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Recap of Women’s Sportbike Rally West

Popular east coast event heads to California!

Story and photos by Rachael Maltbie
7/26/2015

This year the inaugural Women’s Sportbike Rally West took place on the cusp of summer in Big Bear, California. With more than 30 female sportbike riders in attendance, some coming from as far as Utah and Ohio, this event catered to the women who love twisty roads and nimble bikes, but can’t make it to Deals Gap in North Carolina for the Women’s Sportbike Rally East, now in its tenth year. 

recap of womens sportbike rally west group photo
Some of the ladies attending the Women’s Sportbike Rally West pose for the group picture by Boulder Bay in Big Bear, California.

recap of womens sportbike rally west christina shook
Christina Shook, author of Chicks on Bikes, reviewed here on WRN, was the official photographer for the Women’s Sportbike Rally West 2015. Professionals know it’s worth crawling to the top of their SUV for the best shots.

“I moved to the west coast in 2012 and I felt like I was missing out,” said one of the event’s organizers and Icon Brand Specialist, Brittany Morrow, who has been to six of the nine Women’s Sportbike Rallies on the east coast. It was this gap in the industry that motivated Brittany to team up with one of the original east coast rally organizers, Stephanie McIntyre, to create the west coast event. “We knew this was the perfect year to start the rally,” said Brittany, since the tenth anniversary of the east coast rally takes place in September 2015. “We really got to know each other,” said Stephanie, who flew from Ohio to attend the west coast rally. “We talked about it for a couple of years and now we’re here!”

recap of womens sportbike rally west brittany morrow
Co-organizer Brittany Morrow leads of pack of women riders down Highway 38 aboard her superbly pink striped Yamaha R6.

recap of womens sportbike rally west riders
Jennifer “Cookie” Bauer and Christin “Oki” Voros take a quick break between Go Pro shoots as they ride down picturesque Highway 38.

Brittany and Stephanie chose Big Bear as the location for the rally because according to sponsor Butler Maps, Big Bear has some of the highest rated and most beautiful roads to ride on the west coast. For five months, the two women worked tirelessly to bring the event together, organize the venues and gather a list of sponsors for the west coast rally event. Because of their hard work, there were raffles on both Friday and Saturday nights where everybody who attended won something. 

Each day brought a new adventure. Friday began with registration at the Big Bear Visitor Center where each lady rider received a “swag bag” full of goodies. Then they rode over to the all-girl bike night in front of Saucy Mama’s in the Village where they showed off their rides, ate some free pizza and got to know each other.

recap of womens sportbike rally west pink black bmw
This black and pink 2010 BMW S1000RR belongs to Amy Mulligan. She has customized her bike with a Two Brothers exhaust, pink lens covers and a pink Vortex sprocket, to name a few of the custom parts. She was able to share all the work she’s done herself with the other girls at Friday’s bike night in front of Saucy Mama’s Pizza in the Village.

recap of womens sportbike rally west big bear
The bikes all lined up outside Saucy Mama’s Pizza in the Village, at the edge of Big Bear Lake.

After the group photo on Saturday morning, it was every women rider for herself as far as choosing where to ride, but many chose to ride together on Highway 38 because it offered the most serene curvature and the least amount of traffic. Road construction held things up for a bit, but once at the bottom of the hill, many of the ladies stopped for a tasty bite to eat at Casa Maya in Mentone. After lunch, a few opted to ride back to Big Bear via Highway 330, while some made a quick stop at Oak Glen in Yucaipa, before returning up Highway 38.

recap of womens sportbike rally west riders in big bear
Rally goers plan where they want to ride on Saturday’s free-for-all ride day. The weather was near perfect, as the event took place at the end of May in California.

recap of womens sportbike rally west robinhood resort
The Robinhood Resort was the official host of the rally, offering a 10 percent reservation discount. The patio was the perfect setting for Saturday night’s catered dinner of salad and pasta, as well as closing remarks by the organizers.

By Sunday morning, there were teary-eyed goodbyes when the ladies gathered at the Teddy Bear restaurant for breakfast. Brittany and Stephanie had just one more treat up their sleeves though, when some male-rider friends from San Diego showed up to wash the ladies’ bikes. “Having men that support you is so important,” said Brittany, who was extremely thankful that her friends donated their time to wash the bikes. 

recap of womens sportbike rally west erin hunter
AMA Female Racer of the Year and world land speed record holder Erin Hunter Sills found out about the Women’s Sportbike Rally West through Facebook and offered her help to promote the rally. Here, Erin is giving a presentation on what it’s like to race at Bonneville. Erin said she attended the rally because she thought it would be “a little bit different and a little bit great.”

The rallies are not just about women sportbike riders gathering for a common love of riding, they’re also about making a difference. For the past 10 years, the Women’s Sportbike Rally has donated more than $15,000 to the Tiffany Weirbach “Sportbikegirl” Melanoma Foundation. Stephanie, who is a Melanoma survivor herself, vows to continue the tradition with the west coast rally, as 10 percent of all registration fees obtained from both rallies this year will be donated to the Skin Cancer Foundation. 

recap of womens sportbike rally west lady riders
The faces of women who ride sportbikes. Here, the women gathered in front of Louie, a giant wooden “Welcome” bear boasting the signage: “Louie welcomes you to Big Bear Lake, California,” and hopefully the start of a new tradition for the Women’s Sportbike Rally West.

The list of sponsors for the Women’s Sportbike Rally include: Cycle Gear, PJsParts.com, Condor motorcycle stands, Icon Motorsports, Sargent Cycle Products of America, Wrapter, TechNiche, Butler Maps, K&N Filters, Traxxion Dynamics, Russ Brown Motorcycle Attorneys, and Raci Babi.

About the Author
To learn more about Rachael Maltbie, visit the WRN Contributor Page.


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