Barstool racing in Minturn is grassroots, community fun; returns March 9 | VailDaily.com

Barstool racing in Minturn is grassroots, community fun; returns March 9

Last year's winners looking to repeat, say "it's a fight for 2nd" this year

Each barstool sled must consist of a stool being mounted on two skis.

The rules are simple: Strap a barstool to a pair of skis and ride it down a hill.

The Minturn barstool races will return on Saturday to raise money for the Minturn Community Fund, which contributes to the town’s summer concert series, among other things.

Each year, teams gather in Minturn — this year, near Little Beach Park — to race down a hill on, as the name suggests, a barstool.

One such team — made up of Patty Bidez, Kory Headly, Phoenix Patterson and Spencer Whitlock — has been at work preparing to defend its reigning first-place title.

“We mostly made it out of scraps we had lying around,” said Whitlock, the self-dubbed “winningest ‘NASBAR’ racer in history,” of his team’s creation. The barstool was purchased for about $15, and the skis were found in a trash can. The team estimated that less than $50 is spent on the creation.

It’s all in a name

In addition to “strapping a stool to a pair of skis,” as Earle Bidez, Minturn Community Fund board member, refers to it,

Spencer Whitlock will represent Where Did You Get Those Coconuts? on Saturday, March 9, in Minturn.

teams decorate their sleds. This year, Patty Bidez and company is going by “Where Did You Get Those Coconuts?” — but aside from the team name, they’re keeping everything else a secret.

While their stool has yet to be decorated, the infrastructure is in place, and the skis have firmly been attached to the stool using only minor tools, a process that took only 30 minutes.

“Thirty minutes with a six-pack, an hour and a half without,” Whitlock joked.

The event is split into two competitions: the barstool race (judged on speed) and the race known as “Anything Goes,” which judges racers on their “style” and “panache.”

Anything Goes allows riders to race down the hill on … anything. As long as it slides, it counts, and there’s no limit to the number of riders.

Each team also must prepare a pit crew to put the sled back together if it suffers a crash.

Not only is Where Did You Get Those Coconuts? the reigning champ, but its members are feeling confident about this year’s festivities.

The reigning champs

“I feel bad for everyone else, but I think we have a good chance of winning,” Whitlock said. “It’ll basically be a fight for second.”

Where’d You Get Those Coconuts? built their sled in their shop at Custom Audio Video in Minturn, a space that Whitlock noted is perfect for the occasion.

The sleds are often made with cheap materials such as recycled skis.

“It’s full of crap, just like the day we made (the sled),” he said.

Regardless of where the sleds are made and who wins the races, Earl noted that it’s all in good fun and that raising money for the Minturn Community Fund is a good cause. However, he noted that he’s looking forward to the “Apres Stool Celebration,” which will feature the award ceremony and drinks at the Minturn Saloon on Main Street.

 

Fits like a glove

“Barstool Races are perfect for Minturn,” said Cindy Krieg, with the town of Minturn. “Our community prides itself on its authenticity. There is nothing pretentious about Minturn, and we like our events to match that quality. Grassroots, down to earth and community focused — that’s how I would describe most of our events.”

To register a team, visit http://www.minturncommunityfund.org. A registration fee of $50 is required, and registrations will not be complete until payment is received. Checks can be dropped off at the Minturn Town Hall or mailed to the town of Minturn at PO Box 309, Minturn, CO, 81645.

Arts & Entertainment Editor Nate Day can be reached at nday@vaildaily.com or 970-748-2932.