The Viewing: Dicke Titten Kartoffelsalat | Road Report Number Two
Our last entry signed off from the backseat of a Volkswagen mini van bound for ZwarteCross, where The Viewing’s Darryn & Tyler arrived a mere 20 minutes later to a giant-faced man, extremely upset by their lack of credentials and a mean u-turn over a double white line that seemed perfectly kosher to those of us from the states. In a land where everyone speaks multiple languages and we’re stuck using hand signals and words like “no understando”, they quickly realized that the joke is on Americans when it comes to traveling overseas.
In the riders paddock stood a lone race transporter: A badass flat front semi in full World Motocross dress. Darryn and Tyler were about to find themselves back in the factory saddle pitting out of the über-plush F&H Kawasaki rig. Owned by the Harry Fase and his family, they made sure we were comfortable and introduced their new, awkward American friends to the family. Sending them towards the festival grounds with a knowing smile, they knew that there was no preparing for the weirdness ahead. Exchanging cash for Muntens and hopping bar to bar, the boys found themselves in a surreal world of LARPers, post-apocalyptic death machines, deep house music, and drag queens in a true cultural melting pot—no quarter asked and none given. Pumping the obnoxiously addicting party-song “Dicke Titten Kartoffelsalat” (Dutch for Big Tits and Potato Salad) on repeat around the grounds, it became clear that this is not your typical American motocross event. While the motocross race is the centerpiece of this festival, it’s the 16 main stages and an endless flow of Grolsch beers that floated this one to 220,000+ attendees in 2016. About 300 Euro in Muntens, six carnival rides, and a few luckies later, the boys hit the sack just before sunrise and ready to put the #69 and #420 Kawi’s to work.
Pushing 30-degrees Celsius with 100 percent humidity, the festival packed in as the grounds quickly deteriorated; grass turning to dirt and an overwhelmingly heavy funk arising that falls somewhere between city dump and port-o-john. It’s part of the experience—gross by U.S. terms, but perfectly acceptable in the name of rowdy partying in the Dutch countryside. On the track, motos included some conventional “amateur” style classes starting with 50cc’s and ramping all the way up to marquee races like Heels on Wheels, Zwaargewichtklasse (party floats, soviet tanks, motorcycles…anything goes!) and the signature Superklasse where TB and DD were about to throw down.
Bringing American riders to the ZwarteCross gets the crowd amped up. The sand tracks of Europe are different than the states and there’s nothing Dutch fans love more than to see their local heroes go bar-to-bar with American motocross riders, on a course that the local advantage weighs heavy. Lining up for Moto one, Durham and Bereman both ripped mid-pack starts on top of Pirelli sand tires with 30,000 fans waiting to see what they could do. Durham mounted a charge early, ringing out his stock 450 and working his way into 8th place. With 2 laps to go and zero hours on the motor, seals started to give way and white smoke signaled impending doom. Shutting down on the last lap, Durham found his motor melted down and a DNF marking moto moto. Meanwhile, Bereman found himself recovering from a second-row start and working to find his flow in the deep sand but finishing the moto with confidence and good sprits.
The following hours were tense as the boys promised to take it easy on the bikes, as DD’s fresh 2017 was already toast. The mechanics huddled with the team owner and sourced a race bike for the morning. It was a gesture of support that showed the tradition of family is still alive here in Holland. The Fase’s welcomed us in, and moved mountains to make sure that both Darryn and Tyler were taken care of.
Suspense mounted with the afternoon heat as the 5:30 PM moto prepared to start. Back on the gate, Durham’s #420 plates weren’t the only hint to the smile on his face—he was back, ready to rip, and confident in the motorcycle beneath him. Holding a tight inside around he first corner and fighting for a 7th, Durham diced with regional and World Motocross pros into fourth or fifth position, while announcers in multiple languages belted out the play by play. Looking aggressive and confident, the fans lining the fence lines were treated to the kind of DD steeze the world hasn’t seen since his last season racing U.S. Nationals. Just as podium contention started to become a reality, the announcers bellowed “Darryn, get up Darryn!!!” signaling that he had gone down, knifing the front end and remounting in mid pack just as his teammate Tyler Bereman made the move by. Watching the Americans battle side-by-side was the bittersweet reward of the moto, but nothing was as cool as seeing Darryn return to his signature form when the going got tough.
As the sun set around 10:00 PM, the boys laced up their DC’s and prepped for the many kilometers ahead, roaming the 137 acre festival grounds into the wee hours with friends they had yet to meet. With the Reggae tent at the top of the order, the night was young and the Muntens plentiful with one more day of racing on the agenda. Then after that—three days in Amsterdam… and perhaps the very last sighting of The Viewing Death Crue again as they disappear into the nooks and crannies of the Red Light District.
Only time will tell how things go down, and the next installment of this blog to wrap up the rest of The Viewing’s European adventure. Stay tuned!
Words and Photos by Aran Eversman