Sunday, July 3, 2016

32nd annual Michigan HPV Rally - June 18-19, 2016

Cyrus Furbush, 19, of Tecumseh, said he discovered recumbents online, bought his M5 M-Racer last October, didn't ride it from January through March, "then I got back into it."  At Waterford Hills, he was "into it' in a big way, winning the stock class over 20 other competitors.  He placed 2nd in the one-hour time trial, 2nd in the hill climb, 7th in the coast-down, won the standing start kilometer and was 4th in the Sunday morning road race.

Words and photos by Mike Eliasohn

     The 32nd annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally – the 29th at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track in Clarkston – was a success in terms of turnout, some new competitors and the competition.
    There were about 37 competitors and 41 vehicles (some people competed on/in more than one vehicle), coming from Michigan (of course), Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Ontario.  
     As usual, the two biggest "chunks" of competitors were from the University of Toronto – eight people, three streamliners and three manufactured bikes – and Team Kowalik from Deerfield, Ill.  – father Fran and kids Adrian, 7, Anna, 9, Genna, 11, Ceci, 13, Mathias, 15, and Florian, 17. Each had their own bike.

Making a return to the rally after last competing in 2012 was Rick Gritters of Pella, Iowa, in his homebuilt streamliner.  He won the streetliner class over three other competitors.  The fairing is aircraft fabric over a tubular framework.  (What's the difference between a streamliner and a streetliner? Go to, then under "Recumbent racing," click on "Human Powered Race America.)

      The rally couldn't happen without a lot of helpers, some of who also were competitors.  Here's what rally organizer Mike Mowett wrote (with some editing):  Bill Frey decided to be up north this year instead of planning his time downstate around Waterford. His handwritten sheets about how to set up the hill climb, kilo and sprints were invaluable. 
     Terry Gerweck's help in timing all of those same three events was invaluable as well. Wally Koehler assisted him too. That's what I like how everyone just shows up and does invaluable jobs.
     Bruce Gordon helped with the results from afar (from his home in Buchanan). Warren Beauchamp with the timing system. Brenda Gritters assisted him. 
     Donna Wheeler and Mary Grelk and Tedd Wheeler  decided the cash distribution for the prizes. Donna did the registration and Tedd did the tech inspection.
     About $645 in prize money was distributed, which is about double the prize fund of past years, as part of the effort to get the Michigan HPV Association's treasury down to zero, so the MHPVA can cease to exist.  The Michigan HPV Rally will continue, however, as long as there are people willing to organize and run the event.
     And thank you Mike Mowett for organizing/running the rally.

Ishtey Amminger, 13, of Memphis, Tenn., won the junior class over five Kowaliks – Mathias, Genevieve, Cecilia, Anastasia and Adrian.  Ishtey was riding a Rotator Tiger.

      Following are the top three competitors in each class.  Complete results can be seen at If that doesn't work, go to, then click on "forums," then "HPV racing," then "Waterford 2016 race results"
      Streamliner (9 entrants, 6 vehicles) – 1) Dan Zolyniak, Toronto, Ont., homebuilt Mistral streamliner, 360 points; 2) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa, Barracuda streamliner, 325; 3) John Simon, Portland, Moby streamliner, 295.
     Streetliner (4 entrants) – 1) Rick Gritters, Pella, Iowa, homebuilt, 345; 2) Isaac Chung, University of Toronto, upright triathlon road bike, 320; 3) Michael Hinterseher, Farmington Hills, Milan SL velomobile, 170 (only competed Saturday). 
     Stock (21 entrants, 17 vehicles) – 1) Cyrus Forbush, Tecumseh, M5 M-Racer, 311; 2) Mike Mowett, Detroit, Morciglio M1 low racer, 291; 3) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa, homebuilt low racer, 289.
     Women (2)  – 1) Amanda Zolyniak, Toronto, Ont., homebuilt Raptor low racer, 360; 2) Andrea Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Cruzbike Vendetta, 330. 
      Tricycle (3) – 1) Daryl Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Catrike, 360; 2) Warren Beauchamp, Elgin, Ill., ICE Vortex, 215; 3) Garrie Hill, Granville, Ohio, Greenspeed SLR (custom built by Greenspeed), 160.
      Junior (6) – 1) Ishtey Amminger, Memphis, Tenn., Rotator Tiger, 335; 2) Mathias Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., M5 Low Racer, 332; 3) Genevieve Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., Rick Gritters-built low racer, 310.

Amanda Zolyniak is held by her husband, Dan, before the start of the hillclimb. The Zolyniaks, from Toronto, built Amanda's carbon fiber Raptor low racer and the Mistral streamliner Dan races.  Amanda won the women's class.

Following are the top two from each event:

One-hour time trial: Streamliner – 1) Dan Zolyniak, 21 laps, average speed, 29.457 mph; 2) Dennis Grelk, 21 laps, 29.440 mph.  Streetliner – 1) Rick Gritters, 20 laps, 26.912 mph; 2) Michael Hinterseher, 17 laps, 22.778 mph.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 17 laps, 24.017 mph; 2) Cyrus Furbush, 17 laps, 23.971 mph.  Women – 1) Amanda Zolyniak, 15 laps, 20.442 mph; 2) Andrea Hanger, 12 laps, 16.204 mph.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 14 laps, 19.127 mph; 2) Garrie Hill, 8 laps, 12.103 mph.  Junior – 1) Ishtey Amminger, 13 laps, 17.067 mph; 2) Genevieve Kowalik, 12 laps, 16.298 mph.  
Hill climb:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Grelk.  Streetliner – Isaac Chung, Univ. of Toronto, upright triathlon racing bike; 2) M. Hinterseher.  Stock – 1) Florian Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., M5 M-Racer; 2) C. Furbush.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) W. Beauchamp.  Junior – 1) I. Amminger, 2) G. Kowalik.
Coast down – Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) M. Hinterseher, 2) R. Gritters. Stock – 1) D. Grelk, 2) W. Beauchamp, Elgin, Ill., homebuilt D7CLR front-wheel-drive quasi-low racer.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) G. Hill.  Junior – 1) Mathias Kowalik, 2) I. Amminger.

Here's Dan Zolyniak, winner of the streamliner class, in the Mistral streamliner built by him and his wife, Amanda.  Photo was taken at the start of the hill climb.  Behind hm is Michael Hinterseher in his Milan SL three-wheel velomobile.

Standing start kilometer (listed speed is the average over the entire kilometer from a standing start):  Streamliner  1) D. Zolyniak, 28.73 mph, 2) D. Grelk, 26.67.  Streamliner – 1) R. Gritters, 28.45, 2) Isaac Chung, 25.22.  Stock – 1) C. Furbush, 29.48, 2) Calvin Moes, Univ. of Toronto, Baron Optima, 27.51. Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 22.58, 2) 18.82.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger (only competitor), 22.33.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 23.24, 2) I. Amminger, 20.91.
Urban transportation contest – There were six competitors.  Each bike or trike was evaluated, with 1 point awarded for each feature, such as front light, rear light, cargo carrying capacity (being able to carry two grocery bags would score 2 points), rearview mirrors, fenders, horn, and carrying tools.  Points also were awarded for performance in the hill climb, coast down and obstacle course. For instance, the fastest in the hill climb received 6 points; second, 5; etc.  The obstacle course including making one stop and rounding a tight turn.  1) Daryl Hanger, Catrike 700, 21 points, 2) Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods, Bachetta CA 2.0, 17; 3 - tie) Chris Williams, Toronto, HP Velotechnik Speed Machine, and Terry Gerweck, Monroe, homebuilt long wheelbase recumbent, 15; 5) Fran Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., Earthcycle Sunset, 11; 6) Cecilia Kowalik, Deerfield, Earthcycle Sunset, 7.

Lining up for the start of the one-hour time trial Saturday morning for the streamliner and streetliner classes. Daryl Hanger, yet to arrive, also competed in this race on his no-streamlining-added Catrike 700 because he ran in the second one-hour on his Cruzbike Vendetta two-wheeler.

Lining up for the start of the second one-hour time trial Saturday morning for all the other classes – stock, women, tricycle (except for Daryl Hanger) and junior.  There were 23 vehicles in this event.

ON SUNDAY were the flying start sprints (speed timed through the 200-foot timing trap) and two 25-lap races on the .433 mile course that did not include the hill, that is, 10.825 miles.  The scheduled tricycle race was cancelled due to too few entrants and to save time.

Sprints:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 44.52 mph (not a record), 2) Calvin Moes, 43.07. Streetliner – 1) R. Gritters, 38.51 mph, 2) Tedd Wheeler, Reed City, Alleweder velomobile, 31.77.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 38.20 mph, 2) Florian Kowalik, Deerfield, Ill., 37.46.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 32.15, 2) A. Hanger, 27.74.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 29.38 mph, 2) W. Beauchamp, ICE Vortex, 25.16.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 31.29 mph. 2) G. Kowalik, 27.38.
First road race (for faster vehicles). Times listed in official results are kph, converted here to mph:  Overall – 1) D. Zolyniak, 23.36 mph, 2) R. Gritters, 23.18, 3) D. Grelk, Barracuda streamliner, 22.42 (24 lap).
Second road race, overall – 1) D. Grelk, homebuilt low racer, 21.369 mph, 2) Florian Kowalik, 21.367, 3) M. Mowett, 19.04 (23 laps).
Road race results by class:  Streamliner – 1) D. Zolyniak, 2) D. Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) R. Gritters, 2) I. Chung.  Stock – 1) C. Furbush, 2) Randy Barnes, Pierpont, Ohio, Schlitter Encore.  Women – 1) A. Zolyniak, 2) A. Hanger.  Tricycle – 1) D. Hanger, 2) W. Beauchamp.  Junior – 1) M. Kowalik, 2) I. Amminger.

Randy Barnes of Pierpont, Ohio, was one of two competitors Sunday riding carbon fiber Schlitter Encores. The other was Joe Solecki of Royal Oak.  (Both were elsewhere on Saturday.) Randy "won" the Schlitter class, finishing sixth in the sprints ( 35.31 mph) and second in the stock class in the road race.

NOTES:  Mike Mowett has two "nice" blue padded plastic folding chairs someone left behind.  If they're yours, e-mail me at and I'll pass the information onto Mike.
On Saturday, I talked briefly to a man from Maryland who was there with his wife to spectate.  He showed me a photo of a very interesting front-wheel-drive recumbent he built, with the cranks attached to the wheel hub and a hub gear above the wheel as a crossover drive.  Unfortunately, he disappeared before I could get his full name and contact information, with the goal of asking him to write an article about his creation.  If you're reading this, or know who it was, please contact me.        
                                                                                       Mike Eliasohn

7-year-old Adrian Kowalik was the youngest competitor at the rally, riding a vintage 6-speed Gitane.  Among his accomplishments was finishing the one-hour time trial, riding 10 laps of the 1.4 mile track.  His speed in the sprints, shown here, was 13.06 mph.

Brian Davis came from Etna, Pa. (near Pittsburgh) to race his not-yet-painted homebuilt high-racer.  He only raced on Saturday.  In the one-hour time trial, shown here, he finished fifth in the stock class, completing 15 laps (22.4 miles) at an average speed of 21.286 mph.

Michael Reynolds of Decatur, Ind., raced his classic lugged steel-frame Gitane.  He competed in and completed all the events, finishing 10th in the stock class.  (Gitane has been making bicycles in France since 1926.)

Sherry Shi is about to be "enclosed" in the University of Toronto Ace streamliner during the one-hour time trial Saturday morning.  She was one of three Univ. Toronto riders to take turns riding Ace during the one-hour.

After several years of "only" helping at the Michigan HPV Rally, Terry Gerweck of Monroe, the event's co-founder, chose to compete on his homebuilt recumbent, as well as helping. 
For added cargo carrying capacity, a trailer (also made by Terry) easily attaches. 

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