Set up by Sideburn magazine and sponsored by Bikesure, the event was held at the Adrian Flux Arena, King’s Lynn, UK. Dirt Quake differs from most bike racing events in one crucial factor – anybody can race. Sign up, sort out a bike or just turn up on whatever you already ride, be it a sports tourer or a hardtail chop. This is democratic racing for the people, be they sane or otherwise. A friend of mine (riding the ‘Death Trap’ bike and a case in point regarding sanity) rode a Suuki GS500 whose budget all in was just 250 quid. But also lined up in the pits were Guy Martin and Carl “Foggy”Fogarty, both of whom ultimately came second to wild-haired bike scruffs steeped in the dust and grease of bikeworld. Several European riders brought their own brand of cool to the event.
There was no security on the pits, which were therefore crawling with bike fans, film crews and photographers official and unofficial. Even around the trackside, entering the no-go area immediately behind the barrier only resulted in polite requests to get back behind the fence. Every person I pointed my camera at grinned at me (if they saw me at all), and even in the midst of the heat and humidity, melting in their leathers and burning out from concentration, all the riders were friendly and gracious. With no separation between them and us, the famous and the imfamous, the creators of this wonderful scene and those that had come simply to take it all in, you couldn’t wish for a better day for bike people.