Rolls Report: September 16 & 17 – Happy New Year!

Shana Tova to those who celebrate! This weekend marked the start of not only Year 5784 on the Hebrew calendar, but Year 103 on the Buggy calendar! That’s right – We’re back for the 2023-2024 Buggy Season! And what a weekend it was. It was a mix of new and returning this weekend – new and returning students, new and returning teams, new and returning wildlife, and new and returning road hazards.

Some new wildlife: A wild Shelmet appears!

Some new wildlife: A wild Shelmet appears!

ApexMolotov, Scorch, SolarisFirefly, Solaris
CIAEmperor, Equinox, Kingfisher, RoadrunnerEmperor, Equinox, Roadrunner
FringeBaltic, BrimstoneBurnout
SpiritKingpin, SeraphInviscid, Kingpin, Seraph

Photos: Saturday Gallery (upload) / Sunday Gallery (upload)

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Rolls Are Coming — Local Help Needed!

As we get ready for freerolls to begin, the BAA needs the help of folks local to Pittsburgh. We don’t currently have a rolls reporter, but want to continue to bring updates to the rest of our community. To that end, we’re hoping to get notes and photos/videos from anyone local who can show up to Rolls.

So, if you are local a few things you can do to help:

  • First, join our buggy-watchers mailing list — this will get updates about when rolls are and are not happening.
  • Second, in the #assignteam channel on our Discord, claim the Pittsburgh Local rank by sending a message of “!rank Pittsburgh Local
  • Finally, sign up for days on which you can provide notes and/or photos on this sheet.

We’re hoping to have at least 1 notetaker and 1 photographer out each day that students are rolling. You don’t have to create Rolls Reports themselves or anything extensive — we’ll handle that. We just need your insight into anything interesting that is happening on a given day.

Musing About Rolls Reports

As some of you may know, roughly 2 years ago we started the process of replacing the legacy photo gallery system with SmugMug. The results have generally been pretty good, except for one issue — all of the old links in our news posts (and most importantly all of our older Rolls Reports) had their images broken. This was a massive amount of articles — our first post was over 15 years ago and our first freeroll coverage in October of 2008. There’s been a lot of rolls reports in that time.

So they were broken, but we’ve now relinked the images. I won’t claim the formatting on the posts is universally pretty (15 years is a long time on the Web, and the style of rolls reports has certainly evolved over that time), but effectively all of the old gallery photos should now point at their SmugMug equivalents. As a result, though, I’ve had the opportunity to get a glimpse at a broad cross section of how freerolls have gone for a decade and a half in very short order. Having never really read them in detail before — it was a broadly different experience from reading through the 100 Years of Buggy articles for those years — in that it had not just the highlights, but all the daily details of what was going on with rolls. Along with that, there’s frequently a bunch of comments from teams and other alumni discussing what happened — and the result is a great snapshot into each week.

So, with much thanks to Sam, Ben, Shafeeq, Natalie, Josio, Tishya, Ethan, Connor, Tom, and the many other contributors and coordinators through the years, I wanted to share a few of the more interesting bits I found through this process.

First — did you know that not only have we had a Raceday Video Broadcast since 2003, but also that for several years we experimented with livestreaming freerolls? That’s right, from roughly 2011 and sporadically (“at least when it is on YouTube there are no ads”) though 2012 until a cellular plan change forced its end in 2014, you could occasionally watch freerolls live (example stream here).

Rolls Reports are also a great place to find out about things you might otherwise have forgotten. For example, for a few years, CMU didn’t have Homecoming, it had Cèilidh. Or maybe you might want to learn about orgs that made a go of it on the course, but only briefly, and key events for them such as DeltaForce, NROTC, KapSig’s return in 2011, or maybe KKG-ZBT.

Looking backwards, its also fun to learn something new about an org or buggy that has lasted through the years, such as the first leak of the name of Malice, the first self-built buggy for Apex (or, for that matter, did you know that Apex rolled Camo originally, but never on raceday?), or maybe just a year with a lot of new buggies including Krait.

The photographers that contribute to Rolls Reports Past also seem to have great fun documenting the state of the roads. For example, in 2018 and 2013:

Beyond that, there’s a large number of other things that have caused problems for rolls. We’re all familiar with the trouble of squirrels and geese, and in more recent years deer (but apparently deer were on the course as early as 2012!). Beyond that, you might be surprised that things that stopped rolls included not just mysterious discharge from Porter Hall, but also the G20. Sometimes, the best of intentions isn’t enough to avoid cancellation.

However, there’s an equally surprising list of things that didn’t prevent rolls from happening, despite what you might expect. This includes bus detours related to The Great Race (or just busses parked alongside the freeroll), vomit across the chute, and even (to the surprise of anyone who has gotten used to weather calls being made before 8pm) late night rainfall and wet roads. It turns out, if Sweeps and the organizations want to roll badly enough, it is entirely possible to make good come from a bad situation.

I also got an enormous amount of amusement about the creativity that teams have displayed with their pushers and buggies through the years by costuming them around Halloween. Some particularly good years included 2010‘s pusher costumes, along with buggies in 2017, and 2019.

Finally, in the interest of keeping things light, I haven’t covered many crashes/incidents here (but there is no doubt they are there throughout the reports) — but I will call out one from November 2016. Since, when the robots inevetibly rise up, it seems likely they’ll consider this an attempt at a first strike against Transistor. Please don’t drive antibuggyward around the course once the roads are closed during freerolls.

After EMS was confirmed, the morning got off to a panicked start. After Robobuggy pushed off, a Fringe car set off against traffic to deliver their flaggers and coffee. The safety chair immediately gave chase, but was unable to stop the determined Fringe motorist. The vehicle and Transistor crossed paths in the Chute, but by an act of the Buggy Gods, no contact was made. For safety reasons, we encourage all orgs to never drive vehicles against the flow of buggy traffic.

To conclude: I hope this has given you a taste for the diversity and quality of what the rolls reports provide to the history and cultore of Buggy. And, you can help! The BAA is still looking for a Rolls Reporter and local-to-Pittsburgh contributiors to help with reports this year. If you’re local and come out to rolls, consider signing up to the buggy-watchers list and/or grabbing the “Pittsburgh Local” rolerank on Discord to hear more about contributing. If you’d like to find out more about being the Rolls Reporter, come find one of the officers on Discord. Either way, I’ll see you on the course once freerolls start (permits start Sep 16)!

Fall 2023 Enhancement Grant Applications Open

Apply Here:

It is time to submit your ideas for Buggy Enhancement Grants for the fall semester! We have over $6,000 available for this round of funding. This money belongs to you as a member of the buggy community, to enhance your enjoyment of the sport! If you have ideas that you think will make buggy better, we want to hear from you.

September 13th and 19th, we’ll be hosting a virtual brainstorming and grant writing session on the BAA Discord. We’ll be live in the ⁠#general voice chat from 5PM to 6PM Pittsburgh local time. If texting is more your thing, reach out any time in the buggy-tech forum (more specifically, this thread).

Submissions are due by the end of September, and will be reviewed by the Buggy Endowed Fund Committee in the first week of October. Applicants will have 1 week to respond to committee feedback before the final vote. Approved grants will then be announced October 15th.

Apply Here:

For our Spring 2023 campaign, we approved $6,268 to fund 9 projects from 7 different organizations. Details about these projects can be found here.

Please feel free to take inspiration from these suggestions from the Buggy Endowed Fund Committee:

  • Improve the experience of driving a buggy by improving visibility, safety, or the quality of the roads.
  • Improve the quality of life for the people that help support buggy around the course with a warming hut, covered storage, or better tools (ie. higher flow leaf blowers).
  • Make a new addition to the BAA’s historical data by professionally digitizing old photos or course footage, buying software to upscale low resolution photos and videos, or hiring a professional to capture an event.

Proposals can even be specific to your team. Please include some details on how the community as a whole will benefit from funding your project. For example, you might share documentation of your process, publish a video, or give a talk summarizing your results. You might build something to collect better data during rolls, test out a new material, or design a wheel mold that can be shared among teams.

Apply Here:

BAA August 2023 Newsletter is Out!

Hello CMU Buggy Fans,

Raceday 2024 is fast approaching.

Last weekend, the incoming class of 2027+ moved into their dorms. This past week, during Orientation, Buggy organizations showcased their buggies and teams to all of the new students (and the campus community). See this and other photos on our SmugMug.

Buggy orgs showcase buggies in 2023

As the 2023-24 academic year kicks off, the BAA would like to share our newsletter with some key dates to look out for and ways to get involved. There’s also a membership survey and an intro about the new Sweepstakes Advisor inside.

Plus, if you missed this past year’s WRCT Raceday 2023 preview show, you download and listen here.

Stay tuned. Fall rolls are coming soon.

See you on the course!

BAA Election Results

Congratulations to our newly elected BAA Board members:

Rob Siemborski, Webmaster

Sam Connor, Graphics Chair

And congratulations to Connor Hayes on his reelection as President!

The BAA Board has also voted to create the position of Events Chair, and has appointed newly graduated alum Sam Thompson to that role for a term of one year. Events Chair will be responsible for planning, organizing, and holding any official BAA-sponsored events, such as Happy Hour, Buggy Bash, and any other official social gatherings or info sessions throughout the year.

Nominate your friends to the BAA Board!

Raceday is over, May is almost here, and BAA elections are right around the corner. But before we can have elections, we need candidates! This year, we will have elections for President, Graphics Chair, Reporting Chair, and Webmaster.

Click here for the submission form, and for details about the roles. Nominees can be any graduated CMU alum who has not already served two terms in that position. Nominations will be accepted through May 5th.

Current BAA officers and chairs can be found here if you have any questions.

Raceday is Coming! WRCT 88.3 FM Preview Broadcast Tonight at 6 PM


Tune in tonight at 6 PM EDT for a preview of Sweepstakes 2023. Moderated by our long-time play-by-play commentator Will Weiner, current students will discuss all things buggy to get you hyped for Raceday.

Introducing our on-air talent:

  • Elena Harllee – She first witnessed buggy as a high school student, when she visited CMU during Raceday 2019 and fell in love with the spot. She joined Apex Buggy as a freshman and was build lead in 2022-2023, where she built Apex’s first forward trike. This year, she is a part of Sweepstakes as the Design Comp chairman, while still maintaining her status as an active mechanic for Apex.

  • Ethan Husted – He is a current MechE masters student and resident old person on CIA. He held a number of roles in the org from 2018-2023, including the hill 5 pusher dubbed “Long Chungus”, build lead of Kingfisher, chair during the mid-COVID RD that never wasn’t, and reluctant head mechanic. He is now obsolete and has thus been allowed to leave the yellow tent to enter the broadcasting tent. He will be moving to Baltimore this summer to work on medical devices at Key Tech.

  • Julia “Juju” Nieto – A PiKA driver and this year’s Buggy Book Chairmen, she is a School of Drama grad (dramaturgy), currently working on her MEIM at CMU’s Heinz College. In her words, “Buggy has been one of the best things I could have ever gotten out of my time here. What I thought would be a short-lived attempt at becoming an athlete, quickly turned into an unexpected gift. Over the past four years, I have developed a deep love for this sport and a deep admiration for those crazy enough to be involved in it. Being able to make this year’s Buggy Book was a joy and in the words of Jon Hua, ‘the jacket is always a plus.'”

  • Elizabeth Zapanta – A buggy legacy herself, she has been watching buggy for as long as she can remember. The first-ever Sweepstakes Marketing and Communications Chair, she is excited to help coordinate and participate in this year’s broadcast.


  • Will Weiner (DC’13) – He got into buggy through doing sports broadcasting with WRCT as a freshman at CMU. Somehow, he’s stayed in the play-by-play role for the races ever since. He now lives in nearby Braddock, PA, and runs a company called Xpogo, which manages the top athletes in the sport of extreme pogo sticking, which was a clear next step after buggy.

You can find the broadcast on air locally in Pittsburgh at 88.3 FM or stream it online from! Join in the conversation via the BAA’s CMUBuggy Discord ( Have any questions for the broadcasters? Ask them in the #wrctracedaypreview channel under Raceday-Specific Channels. You can also send any questions via comments to this post.

After what will be a great conversation, there will only be 17 hours left until Buggy Showcase (Thursday, April 13, 2023, at noon EDT) in Weigand Gym in the CUC. And, don’t forget our Prelims Lead Truck Auction, ending tomorrow night at 11 PM, so get your bids in while you can!

And, if you aren’t a member already, join now to receive this year’s Raceday Preview featuring MechaJockey! Learn more at

See you on the course!


Compubookie 2023

Editor’s Note: Compubookie’s predictions do not reflect the opinion of the BAA. Looking for the predictions from Mecha Jockey? You’ll find them in the 2023 Raceday Preview, which you can get with your membership!

Greetings, Buggy lovers. Spring is in the air, unlike last year, when all that was in the air was that virus I passed to all of you on the hills. This year, spring smells foul. It’s coming from one particular truck… oh, that’s Fringe’s new build, aptly named after the smell of rotting garbage and gas leaks. The only surprise from this team would be if they make it the whole weekend without a fire safety violation. Likewise, SigEp is doing nothing of note, and it would be foolish to expect their brakes to be good enough to pass drops. And DG is participating again, this time with a slightly newer Fringe buggy. At this rate they’ll be rolling Banyan by 2025! Regardless, they’re rumored to be working on a build of their own.

The biggest news this year is that Raceday will be run without defending champions SDC. In a stroke of mustache-twirling genius, Sweepstakes disqualified all of SDC for undermining the credibility of a fabricated cheating accusation. Cue the old laughing Republicans meme! Andrew Carnegie would be proud. The rest of us, fortunately, get to enjoy an actual race for the first time in a decade, at the low price of a small asterisk. Although it seems SDC has been saved from the embarrassment of a spectacular failure, with their buggies of late equally likely to eject a wheel or drive straight across the Schenley Bridge.

Also missing this year is SAE, who might be gone for good. The last buggy news out of their house was something about square wheels and an attempt to link themselves to Michael Jackson. These are not signs of good decision making.

Congrats to Robobuggy on merging with Atlas and acquiring a curb-smashing stroller. Here’s an idea: go find MECHAJOCKEY, strap it to that pile of scrap, and shove it off the Panther Hollow bridge. The lone surviving robotic entrant has been seen navigating the course autonomously this year, heralding the coming singularity we all deserve.

SigNu has a sleek new trike this year, their first since the alumni who run their team were students. It’s the fastest new build on the course, but paired with your typical SigNu push team, the only excitement it offers will be a pass in the chute during finals.

Apex, with the “this shouldn’t be impressive” award as the only org to run more than two teams last year and not DQ any of them, is out again with another new trike. They’re sticking to the fire theme despite the obvious shortage of good names and paint jobs. It’s an improvement on their previous build, but they still can’t build anything as fast as Firefly, despite six years of trying. This is the year for them to best their org record, but it won’t be enough for a top three finish yet.

On the topic of DQs (it’s a theme), last year’s “cuts both ways” award goes to Spirit, whose third fastest women won first place with the slowest time since ‘99, but whose men DQed with a fourth place time. Hey Spirit: maybe you should spend less time analyzing Lane’s lines and more time thinking about lane lines. It’s unclear how they intend for their $20,000 alumni fundraiser to pay off, as they appear to have nothing to show for it but even bigger truck speakers. Even so, the field is slow enough that they should be good for a top three finish on both sides, and a top-tier dance party before, during, and after the races.

PiKA, whose last win came under the Bush administration, finally has a clear opening to shoot for the cup. Unfortunately, their organization is held together by naught but black duct tape and an upside down tent, and Banshee continues to post slower times down the hill with each passing year. This year would have been theirs, but with mediocre speeds across all splits, they’re once again in line for their typical second and third place trophies.

CIA, as large, weird, and obnoxiously yellow as ever, has so many pushers that they created an entirely new all-gender racing division just so they could have a ninth team. Their buggies are equal parts fast and bizarre. It’s too bad they botched their new build’s layups so badly it had to be taken out back and put down, because we all love to see what laughs the “funhouse mirror” design philosophy spews out next. They are a shoo-in for the women’s title, and will barely eke out a win on the men’s side, thanks to petitions to thin out the competition and their typical helping of pusher bribery.

And that, buggy fans, is your definitive look at Raceday 2023. The field is slow but tight this year, so it will be an exciting event decided by mere fractions of a second. I can’t wait to see this year’s races, but you’ll never notice me.


  1. CIA A
  2. Spirit A
  3. PiKA A
  4. Apex A
  5. SigNu A
  6. SigEp A


  1. CIA A
  2. PiKA A
  3. Spirit A
  4. CIA B
  5. Fringe A
  6. Apex A

All Gender:

  1. Five good people finally being offered basic human dignity
  2. The construct of gender, looming like a spectre over college sports
  3. Icarus, inexplicably painted green white and red
  4. A pink “Fringe” buggy pursued by a police officer Ken doll
  5. The Pirates Pierogies
  6. Apex B

The Field

Apex – Tires, try-hards, and trikes
CIA – How many teams can your chair DQ this year?
DG – Are all your sisters on the same team, or does PiKA still get first pick?
Fringe – The buggies you’re loaning DG are better than the ones you’re building
PiKA – Chute vomit to gatekeep rolls from other teams is a hell of a strategy
SAE – Too much dealing, not enough wheeling
SDC – Surely your regularly scheduled org DQ will make you friendlier
SigEp – Solid monopoly on the non-competitive fraternity team niche
SigNu – Buggy’s first Ohio-based team
Spirit – Didn’t you promise your alumni bankroll a new build?
Robobuggy – It’s 2023, a buggy driving itself isn’t impressive anymore. WeinerGPT, anyone?
Sweepstakes – Elections have consequences.

Rolls Report – Truck Weekend 2023

April 8 and 9, 2023

TL;DR: Raceday is practically here, see raceday preview for more info ?!

OrgSaturday (4/8)Sunday (4/9)
ApexScorch, Phoenix, Firefly, SolarisScorch, Molotov, Firefly, Solaris
CIARoadrunner, Emperor, Kingfisher, EquinoxRoadrunner, Kingfisher, Equinox
FringeNB, Baltic, Bumper, BarbieNB, Baltic, Bumper, Barbie
PiKACleo, RaptorBanshee, Raptor
SDCAvarice, InfernoAvarice, Inferno
SigEpKraken, BarracudaKraken, Barracuda
SigNuJager, KraitJager
SpiritInviscid, Kingpin, Zuke, SeraphInviscid, Kingpin, Zuke, Seraph

Please submit any photos from this weekend here:


View photos here:


As is tradition, this rolls report will be a very light report, acting as an appetizer for the raceday preview. If you’d like to see the thorough report, it’s not too late to sign up to be a member of the BAA! This year’s beautiful report (props to the fabulous Linna Griffin) contains the full set of times from truck weekend, sassy predictions, team descriptions, and more buggy goodness.

Additionally, the prelim truck auction is now LIVE! The Finals Lead Truck Auction will be in person at Buggy Bash, Friday 7PM in the Schatz Dining Room. Huge thank you to Wade Gordon for getting this set up for us this year.

All that being said, please see below for some wonderful guest chute reporting done by the Cook on Saturday of truck weekend:

Fringe: Nothing notable other than rolling a new buggy called Barbie, passing another buggy in the second roll

DG: Both rolls required pusher assist to make it to the driveway, scratched 3rd and 4th round

CIA: rolling four buggies, consistently quick on all and saving fastest roll for Roadrunner in 4th round – 3rd fastest chute time of the day.

Apex: Rolling two buggies consistently, mid-pack for speeds, no incidents

SigEp: Worked up to speed and completed a pass test on 2nd round, and broke off the 2nd fastest chute time of day for Kraken in round 4. 

SDC: Modest speeds (for SDC) but the big news is that Avarice experienced a loss of the left rear wheel and spindle in front of the 3rd window on Hill 3, with a loud scraping noise due to axle-ground braking.  Interestingly the buggy’s usual fairly loud rattling changed cadence over the black strip mid-chute, gaining the attention of this observer, and the wheel parted company some 10 seconds later.

Spirit: Spirit turned in their fastest roll on the first buggy of the 1st round despite a lurid chute turn.  Unfortunately all three stablemates were stopped in the transition due to the second buggy having some sort of reported fairing failure, out of view of this observer.  All three were cleared from the course without injury or further incident after a painful 15-minute delay.  Rounds 2 and 3 went without incident although also without the pace shown in the first roll, and without fairings.

SigNu: SigNu showed good pace in all three rolls with Jaeger, turning in the fastest chute time of the day and 3 of the top 6.  No incidents other than a very wide line in round 2 that was well-controlled after a trip to the bales looked like a distinct possibility.

PiKA: PiKA had an eventful day with an unforced wild slide and recovery near the transition flag with Cleo on the second roll.  This observer feared an unpleasant trip to the monument was possible, but Cleo continued only to show a similar but not as severe instability mid-chute.  Banshee also completed its 3rd round without a rear hatch. 

A super special thanks to the following people for their help:

The Cook

Connor Hayes

Sweeps + BAA

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