Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Day 19: Battle Mountain, NV

Who are these creatures scratching at the windows and mumbling about BRANES?  Are they, perchance, the vanguard of the Zombocalypse?  Or merely the volunteers staying somewhere other than the Super 8?  The latter, I fear. It wasn't as cold as yesterday, but it was windy enough to make up for it. Still, it could be worse; southern Arizona, Nevada and Stullifornia have been lashed by the tail-end of a Pacific hurricane causing flash floods and at least two fatalities.  Right smack where I was a little over a week ago.  If you want hurricane avoidance, I'm your man.

There were supposed to be six bike/rider combos to qualify this morning but Barbara Buatois, yet to run her preferred Varna Tempest, preferred to stay in bed.  Adam Ince dropped Adam's Folly at launch yet again, and then there were four.  Al Grace had relocated his main camera somewhat inelegantly to the top of the body and got away OK, only to be visited by She Who Must Not Be Named in the front tyre.  And then there were three.
Orin Peters waits for the green light
Orin Peters had an entirely undramatic run in his home-brewed velomobile - a correx body on a stock Trice. Teagan Patterson had a couple of starting wobbles but got away successfully and clocked 42 mph in Beluga, while Jan-Marcel van Dijken finally got a run in, having borrowed Mats the sk8ter d00d from Delft to help with the launch and reaching 64 mph.
Thomas van Schaik and Mats the sk8ter d00d get Cygnus Chronos off the line
Time off while riders and officialdom moved camp to the five mile start and waited for the wind to drop.  Which it didn't.  When Damjan Zabovnik said "I am afraid" that was it.  Damjan is the Nutters' Nutter, and if he has Teh FEAR then it really is neither big nor clever to run.  Back to town instead for some scurrilous stories about TV's Burt Wardcourtesy of Start Bossman Dave Kennedy, prior to decamping to the Civic Center for the morning debrief, the Free Lunch and the Show'n'Shine on behalf of the Tinies.  It was also Bram Wielermaker's birthday:
After nomming as much as I could in the time available I wandering around the room snapping photos and dodging autograph-hungry Smalls until my feet cried Havoc! Enough! and demanded I return to the Super 8 to Do Webby SCIENCE.  Here is the outcome.  Of some.  Of it.
Tetiva 2
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly. Officer Aten (in hat) is clearly the Good...
Larry Lem's truck; touched by His Noodly Appendage
By the time we had to return to 305 for the evening runs the wind had almost, but not quite, totally failed to die away.  Plus it was very hazy, or so it seemed, which kept the temperature uncharacteristically low.  It later transpired that the "haze" was a by-product of distant wildfires, but whatever the cause it was not conducive to high speeds.

I had given myself the evening off driving sweep after last night's motor-spirit excitement and thus, after helping erect the distance marker signs, went to mill around the start area for the first set of runs.
Gareth Hanks tapes on his bionic legs
Jan-Marcel van Dijken's magenta pink trainer
Subsequently I decamped to the divers ranch roads for the second and third sessions, with a view to getting some snaps of the bikes actually moving.  I thought I had mastered the art of taking a rapid sequence of pictures when Le Tour visited That London, but I hadn't, hence the only action picture from Ranch Road 1 was this lucky one.
Damjan Zabovnik in Eivie 4 approaching Ranch Road 1
At Ranch Road 2 for the last group, but while I now really had persuaded the camera to take a rapid sequence of pictures, it was too dark for anything to come out save one snap of Ellen van Vugt too blurred to be worth keeping. Soz.

At least I could do 70 mph all the way back to town, after helping take the signs back down and slicing a chunk out of a finger chiz.  Ten bikes had been scheduled to run but Christien Veelenturf elected to sit it out.  All runs had wind speeds well in excess of the permitted maximum and speeds generally appeared to err on the side of caution.  Calvin Moes crashed Eta with about 500 metres to go - he's OK, state of the bike unknown but no news of catastrophe so probably OK too.  Barbara ran a 66 and Jan-Marcel a 64; other runs were quite quick for the conditions too but at the time of writing Dr No hasn't got the results up yet.  Probably because a large party of us went to the Chinese nosh-house afterwards and had to wait a while to be fed.  Scott Wilson finished his before mine had even appeared; I think they're a pretty small operation.  So that was Tuesday.  Please can we have some not wind tomorrow?

On the Nether Lands, home of degenerate dope fiends and tulip-eating Bennies on the Loose alike:  Even if they hadn't gleefully confessed to their crimes, there can only have been one team at the event who might have been even suspected of this foul misdeed:
Achtung!  Half-crazed Visigoths in da 'hood
Menaces '2' Society
I do not for one second believe that either the van Vugts or the Delft / Hamsterjam PSOs would be responsible, nor Bas the Camera or Mr & Mrs Wielermaker the Elder.  No, these crims are taller...

Hello to David Verbroekken and Frans Suijkerbuijk, who wouldn't dream of such degeneracy.
  1. Robin to Adam West's Batman, that's who.


  1. Ah, that's better (relaxes and has cup of coffee).

  2. Sir,
    my sincere apologies for my companion's behavior.
    To my friends: ROFLMAO (but please don't scratch the paint with the polishing grind of desert dust)