Sunday, April 6, 2008

Lego Derby, part I + II

A number of people have asked me about the Lego Derby we held on 23 March. Sorry for the delay in posting the results. The derby was a profound success. In all, thirteen cars entered. So, it was a crowded track and a full race with 31 heats. There was a lot of excitement, as the early favorites all fell by the wayside, victim to the “Danger Zone.” The track measures about 30 feet, and I installed side rails, and two lane dividers [total of three lanes]. But, I ran out of the material I was using for the lane dividers, so I suggested to H at the last minute that the last piece of track should be open track — no lanes. To make that a bit more appealing, I called it the Danger Zone. It turned out to be a pivotal part of the race, as many cars did fine when they had a lane to bump up against, but spun out of control once they hit open track. In the end, the cars had to be heavy enough to build momentum, but not so heavy that they dragged out of the starting block; and they had to roll straight, with the least amount of friction, specifically between the wheels and the lane dividers and side rails.

Given those criteria, the winning car turned out to be L’s Block of Cheese. It wasn’t pretty, but it consistently kept its nose down and powered through the danger zone as many faster cars [mine included] flipped, spun or crashed around it.

Second place went to HBA, and third to Chris. A fun time was had by all — you can see some of the action on the flickr site. In fact, it was so much fun, and there were a number of friends who were unable to make it on the 23rd, so the following weekend we did it all again. Special kudos to BJ, who clearly made the most arduous journey to compete. He flew out from San Angelo, TX on Saturday, and the effort paid off for him. His #14 Shark Attack finished a razor-close second place to the unstoppable Block of Cheese Machine, which again finished first. In third place was HBA’s little orange #2, followed by one of RBA's two-wheel cars [two wheels + axle], and FD's heavily modified car, which was a real testament to perseverance and adaptability, as it initially wouldn't make it down the track at all.

So, we have a full-fledged lego-epidemic here, with pieces strewn about the house and the boys nearly constantly engaged in cannibalizing wheels as they make, destroy, and remake their cars. Tonight, some friends stopped by for dinner. The boys quickly made a car for both of them, and we went out to the track. Turns out one of the cars may be a real contender to beat L in the third Lego Derby which will happen sometime soon. So, if you are in the area, come on over for some practice runs on the track. Otherwise, watch the flickr site for more updates.


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Emily said...

Love the lego derby!! I wish I could have been there to compete with the block o cheese. Maybe for the next derby. I'll have to get me some legos, though ...