This reminds me of the time I tagged a walking trail before invading it for an entire day. Do read on.
A few years back, a new park was made near my house in some empty forest that was mostly cleared out. I live northeast of Atlanta, Georgia, just where the Appalachians start to fade into the plains in the south, so it's significantly hilly all around. The trail they made was no exception to that rule. There were blind corners and crests and that whole thing was just utterly beautiful. As I took my bike around it the first time, all I could think of was Fujimi Kaido from Forza. I had to do something about that. I got all my friends who remotely like cars involved, too. I told them that if they wanted in on this, they had an unlimited budget and six months to build or buy any vehicle they wanted.
That was a huge mistake on my part, because once I finished stripping the blades off a riding lawnmower and forcing new gears into it so it could handle the hills quicker, I caught a glimpse of my neighbor's project: a pit bike. Turns out he wasn't the only one that assumed since it was a walking/bicycling trail, he should bring a bike. I ignored it, and then later came race day.
We had a big crowd of at least 100 people gathered to watch this thing. In some small towns that may seem too much to believe, but keep in mind there were/are about 5,000 people at my high school. I was disappointed not more of them showed up. Anyway, someone had the awesome idea to bring buckets of chalk so we could all give it a Nuerburgring feel. Most of the "art" was penises, but I actually did write Jalopnik.com at the bottom of a hill where everyone would see it. We sent our audience around the track to block off anyone who planned on using the trail properly, and then we got our six vehicles - My lawnmower, two pit bikes, a bicycle with a lawnmower engine, a home-made go kart, and a store-bought go kart - lined up in a crudely drawn starting grid.
One guy lit a bottle rocket, it launched, and then as soon as it exploded we were off. The store-bought go kart immediately took first followed by the pit bikes, leaving the terribly smoky bicycle in the rear with myself and the home-made go kart side-by-side in fourth and fifth place. Not a minute later, we caught up to one of the pit bike riders who was out of the race for good, his bike no longer orange but a charred black and white, sitting in a puddle of water with steam pouring out of the engine. Apparently his fuel tank shook loose and splattered all over the thing. That's when I realized that putting 14- to 18-year-olds in charge of building things was a bad idea.
But I also realized by the smile on his face that this was the most fun any of us would have in a very long time and that we'd all accepted the risk already anyway. So, on the next corner, I bumped the home-made go kart which was still chugging along beside me right into a ditch where his front wheels bent in opposite directions. After all, we never assigned any official rules. After the first two laps, the smoky bike crashed out at some point and there were only three of us left. The store-bought kart came up to lap me, but I hit him as well and he slipped off the trail backwards, only to come rocketing back on and straight at me.
My lawnmower's weight was all that kept me seated while I was playing offense, so when he hit me, my lack of a seat belt sent me directly onto his go kart just long enough that he got it up to about 25mph before I fell off. I landed headfirst on the trail, but my cheap bike helmet absorbed most of the impact and I only got nasty scrapes on my elbows and knees. The only problem there is that I can't stand the sight of blood, so every time I tried to stand up I'd get very dizzy and collapse again. The pit bike came by and was about to run me down before the rider noticed and veered off the track and directly into the creek where I later found my lawnmower.
The store-bought go kart won by default and its rider was nice enough to provide drinks for all of his competitors. Yes, they were beer and yes, we were underage, but all I can say is I'm glad we had them after the fact rather than before we set off. The pit bike has since been stolen as scrap metal, but my lawnmower is still in the creek today and we are all banned from that park. Not like anyone can enforce it. So the six of us still do solo runs in that go kart every now and then and the trail, unnamed at the time of the race, has officially been called Fujimi Kaido. I don't know who managed to get them to do that, but it's the perfect ending to this story.
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Congratulations, Mr. Hipster Kitty, on COTD today with that great story! I would like to gift you with a new Yamaha pit bike, which this lovely lady will bring to you in a few days. You'll be the envy of all your racing buddies. Loved your story!