For the past two years my friends and I have been lucky enough to make the trip to the small town of Castle Rock Washington and share one of our favorite weekends of the year together, Dirtquake USA. Hosted by See See Motorcycle and Sideburn magazine, Dirtquake is a truly genuine celebration of motorcycles, friends, and racing.
Walking through the pits you'll see pro 450's, Harley Hooligans, the gnarliest choppers, hot rodded pit bikes, wheeling trikes, and the occasional snowmobile. Situated around the famous Castle Rock Speedway, the weekend consists of two nights of camping, pro and amateur races, a swap meet, a bike show, a TT jump competition, live music, midnight shenanigans, and of course the main event... Dirtquake!!!
The spirit of Dirtquake is not who wins or loses, but who has the most fun and is meant to attract riders and bikes that may not usually be found on the track. In one race, I saw a two wheel drive KTM 990 race a hot-rodded CT-70, race a smoking two stroke Suzuki. With several classes: choppers, ladies, pitbikes, inappropriates, trackers, hooligans, and trikes, you'll see everything and everyone you could imagine trying to turn their sled left. After entering last year on a borrowed bike, I decided to truck my SR500 up to Castle Rock from SF linking up with friends from Portland and Seattle along the way. Once through the gates we set up camp among vans, pitbikes and trailers seemingly jumping through a time portal to the 1970's.
Friday started with night racing and the Hooligan class stole the show. Riders wrestling thundering V-twins around the 1/4 mile track was a spectacle to see and hear. Saturday had thrills of its own with a midday style competition in which Jimmy Hill threw a real crowd pleaser with his no hands leap. As the sun began to set, trikes, side cars, choppers, and riders in elaborate costumes were all in attendance and Dirtquake was under way. Aside from a few crashes, the night went smoothly under the bright lights of Castle Rock and finished with the crowd favorite chopper class. Long forks, elaborate exhaust, and jockey shifters; I don't think flat track has ever looked so good.
While a lot of the action is on the track, some of the most fun you'll have Dirtquake will be walking through the pits and meeting racers, builders, and just generally all around cool people. With such a diverse range of the motorcycle world represented in one place it's hard to think of an event which captures such a unique flavor. With a slightly tamer feel then last year's late night pitbike invitational and nautical rodeo (never forgot the USS Newton), the party was still alive with several live acts and many bonfires to gather around. Like last year, I made new friends and experienced moments that I'll never forget.
One of the highlights of the weekend was sitting on the starting line for the 'street tracker' main. The sun setting in the late June sky, the stands packed with people, a Harley Sportster to my right, a crazy CB750 to my left, the track illuminated with glowing dust, and an announcer dressed as a clown. Just before the from-a-movie flag girl dropped the green, fire works exploded above and I had the largest the smile on my face. If you love motorcycles, this is an event you can't miss.
Big thanks to SeeSee Motorcycle, Sideburn Magazine, the MT. St. Helens M/C, as well as Tom Stein, Doug Lyon and Eric FIelds for the action shots!
Story by Erik Askin
Photo by Doug Lyon
Photo by Tom Stein
All photos taken by Eric Fields unless otherwise noted.