Some of you may be wondering, What the heck is Dead Cow Racing? Well, it's hard to put it
entirely into words, but I'll give it a shot.
The Story (Short Version)
Several years ago, around 1995, a few of us use to get together after work and go riding as
much as we could. A lot of us were just getting back into riding and some of us (in my case) were
just starting. We had a favorite riding spot just north of Dayton, Pennsylvania where a local
sawmill had dumped vast amounts of sawdust. We had jumps, berms, turns, whoops and anything
else you could possibly want in a riding spot and the sawdust was very forgiving in the event of a
crash. We made a few loops in and around the piles of sawdust and would race each other for
hours on end. It was our own little playground. We frequented our favorite riding spot for much of
that summer, but I guess all good things must come to an end. One day when we arrived, our
favorite riding spot was gone. Someone came in with some heavy equipment and leveled the
entire area. I guess someone just didn't want us riding there any more. We tried to make a go of it
with what was left, but it just wasn't the same. The search was on to find a new place.
I also happened to work for another sawmill at that time and knew of a place where they
dumped some of their extra sawdust. I figured that this would be just as good as our previous
spot, so we all rode up there one day to check it out. It was more like a rotting sawdust swamp
than a motocross track, but with a little work, it had some potential. We talked it over with the
people that owned the sawmill and they were nice enough to let us build a new track at this spot.
They even let us use their equipment and we built a small loop in part of sawdust. We made a few
jumps in the sawdust, which were pretty much insane, and I'm surprised we didn't kill ourselves.
We would launch ourselves as far as we could off these jumps and just about go over the
handlebars every time we landed. To make it worse, after a few laps in the sawdust, the jump
faces were so rutted out that they were almost impossible to jump off of. We rode on the track like
this for a while, but we felt we needed to make the track a little bigger. I was also getting tired of
getting lapped every few laps.
Well, we always knew that there were dead cows buried somewhere up there, but I guess we
didn't care or didn't give it much of a thought. We just wanted to ride. One day, when we started
the track extension, we made the gruesome discovery. Dead rotting cow corpses and the smell of
death! We had unfortunately chosen the track path to go right through dead cow central. The
stench was so unbearable that Eric Wall (Skid), who was running the bulldozer at the time, almost
threw up. I think we almost wanted to scrap our new track design, but the track had to go through
this spot, so we just pushed the carcasses aside the best we could and continued on. Hey, as
long as you where on the gas going through that section, you would never smell it anyways.
Over the years we have added on to the track in places and now there are just a few bones
and a skull to remind us of the carcasses that were once there. During all our years of riding up
there, I always brought a video camera and video taped whenever I wasn't riding. I eventually got
the idea to make a riding video with all the tape that I had accumulated. Some of us were starting
to get out of riding and I figured this would be a great way to get everybody psyched to go riding
again. Anyways, I made a video with an old VHS Camera and a VCR. I called it "Dead Cow
Dunes". Yeah I know, it was a stupid title. At the time though, I thought it was the most awesome
title ever! The video took me forever to make and the quality was terrible, but everyone seemed
to like it. I would like to say my awesome got everyone psyched to ride again, but who knows?
Regardless, everyone started riding again and we hooked with some other guys who also rode.
Now I was determined to make an even better video with more people. Three years later, I bought
a new camera and started editing video on my computer. The next video (Dead Cow 2) was much
better and light years ahead of the first video. The following year I made another video (Dead
Cow 3) which was a year's worth of riding from just about everywhere we went. Word got out,
other people saw the video and Dead Cow was on the map.
During this time, some of us also got into playing Motocross Madness 2 on the Internet (actually
just George Prentice and I). We would go online and race against people from all over the world
and everyone was on some kind of team with three letters in front of their names like WCR or
AUS. I thought why not make up my own team? That would be cool! Team Dead Cow sounded
stupid enough that it might just catch on. I got a free website, made a cool Team Dead Cow logo
and TDC was in business. Our team started to grow, more people joined up and we were playing
online almost every night. Amazingly, not too many people asked what the whole dead cow thing
was about and that was cool with me, because I really didn't feel like explaining the whole story.
We made a lot of friends and had a good time, but after a while some of us stopped playing
MCM2 online all together. In the coming months guys joined other teams or moved on to other
things and Team Dead Cow came to an end.
In the following years, a lot of us continued to ride and race and I continued to take as much
video as I could. Eventually though, for some us, riding become less and less for whatever reason.
During these years, I also created some T-shirts with the Dead Cow Logo. Something which I
hope to start doing again. I also accumulated mountains of video tape that never saw the light of
day. I'm sure I have enough for a 4 hour masterpiece, but the task of going through all this stuff
will be a monumental undertaking. We'll see what the future holds.
As for the track known as "Dead Cow", it's still there as far as I know, but it doesn't get as much
use any more. I guess you could say we were just a bunch of average people who loved to ride
and had a great time doing it for a lot of years.
So what is "Dead Cow Racing"? That's a good question.......................