It’s hard to believe that Faster Mustache (FM) is turning 10 this year. The diverse group has put on numerous races over the years (most famously the 24-hour urban relays through the streets of downtown Atlanta), but at its core, FM loves dirt. You may remember that the group is responsible for the Tuesday night “Dirty Mustache” ride that uses city streets to connect little pockets of singletrack across Atlanta. FM has never let living in a big city get in the way of riding trails.
After “borrowing” the concept of an urban mountain bike stage race from the crew in Charlotte, the folks in Atlanta began putting a plan together. With the help of Loose Nuts Cycles, the all-volunteer crew spent hours cutting and clearing trail in the southeast corner of the city.
The race was called “Wheels to the Farm” (WTF) after the Old Atlanta Prison Farm, where during much of the 20th century inmates were taught to grow crops as part of their rehabilitation. The farm has been closed since 1995 and the remaining buildings are crumbling. The property is owned by the City of Atlanta, but it’s located in neighboring Dekalb County. Neither seems motivated to do anything with the land.
Now the 400-acre property is something of a DIY trail center. You are just as likely to see a cyclist there as someone on a four wheeler. It feels remote even though it’s only five miles from the heart of Atlanta. In other words, it’s the ideal place to hold a mountain bike race.
FM is inclusive of all bikes, and realizes not everyone likes to race, so there were two categories for the event: racers and party-pacers. Racers race and party-pacers ride along, drink beer, and heckle. It’s a big, dirty, rolling party for both. There were four stages, plus an optional hill climb which was open to anyone that wanted to give it a go.
While the forecast originally called for ice pellets on race day, the weather held out and the sun shone brightly after burning off the morning cloud cover. However, the trails were muddy from weeks of rain, which made for tough racing conditions. Those who were battling it out for the overall win had a full day of racing in the slop.
The event went off with very few snags and the after-party at the Trailer Park was a chance for everyone to enjoy some Terrapin beer, lasagna, jambalaya, and trade stories around a fire. Top that off with a DJ (the music kind) and some DJs (the dirt kind) and you have the best party Faster Mustache has thrown.
Enjoy the photos!