March Moto Madness is where we go when winter’s not over, but we want to behave like it is! The event is held in late March in Tellico Plains, TN, at the southwest end of the Cherohala Skyway. For many riders in the east, it’s the first dual-sport event of the year — which means there’s a lot of pent-up excitement because we’ve been off our bikes for a while. Because of the season, there’s usually also a lot of rain (and sometimes snow). So what you get is a lot of exuberant riders on prime off-road terrain in the slipperiest, muddiest conditions we’ll see all year. Many people go to event for a simple introduction to dirt riding, while more experienced riders take part in the technical trials course, hill climb, and challenging guided rides. There are all kinds of silly contests, too, because it’s no fun taking things seriously all the time. MMM is like a family reunion of adventure riders, and that’s why we’ve been going back year after year. Twisted Throttle Founder & CEO Erik Stephens was on hand to document the event.
An MMM barrel race is three laps around a pair of barrels spaced about 30 feet apart. You start at opposite sides of the circle; whoever catches up to the other wins. Sounds easy, huh? Not so much. Click any image for a full size version.
Hill Climb/Trials Competition
The hill climb, as usual, was full of insanity. There were three divisions, each with its own hillclimb course. The lighter the bike, the more difficult the route up the hill. Of course, some contestants decided to try heading up the course designed for 250cc dirtbikes on their R1200GSAs. They didn’t get very far, but it provided good entertainment. Carl Parker of ADV Moto Magazine was present capturing all the action on film. Francois Saint Laurent of DualSportTouring.com was present sporting his “Safety Third” t-shirt serving as a “Bike Wrangler”, one of the illustrious few who volunteered to help pull bikes out of the woods after failed attempts to summit the challenging mountain.
Trials Competition/Cherokee Challenge
Twisted Throttle’s tent served as the home checkpoint for the Cherokee Challenge, a 160-mile dual sport trail mapped out by the locals to provide an all-day technical ride to those looking to earn rally bragging rights. Did you earn your Cherokee Challenge sticker this year?