Thursday, June 12, 2014

Articles worth reading


If you missed these magazine articles when they were new, they're worth reading next time you're at your public or school library and maybe, like me, making photocopies.

"The Beastie Bike," Popular Science, January 2014 – Three pages and four photos of Graeme Obree, "The Flying Scotsman" (a movie worth renting), and the lever-drive, prone position two-wheel streamliner he built and raced at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain, Nev. in 2013. Popular Science might be accused of celebrity journalism. Obree went 56.62 mph, the fastest speed ever for a prone-position bike, but Sebastiaan Bowler of the Netherlands setting a top speed record of 83.13 mph in the Velox 3 streamliner at the same event earned only one sentence in the article.

"The Improbabable Flying Machines of Sywell," Popular Mechanics, February 2014. Eight pages and five large photos of the second Icarus Cup competition for human powered airplanes at Sywell Aerodrome in the United Kingdom, conducted by the Royal Aeronautical Society Human Powered Aircraft Group. Which leads to the question, why doesn't someone organize a similar competition in the United States?

Muskegon Chronicle, March 1, 1987. Jerry Mattson used  this article
as a source of information for his Michigan History article about the Bowden Spacelander.

"The Bowden Spacelander," Michigan History, January-February 2014. Five pages and seven photos (sort of).  The Bowden isn't a recumbent, but its molded fiberglass frame made it unique and it was manufactured in Michigan – hence the article in Michigan History. The bike is now highly prized by collectors. The author of the article is Jerry Mattson, who as a free-lance writer  working for the Romeo Observer newspaper, covered the Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge, conducted by the MHPVA, in 2009, .

"How to Build a Bicycle-Powered Generator," Popular Mechanics, April 2014. Three pages and six photos or illustrations. The author, Rachel Arndt, started her project because she got tired of riding her bicycle trainer in her apartment in bad weather and going nowhere. When she finished, she still went nowhere, but had a cycle-generator that could put enough charge into batteries to power small electronics during power outages. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Preview: Berrien County Tricycle Rally - June 21, 2014

Photo taken at Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally

The first Berrien County Tricycle Rally is on Saturday, June 21, at Rolling Green Raceway, a quarter-mile kart racing track with lots of turns. The track is at 2090 Miller Road, northwest of Buchanan, in southwest Michigan.

7:30 a.m. – Gates open.
7:30 - 9 – Registration, trike safety inspection 
9 - 11 – Solo racing.
11 – Group racing begins and will continue, with a lunch break, through the afternoon. How long it takes to give everyone their fill of racing will depend on how many show up to race.

Registration can be done online at until June 18. The cost is $20 if you register in advance online; $25 if you register at the rally.  

The rally will be conducted under the rules of Human Powered Race - America, which are posted at, then click on "rules and classes."

SPECIAL PRIZES: Azee Prize for the best performing team in the solo event. Team members must be separated in age by 58 years or by having one member of the team less than 12 years old and the other older than 50.
Ceepee Team Prize awarded in the solo event for best parent-child team using combined times. Stepchildren, foster children and grandchildren are eligible. Other relationships, such as niece, nephew, etc., will be considered at the race director's discretion.

Grand Rapids-based recumbent tricycle manufacturer TerraTrike plans to be at the rally from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with various models available for test rides.

DIRECTIONS: The track is located 2 miles west of Redbud Trail on Miller Road. 
From the north: Take US 31 south to Snow Road. Exit #13. Go (right) west for about a mile and turn (left) south on Redbud Trail (at stop sign.)  Go about 4 miles south and turn right on Miller Road (name is on yellow junction sign.)
From the south: Take US 31 north to US 12. Exit #3. Go (left) on US 12 west for about 2 miles and turn (right) north onto Redbud Trail at traffic light. Go through Buchanan (traffic light) and continue on Redbud Trail for about 4 miles and turn left on Miller Rd (name on yellow junction sign.) 
From the west: Take US 12 east Exit #4a off I-94 (4 miles from Indiana border). Go (right) east for about 16 miles and turn north (left) onto Redbud Trail (second traffic light.) Go through Buchanan (traffic light) and continue on Redbud trail for about 4 miles and turn left on Miller Road (name on yellow junction sign.) 

If you have questions or need to cancel or make changes to your registration, e-mail

Participants in the rally Saturday are encouraged to also participate in the Berrien County Cancer Service Bike Ride the following day, starting at its office at 7301 Red Arrow Hwy., Stevensville.
Riders can start between 7 and 11 a.m., but must finish by 2 p.m. Routes are 15, 25 and 42 miles and 100k (62 miles). The cost is $20 ($35 for families) until June 13, $25 ($40) after that. Registration/payment can be done online at Proceeds help the BBCS provide free nursing care and support services to Berrien County residents with cancer.

The nearest restaurants to Rolling Green Raceway are in Buchanan. From the track, go east to North Main Street, then south into town. Some restaurants are downtown and others, including fast food, are clustered up the hill east from downtown.
The best locations for finding hotels/motels are near the junction of Route 51 and the Indiana Toll Road
(exit #77) or along I-94 in Michigan.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

30th annual Michigan HPV Rally - May 17-18, 2014

By Mike Eliasohn

Note:  Some of these results are incomplete, due to either more than one college team member racing the same vehicle or information being incomplete on some entry forms. 
Complete rally results and more photos are posted at, then click on "race results and pictures," then "2014 Michigan HPRA race results" or "pictures."    Mike E.

"Old and cold" describes the 30th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally May 17-18, the oldest such event in North America and maybe the world.
How cold was it? The uniform of the day for those who had it, especially on Saturday, was a hoodie with the hood up, under a jacket – and gloves.  It was so cold that cars parked at the Waterford Hills track overnight Saturday "woke up" with frost on windshields and roofs.
There were 46 entries, but that doesn't translate into 46 riders or 46 vehicles. Some riders raced in more than one class and for the University of Toronto and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology teams, there was more than one rider per vehicle, which caused some confusion in scoring results.
The Univ. of Toronto team consisted of 12 people, including faculty adviser Jun Nogami, and five or six vehicles, he said.  Rose-Hulman, in Terre Haute, Ind., had five people, including faculty adviser Michael Moorhead, and three streamliners, plus three other vehicles.
The third "team" competing was Fran Kowalik of Deerfield, Ill., and four of his children, Florian, 15, Mathias, 13, Cecilia, 11, and Genevieve, 9. But all five each had their own cycle to race.

Mike Mowett on his Morciglio M1 carbon fiber low racer recovers after winning Sunday morning's road race, 15 laps/9 miles on the short course (0.6 mile).  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

As usual, the stock class had the most entries, 20.  The top three were: 1) MHPVA President Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores, on his Morciglio M1, 340 points; 2) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa,homebuilt low racer, 307; and Warren Beauchamp, NoCom low racer, Elgin, Ill., 279. As usual, Dennis was the only person to compete in every event.
The top three in the other classes were:
Streamliner (8 entries): 1) Dennis Grelk in his Warren Beauchamp-built Barracuda, 312; 2) rider?, Rose-Hulman Celeritas, 310; and 3) Warren Beauchamp, homebuilt Barracuda, 283.
Wally Kiehler in/on his Lightning F-40, leads Richard Myers during the Sunday morning 20 lap/12-mile road race. They finished second and third respectively. On June 14, Wally and Bob Krzewinski, both riding similar bikes, but minus the fairings, depart on a 4,200-mile trip from Seattle to Boston, ending Aug. 16. Wally will blog about their journey, with hoped-for daily updates. Go to www.crazyguyonabike, then click on "journal," then "wallyk." (John Heiam photo)

Streetliner (6 entries): 1) Wally Kiehler, Gross Pointe Woods, Lightning F-40; 340; 2) Rich Myers, Xenia, Ohio, "Chiquita Banana" (it's yellow), 297; and John Simon, Portland, Lightning P-38 with fairing, 205. John only competed on Saturday. At a "young" 77, Rich was the oldest competitor.
Women: Dora Cortez of Chicago, riding a Gritters low racer or Bacchetta Corsa 24, was the lone competitor, 360,
Tricycle  (4 entries):  1) Daryl Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Catrike Trail, 325; 2) Bruce Gordon, Buchanan, Greenspeed SLR, 300; and 3) Dennis Grelk, homebuilt low racer with his two-wheels-in-the-rear conversion, 295.
Junior (4 entries):  1) Florian Kowalik, M5 low racer, 360; 2) Cecelia Kowalik, Earth Cycles Sunset, 320; Genevieve Kowalik, upright bike, 295.
Tandem (3 entries):  Tedd and Donna Wheeler, Reed City, BikeE, 275. There was a tie for second place, 180 points, with the same Trek tandem from Rose-Hulman. R-H HPV team faculty adviser Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes from the Univ. of  Toronto formed one team and students Louis Vaught, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Matt Skoria, Walla Walla, Wash., both R-H students, were the other.

Dan Zolyniak of Toronto, in the streamliner built by him and his wife, Amanda, leads the tandem team of Matt Skorian (front) and Louis Vaught from Rose-Hulman. In the rear, Rose-Hulman HPV team faculty adviser Michael Moorhead gets the R-H streamliner, ridden by ??, back on its wheels. This was during the 20-lap/12-mile road race Sunday morning.  (John Heiam photo)
    Here's the top two from each event:


One-hour time trial:  Streamliner – 1) Warren Beauchamp, 22 laps of the 1.4 mile track at average speed of 30.794 mph, 2) tie: Dennis Grelk and ???, riding U-T Ace.  Streetliner – 1) Bill Hannon, Springfield, Ohio, Milan velomobile. 18 laps/24.375 mph; 2) Chris Evans, Flint, Quest velomobile. Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 18 laps, 25.077 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez, 12 laps, 15.485 mph.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 14 laps/18.141 mph, 2) Bruce Gordon.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 17 laps, 22.313 mph, 2) Cecelia Kowalik. Tandem – 1) Michael Moorhead and Calvin Moes,  15 laps, 20.442 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler. 
Hill climb:  Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T, 2) rider?  R-H Celeritas.  Streetliner – 1) Wally Kiehler, 2) John Simon.  Stock – 1) Trefor Evans, 2) Peter Wen, Univ. of Toronto???  Women – 1) Dora Cortez.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecelia Kowalik.  Tandem – Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler.
Coast down ((combined with the hill climb; when riders reach the top of the hill, they stop pedaling and then coast):  Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T) Dennis Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) Wally Kiehler, 2) Rich Myers. Stock – 1) Fran Kowalik, M5 M-Racer, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez. Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) Chris Cortez, xxxx.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecelia Kowalik, 3) Genevieve Kowalik. Tandem – 1) Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler.
Standing start 1-kilometer:  Streamliner – 1) Dennis Grelk, 1 minute, 22.78 sec./27.02 mph, 2) rider?  R-H Celeritas, 1:24.63, 26.43 mph. Streetliner – Wally Kiehler, 1:37.13/23.03 mph, 2) John Simon, 1:51.91/15.99 mph. Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 1:29.29/25.05 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk, 1:30.72/24.66. Women – 1) Dora Cortez, 1:48.59/20.60 mph. Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 1:37.38/22.97 mph, 2) Daryl Hanger, 1:49.05/20.51 mph. Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 1:27.25/25.64 mph, 2) Genevieve Kowalik, 2:51.53/13.04 mph.  Tandem – 1) Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes, 1:49.44/20.44 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler, 2:12.91, 16.83 mph.

Among those waiting for the start of the hill climb / coast down are Fran Kowalik on his M-5 M-Racer and daughters Cecelia, 11, (green jersey) on an Earth Cycles Sunset and Genevieve, 9, (orange jersey) on an upright bike.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

Urban vehicle competition: Points were awarded for time in the hill climb; finishing position in the coast down; time around two loops of an oval in the parking area, with braking performance evaluated at the finish; and points for each feature during an evaluation of the vehicle. Points were awarded for lights and fenders, front and rear; reflectors; daytime visibility; cargo carrying capacity; brakes; rearview mirrors; security against theft; convenience (getting on and off or in and out of the vehicle); weather protection; horn; bell; tools; tire pump; spare inner tube or tube repair kit; and "anything else."
Daryl Hanger on his Catrike Trail and Wally Kiehler on his Lightning F-40 tied for first with 32 points,  while John Simon with his Lightning P-38 with fairing was third. Tied for fourth were Univ. of Toronto HPV team adviser Jun Nogami on his Rock Lobster upright bike, which he uses for daily commuting and Dennis Grelk with his Barracuda streamliner, 25 points. Sixth was Tedd and Donna Wheeler on their BikeE tandem, 17 points.

         Our thanks go to Mark Berend, a friend of Mike Mowett, who brought his grill to the track, bought the food (for which he was reimbursed) and cooked the chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs. There were perhaps 50 people eating. With so much time spent next to the grill, Mark may have been the only person there who was warm (albeit smoky). Making his long day longer, his vehicle ran out of gas while he and his family were going home.
         Thanks also to Mike Mowett, who ordered the 30th anniversary cake from the nearby Kroger's.
         A special guest was former International HPV Association President Marti Daily, who drove with  her friend from Indianapolis, in time for the barbecue and reminiscing with old friends. Because Marti had to work Sunday at Home Depot, she and her friend left after dinner and drove home.

Fran Kowalik and three of his kids (left) apply the condiments during the barbecue following Saturday's events. Mark Berend did the cooking on the grill he brought to the track, as well as buying the food.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

After dinner, Donna Wheeler, who handled everything involving the 30th anniversary T-shirts, presented special yellow shirts to Mike Eliasohn of St. Joseph and Terry Gerweck of Monroe, who started the first Michigan rally in 1983 in Monroe and have been involved ever since.  (For those doing the math, instead of the Michigan HPV Rally, in 1989, the Michigan HPV Association conducted the International HP Speed Championships in 1989 and the Michigan HP Speed Challenge in 2009.)

Michael Hinterseher moved last August from Germany to Farmington Hills with his family and his Milan SL velomobile. He commutes in it to work at Bosch. He spectated and took photos at the rally on Saturday, then competed on Sunday. He finished first in the streetliner class in the 200-foot sprints (39.77 mph) and in the 20 lap/12-mile road race.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)


Flying start 200-foot sprint: Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T, 45.74 mph, 2) rider?, R-H Celeritas, 42.17 mph.  Streetliner – 1) Michael Hinterseher, Farmington Hills, Milan SL velomobile, 39.77 mph, 2) Wally Kiehler, 34.71 mph.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 38.73 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk, 35.97 mph. Women – 1) Dora Cortez (29.84 mph). Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 31.06 mph, 2) Bruce Gordon, 27.77 mph.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 36.09 mph, 2) Cecelia Kowalik, 20.86 mph. Tandem – Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes, 33.45 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler, 27.27 mph.

On the short six-tenths of a mile course used Sunday morning, there was plenty of close racing. From left, Mike Moorhead, Mike Mowett, Jim Iwaskow, Dennis Grelk and ???.  Mike Mowett on his Morciglio M1 won the 15 lap/9 mile race.  (Bill Frey photo)

20 lap/12-mile road race for faster vehicles:  Streamliners – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) rider?, R-H Celeritas.  Streetliner: 1) Michael Hinterseher, 2) Wally Kiehler.
15 lap/9 mile road race for slower vehicles:  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez. Tricycles – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) Daryl Hanger.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecila Kowalik.  Tandem – 1) Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H (only competitors).

Prior to the start of the Sunday morning (I think) 20 lap/12 mile road race are, from rear, Wally Kiehler, Dennis Grelk, Amanda (standing) Zolyniak and her husband, Dan, from Toronto. The Zolyniaks were members of the University of Toronto HPV team. Now graduated, they built their own streamliner. Other than using a U-T mold for the fairing, the streamliner is their own design. They took turns racing it at Waterford Hills. On Sunday, Dan rode in the first race and Amanda in the second. In the 200-foot sprints, both had the same speed, 33.48 mph.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

George Cooney of Royal Oak demonstrated his monocycle on Saturday. It's propelled like a scooter, that is, standing on one foot and pushing with the other. Pulling down on the handlebars provides added "thrust."  (Mike Eliasohn photo)