Monday, August 16, 2010

A Soapbox Derby...for Adults

Portland, Oregon has a saying of which I am rather fond. It is most commonly found on bumper stickers (and usually among a plethora of other stickers proclaiming the driver's political leanings, their thoughts on the world, or something about alien visitors...either the outer space variety or those closer to home). Sometimes I think the stickers just hold the car together.

The saying is "Keep Portland Weird". I experienced some of that delightful weirdness last weekend, at the annual Adult Soapbox Derby. It's event one associates with a bygone era when one builds a racer out of commonly available materials within some strict sense of order and specification, and then allow gravity to determine who has the fastest vehicle. In those bygone eras the age limit was often closer to elementary school.

Things are different now...dare I say, weirder? (...and one more thing. Lest you think I only like to show off my stellar photography skills on this blog, there are a few images here that have a decidedly bluish hue. Well...the simple fact is, I screwed up. More on that later. I still included them because the subject was fun despite my lack of attention to detail)

I will call this "Gasoline Alley" (and those of you who are Indianapolis 500 fans know of what I speak), where last minute tuning and assembly takes place before the great race. I should also point out that not an insignificant amount of adult beverages was also included in the "fueling".

"Gentlemen...start your engines!" (yes that was sexist, but I think that is still said at the Indy 500, Danika Patrick notwithstanding)

It should be noted that some focus on speed and seek to actually engage in a speed contest, while others seek a more...dramatic path.

I'm not sure what this is...but it was really fast!

Here a slab of lasagna is helped across the finish line by some kind-hearted warriors

Not all who attend come to race. Some come to see...and be seen...and perchance to fight?

This guy was serious, and seriously fast.

An experiment in photography, where I attempt to capture an essence of speed. I think I did OK...but I forgot to check the white balance settings hence the bluish tint. Hey, what's the fun of a camera with all manner of adjustments unless it allows one to screw up any number of ways?

The event went from 10 in the morning until 4 in the afternoon, though I only stayed for the morning got rather warm in the afternoon. For those of you who are curious, here is a link:

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