Wolves in the Wild

The First Annual

Wolves in the Wild

A Dirt Fellowship

Photos by Trevor Lyden, Chili Dog, “Grumpy” Greg Flack, Nic “U-Turn” Hall
Video by Samson “Rides With Wind” Hatae

When I woke up last Monday morning, I couldn’t believe we had done it. Since this wild idea popped into our heads last February, it’s been a stressful few months trying to balance regular website work with learning how to be “event planners.” What a learning process it’s been.

When we started The Loam Wolf, our goal was to connect riders together and reignite the stoke of riding bikes. Wanting to put our money where our mouth is, we created Wolves in the Wild to get people off the computer, away from the normal routine of life and remind us all what’s so great about mountain biking.

Like everyone, we too, get caught up chasing the latest trends, marketing gimmicks or waiting for race results, which is fine, but, we feel like our community has drifted away from the raw, gritty history of our sport. Back when rebellious souls made nature pilgrimages to get away from the squares and rules of the city and recreate together.

What made us fall in love with mountain biking was the experience, not the equipment. Those guys in Marin County riding modified cruisers prove that fun doesn’t only come wrapped in carbon fiber. And after watching from the sidelines last weekend, you guys did a great job recreating the birth of our sport and what mountain biking is all about, and for that we thank you!

Wolves in the Wild

We had riders come from as far away as North Carolina and crews ranging the full gamut of skills from beginner to world class professionals like Tyler and Cameron McCaul and Ryan “R-Dog” Howard. Whether they showed up in lycra or skinny jeans and a full face, our weekend family was the best we could have hoped for.

For our crew and most of the brands, the event started Friday as we set up the expo area and made preparations for the weekend. We wrapped up in the late afternoon and wrangled a shuttle ride to the top of Kings Castle for an industry shuttle that started the weekend off strong! I’m glad we did too, cuz it was the only ride I got in that weekend!

Wolves in the Wild

As weary mountain bikers from all over the U.S. trickled into the Horse Creek Lodge to set up camp on Friday night, we knew shit was about to get real. The lodge had a large meadow for group camping, and scattered spots in the trees for anyone wanting shelter from the main drag. The ability to camp surrounded by people or walk into the woods to find your own secret slice was really cool. We also enjoyed walking down the dirt road and cruising through the field to check out all the rigs, there were definitely some sweet set ups!

By the time the sun rose on Saturday, the last of the brands had their tents set up, and everyone had checked in and received their free goodie bag with a Wolves in the Wild t-shirt, custom engraved Drink Tank, Bike Armor bike guard, some random goodies and discount codes up to 40% off from participating brands.

Wolves in the Wild

The sound of the diesel engines filled the woods as the Horse Creek team fired off the eclectic batch of shuttle rigs to get the day of riding going. It didn’t take long for people to start making their way through the pits and up to the shuttle staging area. Bell, Schwalbe, Spēd Precision, Spank and Trek were all on hand with demo products for people to test out. Whether it was a brand new Trek bike or a carbon wheelset sporting fresh Schwalbe tires, people got a chance to sample the best of the best out in the dirt. Even the 10 Barrel crew took to the trails, leaving the free beer garden to be a self-service venture. We’re all about a no rules vibe.

In a matter of hours, people went from being complete strangers, to best friends. Riding some of the best trails Oregon has to offer will do that to you. Shuttle options were divided up into three rides. For the adventurous and fit, there was a 5-hour epic with almost 4,000 feet of climbing and plenty of amazing alpine single track as a reward. For the downhill oriented crowd, the vans pumped out shuttle laps on the Kings Castle trail, a fast single track with tons of fun natural features.

For those that came for the scenery, there was also a long ride that paralleled the McKenzie river with gorgeous views, a pass by the world famous Tamolitch Blue Pool and some waterfalls.

For the truly ambitions, you could add the epic ride with some Kings Castle shuttles for dessert. Having done exactly that, we’d recommend some serious fitness to hang on, especially if you’re following behind the likes of the McCaul brothers and R-Dog. Don’t believe the stereotypes, freeriders are still faster than you uphill AND down!

Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild

Without a doubt, one of the most powerful parts of this weekend was driving the Semper Fi crew back up the trail after they’d just completed Kings Castle. I heard Flip was going to attempt to ride the trail on his Lasher trike and in so many words, tried to suggest another option. I shouldn’t have underestimated these guys as trying to put a 3-wheeler down a singletrack trail is a walk in the park compared to what they’ve been through.

The bumpy 30-minute drive was a treat full of energy as they shared experiences and talked about how much it meant to them to have a goal to achieve and a team to work with. “People don’t understand how important that camaraderie is to us. We thrive when we have a mission to accomplish and a team of solid dudes to complete it with. We broke barriers today and it’s unbelievable that I just rode down that trail! I would have never thought that was possible,” said Flip from the passenger seat.

At the end of the day I heard from several riders who had passed the team on the way down and each one was equally moved by the efficiency, team work and dedication each Semper Fi member displayed as they supported each other. Thank you guys for coming out!

If you’d like to donate to an A-rated charity that helps get more disabled veterans outdoors, visit semperfifund.org.

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Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
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Wolves in the Wild

Of course as the sun set and the last riders returned to camp, the party was just getting started. After a warm up set from The Roof Rabbits, the games began.

We kicked things off with the 10 Barrel bunny hop contest. A field of 20 or so riders was narrowed down as the stacks of beer boxes grew higher and higher. Finally only two contestants remained. Brady Tweedy, and our very own Chili Dog. By the end, the stack was over three feet high but the two continued to battle it out. Finally at an unbelievable 41 inches, Brady took the win– aboard a 27.5 YT Capra no less! Nice work Brady, you smoked Chili and his cheater bike!

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Wolves in the Wild
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Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild

Next up was a little game called “stick it in the hole.” This two-person team race was entertaining to watch and the winners got some pretty sweet prizes.

The grand finale of the night, bike jousting, proved to be either the best or worst idea we’ve had in a long time. Our event insurance representative would probably go with worst. Two opponents rode head on with jousting poles. Whoever’s foot, or body, hit the ground first loses. Karly Kling took a dominating win, showing the rest of the guys in the competition that girls aren’t to be messed with! It was a well-deserved victory under the lights as she held up her prize, a new Bell helmet.

After the games ended and the band took the stage again, a solid crew took to the pumptrack for a rowdy night session. With light provided by a 50” LED bar on one seriously rad Tacoma and a recently purchased Husky LED tower, everyone took turns ripping the pristine pumptrack. The fun lasted long into the night, with the last stragglers finally retiring some time around 3am.

Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
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Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild
Wolves in the Wild

Camp was a little slower to get going Sunday morning, but the smell of breakfast burritos from the Greek Street food cart brought people to life. Soon the shuttles were back and roaring up the mountain, and everyone was set to sqeeze in as many laps as they could before heading back home to real life.

By the time the dust settled and the last car had left, we were overwhelmed. Our dream of bringing together our very own Wolf Pack had become a reality. Over 110 people from all walks of life and regions had come together to share their love of mountain bikes. The Loam Wolf was and is built on that very idea, and to see it realized in a weekend of good times was the best thing we could ever imagine.

Thank you to everyone who made this possible and we hope to make the next one even better!

These brands helped make the event possible! Our goal was to offer attendees a great value and keep the ticket prices low. Without their sponsorship help we wouldn’t have been able to rent the facility, port-a-potties, or shuttle vehicles. They were also gracious enough to extend some hefty discounts to all our attendees, so if you’re in the market for any products, please remember them and use that code! It’ll help us get them and even more brands back next year to make the event even better.

Bell Helmets  |  Trek Bikes  |  Fasthouse

Schwalbe Tires  |  Spēd Precision  |  G-Form

The Gravity Cartel  |  Bike Armor  |  10 Barrel Brewing

The Semper Fi Foundation  |  Drink Tanks

Wolves in the Wild

Overheard at WITW

The Loam Wolf Pack is strong and everyone came together to show us just how rad mountain bikers can be. It was an honor to organize such an event and hang out with you all. Here’s to the next event, we hope to see all of you there!

Video Recap Below 

“This event restored my faith in humanity.”
Awesome random dude

“It was such an awesome weekend, it’s amazing that we got all these people together for a common goal and there were no issues. There wasn’t any trash left behind, nothing got stolen, there were no fights, it was a special thing to be a part of and I can’t wait for the next one!”
Philosophical random dude

“I hope people understand how important this weekend was for us as a group.”
-Flip – Semper Fi Athlete

“Drew and the Loam Wolf crew put on an incredible event and we can’t thank all the vendors and local patrons for their generosity, kindness and including us in this amazing community. We made a bunch of new friends while overcoming some physical and mental obstacles, shredding some loam, and sharing some laughs! This was much needed for our service members.”
-Sam Tickle – Semper Fi Fund Associate Director

CLICK HERE FOR THE EXTENDED PHOTO GALLERY. PLEASE, FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD AND SHARE PHOTOS FROM THE EVENT  

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