Raceday 2024 is in the Books!

That’s a wrap on Raceday 2024! We here at the BAA very much want to thank all of the students, staff, and alumni who came out (or joined on the livestream) to make this year an amazing success. If you were in town, we hope you got a chance to see not only the races, but also catch up with other Buggy fans at one of the many events around campus.

We’ve completed our initial work at putting the results into our history database, and you can browse all the rankings and other awards on our site now.

We’d still love to get photos or videos, if you have any, you can join our discord and see the instructions for how to upload the photos and get credit there.

2024 Friday Races Canceled

An update on races 4/12/24 from Sweepstakes:

Hello everyone after lengthy conversation with Sweepstakes and the CMU full emergency report staff we have decided that WE WILL BE CANCELLING FRIDAY’s races. The rain situation does not seem to improve and the chute is completely full of water to the pint that even if it stops right now there would not be enough time for the roads to dry.

Finals are expected to take place Saturday, 4/13/24, starting at 7:30am.

Call For Raceday 2024 Volunteers!

Can you feel the excitement? — we’re about a month out from raceday!

If you’re going to be in town, we could certainly use your help. Volunteers are essential to making raceday happen, wether it is helping to staff the BAA table, assist with timing, or working as commentators. If you’ll be around we need your help to make raceday a success!

You can sign up to help with timing or tableing at https://cmubuggy.org/volunteer.
For those that dare to be a commentator, you’ll want https://cmubuggy.org/broadcast-volunteer.

See you at Carnival!

Spring Freerolls Starting – Stay Informed!

Spring Freerolls are starting up again. Here’s the best ways you can stay informed about what is happening:

  • Join us on our discord and you’ll see a few real time photos, as well as occasional discussion.
  • We expect to continue to post rolls reorts, either join our Discord to get notified by chat, or subscribe to baa-news to get them in your inbox.
  • If you’re in Pittsburgh, 2 more things just for you:
    • The buggy-watchers list is the best way to find out about times and cancellations, so you can attend to watch in person.
    • If you’re there, we’d love to hear your notes and observations, as well as share any photos you take. Doesn’t need to be super detailed — every little bit helps! Details at https://cmubuggy.org/rollsreporters.
  • Finally, we’d love to have a dedicated rolls reporter coordinator. You do not need to be local to do this! If you’re interested in helping compile notes and photos, get in touch on discord!

See you on the hills!

BAA News, Now direct to your Inbox!

Based on the results of our user survey earlier this year, we found that one of the most popular ways people would like to hear about BAA news is directly into their inbox. We’re pleased to announce that this is once again possible — in a way that you can control yourself via Google Groups.

News posts should now be automatically forwarding to both the new mailing list as well as our Discord.

If this sounds like something you might want, head over to https://groups.google.com/g/baa-news to sign up.

Web Site Redesign Interviews

One of the things the BAA has been thinking about for a while is how we can make the web site more useful to all of its various users. While we’ve done a lot of improvements over the last few years, we’ve also been thinking about what a larger overhaul might look like.

To do this, we’re planning a partnership with current students in the IS class 67-240, Mobile Web Design & Development. We’ll be working with several teams of students to come up with ideas for what a redesign might look like. To that end, the students will need to work with current or potential users of the site to understand their needs better, through interviews.

So, we’d like to gather a variety of people — current alums, current students, and others with an interest in Buggy to help give them feedback. If this sounds like something that might be interesting to you, please sign up at the form below. We might not contact everyone, but having a variety of volunteers is important to us.

Sign up here: https://cmubuggy.org/2023designvolunteer

Thank you!

Musing About Rolls Reports

As some of you may know, roughly 2 years ago we started the process of replacing the legacy photo gallery system with SmugMug. The results have generally been pretty good, except for one issue — all of the old links in our news posts (and most importantly all of our older Rolls Reports) had their images broken. This was a massive amount of articles — our first post was over 15 years ago and our first freeroll coverage in October of 2008. There’s been a lot of rolls reports in that time.

So they were broken, but we’ve now relinked the images. I won’t claim the formatting on the posts is universally pretty (15 years is a long time on the Web, and the style of rolls reports has certainly evolved over that time), but effectively all of the old gallery photos should now point at their SmugMug equivalents. As a result, though, I’ve had the opportunity to get a glimpse at a broad cross section of how freerolls have gone for a decade and a half in very short order. Having never really read them in detail before — it was a broadly different experience from reading through the 100 Years of Buggy articles for those years — in that it had not just the highlights, but all the daily details of what was going on with rolls. Along with that, there’s frequently a bunch of comments from teams and other alumni discussing what happened — and the result is a great snapshot into each week.

So, with much thanks to Sam, Ben, Shafeeq, Natalie, Josio, Tishya, Ethan, Connor, Tom, and the many other contributors and coordinators through the years, I wanted to share a few of the more interesting bits I found through this process.

First — did you know that not only have we had a Raceday Video Broadcast since 2003, but also that for several years we experimented with livestreaming freerolls? That’s right, from roughly 2011 and sporadically (“at least when it is on YouTube there are no ads”) though 2012 until a cellular plan change forced its end in 2014, you could occasionally watch freerolls live (example stream here).

Rolls Reports are also a great place to find out about things you might otherwise have forgotten. For example, for a few years, CMU didn’t have Homecoming, it had Cèilidh. Or maybe you might want to learn about orgs that made a go of it on the course, but only briefly, and key events for them such as DeltaForce, NROTC, KapSig’s return in 2011, or maybe KKG-ZBT.

Looking backwards, its also fun to learn something new about an org or buggy that has lasted through the years, such as the first leak of the name of Malice, the first self-built buggy for Apex (or, for that matter, did you know that Apex rolled Camo originally, but never on raceday?), or maybe just a year with a lot of new buggies including Krait.

The photographers that contribute to Rolls Reports Past also seem to have great fun documenting the state of the roads. For example, in 2018 and 2013:

Beyond that, there’s a large number of other things that have caused problems for rolls. We’re all familiar with the trouble of squirrels and geese, and in more recent years deer (but apparently deer were on the course as early as 2012!). Beyond that, you might be surprised that things that stopped rolls included not just mysterious discharge from Porter Hall, but also the G20. Sometimes, the best of intentions isn’t enough to avoid cancellation.

However, there’s an equally surprising list of things that didn’t prevent rolls from happening, despite what you might expect. This includes bus detours related to The Great Race (or just busses parked alongside the freeroll), vomit across the chute, and even (to the surprise of anyone who has gotten used to weather calls being made before 8pm) late night rainfall and wet roads. It turns out, if Sweeps and the organizations want to roll badly enough, it is entirely possible to make good come from a bad situation.

I also got an enormous amount of amusement about the creativity that teams have displayed with their pushers and buggies through the years by costuming them around Halloween. Some particularly good years included 2010‘s pusher costumes, along with buggies in 2017, and 2019.

Finally, in the interest of keeping things light, I haven’t covered many crashes/incidents here (but there is no doubt they are there throughout the reports) — but I will call out one from November 2016. Since, when the robots inevetibly rise up, it seems likely they’ll consider this an attempt at a first strike against Transistor. Please don’t drive antibuggyward around the course once the roads are closed during freerolls.

After EMS was confirmed, the morning got off to a panicked start. After Robobuggy pushed off, a Fringe car set off against traffic to deliver their flaggers and coffee. The safety chair immediately gave chase, but was unable to stop the determined Fringe motorist. The vehicle and Transistor crossed paths in the Chute, but by an act of the Buggy Gods, no contact was made. For safety reasons, we encourage all orgs to never drive vehicles against the flow of buggy traffic.

To conclude: I hope this has given you a taste for the diversity and quality of what the rolls reports provide to the history and cultore of Buggy. And, you can help! The BAA is still looking for a Rolls Reporter and local-to-Pittsburgh contributiors to help with reports this year. If you’re local and come out to rolls, consider signing up to the buggy-watchers list and/or grabbing the “Pittsburgh Local” rolerank on Discord to hear more about contributing. If you’d like to find out more about being the Rolls Reporter, come find one of the officers on Discord. Either way, I’ll see you on the course once freerolls start (permits start Sep 16)!