Thursday, 15 September 2011

Day 13: Battle Mountain, NV

I, like, so did not want to get up this morning.  Life was a lot easier here when the event did not include any of this new-fangled morning sessions.  One could get up at one's leisure, have a civilised breakfast and then spend the afternoon loafing in the sun before bestirring oneself out to the course at 4:30 pm.  The l33t riders and their crews still have this luxury.  It is Not Fair and I want a pay rise.

(Stamps foot)

So when we did go out this morning, the first thing we noticed was the lack of rain over the mountains to the west.  Clearly a Good Thing.  However, this did not go hand in hand with a drop in wind speed, and few people had legal wind chiz.

Jun looks apprehensive... well he might
First to try their luck was chief timer Jun Nogami; the University of Toronto team having sportingly allowed him a go in Vortex.  Jun has ridden the bike previously, but not with the entire fairing in place.  He gave a graphic demonstration of how the Experts make it look a lot easier than it actually is.  His first attempt ended with the bike on its side; subsequent tries might have done likewise had not the machine been surrounded on all side by solicitous team members anxious to spare their Shiny Thing any further damage.  With road re-opening looming, Jun's attempt had to be called off.  Jay Henry didn't need to do a qualifying run but wanted to test some mods he'd made, and got down the course with a respectable time.  David Verbroekken also ran successfully.
Sugar & Jan-Marcel about to send David on his way
When the rest of the party stooged off to the five mile start, which Chris Broome insists on calling the five mile an hour start, I again remain at the mid-course with Inspector Rebus, who has just tricked Mad Malky Toal into confessing to murder.  The seven riders are spread over three sessions for logistical nightmares reasons; the Firefly, for example, ran in all three sessions and for once behaved itself perfectly.  Greg exceeded his previous best, but not with legal wind; only Jay and Tiffany made runs with the wind at the permitted level.  Full Thursday morning results.

I am now back at the Super 8, drinking BEER and eating cheese and bologna sandwiches.  They put crack cocaine in bologna.  Trufax.

Other news.  Velociraptor's frame broke during testing yesterday and the team left for home while we were out at the course this morning.  When we returned, I was asked by Nice Lady in reception if I knew Steve Nash.  I allowed as how I did and was told there was a package for him.  Shortly thereafter I encountered Steve and advised him of the presence of his parcel.  A few hours later I encountered someone the same size and shape as Steve, complete with Steve's beard, glasses and T-shaped shirt.  But nearly all his hair had disappeared.  This was held to be some kind of Omen.

Still later Chris Broome and I are chatting merrily away outside the front door when strange singing and shouting begins to emanate from the swimming pool.  We already suspect the Delft team's numerous PSO's of being members of some strange cult; this merely serves to confirm it.

Jan-Marcel at mid-course
Once more unto 305.  It's hot but cloudy and there is a nasty wind blowing across the course.  Jan-Marcel breaks 69 mph, Trefor does a 65 and nearly gives one of the PSO's in catch a ride back to town spreadeagled across the front of the machine.  Greg exceeds 47, but in all cases in this session the wind speed is too high.  Indeed, Gert-Jan and Eric decided not to run at all.

We hold off starting the second session for as long as possible and sure enough the wind starts to drop, though even after the road has been closed for a while reported speeds coming through from the timing station are mostly on the illegal side.  In fact, we hold off for so long that Thomas decides not to run either, as the periscope system employed on Cygnus doesn't exactly give panoramic vision even in bright sunshine.  And by now the sun has dropped behind some fairly thick cloud, so the poor lad can barely see at all.  Thomas later reaches an agreement with Sam Whittingham that should this scenario be repeated, Thomas will be allowed to go first.

Cow, America, Thursday
Another downside of running so late is that an incompetent like me is unable to take photos of the bikes in the second session.  The pictures come out either black or so blurred as to be useless.  So instead I offer this picture of a cow which happened to wander past while waiting for the second road closure.  As usual, Sam went first, followed down the road by Sebastiaan in the VeloX, Todd in Vortex and Barbara in the second Varna.  Both she and Todd went over 72 mph, while Sam reached a much more satisfactory 80.23.  But the big news was Sebastiaan's 80.54, which marks the first time that Sam has been beaten in a non-weather-affected run here for ten years.  By the time I returned to the catch area there were a lot of very happy Dutch types capering about the place and making entry into the parking area positively hazardous.  "How does it feel?" Jonathan asked Varna designer Georgi Georgiev back at the motel.  Georgi's reply was along the lines of it feeling like he'd just had a 900 Watt punch in the face.  Two hours later, when Jonathan and I and the Cygnus boys came back from dinner, the swimming pool was once again full of shouting, singing Dutch types.  Full Thursday evening results.

When Matt Weaver went faster than Sam in 2001, it didn't half liven things up.  Hopefully the weather will hold and...

1 comment:

  1. I hope you didn't try to tip the cow or milk it.