MO Goes Ice Racing! - Video

Winter is no reason to stop riding motorcycles

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Tom's Tome

An Ode To Ice Racing

Twas the night before ice racing when out of the north blew,
A low pressure Arctic front, a message from Jack Frost, a wintery eff-you.
My wet riding gear was hung above the motel room’s heater,
In hopes it’d be dry before the next morning at our ice racing theater.

Saturday’s session was a first for riding a motorcycle on ice,
I had my concerns but the few hundred screws in each tire more than sufficed.
Tenaciously gripping the cold, frozen water I leaned the bike further with each passing lap,
Until spinning out the rear and low-siding the Yami 450 whereupon my ass I sat.

Motorcycle Ice Racing Slick Conditions

With only four hours of practice I knew I was destined to be an ice racing winner,
So we headed to Fratellos in Oshkosh for a few beers and some dinner.
After a night of howling winds the morning dawned without any new snow,
The weather app said the temperature was seven but with wind chill it was freakin’ 12 below.

The track on Kettle Moraine Lake stretched for nearly seven miles in length,
With upwards of 100 turns one lap required an effort of herculean strength.
We estimated 10 minutes per orbit and 30 for three would keep us from getting lapped,
The reality was 15 and 45 after which each rider’s energy reserves were sapped.

Tom Roderick Ice Racing

Siahaan led the charge at the drop of the green flag,
Followed by Yamaha’s Tim Olson bravely joining our crew despite some jet lag.
Bundled up like an Eskimo it was my turn to ride,
A motorcycle with a seat 39.4 inches high.

Before even mounting the bike in the pits I was flat on my back having slipped on the ice,
Thankfully Olson restarted the YZF, and with a tank full of gas I charged out looking to dice
But something was different,it didn’t take long to discover,
The grip I enjoyed yesterday was gone, feeling more like I was riding a hot knife on butter.

Steel Shoe Fund Endurance Race Action

It had been nearly an hour and a half since the race was given the go,
And those 100 or so bikes with screws in their tires were piling up snow.
Not a third of the way through my first lap,
The front washed out leaving me again on my back.

After restarting the bike I soldiered on in a more timid way,
A little slower, not wanting to fall over, but I did pass the snow plow three times that day.
Just finishing the race was our goal for this particular competition,
At the end Team Polar Express finished 19 of 26 — not too bad for a first edition.

Steel Shoe Fund Ice Race Finish

Ice racing was a bucket list item I can now mark completed,
Given the chance I’d do it again, no encouragement needed.
Next time, however, some warmer weather would be asking only a little,
But being cold and dry is preferable to breaking through thin ice and ending up a Tomcicle.

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