Saturday, September 10, 2016

Michigan Recumbent Rally - West – Sept. 10, 2016

By Mike Eliasohn

Turnout at the annual Michigan Recumbent Rally - West in Kalamazoo on Saturday, Sept. 10, was disappointing.
Most of the people who came didn't bring recumbents to show and ride, rather they came hoping to ride a laid-back bike or trike, but choices were few.
The only three-wheelers there (both for sale) were a TerraTrike Rambler and a folding TerraTrike Traveler, brought by Gabe Lagina of Pedal Bicycles in Portage and downtown Kalamazoo.  
Rally organizer Paul Pancella brought three two-wheelers. There were, if my memory is correct, five other two-wheelers there, but four of those were there for only part of the day.
Rain may have kept people away, however, notices of the rally on the Wolverbents and site and seven area Craigslists all stated that in case of rain, the event would take place inside the parking structure next to the Western Michigan University College of Engineering building on the Parkview Campus. That's where we were and we were dry.
Normally the rally uses the College of Engineering parking lot.

Dave Wright (above) of Battle Creek brought the only non-manufactured bikes, two homebuilts.  He didn't build either one, having bought them from the builders, but did make some fixes, though more work is needed.
The long wheelbase (approximately 71 in.) was built from plans and is quite similar to an Easy Racer or similar design.  The frame of the short wheelbase (approximately 41 in.) looks like it might have been manufactured – the welding is neat and rear dropouts are thick –  but the rest looks homemade.
Both are for sale.  Dave is asking $350 for the LWB and $250 for the SWB.  You can e-mail him at

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Owosso Bike Fest - Aug. 14, 2016

The 12th annual Owosso Bike Fest, conducted by the House of Wheels bicycle shop took place Sunday, Aug. 14, preceded by two days of preliminary activities.  The emphasis is on antique, cruiser, custom and homebuilt bikes.

Here's Terry Gerweck's report and photos.

It’s a fun weekend that starts with a well attended (50 + riders) pub crawl ride on Friday night with the Peddlers. Saturday afternoon after The House Of Wheels closes, there is a  20-mile round trip ride to Ovid for dinner. Sunday is the Bikefest show / swap meet, which culminates with another bike ride.  

The first three photos are my newest bike (and a souvenir I picked up while riding).

This is what Terry's latest project looked like a week before the Owosso Bike Fest. This was originally a "girls" bike.  Terry cut out the upper horizontal frame tube, flipped it over so it became more convex, rather than concave, and welded it into place as the top tube, thus making it into a "boys" bike.  Notice the forks. The stem riser was intended for motorcycles.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

The next two are poor shots of the neatest freak bike there 
(and vaguely reminiscent of Joel Wiggins' style) 

The next three are the rear of a six-wheeled velo-car/something with a REAL TRAIN AIRHORN mounted (for the horniest bike trophy). It was very LOUD! Note the air tank in the cargo box.

Next was, arguably, the most ridden bike of the weekend. It’s a commercial trike / unicycle with training wheels kinda thing that one of the guys dug out of a dumpster. Was a hoot to ride. 

The last shot is the new bicycle museum in the Corunna historical village / park, a small but honorable start that features bicycle history from the area.

In searching the Internet for more Owosso Bike Fest info, blog editor Mike Eliasohn found this photo from the Owosso Argus-Press, dated Aug. 9, 2015:

TERRY “GIZMO” GERWECK of Monroe shows off a custom bicycle design inspired by the famous penny-farthing model popularized in the late 1800s at Owosso Bike Fest Sunday.  (Tim Rath photo)

Sunday, July 3, 2016

32nd annual Michigan HPV Rally - June 18-19, 2016

Cyrus Furbush, 19, of Tecumseh, said he discovered recumbents online, bought his M5 M-Racer last October, didn't ride it from January through March, "then I got back into it."  At Waterford Hills, he was "into it' in a big way, winning the stock class over 20 other competitors.  He placed 2nd in the one-hour time trial, 2nd in the hill climb, 7th in the coast-down, won the standing start kilometer and was 4th in the Sunday morning road race.

Words and photos by Mike Eliasohn

     The 32nd annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally – the 29th at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston – was a success in terms of turnout, some new competitors and the competition.
    There were about 37 competitors and 41 vehicles (some people competed on/in more than one vehicle), coming from Michigan (of course), Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Ontario.  
     As usual, the two biggest "chunks" of competitors were from the University of Toronto – eight people, three streamliners and three manufactured bikes – and Team Kowalik from Deerfield, Ill.  – father Fran and kids Adrian, 7, Anna, 9, Genna, 11, Ceci, 13, Mathias, 15, and Florian, 17. Each had their own bike.

Making a return to the rally after last competing in 2012 was Rick Gritters of Pella, Iowa, in his homebuilt streamliner.  He won the streetliner class over three other competitors.  The fairing is aircraft fabric over a tubular framework.  (What's the difference between a streamliner and a streetliner? Go to, then under "Recumbent racing," click on "Human Powered Race America.)

      The rally couldn't happen without a lot of helpers, some of who also were competitors.  Here's what rally organizer Mike Mowett wrote (with some editing):  Bill Frey decided to be up north this year instead of planning his time downstate around Waterford. His handwritten sheets about how to set up the hill climb, kilo and sprints were invaluable. 
     Terry Gerweck's help in timing all of those same three events was invaluable as well. Wally Koehler assisted him too. That's what I like how everyone just shows up and does invaluable jobs.
     Bruce Gordon helped with the results from afar (from his home in Buchanan). Warren Beauchamp with the timing system. Brenda Gritters assisted him. 
     Donna Wheeler and Mary Grelk and Tedd Wheeler  decided the cash distribution for the prizes. Donna did the registration and Tedd did the tech inspection.
     About $645 in prize money was distributed, which is about double the prize fund of past years, as part of the effort to get the Michigan HPV Association's treasury down to zero, so the MHPVA can cease to exist.  The Michigan HPV Rally will continue, however, as long as there are people willing to organize and run the event.
     And thank you Mike Mowett for organizing/running the rally.

Ishtey Amminger, 13, of Memphis, Tenn., won the junior class over five Kowaliks – Mathias, Genevieve, Cecilia, Anastasia and Adrian.  Ishtey was riding a Rotator Tiger.

      Following are the top three competitors in each class.  Complete results can be seen at If that doesn't work, go to, then click on "forums," then "HPV racing," then "Waterford 2016 race results"
      Streamliner (9 entrants, 6 vehicles) – 1) Dan Zolyniak, Toronto, Ont., homebuilt Mistral streamliner, 360 points; 2) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa, Barracuda streamliner, 325; 3) John Simon, Portland, Moby streamliner, 295.
     Streetliner (4 entrants) – 1) Rick Gritters, Pella, Iowa, homebuilt, 345; 2) Isaac Chung, University of Toronto, upright triathlon road bike, 320; 3) Michael Hinterseher, Farmington Hills, Milan SL velomobile, 170 (only competed Saturday). 
     Stock (21 entrants, 17 vehicles) – 1) Cyrus Forbush, Tecumseh, M5 M-Racer, 311; 2) Mike Mowett, Detroit, Morciglio M1 low racer, 291; 3) Dennis Greek, Donnellson, Iowa, homebuilt low racer, 289.
     Women (2)  – 1) Amanda Zolyniak, Toronto, Ont., homebuilt Raptor low racer, 360; 2) Andrea Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Cruzbike Vendetta, 330. 
      Tricycle (3) – 1) Daryl Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Catrike, 360; 2) Warren Beauchamp, Elgin, Ill., ICE Vortex, 215; 3) Garrie Hill, Granville, Ohio, Greenspeed SLR (custom built by Greenspeed), 160.
      Junior (6) – 1) Ishtey Amminger, Memphis, Tenn., Rotator Tiger, 335; 2) Mathias Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., M5 Low Racer, 332; 3) Genevieve Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., Rick Gritters-built low racer, 310.

Amanda Zolyniak is held by her husband, Dan, before the start of the hillclimb. The Zolyniaks, from Toronto, built Amanda's carbon fiber Raptor low racer and the Mistral streamliner Dan races.  Amanda won the women's class.

Following are the top two from each event:

One-hour time trial: Streamliner – 1) Dan Zolyniak, 21 laps, average speed, 29.457 mph; 2) Dennis Grelk, 21 laps, 29.440 mph.  Streetliner – 1) Rick Gritters, 20 laps, 26.912 mph; 2) Michael Hinterseher, 17 laps, 22.778 mph.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 17 laps, 24.017 mph; 2) Cyrus Furbush, 17 laps, 23.971 mph.  Women – 1) Amanda Zolyniak, 15 laps, 20.442 mph; 2) Andrea Hanger, 12 laps, 16.204 mph.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 14 laps, 19.127 mph; 2) Garrie Hill, 8 laps, 12.103 mph.  Junior – 1) Ishtey Amminger, 13 laps, 17.067 mph; 2) Genevieve Kowalik, 12 laps, 16.298 mph.  
Hill climb:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Greek.  Streetliner – Isaac Chung, Univ. of Toronto, upright triathlon racing bike; 2) M. Hinterseher.  Stock – 1) Florian Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., M5 M-Racer; 2) C. Furbush.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) W. Beauchamp.  Junior – 1) I. Amminger, 2) G. Kowalik.
Coast down – Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) M. Hinterseher, 2) R. Gritters. Stock – 1) D. Grelk, 2) W. Beauchamp, Elgin, Ill., homebuilt D7CLR front-wheel-drive quasi-low racer.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) G. Hill.  Junior – 1) Mathias Kowalik, 2) I. Amminger.

Here's Dan Zolyniak, winner of the streamliner class, in the Mistral streamliner built by him and his wife, Amanda.  Photo was taken at the start of the hill climb.  Behind hm is Michael Hinterseher in his Milan SL three-wheel velomobile.

Standing start kilometer (listed speed is the average over the entire kilometer from a standing start):  Streamliner  1) D. Zolyniak, 28.73 mph, 2) D. Grelk, 26.67.  Streamliner – 1) R. Gritters, 28.45, 2) Isaac Chung, 25.22.  Stock – 1) C. Furbush, 29.48, 2) Calvin Moes, Univ. of Toronto, Baron Optima, 27.51. Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 22.58, 2) 18.82.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger (only competitor), 22.33.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 23.24, 2) I. Amminger, 20.91.
Urban transportation contest – There were six competitors.  Each bike or trike was evaluated, with 1 point awarded for each feature, such as front light, rear light, cargo carrying capacity (being able to carry two grocery bags would score 2 points), rearview mirrors, fenders, horn, and carrying tools.  Points also were awarded for performance in the hill climb, coast down and obstacle course. For instance, the fastest in the hill climb received 6 points; second, 5; etc.  The obstacle course including making one stop and rounding a tight turn.  1) Daryl Hanger, Catrike 700, 21 points, 2) Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods, Bachetta CA 2.0, 17; 3 - tie) Chris Williams, Toronto, HP Velotechnik Speed Machine, and Terry Gerweck, Monroe, homebuilt long wheelbase recumbent, 15; 5) Fran Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., Earthcycle Sunset, 11; 6) Cecilia Kowalik, Deerfield, Earthcycle Sunset, 7.

Lining up for the start of the one-hour time trial Saturday morning for the streamliner and streetliner classes. Daryl Hanger, yet to arrive, also competed in this race on his no-streamlining-added Catrike 700 because he ran in the second one-hour on his Cruzbike Vendetta two-wheeler.

Lining up for the start of the second one-hour time trial Saturday morning for all the other classes – stock, women, tricycle (except for Daryl Hanger) and junior.  There were 23 vehicles in this event.

ON SUNDAY were the flying start sprints (speed timed through the 200-foot timing trap) and two 25-lap races on the .433 mile course that did not include the hill, that is, 10.825 miles.  The scheduled tricycle race was cancelled due to too few entrants and to save time.

Sprints:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 44.52 mph (not a record), 2) Calvin Moes, 43.07. Streetliner – 1) R. Gritters, 38.51 mph, 2) Tedd Wheeler, Reed City, Alleweder velomobile, 31.77.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 38.20 mph, 2) Florian Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., 37.46.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 32.15, 2) A. Hanger, 27.74.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 29.38 mph, 2) W. Beauchamp, ICE Vortex, 25.16.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 31.29 mph. 2) G. Kowalik, 27.38.
First road race (for faster vehicles). Times listed in official results are kph, converted here to mph:  Overall – 1) D. Zolyniak, 23.36 mph, 2) R. Gritters, 23.18, 3) D. Grelk, Barracuda streamliner, 22.42 (24 lap).
Second road race, overall – 1) D. Grelk, homebuilt low racer, 21.369 mph, 2) Florian Kowalik, 21.367, 3) M. Mowett, 19.04 (23 laps).
Road race results by class:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) R. Gritters, 2) I. Chung.  Stock – 1) C. Furbush, 2) Randy Barnes, Pierpont, Ohio, Schlitter Encore.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) W. Beauchamp.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 2) I. Amminger.

Randy Barnes of Pierpont, Ohio, was one of two competitors Sunday riding carbon fiber Schlitter Encores. The other was Joe Solecki of Royal Oak.  (Both were elsewhere on Saturday.) Randy "won" the Schlitter class, finishing sixth in the sprints ( 35.31 mph) and second in the stock class in the road race.

NOTES:  Mike Mowett has two "nice" blue padded plastic folding chairs someone left behind.  If they're yours, e-mail me at and I'll pass the information onto Mike.
On Saturday, I talked briefly to a man from Maryland who was there with his wife to spectate.  He showed me a photo of a very interesting front-wheel-drive recumbent he built, with the cranks attached to the wheel hub and a hub gear above the wheel as a crossover drive.  Unfortunately, he disappeared before I could get his full name and contact information, with the goal of asking him to write an article about his creation.  If you're reading this, or know who it was, please contact me.        
                                                                                       Mike Eliasohn

7-year-old Adrian Kowalik was the youngest competitor at the rally, riding a vintage 6-speed Gitane.  Among his accomplishments was finishing the one-hour time trial, riding 10 laps of the 1.4 mile track.  His speed in the sprints, shown here, was 13.06 mph.

Brian Davis came from Etna, Pa. (near Pittsburgh) to race his not-yet-painted homebuilt high-racer.  He only raced on Saturday.  In the one-hour time trial, shown here, he finished fifth in the stock class, completing 15 laps (22.4 miles) at an average speed of 21.286 mph.

Michael Reynolds of Decatur, Ind., raced his classic lugged steel-frame Gitane.  He competed in and completed all the events, finishing 10th in the stock class.  (Gitane has been making bicycles in France since 1926.)

Sherry Shi is about to be "enclosed" in the University of Toronto Ace streamliner during the one-hour time trial Saturday morning.  She was one of three Univ. Toronto riders to take turns riding Ace during the one-hour.

After several years of "only" helping at the Michigan HPV Rally, Terry Gerweck of Monroe, the event's co-founder, chose to compete on his homebuilt recumbent, as well as helping. 
For added cargo carrying capacity, a trailer (also made by Terry) easily attaches. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Ann Arbor bicycle show


Words and photos by Mike Eliasohn

It's been a few years since I last attended what is officially the Ann Arbor/Saline Classic Bicycle Show and Swap Meet. My excuse for not going always was I had too many other things I had to do.
I still have too many other things to do (one of these days I need to retire from retirement), but at 6:35 a.m. on Sunday, April 24, I was on the road to the 36th annual show – 152 miles from St. Joseph.
At the previous shows I've attended, I've seen maybe one or two recumbents – though for bicycle nuts like me, there always were interesting cycles to see.  
But this year, there were enough recumbents to be noticeable.  I talked to a fellow who bought a Rans Vivo short wheelbase suspended recumbent.
There was even a bicycle shop that specializes in selling recumbents – Fremont/Elmore Cycle & Fitness (with stores in both of those Ohio towns) with several Sun recumbents for sale (all out-of-production models, as I recall).  
Also a change from past years, from what I recall, there were a lot more old school BMX bikes (and probably many not-so-old-school) for sale.
Inside one building is the actual "show," with bicycles on display in many categories, which were judged. But the vast majority of the space on the Washtenaw Farm Council Grounds, inside the other buildings and outside, is occupied by people selling bikes (like-new, restored, in need of restoration or perfect for a rat rod or cutting up to make into a recumbent) and parts.

Two views of this amazing tricycle, one of several creations made by Rick Legato of Rochester.  "This is bad ass," said one viewer. "... This is really unique."  Rick, who works as an aircraft toolmaker (machinist)  did the design and machining, but not the welding.  The frame is mostly made from aluminum I-beam.  The tricycle is for sale. The yellow bike behind it is a much modified mountain bike.

A stretch cruiser by Rick Legato, also for sale.  The purple part was a 1966 Schwinn Starlite.  The silver parts of the frame are new tubing.  A Brooks leather saddle (made in England) provides the seating.  The rust colored bike behind it is another Legator creation.

Rick Legato astride what he calls his "clown bike."  The front and rear hubs are off-center, so the bicycle bounces up and down as he pedals.  Such bikes are usually built by lacing conventional hubs and rims together using varying length spokes.  But Rick machined the from and rear disks with the hubs mounted off-center, but the spokes are all equal-length.

This gentleman pedaled by on this apparently homebuilt front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel steering tricycle just after I arrived. I thought I would find him later and get some information, but didn't, unfortunately.  There is, or was, a production FWD, rear-wheel steering trike, the Sidewinder. Its website still exists, but all four of its models are  "out of stock ," so the status of the company is unclear.

This lever-drive Alenax was for sale for $165.  An article in the May 1984 issue of Bicycle Business Journal said the company was projecting sales of $100 million (presumably annually) and manufacturing in the U.S. within 18 months.  Production was somewhere in the Orient. The lever drive system was said to be suitable for any type of bicycle – road, mountain, BMX, juvenile and adult tricycles. But the Alenax was not a success and production apparently ended in 1993.

This 3-speed Alex Moulton sold for $600.  Alex Moulton introduced his small-wheeled bicycles with front and rear suspension in 1962  Some models over the years have been produced by other companies.  Moulton died in 2012 at age 92, but the Moulton Bicycle Co. still manufactures bikes in Bradford on Avon, England.  They are available for sale in the U.S.

This bamboo beam bike was judged "best unrestored" bike in that category in the "show" part of the Ann Arbor bicycle show.  That is, the seat is at the end of the bamboo beam, which flexes to provide suspension for the rider.  The bike is a one-speed "fixie." 

 This sort-of Tour Easy clone was apparently homebuilt.  Construction quality was good , but the bike was very heavy.  If there was a price on the tag, I neglected to write it down.

In contrast, this was a genuine Easy Racers Tour Easy, apparently an early model.  The card said, "make offer," and listed the owner's phone number.  The owner wasn't nearby to talk about the bike.

Friday, April 8, 2016

32nd annual Michigan HPV Rally - June 18-19, 2016

The rally will be held at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track on the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club grounds in Clarkston, near Pontiac - the location since 1986.The oldest such event in North America is open to riders of all human powered vehicles — recumbents, regular bicycles, tandems and handcycles.There are classes for streamlined, unstreamlined cycles, tandems, women, youth and tricycles. The rally is conducted using Human Powered Race America rules (, then under "recumbent racing," click on "Human Powered Race America," then on "racing rules." Note: HPRA rules require all vehicles to have a mirror or mirrors enabling rear vision to both sides.The track is 1.4 miles around, with nine turns and one hill. Sunday races use a shorter course without the hill.

The Michigan HPV Rally is continuing, but the Michigan HPV Association is going out of business (see article below).  So to help empty the MHPVA treasury, the entry fee is only $10 for the weekend (both days), per entrant, even for those racing more than one vehicle. Register in advance by going to or at the rally.Spectators free. Even if you don't want to compete, come and see some unusual and some very fast bicycles and tricycles. Prize money will be awarded to top finishers in each class. Again, to help empty the MHPVA treasury, prize money is being boosted this year.

Schedule of events (tentative, subject to change):
Registration and technical inspection starts at 8 a.m.
One-hour time trial (streamliner, streetliner classes) - 9:30-10:30 a.m
One-hour time trial (stock, junior, women, tandem) - 11 a.m.-noon
Hill climb/coast down (all classes) - 1:30-2:30 p.m.
LeMans start road races (or other event, depending on consensus of competitors)  - 3 p.m.
Urban transportation contest - in afternoon.
6 p.m. (approximate) – Eat at local restaurants.
200-foot sprints, flying start (all classes) - 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Tricycle race - 10 a.m.
Road race 1 (faster vehicles, 20 laps, 12 miles, no hill) - 10:30 a.m.
Road race 2 (slower vehicles, 15 laps, 9 miles, no hill) - 11 a.m.
Awards ceremony by 1 p.m. (hopefully).
Location: Oakland County Sportsmen's Club: 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston,MI 48346. For a map of the track, visit or 
For additional information, contact: Mike Mowett, 313-574-0340 or, or Mike Eliasohn, 269-281-0797 or
TO GET TO THE RALLY:From I-75, get off at exit 91. Take M-15 south to Dixie Hwy. (US-24). Turn left, continuing south about 1 mile and turn left onto Waterford Road, then proceed to track.If coming from the west, take U.S. 23 north (or south) to M-59 (Highland Road). Go east on M-59 to Airport Road, then left (north) to US-24. Turn left, then immediately right onto Waterford Road. Go about a half-mile to track.


MOTELS (with approximate distances/direction from Waterford Hills track)
Clarkston - Clarkston Motor Inn, 6853 Dixie Hwy. (US-10), 248-625-1522, 12 rooms, 2 miles northeast.
Clarkston - Olde Mill Inn of Clarkston, 5835 Dixie Hwy., 248-623-0300. Across Dixie Highway from Waterford Road leading to track. This is the closest motel to the track.
Hartland - Best Western of Hartland, 10087 M-59 at US-23, 810-632-7177, 61 rooms. About 18 miles west.
Waterford – Comfort Inn, 7076 Highland Road (M-59), 248-666-8555, 111 rooms. About 3 miles southwest.
Waterford – Waterford Motel, 2201 Dixie Hwy. at Telegraph Road, 248-338-4061, 50 rooms. About 6 miles southeast.
Waterford – Holiday Inn Express, 4350 Pontiac Lake Road, 800-345-8082 or 248-674-3434, 83 rooms. About 7 miles southwest.
Whitmore Lake - Best Western of Whitmore Lake, 9897 Main St. (off US-23, exit 53), 734-449-2058, 61 rooms. About 33 miles southwest.
Free camping available overnight Friday and Saturday at the Waterford Hills Sportsman Club, site of the HPV rally, starting at 6 p.m. Friday. Restrooms, showers available and possibly electrical hookups.
STATE CAMPGROUNDS (, then click on "camping andrecreation," then "make a reservation.
Highland Recreation Area, 5200 E. Highland Road (M-59), White Lake, 248-889-3750. Two miles east of Highland.
Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grand Road, Holly, 248-634-8811. Five miles east of Holly.
Ortonville Recreation Area, 5779 Hadley Road, Ortonville, 810-797-4439. Four miles northeast of Ortonville.
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, 7800 Gale Road, Waterford, 248-666-1020. Closest to Waterford Hills track, about 4 miles west.
OAKLAND COUNTY:  Groveland Oaks County Park, 14555 Dixie Hwy., Holly, northeast of Holly, 248-634-9811.
PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS ( Detroit Sportsmen's Congress Horseshoe Lake Campground, 1050 E. Oakwood Road, Oxford, 248-628-3859, e-mail

Sunday, March 13, 2016

The last MHPVA annual meeting - March 5, 2016

In conjunction with the MHPVA's last annual meeting, former President Mike Mowett prepared and presented Lifetime Achievement Award certificates to long-time members.  Front row, from left, Terry Gerweck, Monroe; Rick Wianecki, Okemos; Mike Eliasohn, St. Joseph; Bill Frey, Grosse Pointe Farms; and John Simon, Portland.  Back row, John Foltz, Hassett; Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods; Mike Mowett, Detroit; Bob Krzewinski, Ypsilanti; and Gaylord Hill, Adrian.  Thank you, Mike!  (Photo by Roger Zielinski)

By Mike Eliasohn, immediate past president

What was anticipated to be the last annual meeting of the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Association was, with a vote by those present that it terminate its existence as a non-profit organization effective Sept. 30, 2016.
The date is when our current annual registration with the state expires.
However, the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally will continue for the foreseeable future, as will this blog and the website.  The 32nd annual rally will be June 18-19, again at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston.  Mike Mowett is the race director and details will appear on the blog and website soon.
But no more annual meeting and no more election of officers, though if someone wants to organize an informal winter gathering in future years, presumably in the Lansing-Detroit-Ann Arbor area, please do.
As previously discussed in this blog, the officers and board members of the MHPVA were "getting up in age," and there wasn't a younger generation who wanted to take over.  Plus, the Michigan HPV Rally could continue without the existence of a formal organization, as long was there is someone willing to be in charge.  (Thank you, Mike.)
Thirteen people attended the meeting in Erickson Hall on the Michigan State University campus.  Our thanks to Tim Potter, MSU Bikes manager, for making the arrangements
Three people brought bikes for "show and tell," which can be seen in the photos.
The first item of discussion was what to do with the $1,781.13 in the treasury.
After much discussion, it was decided, with no dissenting votes, to use that money to do the following for the 2016 rally:
+ Pay the track rental fee and HPRA insurance fee, expected to be $600 and $110 respectively. (Separate vote.)
+ Reduce the entry fee to $10 for the weekend.  In recent years, it has been $30 for both days, $20 for one day.  (Separate vote.)
+ Use all of the entry fee money for prize money, to be matched by the same amount from the treasury, to a maximum total of $600.(Separate vote.)
+ Whatever remains after that from the treasury will be given to Human Powered Race America for maintenance of timing equipment, which is used at all HPRA events. (Separate vote.)
There was discussion about possibly setting aside some money from the treasury to pay the track rental and insurance fees for the 2017 rally, but Mike Mowett, likely to also be the rally director next year, declined.  "I almost would rather have no money to manage," he said. That is, next year he will pay for the insurance in advance, then be reimbursed from entry fees.  Barring a change, the track rental fee can be paid during the rally, directly from the entry fees.

Terry Gerweck brought/rode his latest creation, Just Chillin.   He built it from two Next brand bicycles, parts from a trailer for hauling kids, including the two curved rear stays,  and miscellaneous "supplies" from his "stash. " He's ridden it on several club rides/pub crawls of up to 15 miles.  And, no, the little pink saddle with stars from a little girl's bike isn't comfortable "for my decidedly not little girl arse," Terry wrote, but it 's a color match for the rest of the bike.

There were two items of discussion regarding this year's rally, not involving money. 
First was ex-Michiganian Charles Brown's  suggestion for creation of a sport subclass to the stock class. To qualify, riders' eyes would have to be at least 42 inches from the ground.
His thinking was that such riders are safer when riding in traffic, since they are more visible to motorists than lower bikes/riders, but have an unfair disadvantage when racing compared to the low racers.We decided at the 2015 annual meeting to measure the eye height of riders at the 2015 rally, then decide at this year's meeting whether it would be worthwhile to implement the sport subclass at the 2016 rally. 
Of the 15 stock class entries in 2015, six had an eye height of 42 or more inches. Of those, three were upright bikes, two at 62 inches and one at 57 inches. A Bachetta high racer (I think) was at 47 inches and two Cruzbikes were at 42 inches. 
Of the top five finishers in the stock class, only Daryl Hanger on a Cruzbike, who finished 5th, was at 42 inches or higher. The next two in the sport subclass – had we had it – would have finished 7th overall on a Cruzbike, and 9th overall on an upright.The winner of the stock class was Mike Mowett on his Morciglio M1 low racer, who had the lowest eye height, 27.5 inches. Second was at 36 inches and third was at 30 inches.
But after discussion March 5, the consensus – without voting – was to leave things as-is, that is, no sport subclass. There was lack of enthusiasm for Charles' idea. One person said no one who rides/races a bike that would qualify for the sport class has complained of an unfair disadvantage, so why bother?  Sorry, Charles.
The other discussion regarding the rally was whether to change any of the events.  The consensus was since the MHPVA no longer will be running the show, it's up to Mike Mowett to decide which events to include and the schedule.

Mike Mowett brought his John Morcigio built M1 low racer, on which he won the stock class at the 2015 Michigan HPV Rally over 15 other entries.  But he also rode Terry Gerweck's Just Chillin'  through (below) and around the obstacle course.

Finally, it was time for the vote. The motion was to end the MHPVA's status as a non-profit Michigan corporation as of Sept. 30, 2016, when the current registration with the state ends. Bill Frey made the motion, Mike Mowett seconded it, and it was passed unanimously.  Bill pointed out that the state will keep the registration on file for two years after that. If we don't pay the annual registration fee during that period, then the MHPVA officially will disappear as of Oct. 1, 2018.
The MHPVA was formed as a chapter of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association in July 1984, following the second annual Midwest Human Powered Vehicle Rally, organized by Terry Gerweck and Mike Eliasohn in Monroe. (The rally was eventually renamed the Michigan HPV Rally. It was been held every year since 1983, except for 1989, when we conducted the International Human Powered Speed Championships, and 2009, when we conducted the Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge.)

Mike Eliasohn brought "Sloppy," his rat rod freak bike to the meeting. These photos were taken Dec. 12, 2015, outside Cycle-Re-Cycle, the non-profit bicycle shop in Benton Harbor, just after assembly was completed.  It's built from the front half of one frame and the back half of another, stretched about 10.5 inches with two sections of bicycle frame tubing.  Cutting, grinding and welding was done by Mike Voth, owner of Precision Welding & Repair, south of St. Joseph. The original goal was a bike that would look cool with whitewall tires. Eventually it may be painted one color and get new tires. (Wheels are 24-inch.)