100 Years of Buggy History – 2010

Previous ArticlesIntro & 1920; 1921-1923; 1924-1927; 1928-1932; 1933-1935; 1936-1939; 1940-1945; 1946-1949; 1950-1953; 1954-1956; 1957-1959; 1960-1963; 1964-1966; 1967-1969; 1970-1973; 1974-1976; 1977-1979; 1980-1983; 1984-1986; 1987-1989; 1990-1993; 1994-1996; 1997-1999; 2000-2003; 2004-2006; 2007-2009

Well, the disappointing news to come out this week is that Raceday 2020 has been cancelled (more on that here). But while we originally planned for this series to take us right into Raceday, the cancellation doesn’t mean that the 100 Years of Buggy History will stop. Instead, it gives us more time to get through the last 10 years. So we press on, but instead of combining 4 years into one post, now we’re going to stretch out these last 10 years (the BAA Era) to let them breathe a little more. This week, we’ll take a look at 2010, which saw a couple of new additions to the course, some work by the BAA to make Raceday more enjoyable, and of course, one very controversial decision by Sweepstakes that toppled what was arguably the deepest roster to ever compete in Buggy.

2010

Raceday: Prelims on Friday, April 16 at 8:00am; Finals on Saturday, April 17 at 8:00am

Sweepstakes Committee: Jess Thurston (Chair); Chris Shellhammer (Ass. Chair); JB Feldman (Safety); Erin Gantz May (Design)

Men’s Results: (1) Fringe A – Banyan (2:07.50); (2) SigEp A – Barracuda (2:11.22); (3) Fringe B – Borealis (2:16.32); (4) Fringe C – Bantam (2:17.56); (5) PiKA A – Nemesis (2:27.35); (6) N/A (DQs)

Women’s Results: (1) Fringe A – Banyan (2:40.59); (2) PiKA A – Chimera (2:47.38);(3) Fringe B – Bantam (2:48.53); (4) – (6) – N/A (DQs)

Design Comp: (1) Fringe – Borealis; (2) Fringe – Banyan; (3) SigEp – Barracuda

Other Awards: (People’s Choice) AEPi – Aether; (Chairman’s Choice) SigEp; (Spirit of Buggy) DTD; (T-Shirt) CIA

Weather: Partly Cloudy, 68-76 Degrees on Friday; Sunny, 41-42 on Saturday

Buggy Book: 2010 Buggy Book Link

Raceday Video Playlist: 2010 Race Playlist

Prediction Score: 14/55 Men’s, 11/45 Women’s (Compubookie)

  • SDC Goes Deep.  The big story in 2010 was SDC.  In 2009, SDC was finally able to break through when they shattered both the Men’s and Women’s course records on their way to a Raceday sweep.  So in 2010, SDC had even loftier goals – not only did they want to win, they wanted to earn as many trophies as possible.  SDC’s team was about as deep as any organization in history, as they were the first team to ever field 4 Men’s and 4 Women’s teams. During Prelims, they proved that they could back up those lofty goals.  On the Women’s side, SDC managed to place 3 teams in the Top 6, as they tried to be the first team ever to take all 3 Women’s trophy spots.  SDC Women’s A was clearly the top team, finishing the Prelims with a 2:28.14, 11 seconds ahead of 2nd place Fringe A.  The SDC Women’s B team was in 3rd, just 3 seconds behind Fringe A but 6 seconds clear of 4th place.  And the SDC Women’s C team was sitting in 5th, a mere 0.08 seconds out of 4th.  Meanwhile, SDC’s Men’s teams were arguably even more impressive.  SDC Men’s A was again sitting in 1st with a 2:04.61, but the real dominance was shown at the lower levels.  The SDC Men’s B team was sitting in 3rd after Day 1 with a 2:07.85, the fastest time ever recorded for a B team (including the “B” teams that were really A teams in disguise).  And the SDC Men’s C team finished their Day 1 race with a time of 2:10.76, the 5th fastest time of the day and a Buggy C team record, breaking Spirit’s C team record from 1995.  Even the SDC D team finished with an organizational record 2:23.64. 
  • The Avarice In The Coal Mine. Unfortunately for SDC, the first sign of trouble for their year came when their biggest rival was too slow. SDC C’s Avarice (whose Hill 4 pusher was the Hill 4 pusher for the record-setting A Team in 2009) was paired up against PiKA A’s Nemesis (and Pioneers A’s Chaos) in Men’s Prelims Heat 10. One would expect that an A team, especially coming from an organization such as PiKA, would have no trouble beating a C team into the Freeroll. But as we noted, SDC was very deep in 2010, and as it turns out, PiKA wasn’t. So as the race began, SDC and PiKA were even going up the front hills.  SDC, coming out of Lane 2, had a slightly worse angle than PiKA (out of Lane 1) at the start of the freeroll, and with the two buggies roughly even, Avarice got boxed in between Nemesis and the curb.  To avoid smashing into the curb, the driver of Avarice tried to move out slightly, but that move created contact with PiKA, with the front of Avarice making contact with the back half of Nemesis.  Avarice had more speed in the freeroll and was able to successfully pass at the Stop Sign, and SDC kept that lead throughout, winning the heat. Unfortunately, Sweepstakes determined that SDC was at fault for the collision at the start of the freeroll and they were DQ’d for causing contact (according to the Tartan, the reason was “reckless driving”, though the decision of Sweepstakes was made almost immediately after the contact). PiKA was granted a reroll.  But even with that DQ, SDC was still able to send 5 teams (3 Women’s, 2 Men’s) to the Finals with a solid chance of taking the top spots…
  • Fire Safety Violation, Volume 2.  Friday was a warm day, with temperatures in the 70s, but things took a turn on Saturday, with temperatures plummeting down to the low 40s.  This made for a particularly cold Finals.  And not only does the cold weather impact wheel treatment; it also impacts the pushers.  According to the April 19, 2010 Tartan, in order to keep their pushers warm, SDC set up a heating area about 20 feet away from their truck, with the heat provided via a propane tank.  The Sweepstakes rules, however, prohibit flammable liquids from being in or near the “buggy preparation area”, though what constitutes “near” was not particularly defined.  According to the Tartan, a report filed by Fire Marshall Bob Anderegg stated that SDC members took the propane tank out of their truck and carried it away from their staging area.  Fire Marshall Bob determined that the propane tank was “near” the buggy staging area, as according to the Tartan, he informed Sweepstakes that “the tank was so close to the tent when he saw it in its initial position that it looked as though it had just emerged from the team’s staging area.”  The determination by Fire Marshall Bob that the tank was set up too close to the buggy area led Head Judge Andrew Hundt to immediately disqualify all SDC teams, knocking all 5 teams out of the Finals.  SDC appealed this decision, explaining their side of the story.  SDC Chair Julian Kessler told the Tartan “we placed the tank far away from the area.  We never turned it on at all, and it went from my car up the hill, never in or near the truck.”  However, Sweepstakes upheld the disqualification.  Sweepstakes Chair Jess Thurston told the Tartan that “the propane tank was very clearly too close to this organization’s tent, and the rules about such a situation are black and white…we have to be extremely strict about fire safety regulations.”  After a long discussion, lasting somewhere in the vicinity of an hour, Finals day finally got underway with 5 fewer teams.
  • BAA Programming Grows.  The Buggy Alumni Association started to put together more events for the 2010 year.  Not only was Tom Wood’s History of Buggy presentation given at Homecoming, but the BAA also had a welcome table.  Meanwhile, the Spring semester had a new event as well, as Spirit alum Matt Wagner gave a lecture entitled “Everything I Know About Innovation I Learned From Buggy.”
  • Jumbotron Expansion.  The addition of the Jumbotron was a HUGE success in 2009. The main complaint from alumni attending Raceday 2009 was that the Jumbotron was only on Hill 2 with the APhiO scoreboard, whereas a lot of alums like to watch the races from the Chute.  So for 2010, the BAA stepped in and secured a 2nd Jumbotron, so that the Chute watchers would also be able to watch the entire race.
  • New Timing System.  The BAA also went forward with assisting in getting a new timing system set up.  The failure of the previous years, with both the starting gun and the timing system itself, warranted a new setup.  So the BAA pitched in to secure a Lynx camera system, a high-speed photo-finish system used throughout the sporting world to accurately reflect finish times down to the millisecond (and takes pretty cool photos of the finish).
An example of the photos produced by the FinishLynx timing system, first used in 2010 (from the BAA Gallery)
  • The Sorority/Fraternity Pairing.  Sorority Kappa Kappa Gamma had stopped racing back in 2006, but the sorority still had interest in Buggy.  So in 2010, they decided to try and get back into the game.  To aid in the endeavor, they enlisted help of fraternity Zeta Beta Tau, recently having returned to campus, to form the KKG-ZBT team.  Kappa/ZBT obtained SigEp’s Enigma and renamed it Volos, equipped the buggy with some Zero Error/AEND wheels, and prepared to surprise some people on Raceday.  And they did just that during the Men’s Heats.  In Men’s Prelims Heat 3, KKG/ZBT A, in Lane 2, went up against Spirit B’s Haraka in Lane 1.  But in a surprise, KKG/ZBT won the battle up the front hills, and thanks to their bright white wheels, Volos was rolling faster than expected.  When the heat was over, KKG/ZBT A had blown away Spirit B (and AEPi C, whose team may still be trying to finish that race), though the time wasn’t fast enough for Day 2.  But the surprise showing proved that the sorority/fraternity pairing could work. Unfortunately, ZBT left campus after the Spring 2010 semester and Kappa didn’t want to take on a buggy organization alone, and therefore the group was only a 1 year partnership.  But it did set up a template for future use, as this was the first (but not the last) time that a sorority would join forces with a fraternity in order to support a buggy team.
  • DTD Gives It A Go.  DTD has a long, storied history in Buggy, but they last rolled briefly in 2002.  For Raceday 2010, they decided to give Buggy another go!  They acquired Pioneers’ buggy Quicksilver, which at the time had the name “Bethany” painted on the side, because Pioneers’ driver the last time Quicksilver rolled was named Bethany.  It turns out that DTD was founded at Bethany College in 1858, so DTD stuck with the name Bethany for their buggy.  Unfortunately, the buggy was not a good starting choice.  The wheel size was different than the Xootrs and DTD was unable to find new wheels, meaning that by the end of the semester, the buggy was essentially rolling on octagons.  And that’s when they could complete the course.  The buggy itself had so many mechanical issues that the buggy often stopped in the freeroll or was unable to complete a roll.  In a scary moment during the last rolls of the Fall, the driver took too tight a line into the Chute, hitting a grate and losing control, sending the buggy into a curb.  On contact, the anchor points to which the driver’s harness was attached failed, and the driver flew halfway out of the buggy.  Luckily, she only sustained some minor cuts to her arm.  Things didn’t get much better in the Spring.  The front axle of the buggy loosened itself enough that, during one roll on March 28, the whole steering system fell apart, rotating forward a full 180 degrees.  DTD gave it a real go, constantly fixing up the buggy to try again, but by the end of the Spring Semester they couldn’t get enough successful rolls in to qualify without presenting a safety concern for the other teams on the course.  It was a bummer, and it led to DTD packing up their Buggy stuff, though they’d try again a couple of years later in a slightly different form. 
One of the many examples of DTD’s troubles with Quicksilver/Bethany in 2010 came on March 28, when the entire steering system broke, spinning 180 degrees and looking like this to the outside world (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Sam Swift)
  • KDR Exits.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t just new buggy programs for Greek organizations.  KDR put up their second best time in history in 2009, but sometimes things are beyond your control.  The University Disciplinary Committee voted to remove KDR from campus due to incidents in the spring of 2009 from individual brothers including, according to the August 31, 2009 Tartan, furnishing alcohol to minors and failing to comply with university sanctions.  KDR was prohibited from petitioning for reinstatement for 2 years.  There was talk that KDR would return to buggy as an independent organization known as “Kool Dudes Racing” (in a foreshadowing of things to come); however, part of the UDC’s decision included a ban on participating in Booth and Buggy, even as an independent organization. That decision would ultimately end KDR’s buggy career.
  • Beta Returns…and Exits.  Following their Fire Safety DQ, there was a looming question of whether Beta would be allowed to participate in 2010. The rules provide that a Fire Safety Violation results in the “death penalty”, a 15 month ban from participation (it’s known as the death penalty because a forced break of that long ends recruitment and a lot of the institutional knowledge). But after much deliberation, Sweepstakes decided to allow Beta to return for 2010, under strict probation that imposed limits on what they could do in terms of speeding up their buggy. Beta came out in the Spring of 2010 with a renewed vigor, looking like they were ramping up to make a bigger push back into Buggy for future years.  However, it was short lived.  They made it to Raceday, but 2010 would be the last time that Beta would participate in Buggy (Beta would eventually be suspended and then expelled from campus in 2013 following an incident over sexually-explicit materials that involved the Allegheny County District Attorney’s office).
  • Camo Retires.  The oldest buggy on the course for the last 15 years, in 2010 AEPi’s Camo finally retired.  But it wasn’t a willing retirement; it was a forced retirement.  On March 20, Camo was brought out to get its rolls in for the Spring in order to make it to Raceday.  But on its first roll of the semester, tragedy struck.  While bagged for its first roll, driver Emily Ostrin turned into the Chute without issue.  But as the buggy rolled through the Chute, suddenly there was a loud grinding noise.  The aluminum weld, which had held the back left wheel on the buggy for 25 years, had finally given out, and the wheel fell off of the buggy.  Without the capability to re-weld the wheel back on, AEPi retired Camo.
The aluminum weld holding on Camo’s back left wheel finally gave way after 25 years, forcing the buggy into retirement (from the BAA Gallery, uploaded by Chris Stengel)
  • Roads Paved.  As noted in 2009, Lane 2 had gotten so bad that it had become unusable for Buggy.  The good news is that it was a one year blip.  Because in the summer of 2009, the City of Pittsburgh came and gave a fresh coat of asphalt to Tech Street.  This made the front hills perfectly smooth, allowing Buggy to go back to three-buggy heats in 2010.
  • Spring Rolls Hindered.  Fall rolls were scheduled every weekend from October 3 through November 22, with an additional roll on September 19 (the break between at the end of September was due to the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh). The Spring rolls were scheduled from February 13 through April 11, except for March 6-7 (for Spring Break).  But Spring rolls didn’t actually get started until March 14, thanks to a crazy snowstorm in Pittsburgh in early February.  The blizzard brought about 2 feet of snow to the Pittsburgh area, cancelling classes for 3 straight days (for the first time in University history) and closing CMU for the first time since 2003. The snow left roads covered for a long period of time as Pittsburgh’s plowing strategy was not the most efficient (the snowstorm also resulted in this writer’s car being towed, but that’s unrelated to buggy so I won’t go into details here).  And according to Compubookie, that delay in rolls led to one of the more accident prone semesters in recent memory.
  • SigNu Flips Again.  There appears to have been a design flaw in the Skua mold model’s weight distribution (per Mark Estes in the comments below), which was evident when Skua flipped during Raceday back in 2005.  Bungarus Krait, the newest buggy from the same mold, had learned from Skua’s mistakes, but thanks to the fix managed to repeat the feat during practice rolls on Sunday, March 21.  The buggy went wide in the Chute, overcorrected swerving right, and then overcorrected again, spinning the buggy and causing it to flip over, whipping around and hitting the curb past the outer bales.  The reason for the flip, per Mark Estes in the comments below, was that weight had been added to the right side of the buggy to add stability in the Chute turn, but when the buggy made a sharp left when trying to correct in the Chute, that weight distribution bias became apparent and physics took over. The driver wasn’t injured, but it sure looked scary.
At rolls on March 21, SigNu proved once again that the Skua mold wasn’t the most stable, as Bungarus Krait flipped in the Chute (courtesy of Bryan Arsham)
  • Aquatic Buggy?  Practice rolls on November 8 began like normal, and for the first 30 minutes everything was rolling smoothly.  As soon as Fringe finished their first roll of the day, however, rolls were put on hold as brown water began to flow down Hill 3.  It started off small, but quickly picked up speed, travelling into the Chute and flooding the street.  Haybales were quickly moved to the sidewalk to salvage as many of them as possible, and then to the other side of the street once the flow of water became to great to contain in the storm drains. Rolls had to be cancelled.  The culprit was a bathroom in Baker Hall that had suddenly sprung a leak, flooding not just the buggy course but the entire A-level of Baker Hall and forcing classes to relocate.
On November 8, brown water began rushing out of Baker Hall, flooding the course and causing rolls to be cancelled for the day (courtesy of Bryan Arsham).
A photo of the “Brown River” from the Chute (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by Carsen Kline)
  • New Buggies.  Plenty of new buggies hit the course in 2010. Fringe kept their build streak going with the new buggy, Borealis.  SigEp decided to follow up Barracuda with a similar looking buggy (with a different paintjob), Peregrine.  SDC got greedy after their 2009 records and built a new orange buggy, Avarice.  CIA debuted not one, but 2 new buggies; Renaissance, which was built in 2009 but didn’t make it to Raceday until 2010, and the second in their carbon fiber/monocoque era, Freyja.  And AEPi decided they wanted to try and actually build a legitimate looking buggy, producing Aether. Unfortunately for AEPi, Aether was a little too underbuilt, and the buggy didn’t last beyond Raceday 2010 (it’s a minor miracle that the buggy ever passed the “sit” test, as it flexed pretty significantly during the test.
  • Fringe’s Buggy Decisions.  For the first time since 2000, Fringe must have felt strong about their teams, as they decided to run Banyan and their A team buggy for both their Men’s and Women’s A teams.  Meanwhile, they brought Bantam back to race as the Women’s B team after that buggy missed Raceday 2009 due to a crash.  On the Men’s side, they elected to roll their new buggy, Borealis, as their B team, in order to get Borealis qualified for the Design Competition awards.  The eventual 3rd place finish was more than enough to pick up the Design Comp win.
  • Predictions.  Compubookie predicted a Raceday full of speed and hazards, thanks to some unproven buggies and a lack of rolls in the Spring.  On the Women’s side, he predicted that SDC’s speed and technological advancement would give them the edge (though not set a course record), and remarked about SigEp as the up and coming team.  His Top 6 were: (1) SDC A, (2) SigEp A, (3) PiKA A, (4) SDC B, (5) Spirit A, and (6) Fringe A.  On the Men’s side, the only race was for 2nd, and Compubookie predicted SDC sending 3 buggies to Day 2, winning by 4 seconds with a sub-2:03 time.  His Top 10 were (1) SDC A, (2) Fringe A, (3) PiKA A, (4) SDC B, (5) SigEp A, (6) SigNu A, (7) Fringe B, (8) CIA A, (9) PiKA B, and (10) SDC C.
  • Ask The Tartan.  The April 19, 2010 Tartan ran an article entitled “Ask The Tartan”, getting the perspective of various Tartan editors on Carnival.  One of the questions asked was “Booth, Buggy, or Mobot – why?”.  Forum Editor Michael Kahn opted for “MoBuggy.  What could be better than poorly programmed buggies driving themselves down a hill,” and Comics Editor Isaac Jones said “Buggy if the drivers are mobots”.  Little did they know what would be coming soon…
  • Michael Ian Black’s View of Buggy.  Spring Carnival comedians often like to do a little research about the school before they perform so they can tailor their jokes to their audience.  When it comes to CMU, this typically means making jokes about nerds or robots, or being baffled as to the Booths and the Carnival setting that they’re performing in.  But Michael Ian Black decided to make things a bit more specific, joking about Buggy.  His definition of the sport was simple: “Buggy is: you build a buggy, you race it, you win.”  But he then noted that “this has to be the most misogynistic sport ever.  You put a girl in a buggy and shove it down a hill.”  While we don’t agree with his characterization (after all, who wouldn’t want to be put in a buggy and shoved down a hill), we appreciate his taking the time to learn that there actually is a person inside.   
  • 1 Year For 2 Minutes. May 5, 2010 was the world premiere of the greatest film of all time. Entitled “1 Year For 2 Minutes”, the Award-Winning (yes, actually; it won the 2010 STUDIO for Creative Inquiry Award, as well as the 2010 Accolade Competition Award of Merit) documentary was produced by David Kinskey-Lebeda and Erin Gantz May as a SURG-funded project. The documentary focused on the sport of buggy and the crazy people that decide to get involved in the wild sport. I’m not sure if the actual documentary is available anywhere, but the trailer is still online!
  • Spirit Struggles in the Chute.  By 2010, Spirit had begun transitioning their buggies from pneumatic wheels to Xootr-style wheels.  But the drawback to that change was a shift in the balance of the buggies, which led to a tendency to spin in the Chute.  Raceday 2010 was particularly bad for Spirit when it came to finishing the race.  Only 2 of the 6 Spirit teams ended up crossing the Finish Line, and 1 of those “limped” to the finish.  The Spirit Men’s C team never made it out of the truck, resulting in a DNS.  The 3 other DNF teams had trouble with the Chute, particular the buggy Zulu Machafuko.  In Women’s Prelims Heat 2, Zulu Machafuko (for Spirit B) spun out in the Chute and came to a rest perpendicular to the course, resting against the outer curb past the haybales.  Then in Men’s Prelims Heat 9, Zulu Machafuko (for Spirit A) spun after trying to take too tight a line into the Chute.  The buggy hit the inner bales, and the contact caused the buggy to spin around 360 degrees, coming to rest in the middle of the Chute.  The two trailing buggies, Fringe D’s Blizzard and CIA B’s Conquest, both had to swerve inside to avoid a collision. In Women’s Prelims Heat 7, it was Spirit C’s Seraph that had issues, as the buggy spun after the driver saw SigEp A’s Barracuda stopped wheelless in the Chute. But in her reroll, Seraph spun again, possibly prompted when the back wheel axle failed and the back left wheel flew off of the buggy. Meanwhile, in Women’s Prelims Heat 5, Spirit A’s Haraka had a self-inflicted wound.  As the driver passed the transition flag, she cut the slight bend in the road a little too close, and the buggy hit the curb outside of Phipps Conservatory.  The buggy continued to roll, wobbling back and forth as the driver turned into the Chute, and it’s unclear how much damage the contact caused or how much steering control the driver had in the Chute turn.  The curb impact slowed the buggy down enough that SAE A’s Rubicon was able to pass on the outside in the Chute.  When they got to the back hills, Spirit was able to regain some of the lost speed, but they couldn’t quite pass SAE back.  According to Spirit’s Buggy Chair, Kory McDonald in the April 19, 2010 Tartan, the organization was working on some new things and trying to push the limit, but they pushed a little too far and some things that worked in practice didn’t end up working on Raceday.
  • Day 1 Rerolls.  The rules around rerolls say that rerolls are held on Saturday and that their time counts as their final time.  But Sweepstakes has used its own discretion in modifying those rules from time to time.  In 2010, concerns about the weather on Saturday led Sweepstakes to holding Prelims rerolls on Friday at the end of the races.  This meant that the times were no longer final and would need to crack the Top 6/Top 10 in order to make it to the Finals.  In total, 2 Men’s and 2 Women’s teams were granted rerolls for Friday, and only one, PiKA Men’s A, made it to the Finals.
  • Pacing, Part 2.  I noted in 2009 how rare it is for a team to earn a pacing DQ in the modern era, until AEPi did it in 2009.  Well, make it 2 years in a row for the oddest of DQs.  In Women’s Prelims Heat 4, CIA A’s Firebird was lined up in Lane 3.  As the race began, a man in a white shirt and black pants decided to run alongside CIA’s team.  My guess is that it was a relative of a team member, but the result was another Pacer DQ, this time for CIA A.
  • Men’s Notable Heats.  Raceday 2010 was full of mistakes and carnage, and that, combined with SDC’s Fire Safety DQ, resulted in only 5 trophies being award, as only 5 teams ended the Finals with official times.  Some of the notable heats were:
    • Prelims Heat 1 – PiKA D, with Zeus in Lane 2, went up against SAE A’s Rubicon in Lane 1.  PiKA made an odd decision to line the buggy up all the way to the right of Lane 2, bumping up against the Lane 1 line.  This proved costly, as the Hill 1 pusher came out of the lane and ever so slightly got in the way of the SAE pusher (who was about to pull away), resulting in PiKA D being DQ’d for pusher interference.
    • Prelims Heat 6 – The race wasn’t that interesting on the front end, with SigEp A’s Barracuda easily winning and putting up a Top 5 time.  The real battle was for 2nd in the heat.  CIA A’s Freyja, in Lane 3, led SDC D’s Envy narrowly up the front hills.  SDC tried to pass on the outside as the buggies approached the Stop Sign, but the buggy wasn’t quite going fast enough and she was unable to get past.  Envy therefore went into the Chute behind CIA.  But Envy had the better rollout and passed on the outside as they approached Hill 3.  With A team pushers, CIA began to gain on SDC on Hill 4, and pulled even as they reached the 4-5 transition.  But SDC’s D team showed how deep the organization was, and the SDC Hill 5 pusher was able to grab the lead back and finish 1 length in front.
    • Prelims Heat 9.  The real excitement in the Men’s Prelims began with Prelims Heat 9, which put Spirit A’s Zulu Machafuko in Lane 1, CIA B’s Conquest in Lane 2, and Fringe D’s Blizzard in Lane 3.  The excitement began at the very beginning of the race, as CIA nearly false started.  But the Hill 1 pusher caught himself and avoided a penalty.  Spirit’s Hill 2 pusher became famous as he did a somersault after shoving Fuko into the freeroll.  But that somersault may have transferred a little too much speed to the buggy, because as noted above, Fuko spun out and Fringe and CIA both had to swerve to avoid contact.  The excitement continued as Fringe and CIA made it to the back hills.  After Fringe’s Hill 3 pusher shoved the buggy off to Hill 4, the pusher turned and ran into CIA B’s Conquest, getting hit by CIA’s pushbar.  This resulted in what could have been a DQ for Pusher Interference for Fringe D, but thanks to the Spirit spin, Fringe D was granted a reroll and earned an official time of 2:23.20, placing 14th. It also did result in a DQ for CIA B, as following the bump by the Fringe pusher, the CIA Hill 3 pusher came back to the buggy to give it a final shove, but that final shove was well beyond the end of the Hill 3-4 transition zone, resulting in a Transition DQ (CIA could have also requested a reroll, though we don’t have any information on why they didn’t take one, whether it was not taken or requested but not granted).
    • Prelims Heat 11 – The carnage continued in Prelims Heat 11.  Fringe A’s Banyan had no trouble making it through the course in the lead.  But SigNu B Skua didn’t have the same luck, as the buggy turned a little too hard and spun out in the Chute, with AEPi A’s Aether hot on its tail.
    • Prelims Heat 12 – SDC A’s Malice blitzed the field, so the heat wasn’t particularly exciting from a competition standpoint.  PhiKap A, with Schadenfreude, got VERY close to a Pushbar DQ.  Our record books show PhiKap’s time as official with no DQ (they wouldn’t have made Day 2 anyway), but from our own video review, we’re skeptical that PhiKap actually got the pushbar in time.  Decide for yourself.
    • Finals Heat 1 – Men’s Finals Heat 1 had PiKA B’s Chimera in Lane 1 against Fringe B’s Borealis in Lane 3.  Fringe won the battle up the front hills, but PiKA got the better shove and passed as the buggies crossed the street towards Flagstaff Hill.  Fringe had the better rollout though, and passed PiKA back as the buggies made it up to Hill 3.  Fringe pulled away on the back hills, and PiKA became the unlucky victims of a Pushbar DQ.
    • Finals Heat 3 – PiKA A’s Nemesis took on SigNu A’s Bungarus Krait.  PiKA easily led into the freeroll with their superior push team, but something went wrong with PiKA’s buggy, as the brakes appeared to be rubbing.  This enabled SigNu to pass as the buggies approached the Stop Sign (making broadcaster Mark Estes endlessly happy).  His enjoyment was blunted shortly thereafter, however, as SigNu’s left front wheel cover went flying as the buggy turned into the Chute, resulting in a Loss of Mass DQ.  PiKA, who put up a slow time, requested a reroll and took it, clocking in around 2:14.  But after review, Sweepstakes determined that SigNu’s loss of mass had no impact on the PiKA buggy, and the reroll was disallowed, reverting back to their original time.  But they say “slow and steady wins the race”, and thanks to all of the DQ’s, PiKA’s horrendously slow 2:27.35 (which would have placed them 18th on Day 1) was enough for the 5th place trophy.
    • Finals Heat 4 – The final heat, thanks to the 2 SDC Fire Safety DQs, was the winning one, as Fringe A’s Banyan took on SigEp B’s Peregrine.  Fringe A’s race was enough for the win.  Meanwhile, SigEp cost themselves a trophy when, at the Hill 3-4 transition, half of Peregrine’s pushbar handle broke off, resulting in a Loss of Mass DQ (it’s not visible on the video, but see below, as we happen to have a photo!) .
  • Women’s Notable Heats.  Thanks to the SDC Fire Safety DQ, the Finals were incredibly uneventful, as each of the three heats contained only 1 buggy (making this the “time trial” style that some people have pushed for).  But there was some excitement on Day 1.
    • Prelims Heat 3 – PiKA B’s Knightfall went up against SigEp B’s Peregrine.  SigEp was well ahead as the buggies entered the freeroll, but PiKA was gaining throughout.  As they reached the Chute, SigEp took a very late turn, which allowed PiKA to catch up even more, and PiKA was able to pass on the outside as the buggies rolled up to Hill 3.
    • Prelims Heat 5 – Spirit A’s contact with the curb, costing them a spot in the Women’s Finals, is discussed in the Spirit paragraph above.
    • Prelims Heat 6 – PiKA A’s Chimera, Beta A’s Problem Child, and Fringe B’s Bantam were all close up the front hills, with PiKA taking the lead on Hill 2 and into the freeroll.  But Fringe B, in second, carried their speed better and looked to pass on the roll up to Hill 3.  Fringe first tried to pass on the inside, but after PiKA cut that off, Fringe swung outside.  This boxed out the PiKA pusher, who was waiting on the Scaife side for her buggy, and she was forced to go around the Fringe buggy and pusher.  That gave Fringe the edge they needed to hold on and win the heat.
    • Prelims Heat 7 – SDC A’s Malice easily won the heat, but the drama came for 2nd and 3rd.  SigEp A’s Barracuda came into the Chute 2nd, but an axle failure at the patch in the Chute caused Barracuda to lose a wheel, which went flying across the Chute.  With Barracuda stopped wheelless on the inside of the Chute, Spirit C’s Seraph did the same thing, also losing a wheel and spinning, doing a 180 and then a reverse 180, ending with her nose in the outer haybales.  Spirit C was granted a reroll, though it’s unclear how much SigEp’s incident actually affected the buggy (and as fate would have it, Spirit would spin again in the reroll).
  • The Exhibition Roundup 2010.  Thanks to the long discussion and debate over SDC’s Fire Safety DQ, a few of the Exhibition heats ended up being cancelled.  This was a big disappointment to AEPi, because after performing the Pit Stop in 2009, the fraternity had made even bigger plans for 2010.  The pit crew had gotten bigger, and in addition to a wheel change, AEPi was going to “break the rules” and try the other aspect of the 1920 stipulations – the driver swap.  AEPi Buggy Chair Zack Waldman was able to fit inside Kamikaze and had taken a couple of practice rolls in the Spring to see if he could drive.  Although the fit was awkward, he was able to do it.  Therefore, the plan was to have a qualified driver begin the race and make it through the freeroll.  When the buggy was brought to the pit stop for the wheel change, the qualified driver would get out and Zack would be loaded in, driving the buggy up the back hills.  Sadly, they were never able to perform this epic Exhibition, as AEPi needed their one remaining Exhibition slot to give the driver of Zephyrus a chance to try a legitimate roll, after mechanical issues caused the buggy to reach the Chute flag at the same time that the two other teams were finishing their race on Friday (of course, the fix they made didn’t work, and Zephyrus was just as slow in Exhibitions).  In the end, only 4 exhibitions happened:
    • AEPi vs. Fringe – [To come]
    • Pioneers – [To come]
    • CIA vs. CIA – CIA’s Freyja (Lane 1) vs. CIA’s Quasar (Lane 3).  The Hill 1 pusher for Quasar appears to have pulled something during the push.  On Hill 4, a “push captain” ran alongside the pusher for the trailing buggy, Quasar, and as broadcaster Andy Bordick put it, “I don’t think that’s pacing, I think that’s berating”.  Meanwhile, Hill 5 was a full family affair for the Quasar team, as at least 4 children were part of a group running with the Hill 5 pusher. 
    • Grudge Match – SigNu (Bungarus Krait) vs. PiKA (Knightfall).  Billed as the Grudge Match of the Century, PiKA won the up-and-over and held a huge lead in the freeroll, thanks to Andy Bordick transferring so much power that he took a big fall on the Hill 2 shove.  But SigNu clearly backloaded their team, a team which, according to Mark Estes on the broadcast (which he calls his crowning comedic acheivement), was made up of a handful of 1980s Olympians.  PiKA held about a 3 second gap as the teams reached Hill 5, but the SigNu Hill 5 pusher came flying and stunned the crowd, grabbing the lead and the Grudge Match crown.
  • 2010 Photos. Most photos are in the BAA Gallery, but here are a few others.
2010 – SigEp Men’s B Hill 3 Pusher Zach Beatty shoves Peregrine to Hill 4 pusher Brian Cohen in Men’s Finals Heat 4 and, in the process, snaps the pushbar handle, resulting in a Loss of Mass DQ (from the BAA Gallery; uploaded by ms01814)
2010 – Hill 2 of Women’s Prelims Heat 7, with Julie Ng pushing Malice for SDC A in Lane 1 (left) and SigEp A’s Barracuda in Lane 2 (right) (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – Fringe Women’s B pushes Bantam up Hill 2 in Women’s Finals Heat 3 (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – Spirit Men’s B pushes Haraka up Hill 5 in Men’s Prelims Heat 3 (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – PiKA’s Nemesis makes it through the Chute (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – SDC Men’s D pushes Envy across the Finish Line in Men’s Prelims Heat 6 (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – PiKA Women’s A Hill 5 pusher Caitlin Mullvihill pushes Chimera towards the Finish Line (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – SigEp Men’s B pushes Peregrine up Hill 5 in Men’s Prelims Heat 8 (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)
2010 – CIA’s Quasar is transferred from Hill 1 to Hill 2 in an Exhibition Heat (from the 04-19-2010 Tartan)

20 thoughts on “100 Years of Buggy History – 2010”

  • + Grudge match was Knightfall, not Chimera for PiKA/SigNu
    + PiKA buggy in the chute is not Chimera but Nemesis

    • Bryan Arsham says:

      I fixed these. For the grudge match, that’s my bad – it’s pretty clearly Knightfall, I just never even thought about it and took the cmuTV graphic at face value.

      For the Chute photo…how can you tell?

  • Gosh, who even fit in Quasar? We disbelieved it was Quasar until we saw the video. I think at that point you couldn’t drop the pushbar, although I did laugh at Estes’ crack about dropping it on Hill 3.

    The Hill 1 pusher claims no long-term injuries, although that did look like it hurt. The Quasar team was a family affair anyway, as Hill 1 and 5 are brothers.

    • Yea, we were shocked too!

      We had just gotten her back from getting re welded and had to remove the mechanism and it’s just been bolted on since then. I wanna say the driver was Annie B. She was incredibly tiny to be one of our drivers, V worked really hard to get her to join and come out.

      No wonder I couldn’t recognize who that was! I totally forgot Ian’s Brother came out to the races!

  • flipping zoo buggies. Blaming the mold for the flipping issues is not accurate. The original skua flip was due to weight distribution issues that were easily fixed once they were recognized. Skua never flipped again. Part of that solution was to put a bit more weight on the right hand side of the buggy (as opposed to putting more on the left) This carried over to krait and when the buggy made a very sharp left (as shown in the video at the end of the spin) that weight distribution bias became apparent and physics took over.

  • The grudge match was goodly fun. We had initially set it up as teams from the 80s facing off. We later learned that PKA had altered the script by going a bit younger on the front hills and using much more “distinguished” pushers on the back hills. Some of these were alleged to be actual Olympic athletes. We stuck to the script with the 82-85 push teams well represented.

    From a PR aspect, we were taken aback. How could we compete with Olympic heroes? It seemed like we were being cast into the role of the axis of evil. The solution, we made up back stories for our pushers that more than made up for our lack of hero credentials. My finest broadcast moment ( to date) was getting through that list without cracking up. ” you may remember Donny Heise from the miracle on ice in the 84 Olympics” ” on hill 3 we have Dr. Peter Orlic, inventor of the Orlic-7 artificial pancreas” and “Rob “tripod” Katz who taught Dorthy Hamill the Hamill-Camel-toe loop” and so on. Sadly, this epic rant did not make the the DVD.

    In any event,, PKA crushed us up and over and things looked grim. Both buggies rolled well and on par with the best of the day ( some things must be taken seriously) So, they came out of hill 3 with a goodly lead for PKA. Hill 4 closed that up a bit but it was Rob Katz on hill 5 that probably gave up years of his natural life and dug deep to catch them at the line.

    Good times.

    • Typical Sig Nu lies. The set up was for pushers that’s were over 40 years of age. Because of lack of participation, Pika didn’t have 5 elderly pushers. So we either allowed some one less than 40 to push, or call the whole thing off. I was invoked to push. I was circa 39 years of age at the time. However, I never was, nor ever claimed to be, a true pusher. I pushed once on a race day. On a Pika D team, which meant I was slow but dedicated. Like really slow. Like, sand the buggies because that’s faster than you’re pushing. To say we “stacked” the front hills is like saying that Mark Estes stacked his rebound abilities when he double bounced off of hill 5. And yes! The average age of that pika push team was 55.

    • Bryan Arsham says:

      “Sadly, this epic rant did not make the the DVD.”

      That might be true, but guess what? We found it anyway, and now everyone will get to hear it! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qfqJfT7NKbk (and yes, this will be added to the post itself)

      I have to say Mark – I’m incredibly impressed. You got through that whole list sounding like a legitimate broadcaster. I think very few people could have kept it together reading through it (and I’m pretty sure that the only reason Tyler wasn’t cracking up on camera was because he wasn’t paying any attention to you).

      • Aahhhh!!!!!!!! Video cuts right before our ‘stacked’ hills get equal footage! Do you have the full video to post? I’d like to see my fat 40 year old self “push” a Hill 1, and

        Since Andy hasn’t noted yet…. A very good Zoo buggy with I’m sure full cookie prep vs pos knight fall with something far from goodly wobbling on the spindles! Certainly did Ben Brown NO favors on Hill 3

  • Can I get a ruling on the 1st pic…where SigEp pushbar handle fails? Now, had the pushers transferred said handle like a baton along with the buggy to the finish line. Would this still be considered a loss of mass? The ‘team’ carried said mass to the finish. I think they missed an opp to finish and post an official time. You gotta know the rules and their interpretations but I haven’t found anything to apply in this case. Simply dropping the handle and continuing is clear.

    • If it falls off, its loss of mass. I don’t think the pushers carrying it would help. BTW the “loss of mass” rule has gotten stricter over the years, there was a time when when wheel covers etc could fall off without a DQ, and certainly a time when 66% of a PiKA rear tire could fall off without a DQ but rubber might be specifically exempted. I also recall nuts, bolts, and one time a wrench falling out of buggies mid-roll. When the bearings fall out, that tends to be self-disqualifying (SigEp x 2 or 3).
      Re: the SN prep on the grudge match, I certainly would not go so far as to say it was 100% full prep. 2010 was probably about the last time SN buggies rolled properly with the top tier.

      • freerolls in the grudge match are about 57s for SN and 58s for PiKA, both shitty even for women’s and a far cry from even a decent 52s men’s roll let alone the afore-mentioned 49s for Fringe Men’s A 2010.

      • If it isn’t loss of mass, the handle is still part of the pushbar, and parts of the pushbar cannot move rearwards from their original position. So you couldn’t bump & run while holding the detached handle.

Comments are closed.