Saturday, 15 September 2012

Day 14: Battle Mountain, NV

A tale of Ranch Road One.  Vicky Johnsen and I are milling around aimlessly waiting for her husband Craig to come and collect her when a chap driving an impossibly shiny Hummer H2 pulls in.

Him: Say, can you tell me where I can find the nearest Walmart?
Me: There might be one in Winnemucca, but there's definitely one in Elko.  I was there last Saturday.
Him:  Where's that?
Me: You need to go back to Battle Mountain and take the 80 east for about seventy miles.
Him: What about (points south down 305) that way?
Me: Believe me, there's nothing down there!

Bear in mind that this is some time after seven o'clock in the evening.  He was still intently studying his map when we left, as if he thought I might have been taking the piss.  Which I wasn't.

It has further been suggested that instead of returning the old tyres from whence they came, we use them to build barricades across the entrances to the Fillippini Ranch...

The morning session was windy enow that only the final three of fourteen runs got legal wind.  Probably the highlight was Aurélien exceeding 60 mph in spite of towing his launching sk8r d00d abut a mile before getting going as a solo venture.  The low point was Thom forgetting about such conventional behaviour as braking when coming into the catch area.  He nearly knocked me over, but I managed to jump out of the way in time and some of the more agile members of the team grabbed him in time to prevent any mishap.

Extracting Sergei after his morning ride

In the early afternoon the 1/8 mile drag races took place in town, ably organised as usual by Robert "Mister" Barnett.  I did not attend as I was busy with that Internet that they have now, but the overall winner was Giovanni Rey.  Ladies winner was Kira Prokopakis, who was also fourth overall.  They are both serious track riders, which probably helps.  Kira was later spotted being given a trial fitting in one of the Varnas.  Georgi is always on the hunt for fresh victims talent.

Edited high- (and low-) lights of the evening session:
  • Just like last year, Sebastiaan elected to sit out the Friday session.
  • Sergei crashed following a flat tyre; the top came off his bike leaving hm with nasty abrasions and a deep cut on his foot.  Bets are being laid as to whether he still wants to ride tomorrow.
  • Jan-Marcel was on what he reckoned to be the best run of his life, with his GPS registering over 127 km/h at the entrance to the measured 200m.  But a misaligned sensor at the exit of the traps prevented him from getting a time.
  • Ben, Ellen and Sean all went over 70 mph for the first time.  Sean had done an unofficial 70 back around 2003 based on analysis of the soundtrack of someone's video footage, but that didn't count.
  • Gareth put the trike record over 71 mph.
  • Tom and Phil put the tandem record over 73 mph.
  • Aurélien once again had a dodgy start but ran over 76 mph on his first run on the full course.  Non-legal wind though.  He came into catch far faster than knackered old gits like Raymond Gage or me can run so we stood and watched the Dutch PSOs do the necessary instead.
  • Jan Bos became the third fastest rider on the all-time list with 78.59 mph
  • We learn via Twitbook or Facer or something that Jay Henry (absent this year) has just become engaged.
Gareth has just heard his speed
Normally this wee vignette would go at the end.  You'll see why it didn't in a second.  Jonathan and I shared a table with the Annecy team again tonight,  Aurélien orders a BEER to go with his nosh.  The waitress asks him for ID.  Aurélien is at least twenty-nine years old.  Git.

At the end of tonight's debrief, Georgi stood up and told a story.  Being, as he is, originally from Bulgaria, Georgi speaks enough Russian to be able to communicate with Sergei.  He approaches Sergei and claps him on his injured arm before realising what he's done and apologising profusely.  [I'm paraphrasing a bit here but the gist is accurate - Mr L]  "My father fought in the Great Patriotic War" says Sergei.  "He was injured in action.  You think I would cry over something like this?"

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