The Woodsman Cup

Riding off-road on bikes that weren't meant for it, in races you can't attend

Woodsman Cup
All sorts of bikes lined up for the WoodsmanDoug Dodd

Don’t be sad. It’s nothing personal. In fact, it’s keeping things personal that keeps us strangers out. The Woodsman Cup is a series of off-road races on a private plot of land in Central Florida with the goal of disrupting the street riding norm and getting riders out of bars and onto some dirt.

Running his shop outside of Orlando, Fox quickly realized that the weekly bike nights and typical means of biker community just weren’t for him. Sitting around over beers, riders talking about how much more skill they have than the guy next to them, but with a blood alcohol content intent on keeping those claims at bay. Well here’s an idea, let’s throw an event that basically takes everyone out of their element. A race that nobody has trained for, that puts everyone on an evenly uneven keel. Let's take those hollow bike night promises and see who can put something behind 'em.

Woodsman Cup
The enduro class taking off!Doug Dodd

The rules, or rule rather, is only this: no dirt bikes. Well, if you want to bring a dirt bike it has to have pure street tires or slicks. Last year someone raced a new Panigale, this year someone brought a $50k, fully restored XR750 Harley-Davidson flat track racer and took that out on the track (he blew out the clutch but luckily, had a back-up 1965 Indian in the truck). Last year, two guys rode down from Atlanta on Panheads with tractor tires. You never know what’s going to show up, but if it shows up, it’s gonna race.

Woodsman Cup
Cruisers hitting the dirt!Doug Dodd

The races take place in roughly six classes, but the registration system is rather loose. Pit bikes under 125cc, pit bikes over 125cc, Honda Groms (their incredible popularity has led to them getting their own class), enduro, chopper/ cruiser/ Sportster, and sport bike classes all lined up to take their turns throughout the day. They’re all there for the same thing: rowdy riding, and good times with new and old friends.

Woodsman Cup
Street bikes with knobbies with forever bring a smile to my faceDoug Dodd

The event happens a couple times a year, but this is loose as well. The most recent event was the seventh Woodmans Cup in the last three years, and it doesn’t look like they’re slowing down anytime soon.

The way fox describes it, this event is exactly what he wanted it to be. The best times are had when you’re tired as hell, beat to shit after riding your bike to limits it was never meant to be pushed, sitting around with like-minded folks. Sure keeping it limited keeps it from expanding too much, but hell, it’s on that's the point. Getting too big is a liability and sort of kills the whole vibe of the thing. If it can stay sustained by the attendees and maybe a few select sponsors, I say keep it small.

Grom Jump
That one might hurt his knees a little bitDoug Dodd

Sad you can’t go? Find some land, come up with a name, and start your own! Rally your friends, find a lot, ride uncanny bikes in a circle. That’s how this and TONS of other epic events were started. It doesn’t take a lot, just an outlet and some motivation.

For more information on the event you probably can't attend, check out Facebook.com/WoodsmanCup

To see more photography by Doug Dodd, check out his page PopTop.net

Woodsman Cup
Pristine XR750 brought out and raced in the Woodsman CupDoug Dodd