If you travel on I-70 at Georgetown in the winter, you've likely seen Jeeps and Jeep-like vehicles racing on the frozen lake. There are a number of automotive events that take place on the frozen lake, but none as loud and as fun as the Our Gang 4-Wheelers Ice Racing Series. I went to check it out for myself recently and the sights and sounds of old Jeeps with 400-plus horsepower Chevy engines (no mufflers) screaming around pylons is something to behold.
I met lots of nice people, but none nicer than the Bashline family. Lee and Anita have been part of the ice racing event ever since they got married 30-some years ago. It didn't take long for their 2 daughters to get involved as well. 20-something daughters Lindsey and Lisa are fierce competitors on the ice and they have a blast. On this day all 4 were racing in a vehicle made up of dozens of Jeep parts from different decades and of course that killer Chevy engine. The vehicle is shod with tires that have dozens of sharpened bolts to give it traction on the glare ice surface. You gotta see it to believe it.
On a relatively calmer note, I got the chance to take a turn on the glare ice in another powerful Jeep, but this one had street tires on it. Very interesting to try and coax a vehicle like this around a course lined with pylons and not go plowing into them all. I didn't go as fast as the guys who do this regularly, but I went fast enough to get the classic adrenaline rush that one feels in a competitive event. It was terrific.
Lee, Anita, Lisa and Lindsey all competed on the day I was there and though they didn't win, it didn't seem to matter much. They say their friends call them the "Cleavers" after the 1960s TV series, "Leave It To Beaver." Lindsey says it would be okay except as the youngest in her family, that makes her "Beav."
Next time you head out on I-70 at Georgetown and you see the ice racers, you should take the exit and come see this really fun winter event. It's quite a family affair.
The Our Gang 4Wheelers Club welcomes all licensed drivers. It's just $30 to register for your first race. For more information, visit the Our Gang Ice Racing Web site.