Becky Goebel and I grew up in the same town, but it wasn't until more recently that we've become more than just hometown-homies living in the big city. Over the past four years our acquaintanceship has grown as we've played on a beer league softball team, and at one point almost became roommates due to two perfectly timed breakups. Despite all that, I've never had a true sense of who this girl really is but have been intrigued by the snippets I've observed on social media. It soon became clear that the timing was right and we met on a rainy day in December. Becky is as chill and laid back as they come, but there is more to her than first meets the eye. Dig a little deeper and you'll find underneath she's a fire cracker. Just one look accompanied by that sly smirk and you'll know she's not messing around- this girl is up to big things.
TYKES AND TRIKES
"I’ve always been super into motorcycles. My dad is big into bikes. He and his friends had a band and they used to come over to our house in Saskatchewan and jam in the garage. I always looked up to them growing up and thought they were really cool.
I’ve always just been into driving things. I got my first car before I even had my license. I had a motorcycle in high school that I could just rip around on but it wasn’t until I moved to Vancouver five years ago that I really got started. I rode a scooter the first two years I lived here and got really comfortable riding around the city. It got to the point where I needed something bigger, so I bought my first bike, a 1982 Suzuki GS 450. It was a piece of shit, like a complete piece of shit, but my friends and I fixed it up. Since then, I’ve been hanging out with people who influence me with their motorcycles and lifestyles which has led me to try new kinds of bikes and thinking about what kind of bike I want next.
IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN DO IT
The Dream Roll is an all-woman’s motorcycle camp trip in the Pacific Northwest that Lanakila MacNaughton and I came up with two years ago. Lana's from Portland and takes photos of women riding motorcycles and showcases them in her traveling exhibit, the Women’s Moto Exhibit. Her career started online through Instagram, and now she just travels and exhibits and takes photos of women riding. That’s how I met her initially, as I was helping out with her exhibit at the Harley Davidson dealership here in Vancouver. I was super stoked to meet her, as I used to tag her in all my photos just to get her attention so she would notice me. It wasn’t until we met in person that I realized she was around my age and we were kind of similar. That weekend we ended up spending a lot of time together and became friends.
We got the ball rolling and ended up making it happen. It was actually around this time last year we were talking numbers and specifics. We estimated we needed enough land to host around 150 girls. We launched the website, put it out on Instagram and within 3 weeks we had sold 150 tickets! At that point we were like, gotta get more porta-potties (laughs). In the end we sold about 400 tickets, which was so exciting.
THE DREAM ROLL
When you first roll in to the grounds, it just opens up to this huge clearing after riding through all these trees and skinny, winding roads. It’s such a cool feeling. The land it’s on is actually a 16 mile long abandoned airstrip. I’ve lived on Vancouver Island and in Vancouver, and ridden all around this area, and honestly, that is like the nicest place I have ever been. I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw it, there's volcanoes and huge crater rivers with cliff jumping and waterfalls and open fields and like cows walking around on the road.
As you arrive, a photographer takes your photo and there’s all these girls there and I think that right off the bat you’re like” Hell yeah, I just rode this far to get here”. Girls came from all over; girls rode from New York and Texas, and two girls flew from Australia. Each time a girl rolled in and you saw her face, it was like, "Fuck, yeah, where did this chick come from?" She’s got like a map taped to her gas tank and you want to know her story. It’s a real Sisterhood.
For me, it was the most tiring but exciting week. There’s so much setup that goes into it and many sleepless nights. Seeing it all happen though, that’s what I live for; watching it all go down and girls meeting each other. The first night I honestly thought everyone would be chill, they had just rode so far, but we had this DJ (he was the only dude at the event) and at first girls were like “why is there a guy here?” but he started playing good 90’s music and stuff like Spice Girls and Missy Elliot. Girls were into it! Dancing, tarps off, just givin’ ‘er and I was just standing there amongst a huge dust cloud from the dance floor and was like, this is wicked.
This year, The Dream Roll is August 12-14th and we’re having it at the same location that we did last year at the Flying L Lodge right at the base of Mt. Adams in Washington State. Last year when Dream Roll actually happened we had about 6,000 Instagram followers and now we have around 18,000. So we definitely have spread the word and I don’t really know what to expect to be honest!
Before all this, especially in high school I was very influenced by guys and snowboarding in general. All my friends were dudes and all the people I looked up to were guys, I’d always backed away from being friends with girls. In the past two years, things have really changed for me as I’ve realized how many awesome girls there are out there. Just seeing the different things that they can do is really inspiring and an event like The Dream Roll brings out girls from all different backgrounds. Even them taking time off work to come to The Dream Roll and ride that far, it shows you that girls can do anything. Now I’m very supportive of my fellow females and I really realize that you should be able to do whatever you want to do. I really support that feeling, and it’s something that I’ve definitely come to learn.
Since my online following has grown, I felt like a certain point came where I was almost obligated to join the conversation, make certain comments, and that got me thinking where do I stand? and what am I going to say? Lately I’ve been reading books about feminism and women in society and learning more because I don’t know really where I stand. All I know is that I need to know more. But, really it's simple: I support girls, supporting girls in whatever they want to do. I think it’s such a good thing for me, too. If I can change, I think that all girls can change (laughs). That being said, I still have a long way to go.
LADIES DO YOUR THANG
I fucking love Missy Elliot. I think it’s so empowering having grown up listening to something that you don’t realize at the time is shaping you. But now I'm like, damn, maybe that's where I get all this confidence from! (laughs). There’s this girl who I met this past year, she’s a Red Seal plumber who works with dudes all day but she’s like the hottest woman ever and also a motorcycle babe. At The Dream Roll, we're talking and she tells me she wants to be a stripper. And I was like why? Why do you want to do that? And she was like, “I want to show off my hot body” (she’s probably like 40 something) and she does it because she’s like “why not? I want to do it, I’ve always wanted to do it, I have a hot body and it’s a good work out. Why wouldn’t I want to do it?” To me, that is so fucking rad. You spend all day working on a construction site with hundreds of men and hold your own and then at night you strip. After she told me that it totally changed my perception, and really influenced what was going on in my mind. It's not that I want to be a stripper, it just solidified for me that if you want to do something, don’t care about what anyone else is doing and have confidence doing it. Funny, I was just listening to Missy Elliot on the way here, and she was like “girls, get that cash/ if it’s 9 to 5 or shakin' your ass/ ain’t no shame, ladies do your thang” Hell yes!"
Interviewed and photographed by Tianna Grey on 12.10.2015; photos otherwise marked.