Bread butterers beat all big wheels |

Bread butterers beat all big wheels

Tamara Miller
NWS Big Wheels1 6-26 CS Vail Daily/Coreen Sapp Ryan Berry is caught by teammates Mark and Kevin Chard after winning the Big Wheel Classic Saturday afternoon in Vail Village. The three, along with Keith Thompson, were part of team "Baby I'm Gonna Butter Your Bread."

They had an unusual name – Team Baby, I’m Gonna Butter Your Bread.They had some unusual team members.”I’ve been doing 12-pound dumbbell curls for my catching arm,” said team member Mark Chard of West Vail. The winners of this year’s Big Wheel Classic, held on Bridge Street in Vail, are definitely one-of-a-kind. The team – consisting of Chard, his brother Kevin, Keith Thompson and Ryan “Donny” Berry – even set a new record for the event with a speed of 22 miles per hour.The Big Wheels race took over Bridge Street Saturday afternoon, and despite on-again, off-again rainstorms, most who entered said they had a good time.

“We got to race with some good friends,” said Berry, who rode the Big Wheel for ‘Butter Your Bread.’ “We’re friends with Team 23. We were kind of talking junk at the starting line.”While all the participants are adults, the event itself harkens back to childhood. The object of the game is simply to beat the other team in a race – on a Big Wheel. Each team consists of four people – one to push, one to ride and two to catch. The pusher hurls the rider on the Big Wheel down Bridge Street in hopes of being the first to cross the finish line and the catchers wait at the end to catch the rider as he or she flies over the finish line. Two teams compete at a time and the loser of each heat was immediately eliminated from the race. Teams get one hour to assemble their Big Wheel when they arrive at the race, a challenge in itself. The “Butter” team had their vehicle – named “Donny’s Rocket” – wrapped in duct tape and decorated with stickers of flames. Others stuck ribbons in their race car’s handlebars. The event wasn’t without some mishaps. Pushers – those responsible for shoving the riders down the track – wore knee and elbow pads and usually threw themselves onto the ground while thrusting the rider down the road. Every participant in the race wore helmets and padding.

Nevertheless, one Colorado Mountain Speed Racers team member complained of hurting her head while competing in the race. The Sanctuary lost a member of its team during the semi-finals when he was injured during the event and was reportedly taken to Vail Valley Medical Center for treatment. A member of the Tap Room team, which had lost in a round earlier, joined The Sanctuary for the race for third place. The team ultimately lost when the Big Wheel rider’s vehicle tipped over allowing The Red Lion’s team to nab the bronze.But the race for first place was close. Team 23 and the “Butter” team were neck-and-neck most of the way down. The rider for Team 23 donned a hot pink ski suit – no doubt, to create a more streamlined silhouette. Then, yards from the finish line, Chard’s team pulled ahead. The rider for both teams slammed into the crash pads placed at the end of the race track. After beating out Team 23 in a near-photo finish, the foursome celebrated by drinking beer out of their trophy cup. “This is a great birthday present,” said Chard, who will turn 27 today.

Staff writer Tamara Miller can be reached via e-mail at or by calling 949-0555, ext. 607.

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