Feeds:
Posts
Comments

BM2014: Wrap Up

This was a year of high expectations. We had two teams, HPT Delft/Amsterdam, and Aerovelo, coming in with the assumption that they would reset the world record. Reality collided with hopes, and yet this week of racing can’t be called a disappointment.

If the wind had been more cooperative during the last heat on Saturday, we would have had two more world records.

group photo

Highs:

  • Gareth Hanks beating Ben Goodall setting a new trike record.
  • local hero Teagan Patterson learning how to ride a recumbent, a shelled streamliner, and earning a 50 mph hat, all in one week.
  • adding a third person, Rik Houwers, to the 80 mph club, which is still very exclusive.
  • Numerous people setting personal bests.
  • Having several people ride the fastest they have done in a couple of years, such as Damjan Zabovnik, who appears to have bounced back from a terrible week last year.
  • Seeing all the new bikes, including Cygnus Chronos and Eta.
  • Seeing a new seeding system for starts work to general satisfaction.
  • Seeing that Ming Garden was open after all, after several people reporting that it was closed.

Lows:

  • Potentially losing the use of the Civic Center to work on bikes and to hold our meetings.

Here’s a few notes on each team, in order of top speed:

Human Power Team Delft / Amsterdam
hptAs per usual, this team had a very technically sophisticated bike, two strong riders, and lots of hands to help out. They go home a little disappointed in not having reset their own men’s world record, but that is a pretty high bar to reach. Both Rik and Christien have great potential, and if they can be enticed back, this team will have two experienced riders. 

Team Eivie
eivieDamjan went faster than he did in the last four years on Saturday morning, after running and dropping a chain the previous evening. He went even faster Saturday night; he is oh so close to 80 mph, but in conversation with him it is clear that he only cares about the world record. Good luck to him. He is an exemplar of the dedicated solo builder/racer who is also a bit of a mad scientist. He also showed his strength as a rider by going steadily faster on Friday night, Saturday morning and Saturday evening runs.

Aerovelo
aeroveloThis team came in with a lot of self generated hype about having a very fast bike and rider, with the expectation of resetting the record. It probably didn’t help that they had a video crew trailing around who were there on the assumption that Todd would win the event and set a new record. Unfortunately, although the bike was beautiful, and Todd did set a new personal best this week, the bike had not been tested before the meet, and it showed. Breaking four spokes during the week speaks of a poor design choice. Also, the configuration of the frame and fairing made it time consuming to load the rider. (Velox4 also had this issue to some extent).  They didn’t get any new hats, but they also set the bar pretty high last year with their performance on Saturday morning 2013. They should be back next year, and Eta would then be fully sorted.

Team Cygnus
cygnus This team was so focused on the goal of getting Jan Marcel to 80 mph that they built a new, smaller bike around him. They got very close, but Jan Marcel had a series of back luck including several dropped chains, and a slowly leaking front tire that still got him through the traps at over 76 mph. He managed to remount a chain twice during one run, and he says that he has worked out a way to patch a tire while riding, but he still can’t get his head around how to reinflate it.

Team Varna
varna
It was great to see them back at Battle Mountain as they have the longest association with the event of any of the teams in attendance. It is always an absolute pleasure to geek out about bikes with Georgi and Steve. Barbara went faster than last year, and she went faster than her own record, but the winds were too high (and were a headwind/crosswind). She said she had a feeling that the wind was too high from seeing the banners at the traps. Ironically, the wind was dead still at both start and catch.

Team Trisled
ben&johnThis team comes in and executes perfectly, resetting the trike record. Gareth went incredibly fast on Saturday night, but it didn’t count because of the wind. Hope to see them back, and to see their compatriot Ben Goodall as well.

Team Elan
ellenHans and Ellen were back with last year’s bike, and they went faster than last year, with Ellen getting a new personal best of a little more above 70 mph. Rumor has it that they will be back next year with a new rider for their bike, and Ellen will ride a trike.

Greg Thomas
gregetalIt was good to see Greg racing again, after he went over 70 mph in the Varna Mephisto a couple of years back. This time, he was back with the (now second) fastest trike in the world, and he just barely missed going 70. His fellow racer, Peter, got 60 at age 60, and went home happy.

 Tetiva
russiansandalanThe Russians were back, this time with two young riders that were still a little slower than Sergey. Maybe with a little more seasoning, they will be able to catch up with him.

 Team Ascension
teaganThis was one of the nicest stories this year. Eric Ware told me that this team arose from a conversation at last year’s awards banquet, where it came out that a local woman raced bikes and was interested in racing a streamliner. Her crew came together from all over, drawn from the usual suspects. Larry built the bike, and Eric Ware and John Jackstone provided crew and support. Teagan got steadily faster as the week went on, and she should wear her 50 mph hat with pride.

Orin Peters
okpetersThis is what happens when an HPV enthuasiast attends the WHPSC just for fun, and ends up racing, just to see what he can do. He went 40 mph, which has made him somewhat of a hero to the coroplast velomobile community. It was clear from his infectious laughter that he was having the time of his life.

Team Slippery Slug
slugThis is another story of people coming together to campaign a bike at Battle Mountain. Alan grace built this bike, completing it with not much time to spare, and the drawing on the UK HPV community for support. Longtime attendee Jonathan crewed, along with two young lads from Liverpool who will be bringing their streamliner to town next year. Alan was pleased to have gone 35 mph, but he sees that he needs to get a better bike to go faster.

Adam Ince
adamAdam has been attending for many years, and taking really excellent pictures of the bikes. This year he finally translated his dreams into a bike. He didn’t make it down the course, but he should feel good about riding down the course in a bike that he made. Many, many people don’t even make it to the starting line.

All in all, it was a good week, with a final evening that would have been incredible if the wind had cooperated. Although only one record was reset, many people set new personal bests, and we have a bunch of riders knocking on the door of the 80 mph club. In addition, there were several teams attending that had bikes in the works for next year.

I’ll sign off this year with a picture of sunset on Saturday. Thanks for reading, everyone!
dawn

BM2014: Awards Banquet

The end of WHPSC is marked by an awards banquet at the Owl Club. One last chance to chat with everyone at the event, and to swap stories. Another tradition is to have the law show up to announce traffic violations.
thelaw

First, speeding tickets for everyone that exceeded the 70 mph limit.
ellen

gareth

barbara

damjan

Check out Jan Marcel’s shirt.
jm

todd

rik

All the speeders.
70+

Next up: all the people who crashed off the course, being cited for “failure to maintain lane”.
christien

calvin

alexei

vadim

russians

alan

The Russians wonder what kind of justice system America has.
russians

All the violators.
ticketholders

Next, fun with door prizes.
fun1DSC00614

Bas, always at work.
bas

Three amigos.
3amigos

I get more stroopwafels!
stroop

All the riders (including drag racers) are recognized.
allriders

Then, awarding of the new hats.
newhats

Next, Garrie Hill’s awards for the three fastest flying females.
3females

Finally, the top three in each category. First, multitrack.
trikes

Then women.
women

Then men.
men

Al and Alice sign off by thanking everyone for coming, and hoping that we will all be back next year. They get a well deserved round of applause.
alandalice

There were a lot of fast runs, but none with legal wind, which was a tragedy because otherwise we would have had two new world records.

Results as follows:
Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 11.48.42 PM

Pictures and coverage of the banquet to follow at a future date.

Everyone starts lining up for the group photo just after the Saturday lunch meeting.
sat_photos

Bas de Meijer, our very patient PROFESSIONAL photographer.
bas

The group shot, but not by him.
group photo

Aerovelo waiting around.
aerovelo

Rik signs the slug.
rikslug

Orin shows the Russians his velo.
russians

Gareth shows John his vision system.
ben&john

Sherry tries the Varna trike.
sherryvarna

Checking out the Cygnus steering.
cygnuschronos

Calvin shows how he can lift the bike one handed.
calvinlifts

An Aerovelo Cygnus joint picture.
withcygnus

The Russians with Alan.
russiansandalan

The wind forecast for tonight doesn’t look good. One last chance at glory.

BM2014: Saturday AM results

Another desert sunrise at Battle Mountain.
dawn

My core timing crew for the week. From left to right, Brad, who has run 200 m (the start of the traps) for three of the past four years, and Paul Gracey, who was on radio and wind today.
timers

Earlier in the week, we had my buddy Danny
danny

and Annette Wielemaker. Here she is with Deb (Brad’s wife) fixing our flags.deb and annette

We had a full slate of four heats scheduled. People have started to game the seeding system, and they’ve also taken the morning runs more seriously. There ended up being a lot of scratches since many of the people that went really fast last night were still recovering.

In the first heat, Damjan set a new personal best of 78.60 mph, but with too much wind. Then Christien went 69.82 mph.
delft

In the next heat, Rik, Todd and Ellen all went slower than last night. I could hear a broken spoke when Todd went through the traps at 75.67 mph. Eta had to be scratched from their other runs, and it appears that the team is done for this year. Next year: we’ll bring a spare set of bombproof disc wheels.

Alexei and Teagan took advantage of the scratches in the heat and ran in on deck positions. They both went slower than yesterday. Here is Teagan through the traps.
beluga

In the next heat, HPT ran Christien again, after less than an hour and a half rest. Predictably, she went slower. If she comes back next year with enough seat time in the bike, she will be fast. Runs by Vadim and Alan closed out what turned out to be the final heat for the morning. Alan cracked the 35 mph barrier, but the wind was too high.

Here are the full results.
sat_am

BM2014: Friday evening results

It looked hazy when we were driving out to the course, but by the time we got out there, it was high seventies and next to no wind. Time to rock and roll.

We had a very special car doing sweep for one of our three evening heats.
sweep

The conditions were great, even for the first heat, and Teagan lead it off in style by going 52.55 mph and earning a hat. Trefor had to scratch after several false starts. The team had added a latex membrane to close part of the front wheel opening, and that made it difficult to steer.

The second heat was even more action packed. Damjan coasted through the traps after unshipping his chain. Continuing on the same theme, Jan Marcel went 76.33 mph, even though his front tire was deflating during the run. Todd set perhaps his personal best with 78.46 mph in Eta. He said that the powermeter showed that he wasn’t putting out as much power as he thought. Then Peter got his “60 mph at age 60″ by going 60.08 mph with legal wind. I am so jealous!
peter Closing out the heat, Alexei got a new personal best in Tetiva 2.

It was getting dark by the time the third heat started. Rik blasted through the traps at 82.18 mph, just 1 mph shy of the record. Then Gareth Hanks set a NEW WORLD RECORD for trikes at 72.94 mph. More importantly, he beat Ben to regain his title as the world’s fastest Aussie. The ball is in your court, Ben. Greg Thomas cruised at 68.22 mph. Then Barbara had a good run at 98.2% of the women’s record.
varna

Finally Ellen must have been wearing night vision goggles as she set a new personal best of 70.82 mph.

After the heats, I particular liked how the Aerovelo van arrived with speakers strapped to the roof blaring the Star Wars Imperial March. Apparently they weren’t allowed to play music at start.

At the post race meeting, we learned that our use of the Civic Center is under threat because teams were making a mess. This would really be too bad, and it would reduce us to working in the parking lot of the Super 8 next year. Not a good scenario.

On a more cheerful note, before the evening meeting, Eric Ware mentioned that his frequent partner in crime, Mark Anderson, didn’t make it this year, but his mom sent along streamliner cookies.
cookie

Robert Barnett and Sven announced the winners of the drag races. As long as I am in the same age bracket as Tom Amick, I have no hope.sven

After that, the 5 mile times were announced, and everyone was back in good cheer.

Here is a trio of trike people; good to see the Schroeders again.
trikes

For U of T, it looked like more tweaking was needed, but so what else is new. All part of the Battle Mountain experience.tweak

Here are the full results.
friday_pm

One more day of racing. Let’s hope for more good weather!

Robert Barnett ran the drag races this afternoon. This always is a fun event that mixes the racers, volunteers, and often local people, including some enthusiastic kids.
DSC00347

DSC00348

DSC00354

DSC00352

DSC00350

DSC00349

DSC00346

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 63 other followers