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The Barnyard Classic is what you would call an underground event. Underground events are always way more fun than your normal race because beer is usually involved and pants are optional. The first year I raced it, I rode a tandem mountain bike with a blowup doll in the stoker seat. It was fun knowing that when I passed someone, my partner would slap the rider with her outstretched inflatable arm while giving them a face that screamed, “Oooohhhhhh, what you going to do about it?!” That was the only race I did with “Anna”. She was too torn up to repair, and I couldn’t exchange her for a new partner because the clerk said, “Due to the nature of this product, it is non-returnable.”
By the third year, I decided someone needed to document this shindig for future generations. That didn’t exactly go over very well:
“Dude, you’re not racing?”
“No, I’m photographing the event.”
“You’re getting soft. Are you going to where a skirt for it too?”
“Shut up man, and don’t give me that crap about wearing a skirt, because YOU WERE wearing a skirt last year when you raced it.”
So I may have lost a few man points but the results were worth it. The race went smoothly and no riders or farm animals were hurt that day.
The Barnyard Classic is essentially a biathlon consisting of a two-hour mountain bike relay race and then 90 seconds of gelande quaffing (it’s worth Googling if you aren’t familiar). Each team has numerous opportunities to add more laps to their total by doing bonuses throughout the event. This race is won and lost by performing bonuses. During the racing, bonuses include: riding in a costume, riding in your underwear, slamming a beer while waiting for your partner, or eating the raw egg baton that you have been storing for two hours in some sweat filled part of your costume or bike jersey. Bonuses during the gelande quaffing are all based on how you catch the mug of beer in the air; by the handle, by the mug, 360, under the leg, or behind the back. You may ask ‘How the heck to wrap up all this fun?’ Well, with a potluck, a campfire, and fireworks of course.
You would think that your liver could only take this once a year, but it has become a bi-annual event. The second event occurs in the dead of winter and participants strap on cross country skis and leave their wheels at home. The revelry – unrestrained merrymaking (from Webster) – is so fantastic, they could probably replace skiing with cart wheeling and people would still relish in the idea of competing.
So am I telling this so you all can show up and race this super awesome event? HELL NO! Having thousands of people show up is a sure way to kill any underground race. But maybe this article will give you a few ideas and the motivation to get off your butt and think of your own event. And don’t name it ‘The Barnyard Classic’ because that’s already taken.
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