Krowdrace, Meißen, D
We’re not sure when Rudi got infected with the Flat Track Fever. These are the known facts: his first attempt at getting off the bike in a controlled way while underway - and his first rounds on a dusty oval at Dirt Quake, UK on a, let’s say, uncooperative Shovelhead. Stage 3 was Rudi checking out the Krowdrace finals in October. The rest is history.
But there’s no flat tracking without pratt-pratting. So Rudi went and built himself a rigid hand shifting Panhead, with a nice, stockish ’53 / ’54 Pan engine in a Paughco frame, with no frills, but with a nice megaphone endpipe. He went testing the rig in march and then registered his first active Krowdrace weekend. The plan was: get the feel of the bike and the track on Friday, and spend Saturday watching the action.
So off he went on Friday to join Meißen’s 400 m speedway track. "Eat my dust" has been their motto here for over 70 years.
The Pan’s megaphone and the burnt rubber
made it clear from the start of the training session that Rudi was here for business – in the "Vintage True Gold" class. Sounds like a late 80ies kitsch pop ballad, but actually is a merry lot of solid roaring bikes piloted by hell-bent for leather dudes.
Doing the training session is one thing though, doing an actual race is the real McCoy. The late registration went smooth, and the tech inspection was on Friday evening, should also be going well. Or so he thought, but: they wanted a chain guard, and an ECE approved full face helmet. Fashioning a chainguard looked already pretty tough, but joining Rudi’s two DOT helmets to make one ECE lid was definitely not going to work.
But dudes who risk their butts thrashing two wheeled hardware from the last millennium stick together. A chainguard was quickly fabricated, and a well fitting skid lid conforming to the rules was also located among the trailers. Big thanks to all the helping hands!
Rudi the Rookie was all set and ready to roll. After the Saturday morning riders’ briefing it was right into a high octane schedule. The morning saw the amateurs battling it out, and the afternoon was reserved for the pros. So we better get up early!
There’s three runs per class, and it’s all about
collecting points against the other flatheads, Ironheads, K-models (and one KR model) for the final grid position. Rudi made it to places 2, 4 and 2 respectively. Looking good, Rudi! In the final he rode all the way to the podium on place 3! He also bagged the special price in the hand shifter category!
Watching the pros then going sideways round the track was a sight to behold in the afternoon. Riding to the top of the podium was the flat track world champion, a certain Lasse (we’re not making this up) Kurvinen.
With 78 riders from 8 nations both training
and race day were a full throttle experience. And what a bunch of open, positive and always ready to help people. Getting into this friendly bubble isn’t hard either: a few technical details on your bike need to be sorted out and off you go, eating dust in the oval. (it’s all here: krowdrace.de)
Even when you’re just making your baby steps you’ll have tons of fun – and one day there’ll be the point when you nudge by an opponent to second to last place with a cheerful "eat my dust" on your lips.
The next opportunity to get yourself infected with the flat track fever will be at Krowdrace on 22/23 july at Wolfslake.