November 08, 2019
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The ‘original extreme sport on two wheels’ is coming back to Maine after two decades away

After a 20-year absence, flat track motorcycle racing is coming back to Maine this Saturday at the Farmington Fairgrounds. Organized by the Franklin County chapter of the United Bikers of Maine, the event is expected to draw racers from as far away as Massachusetts.

In a nod to the sport’s origins, the competition is being held on the horse racing track at the Farmington Fairgrounds. Motorcycle racing got its start more than 100 years ago at similar tracks around the country with local riders challenging each other for trophies and bragging rights.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Dave Hoar crouches for speed on the straightaway at the Farmington Fairgrounds' horse racing track on Sunday. Hoar and other motorcycle racers were practicing for this Saturday's flat track racing event put on by the Franklin County chapter of the United Bikers of Maine.

Flat track racing is done with smooth-tired motorcycles lacking front brakes. Instead of easing off the throttle in the turns, riders guide their bikes — tires spinning — in a sideways drift around the corners. Then they go for broke down the straightaways. Saturday’s races in Farmington may see speeds up to 90 mph.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Jim Myrick makes adjustments to his bike on Sunday in Farmington while practicing for an upcoming flat track motorcycle racing event at the fairgrounds on High Street. The races are scheduled for Saturday morning.

Riders and organizers on hand Sunday for practice runs couldn’t remember the last time such two-wheeled contests were held in Maine, but most agreed it was at least two decades ago at either the Windsor Fairgrounds or at Bass Park in Bangor.

Organizers report the gates will open at 8 a.m. on Saturday with races starting by 11 a.m. Food and United Bikers of Maine merchandise will be on sale.

Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Troy R. Bennett | BDN
Drew Dugan of St. Albans races around the horse track at the Farmington Fairgrounds on Sunday while practicing for Maine's first flat track motorcycle racing event in 20 years. The event, put on by the Franklin County chapter of the United Bikers of Maine, is scheduled for Saturday.


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