Monday, April 7, 2014

MHPVA annual meeting - March 22, 2014


JOHN WILLIAMS of Harrison Township showed the wood bike he built about four years ago, using plans sold by James Robinson of San Angelo, Texas. The frame is made mostly of 2x4s, glued together with WEST SYSTEM epoxy (made by Gougeon Brothers Inc. in Bay City). He said it rides rough. "I call it my park bike," he said, meaning he mostly rides it for short distances in area parks. "It's mostly for fun."

Report by Mike Eliasohn

     About 20 people attended the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Association annual meeting Saturday, March 22, at the TechShop in Allen Park.
     Prior to the meeting, TechShop event coordinator Ashley Kratzke led attendees on a tour of the facility, which for anyone who likes to build anything, was/is terrific!  Among the equipment available for members to use are computers with modeling software; 3D printers; milling machines; laser cutters that can cut wood, plastic and glass; welders; English wheels for forming parts from sheet metal (one part seen looked very much like a fender for a classic fat-tire cruiser); and a powder coater.
     During the tour, one man was building a prototype of a four-engine aerial drone. A man and a woman were building a Greenland kayak, which has a frame of wood ribs, lashed together with nylon cord (no glue, nails or screws).  There was a casket converted into an outdoor grill, mounted on a trailer. Half of the space normally occupied by the deceased housed a grill; the other half was a sink. Picnic anyone?

Two more views of John Williams' beautifully constructed wood bike.  The bottom bracket axle fits through a slot in the 2x4 boom tube, thus allowing  the BB position to be adjustable forward and backward (photo below).

      During the meeting, officers and board members elected were: President, Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores; vice president, Mike Eliasohn, St. Joseph; secretary, Paul Pancella, Kalamazoo, who was absent; treasurer, Bruce Gordon, Buchanan; and members at-large, Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Bob Krzewinski, Ypsilanti.
      Bruce replaces Bill Frey, treasurer since 2002 and long active in the MHPVA before then, who chose not to seek reelection. Bruce had been a board member at-large and the other at-large member, Rick Wianecki of Okemo, who also did not want to be reelected. Wally was MHPVA president from 1998-2008 and Bob runs the Wolver-Bents website ( and edits the MHPVA site.

TechShop event coordinator Ashley Kratzke shows the MHPVA group the wood shop during a tour of the facility in Allen Park.  There are eight TechShops around the country. For more information, go to

      With Bill Frey absent, Mike Mowett presented Bill's final financial report.  It showed 2013 Michigan HPV Rally expenses of $985 and the MHPVA ending 2013 with $1,517 in the bank.
      Wally and Bob also talked about their forthcoming 4,200 mile, nine-week trip which starts June 14 in  Seattle and ends Aug. 16 in Boston. They wanted to ride their Lightning F-40 streamline bikes (Doug Grossjean's F-40 can be seen behind John Williams in the top photo), but the tour organizers, Cycle America, insisted on bikes that will fit on a motor vehicle bike rack, so they will be riding unfaired Lightning P-38s. 
      The Cycle America tour includes three meals a day, camping and showers.
      During the tour, Wally will be blogging about his journey, with hoped-for daily updates. Go to www.crazyguyonbike, then click on "journal," then "wallyk." This will be a one-stop deal for me," Wally said. "I'm not going to do it again."
     He and Bob will be newly retired from their jobs, which will give them the time to undertake their trip. The Cycle America route will go through Michigan. The participants will cross Lake Michigan on the Badger ferry, which docks in Ludington, then have overnight stops in Farwell, Frankenmuth and Memphis.
     Mike Mowett reviewed the proposed schedule of events for the 30th annual Michigan HPV Rally May 17-18. The concensus of those attending was to keep the events and schedule as-is, rather than making any changes.
     Mike M. also talked about a proposed 100-mile tour through Detroit and the Detroit area and showed various satellite phones of various oval test and race tracks in Michigan and nearby that could be used for future HPV events.

This four-wheel creation seen at the TechShop was built for some type of Star Wars building competition. Look past the outrigger wheel  and you can see a short-wheelbase recumbent.

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