"Escape From Berkeley" in the New York Times


The alt-energy road race I just got back from judging, "Escape from Berkeley," got a good, detailed write-up in the Sunday New York Times.

The closing prediction from race majordomo Jim Mason (read more about his adventures in my May reason feature on his struggles with self-generated energy and the city government of Berkeley) was on the money: only two entrants legitimately finished.

The NY Times follow-up from this morning reveals the ending. I'll be writing more about it here in time, but very quickly, it was a) a great deal of fun; b) gave me, and I think the entrants, a new respect for some of the reasons we've developed and embraced the petroleum economy for our transportation needs; and c) showed that experimenting with ways around it is exasperating, difficult, and yet still a heck of a lot of fun--with the right mindset, setting, and teammates. Even two of the teams that utterly failed at the race itself made sure they got themselves to Vegas for the closing banquet, or in one case, for the next morning's send-off of the two vehicles that did finish.