ESMB: A Fish in the Clutch
ANGELES CREST, CALIFORNIA – So here’s the scene. A group of Moto-girlies, all hot and sweaty, change into bikinis and head down to the mud-pond to cool off after a warm ride up the mountain…
No, this isn’t the setup to some bad seventies porn (although the term scissor fest did get thrown around a lot). Bear with me. It gets deeper, more philosophical. I promise.
After splashing around in the mud for a bit (notice the dudes up on the hill watching), we all kicked back on our beach towels to enjoy nature. Around that time, someone noticed a large bird with an elegant white chest up in one of the pine trees. Some thought it might be a penguin. Others came to the slightly more logical conclusion it was a hawk of some sort. Penguin. Hawk. Kookaburra. Whatever. HERE’S the important part. All of us had our eyes on this bird when he decided to put on a show.
First, he launched from the tree, hovered over the mud-pond for a sec, then dove into the water. We of course, all cheered.
But it got better.
When he finally came up, he had a fish clutched in his claws in perfect alignment to his body. Not any fish, mind you. The brightest orange fish you’ve ever seen in your life. What… Don’t believe me? Here’s a picture. Granted it’s cropped within an inch of its life so the color is muted, but seriously. Look at that fish!
Oh, but it gets even better. So we’re all hootin’ and hollerin’ and cheerin’ this bird’s show, and clearly he was diggin’ it, because he came back and did… a PARADE LAP! I swear to you. Directly over our heads, still carrying the damned fish. Seriously. Ask any one of the girls there. It happened. And we rewarded him with a hell of a cheer.
So why am I making such a big deal out of this? Well… you had to be there to really get it I suppose, but I’ll try and explain. We all witnessed this moment together. Every single one of us on this motorcycle ride. And it was magical, having this shared experience, a moment none of us will forget, one that put a big exclamation point on an already very special weekend ride.
What ride, you ask? I suppose I did kind of start in the middle. Okay. Let’s back it up.
There’s this motorcycle club in L.A. called the East Side Moto Babes. They race. They ride. They laugh. And yeah… they’re babes. They’ve made an impact on the motorcycling scene, which is pretty cool. A couple of years ago, they got the idea to do an all-girl campout, and that dream at last came to fruition and, thanks to my pal Kat, I crashed the party.
After meeting up at the Highland Park Cafe, the sixteen bikes and a couple chase vehicles, headed up Angeles Crest Highway.
I rode sweep, for one, because I’d never ridden Angeles Crest, and two because really, I like being back of the pack and watching the girls up ahead, especially the super skilled riders like Kat who, have I mentioned is a World Record holder at Bonneville? Anyway, so I’m cruisin’ along, enjoying the beauty of the road when I see a motorcycle CHiPpy coming up behind me, so I slide over and wave him on, and he makes his way through the pack of girlies. Funny how he stopped at Newcombs Ranch with us. Hmmm… wonder why?
We made camp at Table Mountain Campground.
Set up our sites...
And then headed to the mud-pond where the amazing thing with the bird happened–although we did get stopped by the ranger on the way out for a lecture on not doing motorcycle laps around the campground because, quote: This is what people come here to get away from. Unquote. Yeah. Like this lady who wanted her picture taken with the girls. She looks like she wants to get away from us, doesn’t she?
The rest of the day was filled with hammock rides and sunsets…
…and storytelling and s’mores.
Nearly everyone took a turn climbing onto Lindsey’s chopper, we helped each other with mechanical issues, had some shenninigans and hooliganism (which will remain in the archives for only certain eyes to see)…
All-in-all, we had a blast being together. I don’t want to get all corny here… but I might. Just a little though. There we were, girlies of all different kinds, riding a vast variety of bikes from DRs and CBs…
…to Harleys and Triumphs…
… a group of girls ranging in age from early twenties to… well… older than that, yet there was no judging or segmenting because we had this thing in common, this shared experience of motorcycling, just as we all shared that amazing experience with the hawk. Sometimes things are more special when done with other people who get it. And these girls? They get it. Big time.
Many thanks to all of the fantastic girls on this most wonderful adventure, and for the ESMB for making it happen. It was a spectacular one.
Until next time…
My goodness, it's been an exciting several weeks, and I'm way overdue updating this blog. ... Read more