april fool

Scottish Team Set New Gravity Speed Record

An unnofficial world gravity speed record has been set during testing of new gravity racer in Scotland.

Speeds in excess of 80mph were achieved during testing last weekend, with a maximum speed of 87.4mph being recorded by the team from the University of Caledonia.

Taking advantage of pleasant spring weather, the team had headed up to the Highlands to do a spot of testing and originally planned to just do a few test runs to prepare for the official attempt that is scheduled for the beginning of June.

"We did a couple of 'sighter' runs to get used to the conditions", said team leader Rolf Lapio. "The racer handled really well so we decided to push a bit and see what we could get out of her. We knew she'd be fast, but we didn't realise quite how fast! It's a brilliant start. Obviously we need to repeat this under controlled conditions and with independent verification to claim a record, and we're really looking forward to the official attempt in June. Our calculations show that we should be able to do well over 90mph".

Video verification of the fastest run has been uploaded to youtube.

 

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Soapboxes to be Taxed and Tested from 2014

MOTThe Department of Transport have announced that, in order to bring the UK into line with europe wide legislation on the taxing and testing of road vehicles, gravity racers will require a valid MOT certificate, road tax and third party insurance from April 2014. 

The Scottish Cartie Association recently requested clarification of the rules that will apply to soapboxes when the new law comes into effect, and the DfT confirmed that soapboxes will no longer be classified as bicycles because they have four wheels and are not pedal powered.

This ruling throws into question the practicality of holding gravity races on public roads since, regardless whether they are closed or not, the provisions of the Road Traffic Act will apply in any case. Furthermore, any gravity racer being towed back to the start line would be classified as a trailer, so the last cartie on the tow line must carry a registration plate and light board connected to the towing vehicle and the driver must have licence appropriate for the weight of the entire tow train.

Clearly this is going to cause serious difficulties for soapbox race organisers, and the SCA will be lobbying for this ruling to be reviewed at the earliest opportunity. Further information on how you can help can be found here.
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SCA to Introduce Gravity Unicycle Class

Gravity UnicycleWe in the SCA are not ones to sit on our laurels. Having succesfully introduced Gravity Sidecar to the gravity racing community earlier this year, we immediately returned to our top secret research facility in deepest, darkest Aberdeenshire to start work on our next initiative. Having just completed testing, we are proud to introduce the newest addition to the gravity racing disciplines - Gravity Unicycle. Having proved the concept, we are now refining the technical specification and expect to be able to release the finalised version by the end of August, giving potential competitors the chance to build over the winter. We plan to be running the world's first Gravity Unicycle competition early in 2011.

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