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.