Sunday, July 20, 2008
DENNIS GRELK, shown here during the one-hour time trial in his Barracuda streamliner (built by Warren Beauchamp) won the streamliner class. He also won the stock class on his homebuilt low racer. (Photos by Mike Eliasohn)
By Mike Eliasohn, MHPVA vice president, and Mike Mowett, MHPVA president
The 25th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally June 21-22, 2008, attracted 34 competitors to the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston, the site since 1986. Several competitors entered more than one vehicle (and Dennis Grelk had three), so a total of 44 vehicles competed.
Of those, 28 competitors and 36 vehicles competed both days. Human Powered Race – America has added a tricycles-only class this year, which included a trikes-only race on Sunday, which no doubt was an incentive for some to compete both days.
In addition to Michigan, entrants came from Iowa, Maryland, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Ontario.
This being the 25th annual, the hope was there would be a record turnout, but that was not to be. (The record of 50 was in 2001) Nevertheless, there were several first-timers who hopefully will return and several “regulars” who weren't there, but hopefully will be in 2009. Obviously, the price of gasoline may have been a deterrent.
Points were first awarded in each individual event on a 60, 55, 50, 45, 42, 39, 36, 34, 32, 30, 29… etc basis. Then points were totaled to give one score per day. This was a new rule put into place this year by the HPRA race directors to hopefully balance the scoring a bit.
Here's the top two overall in each class according to the HPRA Points system, where each rider can get a maximum of 60 points per day. No tandems competed.
Streamliners (four entries): 1) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa, Barracuda;, 120 points; 2) John Simon, Portland, Michigan, Moby, 115.
Superstreet (three entries): 1) Chris Burkhardt, Daisy, Md., Go-One velomobile owned by Garrie Hill, 120s; 2) Tedd Wheeler, Reed City, Easy Racers Javelin with homemade tailbox, 110.
CHRIS BURKHARDT, riding Garrie Hill's Go-One velomobile (made in Germany) won the SuperStreet class. It's shown here during the one-hour time trial, minus the canopy. The Go-One was very popular for test rides.
Superstock (one entry): Garrie Hill, Granville. Ohio, Barcroft Oregon, 60. (He didn't compete Sunday.)
Stock (20 entries) – 1) Dennis Grelk, homebuilt low racer, 120; 2) tie: Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores, Optima Baron lowracer and Tim Hicks, Barrie, Ont., homebuilt lowracer, 100 each .
Junior (one entry) – Nick Myers, Holly, Trek upright bicycle, 120.
JULIE PITKO on her Challenge Fujin lowracer (top) tied with Dora Cortez for first place in the women's class. Dora is shown racing her Rick Gritters-built low racer at the July 13 HPV races on the velodrome in Northbrook, Ill.
Women (three entries) – 1) tie: Dora Cortez, Chicago, Rick Gritters-built lowracer; Julie Pitko, Sault Ste. Marie, Challenge Fujin lowracer, 115 each.
Tricycle (nine entries) – 1) Chris Burkhardt, Greenspeed SLR, 115; 2) Chris Cortez, Chicago, Greenspeed, 110.
A total of $405 in prize money was distributed, typically $25 for first place in class, $20 for second and $15 for third, provided there were participants in the class racing both days. Because the stock class had the most participants by far, the winner received $40 and prize money was paid down to sixth place ($10).
Here's the first place winners in the individual events, not including the two classes with one rider. Complete results are available at: http://www.recumbents.com/wisil/racing2008/Waterford2008Results.htm
SATURDAY: One-hour time trial: Streamliner – With John Simon dropping out due to a blown tire and Dennis Grelk due to a suspension part breaking, Warren Beauchamp of Elgin, Ill., was first with an average speed of 32.035 mph. Superstreet -- Bob Krzewinski, Ypsilanti, Lightning F40, 21.863 mph. Stock – Dennis Grelk, 27.442 mph. Women – Julie Pitko, 19.178 mph. Tricycles – Chris Burkhardt, 20.527 mph.
Hill climb – Streamliner – Dennis Grelk, 22.61 seconds. Superstreet – Bob Krzewinski, 23.85 sec. Stock – Dennis Grelk, 22.23 sec. Women – Jane Hunn, North Winchester, Ind., Specialized Sequoia upright bicycle, 29.09 sec. Tricycles – Tim Hicks, 22.05 sec.
Coast down – John Simon in his Moby once again coasted the farthest from the top of the hill, but the top four – all streamliners –– came to a stop within about 31 feet of each other. Dennis Grelk was second, Rich Myers of Xenia, Ohio, in his Moby was third and Warren Beauchamp was fourth. Superstreet – Bob Krzewinski; stock, Dennis Grelk; women, Dora Cortez; and tricycles, Chris Burkhardt.
SUNDAY: 200-foot sprints: Streamliners, Dennis Grelk, 43,71 mph, just ahead of John Simon at 43.43 mph. SuperStreet – Chris Burkhardt, Go-One velomobile, 35.05 mph. Stock – Dennis Grelk, 38.30 mph. Junior – Nick Myers, 28.89 mph. Women – Dora Cortez, 32.78 mph. Tricycles – Chris Burkhardt, Greenspeed SLR, 32.94 mph.
For the first-ever tricycle race, a special course 0.33 miles per lap was laid out for the 15-lap road race, with the emphasis on cornering. Nine trikes competed. Tim Hicks on his modified CatTrike was first at an average speed of 17.504 mph, followed by Chris Cortez on a Greenspeed, borrowed from Garrie Hill, 16.910 mph.
The final event was the 25-lap road race for the two-wheelers. This was the same course used in the past, about 1 kilometer in length, with S-turns and for the racers' benefit after a long weekend of racing, did not include the hill! Streamliners – John Simon, 29.210 mph, followed by Richard Myers. Dennis Grelk and Warren Beauchamp had to choose between racing their streamliners or stock class bikes and chose the latter. John was the only competitor to race 25 laps; after he finished, the race ended for all others the next time they crossed the finish line. Superstreet – Tedd Wheeler was the lone competitor, 18.461 mph (17 laps). Stock – Dennis Grelk, 26.149 mph (24 laps). Junior– Nick Myers, 16.845 mph (16 laps). Women – Julie Pitko, 19.619 mph (18 laps).
WARREN BEAUCHAMP on his Velokraft NoCom leads MHPVA President Mike Mowett on his Optima Baron during the one-hour time trial on Saturday.
Special mention should be made of Dennis Grelk, who came with his parents, Dwayne and Mary. Their normal 10-hour trip from and to Iowa took 12 hours because they had to detour far from their normal route to get to a bridge that was open across the flooded Mississippi River. In addition to Dennis' streamliner and stock class bike, they also brought urban transportation contest entries for him (a mountain bike fitted with an XtraCycle extension and Mary's Hase KettWiesel tricycle). Brad Bosworth also came from Iowa (the town of Nevada).
Oakland Press reporter Randal Yakey and photographer Jose Juarez were at the rally on Saturday and their article on Sunday, in time for some people who read it to come watch the morning's events. To see the article, plus a short video, go to www.theoaklandpress.com, click on “archives” at left and then on the date of the article, June 22.
Thanks to all those who helped conduct the event – Mike Mowett, Bill Frey, Warren Beauchamp, Garrie Hill, Luke Gilbert and Terry Gerweck. Apologies to anyone omitted. (Terry Gerweck and Mike Eliasohn started the Michigan HPV Rally, with the first two events held in Monroe.)
Thanks also to Reverse Gear (www.reversegearinc.com), a new maker of recumbent-specific clothing, based in Toronto. It donated a jersey worth $70-80. Sunday competitors participated in a drawing and the winner was Scott Forthoffer of St. Clair Shores. (Actually, Scott got a letter telling him how to contact the company. That way, the winner could get a jersey in his or her size.)
IN THE FIRST-EVER TRICYCLE RACE, Chris Burkhardt on his Greenspeed SLR leads Tim Hicks on a modified CatTrike. Tim finished first and Chris fourth in the 5-mile race. Chris Cortez on a Greenspeed was second. The trikes were leaving skid marks on this tight turn.
Monday, July 7, 2008
BOB KRZEWINSKI OF YPSILANTI, WON THE URBAN TRANSPORTATION CONTEST IN HIS LIGHTNING F40. HE'S SHOWN HERE DURING THE ONE-HOUR TIME TRIAL, WHICH WAS NOT AN UTC EVENT. (Mike Eliasohn photos)
By Paul Pancella
Five contestants accepted the challenge of the Urban Transportation Contest at Waterford this year. One highlight was the first entry of a real velomobile (#144). In the following table I list the contestants, their vehicles, and their final scores, in finishing order:
Table 1 UTC contestants and final scores, in finishing order
140 Bob Krzewinski LCD Lightning F40 faired bicycle, 2007 68.2
822 Richard Myers WizWheelz tricycle (tadpole) 2002 65.7
806 Dennis Grelk mountain bike with XtraCycle extension 62.6
807 Mary Grelk Hase KettWiesel tricycle (delta) 59.6
144 Chris Burkhardt Go-One 3-wheel velomobile, 2008 49.3
RICHARD MYERS OF XENIA, OHIO, FINISHED SECOND ON HIS WizWheelz TRICYCLE FITTED WITH THIS COLORFUL AND VERY VISIBLE CLOTH FAIRING, WITH MATCHING WHEEL COVERS.
Another highlight was the entry of Dennis Grelk’s mother, Mary, who performed very respectably on a well-equipped delta trike (two wheels in rear). The delta configuration is known for its ability to make tight low-speed turns; Mary took advantage of this and got the best score on turning radius (no reversing required). She also had the shortest stopping distance by a good margin.
Editor: The second table can't be reproduced here due to technical difficulties. It shows the breakdown of each competitor's total score, with points being awarded on the coast down result; rider visibility day and night (that is, lights); turning radius; time of grocery run; braking resistance; weather protection; comfort; carrying of tools and lock; and pulling gear ratio.
Editor: The top score in each judged category was: Coast down, Krzewinski; day vision, Myers; night visibility, D. Grelk; turning radius, M. Grelk; grocery run, Myers; braking distance, M. Grelk; weather protection, Burkhardt; comfort, Burkhardt; spares, Krzewinski; gear ratio, Myers.
While the fully-enclosed and suspended Go-One scored well for comfort and weather protection, it took some penalties for being heavy, lacking functional lights, and no tools aboard. Chris’ braking was hampered by some lever interference on the handlebar, resulting in perhaps the longest braking distance this contest has ever seen at ~53 feet! (Something we missed in the tech inspection?) Adding lights, tools and spares and fixing the brakes probably would have put the Go-One in the top tier of scores.
DENNIS GRELK OF DONNELLSON, IOWA, DEMONSTRATES HOW TIGHT HE CAN MAKE A TURN. URBAN TRANSPORTATION CONTEST ORGANIZER PAUL PANCELLA IS AT LEFT. DENNIS' MOUNTAIN BIKE IS FITTED WITH AN XtraCycle EXTENSION TO ADD LOAD-CARRYING CAPACITY.
This year’s winner was Bob “WolverBob” Krzewinski, a veteran and previous winner of the urban transportation contest. In 2004, Bob won the UTC with his Ryan Vanguard/Burley trailer combo. In a sense, the winning vehicle this year was also a repeat. In 2006, then MHPVA President Wally Kiehler won with very similar scores and a very similar F40 setup (same number, different vehicle).
With the number of contestants dwindling, perhaps the UTC has run its course at Waterford. Cash awards will be made for first and second place finishers. Congratulations to Bob K. and Richard Myers!
If you want to keep the UTC running next year, and especially if you want to enter, write to the newsletter/blog editor, come to our winter meeting, or let me know some other way, so we can determine if it is worth continuing this event.
MARY GRELK DEMONSTRATES THE TURNING ABILITY OF HER HASE KETTWIESEL, WHICH IS MADE IN GERMANY. HER TRIKE HAD THE TIGHTEST TURNING RADIUS OF THE FIVE COMPETITORS.
Sunday, July 6, 2008
TIM HICKS of Barrie, Ont., was a first-timer at the 2008 Michigan HPV Rally, bringing with him two cycles that he built. Top: He warms up on his low racer, using rollers, prior to the Sunday morning races, while talking to Ken Scott of Muskegon, seated on Tim's tricycle (bottom photo). Tim uses mild steel tubing for all of his frames because it's cheap. The low racer uses 1-1/2-inch square, .0625 wall. The rear wheel is 700c (27 in.); front, 451mm (20 in.); wheelbase is about 50 in. In addition to making the frame, Tim made the seat frame (from EMT tubing), built the wheels, shortened the cranks to 140mm and made the oval chainrings. A clever feature of his tricycle is the boom supporting the bottom bracket is hinged at the axle, so it can be folded for easy transporting. Ken rode Tim's trike in the 5-mile tricycles-only race, while Tim raced and won on his modified Catrike. All the details about the many HPVs Tim has built, plus a lot of other information, is available on his Web site, www.fleettrikes.com.
VINCENT ROBINET of Toronto came to the 2008 Michigan HPV Rally to spectate, but brought the take-apart front-wheel-drive bike he built with him. In two pieces, it fits in the trunk of his Volkswagen Jetta sedan. The rear section of the square tube under the seat fits inside the front piece. A clamp and pin hold the two parts of the frame together. The cable to the rear brake comes apart. The front wheel is 20x1.5; the rear is 26 in. A 24 in. fork is used for the rear stays. The bike has 148mm cranks and 15 speeds. The seat is from an old Rans. Robinet first rode the bike in 2007, but as of when the photos were taken, was still doing some tweaking before painting the frame. If it's not obvious, the cranks move horizontally as the front wheel is steered. Robinet said starting to move is the hard part. "It's a bit of a leaning curve, but I've gotten used to it by now."
DAN WILSON of Bridgman cut up two chopper bikes in order to take advantage of their very wide rear wheels and tires, to build a beach bike for riding over sand. Unfortunately, it didn't work as well as he wanted, his thought being that the tires, though wide, have a rounded tread, so they "dig" into the sand, rather than riding over the top. But it's still an interesting looking bike. That's Dan riding it. The only part of the project he didn't do was the welding, which was done by Dave Anstey of Stevensville.
I'LL BE ADDING OTHER INTERESTING CYCLES IN THE FUTURE, SO PLEASE CHECK THIS SPACE PERIODICALLY. MIKE ELIASOHN
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
St. Joseph Human Powered Boat Meet organizer Dan Grow carries his boat into the St. Joseph River. This was the third annual event organized by the St. Joseph resident. For more information about his boat, which weighs about 50 pounds, see article below about the 2007 gathering. "Idling" in the background in Jake Free of Elkhart, Ind.
Bill Goldthorpe of Palos Hills, Ill., prepares to unload his 12-foot long boat. It's his own design, made from 1/4-inch plywood bought at a Home Depot store and covered with fiberglass. In front of the fixed-position seat is the dry well, in which the drive unit drops. To accommodate different size riders, there's multiple positions for the drive unit.
Bill Goldthorpe holds his homemade drive unit, which uses a bicycle cottered crank and part of a bicycle fork, McMaster-Carr sprockets and chain (smaller than a bicycle chain) and a model airplane propeller. (If anyone knows how to get this photo upright, please e-mail email@example.com.)
Bill Goldthorpe's and Dan Grow's boats in the water and almost in the water respectively. (Photos and text by Mike Eliasohn)