Monday, 14 September 2015

Day 10: Battle Mountain NV

Oh noes!  Last night I counted the different years’ event posters for sale in the Civic Center.  There are ten.  Why then, have I only got eight, plus a space for one more, on the Grand Escalier of Larrington Towers?
Because, clot, you do not have one for 2006.  This means that not only do I have to do one of my least favourite things, viz. working up a ladder to rearrange them, and find more wall space, but also that I have to go to fucking IKEA to buy another frame.  Arseburgers.

Today is Monday, and Monday means qualifying runs over the short course, starting 2.5 miles out.  It’s way warmer than usual – 23 degrees as opposed to about 8 – but briskly windy.   Things go mostly according to plan and even get finished on time, which is something of a first for the initial skirmishes.  Among the casualties of war were Genevieve Kowalik in the Micro-Moby, on which the steering was pulling to one side and whose rider ignored the admonitions of her father to steer in the other direction, and the new Amsterdam/Delft bike Velox V, with two launch fails for Lieske Yntema and one underway-but-then-fell-over incident for Robert Braam – a late substitute for last year’s fastest rider, the injured Rik Houwers.
Liz McTernan had to abort her run in the Beluga (confused?) handcycle from Plymouth University as the team had left the parking brake securely, er, secured, with a cable tie, but this mattered less as she had already done a run on Red Lightning, her unfaired Top End handcycle, resulting in a legally-winded 24.72 mph and hence a new World Record for BRITAIN.  Hurrah!
Liz on the start line
Florian Kowalik’s 53.41 mph is Junior Multitrack record, as the event seems to be generating classes faster than anyone save perhaps Mike “Statto” Mowett can comprehend.
Florian tuning the radio to Radio 4 Long Wave
His progress, however, was not at all improved by the trike's owner, Mr G Hill of Ohio, yelling encouragement into altogether the wrong radio handset.

BRITONS will be pleased to know that both Ken Buckley and Dave Collins ran successfully in ARION1, the Liverpool Uni machine, though Natasha Morrison won’t be riding it after all as she can’t balance it enough to get it moving.  Bluenose, the more potent of the two University of Toronto machines, also pulled out after the chainguard fell to bits.
Ben the sk8ter d00d launching Ken Buckley in ARION1
Former Bluenose pilot and all-round Intrepid Birdmantm Todd Reichert was fastest of all at 72 mph in the revamped Eta; honourable mention to Larry Lem for his 61.97 mph, albeit with a massive tailwind.  Jan-Marcel van Dijken had his traditional visitation from the Chain Gremlin, but this time couldn't get it back on while still riding so coasted through the traps.  I got to drive Team Cygnus’ monstrous Ford Explosion SUV.  Which was, er, big.  Jun Nogami has the full results on his blog, because he is excellent.

Meeting, late breakfast/early lunch, Intertubing ect. ect. while Mark Anderson and Steve Nash work flat out putting Teagan’s bike together.  Mark in particular is not happy unless he’s got something to take apart and put together again.  Nobody, as far as I know, has yet said “You hear that, Mr. Anderson?  That is the sound of inevitability”, because he has a selection of sturdy and/or sharp tools within easy reach.
Assorted fettlers, gongoozlers, oiks, loafers ect. ect. gather under my window
 By setting-off time this afternoon it was windy but ever the optimists we went out to the course anyway.  The weather can be completely different out there to how it is in town.  Brief but torrential showers on the way out and the wind picking up by the minute.  Robert and Linda Barnett arrived at catch to report similar conditions all the way from Las Vegas.  Up at the start, where a full-blown sandstorm was raging, the riders were asked whether anyone wanted to run.

No-one did, so we all trooped back to town again.  Because of the reprehensible behaviours of some of the Penniless Student Oaves last year the Civic Center is off-limits as a workshop, but the Chamber of Commerce folks kindly had erected a large marquee next door to the building.  It is now a heap of canvas on the floor, and if this keeps up will be across the Oregon state line by morning.

Edit: tent has been Disciplined by Mr Krause and a big hammer.  And Paula at the Civic Center is starting to feel sorry for the PSOs and is letting them into the building after hours again, as the marquee was infested with goathead thorns.

Forecast not good.  Organisators to make a decision at stupid o’clock tomorrow.  Note to self: arrange alarm clock malfunction.  I may not have to as if the huge Super 8 on its four-storey high pole elects to fall over it will land squarely on my bed chiz.

Edit again: wind has dropped but it's still raining.

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