The Day: a site-by-site description of the event
Friday, May 21 Waterbury, CT. - Early Arrival
If you live more than a few hours away, we urge you to plan to arrive Friday night if at all possible, so that you may get an early start on the events of Saturday. If you are car camping, the support vehicle lot is waiting for you. If you are looking for companionship, plan to come over to the Marriott Hotel restaurant.
For those of you who wish to start Saturday with a full charge, we have arranged charging in Library Park, the weekend's display site.
The charging station will be available overnight: 6:00 PM - 7:00 AM. Security will be provided.
See you all bright & early tomorrow morning if we don't see you tonight!
Saturday, May 22 Waterbury, CT. - Registration, Technical Testing, & Display
Welcome! This is the third time the Waterbury Region Convention and Visitors Bureau has invited us to kick-off the NESEA American
Tour de Sol -- and it is great to be back! As you will see, the combination of Library Park, and Grand Street are well situated to accommodate our needs, and to attract the general public.
Team registration will be open at 9am, and at 10 the public will arrive to see Waterbury's "Transportation: Past, Present, a Future " festival, which will include entertainment, food, exhibits, and all of you. There will be a display of Antique cars, educational activities, train rides, and music. We recommend that you arrive by 8:00 am so that you can get unloaded and be ready to display your pride and joy with us in Library Park by 10:00 am. Exact tech testing times will assigned.
Naugatuck Valley Community Technical College's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Center has also generously offered to make their shop available for repairs from noon to 11 p.m. Sat. and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sun. If you don't need the shop, you should still plan on visiting their unique state-of-the-art facility. The staff will be available to give tours on Saturday afternoon and most of Sunday.
We are hoping that the Junior Solar Sprint, miniature solar car competition for middle school students will be held on Grand St, midday.
You are all invited to a welcome supper, meeting and introductions provided by NESEA in Library Park.
The charging station, which is located in Library Park, will be available overnight: 6:00 PM - 7:00 AM. Security will be provided.
Sunday, May 23 Waterbury, CT. - Technical Testing & Display
The second day of Waterbury's Transportation: Past, Present, & Future festival will include entertainment, food, displays, and exhibits to accompany tech testing. The public is invited between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. so when your vehicle is not being actively tested, please show it off & be ready to answer questions! Today's agenda may include a demonstration of Electrathon and electric go-cart events - we have the vehicles - we just need an organizer!
Cars may move freely in and out of the park all day for tech testing or ride and drives, but please have a team member walk beside the car while it is moving.
Remember - Naugatuck Valley's Alternative Fuel Vehicle Technology Center is open and free to all entrants. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity!
Staff and key volunteers will meet tonight to make final plans for tomorrows start! And maybe we will figure out how to schedule a drivers meeting this evening -- stay tuned!
Monday, May 24 Waterbury, CT. - Display & Starting Ceremonies- to Hartford
Monday is start day, and it is jam-packed with activities!
An Itinerary with all the details of drivers meeting times will be handed to you at registration. Please use this final version of the itinerary as your Bible!
The day will start with moving support vehicles from the downtown parking lots (see support vehicle instructions), and moving vehicles off the charging station and into display position. Staff will be on-site to direct you to your parking/display site which will be dictated by your pole position.
A drivers meeting, which will become a daily AM occurrence, will be held in the middle of all this chaos (or maybe we will figure out how to hold it the evening before!) (The previous day's results will be handed out at the Drivers' Meeting, and you will have an opportunity to review the standings, and to submit comments.)
The AM display is very short so that we can reach Hartford in time for a mid-day event!
The route is quite slow, with lots of stoplights. We ask for your patience while driving in the world of suburban sprawl. We have allowed lots of time to get to Hartford, so there is no need to rush.
Monday, May 24 Hartford, CT. - Torrington, CT.
Our first stop is Hartford, the Capital of Connecticut. We will be holding our display and activities at Bushnell Park, a beautiful inner city
Park near the Capital building. This is the same place that we stopped in 1991 and 1992! But there are a lot more of us this time! Please help us keep the Park beautiful by keeping on the walkways (and off the grass).
In addition to our display (which will be organized by category- watch for instructions from staff), there will be an EV shuttle serviced from the Capital building, Ride & Drives for VIPs, exhibitors, food, and maybe even a high school band. There will also be an important media event (we are inviting Governor Rowland to speak) including VIPs, sponsors, legislators, and an award ceremony for the previous day's Jr. Solar Sprint competition! All this with the shining and gilded Capitol Building as a backdrop.
When we leave the Park, we will leave in the way that you are lined up (so as to keep off the grass.) Please pay attention to the staff who will direct you. Hooking up with your chase vehicle will be a bit complicated, but hopefully, we will all get unscrambled and move onto Torrington, CT. The route is mostly a two-lane road, but quite scenic! Torrington is a mill-town that was booming at the turn of the century. We will drive to the high school where the charging station is located. There will be no display or arrival ceremony, but your progress will be timed. The Tuesday AM display will be in the same location. Space is a bit tight; so please follow notes for support parking.
There are several restaurants in the downtown area, including some pretty good Italian - American places.
Tuesday, May 25 Torrington, CT. - Pittsfield, MA - New Lebanon, NY
Our morning display takes place in the overnight charging location - the lower lot of the high school. We need to unhook the vehicles and get onto display quickly, as we expect students to arrive before 8:00 am! Please park where directed so that everyone can leave the lot in pole position order.
The route from Torrington to Pittsfield (Leg 3) is very scenic - it winds through the Berkshires and passes through a bzillion little towns and past as many antique shops. It leads us to our only Massachusetts stop: Pittsfield. Pittsfield, a previously booming General
Electric town, is the largest town in western Massachusetts and it is growing into a cultural and educational spot. There is a fabulous
Children's Museum and some great little shops and restaurants, all in the downtown area. We expect this display - held in the Town
Common - to be a lot of fun. Not only will we have our display, exhibitors, food and entertainment, but there will also be another Jr. Solar
Sprint competition! At the end of the display there will not be an official re-start, so leave as you wish. We encourage chase & race vehicles to meet in New Lebanon. The trip to the overnight location - Lebanon Valley Dragway, will not be scored, and there will be no penalty for trailoring you vehicle. After hooking up at charging, hurry back to town - we have a fun get - together including dinner scheduled for all entrants, volunteers, VIPs, staff, and Pittsfield hosts. Hotels are in Pittsfield, but we thought the 16 mile drive to the overnight location was worth it so that teams can experience racing down the drag strip tomorrow morning!
Wednesday, May 26 New Lebanon, NY - Albany, NY - Latham, NY (Shaker high)
This day's early-morning acceleration test event is just for us! We may have a few members of the media, but no public or school tours.
The drag strip is the ideal location for our acceleration tests, and two vehicles may drive it at the same time - thus "competing".
If you have a demonstration vehicle or exhibit you should go directly to Albany, as festivities begin there at 8:30 am!!
Today is also the day that the Hybrid Vehicle Conference begins in Albany!
After you have completed your drag racing, please park as directed within the vast parking lot of the dragway so that vehicles can smoothly leave for Albany in pole-position order. There is lots of room here for everyone!
After the short drive to Albany you will arrive at Empire State Plaza for a truly action-packed event. Once again, you will be parked by category. There will be a high school band, many environmental exhibitors, food, Ride & Drives and more. Again, this is a big media event location. We have invited, among others, Governor of New York, George Pataki, and we will present him with a solar-inspired painting as a memento of your visit and the event and what it represents.
Following our busy day in Albany we will leave the plaza without official Start ceremonies. The trip to Shaker High is not scored, with no penalties for trailoring your vehicle. We urge you again to meet your support vehicles at the overnight location. Please note the charging, display and support locations. EVERYONE MUST MOVE at 6:00 AM tomorrow morning!
Thursday, May 26 Shaker Jr. High - Saratoga Springs, NY
Our morning display at Shaker Jr. High is exclusively for the N. Colonie School district students. Please park for display as directed.
You will leave in pole position order.
The drive from the Shaker High School to Saratoga Springs (Leg 5) is a fun drive once you get out of the strip-mall section; much of it parallels the Hudson River and traverses farmland. As you approach Saratoga Springs you will skirt Saratoga Lake - this is the area of the short lap of today's range event! Upon arrival at Congress Park you will be directed to your category's location. The park is lovely, as is the City of Saratoga - made famous by its effervescent water and summer horse races. It is also the home of Skidmore College, which happens to be the location of our overnight car-camping area.
We hope to receive many school tours today, and the range event will begin at l:30 PM The long lap will be held on route 84 and the small lap along Saratoga Lake. Teams that have driven constantly from 1:30 onwards who wish to continue to drive may do so to demonstrate range capabilities. These range records will be recorded and announced to the press. The range score will be based upon the miles driven during the allotted time. During the range event, we will invite teams at the display to make presentations for other participants, and John Mlynick is looking for musical entertainment for us all!
The Charging location will be announced soon. There are some great restaurants here - but don't stay out too late!
Friday, May 28 Saratoga Springs, NY - Lake George, NY
The location of this last day of the race will be announced. Please park as directed so that you can leave in pole position.
The final leg of our journey is very straight forward - route 9 north all the way to Lake George. Lake George is a beautiful resort town, which was once an extremely fashionable vacation spot for the well-to-do around the turn of the century. It is just as beautiful as it was then, but tourists from all corners of the earth, and college students have replaced the wealthy families of yore. Our final destination:
Fort William Henry - is the an historic site. The reconstructed Fort was used to film The Last of the Mohicans." The Fort is open to the public for a fee, and it is in the process of being excavated by archeologists. The Fort William Henry Hotel, our host and owner of the grounds including the Fort, was once an enormous and hugely popular resort in the city's heyday. Unfortunately the original hotel burned in a fire at the end of the 19th century but the current structure was built on its foundations.
Although you have reached the official "finish line," there is still one more event that will count toward your final score! When you arrive, you will be directed to park in a display with other vehicles in your category. At 1:30, the final event, an autocross event, organized for us by the Mohawk Hudson Sports Car Club of America, will start.
Saturday, May 29 Lake George, NY
At long last, the final score and Awards Ceremony will be held, at a Brunch overlooking the lake! We encourage you put off your final good-byes and plan to stay for the Memorial Day festivities at Lake George. Teams have been invited to participate in the mid-day parade (If you are interested in doing this, you will need an extra team mate willing to forego the Awards Ceremony -- we tried to get them to hold their Parade later, but alas it was too difficult!) Lake George plans a Saturday night concert with fire works and more! It is hard to think of the end when we have not yet started! But we know that we will want to thank you for your participation! We wish you a safe journey home and hope to see you again for the NESEA American Tour de Sol Year 2000 Celebration!
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