14th July 2013
Today, Nich, Gemma, Ben, and I took ourselves over to Alexandra Palace to watch the Soapbox Derby. The tickets were only a fiver and I've got myself into a frame of mind where I want to make the absolute most of London as I don't know how long it will be before I'm back here after Canada.
The photo above is of the overall winner of the day. By the end we managed to get right up close, and saw them all starting off. This wasn't absolutely ideal as we were next to a screen, and so couldn't see anything beyond the first 100m or so. We did get to see the twenty seconds of dance they had to impress the judges before they sped off. These amused me.
This is Nich, Gemma, and Ben trudging up the hill to Ally Pally. It was another swelteringly hot day and this wasn't the most pleasant walk in the universe. As Gemma observed, we were uncannily similar to zombies coming over the crest of a hill.
One of the photos that most amused me, though no one else seems to appreciate it. My reaction upon seeing a man dressed as Darth Vader but without the helmet on was "It's Jeff Vader!". If this means nothing to you - watch this. Then thank me.
This was our first view of the proceedings. Not great, but within...eyeshot (? Is that a thing? I want that to be a thing) of a screen, so we were able to watch a few tumbles.
After some wandering we managed to find a slightly closer spot. This dude was brave, he was basically on a bike, offering little to no protection.
Then we got slightly closer still. I loved this one. It looked sturdy, but more importantly, it looked awesome.
Shortly afterwards, we retired to a patch of grass right in front of a screen. We could relax and enjoy the sun and not miss any of the action. Admittedly, we could have just stayed home and watched it, but sun!
I like to pretend I don't know those two.
What an ideal employee. I know he was probably getting it for free...but still. I enjoy this photo. I am willing to sell it to Red Bull if they want. You know where to contact me guys.
After the soapbox teams did their show to the crowd and set off, the remaining team mates would pelt off down the hill after them. Some would get stuck and need a helping hand to get going again...some needed more help extricating themselves from wreckage. Some didn't get far enough to need it.
We were stood in front of the bus housing the judges, featured are Danny MacAskill, Gee Atherton (definitely did not have to Google them) and George North.
These are some images of the soapbox graveyard. Some clearly fared quite a badly.
We saw this one taking off, not clear until it was announced that it was a scotch egg. They said the plus point to their soapbox was that it would roll right over and it did indeed do that. Though, as you can see, it did!'t hold up too well to such gymnastics.
Some of the designs were incredible, such as this Boltmobile. Loved seeing this going down the hill everyone pulling what is apparently called the 'To Di World' pose after it. I swear it had a different name, similar to the Mo Bot, but I can't for the life of me think what my brain believes it to be called.
Here is the Shard in better times...