Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Day 10: Battle Mountain, NV

It's now actually about midday Tuesday, but we didn't get back from dinner until 22:30 last night and had to get up again at half past dark.  Sorry.

Monday morning means qualifying runs for one and all, which can drag on a bit when you've got two bikes each with three riders and another team which consists of one fairing, two chassis and three riders.  And doubly so when under the steely gaze of Randy, the local top banana from the Nevada Department of Transportation, hereinafter referred to as NDOT.  Fortunately everything ran pretty smoothly once Randy had made us move the road closure signs back another 200 metres chiz.  Smoothly, that is, apart from for Larry Lem, who says:

The Cyclops is a bit of a disaster. With full fairing and crash panels, at launch and through 20 mph, the steering shakes like a bad shopping cart wheel[...] Frame flex, cg, steering geometry, and weight of the fairing not sufficiently tied to the frame and steering area seem to be the culprits.

Oh.  Miner Details, the bike from the Missouri University of Science and Technology, also has assorted problems, but these do appear to be fixable.

Restyling courtesy of Whittney...
Afternoon.  Wind.  Bah!  Only Eric Ware in the Wedge and Amanda Chu in Ace - from the University of Toronto - ran in the first session.  Eric saw a high of over 70 mph on his on-board GPS, which was pretty impressive considering the conditions.  As is frequently the case the wind died down somewhat towards sunset and we managed to run six machines in the second session.  As is usual, Sam Whittingham was fastest, but the big news was a new European Record for Slovenia's Damjan Zabovnik in the brand new and impossibly tiny Eivie III which, like its predecessors he rides on his back, head-first and seeing out via a mirror.  He clocked 77 mph plus same change, with a legal wind speed.  But... he decided to leave his braking until after the bridge in the slowing-down zone and, when he did put on the anchors, lost control and went down and off the road.  Damjan is unhurt; I haven't seen the bike yet but imagine it'll be a bit untidy.  Honourable mention to Todd Reichert in the Ace; he went over 60 mph on his first run over the full course.

The local Highway Patrol are being very active in town at the moment.  There were no fewer than three of them lurking within a couple of hundred yards last night, and Chris Broome was duly stopped for having a blown headlight bulb.  We came back to the motel the back way, just in case...

Curious thing seen on the road: I was going to say "Damjan, rotating furiously on his side" but apparently this is fairly normal as he's got the most hours of any member of the NV-305 Flying Club.  So it was probably the patch job which NDOT carried out earlier in the day on some of the nastier gouge marks which have appeared in the road since last year.

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