Salem looking into controlling lake ice racing

Salem may be beefing up its control of motorcycle and ATV racing on the town’s frozen lakes in winter.

“I have had a lot of complaints from people all around the (Camp) lake …,” Chairman Linda Valentine said at Monday’s regular Town Board meeting. “This is the closest you can get to a drag strip, but it’s on ice.”

While some board members seemed to be under the impression that such activity was completely unregulated currently, town attorney Richard Scholze pointed out there are several pertinent regulations already in force. For example, he thinks speed limits for motor vehicles on frozen lakes would also apply to motorcycles. Also, ATVs are regulated as to the distance they must be away from shanties, people and vehicles that are not an ATV.

Supervisor Dennis Faber said he felt an apt approach would be to require ice racing only as a part of organized, sanctioned event that would need to receive a permit from the town.

Supervisor Patrick O’Connell suggested examining strategies and ordinances used elsewhere. There was discussion that the racers are now here because they have been driven out elsewhere. But O’Connell acknowledged that controlling recreation on the lakes is a tricky matter.

“It’s hard to tell people not to have fun on the lakes,” O’Connell said.

But while most board members seemed to agree that the activity was a nuisance and potentially a safety hazard to others, one seemed to oppose action that might go too far in regulating activity on the lake.

“Personally, If I wanted to go out there and ride my bike, I think I should be able to,” said Supervisor Diann Tesar.



  1. doc20002001 says:

    I can understand the noise issues and people complaining about irresponsible riders who ride loud bikes and i think that is what most peoples issues are, that can be policed by the dnr if they wanted to as they already do it for woods riding with Decibel meters and the riders policing themselves with simple exhaust inserts. Here is a list of simple solutions

    1. Exhaust inserts to quiet the noise – the DB Dawg is one such item
    2. DNr enforce noise issues – DB meter testing for truly loud bikes
    3. Riders enforce themselves and some are already doing that by buying DB meters.
    4. Dnr require stickers for all bikes and atvs, they already do it for Snowmobiles.
    5. Have set hours for riding, say on weekends from 11am til 4pm and weekdays from 12 noon to 4 pm

    I read the article and it when i hear the Chairman say “Chairman Linda Valentine said at Monday’s regular Town Board meeting. “This is the closest you can get to a drag strip, but it’s on ice.” That is such a kneejerk reaction from some who already has a biased opinion of the sport of ice riding, she obviously has never visited the lake in the summer time to watch jetskis “dra race & boats drag race” All of the ice riders i know just want to go out and blow some steam from the daily grind of life and it is a safe, family oriented environment for all.
    People don’t realize the amount of revenue that ice riders bring to the small towns and businesses up there by the ice riders, all of my ice riding buddies are from Illinois and drive sometimes 2 hrs to enjoy the lakes and support the local establishments, as we all know in this economy the extra $1000 dollars or so per day for a small business they make from ice riders could make or break them. Just ask the owner of the Lily Lake resort if it would be a detrimental impact if they stop ice riding> its been my experience over the years that the people , chairman, town attorneys, etc.. are always the ones that try to stop good clean safe American fun with their laws and ordinances and they never actually utilize the lakes or actually leave their houses and partake in any real outdoor activities. They talk about safety and people getting injured, where is the data? Chairman, town attorney, If youre going to argue something come with actual data and not shooting from the hip garbage!

  2. John Beyer says:

    The ordinance really needs to address the root cause of the issue which is noise. Post signs of maiximum Decibel limits allowed on the lake and a fine for those that exceed that limit (year-round). I am a proud member of the AARP and not a reckless drag racer. Riding a bike on the ice is a fun way to get in some great cardio exercise while also bonding with my kids and socializing with other folks with common interests. Its unfortunate that the noisy reckless acts of a few are going to spoil it the majority of us considerate riders.

    Also, I hate to see that the future of how we socialize will end up being face book and tweets while we as a society become more obese. Riding on the ice is a great economical winter sport that keeps us active in the long cold winter. Please do not be rash in governing us with yet another rule! rather than putting in a little effort to fix the problem.

    Thanks for taking the time to read on this far. John

  3. Chris (Opie) Massie says:

    My 9 year old son,who is an AMA flat track racer, is out on Lily Lake riding on the ice every Sunday. Ice riding is the only way that he can keep practicing for the AMA racing that he does nearly every weekend in the warmer months.
    The vast majority of people riding/racing on Lily Lake every weekend are also AMA riders. The races/riding is very well organized and safety is the number one priority. I would not allow my son to ride there if it wasn’t! My child is one of the youngest riders on Lily Lake every weekend and I have to say that every adult rider out there is always looking out for him. Making sure that he is safe and always helping him in any way that they can. They give him good advice and tips concerning racing/riding and if he happens to go down (as every young rider does from time to time), ALL of them are right there to help him up and make sure that he is uninjured.
    The way that the newspapers have labeled us a “flash mob” is offensive. We gather with family, friends and neighbors on the weekends to ice ride. This is a family oriented activity that teaches responsibility and good sportsmanship to our children. We would much rather have our children outside enjoying the long Wisconsin winters than have them sitting indoors playing video games. I realize that there are other outdoor activities for children to do in the winter months,but, ice riding is the one that my son loves the most. To take this away from him and all of the other riders would be heartbreaking.

  4. Steven Stachura says:

    People been Ripping the ice for many years,Why A complaint now?This ice is all some have in this Area and can afford.It is great for the local establishments in this day and age.Great for kids.I would rather see a kid bail his xr70 than smoke pot and play violent video games.I’ll quiet my 350x down,But make shoure the ice fishermen pick up their liter!I circle camp lake everyday on my BIGRED and I pick up beer cans and other items ”everyday”Left behind by the fishermen/women.Not Once did I see trash left behind intentionally by the ICERIPPERS.

  5. Cynthia says:

    If you have been on Paddock Lake you will notice a higher amount of accidents during the summer months because of jet skiers, also forget about trying to load your boat into the water, unless you want to wait an hour of two.

  6. Biker Chad says:

    Was wondering if our magazine could be of help to support the ice racing. Please get ahold of Richee Lee our editor/owner and see if we can bring some atention to this matter. Ice fishing is a big part of our local culture and we would like to help get the word out. Please email Richee at or my self at anytime.

  • Follow us on

  • Archives