Thursday, 17 September 2015

Day 13: Battle Mountain NV

One more cup of coffee for the road
One more cup of coffee ’fore I go
To the valley below
- His Bobness
The valley is a bit above the town but no matter...  Coffee is absolutely vital and I am glad I have a new, bigger travel mug courtesy of the nice boys and girls at Wol-Mart in Hayden ID.  It had rained again overnight but this at least kept both the temperature and humidity up, which helps the performance of both bike and rider.  And the wind was co-operative for most of the morning.  For a change we did the full-course runs first with the qualifiers afterwards, for a very full morning's activity.  Mr Chief Timer Nogami likes to keep the audience in suspense, but because I am not a git1 I will give you the good news first.

In the third of the morning's heats Todd Reichert in the Aerovelo machine Eta stomped all over Sebastiaan Bowier's old world record with a run at 85.71 mph.

The new world record holder moments after the lid came off and moments before saying "one thirty-seven2" and falling over
Relax, Liz girls, he's married...
It was widely held that should conditions be right Todd was going to give the old record a good pasting and he duly obliged, in spite of it also being widely held that mornings are no good for going fast.  Admittedly the difference between morning and evening conditions this year has been negligible.

Which rather eclipsed the other noteworthy performances viz. a new Italian record of 68.32 mph for Andrea Gallo in the Turin Polytechnic machine PulsaR and a BRITISH record of 69.73 for Ken Buckley in ARION1.  Having got a solid run with legal wind last night, my man Jan-Marcel took the morning off and went to visit a nearby gold mine instead.  My fortune cookie the other night promised "gold by the bushel" so if Team Cygnus (O) hasn't brought some back for Team Cygnus (P) there will be trub.

Once all that excitement was out of the way we moved down to the 2.5 mile mark for qualifiers.  Both the Toronto new boys, Thomas Ulph and Alan Pettit, put in solid 50+ runs in their older machine Vortex but Sherry Shi has yet to complete a qualifying run in Bluenose.  As previously related Mark Anderson and Steve Nash have been burning the midnight oil to get Seiran ready for Teagan Patterson; after a few practice runs in the Civic Center they got the bike through tech inspection and Teagan promptly qualified at 56.5 mph.  It helps that Steve is one of the best launchers in the business but she reported no issues at all before being lifted out of the bike and falling over.

Teagan hangs onto anything stationary
Genna Kowalik, who is ten, coasted the Micro-Moby in after dropping the chain at the 1.5 mile mark.  We offered to hold her Dad Fran while she punched him.  Fran says she can punch surprisingly hard for a Small Person.
"Where's my Dad?"  Genna complains to anyone within earshot.
Fran gets his breath back after being punched.  Ellen is amused.
Partly because no-one has yet attempted it, Liz set a new handcycle record for the 600/200m discipline - a 600 metre run-up to the 200 from a standing start.  She clocked 21.95 mph on her unfaired machine.  I was unemployed in catch today; my pictures are at here: Clicky.  Use the link up there / to get to Jun's blog for full results and photos from timing.

Heading back out for this evening's runs shortly; I'll update this in time for the breakfasts of BRITAIN.  Before that, a picture for the Mollycat:

The evening runs were a bit of an anticlimax after this morning.  Once again we ran three heats; in the first were Toronto's Thomas Ulph in Vortex and BRITAIN's Ken Buckley in ARION1.  Thomas had the odd wobble at the start but got through at a whisker under 49 mph but Ken crashed two miles from the traps at around 55 mph.  He's OK but the bike doesn't sound to be very healthy - I haven't seen it yet.  Boss Scouser Pat suspects he may have hit the grooves in the surface left behind by an errant trailer a few years ago - we've tried to fill these but with limited success.  Conspiracy theorists who say that it was a deliberate ploy to stop Dave Collins from having a crack at the BRITISH record can fuck right off.

Heat 2 saw Andrea first off in PulsaR, with 61 mph and, hopefully, an earlier application of the brakes than he managed this morning, when he arrived in catch rather faster than we prefer and accompanied by a fearful smell of cooked brakes and an apologetic shrug from the rider.  The Italians are an impressive bunch, a four-man team who have been totally slick and professional every time they run.  Plus they brought their own pasta with them, not trusting the USAnians to be able to do it properly...
Shadows lengthen as Andrea is taped in
Teagan ran Seiran down the full course for 58.94 mph and reckons there's more in the tank.  The bike still lacks any kind of computer so she's having to judge speeds and gear changes by ear.
Steve Nash leaves Teagan to fend for herself
The third heat should have consisted of four machines.  After his exertions of the morning Todd could have been forgiven for wanting a nice sit down and a cup of tea but he was out again and tripped the beam at 82.3 mph.  Damjan did what is thought to be his ever run with a legal wind - 79.16.  The 80 mph hat will have to wait at least one more night.  Ellen ran the CO2 trike and improved her own class record to 54.45.

Jan-Marcel had one of those days.  With the Leones' car impeding my view of some of the proceedings I can't be certain whether he went over three times or four before the two minute window closed.  I had the car's window open and thus could hear Mr Nash being Not Impressed.  Cygnus won't be running in the morning while the boys play with Bondo chiz.

Garrie Hill and his mate Toronto Jim have taken a couple of days out to nip down to Vegas for the Interbike show, which sounds to have been distinctly meh.  But they did come across a gadget called "Turbine" which has a similar effect to those nasal strip wossnames that are supposed to open the conk for freer breathing, except these go inside yer hooter leaving a nose ring-stylee piece of yellow plastic to facilitate removal.  Some of the Product was obtained with a view to handing them out to the BM riders.  They were mortified to learn that Todd is already using one3.

We went to the Ming Dynasty again, during which dinner I discovered that Team Cygnus have a cardboard cutout head of Western Half-Devil Monster Face van Schaik with them, for joke comedy photography purposes.  Here he is haunting my car:
It's like "Hamlet", but without the bloodshed in the final reel act.
  1. For the avoidance of doubt, Jun is not a git either.  Also he did 46.43 mph in CO2 this morning, commenting "that's the best hundred and forty-five bucks I ever spent!"  He's keen to have another go tomorrow.
  2. Kilometres, what with his being Canadian and everything.
  3. For a change, this is actually Not Lie.

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