Day 3, or the Day of “Wait, what happened THERE?”

June 25, 2012

Right, with a title like that, I’ll dive right in- we were worse today. -28, -9, -17, and -41. All early. We ran the gamut of possible failures to get those, too. We missed the start again, thought we did it differently today. Yesterday we waited too long to leave the transit zone. Today we were sitting at the start, waiting for our time to show up, and we suddenly noticed the car that ran after us had just left. We got very confused, as you might imagine, and couldn’t figure out what we’d done wrong. Had we added wrong, and we had the wrong start time? Maybe the Mustang was running early for some reason?

Nope. We both managed to forget how to read a clock. For 2 minutes. Once again, a mad pass-fest ensued to try and bring our placing back. We did get it back, and apparently then some.

After lunch in Parry Sound on a beautiful balcony, we headed out into the third stage. Not much of note here except the rest stop! We had a transit zone at Big Chute, a very interesting type of railway. It can physically lift a boat out of the water, cross the road, and let it down (or bring it up) a few hundred feet to the water on the other side. We had a lot of fun running around, looking at all the various problems we wouldn’t have thought of that had creative solutions we couldn’t have fathomed. Very cool.
Big Chute Marine Railway on Wikipedia

On the fourth leg, we ran a Classen-special. This is when the rally instructions have us run across other racers going the other way, just to make it that much more confusing. In a past year that my father ran, he told me that they ran a figure-8 for miles, around corn fields, to the point that every car was in the 8 at the same time. We didn’t yet get such a thing, this was just one loop, but we ended up running it against other cars, and it started raining. The wipers don’t seem to be any better today than yesterday… I have spares, but we first just tried cleaning the existing ones.

We were lucky today. Yesterday we saw a checkpoint and hadn’t yet cleared our time build up yet, so we slowed way down and crept across, to try and minimize the time. Today we found out they weren’t really sure if we’d dropped below the 5-MPH threshold that’s considered stopping in view of a checkpoint, so instead of hitting us with the 5-minute (!) penalty, they just gave a warning. We’ll try to avoid that problem in the future no matter what.

We also found out one reason we might have had such a problem on today’s legs: we had been making time up in the sections that were timed at a certain speed (say 1m24s at 35, then speed up to 45), but by doing so, the physical point at which we slowed down changed, so the time to the next instruction would inherently be wrong. That’s something we can avoid from now on.

Once we arrived at the hotel, I decided to delve into whatever it was that was clicking every time we hit the brakes for the first time in a while, and causing excessive pedal travel. I had assumed a loose wheel bearing, that was causing brake-pad kickback. To be totally honest, I don’t actually know what it was, even after I took of the wheel and ferreted around, but the bearing was a touch loose, so I tightened that. The outer brake pad was clearly free to move, I could move it by hand. It made the same clicking sound we were hearing, but there appeared to be nothing wrong, so nothing got changed… We’ll see.

Sorry for the brevity and lack of info, but both Nick and I are very tired (which had no bearing on the times at all, no…) so I didn’t want to stay up too late tonight.

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