“We comb the sands of the southwest desert with Plumb Bicycles, seeking a mirage that will put us in our place. As we rehydrate the cracked earth with our blood, sweat and booze, we sometimes find ourselves running as dry as the sand that cushions the many falls that are brought on by such good times. May we lay with lizards, sprint with the roadrunners, bark with the coyotes and soar with the hawks.”
What is exactly the SandBox ShowDown? Is it a race for the insanely fast and determined? Is it an (un)organized group ride? Is it just a booze party in the desert with bikes? Nobody really knows what the SandBox ShowDown is or will be. Even Dejay Birtch, the SandBox creator, is truly unsure what each year’s event will turn into, he has a vision and loose plan, but the outcome even eludes that jedi. The SBSD is probably best described in words by Damion Alexander in his weekly community bike email list:
“Perhaps the greatest collections of misfits, deviants, dissenters, oddballs, outsiders, and eccentric riders all in one sandy place, riding Fatbikes in a wash to be named.”
The SandBox ShowDown is probably one of the best unknown cycling events in existence a relatively low turnout for some unknown reason. The SBSD goes on the B.P.R. race calendar every year. Many B.P.R. dudes have showed up over the last four versions of the SBSD. The Mad Rhino is the only one to race all 4 versions, while Jolly Roger (life) supported the first year, and raced the next 3 versions of the SandBox Saga.
The SBSD is a wild event where you are not bound by a specific track. You get to ride side by side to your fellow companions, and not directly behind one another starring at rear wheels all day. It’s and atmosphere for laugher, with kindness and no attitudes or stress. It’s a day where you hand off foamy beers side by side while riding. Every single year is different. Each year brings an unknown to the rider, specifically if you are not from the Tucson area.
You should plan on attending the SandBox next year with your fatbike, or a borrow or rented one. It happens every year typically on the day before or after the GABA bike swap meet in Tucson Arizona. If you’re a racer, and dedicated to fast pedal strokes with little stopping, then this race is for you. Take the map and plot a track in Topofusion based on the start/finish and check points and hammer out the route. If you want to do a casual ride, then this event is also for you. If you are the type that needs to have a GPX track for safety, then you too need to take the map and create your own track. If you are not into electronics and maps, and just want to ride along with friends, then join the fun because as it seems nobody is really left behind. The cool thing about fatbikes is, they leave some pretty obvious tracks in the sand to follow. One thing for sure is, it doesn’t matter if you’re first or last, as B.P.R. already knows, “Dead Last Doesn’t Mean Loser”. You can finish in 4 hours or 7-12 hours, but it’s certain if you truly want to win the event or get swag from the amazing sponsors, you need to be present at the end. Statistically from the past 4 years, the man with the van, with all the prizes, is usually at the Back of the Pack exchanging laugher, high fives and bro hugs with some amazing group of dudes. We get there, when we get there.
Big thanks goes out to Dejay Birtch for putting together an amazing event. Much gratitude is extended all the sponsors this year that help with swag and prizes: Salsa, Fatback, Backcountry Research, Twin Six, Rudi Cycling Art, Stan’s NoTubes, boo bicycles, Cirrus Visual, FAT-Bike.com, Ordinary Bike Shop, Fresco Pizzeria.
Party Pics below….