Sunday, August 07, 2011

Capitol City Couch Race




What better way to spend a sunny Saturday than sitting back on a nice recycled couch, with an LED powered lamp, a coffee table with eco-building magazines, featured in a nice living room setting (complete with a 'Persian' rug) and a set of refreshing windshield wipers that squirted water to cool you off?

It was all of the comforts of home...well, except for the 600+ spectators, an ambulance, some paramedics, and a policeman. And thank goodness, even that turned out well in the end!

Free cycle, Craig's list freebies, and a lot of ingenuity transformed into one couch named "More Than Meets the Eye", and another one called "Venti's Rooster." My son, Blake, and his friend, Jeff, built both of these entries in less time then most of the participants used to make just one couch. And they not only built them, they got to race them, as well..sometimes couch back to back!

Of course a little quilting gremlin found her way into the racing pit and added a quilt (she just happened to be carrying around with her) and decided to display it for a couple of her personal photos, as you can see in the montage at the top ;)



Here, in this photo above, you can see that the blue couch, 'transformed' from ordinary couch into pullout living room... before and after every single race .... up and down that derby hill.

The "Venti's Rooster" couch, was also supported by this energetic roller skating rooster who creatively danced and pranced in full rooster suit...before and after the races, of course... courtesy of Venti's Restaurant, sponsor of the other couch...the delicately flowered beige couch....which was complete with beak and a bright red cockscomb. (see collage at top)

And you'll notice the cowsuits from the 'Cow-ouch' sponsored by Capitol City Theater. Yes, there was also Gilgamesh Brewery as a sponsor..no suits, just beer in the beer garden, and a nice State Farm booth and their little suited 'neigh-bear'. Yep, food, drinks and fun for all ages!

With dozens of entries, each couch had to be pushed up Salem's Bush Pasture Park's soap box derby hill, to the very top for the starting line and then gravity fueled raced down the track to a finish line in front of the 'judging' booth. With only 8" wheels allowed, it was nip and tuck for steering and braking, but those were requirements as well.

After almost constant reminders, to stay off the track, please get off the curbs, and move back from the edges with chairs, children, wheelchairs, and strollers...one viewer was hit by a careening couch and removed by ambulance for a check up. Thank goodness she was all right!

Our guys were the only two couch racers who still managed to make repairs and keep both of their couches going til the very end and BOTH couches made it into the semi-finals and the top 5. Since they couldn't race two couches against themselves in an elimination heat, they settled on the speedy rooster for their final race off... and considering their odds, did really well!

After pushing both couches repeatedly uphill and then downhill racing each of them, from noon until 7:00 pm..the 'Venti's Rooster' placed 4th in speed. And "More Than Meets the Eye" won the 'Green' award!

As a member of the unofficial pit crew, I managed to get in the way, over giving motherly advice, and managed to place a quilt in many of the photos, without my son seeming to notice. Perhaps, he just had more pressing things on his mind...like epoxy gluing wheel spokes and praying that ball bearings would take one more screaming downhill run, perhaps ;)

A long, hot, but very fun day in Salem, Oregon.


Video by StatesmanJournal news: they are #2 of the 3 shown

Salem Couch Races
Capitol City Couch Race

Statesman Journal article and more photos


6 comments:

  1. Wow, this looks like such a fun day!!

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  2. Anonymous5:22 PM

    Love it. Seems like a lot of fun!

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  3. What fun and I love all those photos!

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  4. Anonymous4:22 PM

    This is so cool! Thanks for sharing a bit of your real life with us. Awesome!

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  5. This sure sounds like fun! Great photo collage, I shared this with my kids and they said it was awesome!

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  6. Anonymous8:24 PM

    I would love to enter the couch race? Anyone know how?

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.