Thursday, 14 September 2017

Day 15: Battle Mountain NV

Wednesday morning was, to borrow a piquant phrase from a Liverpudlian PSO, "like watching two monkeys trying to fuck a football".  Starting when the Oaf responsible for the care and feeding of ARION 3's transmission failed to plug the derailleur's battery cable back in.  Yasmin made a faultless start in perfect conditions and then couldn't change gear.  Spun out after 200m, coasted the rest of the way and still did 42 mph.  Ken went down at his first attempt and a communication cockup led to us thinking he wasn't going to run.  When he had another go he went down again and then really packed with "something rattling" in the bottom of the bike.  Team not happy1.
Weather looms over our little encampment in the desert
Bad luck settled on Toronto as well; Isaac Chung didn't start because of "something rubbing" around the rear wheel of Bluenose, Mr Sir Lord Professor Jun Nogami decked the same bike three times and DNS'ed and Thomas Ulph snapped the old dog's final drive chain.  Then the timing system went wonky for current fastest rider Calvin Moes in Eta Prime.  Which fate also befell Aniek Rooderkerken in VeloX 7, though the bike's on-board GPS had her at over 70 with legal wind.  An attempt was made to salvage the data from the innards of the timing box later, but there was nothing in there chiz.
Following which, Jun Nogami announced his retirement from HPV racing.  Again...
The luckless Japanese team didn't start this morning - possibly something to do with the seat mountings - while the equally luckless Mexicans made two unsuccessful attempts to get their bike down the road, and Barbara Buatois yet again failed to get the new Varna off the line, going down a further six times.  She's going to qualify the old Tempest tomorrow morning.  Fastest of the session was Andrea Gallo in Taurus with a wind-legal 75.15 from Alan Petit in Eta Prime at 67.63.  The Aussies are improving, with Charles Easton-Berry doing a 55.77, though this was only a whisker ahead of Peter Borenstadt, a Gentleman of Mature Years, in his almost-stock DF velomobile.  I hear Charles is another late substitute rider, which accounts for the blood all over the inside of the fairing from his knee being grated by the composite.  Thanks, Al, for showing us all the picture while we were waiting for dinner.  But the Macquarie team supplied Liverpool with a roll of hockey tape, so all is forgiven.
Is your car bike?  Is preeetty car bike
2D Thomas decided to ride in the sweep car today
We started the evening session a little earlier than on previous nights, mostly because the days are getting shorter.  Fewer shenanigans tonight, though Ken had volunteered his services as sk8r d00d to Yasmin as the Scousers' regular man-on-wheels was laid up with heatstroke.  So only two bikes in the first heat and yet again Toronto suffered, with Bill putting Bluenose off the road while slowing down from a wind-legal 68.94 mph run.  HPT Delft/Amsterdam continued to improve their form with a 65.79 for Iris.
Iris accelerates VeloX 7 away from the start
In heat two Toronto's Calvin Moes unshipped Eta Prime's chain and didn't start; Charles recovered from a use-all-the-road wobble to record another clean run and Peter ran the DF to a whisker under 54 mph.  He's having a lie-in tomorrow.
Team Gangsta: (L-R) Frank Lem, Peter Borenstadt, Larry Lem
Charles in MQ1 leaving the start
Heat three saw Andrea edging his speed up to 75.93 mph, though my Sinister Agents tell me there is Dissent in the Ranks as Professor Paolo thinks Andrea's Methods - cruise at 200W power for three miles then cane it - are Unsound and please to try it his way.  Computer Andrea says "No".  Yasmin's disappointing day continued with "something rubbing" loud enough to be heard from the timing table and a 69.69 mph pass; Aniek did a 72.15 but both she and Yasmin had non-legal wind, which was starting to get pretty strong at the start.
Ken the super-sub sk8r d00d about to launch Yasmin
Alan was the third Toronto rider of the evening; you can probably guess the rest.  A fall, a righting by some of the HPT PSOs and an apparently successful start, until Eta Prime toppled again, slid off the road and disappeared completely into the deep bed of the watercourse that passes under the road just next to the Grassy Knoll.  "I thought it slid a long way" he said, after a Several of sturdy Oaves had lifted bike and rider back onto the road.  He declined a restart...
Sturdy Oaves rescue Ditchfinder-General Alan from deep in the Hole
Although there was Weather brewing up on all sides it stayed away from the course tonight, though there's some serious thunder-and-lightning action going on in the mountains right now.  Last weather forecast anyone saw reckons a storm coming in after tomorrow morning's runs but so far the weather forecasts have been  mostly this: wrong.  So we're hoping that they err yet again.

Edit: It's almost midnight, raining hard and blowing hard enough to have ripped the securely-taped Customs paperwork from on of HPT's crates out the front.  Yoicks!

"I'll be glad when the 13th is over" ~ Marieke Ligtvoet, yesterday.

The wrap-up meeting had a surprise visit from Axl Rose2
  1. Understatement
  2. Lie


  1. Where can I find daily results?

    1. Chief timer Jun Nogami posts times on his blog after every session: