Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Day 11: Battle Mountain, NV

I was sure I was coming down with the Dreaded Lurgi when I got up this morning, but shower, juice, coffee and Alice's anecdote about remembering not to stick pins in the water bed while changing nappies soon restored normal functionality, which is to say moaning and yawning prodigiously.  Today I are mostly helping with timing, specifically laying down the tape switches and gaffer-taping them to the road before the bikes come down, then pulling them up again when the road re-opens.

Avos Arrow & Greg Westlake
Two groups on the short course for qualifying this morning.  Thomas van Schaik, Kara Snyder and the recently-arrived Greg Westlake in the arm-powered Avos Arrow all went through OK in the first session.  Sole rider in Part Two the Second was Jan-Marcel van Dijken in the Cygnus.  Thomas had proved yesterday's modifications had worked, but the beast blew its front tyre with around 500 metres to go.  Jan-Marcel is unharmed and the bike has apparently suffered only cosmetic damage.

Flying Cucumber & Larry Lem
It was then intended to run two full sessions over the full course, but major confusion over signage and sweep cars led to a delay of some twenty minutes.  The wind was playing up again; a pity as Sebastiaan Bowier clocked 76.02 mph in the VeloX.  Team-mate Gert-Jan Wijers did 68.67, a tenth up on Ron Layman in Primal, who had had to overtake a stricken Firefly on the course.  The luckless Tiffany Underwood had been visited by the P+nct+r+ F++ry yet again.  Because of the delay above, we had to cut the second session short, which the riders who missed out bore with customary stoicism.

Tuesday morning's full results.

The Cygnus team have team T-shaped shirts.  The back of these read "In Cygnus and in health".  You have to admire someone who can come up with groan-inducing puns like that in a foreign language.  Mid-afternoon and the Henry brothers, Jay and Barclay, arrive with the same old trike for Barclay, a new bike for Jay and Barclay's wife of some ten days, Beth.  I can think of several places more suitable for a honeymoon than hanging out in the desert with a bunch of bike-obsessed crazies, but there you go.

And there we went.  There were still squalls over the mountains and even a few drops of rain on the course, but not enough to have us sacrificing our shirts in an attempt to keep the decidedly non-waterproof timing equipment dry.  We are ready on time and as soon as the road closes we lay out the timing tapes on the road.  Test.  Nothing from the finish tape, although it had worked fine when tested at the roadside fifteen minutes earlier.  Frantic work to replace the duff tape and the wires connecting it to the electronic box of tricks ensues and we finally get it going again.  We're now about twenty minutes behind schedule, but the upside to this is that the wind speeds have plummeted and it would turn out that all runs tonight had legal wind.

Meanwhile, or so I am told, down at catch there is Japery.  The boys have discovered a sack full of manky old hi-vis vests, one of which consists of naught but a piece of orange mesh with two arm-holes.  Larry Lem immediately removes his T-shaped shirt and dons the orange mesh, before capering around the catch area singing Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy".  I'm too sexy for my shirt, so sexy it hurts.  I am glad I was a mile away at timing.

Thomas & Cygnus at sunset
In spite of the lack of wind, speeds were on the whole unexceptional.  Barbara was obliged to coast to the finish after her chain came off two miles from the traps.  Todd duplicated his previous night's run, this time with legal wind.  And Greg Westlake set a new World Record for an arms-only machine when he reached 45.68 mph in the Avos Arrow.  He claimed to have hit 50 while still three miles out; it would seem that Mikey Sova and Ivan Samila will be busy on Wednesday raising the gearing yet again.

Tuesday evening's full results.

1 comment:

  1. I had a feeling you were out brearhing the dust of skinny tires.
    I hope your "ride" this year is sufficiently exhilerating.