Madison County Gravity Fest VI 2007

Madison County Gravity Fest VI 2007

Madison County Gravity Fest VI

Munnsville, New York

Snuggled in the rolling hills of upstate New York amongst enormous windmills lies the tiny village on Munnsville. Munnsville is a one light town.

One of the roads going through the one traffic light leads to East Hill, the road used for the MCGF for the fourth time. The course is just over a mile long, starting off with a gentle right. Speeds pick up to the mid fifties heading into a hard left hand turn. A good portion of the course is mostly a straight building up speed heading into Crash Corner. Crash Corner is an almost 180 degree hair pin to the right, followed immediately by a hard left to the finish.

The course in Google Maps.

Friday, July 27

Things aren't looking good, its been raining all day today. And raining HARD. This afternoon I drove over to visit Busse and Fryer, the rain was coming down so hard, I almost had to stop! The rain cleared up, a in time for the parade. As we all gathered in Ferris's parking lot,

a special guest arrived.

Stacey Allen, broke her back in a luge accident two years ago, showed up to hang out. It was wonderful to see Stacey, I think it was the first time I saw her since I broke my leg in 03.

The powered luges were going to open the parade. Roland just finishing building a new larger luge this year

so there would be three powered luges.

A couple of the gravity bikes, "rode" their bikes.

While the parade route starts on a hill, I think there was more pushing, than riding. I jumped on the cart

with most of the other guys

Smoking Joe "rode" is luge and a few skated

or skitched.

The parade is a pretty cool idea, filled with tractors, and old cars and fire engines.

And then it started to rain.

I think the turnout was smaller than it was compared to last year because of the rain.

But it made it all the more special for the people that were there.

I think next year I'm going to skate on my buttboard

instead of riding.

Once we turned the corner, I decided to start skating.

Of course Joe got tired.

After the parade I was hoping to get a chance to visit the festival, but it had closed early due to the rain. The plan was to have dinner at the festival, instead we visited the Fort, in the next town over. After dinner we all hung out at the campground. The campground was provided free by the local Legion.

The party died down around midnight, it is going to be an early start tomorrow.

Saturday, July 28

I was hoping everything would start on time, so I got to the track early. I stopped at crash corner

as Fred (crash owed me a DVD. I got a chance to see the infamous cherry picker up close.

I usually see this up in the air, as I fly by underneath it.

Our pit area was in the front yard of the family at the top of the hill. The FLA boys always bring a set of flamingo lawn ornaments, and leave them behind. Over the years, the flock has grown quite large.

Of course things didn't get start on time. Registration got started late.

About 2 hours late! We finally got start around 11 AM.

We got a couple of practice runs in, before a break for lunch.

After lunch we took our regular parade run, then went into racing, starting with rookie luge

and am buttboard.

Everyone that wasn't racing was allowed a practice run. The pro buttboard race finished up the day. I raced well, but couldn't get around Fryer or Dean. Fryer hit the first hard left perfectly, and was pulling away from me in that turn. I took third.

After the racing was over Roland Morrison sponsored a BBQ

dinner that the Legionnaires cooked for us. The dinner was for Jenna's birthday.

After dinner, while we were waiting for the awards, Pyro Rudy decided to build a bonfire.

It was chilly out, but I couldn't stand very close. There was also a karoke machine setup.

We finally had the awards ceremony with some pretty cool awards.

We were all pleasantly surprised to discover pro buttboard was paid down to 10 places!

Rookie Luge:

Parks, Buono, Hicks

Am Butboard:

Filiatrault, Novak, Carden

Pro Buttboard:

Fryer, Dean, McBride

The party continued after the awards ceremony, but was dieing fast. Paul was thinking about getting back into buttboarding.

Sunday, July 29

The morning started off a bit foggy, but the road was dry. We also got underway much earlier than we did yesterday, but we also have a lot more to get through. There are quite a few standup riders, over 30. We started off with a quick riders meeting.

We took a few practice runs

in the morning.

Everyone was exciting to get some runs in before the racing started

Racing start with Am luge.

And of course practice continued after each race heat. As the day wore on, the fog burned off and the sun came out and warmed things up.

Before lunch we were going to run the bucket brigade. I'm not exactly sure what Fryer was doing

but it couldn't have been legal.

After the Am Luge race, we ran the brigade.

Neil started off listing the rules, but after some cajoling from the racers, it was decided there would be no rules. I left the two bottles of water in my suit. The one rule we did use, was you had to get the bucket at the line, thus negating Fryer's shenanigans. We also decided to run one team of all standup riders!

I was to run the final leg, which started just before crash corner. It looked like my teammate arrived in third place. I hopped on my buttboard and got a push. I had two bottles of water stuffed in my suit, so as I'm going down the course I start refilling my bucket with water. There is also one person in front of me. It didn't make since, I hadn't passed anyone. Tony was in front, sitting up. I was laying down, and managed to pass him. I thought I had to be the first person to Kim, who was measuring the buckets. So I stopped as soon as I could, and lost a bit of water. Turns out, I didn't need to stop so quickly, but I don't think it matter as Tony had quite a bit more water than I did.

Then I discovered how his team "cheated." The rule is there were two change overs. The first change over was after the first turn, the second before Crash Corner. The rule was you had to stop and  hand your bucket to your partner. Well Dean decided to pass the first change over. Swartz races down to the second change over point, Dean

hands the bucket to Swartz, who hands it to Tony, and Tony takes off. One of the cool things about this even is the lack of rules, and what people come up with. I think that some rules should be instituted, but for the most part it should be free form, like next year we should enforce the rule that you have to change buckets at the change over point.

We broke for lunch, to let the course dry.

Lunch, if you bought it, was a delicious chicken.

Lunches were ordered and paid for during registration. After lunch we did our parade run.

Our parade run looks better when we are bunched up,

but it is hard to keep 75 people together.

The parade run stopped up short at the house just before the finish line.

To sing happy birthday to a young lady.

Racing started back up with the finish of Am Luge.

And then leading into standup.

Standup was going to take a while, before going to watch them a few of us went to go film a "build it and they will come" segment. We've been talking about it for years, that is a bunch of us walking out of the corn field.

We finally filmed the segment!

I wanted to watch the standup,

but with only 4 rounds, I didn't want to get stuck at the bottom. I just hung out with the other lugers.

Pro Luge finally got under way.

There were 18 riders, so there were some 5 man heats. In my first 5 man heat, I got out in the lead, and was passing Bob going into the hard left, when Smirtc slammed into the back of me. All three of us hit the hay, making quite a mess. Smirtc damaged his body work, and I ended up in 4th. With the GSI point system, taking a last place pretty much guarantees a finish outside of the podium. Turns out, if I finished first or second in this heat, I might have podiumed.

The run offs hadn't been calculated for either standup or streetluge. So the gravity bikes raced.

The runoffs were finally calculated, and the standup runoffs were started, started from worst. All but, the last runoff, between 3rd and 4th were run. But the race had to be called at 8pm, because we only had the road to 8. So there were no run offs in luge, and the podium wasn't decided in standup. In luge the first three places didn't require a run off, but there were several multi way ties from 4-10.

Everyone cleaned

up and packed up the pit area

before heading down to the campground.

We signed a few autographs

and ate some hamburgers for dinner.

The hamburgers were actually being sold at Crash Corner all day. Someone decided it would be a good idea to sell the rest to the riders, because this late on a Sunday night there aren't many restaurants open in the area. While we waited for the results to be tallied, everyone gathered around and watched videos and photos.

It was finally time for the awards.


Desmarais, Jean, Peck

Am  Luge:

Hicks, Kamink, Parks

Inline Board:

Chartrand, Raza, Whalen

Pro Luge:

Fryer, Busse, Dean

Both Standup and Pro Luge were paid down 10 places! After the awards, the 50/50 raffle was awarded,

and thent a ton of thanks went out to the various organizers and sponsors.

As soon as the awards were over, most people took off, to head home, as it was fairly late.

The weather turned out to be incredible, despite all of the rain on Friday, it sprinkled Saturday during lunch, otherwise the weather was incredible. In fact it was hot on Sunday. As always the race is incredible, with a great deal of support from the town. Although it was VERY disappointing that the race was actually unfinished. With the amount of work this town puts it this race, I feel as it is my duty as a racer to attend the race. I don't think there were any major injuries this weekend!

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