Wednesday, December 7

2011 Dirt Rag Punk Bike Enduro

Photos can and may be inserted at random due to the nature of the event and my spotty recollection of said event.

photo cred: Christopher Beech

Stage 1 was a derby. I've never done a derby before. The rules? Ride around in a circle, knock other people off their bikes, and when you put a foot down (or any other body part), you're out. Simple. With close to two hundred riders circling the parking lot, I was fortunate enough to not be a local, as they were targeting each other with precision. It wasn't long before the weak were destroyed (pretty sure I took out Missouri who will henceforth be Montucky), and there were less than 30 riders left in our circle of death. I had twice avoided the orange bike that had been launched ghost-rider style into the circle, but out of nowhere I was attacked by the giant Beer Monkey (Christopher Beech).

He grabbed me and took me towards the crowd standing outside the circle where he began to shake my bars violently. I thought one was supposed to keep their hands on their own bars in a derby, but I quickly learned rule #1 at the PBE: There are no rules. I succumbed to the monkey's shaking and put my foot down, happy I had made it that far, but bummed to be out of the running so close to the top ten.

Stage 2 started out with a giant climb. I had no idea what to expect as to the duration of stages or where we were going, so I held back a bit. The climb got steep enough that many folks were getting off and walking, but I wanted to climb it all. My efforts to stay on the bike garnered me a 4th place and 4 points, which surprised me... at the time.

photo cred: Christopher Beech

Since Stage 2 ended in a field of weeds at the kegs of beer.

photo cred: Jon Pratt

As one might guess, we kinda held up there for a little bit. After a very long while I noticed some riders going off and heading down the ATV trail. Not wanting to get left behind, I wandered around till I found my bike and hopped into the mix. I asked some of the riders around me if we were racing. Nobody knew. Before I knew it, we crossed a finish line for Stage 3. Fail. We were racing, and I totally missed the start. Meh. No points, no place.

photo cred: Jon Pratt

I made sure to pay attention to the start of Stage 4. I lined up at the front with Montucky, Strauber, Richie Rich, and a cast of characters that looked like they were ready to go. Richie Rich grew impatient waiting for the start, so he yelled "go." We went. I quickly noticed that I was sitting in third early on, so I made a couple attacks and fought my way to a 1st place for 10 points. It was easier than I expected, but I think I was catching on to something (to be explained later).

photo cred: Christopher Beech

Stage 5... I remember nothing, I probably rode in some mud, I probably had fun, and I ended up in 5th place for 3 points... and then there was some beer.

photo cred: Steve Harouff

Stage 6 was a lollipop out of the quarry. We went high into the woods and came back low. I saw a racer come running down through the woods cutting off a huge section of the course. He hopped onto the trail a couple riders in front of me. Remember rule #1: There are no rules. I ended up in 4th place with 4 points.

I got off to a shitty start on Stage 7. Being towards the back of the top ten, I was excited when I saw a punk placard hanging in the woods about twenty feet off the trail. Knowing that ten points were up for grabs, I dropped my bike in the trail and ran off to collect him from his resting place in the tree limbs. Upon returning to my bike, I found Montucky standing with a foot in between my frame and my wheel (rule #1). He delayed my progress and we continued to battle in a very unsportsmanlike manner all the way to the line with neither of us getting any points.

Stage 8 started when the mud bogging ended. I lined up at the front next to Montucky looking for the holeshot. Unfortunately as soon as the race started, Dirt Rag editor-at-large Josh Patterson's dog wandered out in front of me, and I bumped into him as Montucky got away clean. I made chase, but the gap was big and Montucky's desire to win his first stage was strong, although it was not meant to be. Four other racers had found it much easier to skip a small portion of the course, and Montucky's 1st quickly became a 5th. I ended up with 6th and 2 points.

photo cred: Steve Harouff

After the stage was over, Montucky was "gifted" a punk worth 10 points. I told him that if he won PBE with that "gift" he would end up guilt ridden and dead from a coke overdose like Marco Pantani who was gifted a stage of Le Tour by Lance.

He said, "Who's Marco Pantani?"


Stage 9 was the up portion of the infamous "up/down." Bascially, we were to run up a massive hill that was so steep that it was hard to stay upright and on your feet.

photo cred: Jon Pratt

I just walked up. No need to be in a hurry. Most of the other front-runners had punks by now, so the odds were even. No points, no place.

photo cred: Christopher Beech

Stage 10 went right back down the hill. We lined up fifteen racers wide just 5-10 feet from two "rideable" lines down the side of the steep slope. It was obviously gonna get ugly. The guy next to me suggested walking at the start. I concurred. I watched as a few riders made it down cleanly, but after that it became an avalanche of bikes and bodies. I know I stepped on a bike. I may have stepped on a body. Arms, legs, wheels, and all manner of projectiles were hitting me from behind before I finally made it to the lower portion where things became manageable again. No points, no place.

Stage 11 was mostly a long climb. I ended up in an uphill mano-a-mano derby with Montucky. He was pulling my brake lever as he rode by, I was cutting him off into the ditch. While we were goofing off, other riders were collecting points. No points, no place.

photo cred: Christopher Beech

Stage 12 was the final stage and certainly the most fun. Steep downs were the reward from the previous stage's climb, and even though I was moving at a decent clip, I still finished outside the points. It was a shame, as the points were handed out in reverse order and Montucky's 10th place was worth the winner's 10 points.

PBE final standings?

Tim (I think... came outta nowhere)

Throughout the day, it became more and more obvious to me that the most douchey way to win the men's class at the PBE would be to go out and dominate every stage. Nobody ever seemed to be giving it 100% all the time, as it seemed like such an uncool thing to do. One could gain much more respect in the peleton by cutting the course or stealing a punk than by the brute force of being all fast and stuff. The "racing" was all in fun, and the real winners were probably the people who skipped stages and just hung out in the woods drinking and taking photos. A festival of bikes, beer, and as much as I hate to use the word... fellowship. And along the way, someone wins.


My PBE post-pre-game tomorrow.


Chris said...

I'm so glad to see you can still pull off the John Lieswyn look in 2011. Dang.

And remember, "They cut the course. At this level, it's the least you can do to follow the course." -- Filip Meirhaeghe in "Off Road to Athens"

Anonymous said...

is that a "rapha" style costume ya got there?

dicky said...

Know, I would take a tat if offered. $10 at the swap meet.

Karen said...

That costume shows off the inevitable brown butt stain quite nicely. No use tryna hide it.

Glad you could come!