To Nelson for 9 am. Collect key (thanks James - R)(thanks Andrew - J) and there, breezy from a 4 am start and a 250 mile mountain drive of which we won't calculate the carbon footprint, was Mr R G Knight sitting outside Trafalgar Park in his car where he'd been practising his Anglo-Saxon since 10 to 9 waiting for me to arrive.
Onto the track, and a few nervous laps without the top, and then on with the top and lo! success. The boy was able to ride it. The oval track is 521 metres long if you use a commercial lap measurer, 519 metres long if you use my 48 inch penny farthing, and 520 metres long if you go by the Council's survey; and it's a bit narrower on the far side where the rugby football authorities felt empowered to snip a bit of width off for their new stand (1). This means that the far corner is a bit squirrelly, a sort of evil combination of a sharpened curve and a wrong camber. So it took a good number of laps before he looked comfortable and was riding roughly in the middle of the track rather than round the outskirts. Lap times were hovering around the 37 second mark.
Then along poled Nigel and Annaliese. Annaliese is a pretty serious UCI cyclist - sort of the NZ criterium champion - and she doesn't spell her name that way but I can't remember how she does spell it and neither can anyone else. I spell it that way because I have a particularly angelic niece who does. And lacking any other photographic decoration from the day, I now somewhat irrelevantly attach the niece.
(The niece sits on a daughter - mine - who Members may recall as an eight-year-old recumbent cyclist from, oh, about eleven years ago.)
Annaliese (the cyclist) lacks a recumbent so we shall have to lend her one. Can't be missing out on opportunities to get serious cyclists onto serious cycles. Nigel is Nigel Farrell who designed and built a very elegant FWD SWB which is in one of the BHPC Newsletters, I forget which one, because I put it there. (I didn't forget which one because I put it there. It's there because - oh never mind.) Nigel has been riding this machine corriboard-faired for the last 3 years at around the speed that the NZ Hour Record stands, and is still riding this machine because the new one he's building isn't finished yet. Aarn Tate is somehow involved in this build: I didn't quite get how because I wasn't paying attention.
So pretty soon we had the both of them quietly trundling round at about 30 mph, and Annaliese took some photos with Bob's camera, and I can't show you them right now cos my computer doesn't have the right sized USB port. It's a very old computer. It's 5.
Then we had to stop because the Rugby Footballers were due, they occupying the redundant grass bit that you often find in the middle of a valuable cycle track, and we all went home to fettle.
Come the evening we returned and everyone - there were lots of us by now - swept 520 metres of tarmac and we all tried to work out how to time everything accurately and everyone's relying on a chap called Paul Dunlop who is the only member of the NZ HPV club with organisational abilities and who is therefore its Hon. Sec. The NZ club is called KiwiHPV and I daresay you could google it if your USB ports are the right size.
So tomorrow at dawn the ride will start and we will see if
1. Bob's chainring can withstand the excitement and
2. he falls off and
3. I can find a piece of paper to write down how to spell Annaliese Farrell.
1.Which, in the event, is permanently unoccupied. (We do not comment on Rugby Football. We wish to live on unmolested.)