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Mower RacingBy: © Michael J. Rosen 2014
"If Hell Has a Suburb, it Looks Like This."
What good is a lawn mower if it's buried behind the tangle of garden tools, the dog's outgrown crate, the exer-cycle with the missing seat, and all the other accumulations that the seasons change from storage to wreckage, from thriftiness to plain mess?
But if that mower seems useless, what if, like fanatics from England, Australia, and 45 of our own states, you remove the grass-cutting blades so that you can race your machine, thereby turning "a weekend chore into a competitive sport"? To paraphrase a few of the racers' spouses: "Only a man could come up with something like this."
An English rally-car racer, frustrated by the rising costs of his sport, debuted the event in 1973: Lawn-mower racing offers an inexpensive, accessible event with no lingering misgivings about whether or not to bag your clippings. Today, the British Lawn Mower Racing Association hosts several events, including the British Championship, World Championship, and 12 Hour Endurance Race - that's enough time to mow something like 36 acres! - without clipping a single blade of grass.
The U.S. Lawn Mower Racing Association, started in 1992, hosts between ten and fifteen races each year, including the STA-BIL Keeps Gas Fresh Finals and Challenge of Champions in Delaware, Ohio, and a season-long points race, in which mowers with painfully punning names such as Ace of Blades and the Bat Mowbile "get the mow on the road."
From stock classes to highly-modified classes, some mowers chug along at 6 to 8 miles per hour (even after a few brewskies, most any Sunday-afternoon mower could race one of these), other lean into turns at 35 to 40 miles per hour, and still others reach speeds of up to 85 miles per hour. Talk about getting your mow-jo on.
Some Other Names of Actual Lawn Mower Racers:
Mr. Mow Jangles, Geronimow, Mowron, Sodzilla, Prograsstinator, Turfinator, Hedge Hog, Weedy Gonzales, Mowdacious, Yankee Clipper, Mowertician, Precious Mowments, Mr. Mow It All, Lawnsome Dove, Mowna Lisa.
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