A friend popped in today with a copy of the events calendar published by the Sebring Chamber of Commerce - and what a busy little town we have here, to be sure (with another to be sure - for any Irish readers).
From pig fests to pancake breakfasts, the events run the full gamut of excitement from A to Z (that's Zee for the US and Zed for the rest of the world). Having read what's on offer, I doubt I'll have time to blog till April as I'll be so busy eating till I'm obese or watching everything from Corvette parades to live cataract surgery seminars. Eh ?
Speaking of cataracts, a couple of standout events caught my eye.
January 19 - Snowfest 2008 presented by Florida Ridge Big Brothers Big Sisters, at Lakeshore Mall (Food Court Entrance), from to . Two mountains of freshly blown snow, one for the little tykes and one for the big kids!
For a start I love that the food court entrance is mentioned - everyone will know THAT door !! Then there is the snow. Freshly blown mark you. None of that stale old snow they've recycled from Snowfest 2007. Oh no.
I'd like to go there and see this uber fresh snow and even if it's all a bit boring and nothing like mountainous enough for my taste, well there is always the food court to take my mind of it.
The other event is even more bizarre but actually something I've heard about and even seen briefly on UK tv as a news item. Yes we do it too.
March 31 - Avon Park, FL STA-BIL 12 Minutes of
Not quite so easy to fathom this one out - until it hits you that LMRA just has to stand for the Lawn Mower Racing Association. Course it does. Oh I've always wanted to see this, I really have !!!
Avon Park is a town just about 10 miles up the road from Sebring so it's fair enough that Sebring mentions it in it's events calendar. If not, I'd never have known that there was a lawn mower race held there just about every month. In my Firefox browser drop down favourites menu I have the 2008 F1 schedule, the 2008 A1 schedule and from now on, the 2008 LMRA schedule. I wonder if Sky Sports would cover it live if I emailed them ?? It's gotta be better than Bull Riding.
The photos I've seen of it show the racers in full dash across the track towards their powerful machines in true classic Le Mans fashion. I was quite upset to learn that the blades are removed from these racing mowers as I felt that the opportunity to take out the opposition in a way not sanctioned by any other racing association would greatly add to spectator excitement. I mean where would chariot racing have been without the wheel blades ? Might as well just have raced with covered wagons.
Even so, these bladeless lawn flateners can still attain speeds of 50mph and so there has to be some potential for blood, guts and various body parts to come hurtling towards the packed stands. Well I hope they have stands. The Avon Park Mower Plex sounds like a grand enough stadium to have stands. It calls itself 'the nation’s first dedicated lawn mower racing facility built on city property' and so I'd hope it has stands. It must also have lights as these races start at 6pm and at this time of year, it's dark at 6pm.
Ok picture the scene : 35 lawn mowers racing at 50mph around a grass track in a stadium - IN THE DARK.
Ohhhh I'm there blades or no blades, I'm so there.
I'm going to look at my Flymo when I get home and see if it could be 'souped up' to take part in such a race. A couple of serious problems spring to mind right away. It's electric and so the extension cable would have to be lengthened just a tad and it's also a 'push me' model and so to get it up to full 50mph racing speed, I'd have to be the one to get it there.
I know I'm competitive, but I'm afraid those days are well behind me.
So as usual I'll watch others having all the fun. Damn these slow old legs of mine. Maybe they'd introduce a Senior Race. It would need to have frequent pit stops of course and not for filling up either. Quite the opposite. That's when my more than adequate, British built, bladder would come into it's own and I could stay out on the track much longer and so develop enough of a lead that an emergency stint operation could be performed to get me over the finishing line.
Hurrah for the Brit.
Lawn Mower Racing. It's the future.
Racing at grass roots level you might say. Or not.