Thursday, 13 September 2012

Day 12: Battle Mountain, NV

My alarm clock worked this morning chiz.  Out to the chilly course in the dark for a few runs over the short course.  Jim Glover began to dance when his speed was announced as 49.2 mph.  The a correction came in 42.9.  Jim repaired to his lawn chair to pretend to sulk.  The, er, odd SuperSeven made its 305 debut.  If you've not seen the pictures from yesterday, it's a trike, Jim, but not as we know it.  Instead of the pair of normal wheels one might expect, it has three inline skate wheels on each side.  Seasoned observers opined that it would be slower than a slow thing on pig tranquilisers.

Kira Prokopakis in the SuperSeven

We were this: wrong.  Kira Prokopakis achieved 43 mph while Giovanni Rey did almost 49, and subsequently clocked 50+ on the full course.  Natch the seasoned observers opined that both riders would go much better in a proper streamliner; Kira especially as she's tiny.  The late night fettling by Thom Ollinger paid off with a solid qualifying run, but his chain came off midway through his full run.  Brother Charlie and Mike Mowett pulled off a seamless rescue before the bike could fall over.  Less luck was the Bluenose, which had issues with the wind, including a spectacular crash for Trefor Evans.  Matt Baker also decked Gemini when the wind suddenly eased.  No-one hurt.

Trefor joins the SR-305 Flying Club.  Photo stolen from Jun Nogami.

Sean Costin was ecstatic when I told him of Thom's misfortune.  "I've been telling him to put a chainguard on that thing for years" he said, before going on to tell me a scurrilous story about the spats around the wheels of the Toronto machines being made of genuine sex toy latex...

A relatively lazy afternoon ensued, enlivened by the arrival of Adam Ince and his new machine, the Meat-Propelled Missile.  Its design is shamelessly stolen from the Varnas, albeit in bigger and wider form and a fair amount of the structure is marine ply as Adam's dad, Dirty Dave, is a boatbuilder.  The main issue here is the meat; not only has Adam never ridden a streamliner before, he's never ridden a recumbent of any sort.  And now he has the scars to prove it.

Georgi passes judgement...

The first set of runs in the evening were all wind-affected, though not exactly slow.  Only Sergei was below 60 mph; Jan Bos - who is a former world champion speed skater - did more than 76. The second and third groups all had legal winds and speeds were high.  Sebastiaan set the event's highest speed so far at 80.1 mph and Jan-Marcel turned in another 77+ performance.  Gareth did it again, this time just cracking 70 and becoming the first person to set an official trike record; the IHPVA board having voted to create such a class earlier in the day.  And the Glowworm keeps getting faster; in spite of Captain Larry dropping it twice at the start, he and Phil upped the ante to 71.6 mph.  And there was great rejoicing.

I think the IUT Annecy team are trying to commit mass suicide.  On Saturday Aurélien rode Altair 4 out to the course with a car in front and another behind.  Preventing an irate truck driver from overtaking.  These people are armed.  With guns.  This morning one of their cars decided to pull away from the roadside, oblivious to the gravel truck overtaking at the time.  It's difficult to miss a massive and noisy Peterbilt towing two trailers but somehow they did and remained alive.  After his run this morning, Auré sat down on the dirt next to the Crappy Chrysler, where he came within inches of being run over.  And tonight Yannick Lutz decided to ride back to town on a Toxy ZR low racer with no lights.  We are expressly forbidden to do this by just about everyone...

Additional: Tuesday's results are available at http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/whpsc2012/results.htm; Wednesday morning's at http://jnyyz.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/screen-shot-2012-09-12-at-1-56-38-pm.png.

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