Street-luge and race for McPolin Elementary School
May 6, 2008
Park City fathers have the need for speed and this Saturday, they will get it along with beer and live music.
The Men of McPolin organized the race day as a means of raising funds for the special programs at McPolin Elementary School. We "want to improve the music program and bring science back to McPolin," said Moe Hickey. Races begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday Morning and continue to 5 p.m. Parents can pre-register their children or sign up that day. Registration costs $20 and includes two races down Main Street. Adults will have the option to join the street luge and registration for that runs $50 and includes a pass so that an instructor from an area school can go down the course in a separate luge.
The Men of McPolin began to plan the event some months ago after they watched the "Little Rascals" at a McPolin movie night. To Hickey, it seemed like it would be an easy fundraiser and a great way to get the community involved. It quickly became a comedy of errors.
Times have changed since the heyday of the rascals and the term "soapbox" is actually the registered property of NASCAR said Hickey. So the race would have to be called something else. Additionally, the kits for these cars can not be purchased at a local department store as if they were large pinewood derby cars for the Boy Scouts.
Hickey had trouble finding a United States provider of car kits. Ultimately, he had to settle for a Canadian-made kit. The Canada-based builders, however, would not sell the kit with wheels for insurance reasons and Hickey had to order the wheels separately from a plant in Ohio.
Most of the vehicles were built by Hickey with friends and help from grade-schoolers who gravitated towards the little vehicles. The finished cars will be hand-printed and signed by McPolin students and will be auctioned off after the day of the race. One vehicle will be custom finished by local painting contractor Bob Peek and should be the "showroom piece" of the race.
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The course will be set up between Zoom and the bridge on lower Main Street. Each race will involve only two cars and the street is wide enough that there is little chance that the vehicles could careen off the side of the road. Additionally, each car is designed only to go straight.
Although the cars are all outfitted with working brakes, the course has a slight incline at the end and each vehicle should stop on the merits of gravity. All the same, students should be able to get up to a top running speed of about 10 mph said Hickey.
The races are organized into morning and afternoon sessions so that students can make their weekend activities and still have time to blaze the streets of Old Town. Each student signed up will race twice and the event will be non-competitive. Electric Ketchup, the local School of Rock band, will begin their live set at 1 p.m. and a beer tent will be set up in the afternoon as well for adults with wristbands.
This is the first year the Men of McPolin have run this event and already Hickey said that the community has shown a great degree of interest. More than 70 students have already signed up for the event and local business are expressing interest in creating their own cars for the next race. "The creativity of Park City will come out next year," said Hickey.