Monday, December 21, 2015

HPV racing in Britain

A variety of vehicles raced at Fowlmead.  From left are Ian Perry in a DF velomobile; Mark Vowells on a Ken Rogers tricycle; and Magdalena Williams on a Challenge Fujin Tour.

Text by Mike Eliasohn; photos by Martin Purser

My friend, Martin Purser, who lives in England, sent me some photos he took at the British Human Power Club races Aug 8-9, 2015, at Fowlmead.
The BHPC is a very active organization, with 11 racing events in 2015, most at auto road racing tracks. Fowlmead was the only two-day event, the rest being one day.
At Fowlmead, several Tricycle Association members participated, including Martin and his wife, Alison, on their tandem trike. Most TA members ride upright trikes – think of a "10-speed" road bike, with two wheels in the rear (or just look at the photos). The Pursers, whom I've known since at least 1980, are both very active in the TA.
I found most of the information for the captions in issues of LaidBack Cyclist, the BHPC magazine. I (Mike) am a member of the BHPC and the TA, both of which publish quarterly magazines (unlike a California-based HPV organization I could name).  The winter 2015-16 issue of LaidBack Cyclist totals 54 pages, including an 18-page report on the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain, Nev. The autumn 2015 issue of the TA Gazette is 56 pages.
I have some issues of both magazines I don't need to keep. If interested, please e-mail me at
The websites for the two organizations are and

Racers await the one-at-a-time start of the five-lap time trial on the short course (total of 4.05 miles) on Saturday. The longest race at Fowlmead, on Sunday, was 2 hours plus one lap of the long course (1.99 miles).

Tricycle Association President Geoff Booker (standing, wearing yellow jersey) sorts  out the teams for the mixed relay (upright tricycles and various HPVs) at Fowlmead. The teams were selected from aggregate times achieved by competitors in the time trial.

Well-known cycle designer, builder and author Mike Burrows on one of his carbon fiber creations.  He finished 4th overall on Saturday and 13th on Sunday.  The single blade fork is on the left side. The fourth edition of his book, Bicycle Design, was published this year.

Steve "Slash" Spade in Beano finished first overall on Saturday and Sunday at Fowlmead. He won the 2-hour + 1 lap race Sunday (63.7 miles) at an average speed of 31.3 mph. He also was BHPC 2015 season champion in the open class.  The other classes are partial-faired, unfaired, ladies, ladies partial-faired, street, sports, multi-track, faired multi-track and junior.

Brian Robertson in a Go-One Evo KS, made in Germany.  At Fowlmead, he was third overall on Saturday and Sunday.  He was BHPC season champion in the faired multi-track class.

John Lucian in Blue Wave finished 9th overall on Saturday and 8th on Sunday at Fowlmead.  He was second in the faired multi-track class for the season. The fairing appears to be "shrink wrap" aircraft fabric over a tubular (presumably) framework.  Rick Gritters of Iowa used the same technique for building a fairing for his two-wheel low racer.

Lez Young (Trykit) leads Sid Charlton (Ken Rogers), Geoff Booker (Trykit)  and Ian Mathews (in rear, Higgins) in this criterium, eventually won by Booker. In addition to being Tricycle Association president, Booker operates Trykit Conversions Ltd., making upright tricycles and conversion axles for mounting to two-wheeler frames. The other current manufacturers of high quality trikes in the U.K. are Longstaff Cycles (two wheels in the rear) and Roman Road Cycles (two wheels in front). The vast majority of TA members ride upright trikes with the two wheels in the rear.  

Ian Perry in a DF velomobile finished second overall on both days at Fowlmead.  He's also in the photo at the top of this story.