Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Day 11: Battle Mountain NV

You know when you make a rubbish joke about having a lie-in and pretending your alarm clock didn't go off?  Yes, exactly like that.  Happily I was just in time to fill the mug with Brown Drink, inhale a Cinnamon Thing and get out to the course before Team Cygnus turned up in their three-tonne lorry to haul me off to the short course start.  Mindful of the fact that in spite of it being fitted with a plethora of huge mirrors AND a reversing camera with an eight-inch screen I had almost backed it into another car while turning round, #1 driver Sjaak Bloemberg carefully pointed it towards the road before letting me behind the wheel to chase Jan-Marcel.
Lorry.  Usania.  Tuesday.
"Hello!" says a disembodied voice from the third row of seats as I bung my bag into the Thing before firing it up.  'tis Joyce, Larry Lem's sister, who is our designated Official in the car.  I though that was me.  Oh well.  J-M did over 57 mph in spite of the chain coming off.  The other chain, for the bike has a primary drive from cranks to high mounted gears and a final drive one to the front wheel on the left.  The latter was the one which went walkies today.  Some trackside fettling of the tensioner ensued.
Jan-Marcel does some fettling.  In braille.
Ellen did 51.92 mph for a women's multi-track world record in Garrie Hill's trike CO2, which is a replica of Completely Overzealous, run here variously by Gareth Hanks and Greg Thomas.  Unlike the machine's other rider Florian Kowalik, Ellen didn't rub her thighs on the front wheel, but rather her knees on the top of the shell.  There are ways around this, some of which do not involve surgery to either vehicle or rider:
Ceci Kowalik decked the Micro-Moby but was righted and got down the course sans windscreen.  And the prize for the most ill-considered helmet design goes to:
BRAAANES!
Not wise considering the number of zombies around here in the morning.

Then out to the five mile start for the first proper runs of the week.  Dave in ARION1 lost his chain and coasted through at just under 40; this meant that Larry caught him in the timing traps and didn't get a time.  Jun muttered "66" which, if accurate, is most heartening.  I again drove the Cygnus chase lorry and was holding station on the bike with the cruise control set to 75 mph.  76.02 is also heartening as the wind was uncooperative and the rider reckons himself still a bit jet-lagged.  The big news was that Todd Reichert did 81.66 in Eta, albeit with something of a following wind, which helps confirm our suspicions that the bike is a cut above the ordinary.  Liz ran her unfaired handcycle over the five-mile course and was 6 mph quicker than she'd managed in the fully-faired machine.  More testing to follow.

Last night's storm meant a fair amount of muck on the road around the start area, but this can be dealt with if you have a PSO keen to practice his curling technique:
Fig 5: Keep Nevada tidy
Fig 6: Oh!  Poor Chris!
The b0rked bit is being retained for use as a Pointed Stick for certain riders to use in "encouraging" their team members to make the machine go better.

The Scousers have acquired a number of supernumerary supporters.  Some of them are travelling in a large camper which, for the benefit of Dr Larrington, has this picture on the door:
Sausages!
WAY less creepy than the two kidnapped girls that Bram and Annette had on theirs last year.

If it's Tuesday it must be the Show'n'Wossname at the Civic Center.  This traditionally make most of me hurt from prolonged standing around so I wolfed down the free lunch, took a few pictures, wolfed down the free lunch and returned to the Super 8 to watch fifty pictures uploading in slomo.  Erika was a bit overwhelmed too:
See me?  I'm overwhelmed, I am!
I left before the Tinies showed up as they do not need my autograph.  Meanwhile, the fettling in the car park continues:
Steve Nash about to hand-graunch the left crank
Teagan made hopeful noises about having the bike ready to qualify tomorrow morning, but got a one-word answer.  With two letters.

It was still windy and only about twenty degrees when we trooped out to the course for the evening runs, and there appeared to be Big Weather on the way including, though not limited to, heavy rain and thunderbolts and lightning very very frightening MEEEEEEE!  It arrived.  We waited a while for it to go away.  It didn't.  Game over for today.  Bah!

I am reluctantly dragged to the Ming Dynasty for dinner by the rest of Team Cygnus.  We were joined by Liz, Barclay Henry, Jonathan Woolrich and Sherri Donaldson.  ["This sentence removed on the advice of our legal team" - Ed.]  And Erika hits me when I try to pay my share of the bill.  Although they didn't know it until tonight the name of the Ming Dynasty has been spread across Europe following this piece of redecoration, courtesy of Messrs Lem & Amick, in 2013:
Picture by J-MvD.  I'll ask permish in the morning.  Honest.
I do not dare look for a weather forecast for tomorrow online and I aten't even turned on the anbaric distascope™ since I've been in Leftpondia.  Tea and an early night beckon. 

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