Biltwell 100

What do you say we head out to the desert with a couple hundred people and race a motorcycle race with the theme along the lines of “more smiles than miles?”

Biltwell organized a desert race for multiple classes of motorcycles and experience levels up to 100 miles and asked me to tag along and shoot the event. So I did.

The thing I enjoyed most about this three night, four day, weekend – was the people. Biltwell has such a diverse following and seeing everyone come together with nothing but smiles and good vibes was a pleasant outcome after such a wild year. I pocketed a couple cold ones and went for a walk-about to see who, what, where these folks were hailing from. There were grandparents out to watch the race, pro-level riders out to win, plenty of people who have never raced before, sober people, drunk people, tattoos, vintage bikes, dogs, babies, men, women,  and whatever else you can imagine, all in one desert zone. This is what it looked like.

Camp was pretty much park it and set up where ya want. So naturally, people circled their wagons with their groups which made for camp to camp walk-abouts a fun part of the weekend.

Some of the racers were camped along the pit area which made a good strip of people watching and jump from bike to bike type of scenario to see how people were setting themselves up. Different bikes, different rigs, pits, and just a cool vibe to see what people were getting into.

The race itself was so rad. Everyone was hootin’ and hollerin’ as they went by and with the majority of the experience levels being pretty minimal or early on in their race careers, I think most were just stoked to be coming around for another lap in one piece. Which was the goal for many.

There was a rubber band start for each class and age group which was all single row and about a 300 yard dash into a pinch point that started the first turn of many in what was mostly a two track or single track style course.

On one of the starts we had a pretty good tangle and I felt good about being right there to mainly make sure the two fellas were okay, but also snap a couple shots of the carnage. One rider went down in the chaos of the start and another couldn’t see him in the dust bowl and nailed him. Both riders walked away and carried on late into the evening.

The rest of the race went pretty well. Only a couple injuries and handful of broken bikes. Here are a couple of my favorites from the rest of the race. We had broken arms, broken bars, missing phones, broke off pegs, lots tool bags, bikes that didn’t even make it all the way around once, and people that took detours to help others. All in all, I think its safe to say everyone will be back next year.

After the race finished up, everyone reset, cooled off, grabbed their beverages of choice and stood around for the awards and jokes that took us in to party time that evening.

Thank you for putting on a great weekend, Biltwell.

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