Babes Ride Out East Coast Trip Recap: The Next Chapter

Amazing, beautiful photo credit to James

There are moments in time that occupy the corners of your brain space. Sometimes these moments are a significant event or emotion, but sometimes they are a fleeting everyday mundane memory. As I get older, I’m learning that the mundane memory can be equally as emotional as the recollection of an amazing event.

I left for Babes Ride Out 4 with a fair amount of stress in my life. It was a welcome break and I had been counting down the days. I was in the process of selling the first house I’d ever owned and moving back home to Cincinnati. My partner had accepted a new job and after 8 years away, we were moving back.

We were both thrilled, but had also been tirelessly working on getting a 99 year old craftsman home cleaned out and spruced up enough to put on the market. This had already been a 4 month process, since neither of us was really expecting this move. I get overwhelmingly attached to things, and people, and times that you cannot go back to. I’d been living as a basket case and two wheel therapy was the only cure.


Rolling back into the campground in Narrowsburg, NY was like reconnecting with one of those memories, one of those moments in time. The organizers do such a fantastic job of making you feel welcome and as if you are among your future best friends. We spotted our friend Sarah immediately upon arriving.

We met Sarah last year and quickly adopted her as one of our own since she was traveling solo. She was returning the favor this year by bringing a whole gang of Québécoise (Quebec citizens… pardon my French). There may have been a slight language barrier at first, but between their much more advanced English and our collective high school French we communicated just fine. The language of music speaks louder than words so we spent the rest of Friday night partaking in the fine art of karaoke.

Saturdays at BRO are only about two things: riding pot hole-filled, upstate New York twisty roads and the Phoenecia Diner. Melanie is heck on wheels so she offered to lead a spirited-paced ride. We only managed to persuade three Canadians to join us. James had put together the route and it was exactly what we wanted.

On the way to the diner, we flew past a lovely overlook at Neversink Reservoir and had a leisurely ride through Sundown Wild Forest (thanks to the slow moving tourists in front of us). This was not a bad thing since the road surfaces through the forest are rough with lots of wash outs and very narrow lanes. The forest was filled with large yellow butterflies and we were all cringing as we tried to dodge suicidal papillons.

BRING ON THE NOMS

My favorite thing about my companions on this trip is that we all love to eat. The Phoenecia Diner didn’t stand a chance against our appetites. None of us are officially endorsed by the Phoenecia Diner, but seriously if you are ever in or near Phoenicia, NY, do yourself a favor and stop. Very few restaurants run as well as this place. The food is remarkable and the service is nothing short of impressive.

After lunch we decided to take a short ride over to Woodstock, NY for… what else… CUPCAKES! Basically, we know how to party. What we learned about riding through Woodstock, NY is that the peace and love definitely left with the hippies. Parking was a nightmare and the residents were mostly rude and not very happy about six women on motorcycles trying to coordinate one parking spot.

The cupcakes from Peace, Love, and Cupcakes acted as a little band-aid on the rudeness we encountered. The Hippie Chipper cookie I hauled back to camp ended up being a needed late night treat and was fabulous.

Peeing in the woods with friends
The route back to camp was the entire reason I ride motorcycles. Fast, fun sweepers on NY-30. As I was leaning in and ignoring the gorgeous scenery, I could feel the stress of my house lifting. As I approached motorcycle zen, I could feel the bittersweet mundane memories of the home I loved passing through my mind.

It’s not the remarkable memories that get you, it’s the thought of never cooking a meal in your old home again. It’s the realization that you’ll never read a book on the same porch on an amazing spring afternoon. A memory surfaces, I greet it and acknowledge it, and let it pass. Each one taking a little bit of stress and replacing it with new hope for something better in the future. This is why I ride; this is how I fix my brain.

Once back at camp we sat down for dinner at the famous Good Mood Food food truck where I became addicted to avocado fries.



The rest of the night was spent sitting around the campfire bonding with our new friends and also getting to know two new friends from Cincinnati who just happened to be attending BRO. We made a plan for them to join us on the ride home and spent the last few hours of the night joking and telling stories and watching fireworks.

Sunday morning is always harsh. Saying goodbye to your friends is the worst, but knowing you have a two day ride home does soften the blow a little. So we packed up our tents, and our sleeping bags, and our amazing memories, and we headed back East. Back home to Cincinnati.

The official Quebec - Cincinnati alliance

Part 1Part 2 • Stay tuned for Part 3!

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