Planning a cross-country motorcycle trip can be a daunting task in most places in the world. There are all kinds of logistics to consider, from the mundanity of vacation day utilization to the hard-headed practicality of figuring out what you plan to do if anything breaks down on the bike while you’re in transit. Not everyone wants to wrench roadside, and that’s OK. But you do have to plan for it if that’s your choice.

The bigger the country, though, the more mind-boggling all those logistics become. Where will you stay? How often will you stop? Will you allow yourself time to meander and sightsee if you spot something worth slowing down for? Or do you just want to power through and essentially do a tourism speed run through all the natural beauty you encounter? These are all details you need to have at least a tenuous grasp on if you’re going to get all your ducks in a row for your journey.

Still, most motorcycle enthusiasts like a challenge, and London and Montana-based rider and documentary filmmaker Rachel Lepley absolutely relishes them. If she can spend time exploring a beautiful country while simultaneously riding a bike, she’s keen to do it. I mean, who wouldn’t be?

Starting with smaller trips in her home country of England and expanding to ride on other continents whenever possible. We might all have different viewpoints on any number of things, but at our core, most riders have some kind of restlessness that they can only partially manage to contain. And one thing that you’ll soon learn about Lepley is that she doesn’t like to stay still for very long. She’s a person who values movement, both on a personal and a physical level. 

Just who is Rachel Lepley? Before doing this trip, she wasn’t some travel expert sitting on a high and lofty pedestal somewhere. As you’ll find out, the impetus for this trip really came from just wanting to get out and make her mark. Do something cool. Do something amazing, even. She had the desire and, apparently, also the days off; all she needed was to make all the other necessary parts of the journey slot into place.

And so, she did. Life wasn’t just giving her what she wanted; she had to take action to make it happen. She had a dream, and by careful planning and getting the right people on board with her plan, she was able to pull it off. The key, and perhaps one of the most important things of all to realize about the riding community is that there can be wonderful global support if you reach out. Sometimes the friends you make ahead of time come in clutch, and sometimes it’s the friends you make along the way who are quite literally watching your back. (You’ll find a very detailed, somewhat harrowing example of that last part below.)

All of those things combined are how, in 2023, Lepley managed to visit a total of all 48 contiguous states in 48 days, all while riding a Royal Enfield INT650. Like most trips, it went well but not perfectly. It’s the imperfections in any journey that make the best, most interesting stories, though. Luckily, Lepley was kind enough to chat with us about the trip, why you shouldn’t wait to take your own trip, and much more. 

Here’s our chat with Rachel Lepley, which has been lightly edited for clarity.

Rachel Lepley - 48 States in 48 Days - Texas

Rachel Lepley - 48 States in 48 Days - Texas

So tell us how your trip started. How did the idea come about? 

I think I was at a stage in my life where I just felt like I wanted to have a change. I'd been really working my butt off for a tech company, and I just got to the point where that wasn't rewarding me anymore and I needed to do something.

I wanted a challenge, and I wanted to go on a solo trip. And initially, I was like, maybe I'll just go ride around Texas for a few weeks and explore Texas. 

Because I was living in London at the time, and then I was like, "Or wouldn't it be fun to ride all 48 states?" Because I'm one of those people, I don't do things by half, and I love adventure and I love riding motorcycles. And I find it hard to just pick one thing to do. 

If I was going to Texas, I'm like, well, if I'm in Texas, I could at least go and explore, I don't know, Mississippi, or it's not that far from New Orleans. So, I could just ride to New Orleans. And then it was like, well, if I'm in New Orleans then I could easily ride to Alabama. If I'm in Alabama, I could... And then I was like, right, I want to ride all 48. 

So, initially, I thought I would ride 48 states in 60 days, and I was talking to Royal Enfield about it, and Royal Enfield were just so supportive. And they were like, "Which bike do you want?" So, they lent me an INT650. I selected the INT650. 

And that was it. And they were like, "When do you want it? You could have it as early as 1st of July." And

I was like, "I will have it on the 1st of July." At that point it was mid-June, I think. So, I just packed a cruiser bag and flew to LA on the 30th of June and then picked up the bike on the 1st and got cracking. 

It just came from a feeling of wanting to do something fun and interesting and challenging by myself. 

Had you done trips of this length before, or no? 

Not really. No. I think the maximum I had done was maybe two weeks of riding and nothing of this scale. So, nothing as many miles a day as this and especially by myself. 

How do you pack for something like that, particularly if you're going to be moving every single day? 

You pack as little as possible. You get over the fact that you're not going to look good. I took a pair of motorcycle leggings from MotoGirl. They were amazing. And one jacket from Knox. It was very lightweight because at that point it was summer. So, I knew it would be mostly hot. I took a jacket and a light thing to go over it.  

You're going to be on a motorcycle basically all day, every day, except for when you get back to wherever you're staying. So, at that point, you only need something to sleep in. So, really, I mean, obviously, I changed my underwear, but I pretty much wore the same outfit every day. I think I took like three T-shirts and a pair of shorts. Yeah. 

Pretty much wore the same kind of look every day for about two months until I finished, and then I had some other clothes I could wear. 

As far as the logistics goes, like figuring out where to stay, was that something you did on the fly? Did you have a plan when you started or how did you manage that? 

It was a little bit of both. Before I went out, I put out a thing on Facebook actually, on a female rider group and just said, "I'm doing this trip. If anybody would like to meet up during it, let me know." Actually, I had over a hundred invitations to stay in people's houses; all female riders. So, I had that as an option, but obviously some of those things weren't on my route because America's big. 

So, some of that wasn't... I couldn't factor all of them in, but I did end up staying at least once or twice a week with other female riders, which was amazing. And then I also used a site called Bunk-a-Biker. And that's where other bikers put up bikers.

So, if I was going through somewhere and I felt like having company, I would reach out to people maybe a day before, two days before, and just explain what my trip was. And I met some awesome people through that. 

There were certain days, like there was one day I was riding through storms for hours, literally hours. I just kept hitting storm after storm. It was when I was coming through Alabama, and I just had had enough, and it was about five o'clock. Normally I'd ride until seven or eight. It got to about five o'clock and I saw a motel and I just pulled in. I mean, it was so sketchy I had to bring my bike into the hotel room. But I could feel myself getting so tired and I was freezing from the rain. 

And I just thought, "Well, if I'm going to have a good day of riding tomorrow, I'll add on the hours tomorrow, but I need to stop." So, yeah, there were days where I just found a hotel and didn't do anything else, you know? It was a good mix. 

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Nebraska

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Nebraska

I think it's smart that you recognized your limitations, and you were able to be realistic with yourself and be like, "No, it's probably not the wisest idea to push through this. Maybe something's going to go wrong. I should just stop." 

Yeah. Well, you feel that shift between having full awareness and focus, and suddenly feeling a little bit foggy and maybe... My reaction times are really good, but maybe a car pulls out and you react maybe two seconds later than you usually would. 

You just think, "You know what? What's in it if I stay riding for another couple... Why would I bother riding for a few more hours and put myself and other people at risk when I could just stay in that super sketchy motel where the Walking Dead cast seems to be living?" Yeah, I'd rather stay with the zombies than crash the bike. 

Yeah, no, I totally get that. Did you have any rain gear with you or was that something where you were like, "Nah, I don't think I really need it"? 

Oh, I had the most beautiful, high-vis, bright yellow rainsuit head-to-toe. [laughter]

That would just go on over my gear. It was really good for probably the first hour of rain. But even then, if you're in the rain for long enough, you're going to get soaked. And then by the time you're soaked, you just go, "Oh, well, this is it, I guess." And some days I'd get back and wring out my socks or pour water out from my shoes. Yeah, I rode through some absolutely horrific storms. 

Do you have any particularly good advice for actually drying out your gear because you're getting on the road the next morning? 

That's an interesting point. Yeah, I mean, there's two things. First off, make peace with the fact that if it's stormy weather, just put the wet clothes on and they dry out in the wind most days. However, that is grim.

I did a couple of things. I would turn up the heater in my room and I had little hook things where I could attach my clothes or have a little washing line over the heater. 

So, I'd be boiling some nights because the room would be so hot. If I was in a hotel, the room would be so hot. But otherwise, find a launderette right by where you're staying and just pray to have your clothes dry. It's so much nicer. 

But yeah. And I was lucky, some of the people that I stayed with, either I was dripping wet, and they'd already have warm things, and they're dry already, and they really took care of me. But if you're staying in hotels, get a little portable washing line or washstand that packs right down and put your stuff over the heater and just deal with the fact you're going to be boiling because better that than soggy clothing. 

That's really smart, particularly if you have the washing line. I mean, it's tiny, it's not going to take up any space. 

Yeah. And there's always somewhere to hang it off of. You’ve just got to be a little bit creative.

But I'm quite a tolerant person. I make do all the time. I'm not particularly fussy. If I've got damp clothes, do I like it? No. But I also know it's not forever. It's going to dry. You're going to be dry again one day. But for me, the most important thing is dry feet. I hate having wet feet. 

Then you get horrible things. So, the priority for me was getting my shoes and my socks dry. 

So, how did you get the shoes dry then? Because I mean, that I think would be more difficult. 

Yeah, I found, I mean, you got to be careful, don't start a fire, but a hair dryer. 

You can just leave that running in the shoe. Don't leave it unsupervised. But you leave that running in the shoe upside down. But I'm sure this is probably terrible advice, it's probably extremely dangerous. But yeah, you leave that, and you keep an eye on it. Or I left them, again, hanging over a heater, a radiator. 

Yeah, there were days when they just didn't dry. I rode through an absolutely terrible storm in Pennsylvania and the water was coming right up over my feet on the bike. It was flooding as I was riding, and it just soaked. I had TCX boots on and it just soaked straight through the boot. 

And so I literally got in and I poured water out. I looked at the forecast and I could see that it would be exactly the same situation in the morning. So, I dried them out as best I could, but I was like, "Well, I'm not going to spend loads of energy on this because, in the morning, they're just going to get soaked through again."

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Utah Salt Flats

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Utah Salt Flats

What would you say really stands out to you about your trip?

I think so many things. Every day there was magic. Every day there was something that made me stop breathing. Whether it was a person or whether it was the scenery or the ride or just the fact I was doing it. There was a point where I was riding through New Mexico, New Mexico's so underrated and hardly anyone's there, and you're riding through essentially the same scenery as Arizona, but with no tourists. 

And I was just riding and I didn't see any cars probably for an hour or two. I just wept. I'm not really someone who cries, but I was like, "Oh my God, this is real and it's happening and it's beautiful." I think that was day four or five. That really took my breath away because you're riding through these beautiful big mountains and it's just breathtaking. 

But I think for me, America's scenery is just extraordinary. You can be on a road and see for hundreds of miles or you can be in Blue Ridge Parkway and doing twisties, or Badlands, all of those national parks, and the ride is unbeatable. It was absolutely amazing. 

And I think obviously I am of a safer demographic, but the people were very welcoming to me. You're a solo female rider, which takes risk. Yeah, on the whole, people were so supportive and encouraging and helpful. So, I think, yeah, the takeaway for me was just every day the scenery in every state is so different and has so much to offer. Yeah, it's just absolutely breathtaking. 

If there was something you really wanted to pull over and see more closely, or if you wanted to get off the bike and take a little walk toward something, did you feel like you had enough time to do that? Or were you really pressed to just make as many miles as you needed to most of the time?

No, I think I planned it in a way that meant that... I mean, there were some states I was like, "Oh, I'd love to come back here." So, I'd love to spend more time exploring places like Badlands and the North and South Dakotas. There were some days when I was just in the mood to just ride. Like, if I want to come back, I'll come back. 

And then there were other days where I would maybe do less of a ride, and I'd plan to be riding for four or five hours that day. And I'd get up super early, so it'd give me the full day to explore. And then Texas, I took a little bit longer.

So, Texas, I took three days to ride through, which just allowed me to, yeah, explore the state a bit more and take things a little bit more easily. And then on the East Coast, I rode through four states in one day because I've been to the East Coast so much. I've been to New York multiple times, I've seen Philadelphia. So, I went to Philly, I got the sandwich, I already know that sandwich shop, they know me, they have my sandwich ready. I ate, I left. 

So, on those days, it's like, well, I love the East Coast, I could happily spend weeks in the East Coast. I was like, "No, this is not the trip for that." On the whole, I largely avoided large cities, just the risk of having the bike stolen. 

Staying in a hotel in New York, your bike is in a car park where they listed there are motorcycle thefts happening. So, you're just like, "Well, maybe not, that would really make this really hard if I didn't have a motorcycle". 

That's something that a lot of people are like, "Oh, I wouldn't want to do that trip because I wouldn't get to see anything." But the trip is more about what you see while you're on the bike. The roads are just extraordinary. So, a bit of both. 

Where were your favorite roads? 

Oh, it's a really hard question. I love... Blue Ridge Parkway is exceptional. 

And then Natchez Trace Parkway is pretty amazing as well. A couple of areas in the East Coast are pretty extraordinary. I mean, everyone hates on Nebraska, but I loved it. But maybe it's because I'd done so many twisties getting to Nebraska. I love those long straight roads where you're just you and your bike, no cars, and your helmet. And if there are cars, even the car drivers wave at you, which blew my mind. 

I've never had car drivers say hello to me before on a bike.

I love the Four Corners, I love Utah, I love Colorado. Colorado roads aren't great, but the visuals are. But Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, and Colorado are. If you were just going to do four states on a bike, you could do a loop around those. I've done that. I did that on an MT-07 last year. Yeah, that's a pretty cool trip. 

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Virginia

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Virginia

Nice. Did you modify the INT650 in any way to do this trip, other than obviously strapping your luggage to it? 

No, I just put some sub loops on for my Kriega kit. But other than that, I did absolutely nothing and I had no problems with the bike at all. At one point, the rear light went out, but that's to be expected after 15,000 miles and me knocking it around as much as I did. So, that was the only thing. I had to get the bulb replaced, some tires. Obviously, tires get replaced, oil, but no, it's completely stock. 

Did you have any flat tires or any other moments that sort of threw a wrench in the works or was it pretty smooth sailing? 

It was completely smooth sailing. I mean, I got so lucky. I had a tire kit with me, expecting to at least have one flat because on a number of occasions I ended up on gravel roads. 

And you're riding on it going, "Oh, no, I'm going to get a flat any minute now or my chain is going to break." And you're just riding on it being like, "Please not here. There's no one here for hundreds of miles. Just let me make it through this road." And it did. It was extraordinary. I really expected... I've had flat tires from nothing. So, what I put it through, yeah, it was pretty amazing. 

Yeah, I got very lucky.

Yeah, for sure. I mean, I've seriously just got a flat tire going to the grocery store. 

Right. Or sometimes I'd wake up and I wouldn't have even done anything. It would have been fine the night before, there's no puncture, and I'd wake up and my tire is flat. 

Is there anything else that's really stood out about your trip that you would like to share? Anything you'd like to say to inspire other people to do something like this or just to travel more even? 

Yeah, I think to me, it was such a life-changing trip. And something I'd wanted to do for so long. And I think the realization hit me last year that no one's going to make that happen for you. You have to make it happen for yourself. 

And I would just encourage people, even if it's just a weekend. You don't have to ride 48 states in 48 days. I'm a maniac. You don't need to do that. 

Even if it's just you saw a photo of, I don't know, West Virginia and you thought, "Wow, that looks amazing." Then go. Make the time. There's always time. Obviously, everybody's circumstances are different, but I do believe that you can create space and time for yourself. My biggest takeaway was to stop, I guess, to stop just dreaming about things. It's there, it's happening, and life is moving, so do it. 

 

I’m assuming you had a phone, but did you have a satellite beacon? Did you have anything like that as a backup or how did you choose to travel? 

Well, I took a little GPS tracker. For safety, but also to make sure that I had proof of doing all the states. 

But yeah, I had my iPhone and a couple of my friends have a tracker on me on that. So, they could watch me and know that I was moving and okay and hadn't disappeared somewhere. 

So, some friends kept a track of me on there, which is always a little bit weird, I often forgot, and then they'd text me, they're like, "How's Mississippi?"

I'm like, "How do they know? How do they know I'm in Mississippi?" But yeah, I think all the GPS tracking now on phones is so good that I would have felt good with just that, but from a logistical thing, having a GPS tracker was definitely a good thing. 

Did you have a separate GPS unit to help guide you or how'd you navigate? 

No, I just used my phone. I just found that was enough. That was good enough for me. 

And then sometimes I wouldn't use maps. The roads in the States are so clear mostly that I would know that I was going to Florida, and I'd look, and it'd be like, "Oh, turn right in 356 miles." So, I would just turn my maps off [Laughter] and just ride. Because you know you're going to be going straight, straight, straight for hours. And sometimes it was nice to not have your screen up and barking at you. I use Quad Lock with a battery attached to the engine. 

Not to the engine, Rachel, to the battery. [Laughter] 

‘And attached it to the engine.’ You can tell I'm not a mechanic. 

No, I know what you meant. It's okay. It was attached to the bike. You had it hardwired to the bike so that you could keep your thing charged. 

Exactly. Yeah. Because that's it. That was the biggest thing is you don't want to be out in the middle of nowhere with no battery or anything.

And that actually did really well in all of the storms. It had no problem because I was worried it was going to... I've used Quad Lock for years, but I was worried that it would get... You read all these things about storms and rain destroying the battery or the charger and it didn't, it was great. And I really tested that out, so I can confirm that. 

Rachel Lepley - 48 States in 48 Days - Utah

Rachel Lepley - 48 States in 48 Days - Utah

Besides the UK and the US, what other countries have you ridden in? 

So, I've ridden in India, and I've ridden across Europe. Spain, France, supposed to ride in Switzerland, but that didn't happen. Obviously, all over the UK. 

And where else have I ridden? I've just done so much riding in the States over the past few years, but I have my sights set on Japan and Australia. That's where I'd love to go. I've not ridden either of those places yet or even visited. So, I would really like to ride there. That would be amazing. 

I hear the riding in Japan is awesome. 

I hope you're able to. But yeah, the roads and stuff look just absolutely amazing. I have not ridden in Japan yet either, but it would be nice.

Wouldn't it? Wouldn't it be cool? 

I've not even visited, so I'm desperate to go in some capacity, I'm hoping on two wheels. See if I can get a Japanese manufacturer to work with me. 

I mean, you have a few to choose from, so that's helpful. 

Right. Right. And some really good options. [Laughter] 

Yeah, for sure. Where would you say your favorite roads are in the world? Like apropos of absolutely nothing, so far that you've ridden, what has been the most amazing experience? 

I mean, the most surprising was Kerala in India because everyone told me it was going to be awful. Everyone told me to expect the worst roads ever, but the roads were absolutely stunning. But I think really, it's for me the States. Even now that I live here, I'm excited to ride here. I just love riding here. That landscape is incredible.

But ask me again in a year when I've done Japan and Australia. 

Sure. Sure. It just depends on what your experiences are. And I mean, I know Montana is a really pretty state.

Yeah, it's extraordinary up here. You've got a glacier and there's a couple of state parks that are really underrated that nobody goes to, so I'm not going to say because I don't want anyone going to them. 

So, no, you can really explore here and there are only 1.4 million residents and Montana is 1.5 times bigger than the UK. 

So, there's hardly anyone here and it's massive. So, yeah, it's a really great state. And what's funny is where I'm from, hardly anyone knows where it is. They don't even really know that, like a lot of them had... So, when I said I was moving to Montana, a lot of people were like, "Wait, where? Where is it?" 

It's just this random faraway place. All they know is California and New York, really. 

It was really funny. You're like, "No, it's cool. Don't come here though because I don't want to ruin it. Don't come here. Just let me go here." [Laughter] 

Well, then, don't show them any pictures. [Laughter] 

Yeah, or I'll Photoshop myself into a rubbish heap. Be like, "No, no, this is it. It's just loads of trash. Yeah. Loads of people. It's awful. Don't come. Don't come." [Laughter] 

Do you do a lot of off-road riding now that you're in Montana or no? 

I'm going to learn this year. I'm not an experienced off-roader. I've done a tiny bit and I really like it, but I'm going to do a lot more of it this year for sure. 

That's actually my plan too once I'm healed, so maybe I'll see you out there. 

Yeah. Yeah. Come and visit me. Come up. I'll put you up. We'll go off-roading. It'll be great. 

[Laughter] It's all fun and games until someone breaks an arm.

Oh, I'm going to be going about two miles an hour. 

Oh, same.

I'm hoping my bones stay intact. Yeah. 

I've taken a few minor off-road courses, so I'm in no way any kind of qualified expert. However, I have noticed, and I think other people will also tell you that if you go below a certain speed, it is less stable. So, if you can get up to around 15 to 20 miles an hour, you're going to be a lot more stable and you're going to feel a lot less like you’re going to fall.

Well, because otherwise, you've not got any motion. It's the same as street riding. 

The minute you start doing under 10 miles an hour, the bike is going to start to wobble unless you are really skilled and know your bike. So, I feel like then you throw in gravel and rocks and sand, yeah. Mm-mm, mm-mm, no. I think, yeah, for me when I've done it, about 15 miles an hour is the right, that's kind of my comfort level for a minimum. 

Yeah. I don't think I'm ever going to be the kind of person who is popping wheelies on gravel. That's probably not going to be me. 

Oh. No. And you know what? I have no desire for it to be me. There's always a bit of me that's like, "You know what would be cool? Is doing a wheelie on gravel." I like watching other people do it. 

For me, I'm like, "You know what's really cool is keeping two wheels down and not falling off this bike." If I off-road and I come back with all my bones intact, then I'm pretty happy. 

Absolutely, 100% hard agree. [Laughter] 

Yeah. [Laughter] 

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Utah

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Utah

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your trip? 

I think the thing that I feel the most is the INT is such an underrated bike. And partly the reason why I chose that bike was to show what it was capable of. And it was magnificent. I didn't have a single problem. I really didn't. And the things that I put it through, I know had I been on, I won't name them, but the other bikes that I've ridden in the past, I know had I done that trip on those bikes, I would have had problems.

But the INT, it's just a truck. You can't beat it around enough. And I really put it through every climate, every weather, every road type, potholes, gravel, oil. It was phenomenal. And ice, I rode in ice and hail. I didn't bin the bike. 

Yeah, that was a bad moment, that wasn't my finest hour. I didn't plan that well. I was like, "Oh, that's weird. The trees are steaming over, I wonder why they're steaming." And I tried riding, and I was like, "Oh, wow, this is just pure..." And then I read, this is in Dakota, in South Dakota, I read that there'd be like golf-ball-sized hail just before I rode. 

And then I'm riding in the remains of that and then more hail starts to come down, but not that size, thankfully. But the tank of the INT is dented because of the [Laughter] hail I rode in. But yeah, I just want people to know how great that bike is and it's so affordable. It's got a great price mark and Royal Enfield's were just, in my opinion, they're one of the most supportive manufacturers of women. 

They actually do stuff for women with Build Train Race. With my trip, they're really actually making a difference in the industry as opposed to being like, "Well, we have a lowered bike." 

Which I really appreciate about them as well. Yeah.

They're great and the team are great and every dealer is brilliant. So, I'm producing a documentary on women in motorcycling called She Rides

Oh, really? Oh, that's cool. 

Yeah. No, really exciting. They're even supportive of that. And so in my opinion, some OEMs say they want to support women in motorcycling, don't.

And some like Royal Enfield really do. They're actively pushing for women to be on motorcycles, not just for sales reasons. 

Yeah, so to me, just Enfield and the INT, the whole thing, I couldn't have dreamt of a better partnership for that trip. 

That's awesome. That's really cool. Two questions. One, please tell us more about your documentary. And my second question also is would you say that the hail was the hairiest situation you were in or was there something even sketchier that you rode through? 

Oh, yeah. Let's start with the sketchy. There were quite a few moments, the hail was definitely sketchy because when I sat down to have lunch, it was a really nice day. The weather was great. I left my leather jacket, I got sent a leather jacket on the trip, I left that leather on the bike strapped to it, and then there was a huge downpour of rain. So, when I went to go put my jacket back on, I couldn't get it back on because the leather had gone. You know how it goes and you literally can't pull it over yourself?

So, I was wearing a crop top and I'm a full gear rider. In every situation I wear full gear.

And I'm there like, "All right, well, 15 minutes. I'll have to ride without my jacket. It will be fine." And then I'm riding in this hail and ice on a bike because I was about to get my tires replaced because they were threadbare, with tires that are not grippy. 

Oh.

Right? I mean, like, "Oh, my God, not only is this sketchy, but I'm not wearing protective gear."

If I fall, I need to make sure I fall onto my butt. So, I'm trying to think about how you can twist if you fall, how you twist and you're sliding on your ass rather than... [Laughter] 

So, I was like, "Oh," and it was only 15 minutes. That was okay. But the real scary moment that I had, I was coming through Utah. Everything that day had kind of gone wrong timing wise. I ordered lunch, and it took an hour to come. So, everything had delayed me. 

So, I was riding through Utah at night, which I don't like doing in the States because drivers can be sketchy in the day when they can see you. It's now pitch black, I'm on a black bike wearing all black. And then there was this storm, and it was a full-on lightning storm with, I think there was about 45 mile an hour crosswinds. 

I'm on the edge of a mountain, coming through this mountain being pushed, and the water is [hydro]planing. And then I've got this car caging me behind, like right on my arse. 

And I'm looking back being like, "You're going to kill me, dude. Like go." And this went on for like 40 minutes and they did not go around me. And I'm signaling them to go around me, they're not going around. 

What the hell?

So, the earliest opportunity, well, I pull over into this huge gas station just to let them pass me. They pull in behind me, and I take my helmet off ready to... I'm a pretty peaceful person, but I was ready to let rip. 

And this woman comes out and she's like, "Your headlight, your rear light is out. No one can see you on the road. I'm riding behind you to protect you because no one can see you."

Oh!

And I'm looking at her like... And I was about to scream at her and be like, "Are you trying to kill me, lady?" And she was just protecting me. 

And I had another 45 minutes to go and there was nowhere to stay. It was one of those bits, there's no town. And so I'm looking at her and I'm like, "Oh, wow. Well, thank you so much." She's like, "Where are you going? Do you want to just get in the car?" But I didn't want to leave the bike with all my stuff on it and all the things. So, I was like, no. And so she continued to ride behind me, but I was genuinely scared that night. 

And it was freezing cold, and I couldn't see anything because the rain was so aggressive onto my helmet. You can't lift the visor. And so that was genuinely harrowing. I really thought if I'm going to go, I'm being pushed off of this mountainside, I can't see where the bends are in the road. I can't see anything. I think it was like a 60 mile an hour, 65 mile an hour road. And I was probably doing 30, 35 because it was just so hazardous and there's literally nowhere to pull over, so you have no option but to keep going. 

So, that proper sketched me out weather-wise. But yeah. 

So, the documentary, I'm super excited. I'm producing it. It's being directed by Gareth Maxwell Roberts, who directed Oil In the Blood

Oh, okay.

It's a movie about custom motorcycling four years ago or five years ago, 2019, that came out. And we have a full female board of associate producers, and we're basically looking to celebrate female riders and everything they're doing. 

Bringing awareness to the fact that women don't just ride the same way, they don't ride the same bike, but they're doing awesome stuff in the industry and deserve to be recognized and acknowledged for it. 

That they, like I said, OEMs I think mistake women, they don't know how to talk to or support or how we operate, how we ride, what we do. They treat every woman as the same. There's one OEM at AIM [Expo],  they were talking a lot about women in motorcycling and how much they support women in motorcycling, but they didn't say how. 

So, I went up to them and I was like, "So, love what you're doing, great job. How are you supporting women? You say you are, but I'd love to know more about the programs you run or what are you doing?" And they're like, "Well, we have a lowered bike." Yeah. 

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Throttle Company, Ohio

Rachel Lepley - 48 States In 48 Days - Throttle Company, Ohio

Thanks? [Laughter] That's not enough. 

“I have a 34-inch inseam. I'm pretty tall and I'm a woman. Shall I show you how I look on that bike?”

So, I sit on it and obviously my knees are above the tank. [Laughter] It's so small for me. 

And I said, "Okay, but what else are you doing?" And they weren't doing anything else. Well, firstly, not all men are tall because some men might...

Not all women are small. So, what are you doing for women? And they're not. It wasn't an aggressive conversation. It was me sort of saying, "Well, do you want to talk about it? Do you want to learn about what you could do for women?"

And they were great. And we're now having an ongoing conversation about it. 

But I think this documentary, the intention is to celebrate and to challenge and to encourage other women to ride and OEMs to support those rides, to fund them, to run programs like Royal Enfield. 

We need more of that. That's what we need. 

That sounds amazing. Where are you in the production process?

We are starting shooting next week at Mama Tried. And then I think we're hoping to go down to Daytona. We've got Daytona Bike Week. 

And then from that point on, we'll cover the major motorcycling events. Across the world, so not just USA, we're looking to shoot in the UK, in Europe, maybe in Mexico. There's some amazing female riders in Mexico. We are making this a global production. So, we'll shoot from end of next week through to August. 

Then take the film to motorcycle festivals and film festivals in spring 2025. 

I'm really excited about it. I just think it's been a long time coming.

Gareth is a wonderful director. He's extremely supportive of female riders. Our executive producer runs a shop in Florida where he really runs things for female riders. So, we've got a really good team of men and women who are all on the same page wanting to just highlight and elevate this part of the industry. 

Do you guys have a website for it yet or no? 

We do. We do. We've just pulled it down this week because we're just adding some things to it, and we didn't want to be adding while people could still access. So, it will go back up today. [Note: It’s currently live now, and you can visit the official site for She Rides here.]

Definitely please keep us in the loop because we would like to know about it. 

Oh, absolutely.

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