Dirt Quake USA 2015
For the second time ever -- a Dirt Quake came to America. Sideburn Magazine and See See Motorcycle Racing joined forces to give riders and bikes of all shapes and sizes an opportunity to race for glory on the 1/4+ mile clay oval at Castle Rock Race track in southwestern Washintgon State. The track is known for corners that reward the brave and the raucous crowds it draws. Flat track has a long history in the area and the locals came out in droves.
The area is home to AMA Pro Flat Track stars Sammy Halbert, Brad "the Bullet" Baker, Scott Baker, as well as the legendary Joe Kopp-- all of whom have raced to glory on the track. Before the eruption of Mount Saint Helens in 1980, the track had been a premier stop on the Grand National Championship. Eddie Mulder won at Castle Rock in 1966, and many other greats scraped a hot shoe around the long turns of Castle Rock. This track builds legends.
This weekend might not have been part of a professional race series but the competition was tough. Thor Drake of See See Motorcycle Racing was on board a customized Harley Street 750 he built for the races that features the British Customs Shotgun Exhaust cleverly adapted for use on the new Harley. Up from California came the hooligan Harley riders Sean and Aaron Guardado of Suicide Machine Company, Roland Sands' Designs backed rider Helder Alvernaz, the Rusty Butcher and co., and the Speed Merchant backed team of Sean Wiggins, Taylor Dunfee, and Alfonzo Vasquez. Riding for British Customs were Wesley Case aka @Threepence on board the Ninja Turtle-green framed Bonneville/Scrambler hybrid "The Mutant" and Scott Rounds aboard "The Tribute."
The weekend started on Saturday with club racing. It was the season opener at Castle Rock and the Mt. St. Helens Motorcycle Club was on hand to kick off a summer of racing. Racing went late into the evening with multiple classes lining up at the starting line. Young racers put in their laps on mini-bikes and quads, the Pros went out on their 450s, and the hooligans got in some laps ahead of the official Dirt Quake races the following day. Wesley took out “the Mutant” and Gary Inman of Sideburn Magazine hopped on “the Tribute.” As the sun made its way down around the 10 o’clock hour, the lights came on and the mains commenced.
While the "Dirtquake" wasn't set to land until Sunday, the antics came out after the races on Saturday night. Mini-bikes, a skateboard ramp, and a boat were the props--the details of which have become lore on social media. The cast of characters in attendance took full advantage of the opportunity--leading Ben Part of Sideburn Magazine to state that the evening was in fact, "historic."[cycloneslider id="dqusa-attendees"]
The halftime show of the event consisted of a jump contest. Riders were invited to take on the famous table top in the TT section of the track. Thor Drake of See See Motorcycle Racing took out the Triumph he built for The One Show back in February. The bike features the British Customs High Pipes and a number of other tasty bits Thor pieced together to create a unique build.
As the racing concluded on Sunday, the trophy's came out and the crowds gathered 'round. Fan voting awarded the jump contest but the racing honors were all decided by the checkered flag (and Beetlejuice). Top honors from the days racing went to Helder Alvernaz aboard the Roland Sands Ameri-Tracker, Sean Wiggins on his Speed Merchant backed Sportster Tracker, and our own Scott Rounds on the #BCbuilt "The Tribute."
Special thanks to Thor Drake of See See Motor Coffee and Gary Inman of Sideburn Magazine for putting on the event; and to all the people that help these two pull it all together. Thanks to the Mt. St. Helens Motorcycle Club for hosting all of us at their track. Most of all thanks to the riders, fans, and friends that made all of this possible.
See See Motor Coffee in Portland is the go-to pit stop in Portland, OR. There you can find Thor building the next bike that will blow your mind. Sideburn Magazine is the worlds best #gofastturnleft media source with coverage on all the happenings in the hotshoe world.
All photography by Yve Assad.