No, you’re not reading the post title wrong, there were indeed 2 days of Buggy this week. Teams graced the course both Saturday and Sunday getting in some chilly practice before ice and snow descend upon the ‘Burgh. Whether it was due to uncomfortable wind chills (< 28 F) or internal reasons, only 5 teams, including Robobuggy, made it out on Saturday. By 7:30am, the small number of Saturday teams couldn’t keep up with the designated roll order and organized chaos replaced the roster. While the temperature still sat below freezing on Sunday, the wind had died down and the course was dry.
One of the more entertaining events of Saturday (from a spectator’s view) was Sweepstakes trying to remove 2 patches of ice from the Chute. After kicking and scraping at the ice failed, they turned to leaf blowers. Unfortunately, leaf blowers only pump out slightly-warmer-than-ambient air. They were eventually able to defeat the ice using a combination of hand warmers and hot packs. The effort was well-worth it as we saw no accidents in the Chute. The Saturday breeze was strong and regular enough to shove the barricades onto the course at both ends of Schenley drive (Hill 2 and Chute turn)
To give an idea of the chill in the air, one reporter overheard a pusher grumbling “I think my earrings are frozen to my ear.”
|CIA||Emperor, Equinox, Icarus, Orca||Emperor, Equinox, Icarus, Orca|
|Fringe||Blueshift, Bumper, Bolt|
|SDC||Malice, Vice||Inferno, Havoc, Malice, Vice, Avarice|
|Spirit||Inviscid, Zuke, Kingpin, Seraph|
Construction on GSIA continues to displace teams, and CIA again made camp at the bottom of Hill 1. On Saturday they were able to stage out of the Posner side door normally occupied by Fringe. Be it optimal staging or just their dedication to Buggy, CIA won “busiest team of the weekend” getting in a total of 53 Rolls this weekend, 29 on Saturday alone. At one point, Icarus completed back-to-back solo roll-arounds.
Most teams were moving slower than normal and operating with skeleton crews due to the freezing temperatures. Apex and PhiDelt scraped through Rolls by sharing flaggers. On Saturday, Apex resorted to pushing their buggies up the sidewalk on the back hills because of lacking pushers. The timing worked out alright, and they were able to effectively roll around. The saddest quote of the day was attributed to Radio Club Net regarding Robobuggy: “Let me know IF the buggy makes it to you.”
PhiDelt and SDC had the most troubles over the weekend in terms of keeping their Buggy bits together and crashes. SDC’s Malice snapped a fairing after nailing the Hill 2 pothole and then later had a similar fairing spin over the wheel creating a ski in its place. On one PhiDelt Roll, a strong headwind sapped their speed and their Buggy came to a gentle pause before the monument. Around 8:15 the same day, PhiDelt crashed at Westinghouse, scrapping the team (and Apex) for the remainder of the day. It is unclear what caused the crash, but the driver seems to be alright.
Details are limited for this report because there simply isn’t much to talk about. The intrepid teams that braved the cold, Apex, CIA, Fringe, Spirit, PhiDelt, SigEp, Spirit, and SDC, are to be commended for their dedication to getting in more practice and developing their teams. It will be no surprise when these teams come out in force and with speed come spring.
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