MILWAUKEE -- What do you get when you combine hundreds of motorcycles, concrete and some soda syrup? An event filled with high-speed action!
"This motorcycle race definitely puts Milwaukee on the map. This is the biggest indoor flat track, maybe the biggest in the U.S.," Scott Johnson, Flat Out Friday organizer said.
More than 220 motorcycle racers from around the world recently converged on the BMO Harris Bradley Center for Flat Out Friday -- indoor track racing on concrete with one necessary addition.
"The track is ultimately just perfectly smooth and the Dr. Pepper soda syrup that's sprayed -- it's like racing on fly paper -- so it gives you great traction. Even though it's a short track, it's just a lot of fun," Michael Lang from Waukesha said.
"This is on the smallest track I've ever ridden on before. What makes it different is you are racing on soda basically. You're racing on sticky syrup," Loyal Prach, a 13-year-old racer said.
Dr. Pepper soda syrup was sprayed down to help the riders stay on the track.
"I came up with this idea a long time ago. I actually wanted to do it at State Fair Park, but I can't afford to put dirt in an arena, so I did some research and I found out I can do a Coke syrup for pennies, as opposed to bringing in truck fulls of dirt," Jeremy Prach, Flat Out Friday promoter said.
"People are creative. When we want to race, we want to race here in Wisconsin -- whether it be on ice or sticky concrete," Lang said.
Jeremy Prach said the racing is open to pretty much anyone who has a cycle and wants to give it a chance.
"All makes and models and sizes. I try to vary it as much as I could when I created this, so tiny little bikes to big Harleys," Prach said.
That created a wide variety of racer -- both young, starting at age 12, to more experienced -- with the oldest racer aged 75. There was a division for men and women, and professionals and amateurs.
That's where first-time racer Trisha Baker from Minnesota fit in.
"It's a good opportunity for people like me that want to get into it, to have the chance to do it and not have to have all the money to do it. That's pretty cool," Baker said.
While it was a competition and racers wanted to win, there was also a camaraderie that took place when they were off the track.
"We all learn from each other and we all help each other, whether it be a tire or a wrench or parts or whatever. We are competitive, but we also want each other out there together," Prach said.
"So it's cheap and easy to get into, and there's a lot of people who are goodhearted with good advice and kind of show you the ropes," Johnson said.
"All the riders are really nice. Everyone is really helpful," Baker said.
"We're just super excited that this many people want to make the trip to Milwaukee and come race with us," Johnson said.
In just its second event, Flat Out Friday doubled the entries from the first race. Organizers said they hope to keep the event going, but they know there's uncertainty with the new Bucks arena under construction.