Archive for the ‘HPV’ Category

ASME HPVC 2017: Day 3

Day 3 is the endurance race: 2.5 hours of wheel to wheel racing, and this year in the pouring rain.

This Rose Hulman alum is going to be the signalling official for the quick turn hazard.


Last minute prep on the bike. This year, one of the special tasks is to lock the bike in such a way that it takes up to 3 minutes to “steal” it. We are embedding a U lock around the roll cage.



Akron is going to run without a fairing. You can see MS&T’s entry as well.


The top seeds lined up at the start, sorted according to fastest women’s sprint time. SDSU is the team to beat this year. We’re near the very back since we didn’t have a women’s time.


The “before” picture of the team.


The thieves’ tool set. At various times within a three minute window they get access to better equipment, such as the angle grinder at 2 minutes.


Using a drop sheet to keep the bike somewhat dry.


Calvin, Issac and Marie are going to count laps.


This bike from Liberty University has a very loooong chain line.


SDSU going fast.


Fairly early on, our right side landing gear failed, so Calvin had to push the bike back to the pits.


A broken cable stop is the culprit.


This team’s fairing was getting progressively more waterlogged, making it sag and drag, so they cut it off.


Sorting through some drivetrain gremlins. You can see the repaired chainring in this picture.


The “thief” using an angle grinder to unlock our bike. We lasted a total of 2 minutes 50 seconds.


At this point, there was still an issue with a jammed transmission, so Calvin ran a lap with the bike, and then Marie ran it around for a lap as well.


Bringing it in over the start/finish line one last time.

IMG_5200 copy

Despite all the trials and tribulations, the team is still smiling at the end.


Congrats to the enduro winners: South Dakota State U.


Overall winners are still to be announced, but I’m done blogging for the weekend. Proud of how our team managed to pull together a working bike this year. We’ll try a different design approach next year. Congratulations to all the teams!

Update: congrats to our friends at Rose Hulman for finishing first overall.

Full results are here.
We finished #24!

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ASME East Day 2

Today was the day for the men’s and women’s sprint event. However, the weather had other ideas, and it was pouring rain in the early morning. Here we are getting the bike from the motel to the van. Must get a 1st floor room next time.


Although we arrived and set up in time for the 8 am drivers’ meeting, the race officials were nowhere to be found. It turns out that they sent an email at 7:55 saying that they were taking a look at the weather (torrential rain) and would issue an update at 9:30.  In the meantime, the team decided to partake of the breakfast that was being provided since the ASME HPVC was associated with a larger event called “e-fest” this year. Note that several of the team members were going to write final exams tonight, so they were busy being studious.


The Puerto Rican team had another agenda.


Also we had had a running bike for a while, we had not tested the landing gear yet. Here is Calvin getting ready to do the first unassisted launch.

The weather was clearing, and so it was time for the delayed drivers’ meeting.


The race officials lay down the law. Because of the intermittently really bad rain, it was decided to go with timed runs, with only one vehicle on the course at a time (due to safety reasons.


It was ladies first, so we had Marie get some practice in the bike. In the end, the team decided that she didn’t have enough time in the bike to be able to launch from the landing gear, so the team elected to scratch from the women’s sprint.


In the meantime, all the female riders got in line.


UW Madison.


Rose Hulman is all smiles.


Akron in the men’s sprint. They were seeded #1.


It turns out that this trike from South Dakota State is not only pretty, but it is pretty fast, winning both the men’s and women’s spring.


Yes, the fairing of the bike is really made from paper Maché, which was not the best choice for rainy weather.

Tempest developed some drivetrain gremlins, and while debugging them, that fancy carbon chainring broke. However, the motto of this team is to never give up, and we cut apart the spider and then bolted a metal chainring on it so that we could run. I must say that we have been getting a lot of use out of our hacksaw this weekend.


Calvin warming up. He got in three runs. The second one placed us in 5th place. The third one might have been faster, but halfway down the course, a spectator walked out right in from of Calvin. I could hear Calvin yelling for him to get out of the way.


At this point, the weather was going south again, and Calvin was cooked, so it was time for other riders to get in some practice before tomorrow’s enduro,  Here is Evan.


Here is Alan.


The team has decided to go with just these three riders, and to take the penalties for only having three riders, and no female rider. We’ll see how we do, and if the landing gear holds up for the whole race.

One side note: the flaps covering the landing gear had a tendency to sail outwards when the bike was at speed, making it look a little like a penguin from the rear. You’ll be able to see this in the video from today.

You’ll also see that the landing gear works well, especially in comparison to last year.

Good luck to all the teams tomorrow, and fingers crossed for better weather.

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ASME East 2017: Day 1

Today was the day for safety check and the design presentations.  In the past, the team has been known to arrive on this day, bleary eyed from driving all night. This time, the team arrived at a motel at about 2 am, and actually got some sleep. Here they are busily working on the final parts of the bike in order to pass safety.


I have to do at least a little riding on the Baron to keep my #30daysofbiking streak going.

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Calvin trimming the headlight lens with a hacksaw.

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Check out the upholstery on this bike seat from Oklahoma U.

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Part of the Rose Human team lined up with their slick new tilting trike, Rose Pedal.

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Last year’s winners: U of Akron.

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Madison. I guess that paint job is supposed to represent Swiss cheese.


Which shoes fit who?


It wouldn’t be an HPV event for us without a bit of sanding.


Keeping up our team’s proud tradition of painting the bike at competition,


Reassembling the bike after the paint job.


A blurry picture of our working landing gear.


That headlight looks pretty good.


Calvin rolling out for another test run.


Rolling the bike to safety.


Static inspection.


Calvin passing the 180° turn dynamic test by just missing that last cone.


After missing the official dinner, we went to Cracker Barrel.


Looks we only have a bit of detail work to do on the bikes before the sprints tomorrow. However, the weather forecast looks ghastly.

Screenshot 2017-04-21 23.19.51

Nevertheless, we are looking forward to seeing all the teams race tomorrow. Good luck to everyone!

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ASME East 2017: Day 0

The bike team loaded up their new bike, and hit the road around noon today, on their way to this year’s ASME East Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. Here they are loading up the bike.

With the bike and team on their way to Cookeville TN, it’s an opportune time to look back on the build of this year’s entry: Tempest.

Evan getting the router ready to cut the mold for the fork.

The plug in the process of being finished.

The plug in half of the mold, and preparing to lay up the second half of the mold.

With the molds done, time to lay up the shell. You can see the foam ribs that reinforce the shell and make up elements like the roll bar.

The ribs look like the CAD model.

Bruce came in from PEY to help out.

Evan with the completed shell.

You can see the transmission test fit, along with the openings for landing gear.

Figuring out mounting points for the landing gear.

Working on the canopy.

Rear view mirrors are required.

Calvin “Jr” with the transmission structure.


Lots of carbon bits and pieces this year. Here are the molds for the cranks.

Laying up the cranks.

Carbon hubs

Bill with a carbon rim

Laying up wheel discs.

One of the completed wheels.

Landing gear.

Middrive spider.

Working on the transmission.

All done!

In the meantime, practicing masking on last year’s bike.

Cyclone, with the plug for Tempest in the background.

The seat team.

Testing the roll cage under a side load.

The bike has been ridable for a while, but there are still a few subsystems to be debugged, and that will have to happen at the meet. Wish us luck!


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WHPSC 2017 Poster

The poster for WHPSC 2017 has just been added to the IHPVA site.

BM 2017 rgh 2.cdr

The artwork is by C. Michael Lewis, who donates his handiwork every year.  This year is the second time that he has included elements other than a bike into the poster design. He obviously drew from several different elements to depict the timing table.

The featured bike this year is the PulsaR from Team Policumbent.


He also included details of the banner at the end of the traps, the timing table, and the two wind meters we used this year.


“Battle Mountain” is done in a 7 segment LED style, which reflects the fact that we added a display to the timing table this year.


The background colours might reflect some of the many shots taken at sunset, like this one by Danny Guthrie.


Not sure where the red T shirt came from, but I recognize the hat ;). Looking forward to another fun week this September!

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Every year, one the main projects of the HPVDT is to build a bike for the ASME Human Powered Vehicle Challenge. The team is hard at work finishing the design for this year’s bike, and fabrication has started.

Here, several team members are working on their designs.


Meanwhile, in an adjacent room, the seismic design team is building a balsa wood tower for a competition in April.


Bill working on a component mold.


Evan poses with the halves of the plug for the body.


Here is the plug glued together. You can get a sense of the shape of the bike.


Alert readers will see the similarity to Vortex, which was the second ASME bike built by the team. It won the overall title at the 2011 ASME HPVC East competition. You can see glimpses of it in its raw carbon state in this ASME video.



Here is Vortex sitting in a back storeroom.


After winning at ASME, Vortex went on to be raced at numerous races in the US Midwest, and was run every year at the WHPSC in Battle Mountain. The number on the side commemorates the fact that last September, Vortex made its 100th run at WHPSC, which was the most of any vehicle at that competition.


After Vortex, the team went on to try a variety of designs for ASME, including a streamliner

bluenose with tufts

a faired trike


a leaning trike


and an unfaired lowracer. (Note that Sherry’s feet are not on the pedals in this pic)


Last year’s design, Cyclone, was based on Vortex, but it was not completed in time to run at the competition.


Tempest is another Vortex based bike, but with a refined shape. We plan to have it ready, running, and tested before ASME East which is at the end of the third week in April.

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Team Japan at the WHPSC Part 2

Part 1 is here

text: America, State of Nevadascreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-36-35-pm

To chase the dream of ultimate speed, people build bikes and gather here from all over the world to try to go faster than 140 kph on A BICYCLE! screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-36-59-pm

Competitors come from all over the world.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-38-01-pm

By coming here, our team is learning a lotscreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-38-59-pm

Jan Marcel: We want to show people all over the world what we can accomplish with human power. (text on left says Holland Team)screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-39-16-pm

Into this setting that tests technical skill comes a team from Japan for the first time.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-45-06-pm

Last December, the team was recruited. The motorbike people didn’t know when they were recruited for the project that this was about bicycles.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-46-08-pm

Text: this past March (a brief recap of the race against Team Cygnus)screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-48-41-pm

they won! (speed of 93.69 kph)screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-49-30-pm

After that, they started to design a new bike to go after the world record.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-51-31-pm

They showed up to the WHPSC, but they had some difficulties and were not able to race the first day   [text: accident]screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-52-14-pm

A brief montage of fiddling with the bike, then an image of the rain on Tuesday that cost them another day.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-54-16-pm

Finally they got to run, but their starts were a disaster.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-55-32-pm

Ikegami: at this point we’re not doing very well are we?screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-56-37-pm

Only two days left!!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-57-41-pm

Stay tuned to find out what happens nextscreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-58-51-pm

(Introduction of the talent) Hi everyone, we’ve come all the way to America to take in this event.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-59-35-pm

Fifteen teams from 9 different counties.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-01-00-pm

and believe it or not, those things that you see are bicycles.When you first see them you think “What the hell are those!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-01-57-pm

Explaining that speed bikes have a bike inside a cowl (fairing) [flashback to Velox 1]screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-02-16-pm

The fairing reduced drag. The air moves smoothly past the bike, which is what you need if you want to go faster than 100 kph.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-03-10-pm

showing off the new bike.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-05-20-pm

4th day of competitionscreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-05-56-pm

Team Japan managed to g0 118.38 kph….but the wind was above the legal limit of 1.67 m/s.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-07-32-pm


  • Canada A
  • France
  • Holland A
  • Italy
  • England
  • Canada B
  • Japan
  • Russia

Brief bio of rider Komori, who after high school started racing professionally, and has raced in France, Italy, and the US.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-08-57-pm

At the 2.5 mile, I was already in the top gear.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-11-45-pm

15T top gear.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-12-19-pm

Why don’t we go for 11T?

What? are you aiming for over 140 kph? [I love Ikegami’s incredulous reaction]screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-13-38-pm

Ikegami had been conservative with the 15T gear to make sure the rider was going to be alright. He decides that to go to 11T, he needs to convert the middrive cluster from 5 cogs to 7. Can he get this done in three hours?screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-16-45-pm

Ikegami-san how are we doing?

Well we’re pretty keyed up. The wind conditions look good. If we are lucky we should get in a good run.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-19-41-pm

Wait a minute, aren’t you going at it a little to hard for a warm up? screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-20-52-pm

Komori replies that his peak effort is less than 5 minutes, so it is more important to be able to put out peak power, even from the beginning of the run.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-22-19-pm

Explaining about the display board at timing and if he goes below 6 seconds, then the speed is 120 kph.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-23-02-pm

here we go!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-25-15-pm

at the 2.5 miles he is 1 kph faster than yesterdayscreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-26-46-pm

five seconds and change over 200 m!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-28-34-pm

Japan moves into 2nd placescreen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-29-39-pm

I didn’t manage to get into top gear.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-30-29-pm

I finally had the feeling that we got a good run in.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-31-16-pm

Day 6: last day of the competition.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-32-55-pm

Talking things over with cowl designer Mr. Seki.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-33-46-pm

Ryohei gets some advice from world record holder Todd. (go all out for the last 1000 to 1600 m) It takes experience to find out how to apply the power exactly where down the course to get the highest speed.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-35-14-pm

With this advice in mind, they decide that Komori needs to start sprinting about 5 seconds earlier.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-37-22-pm

I need to extend my sprint. I’ll imagine that the finish line is just a little further away.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-38-34-pm

Last change to run, one blown start, and then success. [note that during the first launch, it looks like the guy to the left tripped and pushed the bike over]

Junior Chihara: Is it normal that he is weaving back and forth like that?

Reply: not unusual if he is sprinting. (gear number5) screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-46-03-pm

Felt like a good run if the winds were legal.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-48-50-pm

Even as I thought that I couldn’t hold the effort, I managed to push through. I was able to get into top gear!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-51-06-pm

82.03 mph, legal wind!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-52-59-pm

Even though they didn’t set a new world record they finished 2nd in the world.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-54-37-pm

and a 80 mph hat.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-55-17-pm

Final thoughts with the team:

Well for a ten month project, the idea that you could go faster than 100 kph on a bike seemed a bit crazy, but when we went 90 in March, then I thought, well something in the 130 kph range was within reach.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-56-12-pm

It was really satisfying to build such a pretty bike.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-58-18-pm

Well we put ourselves under pressure because we didn’t want to embarrass ourselves coming out here. We are proud we did well under pressure, and we really enjoyed ourselves.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-4-59-38-pm

Congratulations on all your effort!screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-5-00-53-pm

Next time on Sugowaza: how to launch a drink all the way down a 15m long bar.screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-5-01-42-pm

It’s doubtful that the team will return to WHPSC, which is a shame. They did phenomenally well, having the most successful debut ever for a new team and a new bike. One can only speculate how much faster they could have gone if they had gotten more than 3 runs down the five mile course.

Video here.



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