First off, I have to thank a few people for their help on this report. Rachel Johnson (sweepstakes assistant chair) got the roll count doc up and got me some fantastic notes from Saturday. Lou Conely was able to take some photos since I forgot to put batteries in my camera. Thank you both for your help this weekend!
Saturday saw a flurry of activity from the orgs, and also the Pittsburgh community. No new and exciting wildlife this time, just a pack of bikers, flock of runners, a car, and a police bike that sat and watched from the curb. The car came through from panther hollow and took a quick right down towards the pond. Word on the course is that the bikers came through the Westinghouse barricade. Fortunately, none of it was out at the same time as a buggy and if anything just caused some minor delays. The newest addition to the course was what I can only guess to be a Phipps staff member sweeping up trash on all the parking spaces. He seemed very calm though all of it and was only called off the road when he started to stray close to potential buggy lines.
Next weekend is Cèilidh, so any alumni in the Pittsburgh area, or those coming in from out of town should stop by the CMUbuggy table in the UC on Saturday. Come catch up with all your friends, and mock all your rivals new and old about changes that are completely out of their control. Tom Wood will be giving his History of Buggy presentation in Rangos I. See a full schedule of events here.
PiKA made their return this weekend and joined the other orgs to make it 6 for the day. All orgs have been picking up speed and some people are taking advantage of the extra practice that comes with so few buggies on the course. This will hopefully make for an exciting show come Cèilidh next weekend.
|CIA||Orca, Ascension, Freyja, Quasar|
|Fringe||Bonsai, Borealis, Bedlam, Banyan|
|SDC||Bane, Avarice, Malice, Envy|
|SigEp||Peregrine, Barracuda, Pandora|
|Spirit||Zuke, Haraka, Fuko|
|No-Shows||AEPi, Apex, SigNu|
Observations (Saturday Gallery)
- CIA – Of the 5 buggies that have been out, CIA has been keeping it to a max of 4 which probably makes it easier on the pushers as well as all those officers. Even with some last second scratches, CIA was able to roll all buggies every time. Ascension was seen on some new red wheels and rolling a bit better than last week with the green ones. Freyja was sporting the green wheels which looked like the ones Ascension had the week before as well as a cape as she flew down the freeroll.
- Fringe – At this point, Fringe has completely recovered from their first day crash and rolling quick. Some of the drivers are trying out new buggies and it seems to be working. Other drivers are getting very comfortable and getting up to full speed. Banyan, which is being driven by a new driver, was rolling very fast and out ahead of bonsai on a few rolls. This is looking to be a very fast year and should make for another exciting battle as the year goes on.
- PiKA – In their fateful return to the course, PiKA showed their faces this weekend and started to get their feeling back for buggy. With a veteran driver in Raptor, she was able to get around the course without any trouble. They had two new drivers in Chimera, each getting one roll. On one of Chimera’s rolls, the driver seemed to misjudge where the chute was and almost went on the opposite side of the monument. Just as some of the people in the chute started to worry, she slowly showed up on the outside of the monument back on track. She was fortunately rolling slowly enough to make this correction and finish the roll without help.
- SDC – After a couple 3 buggy mornings, SDC kicked it up a notch and added Envy to the mix. There is a bit of speculation as to why Envy was brought out. Some say it’s a calculated training exercise for their new buggy, while others feel like it’s just what the driver fit in. If the first one is true, it’ll be very interesting to see what they bring to the table.
- SigEp – This time around, SigEp was rolling clean and smooth. The new drivers definitely seem to be getting a good handle of the course and I wouldn’t be surprised if they started rolling much faster on Cèilidh weekend. There are still two drivers in Pandora, so I expect one will move to their new buggy assuming they have fixed whatever issue they had with last year’s build.
- Spirit – Up until now, Spirit was doing well and gave me very little to talk about, but this weekend was different and both buggies spun out in a single roll. Zuke was in the lead and did a clean 180 in the chute with no damage the the buggy as was very common a few years ago. The second buggy (I believe it was Haraka) spotted the stop flag just after she passed the transition flag and began to brake. As she slowed down, she nearly spun out several times coming down the freeroll, until she decided to turn away from the curb and brake closer to the bales. Despite the braking and spinning issue, the driver pulled off some expert corrections and avoided hitting the curb and just barely tapped the bales at the end. The barricader seemed to freak out the driver at the last moment as he leaped in front to try and get her to stop. In this situation, the driver seemed to know what she was doing and the barricader was just putting himself in harms way. All of their other rolls went very well apart with at most a
wheel coverhatch flying off early on.
Of those not seen, these are the one’s I’ve heard updates about, or have new information about.
- AEPi – The brothers intended to make it out again this weekend, but called it off at the last minute for unknown reasons. With one driver already qualified for fall, their impetus for showing up seems to be gone where they are favoring sleep over practice and improvement. I assume this strategy will change come the spring.
- Apex – These daring freshmen and sophomores started organizing their troops and began to make headway on their first buggy. With plans to return to the course mid fall, they have a lot of work ahead of them, particularly if they want to fulfill their dream of having a second buggy built and rolling in the spring as well.
- SigNu – At one point, I remember hearing that this was the weekend they would definitely come out, but sadly it seems that they changed their mind. With Cèilidh next weekend, I imagine they might get just the push they need to get out of their beds early in the morning.
This weekend also saw the return of the live stream! Which I didn’t tell anyone about since it was mostly a test of my capabilities and technology. Everything seems to work well, so I should be able to have it up for Cèilidh with hopefully more alumni than you can shake a stick at. I’m sorry about the video quality, but I’m still working from an “old” iPhone 4. I’ll be upgrading to the 5 soon, so stay tuned for better quality video, but for now, be happy with the natural sounds of the alumni in the chute.