By Mike (OldFart) Hetrick

Spode- An inept rider lacking in natural talent. This rider often thinks they are much better than they are.

Fest-Shortened from festival. A gathering of people of like interests where much joy and frivolity take place.

SpodeFest- A gathering of inept riders lacking in natural talent in which much joy and frivolity take place.

The author OldFart. It is hard to believe a bigger Spode could exist. Photo by David Jones

After reading the above definition, who in their right mind would proudly proclaim themselves a Spode?? Moreover, who would want to gather with a number of other ‘spodes’ for a weekend of riding?

Well, the truth be known, several dozen active posters and lurkers from the Internet Newsgroup "" do this very thing with some regularity!

With the advent of the Internet in general, and the Newsgroups in specific, more and more people with like interests are making friends that they may rarely, if ever, meet. Such is the case of the users of the newsgroup.

This newsgroup has been around for many years. Some remember it back as far as 1991 when it was primarily available to those users of the "UseNet" available primarily to educational institutions and via Unix based servers at many corporations. With the explosive expansion of home Internet dial-up accounts in the mid 90’s, the availability to the average person has jumped exponentially.

On any given day, you can find 100+ new posts roughly relating to the dirt biking hobby. It is fairly well divided between racers and race fans, and hobbyists. In general they all get along well with the a reasonable amount of good natured ribbing. On occasion, the dreaded flame war erupts and feathers get ruffled. Flame wars have a limited life span, and are more likely to occur during winter months when no one is riding as much as they would like.

Users of the newsgroup range from the former pro racer, to print magazine staff, to the average riders, to the troublemakers intent on causing problems. As a non-moderated newsgroup, anyone can post anything they like. And unfortunately some people do. This newsgroup has had the unfortunate spate of bad press in the print media lately due to some misunderstandings and malicious posts by ne'er do wells. Such is the price we pay for the freedom to express ourselves.

So what exactly is a SpodeFest? Well, the wife of one Festian put it roughly thus:

"A SpodeFest is where a bunch of computer geeks that ride dirtbikes talk about getting together to ride for a bunch of weeks. Then the get together and ride and then race home to their computers to talk about the ride for a bunch of weeks"

While in general an accurate, if unflattering description, there is a lot more involved.

SPODES!!They are so spastic they missed the high five! L to R DJones, RBTBone, DirtCrasher, Idaho Dano, TazSpaz, Kevin Unthank, SpudFest 98. Photo by Karen Jones

While Internet rides have taken place for some time, the first official "SpodeFest" that this writer can verify took place in Atlanta, Georgia in the fall of 1997.

Part of the original Atlanta SF Crew. Photo by Ghost Rider

Shortly after this SpodeFest, SF's were held in Colorado, Oregon, and California.

The Colorado Crew. Photo by Richard Matthews

The NorWest folks, (11/97). Photo by David Jones

And with these Fests came the power of the Internet to take any interested party there. One way has been the swapping of bold lies and claims made by participants on RMD. The other has been the setting up of homepages for each SF. The original Atlanta SF homepage can be found at The Colorado page is at, and the Northwest page is at

What a typical SpodeFest is not, is typical. While all Fests have a variety of terrain and events, they all have one thing in common. A bunch of guys and gals that love riding getting together and having fun!

I have only been to one SpodeFest, so I will chronicle this event for you in this article. If you are interested in other SpodeFests, then log on to and see if one is happening near you. I know that there was one in Michigan the same weekend as the Idaho Fest, and a Texas SF in the works (October 16-18). Come on out, have some fun, and meet some great people!

I sent out a little questionnaire after the SpudFest 98 and I am pretty sure that the answers I got back were typical of most of the Spodes that attend these events.

"I for one, don't have the friends that ride anymore. I was considering giving up dirt riding just because of this reason. That's why I street legalized my bike. As I found RMD and the riders in my area that I could ride with, it kinda turned things around for me. I have ridden with more people this past year than before. Even though I don't ride all the time with the RMD group, I can count on it at least once a month.

I totally enjoyed myself at the Idaho SF! It was above and beyond of what I expected. Honestly I didn't know what to expect when headed 800 miles away. Is the SpodeFest all about riding itself? To me, it's not. Of course the riding is great, but where else can you go and spend a weekend with a bunch of nit-wits that love the sport of dirt/off-road motorcycles? Chat/bench race, call it what you want. All these people have a common thread that you share. Some riders are better than others, but that doesn't matter at these events. I go to be with good company, no matter what their riding abilities are. We're here for a good time right? Some people might get a little competitive, but it all seems to be in fun.

Besides, where in the hell can you go 800miles to meet people that you don't even now? And have a blast..." TazSpaz (Dave Arndt)


The birth of the Idaho SpudFest (a derivative of the term SpodeFest that plays upon Idaho's potato fame) can be traced directly to an innocent comment made by David Jones at last year's Gathering in Oregon. He said, "Shoot, I'll sponsor one next year in Idaho." Dennis Kennedy of Corvallis, Oregon didn't take it lightly, nor did he forget it. While Dennis is directly responsible for germinating the seed David planted, OldFart, and Jack Scott had toyed with similar thoughts on their own. But the true re-birth comes from Dennis, who in response to a post on RMD (as is commonly abbreviated to) calling for another North West SpodeFest said "Hey, how about a SF in Idaho?"

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The Idaho SpodeFest (SpudFest 98) camp site. This photo is taken looking out the door of the crapper. No, those aren't the mountains, those are the foothills BEFORE the mountains.Photo by Kevin Unthank

Yep, it is as simple as that! One post to reply to another and an unstoppable chain of events is set in motion.

Last years NorWest SpodeFest was held just outside of Bend, Oregon at a place called China Hat. It was organized by YamaDawg (you will get used to the 'handles' after awhile) sometimes known as Jeff Syslo. A roaring success, it was agreed by all in attendance that a repeat was a must.

YamaDawg. Organizer of the 97 NorWest SF.

Rising to the challenge of organizing the Great Idaho SpudFest was one of the RMD regulars DJones (David Jones). David was a natural for this task as he is an active member in the Treasure Valley Trail Machine Association. The TVTMA is the premier trail riding club in the South West of Idaho. David also, due to his situation as a "househusband", had the free time to devote to the task. David had gotten into trail riding in Idaho in a big way and was familiar with many of the available areas.

While organizing a ride for a group of riders may seem like no big deal at first, just ask someone who has done it! First, you need to find an area that appeals to your riders. As most Fests are made up of some bizarre combination of Motocrossers and Cow Trailers, it can be difficult to find suitable terrain for all. Add this to the fact that the riders range from the advanced rider of many years, to the relative newcomer to the sport and you can start to see the difficulty. Some Fests have a Motocross theme, some trail riding, and the upcoming Texas event seems to be trying to appease everyone by having a multi-faceted event with riding for all.

The Atlanta Crew likes to Moto. Photo by MXTuner

Then you have to consider accommodations. Most Festians are going to want to camp. Some are gonna crash on the tailgate of their truck, some are gonna tent camp, and some are gonna show off by cruising up in a 34 foot motorhome towing an enclosed trailer. That’s just the nature of the beast. When selecting a suitable camping area you have to try to estimate how many folks are gonna show up. You may have 30 RSVPs, but in the last week you have 10 drop outs due to short notice conflicts.

And hey, where ya gonna go to the bathroom?????? Them tent campers are REAL interested in this facet. Does you campground have restroom facilities? How about showers? What about potable water? What is the plan for meals?

Never underestimate the popularity of one of these! Photo by David Jones

Add this to the fact that the allure of many SF's is the chance to ride terrain far away from your home stomping grounds. Now how are you gonna get a bunch of folks from states on all points of the compass safely navigated into your own particular boonies?

As you can see, there is a myriad of details that need to be attended to and any organizer of a SF has this writers profound appreciation.

So what did Mr. Jones do? Well, first he convinced his wife that he needed to do an enormous amount of 'scouting' for the proper site. This pretty much consisted of David taking many trips with riding buddies and riding all sorts of trail areas in our fine state. David says this was extremely arduous work, but he bit the bullet and forged on. Right David, like we are gonna believe that.

Idaho's DJones. Organizer of the Idaho SpudFest.

As David is a friend and riding partner, I know just how obsessed with the whole event he got. You pretty much couldn't talk with David without the subject turning to the upcoming Fest. Well, good ol' David got the site narrowed down to 3 possibles. Idaho is not rife with motocross tracks. The only ones that were possibles were pretty much removed from any other type of riding. Therefore, David made the big decision and decided on a trail riding SF. Once that was done, things started to get a bit easier. Notice I said a bit.

David went back and forth and back and forth. First it was up in the Stanley basin at the foot of the Sawtooths, then it was out in the Featherville area, then it was back to Stanley. Well, to use Engineering Speak, David finally 'froze the design' and settled on the Baumgartner Campground about 12 miles out of Featherville, Idaho.

And a fine choice it was. Great camping with a natural hot spring nearby. A wide variety of trails for all skill levels (as long as your skill level includes nasty sidehills), and scenic beauty.

So the hard part is done, right? Sure, and I have a bridge to sell you. Now we had to settle on a date. Back and forth we go until we can all agree on a weekend that works for all. Next we have to decide if we want to have a catered dinner on one of the nights (we aren't cretins, after all). Sure sez the group! So off David goes to find a dinner for us.

T-Shirts? YOU BET! The only thing dirt bikers like more than a new bike is T-Shirts!! So David goes to work and finds a willing vendor to make a short run of shirts for us. Stickers?? Damn! This is getting better all the time. Yeah, David, WE WANT STICKERS! And David is off on another task.

Well, the Atlanta folks set the standard when one of the attendees brought along a batch of trophies they had won and they had an awards ceremony at the end of the original Fest. Well, we couldn't NOT have trophies, so the call went out for some Spode that had cheated enough to win some trophies that they would give up. To the rescue comes RBTBone (Rick). Not only did he have trophies, but he got them engraved also!

Doug Landau goes for the immediate gratification of Cap'n Crunch from the box, while the older, and wiser RBTBone does the crepe suzettes breakfast. Thanks for the trophies Rick! Photo by David Jones.

After all that planning, and all the anticipation, the day had finally arrived. Aug 21, 1998. I headed out of Boise for Featherville at 8am with a riding partner and co-worker Dan Haynes. We were the lucky ones as we live only about 2 hours from the SF site. We had knowledge of others coming from as far away as LA and Phoenix! Man, were THEY hard up!

After a couple of hours and a couple of Jack-In-The-Box's finest taco's, we pulled into the SF site. Awaiting us were djones and TazSpaz (Dave Arndt). And they were itching to ride!!

In the next few hours, SpudFestians began trickling in. First came DeLloy with the crapper, which was greeted with lusty merriment by all tent campers. Then in short order came YamaDawg from Bend, Oregon, CycleBob from Eugene, Mark from Phoenix, Jeff from LA via Phoenix, and Dennis and Kim from Corvallis, Or.

Dennis and Kim. The KTM was nice, but you shoulda brought your XR Kim! Photo by David Jones.


Well, it didn't take long before the first ride was officially proclaimed! A quick run up Kelly Creek for a muscle stretcher.

Then things got weird.

We had noticed that an ambulance had gone up the dirt road a few minutes before we were to start our ride. When we got to the water crossing at the trailhead we met up with said ambulance. The word came down that an ATV rider was injured, on the trail to the lookout, about 8 miles up. Condition was largely unknown and the ambulance would not go 10 feet up that trail.

SpudFestians to the RESCUE!!

CycleBob and Mark each loaded up an EMT on the back of their bikes and headed up the trail. DJones hooked it on back to camp to snag the GPS. About a mile up the trail we met with some EMTs hoofing it with a backboard. In a feat that I am still impressed with, my buddy Dano rode the remaining 7 miles or so with the backboard under his left arm. Now this trail was no advanced trail, but I will guarantee you it was a double black diamond while toting a 30 pound, 8 foot backboard under your arm!

Eventually we got up to the injured rider and found a woman in shorts, tank top, tennies, and no helmet laid out on the trail. Apparently the ATV she was riding flipped on her at about 5 mph dislocating her shoulder and probably taking out a couple of ribs in the meantime. We helped the medics wrap her up and get her on the backboard. During this time DJones had found a suitable landing spot for the LifeFlight helicopter and using the GPS relayed the exact co-ordinates. Upon arrival of the helicopter, the pilot stressed that he was pretty impressed with this as he usually had to hunt around the valleys and mountains in similar circumstances. Valleys and mountains not being the safest place to put a helo down in an emergency. Score 1 for the GPS.

BUMMER!! LifeFlight to the rescue. Photo by TazSpaz

Well, we got the injured person trundled up the 300 yards or so of trail to the knob of the hill and loaded in the LifeFlight helo. It was a sobering moment for us all, as we were embarking on a weekend of some truly technical riding. DJones put it best when he commented "Maybe this will give us enough positive Karma points to get us through the weekend unscathed" And in fact, it was!

At this time we decided to go ahead and make our way to the USFS fire lookout on top of the mountain ridge we were on. After 15 minutes or so of some medium difficulty rocky trail we stood at 9700 feet and enjoyed the panorama of wilderness Idaho. Although I ride similar trails quite often. I never cease to be in awe of the natural beauty that is our wonderful State. From the deserts, to the mountains, Idaho is truly gifted. After a quick picture and a BS session, we headed back down to camp to see who else had wandered in.

The Rescue Rangers on top o' Idaho. Front L-R: Idaho Dano, DeLloy Forbes, Rear L-R TazSpaz, OldFart, 'King' Mark, CycleBob. Photo by David Jones

Returning to camp, we met up with a couple of local experts that DJones had recruited from the TVTMA to guide us. We had enough riders that we would need to split up into a couple of groups. Wayne Larsen and Gene Evans, TVTMA members and friends of David's, had graciously volunteered to lead one of the loops.

Bedded down for the night, with sugar plums and knobbies in our heads, we dreamed of the following two days of riding. During the night, various other Spodes wandered in. Upon arising the next morning we had gained DirtCrasher (Keith), RBTBone (Rick), Kevin Unthank, Doug Landau, Dano's cousin Mike, and who knows who else.

After breakfast was completed, we all began preparing for the day. Wayne took the lead and at the riders meeting explained how we like to ride in Idaho. After all heard "The Word" we broke into groups for the day. One group was the Long Loop Fast Guys, the second group was the Long Loop Leisure Guys. These two groups planned a 60 miler to the tiny mining town of Atlanta for lunch and back. Then there was the Short Loop folks. I joined this group as I am able to ride these mountains at any time and I wanted the Tourists to get a maximum ride. This turned out to be not so great of a decision. We had planned an easy 30 miler that turned out to be a grueling 50 miler.

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Uhhhh...OldFart, your testicles are on fire.

OLDFART'S REPORT (i.e.: Diary of a Madman)

We got the fast guys on the way, and then the leisurely guys on the way. Then Dano and I located our charges and got ready to hit the dusty. Uh-oh, problems. RT (Rick Terry) had made it in from Seattle at the last moment. Unfortunately his helmet and tools had bounced out of his truck somewhere on the 12 mile dirt road leading up to the camp site. He had gone back and looked for the stuff, but never located it. Dano loaned him his wife's helmet. Then Mike's KDX had some trouble starting. Hmmmmm about the most reliable bike on earth wouldn't start. We should have heeded these warning signs, but alas, we did not. We were to pay for them in the long run.

We gave the KDX a tow and got it fired up. Gathered up the group, which consisted of Dano, our fearless leader on an XR-250, Mike on the KDX, Dennis on a KTM-360, Kim on a KTM-125, Rick on his (new to him) XR-600, and myself on my XR-350. Off we go headed for Skeleton Creek Trail. Notice that nowhere is there any mention of filling up RT's XR-600. This will come back to haunt us.

We try to put people with some knowledge of the area in lead and at the sweep position. Dano knew the area somewhat and had mapped out a simple series of trails to fulfill our ride parameters. Well, we are about 1 mile down the dirt road headed for the trailhead. I am Tail-End Charlie. Next thing I know Kim pulls over concerned that her plug was fouling. We started at an elevation of about 4000 feet and several people had some jetting issues to contend with. After checking the plug and starting the bike, she still felt there was something wrong. Try this one on for a weird problem- her rear brake was locked up. Dennis came back and bled some of the fluid out and everything was back to normal. Weird problem. We should have been counting the weird problems.

Well UP WE GO! Headed up Skeleton Creek Trail I could tell that Kim was uncomfortable with me being behind her. She is a very able rider and had no problems with any of the obstacles, she was just used to being at the tail end and setting her own pace. So at the next wide spot, I cruised on by, much to her relief, I'm sure. Things went normal until we got to the top of Skeleton Creek.

We have a general rule that when you come to an intersection, you stop and wait until the rider behind you waves you on. This way you know the rider has seen you and knows that there is a course change. Well, this was all covered at the rider's meeting, but one of our riders didn't make the meeting. The next thing I know I am riding in clear air. Hmmmm, I should see dust every now and then. Oh well, I will kick it up a notch and catch up. Now I am fairly flying. How in the hell did they get so far ahead of me? Well, they didn’t. Before I know it I am headed down a hill at about mach 2 staring at a huge metal gate in the middle of the trail. Lock it up, swear, pray, and I stop with literally inches to spare. AND I AM PISSED!!! I backtrack and finally notice the group at the top of a ridge. I work my way up and question what the deal is. No reply. Apparently we have a new problem. We are 18 miles into the loop and one rider is on reserve. HUH??

Decision time, and we make the wrong one. Instead of sending the rider back down the same trail we just came up, we decide to send him down the next trail we come to. At this time we get somewhat 'disoriented'. Then we find out our thirsty rider is riding with the choke on.Then we get REAL 'disoriented'. Then we find out Mikes KDX is oozing gray spooge out the air box. And we are 20+ miles into the mountains. All this time we are feeding our gas hungry partner from our own stocks.

As we are sitting there pondering our options, a rider comes up the trail from the other direction. He informs us we are about 10 miles out of Atlanta! Holy cow!! Our original route wasn't supposed to take us anywhere NEAR Atlanta! Finally getting smart, we sent the injured bike and the thirsty bike down the two track to Atlanta. The rest of us would work our way back to camp and then Dan and I would jump in the van and tow a trailer to Atlanta to pick up the stragglers.

Well, on the trails up to this point we had come down a severely nasty rocky mountainside. Going back up it was a challenge I am not interested in repeating in my lifetime. It was simply horrible. I was the first rider up, and feel fortunate that I got thru as easy as I did. Did I say easy? Well, it is all in your point of reference.

As I crested the top of a vertical rock face about 15 feet high I had the horrifying site of another unknown rider stalled in the middle of a trail. Now, a couple of things really piss me off. One is people who stop right on the other side of water crossings, and the other is people who stop at the top of a hill.

I had mashed my rear brake pedal on a rock about 200 feet before this climb I was on. Unfortunately I did not know this at that time. As I crested the hill, I tried to do that trials wheelie thing to keep from ass ending the unknown rider. I failed and began to slip back down the rock face. I went for the rear brake, found there was none, and did the next best thing. I panicked. Wind it out, and drop the clutch.

With predictable results.

The next thing I know my bike and I are airborne somewhat upside down and headed off the mountainside. The weird thing is, I remember the unknown rider just putting away. HE DIDN'T EVEN KNOW I WAS THERE! I chucked the bike away from me and landed about 30 feet down the mountain side in soft dirt head first on my back. My bike landed about 80 feet down the mountain side. After about 15 minutes of struggle, I finally got the bike back on the trail. I did not hear my co riders, but assumed the best thing I could do was get to the next intersection and wait.

Remember my saying I got off easy? Well not so Dano, Kim, and Dennis. Although Kim was probably perfectly able to ride the obstacle, her little 125 at altitude was NOT. It took the three of them about an hour to work it up that rock climb.

Luckily from then on it was a pretty smooth trip back to camp.

Back at camp Dano and I hooked up a trailer to my van and headed for Atlanta. A 90 mile round trip at night on a narrow 1 lane mountain dirt road. Whee. And they were just getting ready to serve the BBQ!! On the way out we were passed by our gas thirsty companion headed back to camp. We never saw him again. He cannot have ANY idea what grief he caused us.

An hour or so later we pull into Atlanta, Idaho. Population 32….sober population 0. Dano heads into the tavern and drags out a severely tanked cousin. It was hilarious. Even after all the pain we had gone through, all I could do was laugh at Mike. He was smashed and had been adopted by the entire town. I truly believe that he was sad to see us. As the new man in town he had quite a bit of feminine companionship. He was in love with two of them, and that is a good thing because it would take two of those lovelies to come up with a full set of teeth. Too funny. You have no IDEA how much I wish I had a camera at that point. Lifetime photo op. Eventually we got back to camp and had our BBQ.

Upon our return we found that our gas hungry rider had left. I felt bad about this as I feel that I somehow failed in my duties. This was not some competition that is held where everyone knows the rules and the terrain. I felt that I had been remiss in my duties as a local rider to help out and assure that this rider was set up for a successful weekend. We all need to look after one another. He was rattled due to losing his helmet and arriving late. Which is understandable. If I were to do it over again, I would have double checked everyone to make sure that we were all 'all systems go'. Sorry rt.

The other groups had a successful day. Well, most of them. Poor YamaDawg got caught on the trail with a fouled plug. By the time he realized this, his plugs and wrench were a mile or so down the trail with CycleBob. After a little 4 mile hike over hill and dale, he arrived in camp pretty parched and tired. SFestians being the great folks that they are, RBTBone and CycleBob took pity on the poor withered YD and made the trek back into the boonies to retrieve his bike. One of my other regrets is that I did not bring FrankenBike. I would have liked to let YamaDawg take my XR for the day. I don't think his YZ could have gotten my fat bod out of the camp, so a simple swap was not to be!

Both groups made a successful trip to Atlanta, Id for lunch and back. This is a very scenic ride, with challenging terrain for all.

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On the trail to Atlanta, Idaho. Doug, DeLloy, and Taz do that lumberjack thing. Photo by DirtCrasher.


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While DJones, the 50 year old Idaho boy, shows how the locals do it. Photo by DirtCrasher

The particular area we rode was rather dry. We had a very wet spring followed by a drier than normal summer season. Due to this the vegetation was out in all of mother nature's glory, but the dust level was higher than we all would have liked. The first night we heard some thunder and hoped for a TStorm, but were not that lucky.

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Kevin Unthank enjoying a break on the trip to Atlanta. Photo by DirtCrasher

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Kevin Unthank at the start of a sidehill. You can tell it is the start, because they are able to stop without falling to the bottom. Photo and finger in left corner by DirtCrasher


I woke up Sunday, much less sore than I had anticipated. We had a slow start as everyone was kind of groggy. Finally, we decided on having our Poker Run. The tradition is to have it at night, but the dust level was so high that we figured that a bunch of drunks out at night with poor lighting running around in the dust was a bad idea.

DJones and TazSpaz laid out a little circuit for us. The deal was 5 laps and best hand wins. Our course was probably somewhere around 2 miles in length and included a very nice water crossing for douching your buddy, and a couple of hairy two way sections where you got to play chicken.

Spodes get ready for the Poker Race. Left to Right: Doug Landau, Dennis Kennedy, Jeff Wallace, David Jones, Keith Hunwick, Rick Bowser, Bob Reinen, Jeff Syslo, Dan Haynes, Mike Hetrick, Dave Arndt, Kevin Unthank, Mike Frietag, Mark Kessler
Photo by David Jones

Did I say Poker Run? Oh my, what was I thinking? It all started out when it was decided that we would have a dead engine, straddle your front wheel start. The next thing you know the testosterone was pumping and we had a full fledged Poker Race on our hands. It was quite possibly the stupidest thing I have ever been a part of. The winner is the one with the highest poker hand, pure luck of the draw. But not to these characters that had spent the last day scaring the wits out of themselves doing 5 mph on the sidehill trails of Idaho. It was time to FLY.

AND THEY'RE OFF!! Is this the way a poker run is supposed to begin? OldFart in the back with the blue shirt laughing his ass off. Photo by Karen Jones.

And fly they did! As the card dropped riders were jumping around like grasshoppers flailing away at kickstarters. My XR is a reliable 1 stab starter, but I just took my time, got on the bike, started it, and putted off. I just KNEW there was gonna be a clot of riders tangled up on the short, dusty, uphill 1/4 mile from the start. And by and large I was right. By the time I putted up to the hill, the last of the tangle was making it over the top.

Now I have to admit, I am somewhat demented. When I found out there was a water crossing, only one thing mattered to me from that point on. Douching as many people as I could. This is an art taught to me by my best friend's 15 year old. And I must say, I may not be good at many things in respect to dirtbiking, but I am a master at the water crossing douche job. I had some grand moments.

Taz, Kevin, and Doug try to talk Chris Jones and his buddy Andrew into giving up the aces. Photo by Karen Jones

By the end of the Race…..I mean Run, no one had gotten killed. I considered this a chrome plated success in it's own right. I believe DJones won the race. Marc won the event with a club flush. Me? I didn't win crap, but then I never do. I didn't even have a witness for the "Best Crash-Witnessed" trophy to reward me for my ride down the mountainside!

After the Race, we settled down for some BS. Then someone brought out a camera and we started jumping over this lame log. That got boring so we had a slow race through some firewood we sat up as pylons. But in between, we had the crash guarantee…the WHEELIE CONTEST!!

Gawd were we lame. Well, DirtCrasher was OK, but he just didn't have the commitment level of TazSpaz. Taz decided to haul in as many trophies in one event as he could. In the end, all he ended up with was "Best Crash- Witnessed" . And I was proud of him, too. He did a wheelie going away from the spectator pit and had to ..ahem..depart from his bike. We cheered long and lustfully. Then to drive the point home he tried a wheelie on the return and ended up pitching the bike AT the spectator pit! And broke his Renthals! BRAVO!! It was good to see a KTM rider go the distance!

So after all this fun, it was finally time to get rid of the trophies. I hope that I get this right, email if I don't.

Greatest Distance Traveled- And Why?- Jeff Wallace

Best Crash,Witnessed- TazSpaz (Dave Arndt)

Most Crashes- Kim (for some reason she didn’t want this trophy! Hell, she EARNED it on that rock climb!)

King Of The Spodes- Mark Kessler (for riding all weekend on a 79 Husky with a BALD rear tire…..and doing it well!)

Mark "King Of Spodes" and CycleBob. Check out that rear tire. Photo by David Jones.

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Close up of Mark Kessler's tire! Photo by Keith Hunwick (DirtCrashr).

So that’s it. The Idaho SpudFest 98. A weekend of glorious fun and camaraderie with some truly great people. If you ever get a chance, get yourself involved in a SpodeFest near you! Just check your gas, huh?

Will I do it again? You BET! But next time I'm gonna take it easy and choose the Long Loop Fast Guys!


Authors Note:

All of us who enjoyed the Idaho SpudFest owe a huge debt of gratitude to David Jones. I know how hard he worked on this. It was very important to him that everyone enjoy their trip. I am lucky to be able to claim David as a friend. He has opened up a vast new area of riding to me. But more than that, David is just a damn nice guy. A guy would have to go a long way to find a better friend and riding partner. Thanks David!

I wish this article could cover more of the SpodeFests. The Idaho Fest is not any bigger, or better than any of the other Fests out there. It is just the one that I could go to. Maybe next year I can show the commitment level of Jeff and Mark and make the trek to one of the other SF's to report on. I sure wish I had the vacation time coz it looks like the Texas Fest is gonna be one humdinger!!

We were out to have fun, not be photojournalists. Some of the photos are not professional quality and there is a considerable difference from photo to photo and scanner to scanner. If you find this detracts from the quality of this report then I apologize…..wait a minute….no I don't! We were out to have fun and that we did. If you don't like the photos then too bad.

I have tried to correctly attribute all photos to their respective photographers. But then again I am not the most organized of individuals. If you find one of your photos with someone else's name on it email me at the mailto below and we will fix it.

Many thanks to all the photographers for the use of their photos. To the ones who I was unable to contact or ascertain ownership of, don't waste your time suing me, I don't have anything but a couple of crappy old Huskies.

Just remember...SPODES DROOL!!!, er, I mean RULE!

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