In Wisconsin, the winter of 2012-2013 was long—very long. So when warm, sunny spring weather finally broke out in time for the spring running of the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang Café Racer Run, bikes and riders swarmed out to Pine Bluff like ants to a picnic. Some Slimey Crud Run
veterans speculated that it was the largest turn-out ever with about 2,000 or more bikes showing up.
Back in the 1970s, the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang—an affable, educated group of motorcycle buffs—actively tried to promote the ride with moderate success. No more. The event is now very well-attended with no organized promotion or
If there had been a wheelie contest, this riding lawn mower rig would have won.
Vintage Honda CB750, one of many show-quality bikes that also had plenty of go during the Crud Run.
corporate sponsors—pure grassroots spontaneous combustion. Word of mouth has grown the event so well that it is not uncommon to see license plates from five or more states.
The Crud Run happens on the first Sunday in May and first Sunday in October each year, basically making it the first, best thing at the beginning of the riding season and the last best thing at the end.
The Run starts in the tiny Dane County village of Pine Bluff, where the mass of riders and bikes can take up nearly all on and off-street parking. As the noon hour approaches, riders begin to filter out onto the tarmac and start the meander toward Lelant, the equally tiny berg in Sauk County where the event wraps up. There is a range of routes to take, some more technical and less direct than others, but all the roads are paved and excellent overall. The scenery is post-card perfect no matter which way you go; immaculate family farms, green hill sides and fields, stiking sandstone rock formations and the broad Wisconsin River. If you go, bring your camera and make a few stops along the way to take it all in.
If you’re more about ogling nearly every type of bike that turns a wheel, you’ll enjoy that view, too. Naturally, there are café racers in the finest tradition, but there are also rat bikes, customs, vintage and classic bikes, choppers, adventures, sport bikes, bobbers, even some full-on true racing bikes trailered out for your viewing pleasure.