Dual Duel in the Desert

Clouds of dust and exhaust fumes painted the chaotic, dirt-choked scene at the Dual Duel in the Desert races in Wickenburg this weekend.

More than 200 competitors from Arizona, New Mexico, California, Colorado, and Canada rode in to compete in the fourth and fifth rounds, or the Dual Duel, of the MotoCity Off Road Championship Series -- Six months of races make up the series, all of which are organized by the Arizona Motorcycle Riders Association (AMRA) and respective racing clubs.

The Dual Duel featured enduro races, which focus on the technical aspects of riding, instead of just a mad dash to the finish. Riders have to complete four timed loops through the dry and rugged Wickenburg terrain to win.

Racers begin at a staggered start and roll through 50 miles over the course of four hours, resting between loop completions. It seems the type of miserable race only crazy, leathered madmen sign up for, but the Dual Duel played host to tons of competitors from across the country.

Ethan Morefield, a rider from Colorado Springs' Rocky Mountain Enduro Circuit, is used to racing enduro contests in jagged mountain trails. He admits this was his first desert race, but says he was happy for the change in scenery: "To become a better rider, you have to try all different terrains and learn different skills."

These skills are tested during the series' multiple divisions and specified classes for novices, intermediate riders, and experts, which include female competitors and different age groups. (There's even a mini-bike series for riders under 16.)

The president of the AMRA, Dan Hayakawa, says the events are meant to build competitive camaraderie, improve riding skills, expose riders to the Arizona landscape, and to just plain have fun.

The MotoCity Off Road Championship Series will have four more rounds in upcoming months, check the AMRA website for more details.

Check out more photos from the Dual Duel event below ...