Early December in Portland OR, when the weather forecast calls for 20% chance of rain, it’s going to rain. When it calls for 20% chance of snow, it won’t. That is unless you’re building a pump track in a parking lot to race on. In that case, yes it most definitely will snow. Them’s the breaks, baby. Even though a light dusting of snow can shut down the entire city of Portland, it can’t shut down the fire in our hearts and the over whelming urge to get rad despite inclement weather. That’s why we teamed up with Fat Tire Farm to bring Dirty Doubles to the brave of heart, to the people who laugh in the face of danger, and the people who’d rather be cold and taking sweet jump on some bikes, than snuggled up warm on the couch in front of the TV. A lot of different kinds of people showed up that night and everyone had a common thread besides bikes…. they were all tough as fuck.
Let’s back up bit because we’re getting a little ahead of ourselves. The build…… oh man, the build. Usually, when we have a big event we have more than one day to construct it. Usually. This time, because Fat Tire Farm was hosting us and our track took up their entire parking lot and was in front of their door, we had one. One day to take three dump trucks of dirt and make a pump-ish track. Oh yeah, the dirt was frozen. Many obstacles faced us, but overcoming adversity is the American way, so with the help of our fellow Chromies we dug deep (literally) and got to work.
With the on site invention of the torch rake and the sheer will power of a handful of collective minds, Dirty Doubles became less of an intangible dream and more of a party rocking reality. Despite the cold, the track was built and it was amazing. The documentary about ghost baseball players, Field of Dreams, is totally true, “If you build it they WILL come”.
It was 20 degrees outside and people were chomping at the bit to get registered. Probably because they were beyond excited…. and probably because it was 20 degrees outside. A little from column A, a little from column B. Specialized donated the dirt jumpers to race on and Bern supplied the helmets. All the riders needed was $5 and if they win, they get everyone else’s race fee, one of the dirt jumpers, and one of the helmets. Winner take all. Once the list was filled we wasted no time and got straight to the racing. Two and sometimes three riders up in a no holds barred, rubbin’s racin’ kind of night.
There were some big crashes and thankfully everyone walked away, but when the dust settled Harley Henigson, winner of Subfloor Circuit and PDX Grand Opening Arm Wrestling Comp, beat everyone, once again, and took first place after a controversial run. He threw a couple of elbows, but we threw no flags so by our eyes, it was a clean run. The guy is a beast.
The temperature dropped into the teens, the racing was over, and Kyle Von had long since put down the mic, but the crowd was huddled around the fire recapping each race. Sharing their favorite run the, gnarliest spill, and totally ignoring the cold. Dirty Doubles was in the books. Never to be raced again. One night of a frigid shred fest is all this track ever saw. The next day, Fat Tire Farm had their parking lot back. We tried to leave only foot prints and take only memories, but we ended up taking a lot of pictures and leaving a layer of dirt. Portland, don’t go changin’, we’ll get dirty with you anytime.
race photos by: Kit Engwall