The Milwaukee Moto Community Responds to the Corona Virus

*We’d like to introduce Nathan Baron, a.k.a. GenZ Biker, a young motorcyclist and YouTube vlogger in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, who guest pens this article on a creative alternative to a couple of large show cancellations this past weekend.

Coronavirus ‘Tried’ but did NOT succeed. Although the much-anticipated festivities that normally take place during the Flat Out Friday & Mama Tried weekend were postponed, the Milwaukee moto community did not disappoint.

While this would have been my first time attending these events, the Flat Out Friday & Mama Tried weekend has attracted international crowds for years prior to this. The first Mama Tried motorcycle show took place in 2013 & Flat Out Friday joined in on the fun in 2015. The inspiration for these events, local Milwaukee moto enthusiasts & flat track racers Scott Johnson & Warren Heir Jr, decided they wanted to put on their own motorcycle show. Reason? They simply didn’t like the other local motorcycle shows.

No Mama Tried? No problem. Photo by GenZ Biker

So, what’s the Flat Out Friday & Mama Tried experience like, you might ask? It’s ALL OUT MADNESS! From custom bikes forged by some of the most distinguished builders, to flat track racing and “boonie bike” races throughout the Milwaukee community, to nonstop parties that sometimes include riding said boonie bikes off of bar tops at Fuel Café or riding a port-o-potty around the Iron Horse Hotel roundabout. All this said, you can imagine where the city-wide disappointment of the event being postponed came from.

Let’s be real though, postponing the event due to a pandemic is probably the right move. But that’s not to say people weren’t disappointed. So how did the Milwaukee moto community compensate? Ours is one of the strongest motorcycle communities among the U.S., with bike nights and organized rides at almost any given point in time during the riding season, last minute underground events this weekend came as no surprise to me.

Boonie Bike races. It’s the thing. Photo by GenZ Biker

I found myself sitting in the Key West, Florida airport on Thursday waiting to board my plane back to Milwaukee just in time for the fun, when I saw an Instagram story post stating that the event was cancelled. With immediate disbelief and sadness, a huge frown grew on my face and I then shared the news to my Moto-vlogs fans via Instagram Live. My phone blew up almost immediately in that everyone was wondering where I had heard the news from, since there were no official statements made at that time. It didn’t take long for some underground moto events to get organized. On Thursday night (before I had arrived back in Milwaukee), Iron Horse Hotel hosted an absolutely insane boonie bike race in the cold Milwaukee rain featuring the infamous Mama Tried ramp as well as a now Twitter viral Port-o-potty that was ridden around the nearby round about. Following these boonie bike races at Iron Horse on Thursday night, the party had moved to Fuel Café just down the street where a sardine packed bar full of moto enthusiasts quickly evolved into several choppers ripping gnarly burnouts inside the bar & a couple of women riding a scooter around the bar as well.

Making good use of the Mama Tried jump ramp. Photo by GenZ Biker

By way of compensating for a lack of a “traditional” Flat Out Friday, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson was kind enough to host their very own mini Flat Out Friday, in their front lot. While the racing was limited to boonie bike races, they also allowed the bike builders & racers the opportunity to display their bikes. The special treat for me however was that they gave Milwaukee Super Moto (a local Super Moto group led by @motard.tony) a chance to perform their half time stunt show that was supposed to take place at Flat Out Friday. Click here to see my take on the absolute insanity that took place on Friday at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson. Following the festivities at Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, the night was capped off with a party at Elwood’s bar alongside the “Go Fast Don’t Die” folks.

Fuel Cafe. Hooligan central. Photo by GenZ Biker

Now, as you can imagine, many vendors including Go Fast Don’t Die, Rusty Butcher & several others came into town with truckloads of gear on hand. In other words, the vendors would be at a major loss not having the opportunity to sell off their stock. Boone & Crockett, another local MKE bar, was kind enough to host an open-air vendors market in their parking lot complete with garbage can fires, a taco truck, and loads of Milwaukee’s finest brews. If that doesn’t scream Milwaukee, I don’t know what does. As a moto-vlogger, there’s nothing I love more than meeting brands like Go Fast Don’t Die & Rusty Butcher or getting to hang out with other moto-vloggers like @QueenSit. I love hearing the stories of how they started & having the opportunity to share those stories on my channel.

The author (left) with stunter Rusty Butcher and vlogger/motorcycle rider Queen Sit.

Overall, it was truly amazing seeing the Milwaukee moto community come together to provide our city’s visitors & residents a show to remember. The takeaway from it all- there’s a silver lining in everything. Although we missed out on a traditional Flat Out Friday & Mama Tried weekend, we all came together to have our own version of reckless fun… and that’s what Milwaukee’s motorcycle community is all about.

Nathan Baron
AKA GenZ Biker
YouTube vlogger:


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