More than 700 riders thundered across the desert for the trademark mass start at the 45th annual Stumpjumpers Desert 100 earlier this month in Eastern Washington.
Cool spring temperatures made the weekend of April 12-13 ideal for the largest annual gathering of dirt bikes in the Pacific Northwest. The race is famed for its long history and unique mass start that begins with the boom of a cannon blast.
Hosted by the Stumpjumpers Motorcycle Club since 1969, the event is an opportunity for riders to celebrate the end of winter by getting back on the dirt. Drawing more than 5,000 people, the weekend event has evolved over the years to now include a poker tournament, an 80-mile Ironman Run and a Mini's Run for kids.
The race itself consists of 50 mile track through the desert. Some make it once, while others take a pit stop and go for the full 100 miles. Enthusiastic spectators crowd the start and finish to cheer on the riders. Race lovers and dirt bike enthusiasts eagerly look forward to this annual event, with a route laid out over varied terrain. From back roads, farm tracks and private trails the race offers a mix of sand and high desert sage.
This year the club had to find new property for the race as land they had previously used would be fertilized with bio-solids. Lucily a club member read about a ranch further east that was willing to provide their property for recreational use. A deal was struck quickly and the weekend racing went off without a hitch.