As soon as my caravan of cycling pilgrims rolled up late to the Promised Land of the Dorseyville Fire Hall on Sunday, I knew that it was a record turnout for the Punk Bike Enduro. A multi-colored mass of bicycles, punks, weird costumes and the vehicles that brought them here spread throughout the neighborhood, as I’ve never seen it before.

Photo by Justin

This, the 19th annual Punk Bike Enduro indeed proved to be the largest yet. More than 220 people showed up to race, ride, shuffle and drift through the muddy trails. The rain kept away this year, and the temperature was bearable. A thin coating of snow remained from a small storm late in the week, and it quickly turned the trails into a fun and dirty stripe of slippery earth after the first few dozen bikes passed along. Nothing these punks couldn’t handle and enjoy, though.

The party rolled out slightly later than normal due to the large number of people needing to be corralled. Yet we still had plenty of daylight to complete all 11 stages, including the double-length Up/Down stage. We weaved in and out of these trails, outside Pittsburgh for the better part of six hours. Beer stops were had, and hidden laminated Punks were collected.

The spirit of the Punk Bike Enduro has always moved many people to break into the Halloween storage box, or local costume store, to cobble together some sort of odd costume. That spirit was taken to the next level this year as Reverend Michael Browne, former Dirt Rag word-boss and current Trek Kool-Aid mixer, returned to town and offered up a flashy new Trek 69er as grand prize for best costume. This really proved to be a catalyst for people to get their weird on.

Photo by Justin

The dress ranged from the truly original “Girl Riding a Horse” to the borderline-offensive “Lawn Jockey” and from the “Kiss Duo” to the guy wearing an authentic pair of leather lederhosen…without underwear, according to him. I took his word for that one.

Thanks to everyone who did trail maintenance in the weeks before the event, the people who marshaled the course, those that kept score, the patient people who tallied the score, the companies and people who provided loot for the swag table, those who traveled from near and afar, beer, the Dorseyville Fire Hall and you.

To get the full-effect of the fun that was had, check out our Gallery for many photos of the day.

Until then, I present the winners of the 2008 Punk Bike Enduro:

1.    Paula Bitner
2.    Ruth Cunningham
3.    Chrissy Buerkle
4.    Sharon Leavitt
5.    Michele Johnson
6.    Amber Clark
7.    FU Cheerleader
8.    Becky Iden (tie)
9.    Elizabeth Klevens (tie)
10.    Teri Sage (tie)
11.    Tawny Wilson

1.    Matt Bell
2.    Todd Thorniley

1.    Rob Spreng
2.    Harlan Price
3.    Chris Beach (tie)
4.    Chris Ruhl (tie)
5.    Dutch Hammer
6.    Henry Spring
7.    Juan Martinez
8.    Tim Heck
9.    Dan Wilson
10.    Aaron Yeveza (tie)
11.    Jamie Bock (tie)

1.    “Pony Express” – Michelle Johnson
2.    “Kiss” – Beth Puliti and Justin Kline
3.    “Care Bear” – Dave Brunder (tie)
4.    “FU Cheerleader” (tie)
5.    “Scary Clown” – Keith Ridenour
6.    “Mohawk” – Juan Martinez (tie)
7.    “Clown” – Ruth Cunningham (tie)
8.    “Lawn Jockey” – Wayne Cunningham (tie)
9.    Dave Crack
10.    “Woman” – Adam Lipinski
11.    “Solid Gold” – Jamie Bock
12.    “Lederhosen” – Frank Elia
13.    Evan gets an honorable mention, too. Not only did he work and ride as a volunteer all day (atop a coaster brake-equipped bike), he managed to nail the Hunter S. Thompson aesthetic and persona, which included staying in character for about seven hours.