Photo courtesy of John Waller at Uncage the Soul Productions

The wind sounded like a highway as it blew through the trees neighboring our tents on Saturday morning. My reset button had been pushed. The smell of the rain and the distinct sound of a nearby XT500 being fired up brought a huge cheesy grin to my frightfully hung over and puffy face. Not even the sight of that large spider next to my sleeping bag could wipe it off. The thought of work, emails, and everyday stress seemed to melt away as I bathed in the sensation of being completely present in my surroundings.

The Event

It was Saturday morning of the inaugural Dream Roll, a three-day women's camp and ride event organized by Becky Goebel and Lanakila MacNaughton. Last week in Part 1: The Call of the Wild, I initiated my journey with the core intention of stretching the legs of my new Ducati Scrambler to test its capabilities outside of work day commuting. As the trip unfolded, and as I became acquainted with the women and purpose of The Dream Roll, it also became clear that encouraging the growth of the women rider subculture is an important movement to promote.

Events like The Dream Roll are put on by women for women to offer up an alternative to traditionally male-dominated rallies. They also become a vehicle for new riding groups to form, like the Torque Wenches out of Portland, who came together that weekend. The support for women riders at these events is inspiring, and the more women that ride, the better.

Photo Courtesy of Torque Wenches

The final count was estimated at 280 women, which seems about right as I was number 263 on the list when I registered at the Flying L Ranch Friday evening. The eight of us that rolled up together had fought tooth and nail to get out of Portland, dripping with sweat from the late afternoon heat and Friday traffic. As I rode next to Trinia Cuseo, the owner of Hinterland Empire, the thought of her beautiful air-cooled BMW grenading from the crawling traffic became a worry. Thankfully, once we finally escaped the city we had a stunning ride. The Columbia River Gorge and White Salmon River plunged us into soul-quenching scenery and we ended up rumbling into camp just before the sun hid behind the trees.

The Culture

The women who attended were from all categories of riding backgrounds, covering the full spectrum of experience levels. I met women like myself, who grew up riding as children and have spent the majority of their life on two wheels. Others were new to motorcycling, recently encouraged into the lifestyle by friends or partners. Certainly many were in between.

The vibe was positive and inclusive, and it didn't matter what kind of bike you rode. It could have been a no-nonsense dual sport, a gallery-worthy café, a blacked-out Hog, a globe-trotting ADV, or a crisp-off-the-showroom CBR. There were all of those, and more. It was a bike lover's paradise. An appreciation for all things Moto, a sense of adventure, and a wild streak was the common denominator.

Conversations and personalities congregated around base camp at night, which was composed of two huge dome structures built by ESC Collective, a teepee, hay bales, and massive picnic tables that were all cleverly arranged. The crew who put this together did a fantastic job with the layout and had an impressive eye for detail.

Free PBR and Rainier flowed Friday night, along with some enchanting ice cream, and the laughter with new friends continued. The DJ kept the party going and I could hear the howls from wild dancing women across the field as I settled into my tent and called it a night.

Dawn came quickly as I stared up at the orange walls of my tiny tent. The rain drops soon followed the howling wind that had woke me. I unzipped my tent and gazed over at my beloved two-wheeled mate. Ah yes, life is good and I was thankful that the stars aligned for me to enjoy this journey.

Photo courtesy of John Waller at Uncage the Soul Productions

My trip was cut short due to family obligations and Saturday was sadly my last day. So I spent the morning and early afternoon riding up to Trout Lake with a group, meeting as many people as possible. Without a doubt I missed some pretty awesome rides and the second night of festivities. From what I was fortunate enough to experience, the event was a huge success. Even though the gusty winds and rainstorms hammered the riders, spirits were high and the love of motorcycling spread like fire. Thank you to ladies for putting this event together and to all the riders that had to listen to me talk on and on about dirt bikes, hope to catch you at the next one.

The Scrambler

As mentioned before, I initially went up to The Dream Roll to put the Ducati Scrambler through the wringer and find out how it would hold up to some longer miles and off road conditions. After months of waiting to finally receive my Scrambler, I was heavily anticipating a trip like this.

Photo courtesy of John Waller at Uncage the Soul Productions

Overall, I fell in even more love with the bike. It tackled every obstacle I threw at it like a champ. Even though it was a short weekend trip, the micro adventure allowed me to test the Scrambler in the heat, heavy traffic, torrential rain, loose gravel, and even a soaked grassy field. It's small enough to maneuver around tents and campsites, but heavy enough to hold a line in sixth gear through white-knuckle crosswinds. The power is twitchy down in the low RPMs due to the aggressive power curve, but the mid-range and top end bring assurance when taking advantage of passing lanes. I'm convinced it would be impossible for anyone to ride one of these and not smile.

Upcoming Women's Ride Event

For those of you interested in attending an event similar to The Dream Roll, the 3rd annual Babes Ride Out is coming up October 23-24th in Joshua Tree, CA. I envy those who can make it as it's sure to be bucket list worthy!