Monday, 8 September 2014

Day 18: Battle Mountain, NV

Hello, my name is Zombie Dave and I'm an addict.  What else would explain the alarm going off at 05:30 and me actually getting up? The first item on the agenda apart, of course, for the obligatory moaning about the time of day and lack of coffee, was to hold qualifying runs over a shortened course; the run-up being just over two miles. These are mostly to ensure that the machine / rider combination can be controlled without endangering anyone, and also to provide some measure of seeding according to an arcane formula known only to Boss Timer Jun "Dr No1" Nogami, that some sort of start order for Monday evening and Tuesday morning might be worked out.

This being the first day of the event, HPV time was much evidenced and things didn't get underway properly until after 08:00.  Projected start time was 07:30.  Bah! The Mudstang and I did sweep - checking the course for stray motons, cows, alien spacecraft etc. after the road was closed.  Some people were more successful than others: Adam Ince dropped Adam's Folly twice on starting, in spite of their radical use of String Technology on their launch dolly, and elected to practice starting some more before doing it in anger again.
Most people just hold the non-bike end of their String Technology
The Varna Tempest had a flat tyre, which meant a rapid dash back to town to fetch its Battle Mountain sibling; further starting mishaps occurred to Christien Veelenturf / Velox 4, Jan-Marcel van Dijken / Cygnus Chronos and Al Grace / Slippery Slug.  It shouldn't be possible to bin a trike at the start, but Al's primary video display is a tablet, which inconveniently decided to flip its image umop-ap!sdn just after starting.  Al went off into the brush and rolled over but both he and the machine are fundamentally unharmed.
Dutch PSOs attend to Christien and Velox 4.  I believe that's David Wielermaker's wife with the camera...
Add to this some issues with the timing system (resolved for the evening) and the debrief meeting also running in HPV time.  Loud rumbling of stomachs ensured a quick-ish getaway to the Colt Diner for a very late breakfast / not that early lunch.  Al says he's trying to avoid the Wol Club whenever possible. I don't know why.  FTD was Rik Houwers / Velox 4 at 65.74 mph with a handful of other outfits besting 60.  Lots of photos on my flickr site and full results on Jun's blog - links at top right.  Teagan Patterson opted to miss qualifying in favour of further practice away from the terminally nosy and says she's now got the hang of starting Beluga with the full fairing in place.  We shall see tomorrow, young lady.
Rocky gives his considered opinion on how to fettle Slippery Slug's drivetrain
Most of the afternoon was spent Doing Webby SCIENCE as there's not much happening in the Super 8 car park these days with the Civic Center being open to the teams 24/7.  Provided, that is, the predominantly PSO users refrain from leaving the building unlocked when they're all out at the course and making a general mess of the place.  Bloody students.  In the meantime the We Hear department has learned that Officer Aten of $ROZZERS_Я_US has a mate who is a keen cyclist and would like to Have A Go.  There are two factory Varnas present, and only one rider.  Do The Math, as they say hereabouts.

Mike Sova and I are on our way out to the course, but dive into the supermarket across the street; me for fags and Mikey for potato-based salty snackettes which, incidentally, were foul.  I am waiting for Mikey to pay for his habanero 'n' lime flavoured Things when another customer notes that "It" has started.  Exit Mr Larrington at a dead run to raise the Mudstang's roof ere it turns into a hot tub.

Radio issues and general rustiness ensure that HPV time is once again the Order of Things.  We overran our permitted road closure period by the thick end of ten minutes, but at least everyone appeared to adhere to the 15 metre start rule which caused so much argument last year.  Speeds for the early runners were hampered by too strong a wind, plus the rain had dropped the ambient temperature a fair whack, but things settled later on.  And culminated in Rik and Velox 4 being the third person evvah to clock over 80 mph, after decking the bike at his first attempt to launch.  The timers initially thought that Christien was the rider, and there was Great Rejoicing, but the lady was, alas, sitting in the chase vehicle and not in the bike.
Nu-tech filming #1: the Todd-Cam
Nu-tech filming #2: the Black Helichopter
The debrief was quick and to the point, especially as Mr Larrington contrived to miss a chunk of it.  Because the Mudstang required an urgent infusion of motor-spirit.  Because the readout said "10 miles to empty" on leaving the course.  14.5 miles from town.  I did not run dry.  During the meeting the Russians invaded; no Sergei Dashevski this year but Tetiva designer Veniamin Ulyanovskiy is back with a new machine and two youngsters to power it. They're sitting it out tomorrow but should be in action on Wednesday.

On why Al Krause is a Bad Man:  Alice had already drawn some flames in the dirt behind the Mudstang's front wheel.  Al had to go one better:
The legs were added by Mr Larrington lest he be required to surrender his copy of "The God Delusion".

  1. I've actually heard some of the Toronto PSO2s refer to Jun as "Professor Nogami" this year!
  2. PSO = Penniless Student Oaf.


  1. > PSO = Penniless Student Oaf.

    Ah, thank you. So not pikey-shaped object, then.

  2. Argh, where's Tuesday? It's Wednesday morning. I have nothing to read with my breakfast.

    1. Patience, wretch! Teh Intarwebs has been slower than the Slow Children and dinner wasn't much faster. I didn't *start* typing until after 22:00.

      Now have another cup of coffee.