Saturday, September 27, 2008

And they're waving the checkered pillowcase...

They race beds in South Whitley. In fact, they're the bed racing capital of the world — you can pick up a green wedge in Trivial Pursuit for knowing that. Rules? Minimal: One bed. One passenger, four runners, no interference. Safety? Sign a waiver — no brakes or steering mechanisms allowed! The atmosphere? Good fun.

We arrived late in the afternoon, and walked over to main street just as the zero-turn mower square dance was finishing up, and staked out a spot in front of the fire station while I went off to get a few photos.

Hey, sweet mama, wanna go... bed racing?

A real racing bed. I think this is one of the ones available to teams who haven't constructed a bed of their own. Apparently steering mechanisms weren't always disallowed — I wonder what prompted that particular rule change?

Teams this year included Manchester United ...Methodist Church, Night of the Living Bed (my favorites), Team Dynamite (I think these were the sixth-graders), Big Blue (the high school track team, if I'm not mistaken), MSC (Manufactured Structures Corporation), and the TK Bed Sled Team, resplendent in Hawaiian shirts and bike shorts.

Night of the Living Bed, with their entry, the new and improved Grateful Bed II.

The TK Bed Sled Team, like most, picked the smallest member as passenger. Only the winning team actually had them lie down in the bed — presumably for better aerodynamics. When was the last time you heard "beds" and "aerodynamics" in the same sentence?

I dig the welded rebar "spiderwebs" on the Grateful Bed II. Night of the Living Bed would go on to win the "best theme" prize.

The heats were short, fast, and furious, and the cheering was genuine. Manchester United, Team Dynamite, and MSC fell in the opening rounds. The remaining three teams battled it out. Night of the Living Bed was dominating until they veered off course and had to stop to avoid a collision. TK Bed Sled Team moved on to the next round, the final showdown against Big Blue.

It was a close race, too close for me to tell from where I was standing. In the end, Big Blue got it, and were declared the 2008 Bed racing Champions.

The victors return. There's something poignant about this photo; I'm not sure I can place my finger on it, though.

For the non-bandwidth-challenged, you can see my videos on YouTube here, here, and here.

And... that's it for this year! Anyone want to put together a team with me for next?

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