I started my morning with the hasty decision to wear my bright pink shorts. It was going to be long day of racing, and I didn’t feel like fitting into my typical racy-boy stereotype. The Backyard Experience, put on by Faster Mustache, was an all day stage race in Charlotte’s confusing and strenuous Backyard Trails. If you know anything about the races put on by Faster Mustache, then you should be prepared to have some fun.
Unlike any typical, ‘sanctioned’ race, with lots of regulations and more accurately timed results, the Backyard Experience was basically the definition of no rules, bandit style mountain biking. I had heard the day before the race, that spectators would be encouraged to throw waffles at racers who were taking it too seriously. So in the spirit of the atmosphere I decided not too look like I was taking it seriously. Hence the pink shorts.
There was a planned 5 stages of the race. Each stage is a mini race, about 2-5 miles in the woods. They were all kept secret until the start.
Stage 1. Started at a school near the trail, it was a mass start for all the riders so we had a good amount of road to spread out in the sprint before we hit the trail head. We were all told that the trail was clearly marked for which way to go, and there were volunteers who would be standing at major intersections of the trail. Well, apparently there was a pretty heavy screw up. The volunteer didn’t make it down there until after the first group of guys, including myself, blew by the first turn. Oh well.
We got to do about an extra 3 miles on that stage… And it seemed that others got off course too. It wasn’t the best way to start off a long day of racing, and I felt bad for my friends at FM who were putting this event on. Folks started yellin and cussin and in the heat of the moment I think a few people just left. But that’s alright, the very confusing trail just naturally helped filter out those taking their placement a bit too seriously.
It was decided that stage one would be scratched. We’ll call that a warm up stage. *rolleyes
Everyone cooled down, and then came stage 2. Stage 2 had a lot less wondering mountain bikers, FM picked up their game and did a much better job with direction. *applause
About half way through, I discovered the waffle throwers.
Messy stuff. I ended up eating one on the ride.
Turns out doing awesome stuff earns you more points in the race. I got a few skills to pay the bills cards (extra points) for huckin’ some of the jumps and eating waffles n’ things.
I got second this stage, Won the next, third for the forth, and second on the last two. (we re-did stage one at the end) So I found myself up near the top in the scoring. Not sure where, but I figured I’d at least podium. That was still to be determined after all the placements were tallied up and announced at the after party.
First place trophy was sweet.
Thanks to the first place womens finisher, Bonnie, I did learn how to correctly open a champagne bottle!
Was there waffle in this picture, I don’t see any waffles.
Killer race, I went to bed at 7 that night. Unusually tired, maybe I took it more seriously than I looked.