Stampede roars onto Ranch


Classic motorcycle event

by: STEPHANIE RODERICK - Contestants participate in the Steel Stampede over the weekend.The Crooked River Ranch canyon was the backdrop for vintage motorcycle buffs, participants and spectators alike who attended the Steel Stampede hosted by Crooked River Ranch this past weekend.

Campers lined the field where the event was held, with folks preparing to take part in the eighth annual American Historic Racing Motorcycle Association trials and motocross events.

On Saturday, trials — skill-based competitions where entrants do their best to negotiate through and around rough terrain without touching their feet to the ground — were held.

Dirk Murphy, 56, of Puyallup, Wash., drove six hours to compete in the trials and race, and won two first-place ribbons in Premier Open Twin and Classic 250 and one second-place ribbon in the Sportsmen Open Twin.

Murphy has been racing vintage bikes since 1990 and said he “loves motorcycles” and he really “likes all the people.”

The roar of bikes echoed through the canyon on Sunday morning as over 200 entrants prepped their bikes and warmed up for the motocross event.

by: STEPHANIE RODERICK - A motorcyclist catches some air during the Steel Stampede last weekend.David Tripp, 56, of Napa, Calif., drove nine hours to compete in Sunday's race, where he took home two first place ribbons in the Premier Lightweight Class.

Tripp has participated the last six years and plans on returning next season as well. A member of AHRMA for the past seven years, Tripp will be attending his next race at Bodner Ranch in two weeks.

Tripp explained that he became involved in vintage racing because his “usual knucklehead friends got me into it. It's fun and the people are great,” he said.

The annual event, originated by local Pete Fisher, of Powroll Motor Performance, has turned into a success, but behind the scenes there is a lot of planning and preparation that plays an important role.

Mike Knoke, 69, supervisor of general maintenance at Crooked River Ranch for the past nine years, explained that planning begins in March and there are a lot of “little details,” and by late April, “It gets pretty crazy,” he said.

To make it all come together, required help from the four departments involved: administration, road department, general maintenance and golf maintenance.

When they change the track every year, they “add a loop, take a loop out,” said Knoke, adding that, “It's labor intensive” to set up T-posts, string rope, and lay out the track and parking.

“It's ongoing prep,” he said.

With all the preparations and labor involved to make the event a success, volunteers cannot go without recognition.Volunteers from groups and organizations from the Ranch, as well as outside volunteers are the glue that hold it all together.

Crooked River Ranch officials expressed gratitude for the volunteers' assistance, as well as the excellent sponsor support they received this year in making the event a successful one.