Words by Samantha Medellin. Photos Courtesy of Women’s Sportbike Rally.
July 13th-15th, 2018
This weekend I attended my first West Coast Women’s Sportbike Rally! Events included: bike night, movie night, raffles, group rides, workshops, and friendship building. I can not quite remember how I found out about this event was it Instagram? Facebook? Other riders? Not really sure but I am so happy I found out about it and registered early so I could afford to go. If you would like more information please visit womenssportbikerally.com with that being said now on to my experience at WSR West 2018 held in Camarillo! (ONLY 40 MIN RIDE YAY ME :D)
I checked in and got my wristband then was immediately welcomed and greeted by wonderful women of various ages with a passion like mine of riding sportbikes! I felt welcome and so anxious about the day! The atmosphere quickly settled my nerves, I arrived just in time for the first workshop which was “Rally 101” where Brittany Morrow the director of WSR greeted us all and explain to the participants the weekend events and what to expect. She introduced the staff and volunteers who could help us with whatever we might need over the weekend. After that it was a mini meet & greet until we needed to head over to bike night which started at around 6:30 pm.
Believe me when I say it was the best bike night I have EVER attended! The bike night was sponsored by ICON and located at Motorcycle Service Centers in Camarillo who were also sponsoring the event! From MSC of Camarillo each attendee received a FREE Tire PSI check, chain clean/lube, tire inspection, and bike look over to ensure we were all safe for Saturday’s group rides! And from ICON each rider got pictures with their bikes in front of an ICON backdrop, along with giving away a brand new ICON air flight helmet to 1 lucky lady at the rally! We also received helmet covers from H-Bomb, helmet halos for early registers, WSR t-shirts, & ho-rags made especially for WSR(all were given included in price dependent on when you registered! I registered very early!) The rest of the night we ate pizza and chit chatted about each others bikes.
I slept in and didn’t make the first workshop given by Motorcycle Service Centers which was given by Will Kenefick from MSC guiding women on how to not get screwed over by a mechanic shop and what maintenance you can DIY and what should be left to the pros. The next workshop was given by Dr. Paula Brown and was based on accident scene management regarding motorcycle accidents and how to handle them. Every attendee received a road rash kit and basic first aid instructions. In my personal opinion I believe EVERY SINGLE RIDER should be trained in first aid & CPR. I won’t touch to much on first aid, but if you have more questions just ask.
After the workshops we all got ready for our group rides and had our potty breaks. Before the ride we first we set up all of our bikes up for the group photos, there was a lot of bikes at least 50. And now my touchy subject the group rides… so there was a beginner, intermediate, and advanced group. We all have this issue in this instance I should have followed my instincts and went with the beginners regardless of how much time was under my belt in the Malibu Canyons. To be honest, you guys lately I have been letting my fear of causing injury or death to myself or others or maybe just crashing my bike control me in a dangerous manner. When I went on this group ride I knew we were going to be riding canyons in Malibu that I had ridden or driven at least once. Unfortunately I let my fears control me which caused me to almost crash on more than one occasion and I also caused my rear brake to overheat going downhill (I FREAKED THE F*** OUT) needless to say I did not have a lot of fun on my group ride I gave myself way too much shit and I almost gave up riding twisties or at least take it easy until I was able to afford a professional training or track school to improve my skills in a safe environment.
But just wait the event isn’t over yet so I couldn’t give up too easily! Unfortunately, after that ride I was ready to leave! The group stopped at Dukes of Malibu and made a valid attempt to all eat together to no avail. Five of us decided to just head back and eat somewhere else instead of waiting. And me being the only one from the area I got to lead the way! I think I slightly concerned Kiona & Austin who came out from Arizona and had NEVER lane splitted before because of how use to it I am, but Violet (my bike) is loud as F**** so the traffic heard us coming. Finally we made it back and took a nice chill pill until the other groups returned back to the Hilton.
Which brings me to the raffle! On Saturday night we had a raffle, the tickets for the raffle were able to be purchased for $1 a ticket or you could purchase a dollar sticker or postcard and get a raffle ticket. While I was buying my $20 worth of stickers and such I was having a conversation with Brittany the director of WSR about my day and how I was considering giving up canyon riding until I can get serious about saving up for a sport bike school or track day. I put my tickets in the prizes I wanted to win: riding jackets donated by Brittany, Sena 30k Headset, Base layers by Fable, TCX racing boots, and a free track day with 2 Wheel Track Days.
There were so many happy faces as winners were announced for the Michelin Road 5 awards. I am that person who always has doubt and puts herself down. And then my name got called and I even asked Brittany “Me, Sam or another Sam?” to which she responded, “remember you are the only Sam”. hahaha my bad. I had won 1 of the Indian Brand Riding jackets she had donated and OMG! It is so warm!! And still had tags on it guys! As went on I was bummed I hadn’t won the TCX boots or the Sena 30k but then came the Track day raffle and I specifically remember telling Kristina who was sitting next to me.
This is the only one I really wanted to win but I am not getting my hopes up, and then it happened! 2 Wheel Track Days only gave 1 free track day for 1 winner. There was easily 50 + tickets in the pile about 10 were mine I think and all of a sudden Brittany said “Sam M.” and I asked her again “ me sam or another sam?” and she laughed. GUYS I CRIED MY EYES OUT! I was so F****** happy! I can not even begin to express how thankful I am for this opportunity and gift I have been given by 2 Wheel Track Days and Women’s Sportbike Rally!
This weekend has literally been a huge difference on my life as a rider. I don’t think I would be still riding if I hadn’t won the raffle. This event is amazing and I highly suggest anyone who wants to grow their riding family or passion for riding or hell just to have a girls weekend to attend. We are a rare breed that is not alone and knowing that is so helpful. And the women who put on this event are even more amazing although they can tell there own stories! But this event would be impossible without Brittany Morrow and Joanne Donn who are the Heart of Women’s Sportbike Rally!
Now if you will please ignore me I am gonna got prep Violet for the track in September 🙂
And a HUGE thank you to all the sponsors! Here is only a few!
★ Michelin Motorcycle ★ Wind Therapy Conditioners ★ Icon ★ Gearchic – Joanne Donn, Marketing Director ★ Electric Frog Designs ★ ROK Straps ★ Rock the Gear – Brittany Morrow, Director ★ HOO-Rag ★ Motorcycle Service Centers Camarillo ★ Helmet Halo
To find out when dates for 2019 are announced, subscribe to the newsletter.
For information about the upcoming East Coast Event in Deals Gap, click here.