The Slimey Crud Cafe Racer Run has been and remains the premier non-affiliated, non-corporate sponsored, unaligned, disassociated, totally free motorcycle rally and rolling show in Wisconsin. Maybe in the upper Midwest. Or the entire country, for that matter.It was founded forever ago by people who shall, for the purposes of this report, remain nameless, but were committed members of the original Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang, with the goal of establishing the aforementioned premier event. Early on, it didn’t generate the swarm of riders it does these days, even though the Gang did some actual publicity.
Now, despite the absence of banners and posters co-emblazoned with some light beer or energy drink, cheesy plastic give-away mugs, or any other promo knick-knacks, the Crud Run attracts large numbers of riders, unique and even classic motorcycles of all descriptions, even in fairly glum weather.Run on the first Sunday in May and October each year, the traditional doings involve riders congregating at the hamlet of Pine Bluff, west of Madison in Dane County, Wisc., for a period of meeting old riding buddies, meeting new riding buddies, and ogling the smorgasbord of bikes that show up.From there, each rider is free to pick his or her own route to the village of Leland across the Wisconsin River in Sauk County. There is no attempt to designate an “official route” for riders to take, no road captains, no wrist bands, and no rules to adhere to. Only the general admonition to ride safe, have fun, and keep the shiny side up. Other than that, you are pretty much on your own, which is where you should be. We are, after all, rugged individualists, as all motorcyclists should be.
That is a good thing because there are a number of town and county roads that offer scenic beauty, light traffic, and plenty of curves and hills to keep the rider entertained. My advice when doing the Run—slow down, get up off the tank, and enjoy the view. Save the high-speed stuff for your track days. Done properly, one can spend the better part of the day making the trip and never see the same road twice unless you manage to get lost, which is possible, unless you ruin it by using GPS or a map.Despite occasional morning drizzle and temperatures in the 40s, it got cooler as the day wore on, a fair number of riders turned out. To be sure, it was only about a third the number typically seen at the event, but still a substantial showing.
It’s always fun to offer images of some of the most interesting or “Best Of” random categories of motorcycles seen at the Run. The categories are occasionally appropriate, but that is not a requirement. The “Best Of” award is entirely arbitrary, based on how we’re feeling at the time. Fairness and consistency are neither required nor considered. No exchanges, substitutions, or protests are allowed, and all errors in judgment are completely expected.The next running of the Slimey Crud Café Racer Run is on the first Sunday in October. Be there or be—well, you know.Yes, we have more photos: