To most of us this off shoot from our sport seems, well, fool hardy but it has its specialists and a large following of supporters. Popular in Russia, Sweden and Finland it is also staged on occasions in other north eastern European countries.
The equipment is similar to but by no means the same as the regular speedway machines, the frames are stiffer, the wheel base longer, then there are those terrifying spiked tyres that remind one of those awful films seen in ones youth. These tyres are needed for traction and they do produce a good deal of traction so much there has to be a gear box on the engine something that is not used when racing on the shale track.
There are two classes of Ice Speedway, one uses rubber tyres with no studding and the other is with the studded (spiked) tyres.
These tyres with spikes require extended mudguards (spike guards) and although, as stated, the bikes have a gear box which may deliver a certain amount of engine dampening they do not have a normal braking system and the very idea that it could be necessary to ‘lay your bike down’ seems to me the stuff of nightmares.