Madison County Gravity Fest IV, Munnsville NY Sept 31st 2005

Reported by Richard Hodkinson. Photos by Dave Auld.


A marvellous event from Dr No, MCGF IV had hot weather and fine skies. TWO days, an inclusive race format, with beginner and am luge on Saturday am, pro buttboard Saturday pm, am luge and funny thing like bikes and dirtsurfers on Sunday morning, and Pro luge on Sunday afternoon. Added to this was a bucket race on Saturday morning (I missed this so somebody else ought to describe it), and Extreme Buttboard, which was a supermass buttboard race, last thing on Sunday (so, AKA Sunday Mass). Cash prizes were also augmented by the "rider participation" system where if 3 or more riders give $25 to the kitty, GSI will match the pot and distribute prizes among those people according to their final race position.

Food was plentiful and often free, water also was provided trackside, which one might think should happen at all races. The welcome from the town of Munnsville, NY was unparalleled, and we ought to encourage more places to take ownership of their summer entertainment events! The local lawnmower company, Ferris, sponsored much of the event, for which we are very grateful. Notwithstanding, it was the efforts of the entire town which made this race so special. There was also an agricultural show down the road which sadly we were too bsy racing to see, but which provided a steady stream of spectators, of whom there were hundreds, and they cheered, too! Brenda, Smokin' Joe's Canadian girlfriend and mother of the absent Freakshow Tim, renamed Beagle to Beavis by mistake, which one wag logically noted would entail his new full name to be Beavis Jargle, an excellent Hitchiker's name if there ever was one. Bob Schwartz brought his jet luge, petrol tank included, and even demonstrated it, though he didn't actually run it down the hill. There are pictures (chris) of Neil fallig over backwards in his race organiser's chair as well. Oh, and Richard Hod missed his flight from LA, had to take a red-eye to Newark, driving up 280 miles in the morning from 9am (event starts at 7am on Saturday) and arrived about 30 minutes before the buttboard race was due to start.


The course is long, perhaps between one and two miles, not that steep, but long straights, with top speeds of 60mph. Long straight (?1/4 mile?) into a sweeping right, a short straigt (200 yards, perhaps) then turn two, a wide braking left-hander with suspect camber, and after a long long undulating straight, a dive into "Crash Corner" a sharp right corner with decreasing radius turning into an immediate wide but significant left hander, with a gentle slope down to the finish 1-200 yards further down.


Final event on Sunday. Sadly no Dean (he only in cash-prize races), but the run was rather fun and eventful. 9-wide at the start with little Ashleigh behind us, paddling was definitely cramped! Down the first straight was mayhem with people jockeying for position and space to pass, Hod was knocking left into Tom Whalen ahead trying to get space between Whalen and another rider on the RHS. Happily receiving a knock from behind Hod realizes he's too side for the gap, but if he puts his hand on the stomach rater than hold the buttboard, he can just squeeze through the gap. So he does, and then runs down McBride on the straight before turn two, and then Smokin Joe on turn two as Joe - already an excellent buttboarder - overbrakes it. Chris McBride overtakes Joe somewhere, after that too, and perhaps he'll tell it…

Prizes for this event wre donated by Kebbek and by Tim Novak, who gave places 2-4 a brand new buttboard deck. The winner receives (soon) a custom-built buttboard by Chris Chaput, kitted out with Randal R-IIs, Biltin Bearings ™, and ABEC-11 Grippins, the new 70mm centreset wonder wheel.

Extreme Buttboard, AKA Sunday Mass:

1. Richard Hod

2. Chris McBride

3. Smokin' Joe

Darren Lott ©2005