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How glorious a world this is

This is fun:

Sally Redman-Davies, peashooting world champion, 2018 and 2019

OK, so that’s a pub that has a go one weekend a year. What fun. But this is glorious:

I started in about 1993. A friend was building a lawn mower to race, so I thought I’d build one, too. I went to a garden centre in Woking and bought an old scrap mower: it was just a pile of bits, but I’ve never looked back.

I didn’t do very well for the first couple of years, so I spent six months building myself a new mower: a 24-inch Atco, and it was perfect. Working as a mechanic by day definitely helped. The mower handled really well and just kept going and going. No one beat me for five or six years.

The sport has four categories. Group 1 is for those really old-fashioned cylinder mowers that you walk up and down your garden with; the gearing is changed and the racers run behind their mowers. Group 2, the category I race in, features roller-driven mowers – the kind you might see groundsmen cutting cricket pitches with, only with a towed seat attached to them. The engine is also modified, so it revs a bit faster. It’s like riding a motocross bike, with handlebars, throttle and brake levers; it’s just that your backside is right next to the ground. A group 3 machine is a sit-on garden mower of anything up to about 14 horsepower, while group 4 mowers are effectively bonneted tractors.

An entire grouping and system and league and world championship of lawn mower racing.

One could pretend to be serious and talk about how we clearly have multiple systems of social standing and thus are not that singly hierarchical society so moaned about.

Or we can be human about it and simply revel in the glories that our fellows proffer us. Yes, of course it’s absurd and ain’t that glorious?

13 thoughts on “How glorious a world this is”

  1. I agree glorious. Also snorted at juxtaposition of the G begging sub text – news is under threat.

  2. Marvellous.

    I’d happily watch all these sports if televised. Lawnmower racing sounds vastly superior to Formula 1.

    Laser sights on a pea shooter sounds like cheating tho…

  3. The coal-carrying race seems a bit dated – can you still buy the stuff? I thought by now you’d have to run the course carrying a massive solar panel or a big battery. Or whatever the latest temporarily blameless expensive thing is.

  4. The same division that banned cheese rolling.

    They didn’t. It was the local jobsworths who did that and blamed health and safety. Much like banning conkers. Nothing to do with the HSE.

  5. Have been in training these past 15yrs. My current model is a 4.3hp unit and I’ve got the yard down to under two hours. Disappointed to hear Honda are withdrawing from Formula One – let’s hope they stick with mowers.

  6. Nothing beats the Dorset Knob festival.

    How far can you throw your knob?
    Guess the weight of the giant knob.
    How many knobs can you eat in a minute?*

    * the man with the record did it by putting two knobs at once in his mouth.

  7. “ Laser sights on a pea shooter sounds like cheating tho…”

    I’ve long felt for some sports there should the purist original category and then a whatever technology you can add category, so archery with old style wooden bows, everyone effectively has same equipment then another competition where you can use whatever components you like for the bow, composite, pulley systems with sights and all.
    It’s getting to the point that even in running they have to have regulations on shoes to avoid people having a compete advantage.

  8. Whatever happened to soap box (‘bogies’ in my part of the world) races (upper age limit of 16 years), or wellie throwing? Pasttimes which cost little, or nothing, yet often tested the ingenuity of the participants. Too much technology has, in my opinion, ruined the creative processes of so many young people.
    Now checking out the accuracy of my pea shooter – no, not that one!

  9. “Penseivat

    Whatever happened to soap box (‘bogies’ in my part of the world) races”

    They were commercialised by Red Bull

  10. “The coal-carrying race seems a bit dated – can you still buy the stuff?”

    I believe so, but it’s going to get more difficult:

    https://www.thegwpf.com/uk-government-blocks-coal-mine-plan-after-approval/

    “I thought by now you’d have to run the course carrying a massive solar panel or a big battery. Or whatever the latest temporarily blameless expensive thing is”

    How about the compressor & condenser unit from an Air Source Heat Pump? Another (taxpayer funded) “Green” solution which doesn’t work properly in really cold weather – i.e. when you actually NEED the damn thing…

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