Saturday, 17 September 2016

Day 22: Battle Mountain NV

Just in from the awards bash.  New multi-track record for Gareth Hanks: 73.95 mph.  Improved Japanese record by Ryohei Komori: 82.03 mph.  New and Improved world record by Todd Reichert: 89.59 mph!

Sadly for we BRITONS Ken stacked ARION2 for reasons as yet unknown, but possibly to do with wind.  He's OK and the bike wasn't too bad but bad enough to deny Yasmin a chance to run, which is a chiz coz some of the team reckoned she was in with a shout of surpassing Barbara Buatois' world mark.

Nice People George and Carole Leone gave me one of two Launch Area Appreciation Awards and I've been promoted to Official Member of Team Cygnus which means two packets of Stroopwafels1.  And the boys have entrusted me with the care and feeding of the 2D version of Western Half-Devil Monster Face van Schaik for the rest of the trip.

I'll do a proper update by this time tomorrow but because slow internets, general knackerdom and a long drive into a different time zone tomorrow I aten't doing no more tonight.  Soz.

Well, it's now tomorrow night and the internets here is not performing like a drugged-up snail and I have uploaded the rest of Saturday's pictures, such as they are, in glorious full-definition Technicolor so let us, as some literary berk once said, return to the beginning.  Of Saturday, obv.  Not the Big Bang.  If you want Professor B Cox try Yellowstone National Park, where there are mountains for him to sit on and adequate space for his big helichopter.

With Friday night having been, to coin as phrase, a bit of a stonker, most of the fast girls and boys elected to stay in bed before indulging in a little light bike-polishing.  Natch most of them did not see fit to inform the Organisators, who were left standing on the start line pondering the whereabouts of $TEAM.  Which is dashed rude and most unBRITISH.  Obviously my chaps at Team Cygnus had told everyone they were not coming out to play, because they are Gentlemen.  Most runs, then, were composed largely of Vortex being ridden by various Toronto Oaves, with Alexei Kristaev making two runs in Tetiva 4, Larry Lem, and Greg and Peter in the DF velomobile.

Larry in Super 8 makes a clean getaway
No launch worries for Peter in his DF
Alexei makes his second run of the morning
Unlike last night the wind was feeling frisky and only Rossdan Craig's first run in Vortex was OK on that front.

Back to the Civic Center for the final debrief and slot-choosing meeting of the week, followed by the traditional photo shoot out front.

We have a gatecrasher!
"Uncle Sam" is Florida-based Russian Nikita Vatin who, I seem to recall, once gained notoriety in European HPV circles when, during a practical vehicle competition, lightened his load by eating the bread being carried as "shopping".
Radio Goddess Marieke Ligtvoet dressed up for the occasion!
Marieke and husband Arnold (formerly one-man band recumbent builder Raptobike) returned after a three year absence to dispense good sense, herd cats and be generally teh Aces, in which functions they far exceeded all expectations.  Oh, them funny bikes, yes:
Most of the machines and riders.  Dave Sianez and the Plymouth team had already left; Adam Ince was hiding somewhere
No excuse needed to include another picture of Scout, overall winner of the drag races and everyone's new BFF
Proceeding were interrupted by the appearance of this vintage BEER truck:
which b0rked down under the strain of delivering Mikey's lunch.

After all that nonse was over Team Cygnus went down the road for their own photo session:
Pic by Jonathan with my camera.  Ta matey!
The boys then went to the Ming Dynasty for lunch.  No surprise there, then.  I went back to the Super 8 and fell asleep, waking in time for the Grand Finale, and you know what happened there already, except that because Yasmin couldn't run Alexei got to make his third run of the day and came away with a wind-legal 65 mph run and a new Hat.  To no-one's particular surprise Jun (day job: professor at the University of Toronto) let Thomas Ulph (day job: Penniless Student Oaf at the University of Toronto) make an unscheduled final run in Vortex (day job: streamlined bicycle at the, er, University of Toronto) which just happened to be Vortex' 100th run on 305:
100 km/h on the 100th run: a happy Thomas Ulph
Waiting for the inevitable delays caused by Ken's crash we were entertained by Diego:
Diego (centre) chatting up one of he Delft/Amsterdam team
Diego, who is 8, asked far more sensible questions than the average Filthy Lying Journalist Scum, moved away from the road when asked (unlike many a Penniless Student Oaf) and became only the third person evvah to sit in VeloX 6.  Get 'em young...

Back to town for the results & awards bash.  Al Krause also dressed up for the occasion:
Noes!  Invaded by a refugee from M.A.S.H
In fact quite a lot of people did, as Marieke worked the room persuading people to try a Team Cygnus T-shaped shirt.
Marieke had no trouble persuading Aurélien to model the latest fashion
Nosh was variations on the theme of pasta.  Our table - the van Vugts, the Ligvoets and Team Cygnus - let the Italians on the next table try it first.  When the pronounced it "OK" we felt it safe to eat rather than, say, nip round the corner to The Scottish Restaurant.  The Annecy team were forgiven their earlier transgressions when, after someone who was almost certainly Frank Lem started humming La Marseillaise, they performed a lusty vocal rendition worthy of the Parc des Princes:
Aux armes, citoyens!  Et vive la France!
There were some results, both for Saturday evening's runs and overall so Yay! for Todd Reichert, Yasmin Tredell, Sarah Piercy, Gareth Hanks, Florian Kowalik and Scout.  You'd think that:
  • because they've got real jobs now, and
  • to give everyone else a chance
the Aerovelo team might like to give next year a miss but both Todd and evil genius Cameron Robertson indicated otherwise.  As one of the Scousers said, we'd like to hate them but they're too damn'2 nice.  Cam also reckoned that aiming for a mere 90 mph would setting their sights too low...

I then went to bed.
  1. Lie.  They gave me two last year as well, but Jan-Marcel says he'll send me a T-shaped shirt when they get home.
  2. A more pungent adjective may have been used

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