By Wade Thiel
Pullstart Racing League’s Inaugural Race
The rider to my right leaned toward me and said over the sound of the engines, “Let’s not kill each other today. Okay?” I nodded.
The three of us pulled up a little closer to the starting line of the track outlined in cones behind Duke’s Indy—a honky-tonk bar on the south side of Indianapolis, IN. We were the first heat of what was to be multiple of the inaugural race of the Pullstart Racing League.
While we waited for the flag girl (my wife volunteered for this important job) to countdown and wave a bandana borrowed from a friend to get us started, I could still hear one of the event organizers using a leaf blower to blast dust off the parking lot in one of the tighter corners of the racetrack outlined in cones.
For a second, I wondered how the hell I got here.
The Lead-Up to Race Day
About three weeks before the event held on May 5th, a friend texted me a picture of a flyer he saw in Duke’s. It said, “Run-What-You-Brung Minibike Racing. Must be 21+ to participate.” I was sold.
I immediately searched on Craigslist to find a bike. An old guy a few miles north of me was selling an ancient-looking Sears five horsepower minibike for $200. The next morning I called. Two hours later I was at his house with my truck.
I rode it for maybe 12 seconds and knew I wasn’t going to find anything cheaper that ran. It was an ugly thing.
The seller told me, “The previous owner had a thing for John Deere.” He wasn’t wrong.
Everything on the bike was painted John Deere green with the exception of the yellow wheels. I forked over the $200, tossed the …read more