Welcome to the Weekly Dirt, the best place on the Internet for all your off-road info. This week, we’re celebrating the wonderful American holiday of Thanksgiving, during which time families give thanks, eat three times as much food as we should and go shopping the next morning before the sun comes up. If that’s not a holiday, we don’t know what is!We have quite a bit of info for you this week, so let’s just jump right in….
The biggest news this week is that Taddy Blazusiak proved that he is the baddest EnduroCross racer on the planet by bagging an incredible perfect 2011 season with a double main event win in Las Vegas last Saturday night. By winning every main event he entered-and winning them with ease, I might add-the speedy Polish racer made it clear that if anyone wants to win at EX, they’re going to have to get through him first! Other notable stories from the weekend were Mike Brown racing while under the weather and still going fast as heck, foreigners Jonny Walker, Chris Braunde and Jeremy Jolle coming over to put in some impressive rides, and the first ever EnduroCross backflip courtesy of Braunde on a trials bike during openeing ceremonies. All is all it was an amazing year, and we can’t wait to see what the 2012 season brings!Here’s an interesting Op-Ed by Don Amador, the founder of the Trail PAC:Opinion on Events at Sierra Club and The Wilderness SocietyNot since the radical departure of Dr. Patrick Moore from Greenpeace in the mid 1980s has the green lobby been rocked by two large seismic events. Last week, Carl Pope resigned from the Sierra Club and The Wilderness Society cut their staff by 31 percent.
According to the LA Times, the departure of Carl Pope, 66, chairman of the club and a member for more than 40 years, comes as the nonprofit group faces declining membership, internal dissent, well-organized opponents, a weak economy and hostile forces in Congress trying to take the teeth out of environmental regulations.An E&E News article stated The Wilderness Society has reduced its workforce over the last year from 224 to 155. In addition, the Washington, D.C.-based group, which currently runs on a $26.7 million annual budget, cited reduced donations amid a sluggish economy as one reason for the cuts.The Trail PAC believes the “trail-access tides” are turning in Washington D.C. and in many other places in the country. Sure there will be many tough political battles ahead in 2012. However, TPAC plans to be in that fight ensuring that pro-trail federal candidates have the support they need to win elected office.While most of the off-road world was playing around in Vegas, the Johnny Campbell Racing Team of Kendall Norman, Quinn Cody and Logan Holladay sealed another chapter in Baja racing history this past weekend by securing the overall victory in the 44th Annual Tecate SCORE Baja 1000 desert race. Armed with the No. 1x JCR Honda Racing CRF450X, the three riders covered the exceptionally rough and rugged 705-mile course in the fastest time of all 278 starters in the race to give Honda its 22nd overall motorcycle win in the world-famous Baja 1000 race, and also its 15th consecutive victory. It was the sixth overall career Baja 1000 win for Norman and his fifth straight, while Cody picked up his fourth career Baja 1000 overall motorcycle victory and his third straight. For Holladay, a Hollywood stunt rider, it was his first SCORE Baja race win.
David Pingree has a pretty cool special offer going on in conjunction with his Motocross 101 instructional DVD. Here’s the scoop: For the next 30 days Pingree will be drawing a winner every seven days for a weekly prize pack from companies like Braaap Energy Bar, Renthal, Pro Circuit and Troy Lee Designs. On December 20th Ping will pull a name for a grand prize, an Epic HD helmet camera, which will make it to your house just in time for Christmas. All you have to do to be eligible is go to www.motocross101.com and buy a copy of Ping’s instructional riding video.If you have no idea what Motocross 101 is all about have a look at these trailers for the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LdE5ZLURU_0, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZNWTyEhQNiAIf you simply can’t wait for the DVD to show up in the mail you can also go to iTunes and purchase the video there in its entirety. Motocross 101 by David Pingree. Keep in mind, purchasing from iTunes you won’t be eligible to win any of this cool stuff.One of Southern California’s most famous tracks has undergone a serious overall, and it’ll be open to the public soon! The ‘new and improved’ Lake Elsinore MX park will be hosting an industry ride day next Thursday, December 1st. Go to www.racele.com for more info.I hope that everyone has an awesome Thanksgiving and that you take advantage of time with family, vacation from work and great riding weather. Big wheelies! -Chris Denison
Thanksgiving time is, especially in the South and Western states, a big off-road riding weekend with family and friends. I’m no exception. It started with desert trips with my dad and brother to meet up with other fireman’s families who rode dirt bikes, ATCs and dune buggies. Later as racing became more important I was lucky enough to race in the last two Barstow to Vegas Hare and Hounds. With that gone due to environmental pressure racing friends from my club, Ventura County Motorcycle Club started what we called out Thanksgiving Trailride. It started out with about eight of us and after about eight years turned into about 100 riders, multiple rides and some crazy nighttime minibike races that attracted so many people the BLM tried to shut down the unorganized event because they felt there should be a permit for it. Now each year my rogue group of riding friends meet up at different places and ride around to see other friends camped out all over the deserts of California. Good times and really something to be thankful for.So what about that Taddy Blazusiak guy? Clean sweep of the EnduroCross series. He has taken years of trials skills and trained in speed to put together a style that is very hard to beat in EnduroCross racing. His ability to unplug and ride on the edge while still being so precise when it is needed is something that is difficult for other riders to attain. Yes kids, want to be an EnduroCross champ (or a better rider overall) get a trials bike and train!On the land use front, dust floated into the political picture. Those in the know, people involved in the land use debate, have seen the writing on the wall as Enviros will use any and every ploy to go after their one sided agenda. Somehow it leaked out that the EPA was looking at enforcing some particulate matter standards for agricultural dust. It even made news in political debates and on television commercials. Dust would be very difficult thing to be controlled in an OHV area so you know what that would mean? Yes, we are getting it together with the sound issue and waiting in the wings is erosion and dust. You’d better pay attention to who you vote for and how they do their job in fighting against this stuff.On the product front I came across something called Rescue Tape. This self-fusing, airtight, waterproof tape can be a real savior if you ever need to plug a hose. You stretch it, wrap it and it will fix some pretty screwed up radiator hoses. Visit www.rescuetape.com for more info.Last week I got invited on an industry ride with the boys at Fasst Co. out of St. George, Utah. About 50 hard-core off-road riders showed up to check out the shop where they make Flexx Bars and then go ride right out of the shop on some sweet trails with stellar views. Maxxis’ Mike Farmer handled the lunch stop and we got some pretty good photos of our 350cc four-strokes in action. All in all a great way to mix business and pleasure. -Jimmy Lewis
The gigantic Las Vegas EnduroCross weekend culminated in the AMA Racing Championship Banquet, where Russell Bobbitt was honored with the AMA Racing Athlete of the Year Award. This year, Bobbitt claimed his fourth AMA National Enduro title after a tight, season-long battle with factory KTM teammate Charlie Mullins. Mullins was also nominated for the award, as was Taddy Blazusiak, Kurt Caselli, Pat Smage, and Tyler Bowers. The AMA Racing Female Rider of the Year Award went to GNCC Women’s-class champ Maria Forsberg.
In a separate category, Source Interlink Media won the award for AMA Racing Off-road Organizer of the Year, for its promotion of the AMA EnduroCross series, and series founder Eric Peronnard accepted the award along with Lance Bryson. -Shan MooreThat’s it for this week, thanks for reading and have a happy holiday!