Next to sex, drugs and rock & roll, motorcycles top the list in getting your heart pumping and the good times flowing. The Wild One (formerly known as Dirt Quake USA), is an event like none other, almost a Woodstock for motorcycle racing and shenanigans, and the whole shindig revolves around flat track. But the fun doesn’t stop there – nope, not even close.  We had so much damn fun that I don’t even know where to start, so I guess I’ll start at the beginning.

Castle Rock, Washington, is a small town in the middle of nowhere, about 70 miles north of Portland, in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, and Castle Rock Race Park, where the event was held, is a ⅜-mile dirt track with a storied history that’s been around since the ‘60s. Driving up to the event, along the lush, tree-lined Cowlitz River, I had no idea what I was in for. This was also my first time in either Oregon or Washington, so everything was new to me. The promo video below, is all I had to go off of for what to expect.

I pulled up the dirt road to the event’s entry, and the first thing the girl at the entrance booth told me as she leaned over my window was, “I hope you’re wearing your party pants, and did you bring me any beer?”

Over the years, I’ve learned not to show up empty handed to any sort of social gathering, so I reached and grabbed a fresh-out-the-cooler Yellow Jacket, cracked it open, and happily handed it over as if it were my price of admission. The fairy-winged / tutu wearing girl slugged it right in front of me – the whole thing. It was going to be a good day.

I was there to race, so I wouldn’t be enjoying any libations until after all that was over, unfortunately, but she certainly set the tone and gave me an idea for how the rest of the night would unfold.

The Pacific Northwest is one of the last frontiers, and naturally, the people there are a little different – but aren’t we all. They’re a little strange, and definitely weird, but in the best possible way. They embrace their eccentricity and celebrate it. Some really let their freak-flag fly, and they’re not ashamed – not those attending The Wild One, anyhow.

Below is more or less how the weekend went down…

The Wild One

Everyone was there for a good time, and they’d be damned if they didn’t find it. Unusual and ridiculous rides were a major theme at The Wild One. There were all sorts of different redneck-engineered motorcycles and motorized vehicles. It was awesome.

The Wild One

They raced all sorts of classes, and this was one of the Tripod Class entries, which allowed any sort of three-wheelers (or snowmobiles, of course). These are the same guys as above, but with a Honda ATC 70 three-wheeler doing the tractoring.

The Wild One

There was also the Ladies-Only class. No one was left out. Amongst the rest of the classes were the Choppers Class, Street Tracker / Street Scrambler Class, the Minibike Class, the Inappropriate Road Bike Class, where there were Harley Fat Boys, Trail 90s, Ducati Panigales, virtually any road bike. If it shouldn’t be on a dirt track, it was in. And of course there was the Hooligan class, the class I’d be racing.

The Wild One

This 1984 Honda Z50 was seen cruising around the event with a cooler full of beer on the platform at first, and then again later at the minibike races with a passenger, too. At the rate they were moving, they must have polished off that entire cooler, and then some.

The Wild One

Three-wheelers seemed to be all the rage that weekend, as there were three-wheel variations of all shapes and sizes.

The Wild One

We weren’t sure what this thing was, but it looked a lot faster than it actually was. But to the driver’s credit, she was a sweet lady in her 70s!

The Wild One

Ricky Bobby, on the other hand, was haulin’ the mail on his KTM 300cc-powered contraption.

The Wild One

Check out the staggered wheels on that thing. This machine was purpose-built to be flat tracked by its owner – very sketchy. Basically wheels, a gas tank and motor. What could possibly go wrong. Would you ride it? Hell, why not? Hold my beer…

The Wild One

One of the race’s flaggers. I told you the PNW was strange…

The Wild One

The Wild One

More three-wheeled fun. The guy in all white, that’s Thor (pronounced Tor), and he’s the event’s curator. He owns and operates See See Motorcycles in Portland, and he’s also the man behind The One Moto Show. You put on some truly wicked events, Thor! Oh, and that’s also a giant slice of pizza with ape hangers they’re riding on.

The Wild One

Thor again, making announcements from his three-wheeled soap box. This event wasn’t all about three-wheelers though, I promise.

The Wild One

It was all about flat track racing, and good times in general. But before all the real racing would go down, there was an all-veteran motorcycle parade lap.

And the National Anthem, of course. That’s me there, the 667 in orange. Like I mentioned earlier, I was there to race, and that’s one of my Roland Sands Design / Indian Motorcycle Super Hooligan teammates in the Evel Knievel suit, Jordan Graham. | Photo: Justin George

The Wild One

Given Travis Pastrana’s recent Evel Knievel tribute jumps in Las Vegas, and the general anything-goes spirit of the event, the costume was definitely the right choice for race attire (he had full leathers on underneath in case Evel’s powers weren’t enough to protect him. Evel was, after all, prone to crashing). Watching the cape flap in the wind as Jordan passed riders was epic.

The Wild One

Keeping the mood light and making us laugh all weekend long was our team mechanic and give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back type of guy, Andy Schmidt. He was actually in a big band called “Stir” in the ‘90s, and would make up crazy songs about us on the spot. They didn’t always feature the most polite language, either.

The Wild One

Day two was hot and it started with a custom build show. This bike here is a 3×3 with chain-driven power to all three wheels. God bless rednecks.

The Wild One

A near mint 1973 Harley-Davidson X90 Shortster two-stroke. Neat!

The Wild One

The Wild One

And then there was this thing, the Chevrolet USA-1.

The Wild One

Then came the jump contest, and yes, more three-wheelers. Check out the expression on that guy’s face!

The Wild One

Jordan (same guy in the Evel Knievel suit), was going for a heel-clicker, and almost got it, but this photo is just way better.

The Wild One

They called this contestant, “Headlight Guy”, as he was the only one with, well, a headlight.

The Wild One

There were even knights in armor sending it. That’s actually Andy DiBrino, MotoAmerica road racer and last year’s Super Hooligan National Champion. This guy knows how to ride a motorcycle…

The Wild One

The no-looker by Jimmy Hill, another ripper.

The Wild One

This was Jimmy’s last jump, and that guy ran out and laid down as Jimmy was approaching the jump’s takeoff. Jimmy, although not captured here, did a no-hander/no-footer and seemed completely unphased by it, though it was totally unplanned.

The Wild One

After the jump contest and before the rest of the evening’s racing, we took a trip down to the river for some swimming to cool off. There was a girl on a stand-up JetSki riding around and she would come by and roost/splash all of us – and she was a total Babraham Lincoln! Bonus points!

The Wild One

After, it was back to the pits, and we had all sorts of visitors interested in checking out the bikes. Here’s Andy again with one of our youngest fans revving up the motor on Jordan’s race bike.

The Wild One

The Wild One is all about having a good time, and we did just that.

667 – one up on the devil. It’s go time. Let’s do this.

The Wild One

Go fast and turn left, they said…

All in all, The Wild One was just that, a wild one, and I can’t wait to go back next year. What you see here is just a small glimpse, which actually barely even scratches the surface of the event. There was so much more that happened (a lot of which I’d rather tell over a beer), but hey, sometimes you gotta just live your life, unglue your eyeballs from your phone and enjoy the little things, the things that will forever live on in your memory as fond times. Motorcycles are an incredible thing, and they have the power to bring people together in awesome ways. Grassroot motorcycle events like The Wild One are popping up and happening all over the country, and most of them are an absolute blast, so long as you keep an open mind and don’t mind getting a little dirty.

Ride motorcycles, have fun.

Part II: We Almost Run into the Wall and Live to Tell About It… Coming up Friday