Should you wake up one day and find yourself mysteriously transported to a breakfast table somewhere in Northern California, one clue that you are at Tinkering School may be the abundance of knife-wielding children.
There's a mere three work hours until we head to the track, so everyone is eager to get back to work in the barn. Griffin stabilizes the Nooi chariot hitch.
Lauren works on the Kablooi wheel mounts (with rakish caster angle).
Harry measures the post length for the Kablooi hitch.
Liora and Eloise try another variation on their flexible hitch bar design for the Piki chariot.
Noah takes Liora for a test ride through the barn on the Piki chariot.
And out into the world, down the road to the chicken coop!
Harry lays in the elbow grease and hacksaws through the Kablooi hitch bolt.
Serena gives Griffin a hand as he attaches the (ill-fated) back rest to the Nooi chariot.
Brigid and Griffin carry the Nooi prototype down to the asphalt flats by the chicken coop for testing.
Flat out flabbergasted by the (minor) destruction of the Nooi chariot during testing, Brigid hangs on to the inner tube for comfort.
Lauren (the indefatigable) employs clamps enthusiastically.
Harry's chair continues to serve him well.
Liora's mastery of the chop saw is visible in the precision of her cuts and the confidence with which she announces "ready to cut!"
Lorena says that Mori looks a little like a bandit from the hills of Venezuela.
Adam, Josh, and Emma diagnose a Panda steering problem.
"Where is that scraping sound coming from?"
We all arrive at the kitchen hungry and happy to see such a delicious spread.
Enjoy the sleek lines of the Kablooi chariot.
Piki team mates Eloise and Liora put the final, final, touches on their hitch bar mounting bracket.
After being stripped down to bare bones, the Nooi chariot is up on blocks and getting a full re-build in the hour before we load up for the trip to the test track.
A loaded trailer is just an excuse to ride down on the outside of the truck as we head to the track for testing.
Then, much fooling around commences as the teams try their chariots for the first time on good smooth paving.
With all the chariots rolling, it's time to line up for the first official test laps!
With words of advice from Lauren, Mori takes the first leg of the race with Harry riding in the chariot.
Banner flying, Noah and Liora take the Piki (the very best team according to Liora, who is up late after her adventures tonight helping Serena and I write the blog) chariot out on it's first race lap.
Then, it's Josh and Emma's (Panda) turn to join the try a test lap.
Griffin and Brigid (Nooi) take a lap on our asphalt hippodrome.
Griffin pulls hard as he and Brigid cross the finish line.
Then it's time for real racing. In the first heat, Mori gets up on the pedals for a jack-rabbit start. The Kablooi set the time to beat with 01:53.
And Lauren takes over for the second lap.
Noah and Eloise (Piki) at the start line.
Noah picked up Liora at the lap turn and brings her across the finish line.
Emma and Josh carry speed across the finish line.
Griffin and Zachary take off on the newly re-built Nooi chariot.
And then execute a perfect relay transition as Brigid leaps on board the moving chariot.
"He put a lot of heart into that run," spectators will later say about Griffin's spectacular effort.
Liora, native of Istanbul, checks to see if she still remembers how to ride a bike - turns out she's a boss!
Between heats, Emma and her teammates decide that their chariot is just too heavy.
Making the first lap turn of the second heat, Mori and Harry keep up the blistering pace of their first heat.
And a high-speed hand-off to Lauren for the second lap.
Which she polishes off with a blazing run down the final straight stretch to the finish line.
Lauren tries to psyche out the competition by challenging Brigid to a staring contest.
Liora pulls into the relay turn with Noah holding down the chariot.
And, in a first for the race, Noah moves from the chariot to the bike and Eloise takes over in the tail seat.
Losing a bit of steam, Noah coasts across the finish line as Eloise goes hands-up - wheee!
Griffin sets up his patented power-stroke for the start and Zachary double checks the cantilevered shock absorber.
The axle on the Nooi started to bow upward on the start of the lap and allowed the wheels to rub on the supports necessitating a new strategy most accurately described as "get out and push."
Determined to complete the course and get a valid time, and with Brigid sitting this one out due to a bad shin scrape from the first heat, Griffin and Zachary swing through the relay turn and press on for another lap.
A heroic effort and an inspiring, but very late, finish.
Exhilarated after a day of amazing racing, Mori leaps on to the truck for the ride home.
Noah and Griffin talking smack on the parking lot rails after the truck is loaded.
------ Official Results ------
Piki - Liora, Eloise, Noah
Nooi - Griffin, Brigid, Zachary
Kablooi - Lauren, Mori, Harry
Panda - Emma, Josh, Adam
First Heat Results:
Kablooi - 01:53
Piki - 01:56
Panda - 02:08
Nooi - 02:45
Second Heat Results:
Kablooi - 01:53
Piki - 01:35
Nooi - 03:54 (running)
Panda - DQ (chariot broke)
Kablooi - Most Consistent on the Track
Piki - Fastest Time Overall (01:35)
Panda - Most Changed Cart Between Rounds
Nooi - Most Determined (running)