Over & Out Recap
Posted on October 09 2019
Many know I am a serious planner. I don’t do much unless I have every detail organized, check listed, and pre planned. So on Thursday when Jessica told me Over and Out was on Friday idk what got into me but I decided to be spontaneous. In less than 24 hours I pack up all my camping stuff, borrowed gear from Jessica and headed out on the 6 hour drive to Stockton, NJ.
I have to be honest that I always felt like a poser if I had gone to O&O. I’m a street rider. I have no real experience in dirt biking. Completely green. But last week, when we were in British Columbia we had the opportunity to rent dirt bikes and rip through the fields of this beautiful property in the mountains. I don’t think I got off the bike for 3 hours straight. Two of the guys we were traveling with, Brian and Jason, dirt biking was their thing. Brian spent a few minutes talking us through the technique and thats when I realized how different it was from street riding. I approached the dirt biking cautiously as I had just watch Chris and Kat face plant into a tree and didn’t want to be hurt the rest of the trip but it just felt so much more fun and freeing than street bikes. It may have started an obsession.
We got home from BC on Monday and I was texting with Jessica about my dirt biking experience and how I want to learn more. If you follow our blogs you may know of her as we just did a feature on the 24hr race she just did on her dirt bike. (She placed in the top 3!!) She reminds me that Over and Out is the next day and I should go.
I am familiar with Over and Out as it is put on by Kelly McCaughy, who I know from working with Babes Ride Out. Kelly’s motocross riding blows my mind. She is so fearless and talented. A true inspiration. You can tell her and her husband bleed with passion for the sport.
So I make a completely out of character decision to up and go. I didn’t know anyone going (other than Kelly), I don’t love camping by myself, I just got home from BC and was about to leave for Babes Ride Out West Coast and had so much work to do. There more or less was 99 reasons as to how I could have talked myself out of going but seriously I don’t know what got into me, I just did it.
It was made a lot easier due to the fact that Jessica is the sweetest person I know and let me borrow all of her gear. There was also an opportunity to rent a bike and take a 6 hour lesson with GPMX Dirty Girls. If those two things didn’t align I wouldn’t have been able to ride while there so I’m thankful for this.
Day one of the GPMX Dirty Girls course. I was greeted with a hug from the instructor Marika. This immediately calmed my nerves as I knew it was complete amateur hour where I was standing. Like do you put your knee pads or chest protector over or under your clothes?! Haha such a noob. I then met Marika’s husband Frenchie who’s been a pro rider for many many years, he cracked a bunch of jokes and I knew I was going to have a good day. There were about 10 other girls in class on Friday. Some experienced and some others who were brand new to it. Jenna was a rider from Rhode Island who I became fast friends with as she too has ridden street for many years but never dirt bikes.
In the 6 hour class, Frenchie and Marika walked us through the basics. We did endless drills learning proper positions of how to sit, elbows up, taking tight turns, two fingers covering the clutch and brake, how to stand on the bike, if standing properly your weight shouldn’t be on your arms, etc. so many brand new things to me and so different from my habits of riding street. After the drills in the field we went into the trails. Rocks, leaves, roots, uphill, all the terrain to practice our skills. It was challenging but they taught us well as it all really clicked during that time for me. To end day 1 of class, they brought us to the motocross track full of jumps and berms. Another out of character thing is that I wasn’t scared. I was really excited.
We followed Frenchie through the course. They had taught us a lot about your weight distribution while hitting the jumps and I was excited to test it out. I’m pretty sure I didn’t stop smiling the whole time I was making the laps.
The first night ended with everyone from the whole event hanging by the bonfire. It was interesting to me that a lot of people came out on their own. Or had only known other girls because they met at the Over and Out in June. It got freezing quick. I mean camping in October in NJ is no different than camping in October in Buffalo. Something I would never do. Thankful I had my battery pack heated gear from the trip to BC so I slept great and was ready for day 2.
Initially Day 2 of the class was sold out weeks ago. Kelly had graciously offered me the opportunity to ride one of her bikes for the day and Marika was cool with me joining the class as long as I had a bike to ride as theirs were spoken for. The second 6 hour day of class was a lot of the same as the day before (it was a new group of girls) Jenna also took the class again. We thought, yesterday this stuff was brand new to us, and today we want to practice it. I got so much more comfortable in the drills, tore through the turns, finally understood the standing while riding and didn’t feel like I was in some intense workout trying to get it done.
One new thing we did was the sea saw. A plank of wood attached to a keg. It helped us with balance, speed, keeping a straight line, but most importantly weight distribution when going up and over a jump. If you went slow enough the board tilted with the bike. If you hit it going faster you just did a straight jump off the end of it. I was impressed with my ability to just go for it and not be scared. I wanted to learn everything I possibly could this weekend and really push myself.
The class wrapped up with another motocross track session. I went much faster than the day before, tried to get some air on the jumps, and knew that this would probably be my last time on a track until next June’s Over and Out. I then stuck around for the next session of riders on the track which was the experts. Holy shit. These girls are insane. Better than a lot of dudes I’m sure. The air they were getting....holy shit is all I can say.
I returned the bike, said goodbye to the girls and started my long trek home. My body was so sore, I was tired in ways I hadn’t known before but I was feeling utterly fulfilled.
Over and Out: 5 stars! It’s an event for the experts, for the girls who’ve tried it a time or two AND for the street rider who wants to take a class and see what it’s all about. Such a welcoming, non-intimidating space and I will for sure be back for their next event!
Thank you Jessica, Kelly, Marika and Frenchie for making it such a wonderful experience for me.
Now.... who’s selling a dirt bike?!