Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Nearing Omaha

Thanks for all the comments on the blog! We did enter Topeka at 1:11:35. We are now just a few miles out of the Omaha checkpoint. By the way, the route was changed last night to avoid the crazy hills in downtown Omaha. The route is now 15 miles longer but we get to avoid the large loss of power going up those hills.

Go Fast, Go Smooth, Go BLUE!

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Blogger Garrick Williams said...

As much of a pain as I'm sure it was to get a last minute route change, it's good to get away from those bloody hills. Pretty much the third worst thing for solar cars, after clouds and bad rubbernecking drivers.

Great to see the old girl still has the speed, despite the bald spot and the busted nose. Keep it up guys, still a long way to go but looks like you've had a heck of a start.

How's the corn?

July 15, 2008 at 6:10 PM  
Blogger Furqan Nazeeri said...

The tougher the conditions the better Michigan does (relatively)! Either way, Go Blue!

July 15, 2008 at 6:27 PM  
Anonymous russ moerland said...

Okay, I'm going to stand up for those that can't defend themselves. Yes, hills.

Hills are great, a welcome reprieve from flat lands (ever do a solar car race across Florida?). As long as you get to enjoy your new found potential energy as kinetic energy on the way down... The losses aren't so bad. Even better when you've got so much KE that you can use regen. Solar cars can traverse amazing distances on under cloudy skies and a malfunctioning array across hills.

Now mountains, on the other hand, are plain evil. The ASC '01 and '03 races climbed up to Flagstaff, AZ at 7.8k ft from Chicago at 0.6k ft.

So, I don't want to hear any more about the hills around Omaha... ;-)

July 15, 2008 at 6:27 PM  
Blogger Maggie said...

Good they changed the route, but it would have been interesting to see Continuum vs the other solar cars on that hill!

July 15, 2008 at 6:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heck Russ forget Floriday, the drive through western Kansas and easter Colorado was enough to put me to sleep. There were times on that route that I thought the weather satellite dish was the tallest object for miles.

July 15, 2008 at 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah Russ,

These hills were so bad they would have to put the NGM motor on to make it up. Not exactly something you want to do mid-rayce...

-Robert Vogt

July 15, 2008 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

I've got nothing against hills in general, in fact I rather enjoy them (Flagstaff is quite a nice place, really). I just don't like driving solar cars up them.

But Continuum does surprisingly well on hills - we almost had to stop on the steepest hill on the Stuart highway, but only because the road train in front of us couldn't handle it.

July 15, 2008 at 6:43 PM  
Blogger Michael Adams said...

Enjoy the hills while you can. From Fargo on, it's almost as boring as the Outback.

July 15, 2008 at 6:44 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

Missouri-Rolla (aka S&T) reports this order reaching Topeka: Michigan, Principia, Waterloo, FH Bochum, Minnesota, Calgary, Missouri S&T, and Iowa State. Waterloo moved up quite a bit. Calgary and Iowa State moved up, also. Minnesota and Missouri dropped back a little.

Missouri said they were driving 45 and guessed Michigan was going somewhat faster. Check out video at to see Michigan going 60.

The National Weather Service has issued a severe thunderstorm warning for an area just north of Omaha. Hope you guys are under cover.

July 15, 2008 at 6:59 PM  
Anonymous russ moerland said...

Garrick, yeah, going UP a hill is quite a bit less fun than going down.

I take it you're talking about Hayes Creek Hill in the NT? Stopping on that hill... Ugh.

July 15, 2008 at 7:01 PM  
Blogger TC Lambert said...

Missouri S&T reports bad news from Topeka:

"HOLD ON!!! Just as we wrote this Minnesota was getting ready to lower their array when two fire-cracker-like reports from inside their car echoed all the way across the parking lot, and two of their crew jumped away from the car. No way that can be good!!"

I hate to hear something like this.

July 15, 2008 at 7:11 PM  
Blogger Garrick Williams said...

It was indeed Hayes Creek Hill. We were zipping along at about 95 kph, but came up behind a 4 trailer gas hauler who slowed to 15 kph - unfortunately there was no place for him to pull over, and no visibility to pass. We were worried about getting up that hill with the CSIRO, but ended up using full regen on a good chunk of it.

July 15, 2008 at 7:33 PM  
Anonymous Tim Allan (Australia) said...

I second Garricks first comment. It's great to see the car doing so well after so many unfortunate events. You guys in Michigan sure know how to make strong cars.

Keep up the good work.

I wish you clear skies and clear roads.

Go Blue!!

July 15, 2008 at 9:46 PM  
Anonymous CJ Rose said...

Awesome job guys, keep it up and cross the finish line first. I'm glad to hear Continuum is running exactly how we designed her to.

Go Blue!

July 15, 2008 at 10:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have some photos from the stage stop at Neosho. Where is the best place to upload them?
Go Blue!
Where else can I find blogs and comments on the progress of the race?
Jay LSA '72

July 15, 2008 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Furqan Nazeeri said...

Anon, you can post on and then share the link.

July 15, 2008 at 10:15 PM  
Blogger Elson said...

@Jay LSA '72: Many of the team blogs and Flickr feeds are being aggregated at

Any word on exactly what happened to Minnesota's car at Topeka?

July 15, 2008 at 10:29 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

Missouri S&T's latest blog update mentions passing Minnesota again AFTER Topeka, so it sounds like they got the car going again.

July 15, 2008 at 10:41 PM  
Anonymous Joanne said...

Wish you gays have a great trip !!

July 15, 2008 at 10:54 PM  
Anonymous cheap used cars said...

Good they changed the route, it would have been interesting to see other solar cars on that hill!

November 21, 2008 at 9:09 AM  
Anonymous TDP said...

Hey guys how did the trip go? Waiting for updates.. any pictures to share with?

January 3, 2009 at 9:28 PM  
Anonymous minnesota lawyer said...

Anyone heard anything about the upcoming event this summer?

March 1, 2009 at 5:34 PM  

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