Rolls Report: April 2 – These buggies ain’t no Fool

With only 16 days until Raceday 2017, spring has officially appeared to have sprung in the ‘Burgh giving us warm but often rainy weather. Saturday rolls were cancelled due to excessive precipitation, but Sunday was upper 30’s and sunny. The cooler temperature resulted in slower roll times all around, but teams were still taking practice seriously. While we were missing several Greek teams due to Greek Sing, 6 human teams and 2 robotic buggies were out and rolling this weekend. 

In anticipation of April Fools’ Day one of our more dedicated reporters prepared a number of possible report openings and post titles. Despite not rolling on the first, they were too good to share:

  • Rolls consisted of drivers pushing the follow car down Frew street where unsuspecting flaggers were forced to catch them and send them back up Schenley drive.
  • Flush with success from greek sing a triumphant AEPi returned to buggy claiming to be the only fraternity capable of winning the triple crown. Kamikazi was caped and ready to roll.  
  • A belligerent Sam Swift appeared at this roll with Blackjack demanding to be let onto the course insisting that the BAA was a legitimate team and this was always why he made the organization.

Back to more serious things:
The ‘trench’ in the chute continues to dramatically slow buggies down as it tosses the lighter vehicles and drivers, since this Quick Crete conduit cover spans the entire roadway it is totally unavoidable. While some of the heavier buggies seem unaffected, it’s sure to be a good test if you have all your hatches in place. Make sure your drivers are wearing their mouth guards -this one will jump right up at you.

Buggy alumni were out in droves this weekend trying to get not one, not two, but three timing systems working. Ben M. teamed up with Lou C. to get the laser-based system created by Mark Estes functional. They continued to run into some issues getting all the transmitters to talk to each other, but are hopeful to have the system up and running in time for Raceday. Ben Brown was out getting his speed trap tested, but didn’t have much luck with his system. Finally, Shafeeq S. was manning his battle-tested photo-based system. We have data from Shafeeq, which will be posted on Wednesday. 

In Attendance 

Org Sunday
Apex Phoenix, Ember
CIA Tempest, Orca, Impulse, Emperor
Fringe Boson, Bolt, Bissa, NB17
SDC Malice, Havoc, Bane Avarice, Rage
SigEp Barracuda, Kraken
Spirit Inviscid, Zuke, King Pin

Observations (Sunday Gallery)

  • Atlas/CIA – The day started with Atlas giving its CIA handlers a run for their money. Technically Hill 2 does not end until the monument, but most teams are quickly out-stripped by their buggies rolling down hill. This was not the case for Atlas as it sought to impress us all with a rainbow LED display and its driver racing behind it both running and controlling the buggy remotely. What it lacked in a follow car it made up for in one heck of a workout for a CIA mechanic who chased the ‘driver’ and the buggy all the way through the Freeroll. It’s certainly one way to get the blood pumping in the morning. Atlas got another chance to roll at the very end of the roll order, but got off to a rocky start and managed to take so much time simply getting down the first hill that it had to be pulled off the course before reaching the monument. We had run out the time on our permit to close the road.
  • Robo-Buggy – Robo-buggy is a real organization now, which is to say that they have joined the roll-order and rolling with everyone else. They’re off to a bit of a rocky start when during their first roll of the day Transistor deployed its own brakes causing a stop in the chute causing a short delay in rolls as they loaded the buggy into the follow car. This incident provided us with the quote(s) of the day: Pusher: “It stopped.” Follow Car:”Yeah, the brake deployed.”
  • Apex Apex premiered their new buggy internally known as “Phoenix 2”. This variant is both taller and longer than its namesake, which itself was based on Pioneers’ Chaos. Phoenix is already a sizable buggy compared to many of the competitive vehicles these days. Apex was already an org with more drivers than buggies, and will not want for drivers in the future. This morning was the first time in its history that the team has rolled 3 buggies.  (Just kidding guys, I for one am very happy to see a rolling build out of the garage) Apex was excited to show off their over-engineered front hatch which should come as a welcome change from Phoenix’s hatch that tries to escape over every pothole and the continuous rear hatch issues they’ve been having. Speaking of which, Ember’s hatch detached in the chute and was quickly recovered by the follow car. Word on the street is the new buggy’s name is “Kyle”.       Editor’s Note: One of our reporters made a quip that “It [rolling with Kyle] is the first time we’ve seen pushers unionize and strike against their own organization due to unfair working conditions related to the size and weight of the buggies.” We at the BAA would like to remind Apex that in 2010, after not building for 5+ years, CIA rolled out this monster. Go big or go home. 
  • CIA – A new buggy appears on the course! CIA keeps us guessing about their design principles with another forward trike (one wheel in front two “wheels” in back) dubbed Emperor. This one appears to be taking some design queues from Impulse with the slick tear-drop like shape of the shell. This buggy is rolling on a larger set of wheels that, based on the sound, seem to be hexagons. Rolling on no fewer than 3 bags for the whole day did the team no favors for determining the top speed and performance of the new machine. Hopefully we’ll see this develop into a competitive buggy in the precious little time before Raceday. Rolling a total of 4 buggies, CIA split from the CIApex configuration at rolls today….7 buggies per roll would have been pushing it. Unfortunately this lost them the use of the collective push-car, and they then resorted back to using a Zip Car.
  • Fringe Fringe has a specific and practiced rotation down: 4-5 buggies at rolls, never more than 3 rolling at once. NB17, Bissa, Bolt, and Boson were in attendance today. Boson lead Fringe’s first roll and dropped its right side wheel cover in the chute. The cover was quickly recovered before the following buggies could run it over. In subsequent rolls Boson was seen with exaggerated amounts of tape holding the wheel covers.
  • SDCIt looks like Rage is here to stay! (And we’re not talking about the general frustration with Pittsburgh weather.) Despite being the oldest buggy on the course (Rage was first rolled in 1996, making it both legal to drink and older than current sophomores) and not appearing at all during the fall rolls, SDC has been consistently rolling Rage the past two weeks. It has gotten its necessary pass test and is well on its way to being qualified for Raceday. To note, the entire SDC fleet is aging gracefully. Out of their active buggies, only two were built by current students: Havoc ‘15 and Vice ‘14.  Malice ‘09, Avarice ‘10, Bane ‘11, and now Rage ‘96 are all legacies, but were built to last, and are still putting up top-tier times each and every Raceday. Thanks SDC for reminding everyone that even after a long tenure at CMU you can still bring something to the table, and once in a while you can smoke an unprepared Hill 3 pusher during rolls.
  • SigEpAfter a long day singing about the Hawaiian tropics, SigEp and KKG took home the doubles trophy at Greek Sing! Congratulations! Nobody would blame the brothers for wanting the morning to sleep that off but if you’re gonna go for that triple crown you have to practice! SigEp invited everyone to a rousing game of ‘who’s that buggy’ as Barracuda came to rolls in a slimming and stylish coat of black paint. SigEp seems to be back in the swing of things and rolling consistently with their two buggies and pushing hard to be ready for Raceday.  But the real story today was the beautiful aquamarine Mazda Miata MX-5 Convertible (2001?) that was acting as follow car for the organization. Having the top down makes for a stylish and eye-catching ride…but in 30degree weather I’d rather have heated seats on a Jeep Grand Cherokee
  • SpiritA clean and consistent rolling all day from Spirit. Kingpin, Invicid and Zuke building speed and rolling cleanly. Today was less hectic for Spirit without all the pass testing.  Whatever they’re doing behind the scenes seems to be working. We’re hoping to see these clean lines on Raceday.


Rolls Report Contributors:
Ethan G.
Ben M.
Natalie M.
Shafeeq S.

7 thoughts on “Rolls Report: April 2 – These buggies ain’t no Fool”

  • John Legelis says:

    Hi – We are visiting campus this Saturday (for an ‘accepted’ students tour). Are any rolls scheduled for Saturday AM – I’d love to show my son! Please let us know!


  • John Legelis says:

    Hey Mark – it’s John from Theta Xi (Steve Dreskin’s friend – I was wheel chairman on TX Little Nip). Small world – are you back in the ‘Burgh? Will you be there at rolls on Saturday – would love to show my son a buggy program. He’s been accepted as a mech-e, and interested in transportation, etc. LMK

  • I may be large but I sure as hell aint fat. Built with bird bones and less than half the weight of my older brother Phoenix. He’s fat.

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