Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow last week, which can only mean one thing – Buggy is back! While you were preparing to watch the Chiefs battle the 49ers, or Usher’s Halftime Show, or Super Bowl Commercials, or Taylor Swift, buggy organizations were waking up early and ringing in the Spring semester with some Rolls! The plan was for 2 days, but a last-minute rainstorm on Saturday morning caused Rolls to be cancelled.  But things cleared up for Sunday, allowing for 7 organizations to come out and get well on their way to qualification for Raceday 2024.

No shadows and a bunch of flags means that Buggy is back!

ApexFirefly, Scorch, Solaris
CIAEmperor, Kingfisher
FringeBaltic, Blueshift, Burnout
RobobuggyShort Circuit
SigEpHydra, Kraken
SpiritMapambazuko, Seraph

Photos: Sunday Gallery (upload)

General Observations:

  • An Uneventful Day. Overall, it was a smooth, clean morning of Rolls. Being the first day of the semester, most buggies were bagged, and no one was moving too fast. In an improvement from prior years though, no buggies stopped at the Stop Sign – everyone made it through at least to the Chute, even if there were some long Hill 3s. Even better, there were no spins, incidents, or stoppages at all.

A short, but efficient, roll order for Sunday.

  • Wildlife Update. No deer or geese this week. There were a few squirrels around making things a little interesting for drivers, but with everyone just getting their buggy legs back under them, there was nothing really to worry about.

Not pictured – Deer or Geese (because there weren’t any).

Team Observations:

  • Apex. Apex was out with 3 buggies on Sunday, picking up 4 rolls each for Scorch and Firefly, and 3 rolls for Solaris. Solaris reportedly had an audible rattling sound as it traveled down the Freeroll, but it didn’t seem to take anything away from its speed. Qualification Update: they’re just a pass test away from getting Firefly qualified with returning driver Brooklyn, while it’s 2 rolls (including a pass test) for Solaris with returning driver Maggie and 3 rolls (including a pass test) for Scorch with rookie driver Bella. Molotov and Phoenix, which each had a few rolls in the Fall, have not yet been seen this Spring.

Scorch led the way for Apex, with 4 rolls on Sunday.

  • CIA. CIA took it “easy” this weekend compared to their Fall outings, with only 2 buggies out on Sunday. Each of Kingfisher and Emperor picked up 5 rolls on the day, and we didn’t hear anything about them, so they must have gone well. We do also hear rumors that CIA is in the process of building, though we haven’t seen the new buggy make an appearance yet. Qualification Update: those 5 rolls mean that Emperor, with returning driver Lucy, only needs a pass test in order to qualify. As for Kingfisher, those were the first 5 rolls for returning driver Audrey, so Kingfisher and Audrey will still need 5 more (including a pass test) to qualify.

Emperor was one of two CIA buggies out on Sunday.

  • Fringe. Fringe continues to fly under the radar this year, but they were once again out with Baltic, Burnout, and Blueshift, getting 3 rolls in Baltic and 4 in the others. Much like CIA, we don’t have much to report on Fringe this week, which is a good sign (though if you’re in Fringe and want these reports on you to be more detailed going forward, please reach out!). It’s also notable that Apex, CIA, and Fringe seem to have a close working relationship this year, and to help with manpower they’re sharing flaggers during Rolls (which is really a brilliant idea that I wish I had thought about back when I was a chairman). We also hear that Fringe, like the others above, are continuing their annual builds and hope to have a new buggy out this year. Qualification Update: With only rookie drivers out this week, Burnout will still need 3 rolls (including a pass test) with driver Winona, and Baltic and Blueshift will each need 4 (including pass tests) with drivers Abbey and Freda, respectively.

Burnout peeling down the Freeroll for Fringe on Sunday.

  • Robobuggy. Although not officially part of the roll order, Robobuggy was out this weekend! Short Circuit, with “driver” Bnyahaj, took 2 laps around the course. Unfortunately for the Robobuggy pushers, the buggy wasn’t quite ready to take the training wheels off yet, meaning that the team had to jog the buggy around the course. During the first roll, the buggy started rolling autonomously, but shortly past stop sign there was a mishap, so the team switched the buggy to teleoperation mode. The second roll went smoother though, and the team is hopeful that next time out they’ll have a better-tuned autonomous line so that Short Circuit can get back to rolling on its own.

Short Circuit begins one of its two laps around the course before Rolls began on Sunday.

  • SDC. SDC only had 1 buggy out this weekend, getting 5 rolls for rookie driver Elizabeth in Vice, though they did bring out a new driver as well to shadow for the day. SDC was a bit displaced this weekend, as some CMU construction equipment was set up at the team’s normal tent location. So they adapted and pitched their tent at the bottom of Hill 1. This ended up working out well though, as it gave SDC a chance to get a couple of full Hill 1s in. Also a round of applause to the full team, for helping pick up some chores for teams that had excused absences on Sunday. Qualification Update: Vice and Elizabeth now only need 2 rolls (including a pass test) to qualify, though with Vanity and Avarice having rolled in the fall, and Inferno having caped this Spring, we’ll see if getting Vice qualified is a top priority. In addition, we hear strong reports that SDC is looking to debut their first new buggy since 2019’s Vanity sometime soon.

SDC’s famous Follow Truck flew 3 flags this weekend: The SDC Flag, “Saturdays are for the Boys”, and a McLovin ID.

  • SigEp. After a bit of a struggle in the Spring, we’re happy to report that SigEp was out on Sunday with both Kraken and Hydra, and all 3 of their drivers! Kraken got 3 rolls in while Hydra got 4, spread across 2 drivers. And much like SDC, SigEp was also getting in some early Hill 1 training. In Kraken’s first roll of the day, the buggy took a bit of an interesting line at the Transition Flag, following the double yellow line for a bit and finally making a late move towards the flag and the left of the monument, but this was corrected for later rolls. Hydra, meanwhile, reportedly had a rattling sound coming from the buggy during the freeroll, which, together with the bags, likely cost it some speed and led to some longer Hill 3s. But overall, it was a successful start to the semester for the team, and we’re happy to report as one of our notetakers said, “SigEp kicked butt today!” Qualification Update: With two rookie drivers and not a ton of rolls in the Fall, we’re still a handful of rolls away from SigEp getting their drivers qualified. But the semester has just started and there’s plenty of time to get them the 4, 6, and 10 rolls needed.

Two different drivers piloted Hydra around the course on Sunday.

  • Spirit. Spirit continues to motor ahead like a well-oiled machine, and is the leader in the Spring clubhouse with 6 rolls each for Zuke and Seraph. Spirit also hopped on the shared flagger bandwagon on Sunday, which went without issue. Much like Fringe, we don’t have any information directly from Spirit (if you’re in Spirit and want to let us know how Rolls went, please reach out!). The only thing we heard is that during one of their rolls, there was a lot of yelling from the top of the hill. But there were no problems, and both buggies continued to make it around the course throughout the day. Qualification Update: with the massive number of rolls that rookie driver Nanz, in Zuke, and veteran driver Natalie, in Seraph, got in the Fall, plus the 6 rolls they got on Sunday, both are already just a pass test away from being qualified for Raceday. Inviscid and Kingpin weren’t out Sunday, but they are both caped and have a max carryover from the Fall.

Seraph moving very well for a 20 year old.

As always, a gigantic shout-out to Rob S., Lewis, Tiegan, and Delaynie for their notes from this weekend. If you have any notes – especially if you’re on one of these teams, but also if you’re an alum or a random bystander that finds their way to the course, please reach out on Discord or pop notes into our Rolls Reporter notebook here: https://cmubuggy.org/rollsreporters. And if you were there and took photos, we desperately want you to upload them to our gallery, which you can do here. Finally, if you want to actually be the BAA’s Rolls Reporter so that you can decide what goes into these things, let us know.

PS: Want to get this and other BAA news directly to your inbox? All you need to do is subscribe to the baa-news list.