Monday, April 15, 2019

ASME HPV teams compete at MSU

By Mike Eliasohn

Fifty college and university teams competed in the  American Society of Mechanical Engineers Human Powered Vehicle Challenge - North April 5-7 at Michigan State University.  Teams came from as far as Egypt (three of them) and as near as MSU.  
Within the continental United States, competitors came from as far away as Oklahoma, Washington state, South Dakota and Florida (four of them).  There also were two teams from Puerto Rico.
But from within the state of Michigan, the only entry was from host MSU. (According to best-engineering-colleges.com, 22 colleges and universities in Michigan have four-year mechanical engineering programs, plus nine community colleges have presumably associate degree ME programs.)




Here's the entry (front) from Alexandria University in Egypt, lining up for a drag race again the University of Akron entry, which finished 4th overall for the three days.  An example of clever engineering:  Since it had to go on an airplane, the fairing breaks down into eight pieces, to fit inside one suitcase.  If the author's memory of what he was told is correct, the three Egyptian teams endured a 13-hour flight to New York, then a 12-hour drive to East Lansing.  (Jun Nogami photo)




Here's four members of the Alexandria University team and their vehicle, minus the fairing (obviously). The tricycle comes apart in two pieces, also to ease transportation on the airplane.  There's a disk brake on each wheel, which for the front wheels required modification.  The 13-member team included three women.  They finished 13th overall. (Mike E. photo)

On Friday was the static judging, with each team's vehicle evaluated on factors including design, analysis, testing, safety and aesthetics.
On Saturday was the speed event, aka drag races, with two vehicles racing at a time. There were divisions for men and women, but both sexes from each team had to race the same vehicle.
Sunday was the 2-1/2 hour endurance race, on a Spartan Stadium parking lot. Points were awarded for laps completed, average speed, a weighted track bonus and penalties assessed for illegal start assistance, failure to stop at stop sign or completing the hairpin turn, etc., and safety violations.
Ultimately, there were overall scores from Friday, Saturday and Sunday and then teams were ranked.  Because of ties, the lowest scoring teams were ranked 44th.

      Photos by the author; Tim Potter, MSU sustainable transportation manager/manager of MSU Bikes, the on-campus bicycle shop; and Jun Nogami, faculty adviser to the University of Toronto team. and chairman of the UT Department of Materials Science and Engineering.





Lining up for the start of one of the Saturday morning drag races is the entry from Ohio University (31), which finished first overall over the three days and South Dakota State University (1), which finished third overall.  The starter is Mark Archibald, faculty adviser to the Grove City (Penn.) College HPV team.  Most of the 50 entries were two-wheels-in-front recumbent tricycles. (Tim Potter photo)





After years of building streamliners for the ASME event, University of Toronto students this year built this "conventional" carbon fiber bike.  (Calvin Moes is shown in this photo.)  
 "... we had been thinking for several years that the way the ASME event (has) evolved away from speed and efficiency that an ordinary bike would do just fine," team adviser Jun Nogami said in an email.  "I think we proved it this year by winning all the dynamic events" and by finishing second overall..
Here's a brief description of the construction process from Prof. Nogami:  "Male forms for the frame halves were made in reshape, and then fibreglass molds were pulled from them. The layup was done in halves, and were a bit complicated as the inserts for the headset and bottom bracket were laid up in place. The chain stays and seat stays were done separately. We had molds, etc for the forks and the front wheel, but we ran out of time so we used stock parts."
Front and rear fairings were created for the bike, but they interfered with riding it, so they weren't used. (Jun Nogami photo; for more about the ASME competition and the UT bike, go to Jun's blog:  jnyyz.wordpress.com.



After about four hours at the ASME event, I (Mike E.) was headed for my car when I encountered Ali Ibrahim (on bike) and Hassan Ahmed from Cairo University in the parking lot. They said the team had previously built three-wheelers; this was their first two-wheeler, which finished 28th overall. "We like this kind of bike," Hassan said.  Unfortunately, I neglected to take a photo of the  bike minus the rider, to show the details, nor did I cross paths with the third team from Egypt, from Assiut University, which finished 35th overall.

This is the vehicle from Michigan State University, with Emily Oswald of Grand Rapids on board.  The first-year entry from MSU finished 21st overall.  The team started with a TerraTrike (based in Grand Rapids), then "added on," including the ASME required roll bar and the Windwrap fairing.  Emily and the other student I (Mike E.) talked to were enthusiastic, so hopefully we will see the Spartans at the Michigan HPV Rally in August and future ASME events.  (Mike E. photo) 

 This is the entry from the other MSU at the ASME event – Mississippi State University in Starkville.  Horizontal  is Nick Hopkins; vertical is Reed McNeal.  The team finished 36th overall.    (Mike E. photo)



Binghamton University in Binghamton, N.Y. presumably had the lone prone bike competition (I didn't see another one, but I didn't see all the entries.).  It had a 100 tooth chainring, driving a 3-speed hub.It finished 27th overall.  (Mike E. photo)



This is the interesting front-wheel-drive leaning tricycle from the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee. The team persuaded CruzBike to donate the moving bottom bracket front end, then built the rest.  The two trailing arms were machined using a water jet.  If I remember correctly, suspension is via torsion bar.  The 20-inch rear wheels are 18 inches apart. There's a switch to lock the trailing arms so the trike doesn't lean (for instance, when stopped at a stoplight); unlocked, it leans like – well, a two-wheel CruzBike.  UW-M finished 16th overall.  (Mike E. photo)



Here's the UW - Milwaukee "leaner" during the Sunday morning endurance race.  The rider is Anthony Pierson, who is president of the university's HPV group.  (Jun Nogami photo)



This is the other "leaner" at the ASME competition, from the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla.  Shown here during the Sunday morning endurance race, it finished 10th overall for the weekend.  (Jun Nogami photo)


Had there been a Pontiac Wide-Track award (if you know that reference, you're as old as the author), it would have gone to Southern Illinois University – Edwardsburg. In the photo are Holly Liebel and Tinna Sherman. (Apologies for my not writing down whom was whom.) The frame is aluminum tubing  the fairing is carbon fiber.  They said the very wide track added stability. Fortunately for the team, which finished 11th overall, the course for Sunday's endurance race didn't include a narrow gate for vehicles to pass through.  (As an apartment dweller and owner of a recumbent tricycle, a pet peeve of mine is that many manufactured recumbent trikes are too wide to go through doorways.  Not everyone owns a garage. Mike E. photo)



A rider staredown preceded the start of this drag race between the University of Vermont (front) and the Missouri University of Science and Technology "leaner."  ASME rules require roll bars, rider safety harnesses,, and, of course, helmets.  Vehicles without roll bars and safety harnesses are penalized. (Tim Potter photo)



Hers the entry from the University of Vermont in Burlington, the second year for the team. Their first-year effort used mountain bike forks to hold the two front wheels.  This year, they used Catrike spindles. A water jet was used to form the rear dropouts and part of the chain tensioner.  The team finished 19th overall.   (Mike E. photo)



This is the front-wheel-drive, front-wheel-steering entry from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in Terre Haute, Ind., which finished 25th overall.  Rose-Hulman has participated in the Michigan HPV Rally, so hopefully we will see them again in August. (Jun Nogami photo)




At least one member of the Ohio University team was cruising around on this bike, which uses two belts (not chains) for the drive system.  (Mike E. photo) The frame is aluminum tubing, mostly bolted together.  It was built by Israel Urieli who retired from the OU mechanical engineering faculty in 2012. I emailed Izzi, who sent me this description (slightly edited):

"This was my electric assist bicyclewhich I built around 20 years ago with the help of Dan Sodomsky, who introduced me to belt drives for bicycles. After retiring and downsizing, I donated the bike to OU, but I had no idea that it would be used at the ASME event. I used to travel every morning on the bike path from my home to OU, and had a charge meter. Whenever I saw the battery discharging I would always be in shock, and pedal hard to charge the batteries. Also, I would hardly ever use brakes - going on a steep downhill I would simply use the motor as a generator and charge the batteries, so I would always come to OU with the batteries charged higher than when I left home."
To see his other recumbent creations, do an online search for "Israel Urieli," then click on "Izzi's home page," then "human powered vehicles."







    

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

35th Michigan HPV Rally- Aug. 10-11, 2019

The 35th annual rally will be held at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track on the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club grounds in Clarkston, near Pontiac - the location since 1986. The oldest such event in North America is open to riders of all human powered vehicles — recumbents, streamliners, regular bicycles, tandems and handcycles.

There are classes for streamlined, unstreamlined cycles, tandems, women, youth and tricycles. The rally is conducted using Human Powered Race America rules (go to www.recumbents.com, then under "recumbent racing," click on "Human Powered Race America," then on "racing rules." Note: HPRA rules require all vehicles to have a mirror or mirrors enabling rear vision to both sides.
The track is 1.4 miles around, with nine turns and one hill. Sunday races use a shorter course without the hill. The track has been repaved since last year's event.
Prize money will be awarded to top finishers in each class. Even if you don't want to compete, come and see some unusual and some very fast bicycles and tricycles. 
Still to come:  We will have online advance registration.  Once it's in operation, it will be announced here and under "calendar" at recumbents.com
We will have 35th anniversary T-shirts, but they will have to be ordered/purchased in advance. The design, price and ordering information will be announced here on the blog.
Food – We likely will have food to commemorate our 35th, but whether it will consist of a Saturday evening meal and/or cake and ice cream has yet to decided.  Also, we  don't know yet if the concession track at the stand (serving lunch) will be open Saturday and Sunday.  Once we know, it will be announced here on the blog.

Schedule of events (subject to change):

SATURDAY, Aug 10
Registration and tech inspection starts 8 am
1-hour time trial (streamliner, streetliner, tricycle classes) - 9:30 am
1-hour time trial (stock, junior, women, tandem classes) - 11 am
Lunch and hot laps, 12:15 p.m. (on short loop, all classes, ride as many laps as you want; your fastest lap counts)
Hill climb/coast down (all classes) - 1:30-2:30 pm
Standing start kilometer (all classes), 3 p.m.
Urban transportation contest - in afternoon.  Score/placing based on results of hill climb, coast down, time in running obstacle course and evaluation for lights, fenders, other weather protection, cargo carrying capacity, braking performance, rearview mirrors, security against theft, convenience (size, getting on/off or in/out), etc.

SUNDAY
200-foot sprints, flying start (all classes) - 8:30-9:30 am
Tricycle race - 10 am
Road race (faired classes, short course, no hill, 12 miles) –10:30 am
Road race (unfaired classes, short course, no hill, 9 miles) 11 am

Awards ceremony follows the last race, expected by 1 p.m.

Entry fees: $20 for one day, $35 for two days. College and high school teams registering in advance, $35 for first vehicle and rider; $10 for each additional vehicle or rider. Spectators free.


NOTE: As of mid-April, the person who will operate the timing/scoring equipment is tentative, so it would be nice to have another person trained as back-up and for future years. If interested in volunteering, please contact Mike Eliasohn at mikethebike2325@comcast.net. You can also contact Mike if you have questions or comments not specific to the racing.  For additional information or questions specific to the racing, contact: teddwheeler@hotmail.com.

Location: Oakland County Sportsmen's Club: 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston MI 48346. For a map of the track, visit http://www.waterfordhills.com/downloads/facilitymap.pdf or http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/fullscreen/179549320/ 

TO GET TO THE RALLY:  From I-75, get off at exit 91. Take M-15 south to Dixie Hwy. (US-24). Turn left, continuing south about 1 mile and turn left onto Waterford Road, then proceed to track.If coming from the west, take U.S. 23 north (or south) to M-59 (Highland Road). Go east on M-59 to Airport Road, then left (north) to US-24. Turn left, then immediately right onto Waterford Road. Go about a half-mile to track.

PLACES TO STAY:

CAMPING
Free camping available overnight Friday and Saturday at the Waterford Hills Sportsman Club, site of the HPV rally, starting at 6 p.m. Friday. Restrooms, showers available and possibly electrical hookups.

STATE CAMPGROUNDS (www.michigan.gov/dnr, then click on "make a reservation.
Highland Recreation Area, 5200 E. Highland Road (M-59), White Lake, 248-889-3750. Two miles east of Highland.
Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grand Road, Holly, 248-634-8811. Five miles east of Holly.
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, 7800 Gale Road, Waterford, 248-666-1020. Closest to Waterford Hills track, about 4 miles west.
OAKLAND COUNTY:  Groveland Oaks County Park, 14555 Dixie Hwy., Holly, northeast of Holly, 248-634-9811.
PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS (www.michcampgrounds.com): Horseshoe Lake Campground and RV Park, 1050 E. Oakwood Road, Oxford, 248-628-3859, e-mail dscoffice@gmail.comwww.d-s-c.org

MOTELS (with approximate distances/direction from Waterford Hills track)
Clarkston - Clarkston Motor Inn, 6853 Dixie Hwy. (US-10), 248-625-1522, 12 rooms, 2 miles northeast.
Clarkston - Olde Mill Inn of Clarkston, 5835 Dixie Hwy., 248-623-0300. Across Dixie Highway from Waterford Road leading to track. This is the closest motel to the track.
Hartland - Best Western of Hartland, 10087 M-59 at US-23, 810-632-7177, 61 rooms. About 18 miles west.
Waterford – Quality Inn and Suites, 7076 Highland Road (M-59), 248-666-8555, 111 rooms. About 3 miles southwest.
Waterford – Waterford Motel, 2201 Dixie Hwy. at Telegraph Road, 248-338-4061, 50 rooms. About 6 miles southeast.
Waterford – Holiday Inn Express, 4350 Pontiac Lake Road, 248-674-3434, 83 rooms. About 7 miles southwest.
Whitmore Lake - Best Western of Whitmore Lake, 9897 Main St. (off US-23, exit 53), 734-449-2058, 61 rooms. About 33 miles southwest.



Saturday, February 16, 2019

A look at some very old recumbents

By Mike Eliasohn

Long time recumbent enthusiasts know, or should know, that recumbent bicycles are not something that were created in the 1970s or '80s.
The chapter devoted to recumbents in Bicycle Design: An Illustrated History by Tony Hadland and Hans-Gerhard Lessing (The MIT Press, 2014) shows patent drawings of the designs by Charles Challand, patented in Switzerland in 1895, and Irving Wales, patented in the U.S. in 1897.
Doing Yahoo searches of "vintage recumbent bicycles" and other online research has unearthed numerous photos of old designs.  For some, I have no or little information. Some information also came from various print (on paper) publications and recumbent expert John Riley in California.


Here's a French design from 1914.  Notice the remote steering utilizing a universal joint, a common feature on early long wheelbase recumbents. An article about recumbents in the July 2001 Popular Mechanics included a reprint, plus photo, from the June 1914 PM, headlined "New Type of Bicycle Seen in Paris."  It showed two recumbents that looked very much like the bike in the above photo.


No information, but another long wheelbase with remote steering.



The Mochet Velo-Velocar – this one is from 1932 – probably is the best known of the pre-World War II recumbents and was manufactured (in France) in greater numbers than any other recumbent.  The were touring and racing versions.  Charles and Georges Mochet, father and son, produced side-by-side four-wheel pedal cars from 1928 to 1944 or '45 and the two-wheelers from 1932-41.  After WWII, they produced motorized microcars, scooters and motorcycles until apparently 1958.  To read and see more, go to www.mochet.org.



A Moller Auto-Cycle, also know as a Triumph Moller Auto-Cycle, since the Triumph bicycle company in England manufactured the Swedish design by Holger Moller under license. Some Mollers had steering wheels, like this one, and others had handlebars, though they also utilized the steering shaft and universal joint.  The Moller was patented in the U.S. in 1938.





The Ravat Horizontal was manufactured in France in the mid-1930s. It was sold in the UK as the Cycloratio.  Rear wheel was 28 inches; front, 20 inches; wheelbase, 36 inches.


Oscar Egg, from Switzerland, set the world hour record in 1914 at 44.247 km (27 miles, 385 yards). Then after Francis Faure of France pedaled 45.055 km in an hour in on a Mochet recumbent in 1933,  breaking Egg's 1914 record  Egg built this lever-drive recumbent with the goal of becoming the first cyclist to pedal 50 kilometers (31.07 miles) in an hour.  He intended to enclose it in a fairing, that is, turn it into a streamliner. But Faure in a streamlined Mochet  was the first to accomplish 50 km in an hour, in 1938, and Egg apparently never made an attempt with his lever-driver machine. Faure's 1938 record was unofficial because after his 1933 record, the UCI governing body outlawed non-traditional designs, such as recumbents.


Francis Faure of France sets the world hour record in 1933 on a Mochet Velo-Velocar, 45.055 kilometers. After that, the UCI governing body required such records to be set on "conventional "upright bicycles.


Prone position bicycles also aren't a new idea, although I don't have a date on this one.

A patent drawing for another early prone design. 




Another prone design.  This photo was taken in Sweden in the 1950s.  In 2013, an online advertisement appeared in Sweden to sell perhaps the very same bike (photo below). The ad said the bike was made in the Netherlands. 


Some links:
– www.bicycleman.com, then on the home page, under "New to Recumbents," click on "Recumbent history."

– Not in English, but some interesting images: 


– www.oldbike.eu/museum.  Unfortunately, there's no separate listing for recumbents.  Pick a year, for instance, click on "1930s," then on "1932," then on "1932 Mochet Velocar Modele Sport Recumbent Prototype."  Under that entry, there's lots of photos and some magazine articles from that year.