Mini Moto Enduro: The Gambler 500 Downsizes


My Coleman CT200 mini-bike gave the impression of empty soup cans having make-up intercourse. My bony ass cheeks acquired extra bruised with each lap, and my palms felt arthritic. Each time I went to loosen my white-knuckle grip, the CT200 tried to buck me.

Individuals had been being hauled off the six-mile, off-road circuit with concussions and damaged collarbones. A lovely shit present, the place everybody smiled by way of the ache.

The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
Tate Morgan, founding father of the Gambler 500, invited me to the Mini Moto Enduro, a 100-mile endurance mini-bike race someplace exterior of Sunriver, Oregon. He picked me up from Portland airport in a decommissioned ‘quick bus’ spray-painted with MUD DAWGS—a little bit league crew he coaches and deserted for the Mini Moto Enduro—and we began the three-hour drive towards the campground the place the race could be held.The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
The next morning, we understood the insanity of what we had been about to do, taking a look at properly over 100 mini-bikes in varied states of gown and disrepair.

Tate and I unloaded our Coleman CT200s from the again of his bus; he loaned me one he’d been beating on for years. Neither of us hurried throughout the LeMans-style begin, when riders run to their bikes. We waited for the large mud cloud to settle.

The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
Whoever deliberate the Gambler 500’s loop wasn’t fucking round—gravel, sand, silt, boulders, whoops, roots, cattle guards, and extra goddamn boulders. A few sections, just like the ‘fork within the street’ and the ‘rock waterfall,’ would’ve been sketchy on full-size filth bikes, and we had been on $500 minis.

I picked my line and caught to it, even once I didn’t choose proper; leaping off rocks, then touchdown, proved unkind to my genitals.

The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
Breakdowns had been frequent; mini-bikes with flat tires and snapped chains all alongside the perimeters of the path. I had solely two points: the pull-start rope snapped, which took me ten minutes to restore on the path, after which the throttle return stopped working, which meant I needed to preserve my proper hand on the throttle physique and gently “jockey throttle.”

I accomplished solely ten of the 18 laps, however my buddy Jessi Combs grew to become the Mini Moto Enduro’s solely ironwoman. She and a white-bearded man named “Mr. Miyagi” had been the one two to finish the race solo.

The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
Wooden pallets had been used to construct an enormous fireplace, then used to erect a ramp dealing with stated fireplace. A man named Casey, dressed as Borat, someway acquired his palms on a go-kart and jumped it over the hearth, then proceeded to leap it a dozen extra instances.

Different folks jumped mini-bikes, one man face-planted, and one other man did a mini-bike burnout on the hood of a Crown Victoria. The evening led to a tent on the roof of Tate’s bus, and the subsequent morning we had been again on the street for a three-hour drive to Portland airport.

The Gambler 500 race in Oregon
As I write this, after watching filth pool round my bathe drain, I understand I haven’t finished something that infantile shortly; “life” will get in the way in which too usually now. It doesn’t get in Tate’s manner, and it didn’t get in the way in which of Tate’s buddies, the assistant head coaches of the Mud Dawgs. An meeting of fools, placing themselves in hurt’s manner within the stupidest manner attainable, having a lot enjoyable.2021 Gambler 500 in Oregon
Impressed individuals who increase cattle as a passion, construct their very own homes and create web sites to catfish their greatest buddies. Gamblers are charming people you wish to meet.

Phrases and pictures by Chris Nelson for Iron & Air Journal

The Gambler 500 race in OregonThe Gambler 500 race in OregonThe Gambler 500 race in Oregon



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