The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

TDS Enduro

Words by Dillon Osleger | Photos by Mike Oitzman

There’s a reason an invite to The Dirty Sanchez (TDS) Enduro elicits cheers of joy and instagram posts from elite level enduro athletes, why entries given via video submission are coined “Golden Tickets” a-la Willy Wonka, and why spectators line the course of this grassroots event held in a small town in the Northern California foothills. The TDS is a bucket list event for athletes and spectators alike, providing a course on par with many EWS events while incorporating a community feel focusing on good times getting rowdy with friends. This atmosphere is not something that is simply designed by an organizer, it is the result of organic growth stemming from a driven and passionate family (the Sanchez’s) encouraging friends to help design, build, maintain, and shred the countless incredible trails on their property while sharing a few laughs and beers.

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

Yes, TDS may be grassroots, but don’t let that fool you into thinking this event is all laughs and beer. The course is gnarly, the racers invited are some of the fastest and raddest in the world, and a top placing is as legitimate as any podium on a UCI sanctioned stage, leading to a hecklers paradise: Moto whips taking out beer cans, savage crashes, ass slapping, and good old flat out racing. Below I will eventually get to results, but foremost Ill try to showcase the beauty of this event that evokes the raw, gritty history of mountain biking, where the passionate few make their way into nature, away from the rules, squares, and city lights to celebrate that which we all share in common.

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

With riders trickling into the Sanchez compound throughout Friday, practice took a laid back approach, with shuttles back up to the staging area taken care of by a fleet of Polaris Ranger Side by Sides. While athletes seemed calm during practice, there was a certain amount of pressure everyone felt by the impending task of memorizing the fast and smooth lines (if they even existed) for 10 of the 12 stages that were to be raced over the weekend. To keep the field a bit more level for those athletes not as accustomed to memorizing lines, two blind stages were thrown into the mix, adding a sense of excitement and fear. Ending the days practice session, racers took to the freshly built dual slalom track for timed runs to determine stage seeding for the weekend. As a testament to the difficulty of the tracks, several athletes would not be participating in the weekends racing as a result of broken wrists, fresh stitches, and worn bodies.

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

Friday night was calm relative to TDS standards, with local band “The Happys” taking to the stage to play live music, getting the Sensus grips crew and Marco Osborne to dance. While the rowdy athletes, many sporting fresh mullets, felt the groove, an ever increasing number of athletes, spectators, and volunteers appreciated a roaring fire pit, RC car races, and a few people sending the whip off jump.

Saturday morning felt early, but fresh pancakes, eggs, and coffee brought out the fire in most people, with everyone seeming excited at the upper staging area getting ready to drop into the first of the days 6 stages. There isn’t much need to go into stage by stage results, you can find those via the results posted by TDS enduro. By the time the sundial read 3PM on Sunday, athletes had gone through 12 stages and raced between 30 and 45 minutes. In the same amount of time, the dozens of spectators present had shared too many laughs, even more beers, and dealt out some solid ass slaps to athletes hammering up the pedal sections of a few stages. Medics were kept busy all weekend, resolving issues resulting from tumbles into poison oak to tumbles into rocky creek beds. Fortunately, the grand majority of those exiting the medic tent were sporting smiles alongside fresh stitches, colorful compression wraps, or a few mg of ibuprofen.

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

The racing times were tight throughout both days, with the exception of Marco Osborne and Rae Morrison, who were both on rails all weekend, winning the Pro Men and Women categories by 25 and 50 seconds respectively. The podium awards were quick, but made sure to recognize the fastest Veteran racing, and the fastest veteran racing a handcycle and award them some sweet RC cars and Old Republic beers. On that note, the recognition given to team Semper Fi at TDS was incredible, heartwarming, and inspiring. The Semper Fi Fund is a four star rated non-profit organization formed to assist injured vets from all branches of the US Military and their families as they recover from injuries and transition back into civilian life. One of the ways they do that is to provide sports and recreation outlets (like mountain biking) for the veterans in their care via sports camps that teach recovering vets how to pursue recreational sports like mountain biking despite traumatic injury—many of the camp attendees are missing limbs or face other handicaps in pursuing a return to recreating as a civilian. At the behest of Sam Tickle, the Team Semper Fi MTB director, Team Semper Fi scheduled a ride clinic on the TDS trails immediately following the enduro. As an appetizer, the team attended the race, with several Team Semper Fi members racing the whole track and the several in Handcycles racing select stages. Seeing the racers let off the brakes and get loose down trails on their handcycles is an image forever ingrained in my memory, providing a constant reminder that hardships are relative, and attitude and perseverance can help one conquer any obstacle. Fear is just a state of mind.

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

Sunday afternoon celebrated these heroes, as well as the athletes that participated and especially the countless hours of hard work put in by the Sanchez family (Ron, Debbie, Casey, Tandi Bailey, Carly, Will Fogleman, Trevor Thomassen) and Mark Weir to acquire sponsors for TDS and make the ranch a mountain bikers paradise.

TDS is all wrapped up for this year, but put it on your bucket list and calendar to come out and heckle next time around. Huge thanks to the sponsors present, helping make this event happen and keep TDS Ron a little less stressed: Fast House bike division, Bell Helmets, Old Republic Brewing, Clif Bar, Wilderness Trail Bikes, Specialized, Camelbak, Dynaplug, Sock Guy, Ride Concepts, Transition Bicycles, Semper Fi Fund, Red Bull, Onyx Racing, Tecnu Outdoor, Modus Sport Group (Shimano), and so many others!

The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro
The Dirty Sanchez Enduro

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