Archive for the ‘HPV’ Category

Mid January update

Over the holiday break, the team finished the plug for Arbiter


(picture source)

Next step: laying up the fibreglass mold. The team decided to split the mold horizontally this year, in contrast to the vertically split mold for Tempest, and the four piece mold for Vortex. Here you can see an mdf flange, and the team is getting a coat of gelcoat to dry on the upper half of the plug (which had release coat underneath).


Listening for leaks during the vacuum bagging for the lay up on the upper half.


Here is the plug with the lower half the mold already removed.


Here is the lower half.


Yesterday they were working on removing the upper half.


With both halves removed, we can compare the shape and size of Arbiter to Vortex. You can see that it is significantly longer.


Front view.


Next steps: laying up the main shell, and making molds for the wheel fairings, etc. The team is intent on getting wheels on the ground by the end of February. You can compare where we are to last February, when the plug for Tempest was still not done.

In the meantime, we are testing the k-drive.


and here are some pictures of a secret project that I’m not allowed to talk about.

and I added one more patch to my briefcase.


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Arbiter update

We’re into the tail end of exams, and so things have slowed down at the bike shop, but I thought I’d post a few pictures of the progress on our vehicle for ASME HPVC 2018. CM1-1

The fairing is well underway. The first thing was to do the aeromodelling on the design,

image 3

and then to check for rider fit.

Sharp eyed readers might notice that the pedal stroke looks odd, but this is something that we are testing. Pay attention to the path traced by the end of the secondary cranks.

Once the shell design is locked down, we start working on a plug. The first step is to carve foam sheets in sections on our CNC router table.


The complete plug glued together.


The other side has been sanded.


Then a couple of layers of fibreglass. Here is the first side done.


and the second.


In the meantime, here is the BB assembly for the K drive


Now putting durabond on the plug.


Next steps will be to sand the plug, and then to lay up a fibreglass female mold from it.  If you compare where we are to last year, you’ll see that we are doing well. You can see a preview of some of the next steps by looking at this sequence of photos from the construction of last year’s bike.

Update (January 5): the team has posted some pictures of the finished plug.

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Good friend Tim Potter (Sustainable transportation manager for Michigan State University Bikes) dropped by this weekend, and of course he wanted to check out some of the bike infrastructure since it had been at least four years since he and I had ridden around town.

Here is my really bad picture of Tim…


and from his much better picture, you can see that we are checking out the Bloor bike lane. (all photos with me in it are by Tim, except where noted)


Next stop, dropping by the bike team to see what is going on. Here Tim poses by Eta Prime.


Bruce and Calvin were working on the plug for Arbiter.


I’m posing beside this year’s WHPSC poster.


Tim was riding the Brompton that day.


Overall, it was nice to ride around with someone who was appreciative of the improvements in bike infrastructure in the downtown area.

Here we are back at home, with matching N+1 shirts. Get yours here. (photo  M Koga)


His daughter designed this shirt, which is available on Amazon.


Note that the shirt means different things to different people:

  • from the viewpoint of a Michigander, if you are cycling on the road, more often than not drivers will yell at you to “get on the sidewalk”.
  • from my viewpoint in Toronto, is says that we shouldn’t be cycling on the sidewalk.

And then it was time for beer, this particular example from Henderson’s Brewing.


The next day, Tim checks out Hoopdriver Bicycles (unfortunately closed on a Sunday morning).


Since there was snow in the forecast, and I just happened to have an excellent bike mechanic as a guest….


Tim is impressed that the Haul a Day can stand on end.


Tim shows me his patented method of mounting tires.


To cap the day off, I had a chance to tag along with Tim to meet Chris Phelan, Executive director of the Ride of Silence. (Photo H Potter).


I was honoured to fill him in on some of the things that have been happening in Toronto, particularly with regards to the collaborations with organizations like Friends and Families for Safe Streets, and the united push for VRU legislation.



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After my recent acquisition of a Brompton, I started to think that perhaps I had too many folding bikes. Here are three of them, not counting the Dahon that I have stashed in Vancouver.


So the obvious thing was to put the Tikit up for sale (and I will still do that), but in the meantime there was some chatter on FB about someone with their apartment eliminating indoor bike parking, and so needing a folding bike……and ideally one with disc brakes.  Suddenly I had an opportunity to give my PBW a good home.

Here it is, packed up and ready to be hauled downtown. A few extra parts, like the fenders, a wheel with a spare Alfine 8 spd hub, and a 24h 406 rim to match.



Amusingly, on the way in, I catch the tail end of the Santa Claus parade. Santa actually saw me, and said “now THAT’s a bike!”.


On a separate trip I also took in the suitcase that I used with it, bearing stickers from some of the adventures that I had with the PBW. The Illini sticker was from a trip where I was riding in past some corn fields in Hawkins IN Urbana IL, and four kids rode by on their BMX’s and said “cool bike!”.


I’ve had some good rides with the PBW. It was custom made for me about sixteen years ago by Hugh in Chico California. He no longer builds, and is now a recumbent dealer. The long term plan was to rebuild it with the Alfine hub, but now both the bike and the rebuild project has been passed onto the new proud owner: Victor ex-Aerovelo, ex-HPVDT and all around good guy (and mad scientist).


I’m glad I found a good home for the bike.

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Starting on the ASME bike

The bike team has been busy trying to nail down the design of their ASME trike (Arbiter), and at the same time, they have been doing some materials testing.

Here is a preliminary rendering.


Getting some carbon panels ready for materials testing.


Measuring high speed rolling resistance.


Bruce clowning around with the rear fork for Arbiter.


The setup for impact testing.


Inspecting a panel.


Some nice suspension components from ICE.


A rendering with paint job.



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The bike team had a little group ride this morning, on a planned 47 km route. They said that they would cruise at about 30 kph.  I thought I would tag along. Can’t say I wasn’t warned.

Here is the before picture.


The ride went east from downtown, along the lakefront and the Beach, and then further out on Kingston Rd, down and up Brimley, and then back west, taking in some of the Don Valley. At least that was the plan, but I got a flat right at Corktown Commons, so I got dropped right away.

I decided then to ride up to the Danforth and run the latter part of the course in reverse until I caught the group again. A bonus feature of this plan was that I would not have to ride the Brimley Rd. segment down and up the bluffs. I finally caught the lead group on Danforth just north of St. Clair.IMG_6827

After heading west on Danforth, we turn north on Woodbine, and I get to see part of the northern section of the recently installed bike lanes, albeit at a faster pace than usual. You can see that I’m getting dropped between every set of stop lights.


Eventually I rode the last half of the route on my own. Long story short, since I was so far behind, after descending into the Don Valley on Bayview, I decided to take a detour to check out some of the features of the recently reopened lower Don Trail. Coming up from the Bayview/Pottery Rd intersection, here are some P gates on either side of the rail crossing.


Here is the new pedestrian/ cyclist bridge that parallels the concrete roadway bridge.


From the pictures that I had seen, I was a bit confused about exactly where this bridge was. Here, looking north from the east end of the bridge, you seen that the Pottery Rd crossing to go further north on the trail remains the same, with two offset crossings and a lot of pavement markings.


However, if you look south from the same point, you see the connection to the Lower Don Trail. It was at this point that I realized I had never ridden this section between Pottery Rd and the Gerrard St. bridge.


These sculptures look like bits of stonework that had fallen off of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris.


The close spacing of the way finding signs suggests that they are more for pedestrians than cyclists.


Here is the revised Belleville underpass, compete with cyclists on mural (and regrettably some fairly fresh tags).


The team made it back to the shop in drips and drabs and were soon back to work on their various projects.


Here is some speed data from my phone.


The three sections where I was going more than 30 kph correspond to:

  1. downtown before my flat
  2. riding with the fast group. The only reason I wasn’t dropped right away was all the stoplights on Danforth.
  3. descending into the valley on Bayview.



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BM2017: Epilogue

The team made it back safely this past Wednesday, with detours to the Grand Canyon and Monument Valley on the way back.


21949859_1440111772710305_7516195529680360809_o(Photos from Thomas Ulph’s FB page)

The damage to Eta Prime is relatively minor. Word from the chase vehicle was that they saw the bike go off the road and then there was a big cloud of dust.

The front wheel must have taken a significant hit to have buckled like this:


We know the bike rolled as it lost the camera mast. It also must have taken a hit to the top of the front shell as the mid drive sprocket was bent like this:


One of the two aeroshells that we have may not be repairable. However, we will be able to get Eta Prime running again for next year.

Consensus is also that Bluenose is done with Battle Mountain.

The team has to decide how to prioritize their time during the upcoming year, given the other projects they have on the go. First up is the new ASME bike. Since they have posted this rendering on their website, I guess it’s not a secret that we’ll be building a trike.


There is also the submarine, AXIOS. The team will have to decide if they have additional manpower (student power?) and budget to build a new bike for next year’s WHPSC as well.

In the meantime, the new members are being introduced to the joys of riding recumbents.



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