Zucchini Racing

I kept this part of the fall fair separate because this was the very first zucchini race I ever attended–and who knew it would be so cool. I should confess, when I first heard about zucchini racing, it was on the radio, and I thought I heard “Bikini Racing,” something totally different. But nonetheless, I had a hard time imagining how on Earth zucchini racing could be done. Fast-forward two months, and to my delite, they were having zucchini racing events here, but still I had no idea what they were all about. So as me a Suz., were walking about the exhibits inside the Thornhill Community building, we ran into one of her friends from her Wellness and Meditation groups, who was himself taking his “daughter’s” racing zucchini to the track. I got a shot of it with my camera; who knew the fate of that zucchini. So me and Suz., went on, enjoying the fall fair, as the zucchini races were not for another few minutes. 

The rain was coming down, and things looked as if they might be delayed due to the weather. Here in Terrace, you work with the weather, and no matter what, the race was going to happen, even with rain bouncing off the ground 2cm, and winds, gusting to 30kms/h. As the kids lined their speed demon zucchinis up for the initial placement for pole positions, you could cut the tension in the air. Each zucchini was numbered, and would race in groups of four. It was exciting, the smell of salad lay in the air. Spectators lined each side of the track, and the ramp was tested one last time. The first four zucchinis were placed on the ramp…and were ready. 

They were off! You could tell right-a-way which zucchini was better equipped for speed and distance, as they rolled down the ramp onto the speedway. And to my amazement, who was number eleven–non other than the zucchini I photographed just minutes before. Yes–number eleven was killing the race–kicking butt–showing these other zucchini racers who was the “Boss.”

And the winner! A very modest number eleven zucchini winner hold her zucchini proudly, showing her first place ribbons. I believe she has two ribbons: one for the farthest, and another for placing first. I am not sure, but I know her zuchcini did both.

Right off the bat, it was the wheels strapped to the zucchini that made the difference. Then it boiled down to alignment and balance of the drive-train, and then the arrow dynamics overall. The secret was in the wheels, and how well the bearings worked, and how they were attached to the body. A good number of zucchinis lost their wheels as they coasted down the ramp, so a good support system is necessary for any high performance zucchini racer. Lastly, weight, as it seemed the larger zucchinis raced better than the smaller ones. Being gravity driven, a little physics would help those going the distance–so centre of gravity, arrow-dynamics and balance would separate the better vegetables from the rest of the garden patch. Remember this, “It takes science to make what Mother Nature never intended.” 

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