Hey, who wants to go race the Numb Bum? If a 24-hour endurance race on the ice sounds fun, then you’d better hurry up, as Canada’s … coolest … motorcycle race is just around the corner.
Long-time CMGers will probably need no explanation for the Numb Bum. If you’ve been reading CMG a long time, like, say, 20 years long, then you’ll remember Editor ‘Arris and a crew of other
madmen moto pals once ran the Numb Bum, all the way back in 1998. In fact, it might have been this publication’s finest hour of its early years—check here for the re-run of the original story.
However, if you’ve just got here, then here’s the basic details of the Numb Bum: It’s a 24-hour-long endurance race on the ice of Sandy Lake, running out of Sandy Beach, Alberta. Unlike standard ice racing, the track is 10 kilometres long, or more. Teams run as many as six riders, subbing in for each other as the cold and grind of bar-banging wears them down.
The Numb Bum has also attracted a wide range of bikes over the years, as it’s a true street circuit, unlike most ice racing, which takes place in an oval. Because organizers have the whole lake surface to play with, without the expense of paving, they’re able to make the Numb Bum one of the most serpentine courses you’ll ever see in racing. It seems dirt bikes are now the standard, though, probably because the Pembina Dirt Riders Association now manages the race.
This year, the event runs February 18-19, and registration has already been open for a few days. It sounds as if the weather is cooperating this year, making strong ice for the race. There’s always the chance that COVID-19 containment policies may interfere with this year’s race (indeed, the website seems to list a few differences with the 2022 event). However, as it’s an outdoors event, chances are it’ll go ahead.