My First Roadeo

A MetroAccess competitor gets ready for the "Offset" challenge.

Saturday morning found me in Leander, wearing my Roadeo T-shirt and cap as I signed in at the Judge’s table. With two other people, I was assigned to the Offset station of the course. This means that the vehicle has to go through a narrow alley of traffic cones, and then turn right and then left to get to the offset alley of cones that is the other half of this one maneuver.

On Saturday, the Offset station was the first one on the course. We had three vehicle classes to judge: MetroAccess, 35-foot buses, and 40-foot buses. Once the starter blew the whistle, the driver moved into the first set of cones.

One judge on each side watched closely to see whether a cone was touched. Sometimes the vehicle got VERY close, but no touch, so judging required paying close attention. Once the vehicle had cleared both sets of cones, the two judges reported which cones had been touched to the recording judge, who marked the official judging sheet. When all of us were sure that it was correct, we handed the sheet to one of the runners, who collected the sheets from each judging station.

It sounds simpler than it was! There were all kinds of situations. Once the bus knocked over one cone that then hit another cone, does that count as one or two? Official answer: only count the cones that the bus touched, so that’s ONE, not two. We were very careful on counting and one making sure that we adjusted the cones to have them exactly the same for every driver.

It is AMAZING what these drivers can do! Many of them touched only one or two cones on the very tight offset course. By the end of the event, we had a lot of evidence that Capital Metro has great drivers for all three vehicle classes. Kudos to them and to the training program, and here’s hoping the weather is that good at the next Roadeo, because I want to do this again.

And next time, I can say “This is NOT my first Roadeo!”

Ed. note: Lucy Galbraith is TOD manager for Capital Metro.