By AJ Jacobsen
The Women’s Sportbike Rally is a gathering of women on sport bikes that was established in 2006 by two women riders: Stephani McIntyre and Kiri Hunter. The rallies originally focused on the east coast, with the first rally being held in the infamous “Deal’s Gap” aka “The Dragon” near Robbinsville, NC. The rally was instantly an annual affair, bringing women sport bike enthusiasts from around the area together, bridging the gaps in the women’s sport bike community.
In 2007 the rally began focusing on a charity aspect, with the Melanoma Awareness and Prevention group as the recipient of funds raised. Starting in 2015, Brittany Morrow spearheaded the western Women’s Sportbike Rally, and that has also followed as an annual event.
This year’s event took place in Oxnard, CA, in beautiful southern California, not far from Malibu beach. As a member of Curve Unit (a women’s riding group primarily focused on sport bikes, although open to all women riders), this was to be my first year attending the rally. We were heading down as a club to arrive in-masse at the rally meet point, the Hilton Garden in Oxnard. I met a fellow CU member near my house early Friday morning before the event, and we headed down to Gilroy where we were set to meet the rest of our crew.
There were 6 of us riding down together early on Friday, with a total group size that would end up with nine ladies from the local area. The ride down was pleasant, with stops every 100 miles or so to stretch our legs, get some water, and fill up our gas tanks. One of our stops included a nice sit down lunch at a local restaurant, where a local resident with a heart for photography thought the group was pretty cool and insisted on getting some photos before we continued on our way.
We arrived at the rally around 4:30 p.m., which gave us a couple hours to unload, relax, clean up, and get changed for the evenings activities, which were going to kick off with a Freaky Friday Bike Night at a local motorcycle shop just down the street from our rally headquarters.
6:30 rolled around, and we saddled up and headed down the street for the Bike Night. Events for the bike night included food, raffling off of a sponsor (Icon) helmet, a photo shoot with our bikes, goody-bag handouts, and a bike “check-up” line where they set tire pressures for the upcoming rides, cleaned and lubed chains, and gave bikes a once-over.
We enjoyed the festivities with the group, and got to meet a number of other women in the rally. There were three rides planned for Saturday based on speed/skill level, but the intermediate ride was scheduled to go to Mulholland Highway, a famous SoCal road I’ve heard of many times, but have never had the chance to ride. “Hot laps” were a planned part of the ride, so I knew I could go enjoy it at my own pace a bit, so decided to join that group.
Bike Night festivities continued on, and Curve Unit, of course, had to do something unique, getting the entire club together and we all did a pyramid for the photographer – since we had the perfect number of girls to do it!
The evening wrapped up, and we headed back to the hotel for a quick dip in the pool before heading off to bed to get some sleep in preparation for Saturday.