Friday, March 27, 2020

Unique recumbent tricycle needs new home

Bruce and Linda Gordon, long a part of the Midwest HPV community, will be moving around June 1 from Buchanan, Mich., to Newark, N.Y. , Their daughter, a pediatrician, now in Niles, Mich., has accepted a job in that part of New York state, between Rochester and Syracuse, so Bruce and Linda are moving to stay close with her and her family.
Newark sits along the historic Erie Canal and a lengthy bicycle trail runs alongside the canal. So Bruce is taking most of his fleet of recumbent tricycles (plus one 4-wheeler).
But he’s looking for a good home for this recumbent tricycle, which he’s willing to give away for free.

The back side of the seat that comes with the trike is shown in this view. The seat will have to be adapted to fit on the frame. Because of the rear suspension, support stays can't run from the seatback to the rear wheel stays.

It was built by Mike Sova of Toronto, who gave it to Jim Iwaskow of Richmond Hill, Ont. Jim raced the trike at the Berrien Tricycle Rally organized by Bruce in June 2014 at a kart racing track near Buchanan. Jim said at that time that Mike had built the tricycle “some time ago,” possibly a couple of decades earlier or more.
Bruce became the next owner.
The tricycle is built of rectangular aluminum tubing, welded and bolted together.
It has rear suspension – the pivot is the small circle behind the handlebars – which in turn means the seatback must be self-supporting. That is, it isn’t possible to run support stays from the seatback to the frame stays.
Bruce has a seat (not the one used in 2014) that can be adapted to the trike.
Tires update: The front wheels use 24x1/520c tires; rear is 700x28c.  The only tire for the front that I (Mike Eliasohn) could find is the Panaracer Pasela. J&B (, probably the country's largest wholesale supplier to bicycle shops, as of April 2 had the Pasela in stock at all of its warehouses nationwide, so any bicycle shop that gets  parts from J&B can order 520c size Paselas. J&B does not sell direct to consumers. 700x28c is a common size, so easily available.

Notice the suspension pivot behind the handlebars and how the axle is attached to the  rectangular aluminum frame. Possibly the axle could be removed and the tricycle could be converted into a two-wheeler.

Remember, the seat needs mounting, And I (Mike Eliasohn) think lowering the bottom bracket would be worthwhile, which would require drilling out the rivets and then doing some fabrication.
In other words, Bruce’s trike is a project, not ready to go..
Bruce said in an email that he would like to make sure the next guy doesn't just put it out on the curb.” So if you would like to be the next guy or gal to own and ride (and maybe race) this interesting and unique tricycle, please email Bruce at 

These two photos were taken at the Berrien Tricycle Rally organized by Bruce Gordon in June 2014.  Racing the tricycle was Jim Iwaskow, who was then the owner.

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Will there be a Michigan HPV Rally in 2020?

Sunday, March 22, 2020

   With everything that is and isn't happening worldwide because of the 
coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, Mike Mowett and I want everyone
interested to know that as of now, the 36th annual Michigan Human
Powered Vehicle Rally is still scheduled May 16-17 at Waterford Hills
in Clarkston.  (See rally details below.  Entry fees, which are the same
as last year,have now been added.)
   We expect to decide by May 1 whether the rally will still be held then.
   The decision may be made for us, depending on what the Waterford 
Hills folks decide regarding car events scheduled at the track and what 
happens/is allowed in Michigan and nationwide as of mid-May.
   For instance, if gatherings larger than 50 people are still discouraged
or banned and restaurants are still limited to take-out only, it would
seem conducting the rally would be ill-advised, if not outright banned.
   Waterford Hills Road Racing issued a news release March 21
outlining the current situation and what might or might not happen 
concerning postponements or cancellations. Here's a key sentence:
   The board showed large agreement that sharing a decision on event 
status, with 2 weeks-in-advance-notification of the event, is our target 
to all participants, members, and volunteers.
   If you want to read the entire news release, go to www.waterfordhills.
com, then click on "news."
   If we cannot conduct the rally on May 16-17, there are 3 possibilities:
1) Cancel, that is, no rally in 2020; 2) hold the rally at a later date, if an
opening is available at Waterford Hills; and if not, 3) hold an informal
gathering/rally elsewhere.   What I have in mind is a one-day event on
a Saturday at a large parking lot or on roads that are little used on that
day, such as on a college campus, from maybe 10:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m. 
We could set up traffic cones and run a time trial and have plenty of
time to talk about and view HPVs.
   Please post your comments here on the blog or email me your 
thoughts to me at and I will pass them
along to Mike Mowett.
   Currently, the only other race on the HPRA schedule is Dennis 
Grelk's event at Hawkeye Downs Raceway in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, on 
Sept. 19-20.
   Obviously there are bigger concerns than if there will be a Michigan
HPV Rally. this year  May you and your families and friends stay safe 
and healthy and find time to ride your bicycle or tricycle.

Mike Eliasohn, Michigan HPV Rally co-chairman


Friday, March 13, 2020

ASME student HPV competition cancelled

The American Society of Mechanical Engineers student human powered vehicle competition scheduled April 3-5 at Michigan State University has been cancelled.
It was to be part of the larger ASME E-Fest North for mechanical engineering students, also cancelled.
E-Fest South and its HPV competition scheduled April 24-26 in Perry, Ga., also has been cancelled.
The ASME didn’t give a reason for the cancellations, but obviously it's the coronavirus outbreak, which has resulted in cancellation of classes at MSU and elsewhere. From the MSU website:

Effective at noon March 11, MSU is suspending face-to-face instruction in classroom settings and moving to virtual instruction … This suspension of in-person classes will last until April 20.  

This would have been the second year in a row that MSU hosted the HPV competition and E-Fest North. To read about last year’s competition, scroll down to April 15, 2019.
Even though the competition is/was limited to college teams, it was a great opportunity for HPV enthusiasts to view student creativity and ingenuity.

This year, 36 teams were entered. Unfortunately, like in 2019, only one team from Michigan entered – host MSU.

Monday, February 24, 2020

Wally's next adventure

In 2014, long-time Michigan HPVer Wally Kiehler of Grosse Pointe Woods pedaled 4,244 miles from Everett, Wash., to Gloucester, Mass.
He's about to do it again, only he and "a couple buddies," will be riding from San Diego, Calif., to St. Augustine, Fla. It will be an "unsupported" tour, with the trio eating in restaurants and sleeping in motels.
They're planning to start March 5 and be on the road about seven weeks. Once underway, Wally hopes to write daily updates, which can be read on  Some preliminary information is already posted there.
In 2014, Wally was one of 30 riders in a supported tour conducted by Cycle America. His account of that ride can be read on this blog.  Scroll down to 2014, then look for "Wally Kiehler's coast to coast adventure." (It's the third article from the top.)
On that ride, Wally started on his Lightning P-38. Then when the ride crossed through Michigan, he switched to his lighter, faster carbon fiber M5.
This time, he will be on the P-38, which is more comfortable than the M5 – the seat on the P-38 is wider and "very comfortable" – and "is set up perfectly for carrying cargo," he wrote  in an email.
NOTE:  The journey of Wally and his two companions came to a premature end in Las Cruces, N.M., on March 16 after 614 miles, as the coronavirus crisis made it increasingly hard for them to stay in motels and eat in restaurants.  You can read about what happened in Wally's  crazyguy report.

It's June 15, 2014, and Wally Kiehler dips the rear wheel of his Lightning P-38 in the Pacific Ocean at Everett, Wash., at the start of his cross-country trip.  He will be riding the same P-38 on his new cross country trip from San Diego to St. Augustine, scheduled to start March 5.

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Michigan HPV Rally - May 16-17, 2020

The 36th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally will be May 16-17, 
2020, at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston, 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, then under “recumbent racing,”
click on “Human Powered Race America,” then on “racing rules.” Note: 
HPRA rules require all vehicles to have a mirroror mirrors enabling rear 
vision to both sides.
The track, on the grounds of the Oakland County Sportsmen’s Club, is 
1.4 miles around, with nine turns and one hill. Sunday races use a shorter 
course without the hill.
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.  We anticipate starting online advance 
registration in mid-April – if it looks like we will still conduct the rally on the
original dates.
Prize money will be awarded to top finishers in each class.
Free camping available at track Friday and Saturday nights, with indoor 

Even if you don’t want to compete, come and see some unusual 
and very fast cycles.

Tentative schedule:
8 a.m. – Registration and technical inspection starts.
9:30 – One-hour time trial (streamliner, streetliner, tricycle classes).
11 – One-hour time trial (stock, junior, women, tandem classes).
Noon – lunch, concession stand at track will be open.
12:15 p.m. – Hot laps on short loop, all classes, ride as many laps as 
you want; your fastest lap counts, electronic timing.
1:30-2:30 – Hill climb/coast down. Race up the hill from a standing start,
then when you get to the top, start coasting. Coast as far as you can go, 
then mark your stopping point with chalk (provided). Separate scores/points 
for time up the hill and distance coasted.
After 2:30 – Tricycle race (no hill) and urban transportation contest.
Dinner at local restaurants. Track will be open in evening for riding.

8:30-9:30 a.m. – Flying start 200-foot sprints (all classes).
10 – Short course (no hill) road race (faired classes), about 12 miles.
11 – Short course (no hill) road race (unfaired classes), about 9 miles.
Awards ceremony after last race, expected by 12:30 p.m. Concession
stand expected to be open.

Questions: Contact Mike Eliasohn (
269-281-0797) or Mike Mowett (, 586-863-3902)

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.


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 (, then click on "things to do,”
then “camping,” then “find a campground,” then “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.
men’s Congress Horseshoe Lake Campground, 1050 E. Oakwood Road,
Oxford, 248-628-3859, e-mail

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 – Days Inn by Wyndham Whitemore Lake, 9897 Main St.
     (off US-23, exit 53), 734-550-0105, 61 rooms. About 33 miles southwest.