Videos from ASME East

Here is our long form video of the endurance race.

In addition, ASME HPVC has posted some official videos in a 360°C format.

Check these out:

The slalom (turn it 180°):

The rumble strip:


The team was filmed by Daily Planet the day before we left for East, and the short feature was broadcast on April 17. It is about 11 minutes on this video.



ASME 2018 Day 3

Airbiter lives! The epoxy appears to have cured during the day Saturday, and the team stayed up until midnight reassembling the trike.


So what went wrong? The consensus was that steering shimmy was induced by the flex in the steering linkage. The original layout had a vertical member linking the tie rod to the steering arm on the kingpin.


Now the tie rods are connected directly.

DSC05811The camber was off on the remounted wheel, but it was rideable.

Calvin practices before the start.

DSC05813Props to Rose Hulman who let many teams, including us, use their generator to power Dremels for emergency repairs.


UCF’s fairing conforms to their mascot, but that tail looks less than aero.


SD State is leading the competition, and you can see that they’ve added a grocery basket to their bike. They took it off during the race after doing the requisite number of drop offs and pickups.


Bikes lined up in order according to placement in the mens’ and women’s sprints. This puts SDSU and Akron at the front.


Since we didn’t run the sprints, we’re at the back.


Just to make things more fun, our left crank arm fell off and had to be reattached just before the start.


And we’re off, with the usual chaos of a LeMans start.


Calvin is delayed at the start because it takes a while to get belted in, etc , but is soon passing many bikes.



Clarkson is determined to run their bike the entire time.


Sadly, MS&T’s very pretty bike had a wheel failure on the first turn and decided to soldier on with a shoulder harness.


Rider switch to Valina. We’re in the lead at this point.



Pedalling strong with a bag of groceries just behind her head.


Rose Hulman having their share of troubles.


Now it’s Evan’s turn.


Chain came unshipped during his heat. This started happening more and more as the race went on.


Evan comes into the pits after he’s had enough. His knees were bloodied from scraping the fairing. This was partially because we elected not to move the BB position in the transition to the taller riders.



Bill’s turn.

DSC05844The shoebox.


Good to see MS&T running again near the end.


Pitt had a nimble and fast unfaired recumbent, and strong riders. They won the enduro. Here they take the checkered flag.


Bill finishes strong.


Flat spots from braking, where we’ve gone through the tread to the blue rubber and fabric casing.


Team checking the online report of enduro results.  We came in fourth, dropping out of third just near the end due to some mechanicals.


The requisite group picture.


Our team. Can’t get them to all smile at once.



Then time for lunch and the awards. Calvin is volunteering our table as part of a trivia contest while they delay to give the judges enough time to tabulate the results.


We get second in design


and second in innovation.


Then it’s time for the long drive home. Weather forecast is not so good, but we have trouble believing it as it was 30°C on Saturday.  Thanks much to hosts Penn State!


On the way home, we stopped at the original location of Duff’s for some Buffalo wings. Wings highly recommended. Duff’s beer not so much ; D’oh!


As we approached home, the weather got worse and worse. In Oakville, there was a sudden bang, and we had to pull off to check the bike. Part of the wooden stand had broken, and the straps were barely holding the bike onto the roof. We got to the next exit and strapped the bike back down.


All in all, it was a very eventful weekend. If we had managed to run the sprints, we would have placed well overall. As it was, even without the men’s and women’s sprint scores, we placed eighth overall. As always, I am extremely proud of how the team performed under pressure.

Full results are available here.

The future of the team is in flux, as Calvin is stepping down as captain, and many of the senior people like Arbiter project lead Bruce are graduating. The team is also seriously considering not coming to ASME anymore. The competition is structured so that bikes such as the ones we tend to build are not favoured. This is not in anyway to diminish the achievements of the teams that finished at the top of the field. Most of them are better organized than us, and in particular South Dakota State has executed brilliantly, winning East (and they were second last year), and West this year as well.

The only thing that is fairly certain is that we will show up to Battle Mountain one more time.





ASME 2018 Day 2

The day started bright and early with the drivers’ meeting at 7:30.


There’s always more to do on the bike.


Bruce and Valina.


Bikes lined up for women’s sprints qualifying. The top 16 teams go forward. They line up in order of bike number. We’re number 12.


At the front is Rose Hulman. It doesn’t look like their female rider has much forward vision.


Lined up with Akron, whom we hear did very well today.



We’re lined up with DTU with their volunteer female rider.


Velina all enclosed now.


Her run started strong, but then we saw some speed wobbles, and then a sudden swerve as the left front wheel buckled.

Viewing the aftermath.


The team took the rest of the day trying to repair the damage as best as possible. It remains to be seen whether we can run in the enduro tomorrow. The consensus was that there was too much flex of various components in the steering which allowed the wheels to toe out dangerously under speed, and the resulting dynamic loads were much higher than anticipated.

Wish us luck.



ASME 2018 Day 1

Friday the thirteenth is the day that we arrived at Penn State. Tasks for today: finish prepping  the bike, giving a design presentation, and then passing the safety check.


Susanna is our maven of all things electrical.


Recumbent enthusiast Gary dropped by on his homebuilt LWB USS machine. We met him two years ago when HPVC East was at Athens OH. He reminded us that we didn’t get our bike rolling that time, and was impressed that we had a working vehicle.


However, as is traditional for our team, we are finishing the painting just before tech inspection.


Masking the other side.


Now we are more or less ready to join the line up for safety inspection.


Safety is the first time that we get to look at some of the other entries. Check out the pool noodle seating on this one.


Clarkson continues to believe in the superiority of their arm powered design.


This number from Delhi Technical University had its look somewhat spoiled by the grocery basket grafted onto the rear end.


Lamar University’s vehicle was excused from the roll over test because doing so would have destroyed their fairing.


One surprise was that last year’s winner, Rose Hulman, showed up with a vehicle that did not look fully finished. It is their first ever tadpole.


We literally had the paint finish drying while we were in line waiting to be inspected. Here the masking tape is being peeled off.


Calvin starting the dynamic safety test. DSC02245

Our least favourite part of the safety test, inverting the bike to show that our tallest rider doesn’t have his head touch the ground with the vehicle is fully inverted.


Evan having survived being upside down. Also, not too bad for a last minute paint job.


We’ll be up bright and early tomorrow for the women’s and men’s sprints. Forecast is for sunny and hot weather, just like today. Fingers crossed.

Update: we scored second in both design and innovation, putting us second overall heading into the dynamic events.



ASME 2018: Day 0

We’re on the road to ASME HPVC East in State College PA.

Late this afternoon, the team was doing some last minute structural tests.


Then it’s time to load up the van and put the vehicle on the roof.


The “before” picture.


As the van doors close, Isaac, Luke and Calvin Jr. bid us a fond farewell and good luck.


Looking forward to passing safety and tech inspection on Friday.


I’ve put my Tikit up for sale on eBay. Please see the listing for details. Size medium, but with heavy rider upgrades. Alfine 11 speed hub, Gates Carbon belt drive.


I’ve had many adventures with this bike, but I must sell it to pay for the Brompton that bought late last year.

For the convenience of US buyers, I plan to take the bike to ASME at Penn State University this coming week, and I will ship from there.

You can read more about the bike here:

Update: no takers, so I’ll have to figure out an alternative strategy for selling it.


Tonight marks one week before we leave for ASME East. We were happy to get our vehicle complete to the point where we can start testing vehicle dynamics.


(photo: C. Moes)

All smiles after the first round of tests.


and now a flash back to some build pictures:

Bill fits in the vehicle.


The front wheels are part of a detachable subframe.


The team checking the trike after the first time the rear wheel was mounted.


Taking Celero down the elevator to do some testing. Note: Artiter also fits, but just barely.


Bill with the handlebars.


Steering and bars in the trike.





These cranks have been tested to 127 kph; and look: a metal chainring this year!


We have a week left to tweak the trike and to make it look pretty. Looking forward to the competition!