Any heat, sunny weekend right here within the higher Midwest is an effective time to get some critical trip time; add a trip with previous pals, a tour of the now re-opened Midwest Microcar Museum and Classic Cycle Room, plus a monster turnout for the spring version of the Slimey Crud Bike Gang Café Racer Run, and you’ve got the method for a really nice weekend.
My life-long driving buddy Dean Massoglia had escaped the still-cold Higher Peninsula of Michigan and got here all the way down to my place in southern Wisconsin for the Crud Run weekend. On that first Saturday in Might, we took off for a trip with no specific vacation spot, although we deliberate to make a part of the trip a cease at Triumph of Sauk County in Reedsburg, Wisc., and swing by Mazomanie on the best way. Mazomanie is a part of our shared historical past, as we lived in that nice little Wisconsin city years again after we labored within the Engineering Division of Wick Properties, which was headquartered there.
After we received to Mazomanie, we discovered the Midwest Microcar Museum and Classic Cycle Room open, which had been closed since 2018 when the decrease ranges of the 2 buildings have been broken in uncommon, epic flooding. Now, most of these classics that had been broken have been restored and returned to the gathering, and a few new vehicles and bikes have been added.
Co-founder and curator of the gathering Ingrid Krause was readily available to greet guests. Ingrid, her late husband Carlo, and their son Sven created the distinctive assortment in 2015 to protect the uncommon microcars and light-weight bikes that have been widespread in Europe simply earlier than and after World Battle II.
Carlo was a long-time collector of a spread of car sorts, and the microcar was of specific curiosity as a result of so many mixed motorbike and automotive parts in a single, light-weight design. Some used aviation know-how, such because the Messerschmitt KR200 (1955) and the Heinkel Kabine (1957). Each firms had constructed plane for Germany throughout WWII, however have been forbidden to take action after. So, they utilized their experience to civilian transportation wants.
Admission is free, although donations are accepted and go to native charities. The museum and Classic Cycle Room should not open each day—test the museum’s Fb web page to seek out out when it’s open. Group exhibiting appointments could be arrange upfront.
From Mazomanie, we headed north to Triumph of Sauk County to browse the spectacular collection of new bikes by Triumph, CF Moto, Benelli, SSR, and Beta, a wide range of used bikes, Polaris and Ski-Doo snowmobiles, plus gear, attire, and equipment.
This all primed us for the spring working of the Slimey Crud Bike Gang Café Racer Run on Sunday, which dawned heat and sunny.
Some riders hereabouts say the driving season begins formally with the spring version of the Slimey Crud Run on the primary Sunday in Might. That’s ironic, as there’s formally nothing official concerning the Crud Run. There aren’t any prescribed route maps, street captains, nook markers, tail gunners, company sponsors, logos, banners, slogans, mottos, nice causes—effectively, you get the image.
The goals are easy—trip protected, see previous pals, make new pals, ogle the opposite riders and their bikes, and have enjoyable; that’s just about it. Dean and I met up with one other previous driving buddy and former Wick Properties co-worker, Tony Fransen, outdoors of Madison at Pine Bluff, the place the Crud Run kicks off. Provisions can be found in Pine Bluff at Morgan’s Pub and the Pink Mouse.
Because of the good climate, the turnout in sheer numbers was enormous. Bikes of all ages, manufacturers, and configurations rapidly stuffed downtown Pine Bluff, with overflow attendance parked alongside the roadsides.
After circulating among the many bikes and riders, discovering different pals, acquaintances, and fanatics for an hour or two, it was off to the top level of the run—the hamlet of Leland to the north in Sauk County, Wisc. Alongside the best way, we stopped on the Eagle Inn in Prairie Du Sac for a bit lunch.
A part of the attraction of the Crud Run lies in the truth that there are such a lot of well-paved state, county, and township roads that wind by scenic, quiet roads. Some are slim, shaded blacktop roads that function a lot of corners and adjustments of elevation. Gradual and simple is the very best tempo to benefit from the view.
Different roads are wider and fewer technical, tending towards extra site visitors and better speeds. Since there is no such thing as a try and have a mass motion at one particular time, small group or particular person meandering turns into the order of the day with no site visitors tie-ups.
Leland is all the time attention-grabbing as a result of, whereas a few of the riders who go to Pine Bluff don’t make the run to Leland, there’s a new mixture of riders that don’t go to Pine Bluff, however present up in Leland. Leland is even smaller than Pine Bluff, so the place is filled with riders, bikes, and attention-grabbing dialog. It’s house to Sprecher’s Tavern and Sporting Items, the place brats, burgers, and drinks can be found.
From Leland, riders disperse in all instructions. For us, it was extra back-road driving and already waiting for the autumn renewal of the Crud Run on the primary Sunday in October.
Pictures by Gary Ilminen