Battle Creek’s Wall of Death competition: Heath Weisbrod puts on a show

In the MORC forum back in August, Battle Creek Regional Park MTB Dirt Boss Brett Swenson started a topic titled Wall of Death bounty:

At the Battle Creek group ride (Every Wed. at 5 & 6pm) we were discussing how we have never seen anyone climb the Wall of Death trail with no dabs. So we decided to put a bounty of a case of beer… People are always looking for more technical trail features, well here you go.

After a few weeks of discussion, the idea of scheduling an informal competition emerged and an informal contest announcement thread was launched, announcing a date and miscellaneous rules and rewards. My suggestion to include a go-slow competition riding down the Wall of Death (WOD) was adopted.

Travis Miller, Brett Swenson Paul Thorsgaard, Tom Gehring

Yesterday at 1 pm,  crew of BC Dirt Bosses and volunteers (including Tom Gehring, Travis Miller, Brett Swenson, Paul Thorsgaard) got things rolling for the ten competitors, including yours truly.

For the hill climb, they had 7 flags spaced out from the bottom to top for markers to indicate climb level.  If you dabbed between marker 3 and 4, then 3 was your score for that run.  But the ultimate criteria for the winner, like any hill climb, was fastest to the top with no dabs. Next criteria was furthest up without dabbing.

Heath Weisbrod, bottom of Battle Creek's Wall of Death Heath Weisbrod, mid-point of Battle Creek's Wall of Death Heath Weisbrod, near the top of Battle Creek's Wall of Death

Heath Weisbrod, dabbing near the top of Battle Creek's Wall of Death Heath Weisbrod, after nearly cleaning Battle Creek's Wall of Death Heath Weisbrod, Champion, 2013 Battle Creek Wall of Death Hill Climb

The champion: Heath Weisbrod. He went much higher than anyone else without dabbing on both his 2nd and 3rd runs. Here’s my video of his 3rd run in which he gets his front wheel over the final timber before dabbing:

Ray Brown, 2nd place, 2013 Battle Creek Wall of Death Hill Climb Troy Lawrence, 3rd place, 2013 Battle Creek Wall of Death Hill Climb

Ray Brown took second and Troy Lawrence third.

Hill climb results (points using the scoring system)

1st: Heath Weisbrod (furthest up without dabbing)
2nd: Ray Brown: 12
3rd: Troy Lawrence: 11
4th (tie): Mike Andert: 8
4th (tie): Brett Swenson: 8
4th (tie): Griff Wigley: 8
7th (tie): Chip Bennard: 4
7th (tie): Jose Diaz: 4
7th (tie): Larry Marx: 4
7th (tie): Tony Marx: 4

Mike Andert, 1st place, 2013 Battle Creek Wall of Death Go-Slow competition Ray Brown, 3rd place, 2013 Battle Creek Wall of Death Go-Slow competition L to R: 1st, Mike Andert; 3rd, Ray Brown; 2nd, Heath Weisbrod - Go-Slow competition

The go-slow downhill competition was to see who could take the longest time to descend the Wall of Death. If you dabbed, you were eliminated.

Mike Andert won easily. He was the last rider of the competition and after demonstrating his prowess at balancing, he graciously rode to the end when it was clear he’d beaten Heath’s time. He could have balanced there all afternoon.

Go-Slow competition results (seconds elapsed)

1st: Mike Andert: 33.71
2nd: Heath Weisbrod: 19.9
3rd: Ray Brown: 18.59
4th: Griff Wigley: 17.9
5th: Tony Marx: 15.1
6th: Jose Diaz: 10.1
7th: Troy Lawrence: 9.0 (dab)
8th: Larry Marx: 8.72
9th: Brett Swenson: 5.0
10th: Chip Bennard: DNS


Wall of Death competitors

Props to the Battle Creek Dirt Bosses for hosting this unique, um, group ride. Winking smile  As a geezer, I’m happy to just be participating in any competition so I was pleased with my two 4th place finishes. Plus, I got a chance to meet a bunch of riders for the first time, people I’d only known from the MORC forums.

See my large slideshow of 33 photos (recommended) or SLOW CLICK this small slideshow:


  1. Clay Haglund said:

    I’d be plenty happy with 4th place…congrats Griff. You are a damn good rider age be damned.

    October 13, 2013
  2. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, Clay.

    I’ve learned something about climbing from this hill climb competition… but not enough to where I put it into practice effectively for this event, unfortunately. I’m working on a blog post about it. Stay tuned.

    October 13, 2013
  3. Griff Wigley said:

    Paul Thorsgard has put up 2 videos of the hillclimb competition and 1 of the go-slow:




    October 13, 2013
  4. Griff Wigley said:

    And last night I learned that the Wall of Death was just conquered by a guy named Kasey Bacso. Here’s his amazing run:


    October 14, 2013
  5. Troy said:

    Great write up Griff. Fun times out there. Good seeing you!

    October 14, 2013
  6. Doug said:

    Awesome… I love the last photo and caption… seems comical even though it is serious at the same time. “champion – drinking the cooler of beer” 🙂

    October 18, 2013
  7. Griff Wigley said:

    Hah! I didn’t actually write that Heath was drinking the beer, let alone the whole cooler of it, Doug. It could be that he was just PRETENDING to drink the beer, mugging for the camera. I’d hate to get him and the Dirt Bosses in trouble with the county. 😉

    October 18, 2013
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Troy, ’twas great to see and compete against you. Seems like only yesterday that I met you in Cuyuna’s Yawkey Unit when you were cleaning the obstacles in Timbershaft.

    I’m determined to get back to the Wall of Death and see if there’s a way to ride up it slowly. I’m thinking that I should be able to at least get my front wheel to the log near the top – where Heath’s rear wheel is in this photo:

    I may be entertaining delusions of grandeur, however. 😉

    October 22, 2013
  9. Griff Wigley said:

    Almost got up it today in granny gear:


    October 22, 2013
  10. Chris said:

    A mtb hill climb event is a neat idea!

    October 26, 2013
  11. Griff Wigley said:

    I agree, Chris. I’d like to see more of them… and other off-beat events, too.

    October 26, 2013

Comments are closed.