Slip-Slidin' Away

Ice bikes ain't right

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FRI 2/20

Has the thrill gone out of watching motorcycle racing? As dangerous as the sport may be, it lacks the hazards necessary to be anything more than a gateway drug. Racing fans will find that the next level of adrenaline overload can be attained with speedway ice racing. It sounds insane, and it is. Racing motorcycles on ice is, perhaps, one of the dumbest things a human being could ever willfully do.

The rider waits at the starting line on a lightweight mountain-bike chassis that houses a 90 horsepower engine. When the flag goes up, the nitro-methanol-fueled rocket is gunned to 14,000 rpm and achieves a velocity of 60 mph in less than three seconds on the frozen track. How? With 2,000 razor-sharp steel studs jutting from the tires, the rider actually gets a little grip on the ice. After four laps of sliding around (or death, whichever comes first), the race is over and the rider manages to somehow stop -- these machines have no brakes. Not surprisingly, "traction" is a commonly used word in the sport.

At 7:30 p.m., the XiiR Pro Ice Racing Tour hits the Family Arena (2002 Arena Parkway, 314-534-1111; $15, $7.50 for kids twelve and younger). As visitors to Pamplona during the running of the bulls know, nothing rivals the excitement of seeing a real, live perforation. -- John Goddard

Get Your Shrink On
Take the Polar Bear Plunge

SAT 2/21

Shrinkage is one of mankind's greatest horrors, a nasty reality that all fellows must face when entering any cold body of water. But the folks at the Osage Beach Department of Public Safety have accomplished the unthinkable: They've made shrinkage beneficial. Proceeds from the ninth annual Polar Bear Plunge will go to the Missouri Special Olympics. The festivities begin around 2 p.m. at Public Beach No. 2 in Osage, with a Polar Bear Parade of Costumes. The actual plunge begins at 2:30 p.m. and is open to anyone age fourteen and older, as long as the participant has raised at least $50 in contributions. That's right, ladies, you can help out too. What's a little THO compared to shrinkage? Nada. For more info, call 800-846-2682 or consult Hypothermia be damned! -- Guy Gray

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