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Photograph by Felipe Buitrago
SLIPPIN' AND SLIDIN': Veteran Boo Boo Bob Scally (No. 71z) was one of the slickest riders on the track at the fairgrounds Saturday.

Tight Turns

By Felipe Buitrago

MOTOCROSS has the jumps, Moto GP has the speed and the turns, and flat-track racing has the power slide. Now, we all know from childhood that the power slide is one of the coolest things anyone could do, which is why, after a dormant period, the flat-track power slide is making a comeback with a large following.

     Proof of this trend was seen last Saturday (March 28) at the Santa Clara County Fairgrounds, where riders came from far and away to test their skills on bikes that are designed for the sole purpose of sliding into every turn. Most of the bikes in these events use only one brake and one gear. The race is run counterclockwise on a tight oval track. The turns are taken at very high speeds, which means leaning so far into the turn that the rear of the bike whips out. The rider's left foot slides on the ground to stabilize the turn. Some riders go as far adding a small piece of extra fuzzy carpeting to their left boot to insure a smooth slide.    

 All of this is done with up to 12 riders on the track racing elbow to elbow—certainly not a sport for the faint at heart, but once it grabs you it doesn't let go. Take Boo Boo Bob Scally, for instance. He is one of the many riders that make up the senior class of racers over the age of 50; he has been leaving more than just a mark on the track for decades.


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