Seattle Dual Sport & Adventure Challenge

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Seattle Dual Sport & Adventure Challenge

Taking advantage of terrain

After a long, wet and gruesome winter, Seattleites are left scratching their heads—"Why do the pothole rangers only fill half the pot holes in the city?"

The answer to that question came by way of an announcement by Seattle mayor, Mike McGinn, during a press conference held at the Ala Mode Pie Shop on Greenwood Avenue near McGinn's home in the middle of March. "Seattle is going to experience a race through this city like no other in the world."

Photo: A rider from the Mac's Cycle team is spotted practicing pothole avoidance near the SR 520 floating bridge.

Dubbed the Seattle Dual Sport & Adventure Challenge, the event, scheduled for Sunday, April 31st, will be a 2-3 hour race across some of Seattle's most rugged main streets, back alleys, and several single-track sections of the city.

"I, along with several other council members, have always been big supporters of change in this city and the SDSAC is going to turn some heads at just how progressive we can be," said Sally Clark of the Seattle City Council. "We've paid A LOT of attention to bicycles in this town over the last several years and it's time for motorcycles to have their day."

The event will utilize some of the worst roadways in the city, several of which are scheduled for repaving later this year, including Greenwood Avenue, 15th Ave NW, 105th Street and sections of 85th Avenue between Sunset Hill and I-5. The route begins with a climb out of the south side of Carkeek Park along a well-traveled hiking trail that follows Pipers Creek, and ends at Discovery Park after a two mile wind through the north end of the park across sacred Native American grounds.

Above: Mixed Media rider Emily Mercer crosses over Pipers Creek during a scheduled practice.

"The beauty of this event is that we will change the route each year, based on which roads we ignore the most, so the route will never be the same from one year to the next," notes Peter Hahn, SDOT Director. While the final route is not to be revealed until the morning check-in at the Environmental Learning Center at Carkeek Park, a number of participants have been scouting and practicing on several main streets and in the alleyways of Seattle's Broadview neighborhood.

Few cities in the world the size of Seattle ever have a motorcycle competition through the city streets. To keep neighbors and residents happy, the one stipulation in prepping the bikes is that all bikes must use their original USDOT approved exhaust system and measure at or under 83 decibels as per Seattle City Ordinance 25.180.70. Kent resident Bob Owen, who plans to race in the modified F800 class, had a little trouble meeting that requirement. "I threw my stock exhaust away the day I bought the bike in 2009. I ended up trolling through the dumpster in the middle of the night at Ride West BMW to find a stock pipe, and I did, so I'm on track to be there!"

Above: An unidentified BMW rider is spotted near the bluffs at Discovery Park

The single track sections may prove tricky to riders on larger bikes. "The switchbacks out of Carkeek are some of the toughest I've ever done. I have no idea how someone on a 1000cc plus bike will manage those," commented Tony Callen who will race with a Yamaha Zuma scooter. Jim Hyde of Raw Hyde Adventures wasn't too concerned. After walking the same stretch, he let out a resounding "piece of cake!" across the Pipers Creek ravine.

Public concern had been raised that the single track portions of the route may tread on Seattle's fragile salmon habitats. Christopher Williams, acting superintendent for Seattle Parks, issued a press release assuring residents and conservationists "... the two areas being utilized at Carkeek and Discovery parks are above the sewage treatment plants and there is no salmon activity in those areas—hasn't been for decades."

Registration is limited to 100 riders and is nearly sold out. A partial list of the participants has been released by the event promoter and it reads like a who's who in the local dual sport and adventure community.





Tim Bernard

Kawasaki KLR 650

Modified Mule

Happy Trails

Tony Callen

Yamaha Zuma 125

Modified Zuma 125


Brendan Ferrer


Modified Vintage Euro

South Sound BMW

James Hyde


Modified Big Bike

Raw Hyde Adventures

Jeremy Lebreton

Triumph Tiger 800XC

Modified Tiger 800

Alt Rider

Gregory Maust Suzuki SV650 Modified Street 650 Xbox 360

Tom Mehren

Honda NX250

Modified Japanese 250

Ray's Boat House

Emily Mercer Yamaha XT250 Modified Enduro Mixed Media

Tom Meyers

Honda XL600

Modified Vintage Japanese

Touratech USA

Ellen Palms

Ural Gear-Up Camo

Modified Russian Sidecar

Sound RIDER!

Jim Palms

Ruckus 250

Modified Dual Sport Scooter

Rider Wearhouse

Helge Pedersen


Modified HP2

Globe Riders

Dave Swezey


Modified F800GS

Cycle Wipes

Bret Tkacs


Modified Camo Baja


"With any luck, we'll get this moved to an AMA National status in the coming years and people from all over the world will flock to Seattle to see this unique event," noted Fox Mulder, a spokesperson for the event promotion company, Too Much Fun Worldwide.

Tom Rasmussen of the Seattle City Council who oversees road maintenance offered up good news for Seattleites. "Once this race is under our belts, I promise we'll get the rest of the pot holes filled in and we can all drive safer this summer. I promise! Heymaybe we'll even re-stripe!"

For final route and start times by class CLICK HERE

SR/Spring 12


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