Senior Editor

The Inertia

Mountain biking these days has gone next level. There’s no doubt. But here’s a level you and I can enjoy: The World Mountain Bike Bog Snorkeling Championships in Wales. Last week Wales hosted the Hardline downhill mountain biking event that had this ridiculous run from Bernard Kerr. Late this summer, however, the country in the British Isles hosted the World Alternative Games that also features snail racing, stiletto and office chair racing as well as husband dragging (don’t ask).

In the World Mountain Biking Bog Snorkeling Championship (sorry, if I turned that into an acronym no one would get it), riders wear lead as they try to pedal across a mucky, swampy bog. Tires are apparently filled with water for better traction. And I believe drinking several pints before pushing off is required. The annual race has been going on for more than a decade now (a spinoff of the bog snorkeling championships that feature swimming) so the techniques are well established. A pair of divers stand on either side of the cyclist in case of emergency. “These bogs are deep and dark and filled with eels,” Danny Bent, the event’s former champion said.

The World Alternative Games were a play off the London Olympics. And they’ve actually stayed around longer and arguably had a greater impact. Especially when it comes to fun.


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