Michael Mooney won’t be trying to break any world records this weekend at the Lexington Avenue Arts Festival (LAAF), but he will definitely be hosting some bicycle jousting and big wheel races.

This is the 9th year for the LAAF, and it’s by far the most fun downtown festival that Asheville offers. It’s when the freaks of Asheville come out to play.

So what if Mooney crashed up his 40-foot bike and his kneecap a couple years in a row. That’s behind him. Dangling from a crane in a purple top hat seems a little humiliating anyway. Instead he’ll help people dress up in Viking armor and give them javelins so that they can rush at each other full force, on bouncing banana seats, with large weapons. It’s much better watching other people get hurt anyway. It certainly ensures having fun at the after-party.

As for the big wheel races, I have no idea what to expect. All I know is that I plan on volunteering. I’m coming up with a costume and hope I get to shoot the gun at the start of every race. Then again, dressing as a rabbit and running out front like bait also seems like an excellent use of my time.

It will be hard staying focused, and I feel terribly sorry for the freaks who will learn this weekend that there are always bigger and better freaks. There is so much freakiness to go around that contortionists, belly dancers, and fire eaters will be looked at as blaze.