Dirt Quake! Oh, man, what fun. Did you race last year? I was there both days taking photos. I wish I could go this year, but I'll be in Oklahoma for a pro race. Here are this year's poster and a few words and pictures from last year.
The Dirt Quake event was crazy. They ran a regular club race on Saturday evening, followed by a huge party, and then races for "inappropriate" bikes the next day. There were lots of people there who wouldn't normally be at a race, and a bunch of them raced for the first time. Saturday night's party started just before midnight, with the announcer saying "We have free beer and live music starting in the pit area right now." Holy smokes. It only took moments for the impromptu pit bike races to begin, and just a few minutes later someone pulled out a plywood jump and bikes were flying over people lined up on the ground. The music and beer were planned. The mayhem that followed was totally unscripted. Beyond that, there were a number of minis, some cool motorcycles, old campers and cars. It was just a blast.
I'm going to skip the Oklahoma motorcycle race and do Dirt Quake instead. My buddy is going to race my kid's mini trail, and I'll bring the old Lil' Indian for a pit cruiser along w/another bike or two. Guess I'd better get a new starter rope.
Two weekends ago it was back to the races, this time at Castle Rock Washington for the Dirt Quake USA event. What a fun time!
This event is put on by Sideburn Magazine, and features flat track racing for "inappropriate" machines. Actually on the first day of the two-day event, they had most of the classes you'd see at any regular club race. But the following day was devoted to classes for machines that you normally don't see on a race track, like choppers, trikes and sidecars, and minis. There was even a snowmobile tearing around historic Castle Rock Raceway.
The event attracts lots of participants and spectators who don't usually come to the races. There were many tattoos and skinny jeans.
Lots of minis showed up. The organizers defined a mini as anything with a pull-start engine or a 3-speed auto clutch. No hand clutches allowed. I took my kid's Honda Z50 for my pal to race, and OldMiniBikes member Aranhawaii raced his DB30 and also had a Fox Campus to display in the chopper show. I had my Lil' Indian for pit cruising and my Honda Express for beer runs into the nearby town.
My pal John is a five-time amateur road racing champion. He gave up a bunch of power on the stock Z50 to other bikes w/big bore kits and loud pipes, but he was clearly the best rider. He would reel in the leaders on the turns, and they would pull away on the straights. The organizers gave him the "Hard Charger" award for doing the most with the least. John and Aranhawaii both finished mid-pack. We put the tire warmers from his road racer on the bike while it was in the pits and that caused a buzz among the other racers. The bike that won the Mini class was a CT70 w/108CC kit. It flew down the straights.
Castle Rock is known mainly as a TT track - a flat oval with an infield jump and one right-hand turn. But on this weekend they just ran the oval. Launching a chopper w/a 10' wheelbase over the jump would probably lead to no good end. They did have a jump contest during the day. Participants were judged not by distance, but on style, with winners selected by how loudly the audience clapped. They didn't launch any choppers, but even at that most of the bikes jumping weren't designed for that kind of stuff.
After the races were over there was a big party w/two live bands and a huge bonfire. It went on almost all night. What a time!
Here's my buddy John w/my Z50. We never did plug in the tire warmers:
The bikes that I brought along, before putting numbers on the Z50:
John (pie plate #1) got pole postion in his heat race for being first in line at sign-up.
Maybe the tire warmers made for too much traction. John got a poor start.
Mini class main event winner victory podium interview:
Honda CB750 drifter trike:
Drifter trike vs. snowmobile:
This mini came all the way from Canada:
Honda Spree chopper:
Real flat tracker. Honda CRF450 with a talented teenager at the controls.