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Cub Mobile Races

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We are setting up a Cub Mobile Race for May. This is the first time we are doing this for the whole Pack. Last year our den (Bears at the time) raced the Web 1 Den (current Web 2 den) and it was a lot of fun but not really organized. We each built one car for the den. The boys took turns racing, had some watermelon and we went home.


We learned that they must wear long pants. We made them wear helmets and suggested long pants but it was a hot day and they wore shorts and we had some skinned legs.


What suggestions do you have to do this on a pack level? How do you recommend setting up a course? We will be holding it in a parking lot. We are thinking of having one boy push the cubmobile to a set point to start and then the boy driving takes over. There isn't any hill there.


Do you have each boy build a cubmobile or do you build it on a den level? We have 10 boys that are active, if we built it in the den, should we split them in half and build 2 cars?


Thanks in advance for any help you can give us.



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I have been looking at doing a Cubmobile event. I have seen some races documented where the boys push the carts, and other where there is a ramp starting gate. We talked with a Soap Box Derby Dad who mentioned trying to borrow some Soap Box Starting gates. Still in the thought phase, so I am interested in more info.

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Preferably, find a gently sloped hill. this will allow all boys the same advantage. If you are planning awards, 1st, 2nd, 3rd,... Then the larger boys will feel disadvantaged if the boy pushing is less capable.


We all know they will "do thier best" but the boys may not think so if he lost by a short margin and someone else was pushing.


We have done this at Resident Camp and it worked out well. All had a good time but there were no awards as there were no losers.


Reccomend these requirements at minimum:


1. Safety helmet.

2. Long pants

3. Closed shoes (no sandals or flip-flops)


You said 10 boys active. How many in Pack? We shared the cars between groups when one line was longer than other (had some physically challenged boys and age differences). So if Each Den is making a car and each is about the same size... If yours is twice the size of any other Den then maybe it is money well spent, otherwise savit for the boys awards, crafts, treats.


That's my $0.02



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We have done cubmobile races a few times and had a blast doing it. I have a handful of recommendations.


Safety, safety, safety. In addition to the clothing you mentioned, we added a safety belt to hold them in the car. You also need to find a good location that is safe and has the slope you are looking for. Easier said then done. Some of the places I found wanted to charge us to use it and some never responded. Our best luck as been using church parking lots. One of the churches we used had their own cub pack, we invited the leaders and who ever to come out with us for the day. You should start looking now if you don't have a place.


We also found a couple of local tire stores that would trailer out used tires for us to line the outside of the track to the cub mobile had some place to crash into. Added to the realism and they were glad to do it. Boys also liked rolling the tires back to the trailer when we were done.


We usually combine a couple of dens to do it. Our dens have about 20 boys each; with 75% showing up we had 30 boys in the races. We also have each boy make their own car. We have been able to get the "kits" down to about $20 each. This includes wood, nuts & bolts, 4 wheels and a hand brake. Because not every parent has the ability to drill out some of the more difficult holes (end of 2x4 to hold 6" lag bolt which is the axle, for example), I precut and predrill all of the kits for the boys. It usually takes me a Saturday to make the 30 - 40 kits I make.


One thing we have added is a "turning govenor", these are a couple of blocks of wood to prevent the front axle from being turned too much and the boys flipping the cars over. I screw these on myself to make sure they are on correctly. Again, safety.


In addition to the double elimination races, we also set up a course to see how quickly the boys can navigate a twisted course laid out with the tires above. Fastest time wins. Since every boy has their own car we also have static awards for fastest looking, best use of stickers, etc.


I do have a few boys in my dens that can not afford the car even @ those prices, so I make a few extra cars and bring them to the race and tell them to show up anyway. They usually come and get a real kick when I give them a car to race that day. I usually do something fancy like put spoilers on the cars. Need an excuse to play in my wood shop sometimes.


We tried the push start, but that has given way to the boys using their hands to push on the ground the first 20' of the race track. This has worked the best. NOTE: Make sure they wear gloves, asphault can get HOT! We keep toying with ramps to roll down from, question is where to store them for the other 364 days a year?


We have also been able to secure some pennents, race banners and other items we use @ pinewood derby. We place these along the track for more realism.


Have spare parts - We have had a couple of cars break. Since I make all the kits, I have spare parts and I can replace a part very quickly. I don't want to have a kid bummed out because of a weak piece of lumber.


My kids still play with their cars out by our house.



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The design around here is tricycle. A triangular frame, seat about 2/3s back from the front, two wheels on a solid rear axle, and a big swivel caster on the front. Power by pushing or towing by rope. Cub teams of one or two or even three boys. Foot brakes. Level terrain only, or towed UP HILL, so there is no danger of the toeteam being run over.



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our boys loved this the few times we've done it. We have a team of 2-3 boys build a car- and so far we've had enough wheels and axles, ect. from past cars that the cost has really been minimal.


We did it with both seat belt and without- you can cut actual belts out of old junkyard cars. But they honestly seemed to make spills worse- the kid falls off and the car falls on top of him. if it's a gentle enough slope they won't get up enough speed to get hurt from falling off anyway.


We also tried the launch ramp and a push start- the kids got some serious speed using the ramp (we only did THAT once, lol). Since the cars were built in a team, the teammate did the pushing and they rotated. That worked a lot better!


The blocks to restrict the front axle's turning radius were great- and make sure they are an inch or closer- you really don't want them to be able to turn at all.


Oh, and station a few dads at the bottom of the hill. Those little breaks only slow the car so much!

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Thanks for all of the great info. I have been searching the Internet for additional info. We will be scouring the city for a gentle slope but we are a city of hills - steep hills so it's either flat or steep. The ramps I have seen in photos are large - we would not have room to store something like that. One pack I saw did the push starts and had a line where the pushers could not cross and there was an adult stationed there to be sure they didn't cross. We will be working on the details over the next few weeks - our Pinewood Derby is in a week and a half so that takes priority. We will post what we come up with. Thanks again for all of the great information.



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