SS16-01: Baybutt Memorial Gravity Race
After a year’s hiatus I cannot tell you how good it was to blow the dust off the summer series and get the crew back together. Although short, this series will be perfectly formed and was kicked off in style; The Baybutt Memorial Gravity race. This is so named as Richard Baybutt was so inspired by the first time he raced Grav Bikes that he has dedicated far too many hours, called in many favours (big up Matt Bowns!) and came out with his own dedicated UberRad gravity bike. He just needed a race to prove his worth.
When the invitations go out they stipulate a few rules: Chainless, 26” max wheel diameter (no roadies), as much protective equipment as possible and that scrutineering will take place. An overcomplicated and heavily unfair scoring system is then used to calculate who wins. Fastest run and fastest speed only make up a small proportion of the total Gnar points on offer and effort is heavily rewarded. The race is run as a time trial so we are literally just riding our bikes down a hill (mr officer) and with marshals posted on blind bends, Thank you all!, we rationalise the safety as much as possible. This year we added a speed trap which was manned and controlled by Simon Choppin with Stef Anderson on the buttons that matter at the bottom of the hill.
The Grav bikes are judged on four parameters: Aero, Mass, Radness and Effort. What racers turn up with is a spectrum from Baybutt’s masterpiece down to a DH bike with the chain off and literally everything in between. This year I was aboard the Phast Phalus which featured an air penetrating penis and air bag balls combo; Shane turned up with a trike with a beer barrel strapped to the back; Camus had 7kg of water bottles taped to his frame; and Chay had a 50kg digger tooth welded inside the main triangle of his Cotic. Madness.
The racing went really smoothly and everyone came out in once piece at the other end but of course there were a few incidents. Baybutt’s excuse was my favourite “I had to brake because the lurcher jumped the fence”. Our dedicated and very kind uplift crew made sure everyone got back to the top ready for another run. Thank you! Once racing was done we retired to the Ramblers for pints and prizes.
To figure out who won, I came up with an equation which combined all the evenings metrics in to one big fat Gnar level.
Where Cd is Aerodynamics, m is mass, R is Radness, E is effort, v is velocity through speed trap and t is best race time. Simple. The results speak for themselves… Chay is fast as fuck! Baybutt was second fastest and put more effort in to that steed than he should of. Shane up on two wheels was ridiculous. Chris’s rucksack weighed more than his bike.
Comparing 2014s race to this year, the times are a bit different
Roll on round 2… it is Olympic year after all.