Story Lines

Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Apr 22, 2015 4:04 pm
Graduation Year: 2013

Re: Story Lines

Postby buggypusher » Fri Apr 22, 2016 2:49 pm

Well, I guess I'll eat my hat for CIA A vs Fish A, CIA A's hill 1 was up to the challenge and slightly beat Fish A's hill 1 both days (then the CIA hill 2 took it away). That said I'm not surprised that neither team had an issue with the same heat setup for day 2 given that CIA A was over a buggy length ahead by the crosswalk (because of a faster hill 2 and maybe lane 1 advantage).

Also surprised by how strong SigEp B's pushers (on day 1, so not the A team subs) were, guess SigEp still have the pushers, but their mechanic squad seems to be dwindling fast since they could only field 2 buggies. Unfortunate as it was, I was in the chute to see the Fringe B buggy contact the SigEp B buggy twice while passing (which ultimately resulted in a DQ for Fringe).

What's crazier is that CIA's 1-2 are faster over the hill than SDC's near-record A team in the next heat. SDC's _entire_ 5 second lead comes between the stairs and the 4-5 exchange.

The final result looks like the SDC machine has returned to dominating form only to be derailed by an unfortunate error, and CIA gets a lucky repeat. But their 2:31 would've been the fastest women's 2nd place ever, and about the 6th fastest women's time in history, so win or lose, they've done an impressive job against much tougher competition than 2015. It seems like there's 10-12 elite women in the field, and SDC has 4, CIA 3, and Spirit, Fringe, PiKA have 1 or 2 each. Under this weekend's conditions, whoever collects 5 and puts them behind a decent buggy breaks the record.

Yes it does appear the SDC machine is back. That said for them to screw up on such a fundamental aspect of pushing for the women's finals is disappointing.

On the note of SDC gaining on other teams in the back hills, I have to ask, where did all the back hill pushers go???

SDC B Men's team was up and over the front hills (i.e. to the crosswalk) slower than or around the same time (within half a second or so) as all of the following teams this year:
Fringe A
Fish A
Spirit A
SigEp A

Now of course sans SigEp A who DNF'd (and SigEp B with A team pushers on day 2 as well), SDC B beat all of those teams besides SDC A on the back hills. CIA A was the closest in back hill times (slower than SDC B by about half a second to a second, hard to tell with the cmuTV camerawork...).

The craziest thing is that this isn't a new thing either. Last year CIA A, PiKA A, Fringe A, and Spirit A were all ahead of SDC A at window zero of hill 3, but their back hills failed them and they lost something like 2+ seconds to SDC A's back hills (if I remember the last slide of Shafeeq's presentation during design comp correctly). Only SigEp actually gained on SDC A in the back hills, and only by very little.

Before anyone says "but SDC has lighter/better buggies", I'll say this: Hill 1 has a greater elevation change (read: it's steeper) than hills 4 or 5, so logically the weight of the buggy should matter less on the long back hills than on hill 1, where most teams top teams except for SDC A were basically in a dead heat this year.

I suppose stacking the front hills isn't a new thing, but when we have near 18 second hill 1 times from the likes of Spirit B and C, maybe it's time for teams to reevaluate where they put their fastest pushers. As a reminder, Hill 5 is longer than Hill 4 which is longer than Hill 1, the fastest Hill 1 times are usually in the mid 15s (sometimes dipping below 15 in exceptional years) whereas the fastest hill 4 times are usually about half a second slower than that even despite the "flying" starts/transitions. The fastest hill 5 times are in the 18s (and most years people struggle to break below 20). Longer distance to run = longer distance for the faster sprinters to separate themselves from the slower ones. Yes, I am ignoring the strength factor for pushing a 100+ lb buggy up a hill for now.

Lastly, it should go without question that hill 2 and especially hill 3 (with these roads, with these rollouts!) should not be where you stick any of your fastest pushers. I know a few teams that could have shaved off at least half a second or so if they said "f*ck it" to their crosswalk/stop sign time and put their hill 2 pusher on hill 4 or hill 5.

SDC A also botched the hill 3 pickup and the back hill transitions on day 2, easily could have been challenging a record if they were a little more buttoned up, odd to see that considering SDC basically won the men's races in 2015 on perfect transitions and pickups alone.

I think looking back at RD2016, Fringe's Boson is looking to be the fastest buggy since Bonsai, and thus Fringe has the most to gain from faster (back hill) pushers. They have the buggies, they have a strong (and new, so freshman?) hill 1 (3rd fastest in king of the hill times), now they just need another 2 fast pushers to fill out their hills 4 and 5 (and maybe an upgrade on hill 2 wouldn't hurt too). I hope to see them join SDC and CIA in the below 2:10 club next year.

Posts: 234
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 6:40 pm
Organization: CIA
Graduation Year: 2000
Real Name: Shafeeq S

Re: Story Lines

Postby shafeeq » Sat Apr 23, 2016 1:56 pm

On the note of SDC gaining on other teams in the back hills, I have to ask, where did all the back hill pushers go???

SDC B Men's team was up and over the front hills (i.e. to the crosswalk) slower than or around the same time (within half a second or so) as all of the following teams this year:
Fringe A
Fish A
Spirit A
SigEp A

SDC A is the exception - their front hills are 2 seconds faster than anyone else. Going faster at the shove gets them another second on the freeroll over SDC B, who I assume had a near-equal buggy. Both SDC hill 4's are equal, CIA A and Spirit a second behind, and SDC A's hill 5 drops 2 seconds on everyone. Aside from his exceptional performance and Fringe A who blew the pickup, all back hills are within a second of each other. Too bad we didn't get to see SigEp's - they may well have challenged for 2nd. It's sad to see them crash out with the exact same failure as last year. All they need is one mechanic of the same caliber as their push team.

I should've been more suspicious of SDC B's underperformance in prelims after we knew how well their A team did - they had a bad turn, and then lost more time mishandling the resulting poor rollout, but 7 seconds!?

Comparing to 2016 SDC to their 2009 record, 2016's front hills were a second faster, but the 2009 hill 5 was another second faster than 2016's. Freeroll times are similar, despite the freshly paved roads.

I wonder how much are people deliberately trying to stack the front hills and how much is that the front hills are racing head-to-head with the guy in the next lane, but the back hills are in time-trial mode. The only back hills to see their competition were SDC B and Fringe A this year. Aside from SDC, I wonder how cold-hearted the independent teams are when faced with the roster decision of demoting a dedicated pusher in favor of the slightly faster new guy, or if that's partly behind some of the "suboptimal" lineups.

On the freeroll, everyone is matched to about a second, and the differences are largely explainable - in addition to wheel & pusher differences, SDC & Fringe spend more attention than CIA or Spirit on fairings & details that are probably a tenth here and a tenth there, and unsurprisingly go a tiny bit faster. So there's no need to go looking for flywheels. And if they're outrunning people by 2s on the flattest hill, I think their advantage is more athletic than weight.

Spirit A's freeroll and stability improvement over 2015 is impressive. The spins on B-team less so. But if they were going to spin they picked the right one to do it on. Interestingly, they seem to have taken a different route to stability than everyone else who runs fast standard trikes.

Fish rolled well in their Men's prelim & exhibition, but were badly outrolled in their Women's races. I can understand holding back on the wheel prep in prelims if they were trying to stay out of trouble before their Men's race. But with the men out of finals, and a chance for their (non-Pike) women to get the last trophy, they still mail it in!? That stinks. As PiKA, they pulled the opposite trick last year - dramatically improve their freeroll for finals, only to miss a trophy because their back hills slowed down.

The recent CIA reminds me a lot of the early 2000's Fringe - they're big, quirky, and seem to be having fun. They're graduating half of both A-teams and push captains to this year, so it'll be interesting if they can recruit to cover the turnover as well as they did this year.

Boson does look like a worthy successor to Bonsai/Bissa, but had a surprisingly hard time getting around SigEp B. The DQ sucks - if sweepstakes is going to schedule a bumper-car heat, they should cut a little slack when two drivers each do their own thing and end up on the same spot of pavement. IMO, the pass test doesn't reflect the difficulty of passing near the bottom of the course.

Pope on a Rope
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Apr 13, 2016 3:32 pm
Organization: cmuTV
2nd Organization: SigNu
Graduation Year: 1987
Real Name: mark estes

Re: Story Lines

Postby Pope on a Rope » Sun Apr 24, 2016 6:33 pm

So, without the slide in the chute, which seems to cost them about 2 to 2.5 seconds possibly more if you count the mangled hill 3 pickup, SDC A mens would have been flirting with a 2.00.00....

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