Sunday, November 4, 2007

Some Thoughts from Charles Brown

Charles wrote the following to Mike Eliasohn in September 2006 in response to his query whether we should continue the "best homebuilt" prize at the Michigan HPV Rally:

Now, originally the International HPV Association was concerned strictly with speed, which resulted in streamliners that were good only for racing. Trying to come up with more practical vehicles, they came up with partially-faired and unfaired classes. These ultimately resulted in low racers, which are about as high as the hubcaps on a SUV, so again, maybe not so practical.
Why not just give that (best homebuilt) award to the best "street racer," the one that best combines speed with real-world practicality?

There are a LOT of MHPVA people who are into developing such a bike, probably more than any other HPV group...

Our Michigan group probably has the highest proportion of its members interested in fast bikes you can still use on the road, and we really don't have a contest for it.

The stock/semistock/etc. classes didn't work, the urban transportation contest depends on a questionable set of criteria. This (a new contest) could really give practical vehicles a boost.
I know I would sink my teeth into it. Ideally there would be a first, second and third place, and several people judging to eliminate (single) judges' biases.
I would belately nominate Wally's Lightning F-40 for the '06 season.

And in response to my comment that it would be nice to have more racers of conventional upright bikes competing at Waterford, Charles wrote:

I was thinking about this for a while and think the solution is to come out with a new "UCI legal" class...This would be a division of the stock class. Roadie-types would have some of their own kind to race against, and it would keep us (recumbent riders) on our toes, as well as to stay ahead of them.


Wally Kiehler said...

Mike E:
Thanx for sharing Charles's views and opinions with us. For those of you who are not familiar with him he is a long time member of the MHPVA and a well known builder of wooden recumbents. He lives in Florida near the Bacchetta Company and does not own a car. Occasionally he attends our annual Waterford Competition.

Charles Brown said...

Hello, just wanted to say this is from a letter I wrote to Mike, didn't know it would end up on the Blog space. Where it says "The Urban Transportation Contest depends on a questionable set of criteria", by this I meant the difficulty of trying to rate something like this in an objective manner. Paul Pancella has done an amazing job of managing this about as well as anyone can, and I thank him for his considerable efforts.

Ethical Paul said...

Yes, all must beware who send correspondence to Mike--there's no telling where it will turn up!