tire on the back!)
Next we went to the gravel pit and practiced figure eights, cone weaves, hill climbs and steep descents.
There were also workshops on trials riding, given by the ever wonderful Jjustj!
I barely got to ride the trials bikes last year before I got rained out, so I was excited to perfect my log jump form. I have discovered I still need a lot of practice. 😛
I was trying load/unload the front for some lift, but clearly my timing was off.
Here’s a gal doing it with much more finesse.
Men were permitted to attend, but only allowed to ride on the back.
Aside from workshops, there are a ton of trails in the area, everything from grated noob friendly roads to brutal single track. You just sought out similarly experienced riders and got a little group together to go ride whenever you felt like it. You could really see the difference the workshops made for some riders. They started out timid, but by the time we hit the trail, they were flying!
Here’s my friend Cathy relaxing on a tougher trail
It’s just so much fun riding with a bunch of chicks for a change!
Chicks are never too serious.
Here’s Laura rocking out on her KLR650!
And one of our newer riders completing the gauntlet (I swear it’s like a tradition to take new riders in way over their heads, but she did great!)
Despite the long gauntlet-esque ride, I returned to camp itching to ride some more. Most everyone was tired out, but I teamed up with Angela for one last run on the last day of Chickfest.
You can tell it was an awesome ride, because there aren’t any photos. We hauled ass and it was epically fun. We did a fabulous two-track loop that had great banking turns and some super climbs. There was also lots and lots of sand wash. Despite being a new rider Angela was right behind me the whole time, proof of Chickfest training in action!
In the evenings we all relaxed around the “campfire”.
Since fires weren’t permitted at this time, by “campfire” I mean “Coleman lantern, keg of beer and massive bottle of booze”.
And so the night went something like this:
Here I am demonstrating my ability to do yoga and drink beer at the same time (I should teach a class)
Oh yes good times. Hangovers the next morning.
So the best news? CHICKFEST IS COMING TO TUCSON IN FEBRUARY!!!