Words by Kelly Yazdi
Photos by Jessie Gentry
It’s an honor to have one of the most inspiring women I know write a guest post for Woman Rider about her recent four-wheel, riding adventure in Bend, Oregon. Every time I chat with Kelly, she stokes my own fire and passion for all things riding! The founder of Ride Wild (formerly Wild Gypsy Tour), she and her team have created an events space for women (and so much more) that focuses on building community and camaraderie. With plenty of exciting events coming next year (and I’m hoping to attend myself), be sure to check out the Ride Wild events schedule for 2021. There’s a good chance you’ll find something exciting you’ll enjoy, whether you ride two, three, or four wheels! ~ Joy Burgess
Last month, my team at Ride Wild and I decided that it was time to take back what was left of 2020 and do something with our craving for adventure. This kind of thing always starts with contacting some friends in our local area and brainstorming where we can get our adventure on. With a shared desire to stay local, our compass pointed to the Pacific Northwest, and before you know it there was a group of us heading to Bend, Oregon for some offroading fun.
With the current state of affairs, we at Ride Wild have had to change up our events game. In previous years we would have blasted our gathering on social media, but given the current pandemic and safety regulations, we decided to play it safe and keep this gathering quaint. Instead of hosting large-scale events, we’ve focused on developing smaller activations we call Tribe Events (which you can read more about on Woman Rider here). As for our Oregon excursion, we joined forces with our friends at Polaris Adventures and Outriders Northwest to host an intimate Tribe Event in the beautiful backcountry of Bend.
Just like that, the morning of our offroading adventure arrived. That day was definitely one of the most exciting ones of the year for me, and I remember feeling (and still feel) incredibly blessed that our group was able to play outside! So many places in the United States – let alone the world – have closed recreational parks; lucky for us, the Deschutes National Forest remained open to exploration. After a safety debrief from our guide Nick at Outriders Northwest, our group planned a route using Ride Command (a sweet ride planning app and tracking tool by Polaris Inc.). Just like that, we were dialed in for a full day of riding! We grabbed the keys to our Polaris RZRs and headed into the backcountry.
Our offroading tour brought us to two of the most beautiful places in Oregon: Lava Lands in Deschutes National Park and the Bend Badlands. As a U.S. Forest Service authorized operator of “Side-by-Side” off-road guided tours, Outriders Northwest was able to guide us to some of the most unique places available. Our half-day tour on the Polaris RZR’s (4WD off-road vehicles) allowed us access to some of the coolest outdoor landscapes I’ve ever seen!
We spent hours getting lost in the words and adventuring to Sugar Pine Butte, Bend Badlands, and the Lava Lands of the Deschutes National Forest. Each person in our group took turns leading the pack…the only way to ensure that each of us came out of the adventure with an equal dirt tan.
This was my first time visiting Bend, and you can bet I’ll be returning soon. I fell in love with the people of this community and the outdoor culture that it celebrates!
Just a heads up to any of you reading this who feel inspired – these all-inclusive tours are open for everyone to experience! Outriders NW is a locally-owned, family company celebrating over 5 years of sharing the beauty of Bend, Oregon with guests. If you’re interested, make sure to contact them to set up an adventure!
Our Polaris Adventures experience was incredible, and we all left that adventure feeling refreshed, empowered, and completely covered in a layer of dirt. Amazing!
Ride Wild recently launched their new series called “Tribe Events,” which are small scale activations oriented on mindfulness and ridership. Read more about them here.
If you’re interested in participating in a Tribe Event, and/or interested in hosting an event in your local area – please reach out to Ride Wild at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about Ride Wild, subscribe to Ride Wild’s email newsletters and follow along on social media!