Melting snow and rain kept teams off the course on Saturday, but Sunday was exciting enough to make up for it. Pika joined the new buggy 2011 club (with a standard tryke no less!) and Spirit entertained the chute crowd with a hat trick of spins and a rarely seen mechanical failure. Enough intro, let’s get to the details.
In Attendance (buggies listed newest to oldest)
|CIA||Ascension, Frejya, Renaissance, Firebird|
|Fringe||Borealis, Bedlam, Blizzard|
|PiKA||RD2011, Nemesis, Chimera, Zeus|
|SDC||Bane, Avarice, Malice, Psychosis, Addiction|
|Spirit||Seraph, Fuko, Haraka|
|No-shows: SAE, KapSig, SN|
Observations (Sunday gallery)
- PiKA earns the #1 bullet point of the week for bringing out not just a new buggy, but a new standard tryke. PiKA hasn’t built a standard tryke since the early 90’s but it looks like their experiments with bringing Desperado out to rolls last spring and this fall were more than idle entertainment. One thing is certain, if it weren’t painted matte black, I don’t think too many buggy observers would pick it out of a lineup as a PiKA buggy. The shape is very round in all dimensions, with an nose that looks more like Zeus than anything more recent. It’s rolling on 3 wheels in the normal 6-7 inch range, and it looks like they chose to center the front wheel at or a bit below pan level because the front ride height is pretty high. The rear axle is just straight box stock steel and the pushbar seems to be aluminum airfoil stock like in the good ole days. All around, very interesting and a lot to talk about. I’ll say this, it had the most successful first day of rolls of any of our 2011 buggies.
- Spirit gave PiKA a run for their money but ended up with headline #2. Their Sunday was exciting, but it wasn’t exactly a new story line. They put together three spins on the day, the last being the most interesting. Both Seraph and Fuko were rolling on their new 6 spoke wheels with interesting compounds. I think that was true last weekend as well, but I only noticed the bright yellow ones. The compound on Seraph is a deep purple color. Anyhow, Seraph’s first spin must have weakened the spokes on their cool new wheels because as it started to spin on the next roll the wheel tore off its hub completely. I’m not talking deformed aluminum wheel here, I’m saying all six spokes failed and the wheel bounced away from the buggy while the hub was still securely attached. That’s not a failure I expected to ever see.
- SDC’s Avarice also spun, but it was pretty vanilla, just swinging around mid-turn without hitting anything. The left stub did appear to bend pretty significantly after leading the way through the slide, but it’s not the first time we’ve seen that and I’d guess SDC has a drawer full of spares.
- PiKA also caught attention by losing a couple of hatches on the day, first with Zeus’ right wheel cover on the back hills and then the rear hatch off of Chimemisis. It’s a good thing raceday happens when it’s usually warm out because these primarily duct-tape attachment schemes just don’t work in the cold.
- CIA’s new buggy has a name this week: Ascension. Together with Renaissance, CIA seems to be staking a claim to the optimism and advancement naming niche to counter SDC’s death and destruction theme. Ascension rolled better than its fist weekend but still on the slow and conservative side.
- AEPi’s robobuggy made it all the way around the course under RC control this time which marks a pretty big improvement over the last attempt. Sweepstakes is letting them roll the robobuggy once at the very beginning of the day before it’s totally light out. I like the concept of sending a robotic buggy down the hill first to make sure it is safe for humans.
- SDC, PiKA, and CIA all had fun pass tests in which the buggies were still right next to each other in the chute. All of the drivers managed it excellently so they get the BAA pass test stamp of approval.
- So many spins and only a few awesome pictures of the action you say? Well, thanks to Tom Wood, we’ve got a highlight reel of all the action for you this week. Check it out:
No rolls are currently scheduled for next weekend or the weekend after that because of spring break. These kids have a lot of faith in the Pittsburgh weather as that only leaves them 6 more days of rolls before raceday. We’ll try to keep you entertained in the mean time with some misc updates and maybe that new website we’re always talking about.