It’s nice to see that soap box racing finally seems to have recovered from its Watergate-era nadir: the infamous Jimmy Gronen scandal of 1973. That’s when 14 year-old Jimmy and his uncle were caught having stuck a magnet in the front of Jimmy’s car — The metallic starting gate would pull the car forward when it opened, yielding a quick start and consistent 30-foot victories. (It was an electromagnet, in fact, whose circuit was completed when the car’s hatch was shut, making it unlikely to be detected.)
Suspicions were raised, the car was ripped apart, the magnet was discovered, new rules were instituted, Boulder was banned as host city FOREVER. And Generation Y had the perfect excuse for its refusal to believe in anything, before it was even conceived.
If there’s a place on this planet that’s gonna produce somebody who’ll out-shyster Jimmy Gronen and his uncle, it’s the town we call home. And we’ll have our chance this weekend, when that Red Bull soap box thing comes to town:
Not to be confused with the youth soapbox derby, Red Bull Soapbox Race is a national race for amateur drivers, which is fueled by creativity and competitive fun – not to mention the need for speed. This unique non-motorized racing event challenges both experienced racers and amateurs alike to design and build outrageous, human-powered soapbox dream machines and compete against the clock in a downhill race.
I still can’t tell if this thing matters or not, but here are some details:
When & Where
Red Bull Soapbox Race Providence will speed down College Hill on Saturday, October 13, 2007. Gates open at 11 a.m. to explore the pit area and meet the teams! The first race is at 1 p.m. but be sure to get there early as some surprises are in store. The final race will take place about 3:30 p.m. with an awards ceremony to immediately follow.
Waterman Street, College Hill Neighborhood
Starting Line: Fones Ally and Prospect Street
Finish Line: Waterman Street and S Main Street
The event 100% FREE to the public and open to all ages