Other lessons


Broken records

Quickly adapting, the team quickly grew from the fifties to the sixties. Dave was the first to hit 60mph and Ken quickly followed, in what was to be a repeat of the friendly competition. Each racer's achievement spurred the other on. 60mph. 64 mph... 67... Impressive numbers considering the less than favourable conditions. Impressive enough to break the old British world record when Ken hit 69mph. The team warmed up well. Their entourage, however, was lagging behind.

Wind, rain and snow

High desert speeds conjure up images of melting tyres on cracked concrete. Not so this September. Unusually bad weather came to the valley. Rain halted several races and it turned into a game of "if and when" teams could get on the track. Disappointing for many who made the journey there; seeing their time slots fade away due to elements beyond their control. Nevertheless, few of us can claim to have seen snow on top of a mountain in the middle of summer in the Nevada desert. It's a strange sight. A natural phenomenon caused by fluctuations in diurnal temperature and high altitude. But it wasn't the rain (or snow) that posed the biggest problem for the team. By far the most dangerous condition in front of them was the strong wind blowing across the valley floor.

It was these winds that shook the team in the middle of the week. Accidents used to be alarming, but this one was different. Strong winds and a cruising speed of 55mph set Ken and his bike back worse than ever before. The rider survived unscathed, but the bike was much less fortunate. ARION 1 was in bad shape. Around the clock. "They were an absolute credit to the project. Solid effort by these guys." Those are the words Dave uses to describe the ARION engineering team who worked around the clock for 3 days to get the bike back in working order and ready for new races. Taking turns, each member played a different role to keep Britain in the running. It is in times like these that the glory changes. From the strength of the drivers to the skill of the engineers. I've never felt more like it when Dave and Ken stayed up late to provide help and moral support to their team members who need to bring ARION 1 back to life. Legs became useless until their toolkit heroes broke their personal record this week. This will prove to be time well spent.


The bike has been put back together. The cracks have been filled and sanded away. The aerodynamics were restored as best they could. Finally, the front tyre was replaced with a more stable model. Slower but more stable, giving both riders the extra confidence they needed to put their best foot forward on the final day. And confidence was key. The whole morning was spent getting ready for the last chance. Getting used to the new tyre, struggling with the changed feel of the gears and handling. Now both riders had something to prove. Both wanted to give credit to the project and the team. Both wanted to really earn their places in ARION 1.

All or nothing