RoadRUNNER Digital Rider

A Bright Light in My Winter of Discontent

Feb 15, 2015 View Comments by

A Bright Light in My Winter of DiscontentWinter can kill a man. No, I’m not talking about the single digit cold—that’s what wool is for. What I’m talking about is the sheer, unmitigated boredom of winter, when the short days and the icy roads and the salt and the sand conspire to ruin every apex within a hundred miles. Months without counter-steering can seriously mess with a fella’s will to live.

So when a two-wheeled circus known as Ice Speedway came to town, I went, hoping to catch a refreshing whiff of two-wheeled life to get me through another winter of discontent.

Walking through the pits, ogling the bikes (mostly four-stroke dirt bikes with studded tires and extra fender extensions and stays) lifted my spirits almost immediately. Chatting with the racers about studding tires, suspension setup, turning and braking technique (no front brake), and other minutiae of their mad craft turned my winter frown upside down.

And then watching the racers out on the ice, filling Sun National Bank Center Arena in Trenton, NJ, with the sound and the fury of well-tuned four-stroke singles, throwing the bikes into turns, rear tire hanging all the way out there looking for traction, bikes leaning over at impossible angles, riders’ left legs stuck out, sliding along the ice until the corner exit when the rear tire finally hooks up propelling bikes and riders towards the next turn. Apex. Rev. Repeat. These sights and sounds put a big grin on my face and made me forget (if just for a short while) that some silly groundhog in Punxsutawney is predicting six more weeks of gloom. With these memories and images bouncing around my cranium now, I think I can handle it.

www.icespeedway.com

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About the author

You know that little boy who stares at you, mouth agape, as you ride by? That was me, thirty-plus years ago. I merged two of my passions, motorcycles and photography, when I became a contributor to RoadRUNNER.