How to start a buggy team

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One of the primary goals of the Buggy Alumni Association is to encourage more students and more organizations to participate. It's not the easiest sport for a new team to jump right into, but we'd argue it's worth the effort. This guide is a work in progress, so if you have questions that aren't answered, send us an e-mail (admin@cmubuggy.org) and we'll add an answer.

Where to start

So you and some others in your org are curious about buggy and wondering what to do first?

  • Contact Sweepstakes (buggy@andrew.cmu.edu) and let them know you're thinking about it. There's no commitment, but they can answer questions and let you know when things are happening.
  • Contact us (admin@cmubuggy.org). We are here to help. We will answer any questions you have, come by and have a chat, take a look at whatever is broken, etc.
  • Rally your team. You can't pull this off alone. You need a core of people who are excited and committed. The rest will get hooked once you're rolling. Figure out who in your org is interested and what roles they might want to play.
  • Find a space to work. Working on your buggy is loud, smelly, and dirty. Building a buggy is 100x worse. Your friends will not be happy if you try to do all of this in the living room. You don't need a huge amount of space, but you've got to have a space that is for buggy.
  • Get a buggy. You basically have two options here. You can build your own buggy from scratch or your can buy or borrow a buggy from another organization. Both come with their challenges, but if you can find an unused buggy from another org, that is probably the cheaper and faster way to get started.

Costs

If you are building your own buggy

  • Buggy Materials. Different people will quote dramatically different numbers for the cost for materials for a buggy. Of course, you can spend tons of money if you want, but you're just starting out.
  • Tools to build a buggy.

If you are buying a buggy

  • The buggy. This is entirely up to you and the other org. We'll try to research some past sale prices and include them here.
  • Tools to maintain a buggy. Maintaining a buggy is mostly a nuts and bolts operation. You'll need a ratchet set and the associated nut drivers, screw drivers, crescent wrenches, hex wrenches, pliers, etc. A vice, tapping and threading tools, hack saws, and a dremel will allow you to make some basic replacement parts when things break. A few hundred dollars would probably cover this category.

Either way

  • Driver gear. Drivers need a helmet, googles, gloves, and a harness (which may come with a buggy if you buy it). This is a not a good area to try and save money, but a couple hundred dollars should cover it.
  • Sweepstakes charges a small fee for each team that your org enters.
  • Ongoing operational costs. Over the course of a year, you may wear out your tires, need to buy new bearings, or run out of supplies like bearing lube, windshield defogger, and flashlight batteries. The tires and bearings are the largest part of this category, but the range of possible prices is large (~ $50-250 per wheel).

Time commitment

  • Capes
  • Rolls prep
  • Rolls
  • Push practice