far. He hit the ground like a sack of
potatoes and careened into a snow
bank. And, thanks to the fluffy white
stuff, he got up laughing.
WE WERE SMOOTH ON
THE THROTTLE, TRIED
TO AVOID BLOWING
NEVER TOUCHED THE
CLUTCH, AND SET
PEOPLE UP INSTEAD
OF GIVING THEM THE
As for my assault on the icy oval, I
was hesitant to be riding on ice that
even my boots slipped on with every
step, but I quickly realized that the
traction was plentiful. The sensation
was comparable to riding Supermoto,
with a lot less fear of high-siding.
Lugging the YZ450F engine proved
effective; otherwise, the rear end
would snap around and become
uncontrollably loose. The tall gearing
and broad powerband encouraged
metered throttle control. Smooth and
consistent were the best ways to
ride on ice; otherwise, the back end
would light up like a jack-o’-lantern.
Although I was far less graceful than
Daryl, I felt that I could hold my own
on race day.
Our biggest obstacle throughout
the whole trip was battling Mother
Nature. Although we had avoided
the Polar Vortex, which swept across
the greater part of the country this
winter, Wisconsin was still an icebox.
The mercury dipped to 10 degrees at
the lake. We went to desperate
measures to keep warm, which
meant dressing in layers. Function
trumped form, but Daryl and I didn’t
care. The snow didn’t care what we
looked like, nor did the angry ice
fishermen who shook their heads
every time our YZ450F hit the rev
limiter. We quickly realized that
staying warm was all that mattered
when you’re riding on a frozen lake
in the middle of Wisconsin.
As for the three-hour endurance
race itself, there were 72 teams made
up of multiple riders. There were also
several lunatics who decided to iron
man the three-hour event, including
famed dirt tracker J.R. Schnabel.
There was also a woman by the
name of Kristina Zmuda who showed
up the day of the race without any
pit support, signed up and did it
solo. How apropos that her team
name was Miss America. The course
spanned 6. 5 miles and contained over
100 turns of varying degrees and
speeds, a far cry from what we had
practiced on a day before.
Daryl was the obvious choice to
start for Team MXA. He was easily
the fastest in our group and begged
to lead by example. Racing the
heavyweight class, we were going
toe to toe with professional dirt
trackers and qualified ice racers.
We didn’t care. Perhaps it was our
motocross mentality or that we were
oblivious to the challenges that lay
ahead that made us so cocky.
In hindsight, we rode the perfect
race. Daryl got a mid-pack start and
began cutting through the pack.
Daryl was a wrecking ball—
ruthless on the ice and void of fear.
Tim Olson and I took a different
approach. We were smooth on the
There’s tons of traction on the
ice, given the proper setup. Race
winner and dirt track sensation
J.R. Schnabel demonstrates.