Three hours after I had left the Dirtbag Challenge I was still tasting burnt rubber in my mouth. While there I happened to be standing behind this bike when it’s owner squeezed the front brake and rolled hard on the throttle which sent the rear wheel spinning and the tire began to smoke. Classic burnout. A signature move and perpetual party pleaser at this self-titled “low rent chopper build-off.” Since I was in such a great spot I took a few photos but it wasn’t long before I was literally breathing motorcycle tire. Suddenly I thought I was going to puke and ducked to the background with so much haste that I might have banged into a few bodies on the way out. Even 24 hours later my olfactory system perked with a phantom sense of the gnarly stuff and I felt my face getting that “third shot of Fernet” look.
Aside from that? Fun event! Thee Merry Widows, a gritty rock band of mostly ladies, were on the stage much of the time I was there. I’m wondering how they fared with the burnouts in that alley space enclosed by high walls on both sides. Looked like they were having a good time and so was everyone else.
I ran into a bunch of the usual suspects; people from your local bike shops like Dave Stephanie of O’Hanlon Motorcycles, Rob from the sorely-missed old Ace Café on Mission/14th and riders from every corner of the Bay Area. Dante from the Scuderia
parts department was there and he got into the burnout act on his little XR100 which gave his audience of six a nice chuckle.
I saw a guy trying to do a wheelie with some kind of moped. Shockingly, the dude actually lifted the front wheel 3” for about a second. Shenanigans were afoot for sure.
Monkey Moto School had strong representation as, in addition to myself, our own ace rider-coach Sam Devine was present. Lucky bastard got to tag along on the morning ride that NOBODY gets to go on unless they built a chopper that year because he’s got journalist credentials and is writing a story on the event. I look forward to posting that here so check back!
Hundreds of bikes lined the surrounding block or so of Revere St. in the Bayview district. There were sport bikes, choppers, Harleys, touring bikes, dirtbikes…everything. I think I even saw a pink Buddy 125cc scooter. I’m a fan of that sort of all-inclusive crowd.
We motorcyclists do enough poo-poo’ing on each other when -more than ever- we need community solidity with the on-going debates over lane splitting, parking issues and overcrowded roadways. “Harley guys are douchebags,” “Beemer dudes are high n mighty” “people on scooters are clueless” “the sportbike youth brigade are a danger to themselves and others.” It goes on. None of that here at the Dirtbag. It’s pretty awesome to see everyone mixing it up with smiles on their faces.
Oh yeah, and there are some damn cool bikes that people have put a lot of work into building. If you want to enter next year or just show up for your free lung full of Michelin keep your eyes on their Facebook page starting around late September. I’ll be there and will make sure to show up early enough to get a tee shirt in my size.