Posts Tagged ‘Soapbox’

A Public Service Announcement from You’re not sushi – you’re chicken!

Saturday, September 13th, 2008

Moments after the Great Chicken Crash of 2008, drivers Elizabeth & Jenny could be heard saying, “Thank goodness for seatbelts!”

Yes, we installed seatbelts in our soapbox.  They weren’t mandatory, but if you’re going to be building a soapbox cart and it’s feasible, install them.

Ours were pretty simple.  Just a carabiner attached to rope that was tied in a knot on the underside of the cart, with light foam padding around the rope (to prevent rope burn on the stomach).

Depending on your soapbox design, you could also consider a firewall.  Think about installing a proper roll bar, which we sacrificed in our design due to weight restriction considerations.

Oh, and even though helmets, gloves, and long-sleeve shirts & pants are mandatory according to Red Bull’s rules, make sure you actually wear them.  Seriously.

Follow these simple steps and you’ll walk away from a soapbox crash in pristine condition like Elizabeth & Jenny did!

If anyone from ICBC is reading this, we’re available for commercials. 🙂

So you wanna build a soapbox car…

Sunday, August 24th, 2008

And you’re expecting tips from us? Hahaha…

From our team’s experience, all you have to do is ask 10 people and you’ll get 10 different answers on how to do it. So really, there is no right way. (But there are definitely better ways – but we’re still not the team to be giving advice on that!)

You could try Googling, which is what we did, and that helped give us ideas. Try Googling for billy cart construction instructions (billy cart is an Australian term). These billy cart instructions were pretty good.

You could also try searching for what past Red Bull Soapbox teams have done. This team, who participated in a Red Bull Soapbox race in 2004 (somewhere in England?), took two bikes and welded them together.

However you plan your cart – make sure it has brakes and steering! Red Bull is a stickler for that

Full House’s Soapbox Derby

Saturday, August 9th, 2008

By now you must’ve noticed that I have a thing for sitcoms and soapboxes. (See here and here).

Well then, I couldn’t possibly leave out the most annoying yet utterly hypnotizing sitcom from when I was growing up: Full House. I must’ve watched every episode at least 4 times (sorry, Leonard). But strangely, I can’t remember much about the Full House episode where Michelle enters a soapbox derby.

I couldn’t find a fansite that posts screenshots or video clips of the episode. I guess Full House fans just aren’t as rabid as Simpsons’ fans. But fear not – I think I can piece together the major plot points:

Michelle: “I wanna enter a soapbox derby! Uncle Jesse – help me win!”

Uncle Jesse: “Sure thing short stuff – anything for you…as long as it doesn’t mess with my hair.”

Stephanie: “How rude! Michelle always gets her way – like being Princess for a day by cutting in front of me at Disney World!

Joey: “Stephanie – Cut.It.Out.”

[Cue slow violin music – it’s time for the moral of the episode!]

Danny: “Michelle, I just want you to know that we love you no matter who wins the race. We’re just proud that you’ve tried your best. But when the race is over, please make sure you wipe your shoes before you enter the house.”

Michelle: “You got it, dude!”

Michelle goes on to win the race. (Shock!)

The End.

Bewitched Soapbox Derby

Thursday, July 31st, 2008

This is even more of a blast from the past (1966!) than The Simpsons’ soapbox episode.

Bewitched (the show about a witch who twitched her nose and made stuff happen) had an episode that featured a soapbox derby. I can’t comment much on it since I didn’t watch this show as a kid (hey – we’re a youngish team, okay?), but thanks to YouTube, the entire episode is online:

Part I:

Part II:

Part III:

Kitsilano Soapbox Derby

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2008

This year would’ve been the 18th annual Kitsilano Soapbox Derby race. Seems that one reason given for the cancellation was because “the burden on volunteers made the race difficult to run”.

I guess for this year at least, there will be a soapbox derby, Red Bull style. And that means a bias toward ‘outrageous-looking’ soapbox cars (like chicken) versus the traditional soapbox style that’s built for speed.

This handy YouTube video from specialkiwis shows highlights from the Kitsilano Soapbox Derby 2003. Notice how steep West 4th Avenue is!

The Simpsons’ Soapbox Derby

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2008

How’s this for a blast from the past (1991!)…

Remember on The Simpsons when Bart entered a soapbox derby? And how his soapbox car wasn’t up to snuff in terms of build quality? Yeah, my memory is a little fuzzy, too. Well, thank goodness for the obsessive Simpsons archivists on the Internet!

The episode was from the show’s third season and was called “Saturdays of Thunder”. Let’s hope You’re not sushi – you’re chicken! turns out better than what Homer constructed for Bart…

Bart Simpson\'s soapbox car

Also, I don’t think Red Bull is going to allow us to use whips. Darn.