SHERIDAN — Miss Eglantine Price could make her bed fly by tapping the bedknob three times and turning it a quarter turn to the left in the classic film “Bedknobs and Broomsticks.” It took a little more ingenuity and strength to make the homemade beds fly down Main Street Friday morning for the 2015 Beds Along the Bighorns race.
In an annual Sheridan WYO Rodeo Week tradition, teams of six took to the bedposts of what can be described as comfortable go-carts. Most were custom-made metal frames on four bicycle tires carrying a mattress, a sheet, two pillows and two nappers, per the rules.
There was no shortage of rules involved in the race, ranging from a maximum height of 27-inch tires and a maximum length of 12-inch handle bars to requiring at least two team members be of the opposite sex. Luckily, all seven teams passed the pre-race inspection and took to the pavement.
The North 40 bed, designed and built by Fletcher Construction, was the brainchild of young entrepreneur Zach Gale.
The 16-year-old started his own business last summer, North 40 Mowing Company, investing in his own equipment and employing friends to do lawn work throughout the summers.
“I just thought it would be fun to put a team together and promote my mowing company,” he said. “I thought it would be fun to be in the rodeo in some way. I wanted to do a float in the parade with the theme ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’ but we figured the bed race might be a little bit easier.”
With other members of the Sheridan High School football team by his side and the daughters of Fletcher Construction’s owners tucked in bed, Gale pushed his metal contraption down Main Street much faster than he pushes his mower.
Up the road, Vacutech employees were gearing up in their aerodynamically designed bed.
“It kind of goes along with the product that we build,” said chief designer and builder, Vacutech welder Cory Legerski. “Everything that we have has a nice flow and arch to it, and I just felt like everything flowed together and had a nice feel to it with this design.”
In a less competitive and more neighborly spirit, a changing of the beds occurred after the first heat of the race. The bed for Big Horn Beverage broke so the operators of Bob’s Super Clean bed allowed them to use their bed for the second heat.
There was a catch though, the BHB runners also needed to wear the Bob’s Super Clean uniforms. Super Clean rider Madeline Mortensen said they were running to represent her grandfather’s business.
In the end, it was the Kane Ranch bed runners who came out victorious, taking down Sheridan Physical Therapy in the final heat.
Regardless of outcome, each racer — especially the riders — are sure to find themselves a little bored and disappointed tonight when they head to bed and have no finish line awaiting them beyond sleep. Sweet dreams until next year!