12 Things You Didn’t Know About Wildwood

6 months ago | Words: Andy Wigan, Lee Pearsal | Photos: Stephen Brown, Steve Braszell, Kane O’Rourke Photography

What do you know about the Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro? That it’s developed a cult-like following from racers and spectators alike. That it takes place on the outskirts of Melbourne, near Tullamarine Airport. That it challenges its masochistic entrants with ridiculously difficult man-made and natural obstacles. That no riders’ bike has ever come out the other side of one without some pretty handsome damage. And that South Africa’s Wade Young recently obliterated the field to take his third win at the 10th running of the event.

Having just set a record by finishing his ninth Wildwood Rock, the enduro fanatic that is Lee Pearsall (who spends his week as the Sales and Dealer Development Manager for Gas Gas Australia) flicked us the following offbeat insight into this unique Victorian race. Welcome to LP’s dozen things you don’t know about the Wildwood Rock Extreme Enduro…


The final track layout is set in the last days before the event so club members don’t get an advantage on race day.


No one has finished all 10 events.


Daniel sanders once rode with one hand on the bars and one hand pulling the broken throttle cable out the side of his bike all the way from the rock garden, over the prologue obstacles, to the finish line.


The evil, prickly weeds covering every part of the track is actually a Wild Artichoke.


Matt Phillips once broke a front wheel so badly, it wouldn’t turn. So he mono’d his bike back to the pits, changed it, and still finished third!


The oldest bike to compete and finish the race was a 1989 DT175 (by some idiot!).


The intimidating Rock Garden ‘pro line’ was built by levering ATV-sized rocks down the gully with steel bars. Where they landed is where they wanted to land.


The first motorcycle event that Wildwood organiser, Steve Braszell, ever entered was the Finke Desert Race. At aged 16! He rode a DT230L that he used at his Wildwood farm.


Wildwood’s prologue is the easy part. There are some super-steep rocky hills, both up and down, that very few spectators see. Most DNFs (about one-quarter of the field) happen well away from the crowds.


Only riders can help riders. Spectators and officials are banned from helping. You witness some great camaraderie out there amongst the competitors.


Only 34 people finished the first Wildwood back in 2010. This year, 116 of the 141 starters made the finishline.


It rained in 2011, and the track had to be diverted due to several sections being impassable for most riders.

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