Ready! Set! Rollaway Bed Race!

rollaway bed for racingWhen it comes to racing, well, people will race anything. Even their rollaway bed, much like these ones found here.

While everyone has heard of car racing as well as motorbikes, bicycles, horses and dogs there are plenty of other things people race. For instance remote control planes, boats, soap boxes, dirt bikes, and even bathtubs!

Yes bathtubs.

Years ago in the town I lived in, they held bathtub races, wheels were somehow added to the bathtub, and while one man sat in it, 2 other men pushed. Although this sounds crazy the turn out of spectators for this race was unbelievable.

Other odd races that deserve a mention are office chair racing, wife carrying, dummy downhill racing, pigeon racing, cheese rolling race, eating races, mud run, and lots more.

While these certainly seem odd, I am sure it’s lots of fun. Another odd but fun race is rollaway bed racing. This started out in 1977 in Cloverdale as a publicity stunt, to build enthusiasm for the start of the Cloverdale Rodeo and Country Fair.

The rollaway bed race event starts with a demonstration from participants of the World Free Style Skateboard Championships, which also perform at the Fairgrounds.

Following the Skateboard demonstration is a Western themed Bike Parade, where kids show off their creations to the crowd, then receive randomly drawn prizes.

The main event however is the rolling bed race, with four categories, (men, women, media and mixed). The men’s team consists of six men, who push the bed with a lady on it. A woman’s team consists of six women who push the bed with a man on it.

Then a mixed/media team can be a mixture of six men and six woman, plus a rider, but the team must have at least two woman pushers.

Rollaway Bed races are now held all over the country, and now follow certain rules like the Rolling Slumber Bed Races.

For instance, the bed must be at least six feet in length and three feet in width. It must be constructed in a fashion that the pushers are able to see the racetrack in front of them.

The frame of the bed however does not have to belong to an original bed. The rollaway bed for racing must clearly display the teams name.

While a mattress is not required some form of covering is, so that the rider does not fall through. Some of the acceptable coverings are Foam mattresses, car seats, or even skateboards. Personal safety must be a top priority when considering the transportation of the rider.

Beds must have four wheels no more no less, and be designed so all four wheels contact the ground at all times.

One of the most fun parts of bed racing is making and designing your own. While not everyone wants to build their own bed, a good idea is to purchase a rollaway bed, these beds while being very light weight are extremely strong and sturdy, another advantage of these beds are the swivel, durable wheels are already attached.

Most rollaway beds come with a mattress, that is also light weight and strong. So if you are thinking of entering the Rolling Slumber Bed Races, get a rollaway bed a chance to help you win.

Racing Remote Controlled Planes

Racing of any kind usually draws a large crowd, but not so for the first remote controlled plane race. The very first example of radio control demonstrated in New York City in 1898, its inventor was a 43 year old immigrant who was duly awarded U.S Patent no 613,809.

It was only one of 113 U.S patents that this prolific genius received during his lifetime. Many electrical engineers and historians regarded his basic inventions as the foundation of the 20th century as we know it.

remote-controlled-airplaneBy the middle of the 1930s, miniature airplanes were just beginning to be powered by very small gasoline engines. An R/C contest event was even scheduled for the 1936 model aircraft Nationals in Detroit. It was a little premature, not one entrant showed up! The following year however, must be regarded as the true beginning of R/C racing.

The 1937 Nationals attracted 6 entrants, the lightest (6 lb) and simplest plane won although his flight was a bit erratic and lasted several minutes. Two other entrants had their plane take off then climbed steeply, stall and crash.

Remote controlled plane racing has come a long way since then. Flying R/C aircraft as a hobby grew substantially from the 2000s with improvements in the cost, weight, performance and capabilities of motors, batteries and electronics.

A Wide variety of models and styles are available. As manufactures quickly recognized a keen market it did not take long for electric planes such as the now-famous HobbyZone Super Cub to become established products in the hobby.

Incidentally, foam construction has become the industry standard material for electric planes. Although of course traditional balsa/ply model planes are widely available as kits. These kits can be mostly foam or plastic, or may be all balsa and ply-wood.

Construction of wood kits typically consist of using formers and longerons for the fuselage, and spars and ribs for the wing and tail surfaces.

Many designs use solid sheets of balsa wood instead to form the fuselage. The lightest models are suitable for indoor flight, in a windless environment.

Amateur hobbyists have more recently developed a range of new model designs utilizing the corrugated plastic or “Coroplast” material. These models are collectively called “SPADS” which stands for Simple Plastic Airplane Design.

Fans of the SPAD concept tout increased durability, ease of building, and lower priced materials as opposed to balsa models, sometimes (though not always) at the expense of greater weight and crude appearance.

Overall the quality of of electric planes has improved dramatically, to the point where mass-produced scale foam airplanes, like warbirds for example are nearly as impressive as a scratch built one made by an experienced modeller over many months! And they can be bought for a fraction of the cost too.

While r/c airplane flying has over the years attracted an abundance of attention and racers they are not the only ones interested in this modern sport.

Scientific, government and military organizations are also using RC aircraft for experiments, gathering weather readings, aerodynamic modeling and testing and even using them as drones or spy planes.

Soap Box Racing

Racing goes a long way back in time, and people will race just about anything, including a bed on wheels! The idea of the Soap Box Derby originated with news man Myron Scott. While on a photography assignment in Dayton Ohio in the summer of 1933, he came across a group of boys racing their home made cars.

He was so impressed with the event he acquired a copyright to Soap Box Derby, and went in search of a corporate sponsor to establish a national program.

soap-box-carChevrolet liked Scott’s proposal and agreed to sponsor the first official All-American Soap Box Derby. This race took place in Dayton in 1934. The following year the race was moved to Akron, because of it’s central location and hilly terrain.

By 1936 Chevrolet and Akron civic leaders recognized the need for a permanent track site for the youth gravity racing classic. That year through the efforts of Works Progress Administration (WPA), Derby Downs became a reality in the southeast section of Akron.

The Soap Box Derby ran continuously from its inception until the onset of the second world war.

After a four year hiatus the All-American Soap Box Derby resumed in1946 in Akron and has been held at Derby Downs every year since. The Soap Box Derby was open to boys only until 1971 when girls were included.

In the fall of 1972 Chevrolet officials withdrew their sponsorship . All trademark and copyrights for the event were transferred to Akron Area Chamber of commerce. After attempts to secure new sponsors failed, the Chamber assumed financial and administrative responsibilities for the1973 program.

Early in 1974 the Chamber’s Derby corporation assigned rights for the All-American program to the Akron Jaycees, which established International Soap Box Derby Inc, to operate the Derby. The corporation’s affairs are administered by a board of directors of community leaders from Akron and other cities.

To become a Soap Box racer its best to start at the beginning, you can either buy a car or you can make a car. In order to make one you will need plans, or a kit, they are readily available on the internet, there are a multitude of different plans and kits to choose from. The advantage of making one yourself is that it will give you an in-depth idea of exactly how they work.

Some rules that apply are, the Soap Box car must meet the Construction and safety Guidelines. You must preregister, and all cars will be subjected to an inspection, and eliminated if deemed unsafe.

All drivers must wear shoes and a helmet with a chin strap. The race judges’ decisions are final and shall not be contested.

Should you be fortunate to have access to a soapbox car that has been stored in a barn or attic somewhere, you may be able to use it. But all cars must meet the standards and should be built with the driver’s safety in mind.

You can be as creative as you wish with your cars appearance , and in fact they do award trophies in the following categories.

  • Engineering.
  • Most original plan design.
  • Best novelty soap box car.
  • Overall best soap box car.
  • The safest car.

Soap Box Derby racing is a fun relatively inexpensive sport, that is readily available to boys and girls ages 7-13. Building their own soap box is an educational and fun experience.

Motorcycle Racing: How it Began And More

motorbike-racing-1Motorcycle racing or “moto racing” is the sport of racing motorbikes. This includes road racing and off road racing. Other categories include hill climbs, drag racing and land speed record trials.

Motorbike racing was first “played” in 1895, many of the tracks were built of wood and banked to enable riders to go faster. Continue reading