A little over 2 months ago some friends of mine found out about a competition at the White Water Center called, BYOB. Surprisingly, it’s not alcohol related, it was actually the Build Your Own Boat competition. Rules were simple, not to be over 10ft, all materials had to float, and no sharp objects. Immediately it was decided that we would collect as many used bicycle inner tubes as we could (We all work at a bike shop so this was no problem) and try to patch them and construct a raft to float of us down the White Waters most taunting channel of rapids. Yay!
Wait stop Paul! This blog is so-pose to be about bikes and stuff! Well inner tubes are close enough.
So over the pasts few months we collected every damn inner tube we took out of a bike. I’m fairly positive I had close to 600-700 pieces of useless, Chinese rubber packed in my car, at the shop, and over my garage floor. Not to be so useless very soon though! It also wasn’t till I had them all in my garage that I realized just how much business we do changing out tubes. Anyhow, it was more work trying to find every tiny puncture in those powdery little things and patch ’em than is was to swap a new one into a tire. Well worth the time spent though! A few weeks later, many man hours, some bamboo, and lots of boring construction deatils later, we had a boat. And it looked like it would float too.
Wasn’t exactly as easy as the three steps like above shows, but we had a swell time figuring out how to go about it. Very rewarding too as many people at the competition were very impressed with our tube ingenuity. Most the rafting guides had their money on us as well.
Over 30 teams with their own home made boats and rafts showed up! We had plenty of competition in store for us, which I was glad of because I was kinda thinking there would be like five others who even knew about it. Many awesome rafts were seen, some that looked well made, some that were funny and themed and others that well… didn’t look safe.
You can kind of see the other ones here,
The goal of the competition was not only to make it down the comp channel in one piece, with your team members “mostly” hanging on, but there was also style points. Mostly consisting of costumes, themes and so forth. 50 total points could be given for style, and 50 for execution of the rapids. Also a bonus 5 if no-one fell out of the boat.
A few other contestants went before us, it was hard to see them go down, but you could pretty much tell what happened by hearing the crowds expression of very loud cheers, or very loud, OHHHH’s! Carnage was at large today. Our turn was up, and we went with the plan of paddle as hard as you possibly can and keep a tight grip. Keeping it straight would hopefully help too.
With the only test we had was plopping it in some static water and sitting on it, theres no other choice but to just go for it. And we did, and it was awesome, and we crushed it! Aced the two big drops no problems, and, oh well expect for a few people falling out, but they got right back in and continued crushing. We ended up with one of the fastest runs, which unfortunately wasn’t apart of the scoring, but it felt great to have never done white water rafting before.
Overall we got 50 points for making it down the entire channel in one piece, and 40 style points (Costumes will defiantly be in effect for next year). That put us just 5 points behind the 3 place finishers. Meh, not bad. Awesome way to spend a Sunday for sure, and check out the video of our run.
Oh Oh and I went mountain biking afterwards and it was hot! <– bike relation.