For the last few years, Rob’s Dirtbike Camp has been an annual end-of-summer tradition among friends. Getting out into the woods with other riders and enjoying the best time of year in Washington has been the perfect way to finish the season. Rob’s Dirtbike Camp started out small with a few buddies, their trucks and trailers, and a dog or two, finding a spot to camp in the forest for a few days of camping and riding. Because we dry camp and cell phone service isn’t available in most places, the directions have traditionally been, “Drive until you see the sign for Rob’s Dirtbike Camp, and that’s where we’ll be.” Over the years the party has grown as we’ve continued to make connections with other riders.
Two years ago, it grew unexpectedly large. In the morning as everyone was waking up, having coffee and breakfast, trucks we didn’t recognize began turning into our camp, the drivers all asking if they were at Rob’s Dirtbike Camp. We didn’t know these riders, but they’d seen the sign and wanted to join us. We had a great ride and made a lot of friends that day. That’s the way the dirt bike community is.
Dirt bikers want to care for and protect the land on which we ride. We find peace in the forest and want to conserve it. As we ride the trails, especially as winter comes to an end and the snow melts and heavy rain falls, there is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to clear trails and make them safe and rideable. In the early part of the season, the primary purpose of our rides is to clear fallen trees and debris. When we find litter on the trails, we pick it up and take it out with us. We aim to leave no trace and depart the forest better than we found it.
For all of us at Rob’s Dirtbike Camp, preserving the forest isn’t a chore, it’s a labor of love. The Gifford Pinchot National Forest in particular has a special place in our hearts, as it does in the hearts of many riders. The memories, much like the friendships made, will stay with us long after our ambitious riding days are over, but we aren’t done yet. We want to continue riding and making memories for years to come. That’s what Rob’s Dirtbike Camp is all about. The work we do in our recreational time makes a difference, but it’s not enough. In order to do more, we need more resources: people, time, and money.
In September 2022, Rob’s Dirtbike Camp changed from a sign in the woods to a community fundraising event for riders, their families, and anyone who loves and wants to protect and preserve Gifford Pinchot. We partnered with Northwest Motorcycle Association (NMA) to put on the first official Rob’s Dirt Bike Camp annual charity event to raise the money we need for NMA to do the work that needs to be done.
We are offered a camping weekend in Gifford Pinchot at the Cispus Learning Center with tent and trailer sites. The event featured a family-friendly camping weekend with six organized enduro and adventure ride options and an afterparty with live music, food, a beer garden, and a raffle. We also hosted a number of sponsor vendor booths. It was a success that enabled us to raise $11,939.15 in proceeds that went directly to NMA. We had nearly 200 campers and 80 riders in attendance.
We learned a lot in Year 1 and have put that learning to good use in our planning and development for Year 2. We have big dreams for 2023 - we are looking to double our attendance and proceeds. We are partnering with more sponsors and stakeholder groups to make the 2nd Annual Rob’s Dirtbike Camp bigger and better. We will offer more sponsor and vendor packages, bike demos, more family-friendly entertainment activities, more customized ride options, and a smoother overall camping experience. If you’re interested in joining on as a sponsor, we would love to have you! Contact us for more information about how you can help us make this event the best it can be.
We can’t wait to see you there!
Robert Gauthier & The Rob’s Dirtbike Camp Team