Vic, Faye & Nathan tackle the Trolley Derby
Vic, Faye and Nathan have been matched for over 2 years. They were flying the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Taranaki flag at the recent Marfell Community Trolley Derby. Here is their account of the day…….
By 1pm the weather was fine and a good crowd had gathered to watch the trolley speed demons fling themselves down Cook St in reckless pursuit of the ‘King of the Hill’ title.
The trolleys were many and varied in shape, size, colour, number of wheels, and finish.
There was the 3 wheeled chariot with horse’s head, complete with Mum & Dad dressed as Roman royalty, the Ford sedan, a number of ‘drift’ trikes (who’s riders seemed more intent on showing their drifting skills than getting to the bottom of the hill first), a full sized motorbike based trike (minus motor) and of course many basic carts resplendent with wooden frames and lawn-mower wheels. And the sole BBBS entrant. Nathan, on his modified hand-cart.
There was much nervous waiting while the younger age-groups had their runs. The first run resulted in a spill (after they had crossed the finish line), and it was finally our turn to line up, I heard “I don’t think I want to race anymore..” A few words or encouragement were spoken and before he had time to think further he was edging the front wheels on to the line.
“Ready, set, release” called Constable Dave and they were off!
The runs were restricted to 2 trolleys at a time, and Nathan’s first opponent was on one of the drift trikes. He had some trouble controlling it, and as they entered the first bend he had drifted across into Nathan’s lane, just as he was closing in on him. They collided and spun around, but Nathan was able to correct his direction and sped away for an easy victory. Yes! Qualified for the next round.
Much more waiting around while the older age groups had their runs, and the weather began taking a turn for the worse.
We finally got the call up for the next heat, and this time the opponent was the ‘Green Machine’, a racy looking 4 wheeled trolley with a steering wheel and a brake pedal. Such luxury!
But he proved no match for the flying hand-cart, and a second victory was secured.
The races were by this time running a bit behind schedule, so the next heat had 3 entrants, with both opponents riding bicycle based machines.
Nathan’s pit crew had done a quick adjustment to the steering during the break, as one of the automatic steering correction devices fitted (ok, so it was on old bike inner tube) had unravelled.
Consequently the trolley handled a bit differently on this run, and coming into the final bend prior to the finish line disaster struck, and over he went, rolling (at least 3 times he assures me) and his race was over.
All competitors had to have helmets, gloves and have all limbs covered, so no injuries (apart from a couple of grazes) were suffered.
Ah, but he’ll have some stories to tell at school this week though.
His next task is to come up with some ideas as to how we can make it go faster!!