MinerDetails Update, and Kudos for Nevada!

Before we get to today’s race details, we need to stop and thank Nevada for being such great host for the week-long Human-Powered Speed Challenge. This event has been held on S.R. 305 for nearly a decade, but for 2010 N-DOT really went all out.
DSC_2468_2.jpg Northern Nevada is a big mining area, and that means lots of heavy truck traffic. Smooth roads are not a factor for the big rigs but high-speed bicycles require a glass-like surface to maintain control. When N-DOT repaved the highway last year, they went out of their way to keep this six-mile portion of highway recumbent-friendly. Not only did they make the road smoother, they also left out that noisy rumble strip that runs under the yellow center line
These bikes run on high-pressure tires, and if riders had to contend with a rumble strip, they’d never reach high speeds, their bikes would vibrate apart, and they’d likely rattle all their teeth out of their head. Not pretty.
Anyway, thanks so much to N-DOT for the new road surface, closing the highway in twenty-minute intervals, and even providing the flag men and women to keep our riders safe.
Now about the racing…………
The Miners are making progress on the mechanical issues. They have until Saturday night to qualify and make their speed runs, so we aren’t too worried. To keep MinerDetails in good shape they’ve covered the fairing with cardboard. It’s kinda ugly, but it’s only there to keep from getting scratched up on parking-lot tests.
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Other riders? Some have still not qualified, one has crashed, and others are just getting comfortable on the highway. Launching an enclosed bicycle can be an adventure, and every support crew has its own, uh, style that can turn into a spectator sport on its own. SUN_7352_2.jpg
Six miles away, on the other end of the course, stands the “recovery” team that catches the bikes at the end of each run. This crew, often made up from various teams’ support members, has the riskiest job. If a bike comes in too fast it can quickly turn into “human bowling”, tossing volunteers everywhere. Did we mention that not all the bikes have good brakes?
Lastly, desert sunsets can be gorgeous, turning distant mountains orange just as the last riders make their evening runs.
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DSC_2447_2.jpgMornings and evenings are REALLY pretty out here, too! Not sure about mid-day, because that’s when everyone heads back to the hotel for a nap.