This weekend we had both the shortest and the longest days of rolls for the year. Buggies were rolling Saturday by 7:45am with the sun and buggies ceased rolling at 8:45am, as per Saturday tradition. In conflict with the rising sun, the temperature stagnated at a character building 37*F. There was a slight delay as the collective group tried to figure out if EMS was actually on the scene.  After EMS was confirmed, the morning got off to a panicked start. After Robobuggy pushed off, a Fringe car set off against traffic to deliver their flaggers and coffee. The safety chair immediately gave chase, but was unable to stop the determined Fringe motorist. The vehicle and Transistor crossed paths in the Chute, but by an act of the Buggy Gods, no contact was made. For safety reasons, we encourage all orgs to never drive vehicles against the flow of buggy traffic.

Hooray daylight savings time! Sunday Rolls started at 6:45 give or take a few minutes for radio club safety net members to get into position. Three vehicles remained on the back hills as the towing company that Sweepstakes uses was too busy to get down to rolls this morning.
Safety chair was performing spot-safety checks all morning and reminding teams to be especially careful as the accelerated pace of rolls can lead to small oversights that can cause accidents.  Although the pace was indeed fast, it was controlled (thanks to an on-top-of-it Sweepstakes). At least 3 teams completed 8 rolls.

It appeared that the Alumni Speed trap was in operation Sunday morning. We await the data from our gracious alumni on who is rolling fastest this early in the season.

In Attendance 

Org Saturday Sunday
Apex  Phoenix  Phoenix
CIA  Tempest, Icarus, Orca, Impulse  Icarus, Impulse, Orca, Orca
Fringe Boson, Beacon, Bissa, Bolt Boson, Beacon, Bissa, Bolt
PiKA Cliodhna Cliodhna
SDC Malice, Havoc, Avarice, Bane  Malice, Bane, Avarice
SigEp  Kraken
SigNu  Krait
Spirit  Inviscid, Kingpin, Zuke, Seraph  Kingpin, Seraph, Zuke, Inviscid

Observations (Saturday Gallery | Sunday Gallery )

    • RoboBuggy – Robobuggy joined the roll order Sunday morning rolling as the first roll and again at the top of the roll order. Hopefully the extra practice is useful to them. Their ability to iterate on their programs and gain data is somewhat diminished by only rolling once per morning. It will be exciting to see what Robobuggy can accomplish as this will be their third year consistently rolling.
    • CIApexCIA continues to be unable to find a follow car, but the combined forces of CIApex create one full working org– though their full-to-bursting follow-SUV made for some good laughs over the safety net as people reported the course being clear of the “mother of all follow cars.” That said, CIA has always been an organization capable of mastering the logistical nightmare that comes with rolling more buggies than any other team.

           The benefits of having a heavier buggy were seen on the course Sunday morning. Although there are some reports of Tempest’s wheels being heated and and treated, today it was no match for one of the most ironically named buggies rolling: Orca. The whale of a buggy managed to pass Tempest during the Freeroll. Remember everyone, pass tests need to be set up ahead of time! Someone does need to talk to the driver of Icarus about their chute line which puts them right overtop of a drain cover, nearly every single time.

    • Fringe – Fringe was out with 4 buggies, Saturday and Sunday with most the drivers rolling bagless. The entire fleet is smooth, quiet, and quick around the course. Several of their buggies were already catching windows on Hill 3. On Sunday all the drivers were getting full Hill 2 push offs.
    • PiKA On Saturday morning an attempt to coordinate a fast push up hill 1, PiKA misses their 30 second window after being ‘cleared’ to go and is forced to scratch their first roll. Despite some organizational hiccups, PiKA continues to roll quickly, smoothly and constantly. On Sunday they could be seen floating their buggy and have possibly begun the process of heating wheels and ramping up their speeds. Their only failing last race day was being Fishing Club, and also rolling too quickly for their Hill 5 to catch the pushbar. Expect a competitive PiKA come April.
    • SDC Although enthusiastic to keep everyone on schedule, SDC’s haste to keep rolls moving quickly may have resulted in tragedy, as on the way to their first roll the mechanic carrying Avarice slipped on some wet grass and dropped the fully loaded buggy. The buggy was cleared to roll but an unfortunate chute line put the driver right into the hay bales by the gazebo. She was safely extracted but did not continue to roll for the rest of the day. Avarice returned on Sunday without incident. SDC was observed holding Malice back and floating the buggy before their rolls.
    • SigEp – Kraken was working its way around the course Saturday, but was back to hibernating on Sunday. The team is progressing steadily, although they are a shadow of their once speedy selves. Hopefully as the semester continues they will find some of their historic speed. 
    • SigNuThe big news this week was SigNu’s attendance at rolls! The fraternity showed up in force with veteran driver Raisa Chowdhury to start off the day on Saturday. After an inauspicious arrival to the starting line without a rear hatch and some confusion between the organization and sweepstakes as to where a buggy must finish a roll, they put in 3 rolls on Saturday and are off to a strong start.
      Their members are interested in rekindling their old buggy legacy and want to drum up enthusiasm in their fraternity for our uniquely CMU sport. The goals for this year are to be a competitive team and progress to finals on race day. If they can impress their alumni, the organization has been promised them the use of some quality wheels and a buggy shell lighter than that of their current offering “Bungaris Krait”. It’s great to see SigNu out again on a field where fraternity representation is shrinking rapidly. It would have been even better to seem them out Sunday morning where the early start allowed us to complete 8 cycles of the roll order and could have fully qualified a driver for the fall.
    • SpiritSaturday was mostly uneventful for Spirit. They could be seen bagging some of their buggies, suggesting some new drivers appearing on the course. Maybe a build in the works for them? Unfortunately on Sunday Spirit had the only major incident when Kingpin’s driver took their chute turn too wide and hit the bales, shattering the rear axle of the buggy and causing it to slide along the ground. The driver was extracted safely and could be heard expressing concern about the condition of the buggy. Kingpin scratched for the rest of the day. But otherwise Spirit continues to pick up the characteristic speed we’ve come to expect from them.

Rolls Report Contributors:
Ethan G.
Natalie M.