By The Dawn’s Early Light, and Baby, It’s COLD Outside!

SUN_6908.jpgThe high Nevada desert can get cold at night, and that was certainly the case in Battle Mountain before dawn today.
David, Andrew and Whittney had to bundle up to practice starts in the hotel parking lot, but those tests uncovered a few problems with the drive train.
Qualifying takes place on a section of S.R 305 for a few hours each morning, and NDOT officials has been great about closing the road right after the morning school buses pass, then hanging around to ensure traffic is not blocked for more than about twenty minutes. This cycle repeats for about 2 1/2 hours and then it’s back to the Super 8 pit stop to work on the bikes.
DSC_2303.jpg S&T didn’t make it to the qualifying line this morning, which lies some 15 miles south of Battle Mountain, because a warped chain ring caused the chain to pop off when Whittney really started to crank the pedals. The Miners DID manage to find a machine shop last night and got help repairing stripped threads on the steering clamp, problems not uncommon at races like these. Each machine is an experimental, custom-built device that can break in many ways, so riders are constantly tweaking and adjusting their mechanisms.
This evening, after the school buses headed back out into the sticks, riders will return to the highway and try again. Speeds typically increase throughout the week, so today’s runs in the high 40-mph range will soon be forgotten.