Insanity ensues. A mile long loop of tightly packed dirt with two-wheeled monsters being ridden at speeds, that could only be described as irresponsible. Tucked down behind the bars of your machine, with your right hand holding the throttle wide open, and your left tucked in behind the front fork; or laid flat along the length of the minimally sized fuel tank. A breezy 140 mph down the long straight, then a seamless and subtle flick of the bike and throttle, as your body leans over, into the turn to scrub the tiniest bit of speed. Hot shoe slides along the firm pack, kicking up from the undulations and imperfections in the dirt. Then power on, carefully and skillfully, through a sweeping corner that seems to go on forever. That’s the mile, and that’s why I love it.
AMA Flat track racing. A professional sport with a grassroots feel. You walk through the pit area and see the talented, very young faces that make up the ranks of the professional elite. The best of the best in the entire country, when it comes to being fearless on two wheels. Bikes, gear, crew and even family, packed tightly in everything from considerably large truck and trailer rigs, down to the humble, plain white panel van. It’s a one day show with unload, practice, qualifying, heat races and main events all packed into a fast moving well-choreographed, minute by minute schedule. Everything moves smoothly from round to round, heat to heat and right into the final. On this day, delays were rare, and only caused by the occasional extra time needed to make sure the track had enough moisture. A dusty, dry-loose track is the enemy of good flat track racing. There would be none of that this day.
Here’s the rest of our photos from the 2013 Sacramento Mile: