2016 Year in Review

The So Cal Chrome Divas are a fortunate group as we have the luxury of riding year-round. We do not have a clue as to what winterizing a bike is all about as there is not a month that goes by when we are not out and about.

2016 was another great year for our group. Besides our normal monthly rides, we were able to facilitate many last minute rides as there’s always someone wanting to go somewhere. Beginning with our annual Road Captains & Membership meeting, our members offered up their suggestions for the forthcoming year. For example, our local rides included Pacific Coast HWY 1, Angeles Crest HWY 2, and RIM of the World Hwy 18 just to name a few. We also decided on our charity events for the year, Heels for Wheels-Breast Cancer, Habitat for Humanity Affordable Housing, a Toy Run benefiting the Ronald McDonald House, and others. We also planned our overnight trips, which we are known for in the Southern California area and are often asked by non-members to join in these events (no nonmembers on overnighters). Just to name a few, Joshua Tree to include Borrego Springs, Salvation Mountain, and Pioneer Town (San Diego Chrome Divas joined in on this trip), a 3400 mile trip through 10 states (Northern Cali, Oregon, Idaho, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, Washington, Nevada, and Arizona) and Pismo Beach to the butterfly preserve which we allowed for the first time husbands and significant other to participate. We also included in our calendar non-riding events, river rafting in Kernville, homemade pizza party, Pechanga Casino crab leg lunch, and Arizona’s Bullhead Regatta which involves floating down the Colorado River on a lounge chair.

We continued to promote women riders in 2016. For the first time we added two motorcycle practice skills sessions for both members and nonmembers. One of our member’s husband is a motorcycle trainer for the Los Angeles Police Dept. He came out to give us some riding tips and left us with more parking lot drills to practice on our own. We also asked a local private instructor to come out on a different occasion to do the same, both sessions an especially wonderful opportunity.

We also have a So Cal Chrome Diva garage page on Facebook where members, nonmembers, and all ladies who have an interest in motorcycling can join and share stories, ask for help, post their motorcycle events, sell motorcycles and slightly-used motorcycle gear. We encourage these ladies to come out on one of our events and share in the fun and camaraderie.

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Joshua Tree and Borrego Springs

Once upon a time in the land of two and three wheels there lived several mighty princess warriors.

They called themselves the SoCal Chrome Divas and they were known throughout the land. And the people were in awe.

One weekend 7 of the princess warriors packed up their wheels and headed out for road trip to the great and splendorous desert. There was Mary, their mighty Road Captain, followed by Trina, their fearless Director, Susan, who holds all the Divas gold, the brunette maiden, Missy, our beloved San Diego Divas, Crystal and Vicki and myself, Beth……the one that makes all this shit up and travels in the rear and who ensured the road belonged to only us and also that no warriors were left behind.

A bright and beautiful day dawned as the five SoCal Divas headed toward the mighty mountain known as Big Bear, making quite a statement as they moved in unison. A sight to see assuredly. Cheers and waves from the people in four-wheeled cages wishing and imagining they were part of the group that traveled in open freedom.

Through Wrightwood into Big Bear the mighty ladies roared and owned the canyon roads. Lefts and rights, tight turns, big swinging curves and 2nd gears screaming………..feel it, hear it.. just exhilarating and heart pumping.

Next a comfortable and easy meandering along Highway 330 where tummies began to growl to the hum of the winding motors.

We pulled into Applebees. It was nice to take a break, fill the bellies of both warrior and beast. A few quick photos of happy ladies and we were ready to hit the road again.

The first day edged into afternoon as we rode with a bright blue sky in front of us. The weather was perfect. Traffic was at a minimum as the Princess Warriors graced through the canyons of Idyllwild and the open roads of the desert.

A more perfect connection could not have been imagined when we made a left at our turnoff in Montezuma Valley and coming up and making a right at that very same time were our BBB’s, (beautiful blonde babes), Vicki and Crystal from our San Diego Chrome Diva Chapter, meeting up with us. We stopped along the highway to chat and bewilder the wild luck at our exact timing. Yes, the stars are always in the correct alignment in Diva Land.

Enticed by more canyon roads we furthered on. One by one we maneuvered the well-traveled roads, now becoming a part of them as we methodically rode forward mile after mile. The day became late afternoon, but no warrior faulted. Serenity and contentment continued to rule the ride.

There are always wonderful sights to see on these roads. Needless to say, we were filled with the glory of the sights all around us.   A coolness encircled us as the trees closed off the full rays of the sun as it began to slip down beyond the horizon.

My three wheels kept me in the back so as not to obstruct our road captain Mary’s view from up front. To have the full view of superb riders in staggered and single file rows in front of me is truly a sight to see, not to mention the huge rush I get from knowing I’m a part of this wonderful collection of women. Riding with my Diva Sister Princess Warriors. It just doesn’t get any better. Soon we arrived at our place of rest, Borrego Springs Resort. It was a long day and Divas were hungry and had earned a great dinner.

We readied ourselves for our long awaited meal by walking from our rooms across to the restaurant that was in line to the golf course. It was a beautiful view and the sunset began to overtake the blue sky, turning it to a mighty pink and orange and we watched as the sun slowly dipped down the horizon.

To our dismay, the restaurant had a new menu and we, unfortunately, seemed to be the guinea pigs. So taking the high road, we’ll just move forward by saying anytime the Divas can spend time together, we enjoy the laughter and camaraderie. We did find nourishment and no warrior fell ill so all was good in the land of the Chrome Divas.

Upon return to the hotel we ventured to that pool of peace and tranquility. The SPA. Soaked our weary bodies, drank just a wee touch of spirit and there you have it…the recipe for a good night’s rest for tired Princess Warriors. What happens in Borrego, stays in Borrego.

We rose early, for our trip to the beauty of Borrego Springs and Joshua Tree National Park had to begin with full tummies. No breakfast at the lodgings, so off to Jack in the Box it was and then onward after tanks and tummies were satisfied through Borrego Springs.

Borrego Springs is completely surrounded by Anza-Borrego State Park, the largest of California’s State Parks. Riding is amazing and provides beautiful views of majestic hills carved by time and weather. Miles of rolling sand dunes, and supersize prehistoric and fantastical beasts lining area roads, the work of metal sculptor Ricardo Breceda.

Our goal was Salvation Mountain, a visionary environment covering a hill several miles from the Salton Sea. It is a true experience. The area is filled with handcrafted artwork of Christian sayings and bible verses. The artwork is made from adobe, straw, and thousands of gallons of lead-free paint. Salvation Mountain was created by local resident Leonard Knight (1931–2014). The Divas were definitely humbled by not only the artwork but the dedication of so many people to continue to maintain the integrity of the area in such a harsh environment.

We ventured further into the area and came upon East Jesus where we were invited to a private tour. The area contains repurposed shipping containers that became a habitable cooperative compound with numerous structures, a large, open-air, well-stocked kitchen, comfortable living room, library and music room complete with a functioning tuned grand piano.

East Jesus is in the middle of nowhere, off the beaten path, far away from everything and right up the hill from Salvation Mountain.

Residents have since installed solar power, restroom facilities, hot showers and small vegetable planters watered with gray water within the glass bottle walls shielding their abode from the ferocious winds.

The area is constructed entirely of salvaged refuse and recycled materials by wandering “geniuses” and barefoot “messiahs”, by the dispossessed and repossessed, by sun-seeking snowbirds, hippies yearning for simplicity, retired yuppies looking to stretch their well-earned dollars and every genre in between. An awe-inspiring opportunity for the Divas to self-reflect and pay homage to the wonder of the perseverance of inspiration.

The day was hot and the sun soon depleted us and a stop for hydration was mandatory. I know not where we were, but the juice of fruits and cocoa beans was abundant. And the Divas drank of it and regained their powers to forge onward.

Our sights set upon Joshua Tree where the annual Babes Ride Out was underway. Babes Ride Out is an annual all-female overnight motorcycle adventure and camp out to the area. We did give thought when scheduling this weekend to camping out, however, a few of our warriors are definitely princesses and mandated a hot shower and clean hotel bed in which to lay our weary bodies.

If you come to Southern California, you must make Joshua Tree National Park a stop on your bucket list. Its beauty is almost indescribable. Joshua Tree National Park is a vast protected area in southern California. It’s characterized by rugged rock formations and stark desert landscapes.  There are many pull-outs and opportunities to stop and walk around. You can ride, mesmerized by the mountains formed by millions of years of weather.

We saw many women riding through the park and one could feel the camaraderie emanating throughout. A nod, a wave….the biker acknowledgments. Yes, it’s good to be a part of something that speaks to so many.

Now on to Palm Desert where we will lay our head and fill out tummies. And what is the best thing to fill the tummy of a warrior………yes, SUSHI!! And perhaps a little Sake. Laughter ensued in the way only a group of Chrome Diva can.

Once again a little spa time and then rest. For the next morning, we ride onward to one more wonderful stop (of course it included food) to Apple Annies in the beautiful area of Oak Glen. Another not to be missed land of beautiful roads with apple orchards and wonderful quaint shops and restaurants abound. And then we were done……Here we say goodbye to our Sand Diego princesses.

But one more stop is needed. What would be a warrior princess trip be without some shopping. Bert’s Mega Mall. Helmets, motorcycles, ATV’s, boots, gloves, etc., all that is Great Steed gear. At this point it was raining like hell, a downpour actually, however, being women, being CHROME DIVA women…..no shop (especially motorcycle) will go unvisited no matter the weather.

As our weekend had now finally come to its end we parted ways and split off the freeway as home exits called to us.

Friends and sisters we are. We truly experience a level of companionship that we almost become one. Our lives are enhanced not only by our experiences together, but our great appreciation for each other.

And tomorrow…..someplace else.

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