Saturday, July 11, 2015

Urban Transportation Contest and other stuff

Urban Transportation Contest 2015


Wally Kiehler on/in his Lightning F-40 won the urban transportation contest. He's shown here during the flying start sprint, where his speed through the 200-foot timing trap was 34.01 mph, third best in the streetliner class.  (Jun Nogami photo)

   By Paul Pancella 

After missing the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally for two years, I returned to Waterford to run the Urban Transportation Contest on June 13.
My thanks to Mike Eliasohn and others who kept the concept going in my absence.
I was happy to find enthusiastic participation this time around. We had nine official entries, along with a couple of others who tried their hand at some of the tasks without getting an official score. Here are the nine, by vehicle number:

140 – UTC veteran Wally Kiehler (Grosse Pointe Woods) competed once again with his fully-faired Lightning F-40.
157 – Bruce Gordon (Buchanan) with a 2010 Greenspeed Glyde, the only velomobile owner I could convince to participate.
313 – Brian George (Redford Township) on his upright GT Timberline touring bike, which he rode to the event from his home 30 miles away (and back home again on Sunday).
369 – Tom Zeller (Bloomington, Ind.) on another upright, a Specialized hybrid.
388 – Jim Iwaskow (Richmond Hill, Ont.), campaigning with a Challenge Jester low racer.
599 – Young Cecilia Kowalik, age 12, (Deerfield, Ill.) on her Sunset low racer
614 – Veronica Dang (Toronto),  riding a Hase Kettwiesel delta-format tricycle
945 – Daryl Hanger (Greenwood, Ind.) on a lower tadpole trike, a 2013 Catrike Trail.
981 – Linnae Hinterseher (Farmington Hills) with another tadpole trike, an HP Velotechnik Scorpion.

The winner once again was Wally Kiehler by a convincing margin. Wally’s F-40 did not place first in any single category (except tied with Bruce for best weather protection), but excels in this competition by scoring well in many. I believe that this shows the strength of the Lightning design as a good compromise for practical human power.
Second place was the upright touring rig entered by Brian George. This vehicle did better than the F-40 in some categories (smaller turn radius and better braking) but could not overcome poor aerodynamics (tested by coast-down distance) and the superior comfort of the recumbent seat. And as entered, Brian’s rig was actually heavier than the faired F-40! 
Jackrabbit Jim Iwaskow worked hard to pull his Challenge bike into third place, just beating out Tom Zeller on the other diamond-frame. Again, the coast-down helped (only the fully faired vehicles coasted farther, as expected) along with light weight and a fast grocery run.
Thanks once again to all the contestants, and we’ll see you next year.

The table below gives the final scores for each entry, in finishing order.

Wally Kiehler
Brian George
Jim Iwaskow
Tom Zellers
Daryl Hanger
Cecilia Kowalik
Linnae Hinterseher
Veronica Dang
Bruce Gordon

Brian George rode 30 miles from his home in Redford Township to the rally and despite the rain Sunday and the offer of a ride for him and his bike, chose to pedal home.  He finished second in the urban transportation contest on his GT Timberline mountain bike. As of the rally, he had ridden it about 4,000 miles this year, including a 1,157-mile two-week Easter trip to Florida. "It was 18 degrees when I left Michigan." (He and the bike got a ride home from Florida.)  In the bags are, "Everything you can think of to live," including a tent, sleeping bag and chair. Solar panels on top of the rear bags keep his phone, MP3 player and stereo charged. Weight of the bike and everything he carries totals about 115 pounds.  (Dave Mendrea photo)

                      A sport subclass?

                                 By Mike Eliasohn

At the MHPVA annual meeting Feb. 28, we discussed 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 is 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 when compared to the low racers.
We decided at the meeting to measure the eye height of riders at this year's rally, then decide whether it would be worthwhile to implement the sport subclass at the 2016 rally. Terry Gerweck, who did the technical inspections, measured the eye heights of all the riders. 
Since Charles' proposal only pertains to a sport subclass to the stock class, I only looked at the measurements for the stock class riders. Of the 15 stock class entries, six had an eye height of 42 or more inches. Of those, three were upright bikes, at 62 inches (two) and 57 inches. A Bachetta CA2 (I think that's a high racer) was at 47 inches and two Cruzbikes were at 42 inches. (The third Cruzbike was Larry Oslund at 40.5 inches, who finished fourth in the stock class.)
Of the top five in the stock class, only Daryl Hanger on a Cruzbike, who finished fifth, was at 42 inches or higher. Next in the sport subclass – had we had it – would have been Eric Winn (7th overall in the stock class) on a Cruzbike, and third would have been Alex Rankin (9th overall) on an upright.
The winner of the stock class was Mike Mowett on his Morciglio (very) low racer, who had the lowest eye height, 27.5 inches. Second was Florian Kowalik on an M5 M-Racer, 36 inches, and third was Dennis Grelk on his homebuilt low racer, 30 inches.
So at the 2016 winter meeting, we will have to decide whether to implement the sport subclass at that year's rally.
It should be noted that the HPRA race directors at their meeting in January 2015 rejected the sport subclass proposal. So if we implement it at the 2016 Michigan rally, it will only apply to the rally. HPRA stock class points would be compiled and prize money paid as normal, but we also could award prize money to the top finishers in the sport subclass.

       Congratulations, Bob Krzewinski

To those of us in the recumbent community, Bob Krzewinski is a recumbent cycle rider, racer and advocate; founder/editor/everything of the Wolver-Bents Recumbent Cyclists (, organizer of recumbent cycle rallies and rides and the MHPVA's webmaster.
But he's also very active in the cycling community at large, for which he received the League of Michigan Bicyclists' Bicycle Advocate Award on May 20 in Lansing.  Our apologies for not reporting this until now.  (And if you are not an LMB member, please consider joining to support cycling in Michigan –
The following is from the LMB website and magazine, Michigan Bicyclist.


Bob Krzewinski holds the Bicycle Advocate Award, presented by League of Michigan Bicyclists Executive Director John Lindenmayer. (LMB photo)
Bob is a dedicated advocate for equitable transportation options. Bob, 61, has been a Ypsilanti resident since 1985, a US Navy veteran (1973-79) and is a retired 30-year airline captain. 
He has a legacy of organizations that he has either founded or helped them increase bicycling access and safety in Michigan: board member and secretary of the Washtenaw Biking and Walking Coalition (he co-founded the organization), founder of the Wolver-Bent Recumbent Cyclists, founder and current board member and chair of Friends of the Border To Border Trail, member of the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, Greenways Advisory Committee, chair of the City of Ypsilanti Non-Motorized Advisory Committee, secretary to City of Ypsilanti Parks and Recreation Commission and coordinator of Ypsilanti Bike-Bus-Walk Week.
He also is a member of various bicycle-related groups, including: League of Michigan Bicyclists, Michigan Trails and Greenway Alliance, Rails To Trails Conservancy, League of American Bicyclists and Bike Ypsi. He is also working to garner a bicycle-friendly city award for the City of Ypsilanti. 
If that wasn’t enough, this year, Bob became a volunteer for Programs to Educate All Cyclists (PEAC), and regularly attends mechanic nights. The staff at PEAC say his expertise and dedication have been irreplaceable to the mechanic team!  

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