Bas de Meijer posted this picture on the WHPSC website a while back, with the caption that I was “doing a Damjan”.
Let me explain…
Damjan Zabovnik had been trying to get an 80 mph run for many years. Last year, he came heartbreakingly close with a 79.98 mph run with illegal wind. So Bas was referring to the fact that I had just pulled into catch after a 49.5 mph run, shy of the 50 required to get a hat.
How did I end up running down 305 in the first place? Well it certainly wasn’t my first attempt. I had tried to ride the HPVDT’s bike Vortex several years ago, but I ended up crashing twice, and thereafter swore off streamliner racing. Last year, I saw Greg Thomas and Peter Borenstadt go fast in Completely Overzealous, and when I heard that Garrie Hill was acquiring a copy of that trike (Completely Overzealous 2, AKA CO2), I asked if there was a possibility for me to try it.
Back in May at Waterford, I find out that I actually fit.
An agreement was reached that I would be able to ride, but at a lower priority than the other scheduled riders, i.e. Florian Kowalik, Mike Mowett, and Ellen Van Vugt.
Fast forward to last Wednesday. I am scheduled to run in the next morning, and I check to see if I can ride the trike in the Super 8 parking lot.
It is a very tight fit.
My first run, I spent the entire time being scared, without pushing at all, but at least I made it through the traps. You can tell that I’m scared from the heart rate data.
I would like to thank Garrie Hill for his generosity in letting me ride, the Kowaliks for moral and logistical support, and Garrie and Hans for driving the chase car for my runs. It was a thrilling experience. Also a shout out to Ben Goodall and Gareth Hanks of Trisled for building such a beautiful machine.
I was really embarassed to get first place for Men’s multitrack, since a) I was the only competitor, and b) Florian went much faster but was technically a junior. A prize of slightly more than $10 per mph must have set some kind of dubious record.
As far as Damjan is concerned, since he did get an 80 mph hat on Saturday evening, I would propose a new meaning to the phrase “doing a Damjan”: finally achieving a goal after a long time and much effort. In this new sense of the phrase, I wish that Jan-Marcel will do a Damjan next year, and we can also do without the crashing after he passes through timing.
note: all photos by Danny Guthrie, except two by Bas de Meijer.
That’ll wrap up my Battle Mountain coverage for this year. We now return you to our regularly scheduled programming…..