Let us say that you're trying to figure out what to do with your Sunday. There are rides to be ridden and brunches to be eaten. Maybe a casual Sunday is more your style, where you get up, read the paper (how smart are you?) and then you sort of lie around drinking coffee and eating sweet pastries. Seems like a pretty great Sunday, easy. Then. that group text starts going around where one or two people are trying to convince the others to go check out this thing that they are into. Well, I'm here to say, if this thing they are trying to convince you of is the See See Motorcycles x Sideburn Magazine Dirt Quake — do it. Do not hesitate, just fold up your paper neatly and stuff it under your arm (that's the beauty of those things) and be on your merry way.
Well, that is exactly what we did one Sunday in June. Maybe that would have been a better title for this, "One Sunday in June." Maybe too heavy handed? Because heavy handed is not a good way to describe the antics that went down over at the Castle Rock Raceway in Washington. The cloud of dust could be seen for miles and miles as we drove up to the raceway. We parked the car, paid the fees and headed over into the rickety wooden stands that line the raceway...from there our minds were pretty much Dirt Quake'd into mush.
Now, I wasn't really aware what was actually happening until about the third or fourth race. Apparently the way this works is that some of the "actual" racing, or the ones that are closer to the "professional" ranks of the sport had raced the day before. Or at least that's what we heard. The real motocrossers and such. Glad we got that serious mess out of the way, bring on the amateurs is what I say. Then, on the second day, that holy day that is dedicated to leisure, the entrants are allowed to ride whatever is is that they got there on, or brought, or pulled out of winter storage. You see, the idea of Dirt Quake is to get everyone racing, and they mean everyone. In fact, their tagline, which probably hits close to home with anyone who's ever raced cyclocross goes something like "go back to work on Monday and tell everyone you raced your motorcycle." Or, the alternate version where you go back to work and tell everyone that you leaned real hard in your friend's sidecar as he raced his motorcycle.
Inappropriate Road Bike - we saw plenty of these.
Street Tracker - "needs license plate and working tail light."
Chopper - "it's got to be a chopper, bobber, or custom, baby."
Lady - best category of the day
Harley Invitational - Hog city.
Snowmobile - seems about right.
The races consisted of nearly every sort of costume that one could imagine. Danger Ehren in a white Elvis suit? Yes, that happened and looked glorious as he was whipping up a storm of dirt on every lap. Or a couple Evel Kneivel outfits with "Color Me Lucky" on the back of the helmet. Yeah, that we could do to.
Though the day was filled with bright sunshine, it was not without peril. Because what happens when you try to jump your heavy Harley over a gap in the middle of an open field with a hundred people standing around with iphones ready? You go big, that's what happens. And when you fail to straighten it out on the other side of the mound? Well, then everything starts hurting at once and you just sort of lie there for a while. At least till the paramedics come and drag you off the track. However, to his credit, he did get some sweet air, and everyone did gasp and clap at the exact same time.
The rumor mill was in full swing as well. Did someone really drag a boat through all that sand last night? And was that boat filled with party goers pretending that they were surfing the icy waters of some nearby lake? And did that same boat then topple over on a sharp turn, just as they crested some imaginary "wave"? Who really knows if these things are true but the folks that were there? But the whole thing just added to the allure of everything that was happening out at Dirt Quake. It wouldn't be a "quake" if no one got hurt.
There were bands of merry men strewn out in every which way. Hunkered down over crazy motos, either trying to get them to work or at the very least make certain that they were running. Someone said that guy flying by on the stand up motorcycle is Thor's brother and that he could possibly be crazier than Thor on a motorbike. A rumor neither confirmed, nor denied. But what was true was the amount of cool shit that we saw throughout the day. That and the short shorts never hurt anything. Although we did find out quickly that you couldn't buy those See See mesh back caps at the merch booth, those were shop only.
We kept our distance as we saw fit and moved in for the free cold beers when it was safe. Thor from See See Motorcycles was there overseeing the entire operation (and racing) from behind dark sunglasses and somehow his presence just calms everyone enough to keep the chaos in check. Thanks for that, Thor. We will be back. Next time we're bringing our friends but we'll try to leave the speedboat in the garage.