Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Day 19: Battle Mountain NV

Apologies to BRITAIN if this is late, but here is a list of Things that are Slower than the Internets tonight:
  • A dead sloth (three-toed)
  • Perry McCarthy's F1 career
  • My kettle trying to boil water with feeble USAnian electricity
  • The Northern Line
Anyway, Wednesday as it happened, give or take the odd sprinkling of Lie.
This is the sort of thing I have to put up with all the time from Team Cygnus
Although it was bone dry at eleven last night it rained again overnight, and enough to add a few more grey hairs all round.  However, it had dried enough to make running feasible - the short course start and timing areas were still a little damp but no longer had rivers running through them.  Yasmin Tredell was first to run in the Liverpool machine ARION2; however she had a few wobbles at the start and steered off into the brush, damaging the bike's camera housing enough that it couldn't be fixed in time for her to run in the second heat.  So it was Rossdan Craig in Toronto's battle-scared, bottle-scarred machine Vortex who got the first legal-wind run of the week.
Launch FAIL for Yasmin
Bad luck continued to follow Andrew Sourk around; having spent much of yesterday fettingly his machine TRIage back into shape following damage incurred on the journey here, he got about two feet before something started making an 'orrible noise from the rear wheel.
Andrew Sourk in TRIage, shortly before pulling up with a deranged rear end (fnarr fnarr)
Sarah Piercy had a successful run in Reynold the Plymouth University handcycle, but reckons that the 2.5 mile course is far more run-up than she needs.  We're looking at the possibility of starting her from at or near Badger Ranch Road tomorrow, which is 600 metres out from the traps.
Plymouth PSOs launch Sarah Piercy in Reynold
In the second set of qualifiers, Chris Williams pulled up Vortex out on the course with breathing difficulties, Adam Ince hadn't shown up at the start at all and Andrew got about thirty yards this time before the issues with his rear steering bushing reared its head again.  This left Dave Sianez in Slimpossible as the only finisher from the group, complaining of legs like Jello™ at the end of his run.
SNO.  USAnia,  Wednesday.
Then out to the five mile start and some proper high speeds, albeit with occasional forays into illegality by the wind.  Florian Kowalik's 65.13 would have been a new junior record if the wind had co-operated.  Ken Buckley in the repaired ARION2 and Aurélien Bonneteau in Altaïr 5 both topped 70, while Todd Reichert ran Eta to 81 dead.  Both Florian and Larry Lem got away cleanly this time, and Larry has just removed the Kevlar crash panels from the sides of the Super 8.  On the run down the road between heats I had to stop to pick up what I thought was a piece of truck tyre in the road, but turned out to be a recumbent seat cushion.  I was ready to blame it on Larry, since he has previous for things jumping out of his truck, but it had actually been on the roof of Toronto's car for over two miles before coming off.  So, Sherry, you weren't pushing hard enough...  Big ups to the Mexican team, whose bike is too complicated to build in the parking lot, for crewing for Andrew Sourk, all the various PSOs valiantly sweeping skog™ off the course every time a chase vehicle pulled out and Team Policumbent for waiting patiently to run at a moment's notice if anyone dropped out.
Andrea's foot, yesterday
Debrief, lunch at the Clot Colt, other meeting that I sneaked out of to come and do Webby SCIENCE instead.  If you have read the comments from yesterday's instalment you will see that my man Jan-Marcel abandoned his on-deck position for this morning in favour of snoring, but he's running tonight.
Jan-Marcel warms up for his massive effort.  Yay! to Barclay Henry for the loan of the trainer
Or so we thought.  The lad did approximately three pedal strokes before the final drive chain came off, but by that time the rest of the crew was sprinting back to the car, leaving J-M no option but to freewheel down the road.  All six miles of it.  At 35-40 mph.  We think this constitutes some kind of record.  A slight moment of discombobulation when Calvin Moes in Eta Prime went tearing past halfway down the course but everything went by the Big Book of Disaster Preparedness and no-one was killed utterly to DETH.

But I get ahead of myself.  In heat one the Annecy team weren't quite as dilatory in getting Altaïr 5 on the road as on previous runs, but Aurélien still managed to tow his sk8ter d00d about half a mile on the way to a 76+.  Slightly faster than Jan Bos in VeloX 6, who had a rubbing and rather smelly brake to contend with.  Clean runs for Alexei Kristaev in Tetiva 4 and Thomas Ulph in Vortex.
Jan Bos runs through the pre-flight checks
In the rest of heat two the wind had picked up enough to be non-legal, which was a mouldy chiz for Andrea Gallo in PulsaR with his 76.24 mph run.  By the final set of runs the wind had dropped off again.  Gareth Hanks was just under his own multi-track record with 72.6 and Ken Buckley likewise with the BRITISH record at 74.9.  Florian Kowalik's 62.69 was slower than he went this morning but tonight's legal wind means a new world record for the Junior Men's category.  And Todd?

88.26 mph.
Omnes: Iz teh record then?
J Nogami: Yes. Yes, it is.
Cue "Back To The Future" jokes about Todd waking up in 1955.
Bas de Meijer demonstrates his unique talent for getting his head in the way, this time of Team Aerovelo (2016).  Use your Junior Pocket Microscope (Model 3a) to check out the unique 88 mph hat.
Has anyone checked Eta for one of these?

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