The movement is gaining momentum. It started six years ago on the fringes of the California desert outside Borrego Springs with the first Babes Ride Out, spawned a Pacific Northwest offshoot called the Dream Roll, and has even matriculated to Sturgis in the form of the Wild Gypsy Tour. These gatherings bring the collective of women riders together, allows them to share the camaraderie motorcycle riding evokes, and provides an opportunity for women in the wind to celebrate their love of the two-wheeled lifestyle. As the number of women motorcyclists has risen, so has the number of events catering to their growing ranks.

fourth annual Dream Roll
The fourth annual Dream Roll event was held on the outskirts of Oregon’s high desert, near Twin Lakes.Angie Harley

Sitting on the outskirts of Oregon’s high desert, Twin Lakes was the ideal setting for the fourth annual Dream Roll. Tents dotted the landscape beneath the pines as hundreds of lady riders transformed the campground into their playground for the weekend. The motorcycles parked beneath the trees were as diverse as the women themselves; sportbikes intermingled with ADVs, Sportsters, and Dynas. Dirt bikes buzzed the campground by day, while campfires burned late into the night as Dream Rollers partied into the wee hours.

“This was my first Dream Roll. The location was beautiful and I had so much fun. I’ve never been anywhere where it felt like a true sisterhood where you could just be yourself and no one was judging you,” Amy Bonin said.

sisterhood of women riders
Events like the 2018 Dream Roll promote the sisterhood of women riders, no matter who you are or what you ride.Angie Harley

A bevy of biker games added to the lighthearted affair, from a loudest pipes contest to an egg drop race, where riders balanced a raw egg on a spoon held in their teeth as they raced their motorcycles to the finish line. The skating ramp was a popular gathering place as pros Amy Caron and Megan McGuire demonstrated how to properly drop in. Couches and strings of lights gave the gathering place living room-like ambience. A large group of riders set out for Crater Lake Saturday morning, while others headed out on their own to explore the area. Some hung around camp and took advantage of the Dirtastic clinic at the nearby OHV area where they could not only brush up on their off-road riding skills, but learn wheelie basics from motocross star Tarah Gieger.

lady riders
Tents spouted beneath the pines as hundreds of lady riders transformed the campground into their playground for the weekend.Angie Harley

The assortment of vendors was tailor-made for women riders, from Desert Condor’s jewelry to Sorceress Hands, who offered a 15-minute “Test Ride” massage, a 30-minute “Plugs & Wires” package, a 60-minute “Tune-Up,” and a 90-minute “Engine Rebuild.” The lone food truck had its hands full feeding the hungry masses, assisted by Twin Lakes Resort Café which held a taco night Friday, then grilled up some BBQ chicken and ribs on Saturday. The “stabbin’ cabins” serving as makeshift tattoo parlors were constantly buzzing, both with the hum of tattoo guns and the steady stream of ladies looking to add to their collection of ink.

swapped with friends
Friends were made and stories were swapped with friends old and new alike.Angie Harley

At night, Dream Rollers gathered around campfires and shared stories with friends, old and new alike. With the harvest moon hanging heavy in the sky, the music got louder as the evening drew on, the festivities heated up, and inhibitions were shed as Dreamers danced like no one was watching.

In addition to fun and games, the 2018 Dream Roll also helped bridge the gap between social media and the real world as several influencers filtered through the crowd, giving attendees an opportunity to meet them on a personal level. Among them was Jessica Wise, founder of The Litas, who rode out from Salt Lake City with a group of friends. Alicia Elfving, a.k.a. The MotoLady, made the trip down from Portland, Oregon, in her “Purple Prius Eating” Tacoma truck to hang out as well.

loud pipes
Of course there was a loud pipes contest!Angie Harley

With a bit of luck, chance encounters at the Dream Roll turned into pearls of wisdom. My wife Angie had the pleasure of meeting J. Shia, who shared her story about coming to America from Lebanon and how the family’s tools were pretty much the only thing of value they owned. Her father was a pack rat of sorts and their yard was cluttered with “anything that had an engine.” As a result, J.’s home was dubbed the “Madhouse” by neighbors. But living in the Madhouse paid dividends because J. would tear apart small engines and tinker with things lying around in the yard on the sly. Now she’s one of the leading ladies of custom bike building, owner and fabricator at Madhouse Motors. J. was eager to share her knowledge with other lady riders like my wife and broke down the running sequence of a Sportster for her, from the time one hits the ignition button to when the back wheel starts spinning.

Shia’s story was just one of many incredible stories spinning around the Dream Roll. Kam Miller, who came rolling in on a 1966 Shovelhead, had her own compelling tale of how motorcycles changed her life.

“Drunk and homeless, I was getting carried out of a bar. Never ridden a bike before, didn’t know anybody who had bikes. And there was a Sportster sitting out on the sidewalk for sale. Woke up the next morning, still drunk, and I called that guy. I said look, I’ve never even been on a bike before, but if I got the money, would you sell it to me? And he said yes.”

J. Shia
J. Shia is one of the leading ladies of custom bike building, owner and fabricator at Madhouse Motors.Angie Harley

The decision to buy that Sportster set off a chain reaction of events. She talked her way into a sheet metal fabrication class that led to a full-time job with Boeing, climbed the ladder, put herself through school, and became an aerospace engineer. It all started, though, with a Sportster.

“For a long time, bikes were the only thing that had meaning to me,” Miller said. She added that meeting people is her favorite thing about the Dream Roll, a sentiment shared by many who attended this year’s event.

Dirtastic clinic
The Dirtastic clinic allowed entrants to hone their off-road riding skills and get wheelie tips from motocross star Tarah Gieger.Angie Harley

While Dream Roll 4 was a roaring success, attendees offered a few helpful tidbits on how to make the experience even better, from having more vendors and food trucks to offering more workshops, similar to what the MotoLady does at her Women’s Motorcycle Show. The presence of men in the campground also struck a chord with some Dreamers, a sentiment my wife astutely assessed when explaining why some events should be exclusive to female riders.

bike games progressed
As bike games progressed and the night came on, the party really began to hum.Angie Harley

“Women feel less vulnerable when it’s just women. It allows us to be free and let our guard down without having to worry about the things you might if a male presence was around.”

Events like the 2018 Dream Roll are indeed gaining momentum as they promote the sisterhood of women riders, gathers their collective energy around campfires, and encourages them to let their defenses down and dance like nobody’s watching.

Sporty chop
This Sporty chop held a prominent place in the campground…Angie Harley
Dream Roll 2018
…but all kinds of bikes were represented at Dream Roll 2018.Angie Harley
Alicia Rasor
Alicia Rasor with her Harley-Davidson Sportster Forty-EightAngie Harley
Dream Roll 4
As the event wrapped up, everyone could agree that Dream Roll 4 was a roaring success.Angie Harley