Tuesday, 11 September 2018

Day 22: Battle Mountain NV

Hurrah!  Long-time competitors, organisators, volunteers and general Good Eggs Carole and George Leone have arrived, bringing with them five Penniless Student Oaves from Cal Poly, who are anxious to build a bike for the WHPSC rather than mucking about with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers' event.  In which most machines are described by Professor Sir Generalissimo Nogami as "Lawn chairs with wheels".  Retirement is clearly taking its toll on George, as he is building a scale replica of Half Dome in Yosemite National Park, to conceal a tank of some kind in their garden.  When finished it will even have scale climbers on it, complete with rope.  No-one give this man a plate of mashed potatoes lest he start to channel his inner Richard Dreyfus.


Half Dome in 2003, yesterday
Tuesday morning was basically a repeat of Monday night, albeit with slightly fewer visitations from the P*nct*r* Fairy.  This time she only visited Andrea, who decked Taurus around the three mile mark.  Larry Lem declined to risk Wahoo's shiny paintwork in the wind and didn't start.  Newcomer Valina Sintalova, riding the repaired second-string Toronto bike Bluenose, launched but went down almost immediately for reasons variously attributed to aliens, wild horses and Bigfoot.  And Jennifer Breet dropped VeloX 8 at catch when her main monitor decided to turn its display umop-ap!sdn.  But at least I have figured out1 how to make my camera run in burst mode, or whatever Olympus call it, so was actually able to get pictures of the bikes passing timing without having to reply on luck.


Michael Head of the Liverpool team recreates a famous moment from movie history.  Leonardo de Caprio just out of shot.
Jennifer Breet in VeloX 8 exits timing
After the morning debrief it's time for the Show'n'Shine, when the Small People are traditionally loosed upon the assembled team to poke their little jammy fingers into the nethermost reaches of the bikes.  Pour encourager les autres, Lander County's Convention and Tourism folks - led by the inestimable Paula Tomera - lay on a free buffet lunch.  I had two, which is why I'm typing this now instead of propping up a table at one of the local restaurants.  But I managed to take a few pictures before before sore feet and jammy fingers drove me back to the Super 8, where lack of other folks allowed the Intertubes to upload said pictures without squishing them.  I think the camera automatically reduces the size anyway when it's shooting in rapid-fire mode.


CO2 before the application of Little Jammy Fingers
Small-pitch industrial chain for Altaïr 6's final drive
When I woke up after my afternoon snooze, the good news was that Danny Guthrie had made it into town to help at timing and produce more of his fabulous pictures of the desert sky.  The bad news was that it was windier than ever, but we all traipsed out to the course anyway, because:

  • it's about fifteen miles away and the weather can be quite different out there, and
  • the wind usually drops the later it gets, and
  • some people know no fear

In the latter category was Jennifer, who remained upright but lost her chain and only managed just under 59 mph in an evil crosswind.  Not in the latter category was Larry, who declined to risk Wahoo's shiny paintwork in the wind and didn't start.  I am beginning to sense a theme here.  Matthias made a "not-pushing" run at 48 and a bit; Fabien Canal was less cautious and did 62.07 in Altaïr 6.  Just under 100 km/h chiz.  All three are capable of a lot more with more experience and/or less wind.


Matthias König/VeloX XS, not pushing
Fabien Canal/Altaïr 6, pushing quite a bit
For the final heat the wind did the hoped-for trick, with Lucy the anemometer showing wind speeds of under 100 ft/s for the first time this week.  Andrea duly obliged with an 82.80 mph run.  7th rider over 80 mph, 4th fastest rider ever (a fraction behind Sam Whittingham).  Lieke did 74.21, Ellen 70.64 and Ishtey Amminger 60.94 for a new world record in the Junior Men's Multitrack category.  We also smuggled Calvin into the last heat; he ran 75.32 mph.  We want this low-slung revolving wheels high-speed trend to continue.


Andrea Gallo/Taurus, pushing a lot
Ishtey Amminger/CO2, pushing hard enough to claim a world record
Sorry for the picture quality of the above but the light was a bit lacking.  And Idiot Boy neglected to zoom in close enough.

CNN have a film crew in da 'hood.  Russell Bridge reckons the threat of exposure on national TV has caused DHL to pull their collective finger out and get the Soup Dragon to Reno tomorrow morning.  We are keeping our wossnames crossed but will only believe it when the bike passes tech inspection.

1: Lie.  I read the fucking manual.

1 comment:

  1. After some intense Googling, I found the weird object on the side of the road. It's "Metaphor, the tree of Utah".
    https://www.roadsideamerica.com/story/2230

    ReplyDelete