Punk Bike Enduro: XX Edition

The nerve of those firemen! Tearing down the Dorseyville fire hall on the eve of the 20th Annual Punk Bike Enduro, leaving the venerable event without a convenient and cozy clubhouse in which to congregate (and leaving the organizers scrambling for an alternative venue).

"Time for Plan B," to quote the Saturday morning cartoons. Hey… the Pittsburgh Harlequin rugby club has a hall for rent, and it’s super-close to the moto trails. There’s no kitchen, but that’s nothing that an army of crockpots can’t fix. Easy to get to and plenty of parking. Bonus!

OK, we’ll have to come up with a new course layout, no biggie. It’s not like this this is the first time that the Punk Bike has moved on down the road. BACK IN THE DAY (you knew that was coming) before DRHQ moved to Dorseyville, there was the old Verona/Rosedale course, with it’s dreaded Plum Creek crossing in the middle of the race. And before that, there was Springdale (he says with misty eyes). Time to roll with the punches and scout yet another Punk course.

Change is inevitable, exciting, and often the progenitor of epiphanies. Like when the Head Cheese screeched to a mid-scouting-ride stop on a hilltop, surveyed scene and proclaimed: "As long as we’ve got to change the course, I’d like to keep the entire route on THIS side of Route 910… stay in the woods, and off the roads, as much as possible." The challenge was issued. And accepted.

punk bike enduro hand drawn map

punk marshals

Spending a month’s worth of Sunday mornings scouting motorcycle trails, scribbling crude maps on the back of ginger snap boxes, and ticking off the number of false turns where marshals would be needed to keep the flock from becoming little lost lambs—that’s just plain good for the soul. Following in the tire-prints of the pen-and-paper trailblazing crew was a crack team from Washington Heights with GPS units and all sorts of computer graphic gee-wizardry. Wow, 20 years of Punk Biking and we finally have a legit map for the event. Look out baby, cause I’m using technology.

punk bike map 2009

According to the definitive authority on this subject, How to Host a Punk Bike Enduro by Maurice Tierney, there is an alternative method, other than a top placing in one of the race stages, to score points: "Another way to get points is to find a punk in the woods. We print punks on 8 1/2 x 11 postcard stock, laminate them, and tie them to trees in the woods. If you’re going slow enough, you jump off your bike, grab the punk and get points."

Finding one of the precious punks also scores the finder a collectable keepsake. Over the years, the various versions of the punk graphic have been inked by various Dirt Rag luminaries—art contributors and past art directors—adding to these punk’s collectible and sentimental value. The twentieth anniversary graphic may be the punkest of all, as it was created by a fellow with no artistic training whatsoever—a poetic parallel to the truism that the seminal punk bands were formed by freaks with no musical training whatsoever. Hey! Ho! Let’s go!

punk art 2009

A frosty and overcast day dawned on Pundom’s race day. But by the time the stage one derby kicked in, the sun had burned through the haze and started the mercury creeping up into the mid 30s. The hard overnight freeze had firmed up the trails nicely, making for good grip—at least in-between the ice capped, motorcycle-carved lagoons which were  just begging to be shattered by knobby tires.  Riders were grinnin’ and groovin’ on the more-compact course layout, with its two strategically-placed Tröegs beer stops— and some of the raddest moto trails in the Pittsburgh area. As the clock struck 5 o’clock p.m., the last sweep rider rolled into the finish line of the 11th and final stage. She’s in the books! Out of the woods before dark and nobody went to the hospital. Success!

punk ruthie

Congratulations to the hard-charging racers who led the way through each of the 11 stages. It looked like they were having as much fun as the sea of humanity (and three canines) that followed the competitors’ tire tracks, albeit at a more recreational pace. But speaking of racing… We got computers, we’re tapping phone lines, wet got results on spreadsheets.

Girls Results – 2009 Punk Bike Enduro

  1. Lee-Ann Beatty – Pgh, PA
  2. Ruthie Cuningham – Pgh, PA
  3. Sharon Leavitt – Pgh, PA
  4. Lauren Mika – Pgh, PA
  5. Erika Kopanic – Pgh, PA
  6. Shara Klevens – Pgh, PA
  7. Becky Iden – Hermitage PA
  8. Eryn Hughes – Pgh, PA
  9. Kelsi Randall – State College PA
  10. Suzanne Atkinson – Pgh, PA

Boys Results – 2009 Punk Bike Enduro

  1. Montana Miller – Greensburg, PA
  2. Matt Ferrari – State College. PA
  3. Chris Beech – Pgh, PA
  4. Duch Hammer – Boyertown, PA
  5. Alen Damato – Pgh, PA
  6. Tim Heck – Pgh, PA
  7. Stick – Pgh, pa
  8. Patrick Wallace – Ellicottville, NY
  9. Evan Gross – Huntingdon, PA
  10. Rob Lochner – Pgh, PA
  11. Rick Lithgow – Pgh, PA
  12. Jay Blews – Home, PA
  13. Buau Smith – Slippery Rock, PA
  14. Dennis Baldwin – Ellicottville, NY
  15. Chuck Leavitt – Pgh, PA
  16. Jeff Blood – Pgh, PA
  17. Richy Rich – State College, PA
  18. David White – Pg.h PA
  19. Jamie Bock – Boyertown, PA
  20. Tim Mould – Pgh, PA
  21. Topher – Man of the World

What was left of the Tröegs supply fueled the after-party and soothed riders’ aches and pains. Elizabeth Kelvens hand-crafted unique 20th Anniversary stained-glass plaques and presented them to Maurice Tierney and Lee Klevens, as the only persons who can claim  20 years of punk participation; Mike Louder, who has 19 years in the books; and Bob Bannon, who steps up and  sweeps the course every year (and is up to 17 punk-years by his own count).

Linkage? I gotcher linkage right here:

More photos galleries are in the works, including a little sumpin’ sumpin’  for the Dirt Rag Facebook page, so check there, and/or in the comments section below for updates on new photo postings as they become available. If you have a blog and/or gallery with your take on the 2009 Punk Bike, feel free to drop a link in the comment section below. If you were at the event, and want to share your comments—let ‘r rip!


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