Mini 500 race
The Mini 500 is a tricycle race event held annually during homecoming at Georgia Tech. This event is not to be confused with the one held at the University of Indiana which has been discontinued.
Georgia Tech fraternities used riding tricycles as a way to haze their pledge members during the 1960s. Just like many other forms of hazing, the tricycle race was developed into a formal event and is no longer a punishment. First introduced in 1969 by the Ramblin' Reck Club, the Mini 500 has been held annually.
The Mini 500 is held every year as a homecoming tradition. There are spots for 50 teams; the first 50 teams registered have the rights to enter the race. Any team representing both male and female members will compete in the men’s division. Each team may consist of four racers and three pit crew members. Trophies are awarded to the top three finishers in both the men’s and women’s divisions.
Rules and Procedures
The race length for men division is 15 laps while the women's division is 10. All teams will be lined up at the start in 5 rows, and each row will consist of 10 teams. Judges will use lap monitors to ensure that riders are using proper riding position, which means riders’ posteriors must be on the seat all the time during the race. The team will be disqualified upon the 4th warning for improper riding position. Walking/running is not allowed for riders. Any discrepancies will be handled by judges, not lap counters, and only one team member may approach the judges to make a complaint.
Three pit stops are required for all teams to reverse the front wheel (limited to one reversal per stop). The wheel reversals will be recorded by a judge appointed by the Ramblin’ Reck Club. There are no spare parts allowed for tricycles, and exchanges of parts between teams are strictly prohibited. Team members not allowed to replace parts in the pit area during the race. The only power tool approved to use in pit area is a battery operated screwdriver; all other tools are prohibited.
There may be no more than 7 people in the pit at one time. Each team will receive waivers for their riders. The riders must sign the waivers and turn them in at check in. The top ten finishers from the previous year choose their seeding, and others are seeded randomly. Check-in occurs on the evening of the race and each team sends one representative to the check-in table. The representatives bring waivers signed by each racer on the team.
Any organization connected to spectators who are behaving in a disorderly or unsportsman-like manner, or who are causing danger to participants, are disqualified immediately. Alcohol is not allowed in the pit area; any team violating this rule will be immediately disqualified and will receive a one-year suspension from the Mini 500.
All tricycles are provided by the Ramblin’ Reck Club. Use of tricycles from previous races or ones not provided by the club is not allowed. All tricycles must be painted; an award will be given for the most creative paint job. Each team is responsible for painting one side of their front wheel white and the other black so that judges can easily check for wheel reversals. The front fender of the tricycle may be removed. A brace, two feet long or less, may be attached to the tricycle frame under the seat by welding, clamping, or strapping it to only two parts of the tricycle. More than one brace, or a brace attached in more than two places will result in disqualification. The pedals on the tricycle can be modified.Rider may weld on the back tires of the tricycle. Rider may weld the seat where it touches the center bar but rider cannot raise the seat higher than the tricycle design intended.Bolts of any type may be used for the front wheel with the exception of those that can be removed by hand. Examples include wing nuts and cotter pins. Wheels may not be filled with fiber glass material. Modifications to tricycles may only be made during the race under circumstances that require the team to make repairs or continue the race.
View this video about Georgia Tech Traditions to see an example of Mini 500 race.
- ↑ The Technique, Volume 85, issue 6, Page 23+, Oct 3 1997
- ↑ The Technique, Volume 96, issue 5, Freshman Survival Guide, Aug 20 2010
- ↑ http://homecoming.gatech.edu/drupal/sites/default/files The rider has to call out his/her team number each time crossing the starting line to help lap counting./hc_rules_book_0.pdf