Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Day 12: Battle Mountain, NV

I have wangled myself into the mid-course marshalling post for today.  Nothing ever happens here, or at least not after the qualifying runs are over, so it is an excellent opportunity to catch up on one's light fiction.  Had I been clearer of thought, I'd have taken this Babbage-Engine with me and done a bit of catching up.  Bah!

Launching Cygnus
Five riders on the qualifying course today, but only two made it without mishap.  Eric Ware was testing a modification to the Wedge's tail; results were inconclusive.  Jan-Marcel got Cygnus down the course without crashing.  Jay Henry's new linear drive machine, fitted with a large quantity of String Technology, shed its chain about 1 km from timing, while an electrical glitch prevented brother Barclay from receiving a time.  David Verbroekken firstly ran off the road, though escaped an undignified fall as he was still being supported by rollerblading mechanic Frans (aka "Sugar").  He restarted but only made it about half a mile before a tyre blew and down he went.

Gert-Jan and VeloX at mid-course
In the long course runs, Victor Ragusila had a fine and legal 56.71 mph personal best and Sebastiaan Bowier a sadly non-legal 74.08.  Jay Henry went down for reasons unknown to me before he reached my position, but neither he nor the bike seems to have suffered any damage.

Full Wednesday morning results.

After the post-race meeting everyone wanders over to the Civic Center to show the machines to the Tinies and blag a free lunch.  Unfortunately, seventy lunches for normal people is not the same as seventy lunches for HPV enthusiasts, especially when they:
  1. Skipped breakfast, or
  2. Are Penniless Student Oaves, or
  3. Both
Anyone who showed up at the appointed hour of 12:00 went hungry.  It's a good opportunity to get pictures of the bikes when they're not surrounded by tool-wielding apes, and frequently a good opportunity to snap people being silly, in the hope that these may later be used for blackmail purposes.  Here, for example, is Jan-Marcel trying to destroy Chris Broome's full-suspension monkey bike:

After about an hour and a half of this, my feet got very tired and my camera's memory card announced that it was full.  Investigation shewed that this was because it contained not only photos from this year's trip, but also those from June's excursion to the Yorkshire Dales and those from last year's US trip as well.  Some housekeeping has perforce been carries out and it says it now feels much better.  I don't know what it is about this place and my feet; in addition to swelling like swollen things, they itch abominably.  Last night and this morning I wore normal shoes instead of Intrepid Sandals, which seems to have helped somewhat, but should I continue to do this, I'll have to buy some more socks chiz.

that round thing which hav no use at all
Today I am wearing my Dirk Hofman Motorhomes T-shaped shirt, but not even the Dutch appear to get the joke, or else are too polite to say so.  I shall shortly be heading back out to the course, so here's hoping that chains remain on sprockets, tyres remain unvisited and the gremlins have been exorcised from the timing system...

A disappointingly windy evening session, hampered by a communication failure which led to timing waiting for the bikes, while the start officials were waiting for confirmation from timing that it was OK to start sending them down the course.  And no new new record for Greg Westlake; the Avos Arrow shed its chain almost immediately and the team were unable to restart prior to our having to re-open the road.  Firefly stopped with someone maladay unknown at this juncture - their luck is going from bad to worse.  Full Wednesday evening results.
Firefly at mid-course

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