The first ever Deus Swank Rally on Ice took place on Tuesday at the Ice Rose Ring in the Italian Alps, the home of SnowQuake. Deus Ex Machina have been involved with SnowQuake from start, and their own Swank Rally is entering its second year. It's expensive for people to prep their bikes for ice riding, then there's the travel to the region, so running the events back to back gave people the opportunity to ride twice on the ice.
The format of the Swank Rally is a gentleman's time trial (also open to ladies and a few women were competing, including Sideburn contributor and DTRA racer Caylee Hankins). The course took in parts of the SnowQuake track, but also climbed the snow banks into the in-field, veered off track into a steep climb then a narrow, rutted run before a tight twisty section. It was more like a short enduro lap than SnowQuake's circuit race.
Riders lined up next to four oil barrels. On top were open-face helmets with stopwatches inside. The rider started the stopwatch, set off on a lap, when they got back to the beginning the stopped the clock, noted their time and wrote it on a board. That's the whole gentlemanly aspect. Yes, you could lie about your time, but what sort of bounder would do that?
There was a variety of bikes, and not all coped with the track. They needed clearance to negotiation the climbs and ruts. This Tenere, from France, was made for the job. DTRA racer Gareth, waving in the background, competed on a Honda Cub with a bigger Chinese engine conversion.
I loved the look of this Honda TransAlp custom, that competed in both the rally and SnowQuake.
James 'Hard Luck Tattoo' Smith raced his Evo DTRA Hooligan Sportster in both events too. For much of the Swank Rally he raced with no gloves on. Mental.
My old friend Bleu, turned up on his AJS 250 Stormer. It broke down.
Sven came from Switzerland on his neat Yam framer.
This lovely lady seemed to complete more laps than anyone else. What a neat Honda XL200R, too.
The Dutch Brothers were out in force and style.
No Hubert, no Quake. Hubert is our hero.
There were plenty of tasty Euro scramblers, like this Beta.
And oddballs like this Black Douglas Sterling, a pioneer-era styled bike made in the 21st century. The rider was marked down for not competing in tweed breeks.
Hats and Huskies.
Big congrats to Deus Milan and Di Traverso for creating a cool event.