Saturday, April 2, 2011

MHPVA annual meeting - March 12, 2011

By Paul Pancella, secretary. Editing and photos by Mike Eliasohn (unless otherwise mentioned)

The 2011 annual meeting of the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Association took place March 12 in the community room of the REI store in Ann Arbor. About 25 people attended, including some non-members, possibly attracted by the meeting location and notices in area bike shops prepared and distributed by Bob Krzewinski.
Bob, who also arranged use of the meeting room, started by introducing the WolverBents organization, explaining its goals, structure, and activities. He said some bike shops that previously sold recumbents no longer do so (or went out of business), but Midwest Bike and Tandem in Ann Arbor has started selling recumbents.
Bob then talked about the pros and cons of recumbent cycles, with some useful tips for newcomers interested in buying their first one.

JOHN MORCIGLIO of Waterford shows Arrowhead, which he created for racing in time trials. Seat height is 16 inches; wheels are 650c front and 700c rear; and weight is just under 21 pounds. He completed building it late last fall. "This bike I could sell, but probably won't," he said. But, if he were to sell it, it probably would be about $3,600 for the frame or $5,500 for the complete bike.

JOHN MORCIGLIO shows his Thunderbolt low racer, which weighs 23.75 pounds. The frame sells for $4,750. John built his first carbon fiber recumbent in February 2008 and now builds them for a living. As of the meeting, he had built 20 recumbents and three upright bikes and was building an 11-foot long recumbent tandem, with the riders back-to-back, for a customer in Texas. He can be contacted at 248-499-9915 or go to

Then MHPVA President Mike Mowett briefly described the history and purpose of the organization.
Bill Frey started show-and-tell by showing his 1984 Tour Easy, which he bought new and recently had refinished. "I'm still riding it," he said. "I'm not planning to sell it." He also owns a newer Fold Rush.
Photos and captions describe the other bikes shown at the meeting.
During the business portion of the meeting, last year’s minutes and this year’s treasurer’s report were quickly approved. Treasurer Bill Frey indicated that the board’s plan to increase the available fund balance (after the 2009 Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge at the Ford Motor Co. proving grounds) has begun to succeed, in that a net increase of about $300 was realized. Another year or two employing the same strategy will bring us to the desired fund balance level, barring unforeseen circumstances.

JOHN FOLTZ (left) of Haslett showed his M5 Carbon High Racer (made in the Netherlands), which he purchased in 2009. Both wheels are 700c and it weighs about 24 pounds. He described it as "amazingly fast." He can cruise 25-26 mph and it's also a good hill-climber. Helping hold the bike is Bill Frey. John also showed his Optima Baron low racer.

Next we discussed the 27th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally weekend, scheduled June 11-12, again at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track. With minimal discussion, we agreed to follow the usual schedule and program, including camping availability and steak fry Saturday evening.
Paul Pancella informed the group (with regret) that he will not be able to attend the rally this year, so won't be able to run the urban transportation contest in parallel with the hill-climb/coastdown. The request was made for volunteers to take Paul’s place. So far, no one has volunteered, but anyone interested in running the UTC should contact Paul at
Bill Frey mentioned he has developed an Excel spreadsheet that functions to simulate power demands for the Waterford course, including the hills, with various vehicle and speed parameters as inputs. It also can be adapted for predicting power required for maintaining speed on any grade. He offered to make it available to anyone for the asking.
All officers and board members were reelected: President, Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores; vice president, Mike Eliasohn, St. Joseph; secretary, Paul Pancella, Kalamazoo; treasurer, Bill Frey, Grosse Pointe Farms; and at large, Terry Gerweck, Monroe, and Don Smith, Chesterfield.

MIKE MOWETT (left) shows his Challenge Fujin, which he has owned for a few years and has some improvements made by Don Smith (right). Don made the Zotefoam ribbed foam seat padding, which he can make in different colors, patterns and thicknesses, and modified the Rotor System cranks to reduce internal rotating drag. The Rotor system eliminates the "dead spots" when pedaling. For these and other specialty work for HPVs, contact Don at

Jim “Chainsaw” Johnson, president of the Great Lakes chapter of the FreakBike Militia was introduced. He expressed a growing appreciation for important traits that the HPV community has in common with the FreakBike movement, and let us know that the Militia will again be represented at our rally in June.
President Mowett made a brief report on developments at the Human Powered Race America race director’s meeting. He said changes to rules and classes for this year were minimal this year. Anyone interested should go to the HPRA website,
Mike then highlighted some other events recumbent riders are looking forward to this year, including the 100-mile Black Bear Bicycle Tour July 31 from Grayling to Oscoda and Calvin’s Challenge on April 30, a 12-hour event starting in Springfield, Ohio. He also has explored developing a new century ride for the east side of the state, incorporating Belle Isle and some of the Metro parks.
The meeting started at 12:30 p.m. adjourned at 3:20.

MIKE ELIASOHN shows his work-in-progress recumbent, intended for around-town use and for easy transporting in the back of his Ford Focus station wagon. Welding and some fabrication has been done by Precision Welding & Repair of Berrien Springs; the rest by Mike. The "holder" is Bill Frey. (Mike Mowett photo)

PAUL PANCELLA of Kalamazoo showed one of the two ICE B1 folding bikes he and his wife, Anne, bought to take with them when traveling. Unfortunately, ICE, a British company, has since stopped making B1's in order to focus on making its line of recumbent tricycles.

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