Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ward Pinewood Derby

Our ward had a no-rules pinewood derby last weekend.  Okay, there were a few rules (mainly ones put in place to protect bystanders, like "no combustibles"), but you mainly just needed to use BSA wheels and axles and the rest was fair game.  We've never been able to attend this annual function, but I had heard stories, so we knew we were in for a treat.  I spent hours online reading tips and trying to come up with ideas and I called my brother Levi up to ask him for some tips because his sons rocked their last pinewood derby (and I know Levi gets even more wrapped up in stuff like this than I do).  All I really did was overwhelm myself.  After almost spending $16 on modified BSA axles, I knew I needed to step away from the computer and let it go.   So after giving him a few of the tips that I learned (aerodynamics isn't that important, weight and lack of friction are), I turned it over to Chad.

As Chad puts it - I get very competitive sometimes, but only about weird things.  Weird, in his mind, perfectly logical in mine.

So Chad and I told the boys that we weren't going to worry too much about speed and would just come up with something creative. Chad painted the block of wood brown, glued some Hershey bars on top, and then part of a brick, which he covered in graham crackers and marshmallows, to make....a S'mores car of course.  We put a little guy on top, to ride on the marshmallows and it was a cute little car.  He did a great job and the boys thought it was pretty cool. We actually glued the axles on about ten minutes before leaving, grabbed the chili I had made,  and rushed out the door.  I remembered my camera as we were loading up, but didn't want to take the time to go get it. So this is the only picture I have of the car.

Ollie actually stole some bites of the marshmallows before it ever raced, and Colin dismantled and devoured it on our way home. You will just have to trust me when I say it was really cute.

When we got to the church, we raced our car against my parents' car and it almost beat it.  This was very encouraging because, you see, my dad had taken one of those Levi-made cars I spoke of earlier, and had added some cute granny and grandpa Lego people.  I knew it was fast.

When our first race came, our car "Let's win s'more" almost won.As it crashed into second place, the chocolate bars bounced off of the car to the floor, taking the graham-cracker covered brick with it.  Luckily, someone had brought a hot glue gun, and they graciously let us use it to repair our car (Thank you Mumfords!).

The main competition was my parent's car, which was speeding through each lap, a car that simply had a can of pepsi taped to the top, and a car that was three cars hooked together by wires with the last car starting behind the finish line so it basically gave itself a five foot head start (not against the rules, but I have a feeling the rules might change to accompany that next year).

We came in a close second during our second race as well and the car again fell apart.

When it came to our third race, we knew that if we didn't win would we be out.  Stunningly, our car zoomed into first and we were back in the game.  My parents had won every race (which really put a smile on my Dad's face), so we both moved onto the semi-finals, where two cars were pitted against each other instead of three.

And guess who we were went up against?

My parents.  We groaned that it wasn't fair to pit family against family as we put our car up at the starting place, knowing that theirs was faster than ours.

We gulped with shock as our car whizzed past theirs to the finish line.

At this point, I picked up our car, which we needed to glue back together once again, and noticed that although the brick had started out slightly behind the back axle, Chad must had glued it back on slightly in front of the back axle after our second race, giving it a different balance and just the momentum it needed to become speedier.

This happy little accident had put us into the final race.  It was our clunky, falling apart s'mores car against the head-start car, whose owner had put hours of planning and work in.  I heard a few of the young men chanting "s'mores s'mores s'mores" as they let the car go. I wished I had my camera, but happily someone in our ward captured it on video. Ours is the one on the left.  See if you can call the winner:

Tough call?  Here is a photo finish (thank you Brother Bower!):

We won!  

It was quite the moment for the Coleman boys. It was the perfect Father's Day weekend moment, really. I don't think Colin stopped talking about it for two days and there was much discussion over who the trophy belongs to (Mom and Dad ruled that it was a family victory and thus a family trophy.)

We will have to come back even stronger next year to defend the title ;o) 


lindsey said...

I like how you talk about your "odd" competitive ways... I do the same thing and it drives Seth nuts. I can be a bit obsessive. ( I am still bitter that Lily didn't win that FB photo contest) Anyway, sounds like a fun day. Dad told me all about it on the phone and was pretty excited for Colin. It sounds like a fun ward tradition.

lindsey said...

PS I think it should be a rule that every post includes a picture of that beautiful girl of yours ;)

Katie said...

I think maybe you can see her in the video on my shoulder on the right ;o)

Bob, Dad and Grandpa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bob, Dad and Grandpa said...

I was thrilled to see you guys win. It was great!

Interesting scoring system. My car was in the unmodified division. I didn't lose to any unmodified cars. The only race I lost (by 2 inches) was to the Colemans (modified car), Yet I didn't place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in the unmodified division. I think there is a flaw in the scoring system. I will try not to be bitter.

Katie said...

Dad - I was wondering about that too!!!!!! And some of the cars that won in your division sure looked modified to me.