Friday, 18 September 2015

Day 14: Battle Mountain NV

At last we have proper Battle Mountain weather.  Wall to wall blue skies and temperatures down almost to freezing.  The motor-car said 4 degrees on the way out to the course and that was later than usual, because bad Mr Larrington overslept.  I expect my railway isn't that good either.

The Scousers are back on the road after a tanker of midnight oil was shipped in from the coast; the bike doesn't look too bad but they had to do a lot of work on its internal organs.  Dave did a 62, a cautious Ken backed off with the increasing wind and only clocked 45.  Neither rider wants to deck the machine again if there's any chance of a run in really good conditions.

Both Bluenose and Velox V had further issues, with the luckless Sherry Shi still unable to complete a run in Bluenose.  Lieske did a 56 but Robert went off the road just by Badger Ranch Road.  Both the bikes are OK, as is Sherry; Robert has some scrapes and a stiff neck.

On the short course Professor Nogami just missed the coveted 50 mph hat after a 49 and some change in CO2 - he won't run again as he's ceding priority to Ellen and Florian, both of whom have set trike world records this week.

Barclay Henry and John Pocock were up until stupid o'clock confecting a correx tail-cone and undertray for Liz McTernan's unfaired machine.  They also banged her tyre pressures up to 160 psi, which Liz doesn't have the power to do herself.  She ran twice over the short course with both runs around 24 mph.  Ceci Kowalik's 30.88 in the Micro-Moby is a new mark for the 12-14 age group; keen sibling rivalry will no doubt spur on younger sister Genna tomorrow.
At the debrief we are advised to be careful when lifting signs from their roadside resting places as Something might have been sleeping under them.  "Like Barclay?" I ask.  He has been camping out in the desert for most of the week, though did borrow Team Cygnus' floor for the storms on Monday.  In the meantime, here are some penguins.  Everybody likes penguins.
Yay!  Pengs!!1!
Now this afternoon I could have gone and watched the drag races but didn't, instead going for a potter up Mount Lewis, which is almost, but not quite, 3000 metres high.  This diversion means that the motor-car needs feeding again, as it's currently showing three miles to empty chiz.  Here, especially for Dr Larrington, is a radar dome to make up for the ones that aren't at Fylingdales any more.
There's SNO up there too!
SNO.  USAnia.  Friday.
Back down to earth for the evening sessions.  Once again I was driving for Team Cygnus so didn't get to see much as we were up at the start all evening.  Accosted by a footsore Mark Mueller, who needed to fetch some stuff from his car, at the time abandoned three miles up a dirt road after a bit of over-enthusiastic hooning saw the MX5 in a ditch with half the number of functional tyres it had this morning.  He managed to borrow a car off the Scousers.  Ben Scouser was worried that he'd never see it again.  This is a first.

We were in the third heat, which was somewhat delayed due to communication issues about the road closure and sweep cars and officials in the chase cars and all sorts of other Bad Stuffs, woo!  The sun had by then dropped behind the mountains; when this happens the temperature plummets as well as making it very hard for the catchers to see the approaching bikes.  Speeds were solid but not brilliant and neither Damjan nor Jan-Marcel was able to claim the coveted 80 mph hat.  Jan-Marcel's start was almost a repeat of last night's debacle but he got going after three falls, two submissions and a KO for another 76 mph run.
Erika and Jan-Marcel watch the Aerovelo boys getting their knees dirty

Previously on "Battle Mountain", Andrea pushed the Italian national record out to 70.16 mph which, chiz curses, is higher than Ken's BRITISH mark set earlier this week.  Ken pulled up the AR1 halfway down the course for reasons unknown to the Author; the team pulled off a mid-course catch.  There was a rumour that Tom had stacked the Beagle, but it turned out to be one of the bike's support stands jumping out of the back of Larry's truck.  This was alarming, not least for Teagan, running next down the road.  She recovered from a shaky launch (including the first-ever instance of a Steve Nash launch resulting in a horizontal bike) and clocked over 62 mph in spite of starting in a totally wrong gear and with the chain not running round one of the derailleur pulley like wot it orter.  In retrospect it was probably wise of Sjaak and Jan-Marcel not to march up to Steve and demand a public apology for his comments on Cygnus' Thursday performance.  And here is the tube directing air from the NACA duct on top of the Beagle.
Yes, that is a section of pipe lagging
Up until Thursday it was made from a paper cup half-inched from the Super 8.

In heat one Dave did a respectable 64.47 mph but, as we have now come to expect, this was eclipsed by that pesky Reichert fellow, who powered Eta through the 200 at a scarcely believable 139.21 km/h, or 86.50 mph in honest Queen-respecting units.
Trefor Evans launches Todd Reichert into history.  Again.
Team Cygnus meets the Top Man
L-R: Sjaak, Western Half-Devil Monster Face van Schaik, Jan-Marcel, Todd, Erika
The weather forecast for tomorrow is for further improvements and the design speed for Eta is 140 km/h.  We shall see.

Readers might like to be aware that, depending on the duration and location of the post-event celebrations, the publication of tomorrow's Automatic Diary may be delayed.  I will try to get something up in the afternoon but don't count on anything about the evening and the hat-awarding in time for Sunday breakfast.  Also I have to decide where to go on Sunday.

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