Brant Lake, SD (KSFY) For many families, the summer is all about going to the races, but out on Brant Lake the snow and ice mean it’s time for a new racing season, one some northern riders actually prefer.
“My time to race is in the winter,” racer Brett Martin said.
For some area farmers, the winter is the only time they can really spend out on the track.
“The traction is unbelievable that we’re getting out here compared to dirt, we can go so fast with these screws that we’re running,” Martin said.
Canadian ice tires make racing on the frozen lake possible.
“These tires that we’re using they’re scary, they could really hurt somebody, that’s why we have the front fender guards as you’ve seen on most of the bikes, that’s to protect the other riders form getting hit by the bikes,” Martin said.
But for the most part, races of all ages out at Brant Lake’s ice track say they’re actually less likely to wipe out on the ice.
“Diffidently ice better, I feel like I go a lot faster and get more traction,” 13-year-old racer Raegan Hoff said.
“I feel like I always go faster on ice than dirt,” 12-year-old racer Emma Gotsch said.
These best friends have been racing together for years.
“It’s really fun, we really push each other, she pushes me and I push her and it makes us better together,” Hoff said.
Those friendships and deep racing roots keep the icy tradition running strong.
“My dad and Rod and a bunch of them old guys that used to race, there’s still a few of them out here and a few of their kids here too,” Martin said.
“It’s just for fun, when we were younger people were putting them on and we were racing so now it’s our turn to return the favor,” organizer Chad Mellenberndt said.
While the racers say the cold can sometimes be a bit of a challenge, ice racing season is still their favorite time of the year.
“It’s a good time to get together with everyone and there’s a lot of guys you don’t see all year long then you see them at the ice races,” Martin said.
The ice races run for about eight weeks out on Brant Lake with competitors ranging from age five up to their 50s.