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CYC SOAP BOX DERBY RACING HOW TO……… The soapbox derby car is a small, handmade car with no motor that is run solely on the power of gravity. It can be built using simple materials, and the popularity of the soapbox derby has made even high-tech materials like fiberglass a common component. Anyone can build a soapbox derby car with simple blueprints Build a Soap Box Derby Car Step1 Begin by selecting the materials you are going to use to construct your soap box derby car. If you're building a car for recreation there's no limit to the kind of materials you could use. If you're going to compete you'll need to choose carefully. Step2 Shape the base and flooring of the car. At this point you should know if you wish to use a narrow, pointed nose or a bulbous nose. You'll also want to know if you plan on rounding the chassis itself or if you wish to use a sloping, triangular design. Step3 Set up the rigging that will support and house the wheels. The back wheels remain stationary, but the front wheels need to incorporate the turning mechanism. You can either use simple rope or you can select a more sophisticated steering system using a steering wheel. Step4 Attach the upper chassis and main body of the soapbox derby car. It is important to line up the sections accurately before you begin to fasten it into place. If it is placed even slightly askew then the problem will become more pronounced at other points on the car. Use duct tape or clamps to hold the chassis in place to prevent slipping. Tips & Warnings Use a lacquer to finish your soapbox derby car once construction is complete. It doesn't generate a marked difference in overall performance, but glossy finishes do show a small decrease in the overall drag of most designs. Be aware that if you plan on racing your soap box derby car you need to avoid certain building materials. Read the rules carefully for the derby you wish to enter as even glue is sometimes forbidden. Always supervise children when you build a soap box derby car. There are many different ways in which they could be hurt, so don't let younger enthusiasts build their cars without adult supervision. How to Select Soap Box Derby Car Blueprints Racing a soapbox derby car is only half the fun. Building the right soap box derby car is one of the most rewarding aspects of the hobby. Knowing which kind of soapbox derby car to build can be a challenge though, especially for newcomers. Fortunately, there are many soapbox derby car blueprints to select from. Select the Right Soap Box Derby Blueprints Begin by getting measurements of the driver. The driver is going to need to sit down inside the soap box car and you'll need to select blueprints that accommodate their size. Taller drivers will need a longer chassis, for example. Step2 Search the Internet for soapbox derby car blueprints. There are several designers who offer their blueprints for sale. You may even find a number of starter models for free. The All American Soap Box Derby Association has links to designers, as well as links to the blueprints of other enthusiasts Step3 Choose blueprints that are appropriate for your skill level. Simpler car designs are not as aerodynamic or sleek, but they provide a good foundation of learning that will help in future projects. The simplest car blueprints usually don't include an encased chassis, which is the most difficult part of the car for beginners to shape. Step4 Get blueprints that are easy to read. Many designers are guilty of producing blueprints that are very basic and include the necessary schematics but don't include much in the way of explanations or construction alternatives. This is more prevalent in advanced designs. Step5 Use a CAD or similar computer design program to design your own soap box derby car blueprints. It's possible to see and adjust the features of your car in real time without having to worry about missing a mistake and discovering it after your car is nearly complete. Tips & Warnings Try to make an exact duplicate of your blueprints both to keep one as an archival copy and another as a construction copy. Some soap box derby car builders like to build right on top of the blueprints, which can damage or rip them. Be aware that some soap box derby blueprints showcase designs for recreational use and not competitive use. Competitive soap box derby blueprints all conform to the most common rules set forth by derby sponsors. Entering a race with prohibited materials is grounds for disqualification. How to Drive a Soap Box Car Most soap box derby enthusiasts feel that the driver is responsible for 95 percent of the performance of the car, making personal performance more important than aerodynamics and car materials. By adhering to a few driving tips, you will be able to improve your performance in your next competitive race. Things you will need: Foam padding Goggles Helmet Soap box car Step1 Sit in the car with your arms on either side of the figure-eight steering wheel. Your arms should be pinned between your torso and the interior walls of the car. Have someone insert foam into the air spaces in the cockpit between your body and the car to reduce air resistance. Step2 Make sure the cockpit is the right fit for you before you drive the soap box car. You will need to have room for the width of your shoulders, but not much more. A perfectly designed cockpit will allow you to drive in a relaxed, comfortable position that will also reduce air resistance. Step3 Familiarize yourself with all of the controls, especially the steering and braking system. Know how everything normally works in your car, and be able to tell when the controls feel different. Even a subtle difference in handling may indicate potential failure during a race. Step4 Make several practice runs before your race. Understand how the car turns, brakes and handles under pressure, so that you will not make a crucial mistake during a race that may cost you a victory. Step5 Find a line to follow in your lane once the race has begun. Don't take your eyes off it until you cross the finish line. Never look at the car next to you, since doing so may cause you to drift into the other driver's lane. Step6 Refrain from moving the steering wheel unless you absolutely have to in order to avoid drifting out of your lane. Even the slightest change in direction will slow your car. Step7 Try to avoid making any sudden movements if you hit a pylon or lane marker. Any sudden movements in the brakes and steering will cause you to slow significantly. Make the slightest possible correction to the direction of your car to bring it back into the lane. Step8 Concentrate on your line of travel until the race is over. Most derby racers find that it is best to focus on the road at least three to four car lengths ahead. Tips & Warnings Darken the inside of your helmet with a black magic marker if you want to reduce glare. Driving without goggles can cause you to become distracted, especially if something flies into your eyes. How to Participate in a Soap Box Derby Car Race Many youths and young adults enjoy the thrill of building a soap box derby car and racing their creations against other enthusiasts. For many, a soap box derby race is a matter of pride, both in the car's design and his or her own level of skill. There are literally thousands of different races in which racers can participate, and finding one near you should be easy. Participate in a Soap Box Car Derby Race Step1 Register early to participate in a soap box derby race. As you get closer to race time, you'll find that available spots fill quickly, so it's better to sign up months in advance to guarantee yourself a spot. Step2 Maintain your car in the weeks leading up to the race, and be sure to practice. Get your timing down, learn the balance of your car, and keep focused on increasing your speed as much as possible. Step3 Test out new parts or materials that you wish to use in the soap box derby race. While you need to keep your car's parts within the race's specifications, there are no rules stating you can't upgrade parts to better ones when you can afford to. Step4 Invite lots of people to join you at the race. The bigger the crowd, the more awareness you'll be able to generate for the sport. Believe it or not, this is one of the more important aspects of racing in a soap box derby. Ticket sales and attendance are what help keep the sport alive, so get everyone you know to come. Step5 Be available for the judges when the time comes to inspect your car. Some races set up specific times to have your car inspected, so keep track of time and be there when you need to show any modifications you've made. Step6 Bring the event's rules with you when you attend. Most events will have copies available, but having the rules on hand (as well as before the event itself) will help as you practice before it's time to go. Tips & Warnings Show good sportsmanship. Building a good reputation on the soap box derby circuit can help you learn from older competitors, as well as pick up pointers on car construction from experts. Don't cheat or break the rules when you participate in a soap box derby car race. Breaking the rules will not only disqualify you, but there is the potential that you will be barred from being able to participate in the future. How to Ensure a Child's Safety While Riding a Cart Cart rides can be a blast for kids but they can be dangerous and deadly too. To be certain that your child's Cart experience is the best, safety is of the utmost importance. With a few safety measures in place, both kids and adults are free to have a good time. Cart Safety Step1 Pull the child's hair up and dress them in fairly tight fitting clothing to prevent hair and clothing from catching in moving parts on the Cart. Step2 Place the child in the seat--always. As tempting as it might be to put them on your lap, it is extremely dangerous. Step3 Buckle them up in the seatbelt. This is as important as it is in a car, if not more important. The size and openness of a Cart, as well as the light weight of the child, increases the likelihood of severe injury or even death in the event of an accident. Step4 Protect the child's head with a full-face helmet and their eyes with safety glasses. Step5 Insist that the child does not speed and only allow them to operate the Cart in designated areas where there aren't any rocks, gravel, holes, protruding objects or other vehicles. Step6 Tell the child to stop immediately if they hear any noises or vibrations that are out of the ordinary or if steering does not feel normal. Check the Cart Before the Ride Step1 Inspect all screws, nuts, bolts and other hardware to be certain they are secure and not worn or cracked. Step2 Determine that the tires are properly inflated. Inflation information is on the tire's sidewall. Step3 Check all guards to be sure that they are in place. Tips & Warnings Teach children about Cart safety and the reasons for it. Review safety tips before each outing. If your child does not follow your rules, take the Cart away for a specified period of time. Do not let children ride unattended. Always supervise their ride. Do not allow your child to drive on sidewalks, alleys, roads, highways, parking lots or any other public areas.. Prepare to make blue prints by getting some graph paper and a pencil (Look at the link given below). Buy a big plank of wood to make the base of the Cart but it should not be too thin or thick Buy four small wheels (three if you want it to be like a trike) the wheels should be of rubber for best friction never go for those cheap plastic ones. Measure out everything from bottom to top. Invest in a good bunch of round tubing for roll cage and frame fabricating. Go to a Cart store and buy a steering wheel for your Cart (The butterfly steering wheel works the best). Buy a Cart steering system with a slightly extended steering stem. Paint the kart to make it look as cool as possible (Optional). Use help from some friends and adults to make the go kart (Take help from the blue prints in the link below) Take part in a go kart contest (but ask permission from your parents first) Tips Take help from adults. There are many things to keep in mind when driving a go kart in rain like never over steer, never go too fast because it can cause to make your brakes fail, Always wear a helmet (I know it doesn’t look cool and wearing it is embarrassing but you will thank me when you crash somewhere and your helmet saves you from serious injuries) Always have a ready first aid kit with you.