Rolls Report: September 30 & October 1 – Gimme A Break

Heavy fog rolled in to Pittsburgh this weekend, but even that wasn’t enough to stop CMU students from showing up for both days of rolls. Overall, it was a pretty quiet weekend of rolls, with teams that have been out taking it a bit easier this weekend. But it did include the return to the course for a couple of teams, and one new “organization”?

I’m pretty sure I remember the Cathedral being taller than that

CIAEmperor, EquinoxKingfisher
FringeBaltic, BrimstoneBrimstone, Burnout
PiKABanshee, RaptorBanshee, Raptor
SpiritInviscid, MapambazukoMapambazuko, Seraph

Photos: Saturday Gallery (upload) | Sunday Gallery (upload)

General Observations:

  • The biggest story of the weekend was the arrival of a new “org” in the roll order! With the dwindling number of Greek organizations at CMU in recent years (and especially the ones that did Buggy), the number of teams needed for a quorum has shrunk as well. This week, Sweepstakes decided to help all the teams out by adding a new line to the roll order – “Break”. This 3-4 minute break after each trip through the roll order helped give each team a bit of a breather to regroup. Conveniently, it also built in time to allow vehicles to get to Phipps.

Don’t worry Apex. This is just the roll order, not our 2024 predictions.

  • We didn’t mention this in the prior Rolls Reports, but as part of the Frew Street renovations, there are new lines painted in the Chute. As of now, they seem to be thin layers of paint, so they don’t seem to be much of an issue (and could possibly help give drivers a better visual reference for their Chute lines). We’ll stay on alert if they end up being repainted with the thicker version that currently lines Schenley Drive.

Drivers should make sure to ignore the arrow that tells them not to go this way.

Team Observations/Rumor Mill:

  • Apex. Apex was taking a bit of an easy week this weekend, with just one buggy rolling each day. Sunday saw the return to the course of Phoenix for the first time this year. Interestingly, the driver of Phoenix also rolled in Molotov on the first day and we haven’t seen that buggy since. Rumor has it that Apex is focusing on improvements to its current fleet this year rather than a new build, which might include new steering for Molotov, so that might explain the (temporary?) change here.

We don’t have any photos from Sunday (please upload some!), so enjoy this shot of Firefly on Saturday.

  • CIA – Part Squirrel. After not receiving any comment via email from the squirrel that was nearly hit by Kingfisher last week, we decided to try in person during Rolls this week…and sent Equinox to do the job. Yes, that’s right – Spirit close call on Week 1 was merely “close-ish”, and last week’s Kingfisher run-in was only “pretty close”. We’ve got a new leader for closest call with a squirrel in 2023, and it belongs to Equinox, who came mere inches from making contact with the pesky rodent. The squirrel ran in from the left and crossed the street just barely in front of the buggy. In fact (as you can see from the photo), it’s possible that the buggy did make contact with the squirrel, though the driver did not feel anything (and you would think that a driver would notice hitting a squirrel). Buggy and driver were unfazed (the driver even remarked that they didn’t know for sure if it was even a squirrel until they checked the tape later). But the squirrel still refused to comment.

This squirrel really wants to drive a buggy. We know how you feel, squirrel.

  • CIA – Part 2. CIA definitely won this week’s award for “Most exciting non-incident weekend”, and because we got more notes about/from them than anyone else this weekend, they get 2 bullets! Saturday saw a couple of interesting moments for their two buggies. During one roll, one of their buggies was released at the top of the Hill while a biker was on the course. An alert Hill 2 pusher made a very athletic move and managed to catch the buggy before it got loose into the Freeroll, avoiding disaster. Meanwhile, on the last roll of the day, Emperor (the second buggy) completed the second pass of the year, passing Equinox as the buggies exited the Chute. The Equinox pushers got their revenge on the back hills, and passed back as they got closer to the finish line. Meanwhile, the rumor mill hears that CIA has a build planned this year that is either going to be one of the best they’ve ever built, or it’s going to be a disaster to their entire build program (but to clarify – I don’t mean that it’s a “make-or-break” build. I mean that I heard a rumor, but I wasn’t sure if that rumor meant “this will be awesome” or “this will be a disaster”. It’s probably the former).

The Emperor is attended to by its staff.

  • Fringe. Fringe was out with 2 buggies each day, with 2 different drivers splitting up Brimstone’s 10 weekend rolls (5 rolls each). Their only “excitement” came on Saturday, courtesy of PiKA. PiKA’s pushers were taking it a little easy on the backhills, which led to Fringe getting a little close to PiKA’s follow car on the backhills during multiple rolls. Things were worked out by Sunday though.

Will Fringe catch PiKA? Not today..because it’s Fall Rolls, not Raceday.

  • PiKA. PiKA had both Banshee and Raptor rolling this weekend, but with 5 new drivers (4 of whom were on the course this weekend), they did some tag-teaming. Raptor had 3 different drivers each day, with an even mix of rolls between each driver (4, 3, and 3 in total for the weekend). They didn’t go without incident though. Raptor had a couple of controlled stops around the Chute Flag on Saturday. Both stops were due to a visibility issue when the driver’s helmet slipped (similar to what had been plaguing SDC over the past couple of weeks). However, the driver was fine and was quickly cleared to continue on the roll. We also noted above (in the Fringe section) that PiKA’s backhills pushers were a bit slow on Saturday. Sunday seemed to go better for the team though, getting 3 rolls in Banshee and 6 in Raptor (2 per driver). (ed. note: Thanks to PiKA driver Su Mae for reaching out and fixing my numerous mistakes this week, caused by poor reading comprehension. Stay in school, kids!)

Raptor came to a controlled stop briefly on Saturday, but was quickly cleared to continue.

  • SDC. SDC had a busy, uneventful weekend, with Avarice picking up 13 rolls across the weekend. That pulls Avarice into 2nd place for most rolls for a buggy/driver combo, with 22 for driver Elizabeth (one behind Emperor and Kaylan, both new drivers). Their Hill 5 pusher also had one unfortunate faceplant. Meanwhile, the rumor mill hears that Vice may be being worked on. And more importantly, this cryptic photo of the Fence suggests that something new might be on the horizon (well, either that or someone else is confused about SDC).

Inferno, Avarice, Vice, Vanity, Bane, and…wait. SDC doesn’t have a pink buggy…

  • SigEp. SigEp returned to the course on Sunday! They’ve been having a rough go of it recently, and unfortunately it sounds like Barracuda may have been retired following its spin-out in the 2023 Women’s Finals. Sunday saw the return of Hydra to the course for the first time since Raceday 2022 (when it rolled as an Exhibition buggy). The good news is that things weren’t too bad, as they picked up 5 rolls. The bad news is that things didn’t go without a hitch…or should I say hatch. During one of its rolls, Hydra lost its front hatch as it turned into the Chute. The follow car was able to just pick it up and keep rolls moving though.

This beautiful photo of Hydra shows its return to the course. What’s that, you don’t see a photo? That’s because we don’t have any from Sunday! If you have any, upload them at the link at the top of this Rolls Report!

  • SigNu. SigNu ALSO returned to the course on Sunday! Their return didn’t go quite as smoothly as SigEp’s, as Jaeger only got 1 official roll on the day. Reports are that SigNu stopped in the Freeroll twice, but we’re a bit low on reports from Sunday so we don’t have any more information.

This is a Jaeger. This is NOT, however, SigNu’s Jaeger. That’s because we don’t have any photos from Sunday! Come on people, upload some photos!

  • Spirit. Spirit had 2 buggies out each day, with a new driver getting a solid 12 rolls in Zuke across both. We don’t have any reports of their buggies on the course, meaning it was probably a clean day. We do, however, have a report of some very light espionage. A camera was set up on the outside of the entrance to the Chute on Saturday, which may have been owned by Spirit, and may have been recording all the buggies. We can’t confirm with certainty that it belonged to Spirit though or that it was on throughout rolls. But whoever it belonged to should definitely upload their videos to our gallery because it would be pretty cool to have Chute footage of all the buggies!

We don’t have any photos or videos from Sunday. But this camera might! If it’s yours, you should upload videos!

And as usual, we end with a reminder that WE NEED YOUR HELP! If you are in Pittsburgh, whether you’re an alum or a current student, you can help us by signing up to take notes/photos here. We have VERY little from Sunday this week, at least in part because no one volunteered to help us that day (thanks to the current students who gave us info!)

As always, GIGA shoutouts to Rob S, Lewis, Tiegan, and Julia for their critical notes from this weekend, and to Rob S. and Matt G. for providing photos on Saturday.