Honestly I don’t even remember how I found out about The Slimey Crud Run. About 6 years ago, long after the ride originated I started making the trek up there from Chicago with my friends. How could we not attend a bike gathering that exists loosely between two Wisconsin towns in the middle of some of the best asphalt in the Midwest? It was quite obvious from the minute we heard about the ride that it was the brain child of riders. The only structure is to show up a Pine Bluff, WI in the morning and ride to Leland, WI and back again if you want. The time line and the route are totally up to you.
Read more and see the American Cafe movie trailer after the break.
Cresting the hill before the first stop in Pine Bluff you are greeted by a sea of plastic, crash guards, chrome, Gortex, primer, leather, fur, helmet mohawks and every motorcycle badge that has rolled the earth. People bring out their best for the Crud Run and unique rules the day. You get extra love for Italian, British and anything old. Expensive or highly modded goes a long way too. It’s common knowledge that the Run started as a cafe racer gathering but evolved into a remarkably balanced representation of motorcycle culture.
The Crud Run is a bit of a mystery for most as no one seems to know how it started and who plans it. It is not advertised and there are no ride leaders circling their arm. It just happens… twice a year, spring and fall, rain, snow or shine. For better or worse second society and Jason J. Gullickson will change that with the film American Cafe this May. Jason and crew have been pounding the pavement for the last few years interviewing the founders of the Crud Run and documenting their story.
I had the chance to view an early cut of American Cafe and I feel like I know a secret about one of the Midwest’s best motorcycle gatherings. The documentary tells the story of two guys who are on a mission to show up at the Crud Run on something unique. As Jason and Matthew Cribben tell the story of morphing their basket case 1972 Honda CL350 and 1982 Honda CB650SC into running cafe racers the Slimey Crud Motorcycle Gang tells the story of how the ride came to be. The gang is a strange mix of folks brought together by their love for two wheeled machines. Each of them are as unique as the bikes they ride. Motorcycle enthusiasts know one of the characters very well and he is often seen chatting with riders in Leland and Pine Bluff. I won’t ruin the surprise if you don’t know already but the second society website may give it away.
If you are a motorcycle enthusiast grab your riding buddies and get to Sundance Cinemas Madison in Madison, WI on May 1 for the first showing of American Cafe. Even if you have never been on a Crud Run you will relate to the camaraderie of the gang, great roads and great friends. Hope to see you there.