The Dirtiest Dirty Sanchez

29 April, 2015

Photo: Abner Kingman

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro, probably one of the most polarizing names given to an event.  Many will not even make it to this second sentence due to outright offense at the naming convention of the first.  Somehow, this is the fourth iteration of the event that has slowly, yet surely, become everybody's favorite who's been lucky enough to race it.  Invite only, The Dirty Sanchez harvests only those already known to handle indecipherable wet rocks, red berms, wood lips, unrelenting mud, and an endless sea of Poison Oak.  That's only the riding part.  Mix in top heavy spattering side-by-side shuttles, the incessant sawing whine of motos, resistant shuddering generators powering stadium lights, an all-too-big campfire... Mark Weir, an RC course, RV trailers, media, haphazardly strewn Sprinter vans, racers, and nobody in a five mile radius to call in a noise complaint and you have one hell of an extended weekend.

So how does this fest brimming over with all too much good tucked away in a nebulous undisclosed location happen?

Simple.  One man:

Ron Sanchez, the nicest gruff guy or gruffest nice guy you'll ever meet.  The face of TDS.  Photo: Abner Kingman.

Well really one family actually, the Sanchez family - yep, hence the name, makes it happen.  You won't find a single racer that doesn't feel fortunate for their hard efforts either, I kept hearing cooing about not even a single lip feels sketchy, duuude and it's like I'm back in BC, only, it's better.  Even the rain couldn't keep the accolades at bay.

Chris Ravina, toilet paper, The Dirty Sanchez, and a whole lotta sloppy brown mud. That's inappropriate. Photo: Abner Kingman

Mud.  Eat your drivetrain whole mud.  Lauren Gregg even paid for a wheel chair accessible hotel room with a generously large shower so she could give her bike the soak down it deserved after day one.  We were all astounded, it's not allowed to rain in California anymore, what happened?

Sticks and stones will clean my bikes but mud will always hurt me.  Why?  Photo: Abner Kingman.

 But even mud didn't stop the shredding, there was business to attend to, a race to be had, as Jason Moeschler properly exemplified in a motion blur of delight:

Jason Moeschler ran a wisely chosen Warden / Vigilante tire pairing to a respectable 9th place finish despite the slop.

 Perfect hits kept Jeff Kendal-Weed happy:

11th aboard a Vigilante / Breakout combo, way to go Jeff! Photo: Abner Kingman

 Dane Peterson conquered rocks with his Vigilante tires:

Rock, wet, grime... Dane and the Vigilante conquer it all. Photo: Abner Kingman

And Ben Cruz seemed to alarmingly gain speed with every berm he exited, zinging him to a third place finish:

Ben gets it done, he isn't afraid of the rowdy lines either. Photo: Abner Kingman

But what's a race without heckling and where was the chief heckler himself?  Reveling in the delight of others' misery of course:

Mark Weir.  100% in his element, this photo is sooooo Weir.  Photo: Abner Kingman.

Yet his antics didn't seem to faze the master of poise and calculated smoothness, Jerome Clementz:

Jerome Clementz, calculated champion.  Photo: Abner Kingman

And the serious officials and serious rules couldn't seem to shake Cory Sullivan from suicide no handers:

Whoever said you can't live vicariously through racers must've been crazy.  Or wearing a mustache.  Photo: Abner Kingman

Cory Sullivan adding style to Day 1's runs.  Photo: Abner Kingman

But it wasn't just Cory that added style to what he was faced with, Rachel Throop awed all with her elegant style through even the most technical sections:

Rachel seamlessly puts lines together, it's incredible to watch.  Photo: Abner Kingman.

And Rachelle Frazer kept it together with keen concentration through the high speed sections:

You can tell Rachelle's spent plenty of shore time, steep wet rocks don't faze her one bit. Photo: Abner Kingman.

Yet despite the concentration and competition, fun was had - Lauren Gregg took fun all the way to a fourth finish:

Who said races can't be fun?  Well, this was practice, but it's impossible not to smile when trails irrefutably invoke delight. Photo: Abner Kingman

Wall rides usually help with the smiles too, Marco aggressively seared his way through this one:

Speed and power - Marco is absolutely fearless and there's a sheer strength that seems to hang in the air as he churns past. Photo: Abner Kingman

 Notice how over the front Marco rides, he shameless wants to go faster, until something like this happens:

I can't believe Abner was able to capture this but he did, incredible. Photo: Abner Kingman

Marco rode this out.  Ab-so-lutely crazy, it went on for what seemed like forever - pinging, bouncing, bucking, jumping slamming and finally back on the pedals, planted, pushing faster downhill.  Amazing.

John Waldron slapped a 36 on the front of his 120mm 29er and called it good.  No matter how rowdy the course got, Johnny made it happen.  Photo: Abner Kingman

Local ripper John Waldron had a similar bout with defeat, or shall I say de-seat, that he too triumphantly righted and maintained his composure.  Johnny is a junior at the high school two blocks down the street from us and is a stand up kid, who more than held his own with the pros atop a 120mm travel 29er, way to go Johnny.

And then, before we knew it, the race was over.  Time for side-by-sides to turn their lights on:

The Weir guided tour. Photo: Abner Kingman

Time for revelry:

Photo: Abner Kingman

And oh yeah, I almost forgot, time for podiums too:

Photo: Abner Kingman

Fast ladies - Joanna Petterson, Rachel Throop, and Teal Stetson-Lee, 1, 2, 3.

Photo: Abner Kingman

Men of menacing speed and mischief - Jerome Clementz, Marco Osborne, and Ben Cruz, way to go.

Photo: Abner Kingman

Somehow it happened again and we were all left in a state of wonder as to whether we'd really experience something so real.  High fives, high revs, mud, and good times - The Dirty Sanchez happened again and we couldn't be more thankful for being able to take part.

A huge thank you to the Sanchez family, all generous and kind volunteers for their tireless efforts, and fellow sponsors for making this event of brimming proportions possible.  It doesn't get more real than this.

See y'all next year.

All Rights Reserved - WTB & Abner Kingman Photography 2015

 

 

 

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