You know what they say about long, hard Midwestern winters and what they can do to a man's mind... I mean, it's not for nothing that Wisconsin was identified as the binge-drinking capital of America in a recent Harvard Medical School study, or that the Dairyland State has a reputation as a breeding ground for serial killers (do the names Ed Gein or Jeffery Dahmer ring any bells?). Winter is especially hard on midwestern motorcyclists who are usually forced to park their machines sometime in early December not to ride again until at least late March. PMS (Parked Motorcycle Syndrome) can be a paralyzing condition, but luckily a few ingenious stunters have found a cure in the form of a few thousand Kold Kutter ice screws, a rusty snow plow, and a frozen lake, resulting in the world's first ice stunting competition.
Held in the last days of January on the frozen surface of Lake Koshkonong just outside of Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, this first-ever ice stunt exhibition was organized and sponsored by the Sunset Tavern (who hosted the event). Lured by big cash prizes fronted by Sunset, the Midwest's best stunt crews--Vertical Mischief, Miltown Wheelie Boyz, D-Aces and Section-8--showed up to throw down on the frozen surface. Setting up the bikes proved to be the biggest challenge--to provide traction, each tire required around 1,100 (!) individual ice screws, along with a liner (usually the cut-down center of another old tire) and a healthy dose of Slime or other tire sealer to keep everything under pressure. VMC's Dan Urban told us that set up like this, his front wheel assembly weighed more than 65 pounds! Of course, this required some slightly different techniques for pulling the stunts off, particularly with regard to getting the front end up in the air. The balance point was much higher than on the street, Urban said for example, which made no-handers and other slow-speed tricks more complicated than usual.
Also, the prodigious power of the big sportbikes seemed to overwhelm available traction at times, with the wheels often spinning for a second or two when the clutch was dumped before hooking up, but once the riders adapted to the unique conditions it was pretty much business as usual, and the stunt show was surprisingly similar in format to what you would expect in the summer months on pavement. Except for the fact that most of the crowd looked more like extras from "Polar Express" than typical stunt gangsters, and a little bit of wheelspin resulted in a sno-cone and not a cloud of tire smoke...
Individual Premier Freestyle:
1. Dan Urban (VMC)
2. Dan Look (Section 8)
3. Ryan Suchanek (VMC)
Vertical Mischief Crew
Longest No-Handed Wheelie: