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Haven’t been to Henderson’s in a while, and when I dropped by today, I was surprised to see most of the parking lot filled with cars. It is now largely reserved parking for the various businesses that have sprung in the building adjoining the brewery.

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While I’m happy about the number of jobs being created in the area, I’m a bit sad to see the largely empty lot gone, which would preclude holding family oriented bike events as in the past.

On the plus side, they’ve finally added a small ramp so that it will make it easier for me to haul beer home through the rear entrance onto the Railpath.

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The extended family met up in Banff, and today we rented some bikes to take a spin around the Banff golf course: a lightly travelled paved loop.  We started on the 200 block of Bear Street, which was billed as a woonerff.

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In reality, they removed some parking spaces and made some patios and bike parking, but the car through traffic didn’t seem to pay much attention to the fact that they didn’t have the right of way all the time. On the plus side, there were three bike rental companies on this short block.

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Here is our group getting staged.

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and we’re off, headed to a multi use trail along the Bow river.

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Along the river.

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Pausing for a group photo on the new pedestrian/bike bridge which is just a little ways from the old crossing.

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Passing a horse drawn carriage.

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Regrouping after a pause at the foot of Bow Falls.

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Between us, we had rented three of these Fiori tandems, which are made by Norco.

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The golf course loop is a peaceful ride through beautiful scenery.

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lunch break by the river

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and we’re off again.

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My nephew always wants to be in the lead.

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Unfortunately, Dad’s stance on his tandem didn’t afford him a great view of scenery.

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Mom was my stoker for most of the ride.

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Just before the end, I switched stokers to younger daughter, and there was a noticeable uptick in speed.

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Pausing at the top of the climb by Bow Falls.

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And back across the river.

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Banff seems to be trying to promote cycling, There are certainly a few really nice pieces of infrastructure such as the bridge, as well as the path between Banff and Canmore. In the town itself, most of the bike routes had wayfinding signage and sharrows. The main safety enhancement is that the speed limit in town has been lowered to 30 kph, and by the way the traffic was moving, it seemed to be enforced.

 

This past weekend, I was able to make a return visit to G&O Family Cyclery, Seattle’s specialist cargo bike and family bike dealer. Since my visit two years ago. the shop burned to the ground, and was finally back up in a new place about a block north of the old location.

The new store is significantly more spacious than the prior location.

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In the front window, I could see the newly updated model of the Xtracycle Edgerunner, and a Reise and Muller cargobike that I didn’t recognize.

Once again, stepping inside, I’m in cargo bike heaven, with lots to gawk at. The red Bullitt with the custom wood box was being picked up by an excited customer.

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Here is a customer’s Family Tandem, just like ours, but with lots of nice additions, like a BionX motor, rear moose rack for a Burley Piccolo, double legged kickstand, a sprung Brooks saddle, and grip king pedals.

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A tern folder with the integrated Bosch e-assist, in front of a variety of Reise and Muller e-bikes.

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The latest version of the Yuba Spicy Curry, which I was told had a much better  e-assist than earlier versions.

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The frame mount for a front basket on the new Xtracycle Swoop.

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A Yuba stride bike with a front basket and very cute colour scheme.

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Carsick Design sling bags with a custom logo.

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The pièce de résistance: a Butcher and Bicycles tilting trike. I absolutely had to try it.

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Co-owner Davey Oil was very gracious and explained a couple of things about it before I took it for a test ride. This pictures shows the only time during my visit where he didn’t have a smile on his face.

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Riding the tilting trike was fascinating. I was advised that at low speed, it steers like a normal trike, where the tilting feature is almost irrelevant, but above about 15 miles an hour is where it makes a transition to the feel of a two wheeler. In truth, with my unfamiliarity with the combination of the tilting, the Bosch e-assist, and the NuVinci transmission, riding it was like ten minutes of full sensory overload. While I never got a chance to be fully comfortable with the starting, on a short downhill stretch I got the feel of the tilting, where it steered just as stably as a (two wheeled) bakfiets. Davey said that aside from its superior high speed stability, it was a bike particularly suited to parents with children with developmental difficulties, where the ease of loading passengers with the opening front panel was a big factor in its favour.

Davey was very kind letting me pick his brain about the cargo bike scene in Seattle. I noted the fact that e-assist seemed to be a much bigger part of their inventory, and he emphasized that for Seattle, not only was e-assist very helpful, but high speed stability was equally important for all the downhills. I neglected to take pictures of the one lonely Haul a Day on the shop floor, but he pointed out that it was the model with the heavy duty frame (“Haula Abdul”), and that they had a custom component spec that was much more suited to local conditions. Much of the feedback to Bike Friday in developing the heavy duty model came from G&O.

He also pointed out some of the features of the new Xtracycle Swoop, in particular the thru axle front fork that makes it much more stiff, as well as eliminating the possibility of front wheel ejection while using the disk brake.

The other bike that he spent some time discussing was the Reise and Muller Load which is the darker blue bike in the first picture. He said that the combination of the stiff frame and dual suspension was a revelation, and that the resulting high speed stability made it an ideal bike for Seattle’s hills, despite its somewhat limited cargo capacity.

Once again, I’d say that Seattleites are very fortunate to have a shop like G&O that not only has a comprehensive selection of cargo bikes, but even more importantly has the expertise to advise customers on the very best bike/trike for their needs.

Side note: on my way to and from the shop, I was able to check out the newly painted 92nd St bike lane, and I liked the fact that it had green paint at every cross street.

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Arbutus Greenway

The Arbutus Greenway is a new transit corridor that has been enabled by the City of Vancouver buying lands associated with an old CP rail line. Although detailed planning is to extend over several years, with lots of public consultation, the city put in a paved 9 km multi-use trail as a preliminary “demonstration”.

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The trail runs from about 5th and Fir all the way south to almost the north end of the Arthur Liang bridge to Richmond. My understanding is that it went in fairly recently.

Here is the north end of the trail.

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This is the first time I’ve seen one of the bike share stations. The rates seem to be similar to Toronto’s.

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One quirk of this local system is that there is a helmet law, and so each bike has a helmet attached to it.

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The overall configuration of the trail is pedestrians on one side, and a bi direction bike path on the other.

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It might have been just the fact that it was Canada Day weekend, but there were tons of people on the trail. What was particularly striking was the large number of families with kids.

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I found it amusing that there was this billboard along the trail.

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After a relatively short east-west section, the path turns south.

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Some of the road crossings are not finished. This is the non crossing at Broadway, where people were walking their bikes along the sidewalk to the intersection nearby.

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Smaller intersections have the cross traffic controlled by stop signs. You can also see concrete curbs that slow traffic on the path.

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This railway crossing sign was cute, but it looked like a recent addition.

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There were also a few bits of public art along the trail. Here are a few sections of rail beside this bench.

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The placement of the concrete curbs was a bit inconsistent. Here, the curbs are blocking the bike portion of the trail.

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At this intersection, the bikes and pedestrians are explicitly directed to an adjacent crosswalk at the intersection.

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Old power line poles remain along the pathway.

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A rainbow of painted rocks.

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Existing pedestrian trails that cross the corridor are clearly marked.

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Here just south of Kerrisdale, there is more space at this intersection so that foot and bike traffic are separated for the crossing.

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On this section of the trail, there were a lot of community gardens. This one had a shed and several scarecrows.

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There was only one remaining crossing that looked like it was still being built.

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Here is the south end of the trail.  You can see the old rails continuing further. I had a nice chat with the fellow in the yellow shirt. He said that the right of way will eventually also include a street car line, and that there is still much planning to be done before the plan is finalized. In the meantime, Vancouverites can enjoy this great path.

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Coming back north, I note the marked turn off to connect to the Canada Line bridge that has a bike path on it.

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I do realize that the West Toronto Railpath is a more complicated project, but it seems like it is going to take forever to complete, in comparison to what Vancouver has managed to do in less than a year.

 

Update: posted to the HUB cycling FB page:

“Arbutus Greenway Temporary Path Construction June Update We’re building a temporary path that everyone can enjoy while the future Arbutus Greenway is being planned and designed. In June we finished paint line markings and stencils to help visitors share the greenway. We also added project signage, so that visitors know how to get involved. Next month we are making finishing touches to the intersection at West 41st Avenue, adding safety improvements at local intersections along the greenway, and adding signage to either end of the temporary path to help visitors get to the Seawall/Granville Island and the Canada Line Bridge.”

 

 

 

Waterford 2017 Day 2

Sunday dawned clear and bright. Here is our entire fleet: four ‘liners plus two stock recumbents. Unfortunately, by this point, only one of our four liners was working: good ol’ Vortex.DSC01112

The very nice homebuilt lowracer that Amanda was racing all weekend.

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First up: the 200 foot sprint. Sorry that not all photos in this set are in focus. Also please don’t be offended if I name you by bike, but it’s a bit like owning a dog in our neighbourhood. I know all the dogs’ names.

Here’s Dennis approaching the traps.

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Amanda

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R84

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Hase Pino. The Archibalds won the multi rider class.

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One of the Grove City students.

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Isaac in Vortex.

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Steve (who learned to ride a recumbent yesterday)

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Cruzbike Vendetta.

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Richard

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Mike Mowett

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Rans Stratus with the old school fabric mini fairing.

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Wally Kiehler, long time HPRA racer and Wolverbents member. I remember racing against him when I lived in Michigan. He was faster than me back then, and he’s still faster than me.

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Dennis

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df velomobile

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Dan Z in Mistral. Note the small circular opening for the one sided landing gear.

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Robert on another very clean homebuilt bike patterned after a Rans XStream.

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Susanna, another new rider for us.

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It took a while for me to realize that the velomobile to the left was a quad.

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Calvin R was determined to get some seat time in Vortex at some point, so here he is after a practice run, coming in for a catch. You can see some additional wabi sabi picked up during the sprint event.

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Everyone lining up for the 12 mile short course race. This is the faster group.

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Adjusting a Go Pro

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Isaac would lead off for us, but we planned to have a couple of rider changes to give more people seat time.

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Unfortunately, his shift was cut short when the left crankarm detached!

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Streamliner action.

Next up was Bill

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Next rider change to Luke.

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Lots of streamliner traffic. Too bad our other two machines weren’t out there.

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Amanda and Christina on lab counting duty.

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Dennis takes the checkered flag.

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HPVDT Alumus Dan Z with his beautiful bike Mistral.

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Next up: the 12 mile stock race. Two guys decided to run Baron, and Susanna was going to solo on Speedmachine.

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Michael Moorhead (of Rose Hulman fame) catching a draft off of the tandem.

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These guys were neck and neck for the first half of the race.

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Steve in traffic.

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Rider change. I didn’t notice until I looked at this picture that Steve was competing in jeans.

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Calvin R insisted on riding, even though he picked up some pretty heavy road rash on his elbow and bottom yesterday.

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and he’s off.

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Rachel from Grove City.

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It hardly seems fair to draft off of an upright.

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All smiles in front.

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The U of T cheering section.

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Go Calvin!

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By virtue of riding the entire race, Susanna logged the most number of laps of any team member this weekend!

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Dennis takes the checkered flag, while Michael M just avoids getting lapped again.

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It’s a velomobile convention!

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Calvin checks out Mike Mowett’s M1.

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Then it was time for the awards. The first announcement was an update on the injured rider Cyrus. He went into emergency surgery around midnight last night.

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First place Streamliner Class: Dan Z.

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First place Stock Class: Dennis G

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1st Place Women’s: Amanda Z

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Kudos to the Grove City College team who picked up a couple of prizes. GCC hosted ASME five years ago.

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Then all too soon, it was time to pack up and hit the road.

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Thanks to the organizers, and our fellow racers. It is a pretty special community.

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Thanks also to the parents of Calvin M, Calvin R, and Luke for making the trip to show their support!

Note: all of the results are posted here: (thank Bruce Gordon for all of his hard work)

Waterford 2017 Day 1.5

One of the objectives of the team was to get seat time for as many of the people on the team as possible, especially for the new members. After dinner, there was still plenty of daylight, and the track was ours for several hours. This was also a great opportunity since under HPRA rules, camera bikes (like Bluenose) are only allowed to run if there are no other bikes on the track.

Alan looked mighty smooth in Bluenose.

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Luke started the weekend with essentially no recumbent seat time, and graduated to riding Vortex tonight.

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Alan launching Calvin.

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Susanna trying Baron.

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Thomas fits in Bluenose, and can pedal!

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Isaac in Bluenose.

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Be very afraid 😉 (Thanks to Luke’s mom for the picture)

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After sunset, the team pulled out a video projector and screen, which was a big upgrade from the time that all of us were packed in a van in the pouring rain watching Top Gun on a laptop.

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Weather looks better than the forecast for Sunday;

 

 

 

 

Waterford 2017 Day 1

Saturday dawns clear and bright. Looks like a great day for racing.

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The team swamps registration.

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First up: the streamliner race. Unfortunately, even though we had three streamliners, our box of mirrors was left in another car. Fortunately, our good friend Garrie Hill provided us with 3×2 mirrors. Thanks Garrie!
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Going through tech.

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Racers’ meeting.

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Unfortunately, two out of our three bikes developed drivetrain gremlins and were not ready to go. However, we had Thomas in good old Vortex at the back of the field.

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Thomas passes the team frantically working on bikes.

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after a while, Thomas came with a derailed chain, and after it was fixed, we switched to Isaac.

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Eventual winner Dennis Grelk.

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Bruce.

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Richard

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Dennis finishes.

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Dan comes in second

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Richard is 80 years young.

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Bill with helmet mirrors.

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Lining up for the stock race.

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Low, medium, high.

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Dennis.

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I thought this was a Hase Pino since it was so clean, but it is a homebuilt, and this is Prof. Archibald and his wife Sally from Grove City College. Learn more from the MHPVA blog.

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Isaac doing a hot lap

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Calvin testing Tempest

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Garrie Hill and Rick Wianecki checking out our landing gear.

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Lining up for the hill climb.

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Alan in Vortex

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Dennis again.

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Luke

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Bill

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Calvin

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Calvin’s mom looking comfortable

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Start of the “fun race”

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Unfortunately, Cyrus (second from the right in the previous photo) had a bad crash and had a compound fracture of his right leg. He was taken away on a stretcher. Here’s hoping that he’s going to be OK.

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