Go Fast, Turn Left: The tale of Flat Out Friday. (an underdog story)
“No one to steer me right, but Mama Tried, Mama Tried.”
We flew into Milwaukee with just a matter of minutes to make it to the BMO Harris Bradley Center for “Flat Out Friday,” an Indoor Flat Track race hosted by Harley Davidson. It had been a mad dash shipping out gear, driving to DIA, catching a plane and snagging an Uber to the show, but we made it. First race was at 5:15 and we hopped out of our Honda Odyssey Uber at 5:03pm. It was cold, it was windy, it was rushed, and we were feelin’ it. Then something happened...
When we walked through the large wooden doors to the pit area, where all of the racers were prepping to throw down, something changed. The feeling of go-go-go suddenly vanished and the chaos of the pit delivered a calm feeling; we were there. We made it. We were at the #FlatOutFriday that we’ve been dreaming about and watching on Instagram since the first time we saw such a thing. Scanning the room you saw greasy long hairs doing last minute changes to their vintage bikes, some frantically so. You saw clean cut, organized racers sitting on their bikes, clearly prepped and ready for the fast task that lied ahead. Unique to this particular event, you also saw Mr. Send It himself, #69 Larry Enticer, sitting on his sled-made-track racer. You saw zombie Vikings, a whole clan of Evel Knievel clones, popo impersonators and various other things that just made you say “hmmm.” We had to take a moment to observe the beautiful mess we’d forged our way into, and there really wasn’t a single ingredient missing for the makings of one heck of a great night. What was better, as you looked at all the racers, their sponsors, team jerseys and uniforms, there on the back of #618, Chris Zielinski, read an all too familiar mantra; Go Fast, Don’t Die. Now, we’ve been in a whole lot of situations where the motto made sense, but we must admit none were quite as fitting as the Hooligan Races at Flat Out Friday, and we couldn’t think of a better fit than our dude Chris.
Now most brands look to partner with, for lack of a better term: winners. Guys/girls who can show that their brand is one sported by the top of their class, the creme of the crop, the best of the best. Now, Chris wasn’t exactly a seasoned professional. As a matter of fact, when we met him to put his GFDD decals on his Sportster Tracker and toss him his zip hoodie, he was literally 5 minutes away from his VERY. FIRST. RACE. 😱
Short story shorter, he took last in his heat. 🏍🏁
Chris came in last place and back to the pit area visibly disappointed in his inaugural run. It clearly didn’t go quite like he had imagined it. We, however, could not have been more proud. We couldn’t have been more stoked to have Go Fast Don’t Die all over his bike and apparel. Go Fast Don’t Die was on the racer most of us wish we had the guts to be. He didn’t have the nicest or the fastest bike. He didn’t have a crew around him. He didn’t have a resume of experience and if he had a chance of winning that race, that chance was slimmer than Slim Shady snapping into a Slim Jim. He did it anyway. He signed up. He suited up and he made his way onto that track and gave ‘er all he had to give ‘er. Now remember when we said that most brands look to partner with winners? Ours is no exception. The only difference is the criteria by which we judge a “winner.” Chris had 2 more classes to compete in that night, and by God he found his stride in the coming heats and fought his way to a 3rd place finish. Our night was made. Now, we didn’t care if he was last place in every heat, in every class, or by 6 laps... we were just glad to support. But to watch #618 come alive in the lights and start RACING, passing and fighting through the turns aggressively and intentionally to not only “not last” but to 3rd place on his first night racing, our snapbacks are off to him. More importantly to see the smile on his face and the enthusiasm after as he told us about people commenting on his hoodie, and his 3rd place finish, the smile on his girlfriend, Sabrina’s, face after the same; that made our Flat Out Friday one for the history books and more fulfilling than we could have imagined.
“Finishing races is important, but racing is more important.”
On our rubric, it’s not the bike you ride or the proficiency demonstrated that makes the best of the best; it’s the HOW you ride. It’s the courage to seize the moment and make the best of your time on two wheels, wherever your wheels take you. It’s putting a smile on your face and embracing your circumstances with gratitude and appreciation. The best of folks are the ones who recognize that time is the one commodity that you CANNOT get more of and that you never know how much you have. It’s those who realize the amount of TIME in their life is not nearly as crucial as the amount of LIFE in their time. These are the creme of the crop in our eyes. These are the best of the best. We want to sincerely thank Chris and Sabrina for showing us how it’s done, for being exactly what this brand is about: good times with great people. (Preferably on motorcycles) We’re grateful to have made it out to Flat Out Friday, and we couldn’t be more proud to be worn and represented by the underdog. Thanks for the memories and as usual, we’re so SO thankful for the times we have and the people we meet because of a mutual interest in motorcycles. 🤘🏽⚡️
- Go Fast Don’t Die
”You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”- Michael Jordan
Chris found us on Instagram, his girlfriend bought him one of our hoodies last year and when he saw we were coming to Milwaukee, he let us know he was racing and excited we were coming. We jumped at the chance to support those who had supported us and the rest is history. 🏍🏁 #NewOldFriends
🏁 Mama Tried Show 🏁