Fire on the Mountain, Ansted WV Sept 19th 2004

Reported by Darren Lott. Photos by Kent Kochheiser and Dave Auld.

OK. This one's going to seem like it's "all about me." Because for once it was. I entered and won 4 events. It's probably a record. It was nice to be on my game.

Not that I didn't have plenty of advantages. Dave Auld came to keep me on my toes (as always); Kent came to take pictures and help with pitt work; Arlene came to take care of spiritual, emotional, and nutritional support.

A friendly Paramedic pointed out I was the only racer to have attended every year. (He'd' only know if he'd volunteered for every race as well - thanks!) The first year, RAIL let me be the first to take a first run down the track. So I really feel like this is my course.

The courtesy was extended again this year. It was drizzling so everyone wore rain gear. Tim Cayer had full blown rain suits for $15. Can you say "subsidy?"

Some of the racing was incredibly tight. Paul Busse was contending for a #1 season finsh, and gave no quarter.

But he did give a few Hay rides...

A few others took Hay rides on their own.

Ansted is particularly notable for a VERY FAST, tricky straightaway followed by a hard 90 before the finish.

It almost always comes down to a game of Professional Chicken.

Another feature of the track is that it's extremely narrow and in some places rough. It's still very enjoyable and you aren't forced into the rough (like Barrett), but it does make it very technical.

I spent the entire first day practicing Buttboard to the exclusion of luge. I don't like to become accustommed to the extra traction of a luge before racing my Buttboard. It pays off.

Chris Chaput called just before I left. "Dude, you'll be the only one with the ABEC11 SECRET WEAPON - Grippins!" On Chris's advice, they were the only wheels I packed.

Turned out almost EVERYONE was in on the secret. It was a sea of gripping green. Was I upset? NOPE.

Becuase these are probably the best wheels I've tried so far for Buttboard racing. I tend to destroy a set of 70m wheels every racing run. I was getting 2 - 3 times the mileage out of the Grippins. Fast, grippy, smooth, long lasting.

I like 'em. (So did nearly everyone else.)

Aside from Pro Luge, there was another cool event on Saturday. It was called the "Bucket Brigade Relay." A fun excercise in task loading, inspired by the many "Butboarding Bash"events we've held in So Cal.

A rider from each team was given a bucket of water. The first team to cross the finish line without spilling too much water was the winning team. How much spillage was too much? We'd find out at the the finish.

Organizers Kim and Neil Orta selected teams, hoping to balance out the talent. For your leg of the relay, you could pick a bike, luge, speedboard, dirtsurfer, or Butboard. For the fasest and final leg, I was pleasantly suprised to see 75% of racers selecting Buttboard.

(Right: Jeffrey Schonzeit didn't spill a drop as he blazed around the final turn.)

Neil set up one more Buttboard based event: EXTREME BUTTBOARD!

On your mark...Get set...Everyone GOES.

I think Andy Lally instigated and certainly upped the ante of this event by donating a RewSports luge to the winner.

We were randomly seated on the grid in rows. Your finish determind your position in the next heat. Only thing was ... LANE ONE SUCKED. So winning gave you an undesireable starting position for the next heat, and ONLY the final heat counted! My strategy was to sandbag and give myself the best position for the final heat.

Kent Kochheiser took the great picture (above) of the final and said it was 15 seconds before the next rider appeared.

Despite my best plans for a strategy, the intense traffic made it better to get ahead early, and stay out front.

Bad starting lane? Deal with it.

Extreme Buttboard (AKA Sunday Mass)

1st Place- Darren Lott
2nd Place- Victor Schumacher
3rd Place- Tony
4th Place- Tim
5th Place- Roland
6th Place- Chris
7th Place- Ashliegh Cayer

If you follow this sport, not much more needs to be said about Ashley Cayer. No one ever takes more Buttboard rus than old "Iron Neck." 15+ a day? She's the Man.

Junior Buttboard

1st Place- Ashleigh Cayer

Am Buttboard

1st Place- Victor Schumacher

2nd Place- Tony Mistretta

3rd Place- Tim Novak

4th Place- Jenna Morrison


(BTW Tim Novak donated SkateLuges as prizes. It was great to finally meet him in person. A neat guy and really fun to ride with.)

Pro Buttboard

1st Place- Darren Lott

2nd Place- Paul Busse

3rd Place- Roland Morrison

4th Place- Sean Clarke

5th Place- Jeff Schonzeit

6th Place- Chris Hicks

7th Place- Chris McBride

Chris McBride made his racing comeback. He was a little tentative at first, but when he joined Tony Mistretta and I in the Bucket Brigade he lit the course on fire.

We won.


But then again, I think eveyone who participated went home feeling like a winner.



Darren Lott ©2004