The High RPM Historic Road Markers of Elkhart Lake, WI

WEb#1A team from Element 79 spent Tuesday night and Wednesday in Wisconsin as part of an ongoing new business pitch process, including an overnight stay at the Osthoff Resort in Elkhart Lake, WI.  This charming town exudes a well-kept vintage vacation lake feeling.  Driving in, I noticed a roadside marker for something called “Briggs Bend.”  Then another for “Ted’s Turn.”  Later I found “Werner’s Wend”–obviously, all this alliteration separated these signs from the typically dry postings that mark places of historical semi-signifigance (“Millard Fillmore kept a goat pen here“).WEB#2

Taking the long route and poking around a bit revealed the area around Elkhart Lake enjoyed a huge burst of popularity as a site for road racing during the boom years for sportscars after WWII.  During those pre-litigious times, Le Mans style open road racing filled that rolling Wisconsin countryside with the sound of high-revving engines and squeeling tires.  These days, that action is consigned to on-track racing at the still remarkable four miles of twists and turns at Road America: “Road Racing at It’s Best!

WEB#3Racing history, captured on small signs along country roads, in a hamlet west of Sheboygan…  If you’re not fascinated by America, you’re just not paying attention.

By Dennis Ryan, CCO, Element 79
RTB says:

Ostoff Resort? Are you serious? You can’t blog about the Elkhart Lake racing vibe and not stay at Siebken’s. That’s where the drivers of derring-do stayed when not tackling the likes of Briggs’ Bend. And it’s where everyone from today’s IndyCar drivers to the occasional student of the Skip Barber Racing School (yours truly) stay when testing themselves against Road America’s beautiful track. Even the sticker festooned bar is the stuff of legend. Trust me, you can’t beat a cold beer and a sandwich on Siebken’s rye after a day at the track.

Here’s hoping your “ongoing new business pitch” allows you to correct this grievous lodging mistake and gives you the chance to practice your heel-and-toe downshifts on Elkhart Lake’s beautiful back roads.