Monday, December 28, 2009

christmas ice biking

Christmas eve back home is the big nite- pig roast, yucca, black beans and rice... the traditional cuban christmas feast (Noche Buena as my grandparents refer to it). Well, I'm 1600 miles away from the family, so some princess chicken from San Dong Express would have to do. Spent the first half of christmas day at my buddy Ben's place. He had his girlfriends side of the family over for a christmas breakfast that was stellar. Ended up staying there till late, then headed to my buddy dick's for dinner. It's nice to have friends that welcome your company when you don't have family around.

I stayed up late scanning through sideburn magazine daydreaming about what saturday would bring. I had loaded up the ice bike in the back of the truck and was set to get up nice and early to hit the ice. I got a total of 2hrs sleep and never have i sprung to attention as i did when that alarm went off. Jumped in the truck and hit the road for Janesville - bout an hours drive.

I got to my buddy Ski's bright and early and we did some minor tweaking before loading up the bikes, along with the snowblower. We figure the first day we would ride the bikes around his retention pond to just try and get a feel for them and work out the kinks.

Here's the mini-track ski plowed out for us.

Ski on his 250, son Jay on his 80cc 2 stroke, and daughter abbey played pit crew.

my mo-cheen. 1977 Honda XL125

This wasn't Jays first time out and you could definitely tell.

Ski around turn one

Ski told me a long time ago that riding a bike on the street isn't half as much fun as being out on the ice.... As much as i love my shovelhead, i hate to admit, he may be right. Talk about a totally different experience! After getting a feel for the bike and how it grips the ice, i started pushing the bike a bit harder. I started picking up speed and was trying to back it in to the turns with absolutely no luck- seems with a bike thats low on torque, you get halfway through the turn and you could just here the bike bog down and lose speed before it would actually get going again. I talked to ski about it and he suggested instead of trying to break the rear tire loose, just keep the bike pegged and lean over further.

AH-HA! that was the ticket! Lean hard, give 'er the beans, and push down with your outside foot to try and keep as much traction as possible.

there's no words that can describe how much of a badass you feel like when you start to get the feeling of the bike down... even if you don't look like all that much of a badass. After a ton of laps, the ice starts to get these nice ruts in it, and if you can catch them just right, they make for good good cornering. hit it the wrong way, and your ass is up in the air and the bars are slapping all over the place. Its such an out of control feeling that only feels better with the more gas you give it. The screws don't wanna grab if your on the brake. but twist the throttle and hang on and you're golden.

I also got to feel what its like busting your ass on the ice a few times. If you look close in this one, you can see the front tire is cocked inward just a tad. more gas probably could have saved this one, but alas, no luck.

surprisingly hitting the ice isn't half as bad as one would have thought.... just make sure your leg is up in the air so you dont put it on the still-moving buzz-saw of a tire.

All in all the first day was killer, and the second day even better out at lake Koshkonong. Unfortunately, in my excitement, i forgot the charger to my camera at home and my batteries were dead by saturday mid-day. I know, I know...  By mid day sundaya i had really gotten a feel for the 125cc and even started getting the bars below my knee on the turns. Scared the crap out of myself a few times and even high-sided on a turn and whacked my shin REAL good. Whats really a shame is i didn't get any shots of the other dudes that were out there riding the lake. Local flattrack superhero Lance (don't know his last name) was there along with some other guys on 450s that we're just INSANE. Badass of the day award goes to an AMA flattrack plate holder #19.... Ian was his name but again i don't have a last name. This guy was the first one on the ice and absolutely ripped on his 2-stroke yammy. it was like a snowstorm following him wherever he went- totally nuts.

so the big lesson from the weekend, dont' forget your damn camera charger. I promise next time guys, better pics and more of them. I'm hooked on this so i'm sure i will be going out again way sooner than later!
Yup. We be on the INSTAGRAM trend too...