Quicksilver Enduro History
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The Quicksilver Enduro was an American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) event held in the Clear Creek Management Area from 1973 until 2007. From 1983 until 2007 the event was designated a National Enduro by the AMA. The event was originally hosted by the Salinas Dirt Riders (SDR) as an AMA District 35 event. The Salinas Dirt Riders was an off-road oriented club. Many members rode enduros and in 1972 the club decided to host an enduro in the Clear Creek Management Area in 1973. The event was staged from a property adjacent to Clear Creek that the club leased.
In 1976 two events changed the course of the enduro. First some background. In 1976 there were two clubs in Salinas, the Salinas Dirt Riders (SDR) and the Salinas Ramblers (SRMC). While the SDR were 100% dirt oriented, the Salinas Ramblers were primarily a street and dirt track oriented club.
Many members of the SDR were also members of the Ramblers. The SRMC owned a club grounds north of Salinas in Prunedale where they ran dirt track races in the "Sand Pit". When the Sand Pit was first used for racing in the 1950's and 1960's, Prunedale was relatively undeveloped. Over the years housing gradually encroached on the SRMC property and this resulted in complaints about noise from the races. In 1976 a developer approached the SRMC about buying the property. At the same time the property
Start of the 2006 Quicksilver National Enduro - Photo by Ed Tobin
owner who leased the Clear Creek property to the SDR decided to sell the property. Seeing the writing on the wall with regards to the Sand Pit and encroaching development, the SDR disbanded and the members who were not already members of the Salinas Ramblers joined the SRMC and formed a voting block that eventually led to the sales of the Sand Pit and the purchase of the Clear Creek property as the new club grounds. At the same time the hardcore street riders split off from the SRMC and formed the Salinas Road Knights. In 1977, the Salinas Ramblers hosted the Quicksilver Enduro as an AMA District 36 event with the same core group of people putting the event together.
The event hit a low point in 1978 when, due to a number of mistakes by the layout crew, so many checks were thrown out that District 36 did not award advancement points for the event. This situation was corrected when the original layout crew was complemented with younger members who actively competed in D36 enduros. The quality of the event improved significantly from 1979 onward.
Because the event was located in the southern most part of District 36 and was a long drive for many D36 members, the Quicksilver drew fewer contestants than other D36 enduros. At the same time, a number of southern California enduro
riders had discovered the Quicksilver and would journey north to compete. In order to increase attendance, in 1982 the SRMC applied for and was selected to host a National Enduro in 1983. The club also received a sanction from AMA District 37 for the 1983 event.
Course Design: The Quicksilver course design evolved over the years. In the early days the design included two loops with a remote gas stop. The club would haul a trailer (or trailers) loaded with gas cans out into Clear Creek. For the early national enduros we used White Creek Road with permission of the property owner, Jim Nunez, an old cowboy who checked cattle on the back of an old Honda wearing a sports car cap. In 1986, we had the worst back to back storms in decades and White Creek cut three foot banks into the spots where the road crossed. On the Friday before the event, Salinas Rambler members, with picks and shovels, knocked down the banks so the road was passable however an new storm on Friday night undid much of the effort.
Because White Creek road proved to be unreliable, we shifted to the paved mine haul road which we leased on the enduro weekends and hauled the gas up to the big dirt flat where R015 splits off from the paved road to head uphill towards Santa Rita Peak. This spot has since been known as Gas Flats to club members. While this arrangement worked well, it was still a lot of work to haul the gas and so the course was redesigned to have the gas stop(s) in camp.
The course went from two loops to three when the club started to host national enduros. AA, A and B riders rode all three loops while the C-riders, Vets, Seniors and women rode just the first two.
Cancellations: Rain and snow have been synonymous with the Quicksilver. Many riders would comment that it would not be the Quicksilver if it didn't rain or snow on the Saturday night before the event. Because the Quicksilver was run in an area with naturally occurring asbestos, the Bureau of Land Management mandated that the event be run under moist conditions so as to limit exposure to dust. Historically the Quicksilver was run in January but shifted to the Presidents Day weekend in February when the North Bay Motorcycle Club relinquished this date and shifted their Sawmill Enduro to later in the year.
The SRMC were forced to postpone the Quicksilver twice, in 1986 and again in 1988. Heavy rains the week before the event in 1986 forced the first postponement. The non-stop rain made the San Benito River rise to flood stage and made it difficult for all but the largest vehicles to ford the river into the camping and staging area. When the decision was made on Friday evening to postpone the event, the only vehicle able to cross the river to get the word out was the tractor of an 18 wheeler.
In 1988 the culprit was snow on Saturday night that prevented the ghost riders from getting more than a couple miles into the course. Again, the event was postponed and in both instances the AMA was forces to designate other events as national enduros because of conflicts between the rescheduled Quicksilver and other AMA national events.
After the 1988 event, the club created a "wet weather course" that we turned in to the BLM in case snow would make the primary route impassable. Twice in the ensuing years we had to revert to the wet weather course, first in 1994 and then again in 2001.
Additional Topics: Evolution of Scoring Naturally Occurring Chrysotile The Quicksilver Flying Boot Deaton/Morris Family Stan and John Little
New Articles/Flyers/Misc. by Year
1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989 1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007
Video from the 2007 event