On March 30, 2019, in the little town of Reynolds, Georgia, an event of outsized fun was held: the 4th annual MX5000. The brainchild of master pinstriper/sign writer/tattooist Chastin Brand, the MX5000 revives the age-old tradition of grassroots, red dirt, run-what-ya-brung fun. Says Chastin:
“I watched a lot of motorsports racing growing up, but it always seemed unachievable without a lot of money invested. We wanted something pretty much anybody or bike could race and have a good time.”
There are cross country, motocross, and flat track races, complete with a variety of classes, including the always-entertaining “Inappropriate” class, where Goldwings and Milwaukee tractors have been known slide tail-happy around the track.
Racers at this year’s MX5000 included none other than AMA hall-of-famer Dave Aldana (!), who’s still racing hard at 70 years old, along with our friends from One Down Four Up and Atlanta’s Brother Moto.
The good folks from Chattanooga’s Speed Deluxe Vintage & Bespoke Motorcycles, which organizes the Vintage 500 and Vintage 1000 rallies, were in attendance, of course, and a contingent even drove down all the way from Wisconsin. Photographer Bob Adams (@rjadamsphoto) was kind enough to share these incredible photos from the weekend, and we caught up with race organizer Chastin Brand to learn more about the event.
MX5000 Race: Organizer Interview
Could you tell us a little about yourself, your history with cars and motorcycles, and the hand-painted work you do?
I’m Chastin Brand, I’m 30 years old from the town of Butler, GA. My dad owns an auto body shop and has always messed around with old cars, and that sparked my love for all things vintage. I started trying to learn pinstriping at the age of 13, I enjoyed it and kept at it, practicing on whatever I could find around my dad’s shop. Eventually I started doing lettering and hand-painted signs as well. That kept me from having to get a real job and between the two I am able to make a living.
I built and drove a ’65 ford truck throughout high school and have owned and driven old cars since then. At about 19 I ended up getting a shovelhead Harley in a trade and that’s what I learned to ride on. I went through a few more street bikes after that before realizing I needed something a little more off-road capable. I picked up an XT500 Yamaha and fell in love with vintage dirtbikes. It’s the perfect mix of the authenticity of a vintage machine and the excitement of something like skateboarding or BMX.
How did the idea of the MX5000 Race come about?
The idea for MX5000 was something my buddy Luke H. Kessinger and I came up with. I watched a lot of motorsports racing growing up, but it always seemed unachievable without a lot of money invested. We wanted something pretty much anybody or bike could race and have a good time. We thought up a stupid name to scare off any racers that would take it too seriously.
The first couple of years was held at a private mx track in a town nearby.
It was a really nice track but unfortunately was shut down by the neighbors. At that point my wife, Lauren, and I were preparing to relocate to the country and live on some family land. So we figured we would just host the event there. It was a ton of work clearing land, building a flat track, designing and laying out the motocross/grasstrack in addition to cutting a 2 or 3 mile Woods course. We accomplished all that in between moving our home, shop, and studio while also renovating a vintage Spartan trailer to live in.
How has the event grown since 2016?
I have always been impressed with how many people have been willing to drive out to the middle of nowhere to come hang out at our little, unorganized race. We’ve pretty much tripled attendance in the past 4 years but it’s still manageable. Not sure how much larger I would like it to get, I still want to keep that small homegrown feel. Either way I feel like everyone really gets what we are trying to do and its been great.
Any 2019 highlights you’d like to share, and/or favorite bikes or bike/rider combos?
This year my buddy Jay Haisten surprised us with some pretty serious lighting so we were able to do some nighttime flat tracking, I feel like that really added to the experience. We also had a great crew from Wisconsin make the long drive down, their attitudes and bikes fit the event perfectly. Legendary flat track racer Dave Aldana showed up unexpectedly, it was pretty great seeing him race with my buddies in my front yard. Also since the beginning we had wanted to have a ladies class so I was stoked to see that come about.
Overall I feel like we couldn’t ask for a better weekend. The weather was wonderful, the racing was close and competitive, the camping was nice and the people were great and very respectful of us and the property.
What can we expect from MX5000 2020?
As far as 2020 and the years to come, the tracks will continue to morph and change a little as we ride them throughout the year. More woods sections. Also more streamlining of the race day operations. We also have a couple of other similar events in the works, so we don’t have to wait a full year. So stay tuned. Thanks for the interest and support.
2019 Race Classes
Flat Track Shots
Woods / MX Racing Shots
Follow the Race / Photographer / Organizer
A Final Note…
As an aside, here at BikeBound.com we have our own personal connection to the town of Reynolds, which has an area of 1.3 square miles and a population of 1036 people. Says BikeBound’s founder, Taylor Brown, a native of the Georgia coast:
“One of my good buddies growing up, his mom — Mrs. Dixie — was from Reynolds. She was our preschool teacher. When we were older, Mrs. Dixie used to tell us stories of growing up in Reynolds in the early 60s. One time, she told us, she was riding around with her high school boyfriend when a patrol car clocked them for speeding and tore off after them. Well, her boyfriend already had a bunch of points on his license, so when they dropped below the next rise in the road, they switched drivers while still speeding along (easier in the bench-seat days) and tore off down a side road, where Mrs. Dixie lost their pursuer. I think we learned then that our sweet, soft-spoken preschool teacher had been a lot wilder in her youth than we knew!”