2017 Bed races in downtown Bedford, PA

A number of events were planned and in the works for Bedford this weekend. From a throwback Fort dance to bed races in the streets of town, from knitting to fundraisers of all sorts, there were activities for everyone. 

We chose to visit downtown Bedford this morning for the bed races. 

I went in really thinking we would be seeing full on twin beds on wheels with mattresses, pillows, and blankets. I took the phrase “bed race” literally. My dad corrected me and said I’d be surprised by some of the “beds” and that it only had to be a bed frame, four wheels, and no motor. It was up to each team of 4 runners and 1 rider to construct their bed using the race guidelines. 

Some of the beds resembled cars, some beds, some boxes. Each product took a degree of engineering and creativity to construct and plenty of group running effort to power the bed. 

From what my parents have told me, the bed races were popular in the 60s and 70s. Popular, and slightly unsafe, although they didn’t elaborate on why the races made others nervous. The races stopped in the 80s and started up again in the last few years. 

Apparently the modifications of today’s races include safety precautions. Many of the riders wore helmets. Although one bed, the baby crib, did have a mishap and broke during the time trials, the other teams seemed to have sturdy products. 

The boys got a kick out of watching the teams race down the street. My oldest son compared the beds to Mickey Mouse and the Roadster Racers by calling the beds roadsters and wondering which Roadster racer would be the fastest. 

The streets were lined with people of all ages, young and old, lots of families. People clapping and cheering on the teams of racers. Plenty of community support. We didn’t know any of the runners but we stood alongside the crowd clapping for those involved. 

Although we were unable to stick around to partake in the rest of the afternoon activities, the bed races made for an exciting morning and stories to tell for the rest of the day. 

Thanks Downtown Bedford Inc.

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