Saturday, July 2, 2011

27th Michigan HPV Rally - June 11-12, 2011

PRIOR TO THE START of Sunday morning's first 10-lap, 6.24-mile road race, Jim Iwaskow (from left), Dennis Grelk and Bruce Gordon share a laugh. Dennis won the streamliner class, and lapped the nine other competitors at least once, while Jim and Bruce finished second in the superstreet and superstock classes respectively.

Article and photos by Mike Eliasohn

Dennis Grelk, Mike Mowett, Wally Kiehler and Warren Beauchamp were the winners of classes in which there was significant competition at the 27th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally June 11-12.
The competition at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston attracted about 30 competitors, of which 10 came from the University of Toronto.
Two significant records were set.
On Saturday morning, Dennis Grelk, 31, of Donnellson, Iowa, in his Barracuda streamliner went the farthest distance ever in a one-hour time trial, 32.515 miles, breaking the previous record set by Rick Gritters of Pella, Iowa. It also should be noted that for Dennis and his parents, Dwayne and Mary, it's about a 12-hour drive to the rally and again back home.)
On Sunday morning, Todd Reichert, a 29-year-old U-T graduate student studying aerodynamics and aerospace, powered its student-built Vortex streamliner to 48.02 mph, breaking the record he set last year of 47.02 mph. However, he was aided by a 10-15 mph tailwind.
The U-T HPV team came with 10 students, all of whom competed, and three vehicles, two student-built streamliners and a manufactured HP Velotechnik Speedmachine short wheelbase two-wheeler. They borrowed three additional vehicles to race.

AFTER GETTING BEAT UP PHYSICALLY on a rough section of the course when riding his streamliner and leaning trike low-racer l in the first two races Sunday morning, Dennis Grelk chose to ride his cyclocross bike in the final road Sunday morning. Before the start, he towered over Brian Stevens of Grand Rapids on his carbon fiber Morciglio Viper. But when standing, Brian also is tall. In the stock class in the 6.24-mile race, Dennis finished third and Brian was fifth.

Here's the top two in each class and the number of competitors in the class. Complete results are posted at, including metric conversions of speeds and distances.
Streamliner (14 competitors) – 1) Grelk, 320 points; 2) Cameron Robertson, U-T, 275.
Superstreet (5) – 1) Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods, Lightning F-40, 345; 2) Chris Cortez, Chicago, Go-One velomobile, 265.
Superstock (3) – 1) Warren Beauchamp, Elgin, Ill., NoCom low racer with tailbox, 355; 2) Bruce Gordon, newly moved from Centralia, Ill., to Buchanan, Mich., Zox 20x20 lowracer, 320.
Stock (15) – 1) Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores, Challenge lowracer, 335; 2) Dennis Grelk, homebuilt front-wheel-drivelowracer, 280.
Women (2) – 1) Amanda Chu, Dennis Grelk-built rear-wheel-drive lowracer (not the one he raced), U-T, 350; 2) Dora Cortez, Chicago, Rick Gritters-built lowracer, 340.
Junior – Nick Myers, Holly, on a Trek upright bike was the lone junior competitor, 300.
Tricycles (6) – 1) Dennis Grelk, homebuilt leaning low-racer, 300, 2) Chris Cortez, Catrike, 275.

MHPVA PRESIDENT MIKE MOWETT of St. Clair Shores finished first overall in the stock class on his Challenge lowracer. He's seen here during Saturday's one-hour time trial. He finished second in class with 23.8 miles.

Here's the top two in each event:
One-hour time trial: Streamliner – 1) Grelk, 32.515 miles; 2) Reichert, 30.041 miles, despite stopping due to a crash. Stock – 1) Grelk, homebuilt low racer, 25.464 miles (Dennis ran the streamliner in the first one-hour time trial and his stock class low racer in the second one-hour); 2) Mowett, 23.834 miles. Superstock – 1) Beauchamp, 24.088 miles; 2) Jim Iwaskow, Richmond Hill, Ontario, Challenge lowracer with tailbox, 18.456 miles. Superstreet – 1) Bob Krzewinski, Ypsilanti, Lightning F-40, 21.226 miles; 2) Kiehler, 20.273 miles. Junior – 1) Myers, 19.229 miles. Women – Cortez, 17.757 miles; 2) Chu, 12.789 miles. Tricycle – 1) Mike O'Donnell, Hastings, TerraTrike, 16.106 miles; 2) Alfie Tham, U-T, Hase, 11.042.

AFTER HAVING LAST RACED at the 2007 rally, Frank "Franknspeed" Geyer of Brighton returned to race his Challenge Jester, but only on Saturday. In the stock class, he finished third in the one-hour time trial, hill climb and standing-start kilometer and fourth in the coast down.

Hill climb – Streamliner – 1) Reichert in the U-T Vortex, 20.06 seconds (record time for a streamliner); 2) Grelk, 22.16. Junior – 1) Myers, 21.06 seconds. Stock – 1) Mowett, 21.19 seconds, 2) Grelk, Gary Fisher cyclocross upright bike, 21.84 seconds. Superstock – Iwaskow, 22.43 seconds; 2) Beauchamp, 24.19 seconds. Superstreet – 1) Krzewinski, 24.5 seconds.; 2) Kiehler, 27.94 seconds. Tricycles – 1) Grelk, 24.62 seconds; 2) Chris Cortez, Catrike Speed, 28.35 seconds. Women – 1) Chu, 29.06 seconds; 2) Dora Cortez, 31.09 seconds.

DAVE JOHNSON of Olivet competed in his Great White streamliner (built by Rick Wianecki), minus the teeth it used to have, and in the stock class on his DeFelice long-wheelbase recumbent with under-seat steering. He finished third overall in the streamliner class and ninth overall in the stock class, where he was at a disadvantge competing against the low racers.

Coast down: Streamliner – As usual, John Simon of Portland in his Moby coasted the farthest, about 3 feet farther than Grelk in his Barracuda. The first seven vehicles, that is, those who coasted farthest, were all streamliners. Stock – Grelk on his homebuilt low-racer coasted the farthest of the non-streamliners; 2) Chris Cortez. Superstock – 1) Beauchamp, 2) Gordon. Superstreet – 1) Krzewinski, 2) Kiehler. Tricycles – 1) Grelk, 2) Chris Cortez. Women – 1) Dora Cortez, 2) Chu. Junior – Myers.
Standing start 1-kilometer: Streamliner – 1) Simon, 31.16 mph , 2) Reichert, 30.5 mph. Stock – 1) Mowett, 27.00 mph; 2) Grelk, 26.18 mph. Tricycle – 1) Grelk – 25.35 mph; 2) Chris Cortez, 19.38 mph. Superstock – 1) Beauchamp, 24.56 mph, 2) Gordon, 22.20 mph. Superstreet – 1) Kiehler, 23.54 mph, 2) Chris Cortez, GoOne velomobile, 18.68 mph. Junior – 1) Myers, 23.51 mph. Women – 1) Chu, 23.23 mph, 2) Dora Cortez, 21.99 mph.

THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO No. 70 Vortex streamliner had more "drivers" than some rental cars. In the 200-foot sprints, seven HPV team members made runs, with Todd Reichert setting a record of 48.02 mph. The Vortex was new this year.

Urban transportation contest
In the absence of Paul Pancella, who has organized the UTC in the past, Mike Eliasohn came up with some simplified rules for this year's contest. Scoring was based on the the hill climb and coast down, as in the past; time for an “obstacle” course that included a U-turn and braking to a complete stop; and evaluation, with points awarded for such things as lights, fenders, cargo-carrying capacity; horn or bell; weather protection; and security against theft.
The result was a tie between Dennis Grelk with his upright Gary Fisher cyclocross bike (which Dennis races in cyclocross events) and Bob Krzewinski with his Lightning F-40, a short wheelbase recumbent with fairing (nose cone and fabric sides).
The other competitors were Dave Johnson of Olivet on his long wheelbase DeFelice recumbent with under-seat steering and Chris Cortez of Chicago in Garrie Hill's Go-One velomobile.


200-foot sprints: The three fastest speeds were set by U-T team members riding the same No. 70 Vortex streamliner. As mentioned previously, Todd Reichert, set a record of 48.02 mph. Second was Cameron Robertson, 44.56 mph; and third was Dan Zolyniak, who made two runs, the fastest 43.57 mph.
But those weren't all of the U-T team members to ride No. 70 in the 200-foot sprints. Victor Ragusila went 41.96 mph (6th in streamliner class), Amanda Chu, 41.07, Alfie Tham, 37.26 mph, and Marissa Goldsmith, 35.51 mph.
Fastest of the non-Canadians and 4th in the streamliner class was Dennis Grelk, 42.75 mph.
The other classes were: Stock – 1) Grelk, 39.30 on his lowracer, 2) Mowett, 37.36 mph. Superstock – 1) Beauchamp, 36.08 mph, 2) Gordon, 30.71 mph. Superstreet – Kiehler, 33.84 mph, 2) Chris Cortez, Go-One velomobile, 30.92 mph. Junior – 1) Myers, 33.34 mph. Women – 1) Amanda Chu, Grelk lowracer, 34.61 mph, 2) Dora Cortez, 32.09 mph. Tricycle – 1) Grelk, 35.79 mph, 2) Chris Cortez, Catrike, 28.35 mph.
Tricycle road race (10 laps, 0.220 mile per lap) – 1) Grelk, 10 laps at average speed of 16.871 mph, 2) Chris Cortez, nine laps at 14.431 mph.
Two 10-lap road races were held on a 0.624-mile course, which did not include the hill.
First race: Streamliner – 1) Grelk, 10 laps at 27.60 mph, 2) Dave Johnson, Olivet, nine laps at 24.531 mph. Super stock – 1) Beauchamp, 9 laps at 24.533 mph, 2) Gordon, 7 laps at 18.193 mph. Superstreet – 1) Kiehler, 8 laps at 20.875 mph, 2) Iwaskow, 7 laps at 17.984 mph.

IN THE SECOND 6.24- mile road race Sunday morning, Todd Reichert of the University of Toronto trails Dennis Grelk, but not for long. Todd passed Dennis, then on the 10th and final lap passed Mike Mowett, who had led up till then, for the win. Mike finished second and Dennis third, all in the stock class.

Second race – This was an exciting race. Mike Mowett led nine laps on his Challenge lowracer, before being passed on the last lap by Todd Reichert on a borrowed Cannondale upright bike for the stock class win at 24.078 mph. Mowett was second at 24.009. Earlier, Reichert passed Grelk, who was riding his Gary Fisher cyclocross bike and finished third at 23.555 mph. Carbon fiber bicycle builder John Morciglio rode one of his creations to fourth in the stock class, also completing 10 laps, at 22.325 mph. Women (both completed 9 laps) – 1) Chu, 20.428 mph, 2) Dora Cortez, 19.633 mph.

Thanks to Mike Mowett, Bill Frey, Bruce Gordon, Warren Beauchamp, Terry Gerweck, Robert Palmer, Wally Kiehler, Mike Eliasohn and everyone else who helped conduct the rally.

DORA CORTEZ of Chicago on her Gritters low racer finished second in the women's class behind Amanda Chu of the University of Toronto, but was the only competitor whose outfit and wheel disks were color-coordinated. She's seen here during the Sunday morning 10-lap, 0.624-mile road race.

IN THE SECOND 10-lap, 6.24-mile road race Sunday morning, John Morciglio of Waterford on one of his carbon fiber lowracers, leads Tedd Wheeler of Reed City on his Rick Gritters-built low racer. John finished fourth in the stock class - his only event of the weekend - at an average speed of 22.325 mph for 10 laps. Tedd finished sixth, completing nine laps at 21.34 mph.

BRUCE GORDON on his Zox front-wheel-driver low racer is about to be passed for the umteenth time by Dennis Grelk in Saturday morning's one-hour time trial. Bruce and his wife recently moved from Illinois to Buchanan in southwest Michigan.