They meet in a Rockrimmon garage to build a vehicle they hope will transport them to victory. They joke as they work, but there's a lot on the line for Team Cyclepathz: If they beat the other 34 amateur teams competing in the Red Bull National Soap Box Race in St. Louis later this month, they'll take home a prize of $7,500.
Entries will be judged on three criteria: speed, creativity and showmanship. In sizing up the competition, driver Al Brody says, "There are two that look very aerodynamic. Most of the others are about fun."
They figure their greatest competition will come from a giant, streamlined ear of corn. Their own entry will feature a Jack-in-the-box theme.
The team has faced tough competition in human-powered and gravity races around the country, including Nederland's Frozen Dead Guy Coffin Race and the Boulder Kinetic Sculpture Challenge. Their biggest win came at last year's Red Bull Dragster Days in Detroit.
They laugh sheepishly when asked how many hours they'll spend developing the car, and they debate how much it will cost. But the question "Why?" brings the biggest laugh from the team. It's also the toughest to answer.
They throw out a few reasons: the camaraderie, the chance to use untapped skills, the "glory." But Brody sums it up.
"We got addicted to winning ... Winning the race in Detroit was an absolute high. I can see why anybody in a sport, when they taste that victory they say, "I'd like to do that again.'"
Photo, from left: Mitch Brown, Clark Brace, Bob Rohorn and Brody in the car. Not pictured: Aimee Dorman.
story and photo by Jill Thomas