Mission Statement

The 24 hour VeloVulture is committed to bringing you 86400 seconds of mental anguish followed by a lingering physical exhaustion of caloric deficit and sleep deprivation during the 5th and 6th of September. This all we will trade for the small price of gathering the best stories, memories and pictures you are likely to acquire during the summer of '09.

UPDATE: We just set up a collective album on Picassa. Send an email to 24hourvelovulture2009@gmail.com and we'll give you permission to contribute to it. And if you have your own photo page we can put a link up to that too.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Winners and Losers

Two weeks later we're finally getting around to posting the results and reports as well as we can remember them.


Heidi and Hazel of Team Teem are some classy ladies to be sure, but they outclassed everybody with 2685 points to take the 2009 VeloVulture! Congratulations Doods! Hope you spent the money all in one place!

Some out-of-towners won the out-of-town category! Bud and David pushed Team Choad Broke to victory getting 1115 points!

Brad thought it would be a good idea to try this himself, and even after a six hour accidental nap and a three hour flat-tastrophe, managed 1190 points! Team Han Solo wins the solo category! He also wrote an awesome ride report, read it here.


Everyone thought Damian and James would take Team MotorDome to an easy victory, but in the end all they came up with was a bag of dicks. Team MotorDome is no more, but Team Bag-o-Dicks clinched the DFL toilet seats with a resounding Plop! of around 400 points, even edging out category favorites Team Pomeranian.

Han Solo Ride Report

Velo Vulture Ride/Race Report – Team Han Solo

I was supposed to go camping this past Labor Day weekend, but lackluster weather cancelled that. Then I ran into Damien (founder and former organizer) who reminded me that this was happening. I spent 24hours trying to find a partner, then went to the start where my two leads and hope of maybe another last minute wayward rider dead ended. I’m there, I am determined and the organizers let me in. So I became the first participant to attempt a solo run, Team Han Solo.

The Velo Vulture is a 24hour race/scavenger hunt. It’s impossible to do everything, its 24hours long, and if you like frustration, physical agony, exhaustion, all while keeping your mental facilities intact, this is something you would enjoy. The endeavor is for those who are serious about it because to finish is a formidable task.

The event was organized grassroots and very well done. They did a lot of preparation and it showed. In a nutshell you can expect the following, “Here are the rules. Here is your manifest of tasks. Here is a phone number, just in case. Prizes for the winners will be at the end. See you in 24hours. Go.”

There were 137 manifest tasks: questions that need answers, objects to find, pictures to take, rubbings to make, and some bonus stuff. They ranged from Kelly Point, to the Gorge, to the West Slope, to the deep, deep, Southeast and everything in between. The fun part, figure out how to fit an impossible amount of things to do into a finite amount of time and deal with setbacks. Finally, my professional work life has meaning.

The tasks are developed by people who ride/commute/work by bike and are uniquely challenging from that perspective, the saddle. It was great to go to a place I have been by or to a hundred times, but now it was unique and interesting. There was also a number of very cool and interesting “landmarks” that are usually just a part of the background. I also visited a number of places that I have never been to, also refreshing.

Frustrating too, since you had to get into the heads of the organizers to figure out what they are cryptically referring to. The longest time I spent in one location looking for someone was nearly 90min. There are about a dozen tasks still heckling at me that I need an answer to.

Without giving too much of the race specfics away (someone is a future competitor), this is some of what I did: Rode up Saltzman road (twice), fought headwinds on Portland Dr, searched for a vent in Hollywood only to be thwarted, looked for something fishy in Ladd’s edition, ran across the St. Johns bridge, (damn flat tires), bit it on some RR tracks in the industrial NW, by chance found a statue without knowing I was looking for it, the sticker ball (estimated weight at 80lbs), and finally found a great new view of the Fremont Bridge.
But I ran this solo, everyone else was paired up totaling 29 other teams. To earn points, I had the same challenges as any other rider and I did well compared to the top teams. Winning team split score was 1300, mine was 1190. Being solo did have the following disadvantages to fully enjoying the race.

It was nearly impossible to make many of the group checkpoints. They are not mandatory; it would have been fun to meet up with the other riders.
Having someone else would have saved time in keeping organized all the materials collected and preparing them for submission.
Sometimes two half working brains are better than one.
Having a buddy would have been advantageous when out in the middle of the night being “suspicious” in some neighborhood searching with a flashlight for something your not even sure about what you are looking for.
A teammate would have prevented me from sleeping through my alarm. My two hour nap turned into a full night’s sleep of six hours. In the end extra sleep did not hurt me too much, just a little.
I had a 3 hour mechanical breakdown, which did prevent me from working for points. If I had a teammate, they could have helped and reduced that time or kept working.
Finally, drafting, hard to do that solo.
Overall this ride is more accessible than other “niche” events within the Portland bike culture scenes. It is true that 90% of the people racing would fall into some variety of the “messenger scene”, but this is not a “messenger race”. The true bar isn’t in how cool your bike is, how ridiculous your pre-pubescent mustache is (Ladies, really? Really?), or the cubic capacity of your bag, but the difficulty of the task. This difficulty is there to weed out the weak and if your not going to try to finish, its not worth showing up.

See you next year.
Race Stats for Team Han Solo

Manifest (Pts) 137, attempted 57 or 42%

Total Pts (approx) 6344

Attempted 2047 or 32%

Awarded: 1190 or 58%
Race Stats

Race Time (Sec): 86,400

Race Distance (KM): 150.55

Race Distance (MI): 93.55

Time in Saddle (Sec): 32,100

Time Searching (Sec): 34,500

Total Time Racing (Sec): 66,600

Time Sleeping (Sec): 19,800

Other Stats

Total Flat Tires: 3

Punctures: 2

Ripped value stem (d'oh): 1

Crashes: 1

Miles Run: 4

Caffeinated Drinks: 1

Hours in Chamois: 18

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Judging Error?


So after all the prizes were awarded and the paparazzi had gone home, it was discovered that there was a failure to count all of one of the team's points. What appears to have happened is that they packaged all of their smaller items in a card game box that was then taped shut without labeling it as such. To further confuse things, the masking tape label from another of their items must have transferred onto this box because, as the judges' grading notes confirm, it was treated as item #83, was not opened, and received no points. Had this box been labeled or recognized as containing other items, Team DD could have had a point total of 2835, enough to win the Vulture.

Crap, what are we supposed to do? After consulting with each other, describing the situation to former judges (without naming names or biasing with specifics), and 5 re-readings of the almost half page of explicit packet format instructions as they were stated in the rules, we have decided that this does not change results.

So there it is, judges decision stands, the team that showed us the most points with their packet won. Especially considering that DD said they had a great time otherwise, and still got some rad prizes. We sincerely hope that this will not sour relations or turn them off of the Vulture in the future.

We the organizers/judges worked very hard to get through all of the packets as quickly and as thoroughly as was possible at the time. There were certainly opportunities for errors, however we worked as a team rather than 5 individuals in order to mitigate those errors and provide the most accurate results possible for the event. The situation above was an anomaly that certainly affected results, but we believe any judging errors were relatively insignificant and would not have affected the order of placement.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The big Easter Egg

I explained it at the awards ceremony, but here's a breakdown of the epic level hidden treasure we put in the manifest that would have garnered first pick off the prize table were it solved.

Step 1)

Scrap of paper in the manifest packet that said "#95 #8@gmail.com"

There was an everbright battery in the window of old greyhound station at SW Water ave and Sheridan (anwer to #95) and the year of the penny was 2004 (answer to #8), which gives everbright2004@gmail.com

Step 2a)

Scrap of paper given out at breakfast that said "The answer to manifest item b) will get you into the speakeasy"

Figure out that this meant the password to the gmail addy

Step 2b)

Bonus manifest given out at Quizzy at noon was itemized by letter. Item b) was a rubbing of the plate directly above AUTO SPKR. at the Whitmarsh Building on SW Park between Morrison and Alder, which was STANDPIPE, which was the password.

Step 3)

The only message in the inbox of everbright 2004 was as follows
Congratulations! You've cracked the code to get you to the next level!

Now on to serious business. Your next task, should you choose to accept it, is a story problem. What, Damian made me do Sudoku last year and I hate that stupid crap.

A 50 gallon keg has 2 taps, one for true pints and the other for standard 2 quart pitchers, and each tap has a different flow rate. It takes 4 seconds to get a new glass before each pint pour and 10 seconds to get a new pitcher before each pitcher pour. If, including these delays, 1.6667 pints get poured for every pitcher and the keg takes 47 minutes, 3.53 seconds to empty, what is the pour time, in seconds, to fill each of the respective containers?

Add these two numbers to give you a manifest item #. The answer to that manifest item will be very useful.

I know math is scary, but this problem is actually only algebra 2 difficulty, so if it's over your head ask any nerd 2nd level or higher to help you, they're generally very friendly.

If this email gets deleted or in any way tampered with, the puzzle it's related to will be cancelled and nobody will get the prize for it, including you, so don't be a jerk.

This message will self-destruct in 5 seconds
The answer was 20s to fill a pint, 30s to fill a pitcher, pointing you to item 50) how many mL in a pint? You could do more math or just get a beer. 473mL is printed on just about every 16oz can there is.

Step 4)

Blog post "Scuttlebutt" at 5:22am
Word on the street is that the prisoner is locked to a Mercury newspaper box on Belmont but if you free him without unlocking the lock (e.g. sawing it off) you will set off the alarms and he will be killed.
There was a luggage lock on the Mercury box in front of the launromat up the street from The Vern that had a combination of 473. That was the prize you were looking for but if it came back tampered with or broken then it didn't count.

Funny, when you're the one who made it up it almost sounds too easy, but by the groaning of the crowd last night, and the fact that it sounds like only 2 people got anywhere close to even getting the email open, I'm guessing it was a bit much. Ah, well, always next year...


So we got to see all of the riders' photos but there was no way to record enough of the awesome to share it with the rest of you. We really want to have a good record of this and be able to share more than in the past because a lot of the pictures really capture the spirit of the event so much better than any description can.

If you have a Flickr or Picassa page, or some other web link, put it in the comments here or email it to us and we'll post it in the photo links box over there on the right.

Anything you post to FaceBook or Myspace should get tagged and if you're not already a fb friend you can just use the badge on the right.

UPDATE: We just set up a collective album on Picassa. Send an email to 24hourvelovulture2009@gmail.com and we'll give you permission to contribute to it.

If you're just not a digital type and want to give us a disk or hard copy that we can post, we can do that too, just get in touch.

There is a digital copy of the manifest we can send out if that makes it easier to use the manifest question as the picture caption to clarify for people that didn't see the manifest.

We did set ourselves up a bit by asking for naked pictures, but I guess we didn't expect to see quite so many of YOUR OWN parts. Or your own commentary about your own parts. Or you doing tricks with your own parts. Jeez people.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

A Huge Fucking Thank You!!!

In true Velo Vulture fashion we did not write down all of the scores for the teams. We would really like to put scores on the final finishing order and humbly ask you all to post here with your final score.

We know who you are and why you can't find YOUR final score as of now. We're working on it. Give us some time. We're very tired.


Just let me know