Thursday, August 28, 2014

September recumbent rallies – west and east

There are two recumbent cycle rallies in Michigan in September. Here's the information from the Wolver-Bents website. If the links don't work here, go to, then click on "events."

Michigan Recumbent Rally West - Saturday, September 6, 2014
The annual Michigan Recumbent Rally West will be held on Saturday, September 6, from 10 am to 2:30 pm in Kalamazoo, on the Western Michigan University Parkview Campus, in the parking lot outside of the College of Engineering building. (If it's raining, the rally will be in the adjacent parking structure.) 
Join other recumbent fans for test rides and information on recumbent bikes and trikes. This event is free and open to the public; drop in any time.  Enthusiasts are welcome, along with anyone who is curious about these vehicles.  Hard to find in bike shops, this event will feature a variety of recumbent pedal-powered machines, most available for test rides on the low-traffic campus road network.  If you are a recumbent owner in the area, please come with your cycle to share your experiences. For a flier to the rally, which includes maps, click here
Many attending the rally will stay overnight and do the Vineyard Classic organized bicycle ride starting in nearby Paw Paw the next day, Sunday, September 7.
 For more information on the recumbent rally, contact Paul Pancella at (269) 373-5413 or  

Fall Recumbent Rendezvous - Saturday, September 27, 2014
Sponsored by the Wolver-Bent Recumbent Cyclists and held at Midwest Bike & Tandem, 1691 Plymouth Road in Ann Arbor. 
The event starts with a group ride at 9 am, followed by recumbent displays, information tables, and used recumbents for sale from 11 am to 2 pm. There will also be a “buying your first recumbent” talk at 11 am. For a map to the event visit . 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Northbrook - Kenosha HPV races - July 2014

Photos and captions by Mike Eliasohn

The annual human powered vehicle races at the velodromes in Northbrook, Ill., and Kenosha, Wis., on July 19 and 20 respectively drew the usual good turnout and lots of streamliners.
For the results, go to, then click on "forums," then "HPV racing." Results are listed separately for the two days.

On July 5, Dave Johnson was in Rick Wianecki's garage in Okemos, doing some patching with resin to Great White's fairing before a new paint job. On July 19 at Northbrook, Dave was racing the streamliner, which had been toothless in recent years, with its new paint job, which he did.  Dave, from Olivet, owns Great White, built by Rick in the late 1990s. At Northbrook, Dave finished second overall in the 200m flying start at 36.76 mph. In the 100-lap race, he finished sixth, 18 laps behind, at an average speed of 29.1 mph. At Kenosha, he was third overall in the standing start kilometer and in the 70-lap race, he finished fourth overall, 12 laps behind, at 27.71 mph.

MHPVA President Mike Mowett of St. Clair Shores on his Morciglio M1 leads Dennis Grelk of Donnellson, Iowa, at Northbrook. Mike won the 50-lap race for unfaired vehicles at an average speed of 27.94 mph, with Dennis second. Mike also was fastest of stock class vehicles in the 200 meter flying start at 36.57 mph. At Kenosha, Mike was first in the standing start kilometer at 31.14 mph and also won the 30-lap race for unfaired vehicles. Speed was unavailable.

Clifford Lofgren, age approximately 5-3/4, of Buchanan, raced his KMX trike at Northbrook. In the 200-meter flying start, he averaged 15.22 mph and he completed 11 of the 25 laps in the junior/multi-rider race, at and average speed of 8.74 mph.

Also in the junior/multi-rider race at Northbrook were Clifford's grandparents, Bruce and Linda Gordon of Buchanan on their Organic Engines Troika. Clifford can be seen in the distance behind them – or maybe he was almost a lap ahead of them, since he finished ahead of them in the race. In the 200-meter flying start, Bruce and Linda averaged 21.98 mph.

At the Michigan HPV Rally May 17-18, Genevieve Kowalik, 9, of Deerfield, Ill., raced an upright bike But at the Northbrook-Kenosha weekend, she was racing her new low-racer that her father, Fran, had Rick Gritters build for her. The seat can be moved back as she grows. At Kenosha, shown here, she averaged 20.27 mph in the standing start kilometer. In the 10-lap race for juniors, she finished second at 19.75 mph. Rick, from Pella, Iowa, has built several low-racers for HPRA competitors and also races his own creations.

In the 70-lap race at Kenosha, Arne Toman in his Blue Velo Quest duels with Marc Jutras in the University of Toronto Ace. Arne, from West Chicago, Ill., has pedaled the carbon fiber Quest as much as 225 miles in a day, to Indianapolis, and to Green Bay, Wis., which took him 12-1/2 hours. He finished fifth in this race, completing 56 laps at an average speed of 26.79 mph. Arne's Quest, which has lights front, rear and underneath, had the only streetliner, so was competing against streamliners intended only for racing. In the standing start kilometer, he was 10th overall, at an average speed of 26.5 mph. Marc finished third in the 70-lap race, completing 64 laps at an average speed of 30.67 mph.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

First Berrien Tricycle Rally - June 21, 2014

Daryl Hanger on his Catrike Trail leads Warren Beauchamp in one of the races. Daryl was the overall winner. Warren had the only leaning-trike at the rally – a front-wheel-drive low racer he built, fitted with a Dennis Grelk-built two-wheel attachment that bolts to the rear dropouts.

Words and photos (except one) by Mike Eliasohn; results by Bruce Gordon

The first Berrien Tricycle Rally took place Saturday, June 21, 2014, at Rolling Green Raceway, a quarter-mile kart racing track near Buchanan in Berrien County in the southwest corner of Michigan.
The rally was organized by, and was the idea of long-time HPV racer Bruce Gordon of Buchanan, with help with help from his wife, Linda. (Thank you, Linda, for the homemade muffins and sandwiches.)

Bruce Gordon, shown here on his Greenspeed SLR during the time trial – three laps of a short triangular section of the track – organized the first Berrien County Tricycle Rally.

The rally attracted 11 competitors, from Michigan (Bruce, Brian Stevens, Douglas Dodd and Clifford Lofgren), Illinois (Warren Beauchamp, Chris and Dora Cortez), Indiana (Daryl Hanger and Jeff Hunn), Ohio (Garrie Hill) and Ontario (Jim Iwaskow).
Here's the results:

                  Best Tm Best Spd In Lap   Diff   2nd Best 2nd Spd 2nd Lap
1   Daryl Hanger     38.891    23.142     8         - -        39.608   22.723   2
2   Brian Stevens    43.302    20.784     6     +4.411    44.725   20.123   3
3   Jeff Hunn          43.351    20.761     9     +4.460    44.719   20.126    3
4   W. Beauchamp  44.112    20.403     4     +5.221    44.883   20.052    3
5   Chris Cortez       44.983    20.008     6     +6.092    48.215   18.666    2
6   Bruce Gordon     47.066    19.122     5     +8.175    48.335   18.62      6
7   Jim Iwaskow      50.719    17.745     1     +11.828  50.883   17.688    3
8   Douglas Dodd     51.308    17.541     3     +12.417  52.627   17.101    1
9   Garrie Hill           54.726    16.446     1     +15.835     -.---      -            0
10 Dora Cortez        56.806    15.843     1     +17.915  58.001   15.517    4
11 Jim Iwaskow       58.639    15.348     2     +19.748  1:05.2    13.793    1
12 Clifford Lofgren   1:37.782   9.204     4     +58.891  1:47.7    8.351      2

Separate races by fours, based on hot lap times, were won by Daryl Hanger, Chris Cortez and Dora Cortez. A race for non-prize winners was won by Jim Iwaskow. Daryl Hanger's team won the relay race, and Daryl was the quickest in the short track time trial. 

 Jim Iwaskow on the Mike Sova-built trike, which Mike gave to him. It may look crude – notice the "stadium seating" – but it has rear suspension. (The pivot is the small circle behind the handlebars.) Jim also rode the trike the following day in the Berrien County Cancer Service Bike Ride.

Jim, from Richmond Hill, is listed twice because he competed on two vehicles, an ICE Vortex (7th place) loaned to him by Garrie Hill, and an aluminum (welded and bolted) trike (11th place) built by Mike Sova of Toronto "some time ago," Jim said, possibly a couple of decades or more. Sova, who gave the trike to Jim, has gone on to building streamliners raced at Battle Mountain. Garrie, from Granville, Ohio, raced his Greenspeed SLR.
Daryl Hanger, from Greenwood, Ind., finished first on a Catrike Trail, which isn't built for racing. (In other words, if he had a racing trike, he would be even faster.)

Clifford Lofgren finished last, but he has a good excuse – he's only 5-1/2 years old. He's Bruce and Linda's grandson and the son of Eric and Charlotte Lofgren, who also live in Buchanan. He raced a kid-sized KMX trike and likely is the youngest-ever competitor in Human Powered Race America sanctioned competition. (Bruce Gordon photo)

Special thanks to Grand Rapids-based manufacturer TerraTrike ( Director of marketing Jeff Yonker, his son, Gabe, and marketing assistant Michelle Oswald brought several TerraTrikes for test rides, plus a display of accessories. Likely the most popular for test rides was the Rover Tandem.

Also present for a couple of hours to spectate was Jerome Hediger, Greenspeed USA distributor, who rode his BMW motorcycle (only two wheels) from Highland in southern Illinois. For the unknowing, Greenspeed is an Australia-based recumbent trike manufacturer (

Chris Cortez lifts a wheel during the time trial on a short triangular section of the Rolling Green Raceway. The kart racing track is twisty and isn't level.

In addition to the pure racing events, there were some "fun" events, including a relay race, with competitors passing a tire, instead of a baton. Here, Bruce Gordon passes the tire to Jim Iwaskow, who was riding Garrie Hill's ICE Vortex.

Mark Bannan of Owosso came to the rally to spectate, with this trike that he built in the 1980s. Back then, he also built several other two- and three-wheel HPVs, all from aluminum tubing.In addition, from 1990-98, he organized the Delta College Challenge HPV races on the Sunday following the Michigan HPV Rally, which back then was on Saturday only.rail

 leads Warren Beauchamp in one of 
Words and photos (except one) by Mike Eliasohn; results by Bruce Gordon

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Articles worth reading


If you missed these magazine articles when they were new, they're worth reading next time you're at your public or school library and maybe, like me, making photocopies.

"The Beastie Bike," Popular Science, January 2014 – Three pages and four photos of Graeme Obree, "The Flying Scotsman" (a movie worth renting), and the lever-drive, prone position two-wheel streamliner he built and raced at the World Human Powered Speed Challenge at Battle Mountain, Nev. in 2013. Popular Science might be accused of celebrity journalism. Obree went 56.62 mph, the fastest speed ever for a prone-position bike, but Sebastiaan Bowler of the Netherlands setting a top speed record of 83.13 mph in the Velox 3 streamliner at the same event earned only one sentence in the article.

"The Improbabable Flying Machines of Sywell," Popular Mechanics, February 2014. Eight pages and five large photos of the second Icarus Cup competition for human powered airplanes at Sywell Aerodrome in the United Kingdom, conducted by the Royal Aeronautical Society Human Powered Aircraft Group. Which leads to the question, why doesn't someone organize a similar competition in the United States?

Muskegon Chronicle, March 1, 1987. Jerry Mattson used  this article
as a source of information for his Michigan History article about the Bowden Spacelander.

"The Bowden Spacelander," Michigan History, January-February 2014. Five pages and seven photos (sort of).  The Bowden isn't a recumbent, but its molded fiberglass frame made it unique and it was manufactured in Michigan – hence the article in Michigan History. The bike is now highly prized by collectors. The author of the article is Jerry Mattson, who as a free-lance writer  working for the Romeo Observer newspaper, covered the Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge, conducted by the MHPVA, in 2009, .

"How to Build a Bicycle-Powered Generator," Popular Mechanics, April 2014. Three pages and six photos or illustrations. The author, Rachel Arndt, started her project because she got tired of riding her bicycle trainer in her apartment in bad weather and going nowhere. When she finished, she still went nowhere, but had a cycle-generator that could put enough charge into batteries to power small electronics during power outages. 

Monday, June 9, 2014

Preview: Berrien County Tricycle Rally - June 21, 2014

Photo taken at Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally

The first Berrien County Tricycle Rally is on Saturday, June 21, at Rolling Green Raceway, a quarter-mile kart racing track with lots of turns. The track is at 2090 Miller Road, northwest of Buchanan, in southwest Michigan.

7:30 a.m. – Gates open.
7:30 - 9 – Registration, trike safety inspection 
9 - 11 – Solo racing.
11 – Group racing begins and will continue, with a lunch break, through the afternoon. How long it takes to give everyone their fill of racing will depend on how many show up to race.

Registration can be done online at until June 18. The cost is $20 if you register in advance online; $25 if you register at the rally.  

The rally will be conducted under the rules of Human Powered Race - America, which are posted at, then click on "rules and classes."

SPECIAL PRIZES: Azee Prize for the best performing team in the solo event. Team members must be separated in age by 58 years or by having one member of the team less than 12 years old and the other older than 50.
Ceepee Team Prize awarded in the solo event for best parent-child team using combined times. Stepchildren, foster children and grandchildren are eligible. Other relationships, such as niece, nephew, etc., will be considered at the race director's discretion.

Grand Rapids-based recumbent tricycle manufacturer TerraTrike plans to be at the rally from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. with various models available for test rides.

DIRECTIONS: The track is located 2 miles west of Redbud Trail on Miller Road. 
From the north: Take US 31 south to Snow Road. Exit #13. Go (right) west for about a mile and turn (left) south on Redbud Trail (at stop sign.)  Go about 4 miles south and turn right on Miller Road (name is on yellow junction sign.)
From the south: Take US 31 north to US 12. Exit #3. Go (left) on US 12 west for about 2 miles and turn (right) north onto Redbud Trail at traffic light. Go through Buchanan (traffic light) and continue on Redbud Trail for about 4 miles and turn left on Miller Rd (name on yellow junction sign.) 
From the west: Take US 12 east Exit #4a off I-94 (4 miles from Indiana border). Go (right) east for about 16 miles and turn north (left) onto Redbud Trail (second traffic light.) Go through Buchanan (traffic light) and continue on Redbud trail for about 4 miles and turn left on Miller Road (name on yellow junction sign.) 

If you have questions or need to cancel or make changes to your registration, e-mail

Participants in the rally Saturday are encouraged to also participate in the Berrien County Cancer Service Bike Ride the following day, starting at its office at 7301 Red Arrow Hwy., Stevensville.
Riders can start between 7 and 11 a.m., but must finish by 2 p.m. Routes are 15, 25 and 42 miles and 100k (62 miles). The cost is $20 ($35 for families) until June 13, $25 ($40) after that. Registration/payment can be done online at Proceeds help the BBCS provide free nursing care and support services to Berrien County residents with cancer.

The nearest restaurants to Rolling Green Raceway are in Buchanan. From the track, go east to North Main Street, then south into town. Some restaurants are downtown and others, including fast food, are clustered up the hill east from downtown.
The best locations for finding hotels/motels are near the junction of Route 51 and the Indiana Toll Road
(exit #77) or along I-94 in Michigan.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

30th annual Michigan HPV Rally - May 17-18, 2014

By Mike Eliasohn

Note:  Some of these results are incomplete, due to either more than one college team member racing the same vehicle or information being incomplete on some entry forms. 
Complete rally results and more photos are posted at, then click on "race results and pictures," then "2014 Michigan HPRA race results" or "pictures."    Mike E.

"Old and cold" describes the 30th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally May 17-18, the oldest such event in North America and maybe the world.
How cold was it? The uniform of the day for those who had it, especially on Saturday, was a hoodie with the hood up, under a jacket – and gloves.  It was so cold that cars parked at the Waterford Hills track overnight Saturday "woke up" with frost on windshields and roofs.
There were 46 entries, but that doesn't translate into 46 riders or 46 vehicles. Some riders raced in more than one class and for the University of Toronto and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology teams, there was more than one rider per vehicle, which caused some confusion in scoring results.
The Univ. of Toronto team consisted of 12 people, including faculty adviser Jun Nogami, and five or six vehicles, he said.  Rose-Hulman, in Terre Haute, Ind., had five people, including faculty adviser Michael Moorhead, and three streamliners, plus three other vehicles.
The third "team" competing was Fran Kowalik of Deerfield, Ill., and four of his children, Florian, 15, Mathias, 13, Cecilia, 11, and Genevieve, 9. But all five each had their own cycle to race.

Mike Mowett on his Morciglio M1 carbon fiber low racer recovers after winning Sunday morning's road race, 15 laps/9 miles on the short course (0.6 mile).  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

As usual, the stock class had the most entries, 20.  The top three were: 1) MHPVA President Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores, on his Morciglio M1, 340 points; 2) Dennis Grelk, Donnellson, Iowa,homebuilt low racer, 307; and Warren Beauchamp, NoCom low racer, Elgin, Ill., 279. As usual, Dennis was the only person to compete in every event.
The top three in the other classes were:
Streamliner (8 entries): 1) Dennis Grelk in his Warren Beauchamp-built Barracuda, 312; 2) rider?, Rose-Hulman Celeritas, 310; and 3) Warren Beauchamp, homebuilt Barracuda, 283.
Wally Kiehler in/on his Lightning F-40, leads Richard Myers during the Sunday morning 20 lap/12-mile road race. They finished second and third respectively. On June 14, Wally and Bob Krzewinski, both riding similar bikes, but minus the fairings, depart on a 4,200-mile trip from Seattle to Boston, ending Aug. 16. Wally will blog about their journey, with hoped-for daily updates. Go to www.crazyguyonabike, then click on "journal," then "wallyk." (John Heiam photo)

Streetliner (6 entries): 1) Wally Kiehler, Gross Pointe Woods, Lightning F-40; 340; 2) Rich Myers, Xenia, Ohio, "Chiquita Banana" (it's yellow), 297; and John Simon, Portland, Lightning P-38 with fairing, 205. John only competed on Saturday. At a "young" 77, Rich was the oldest competitor.
Women: Dora Cortez of Chicago, riding a Gritters low racer or Bacchetta Corsa 24, was the lone competitor, 360,
Tricycle  (4 entries):  1) Daryl Hanger, Greenwood, Ind., Catrike Trail, 325; 2) Bruce Gordon, Buchanan, Greenspeed SLR, 300; and 3) Dennis Grelk, homebuilt low racer with his two-wheels-in-the-rear conversion, 295.
Junior (4 entries):  1) Florian Kowalik, M5 low racer, 360; 2) Cecelia Kowalik, Earth Cycles Sunset, 320; Genevieve Kowalik, upright bike, 295.
Tandem (3 entries):  Tedd and Donna Wheeler, Reed City, BikeE, 275. There was a tie for second place, 180 points, with the same Trek tandem from Rose-Hulman. R-H HPV team faculty adviser Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes from the Univ. of  Toronto formed one team and students Louis Vaught, Chapel Hill, N.C., and Matt Skoria, Walla Walla, Wash., both R-H students, were the other.

Dan Zolyniak of Toronto, in the streamliner built by him and his wife, Amanda, leads the tandem team of Matt Skorian (front) and Louis Vaught from Rose-Hulman. In the rear, Rose-Hulman HPV team faculty adviser Michael Moorhead gets the R-H streamliner, ridden by ??, back on its wheels. This was during the 20-lap/12-mile road race Sunday morning.  (John Heiam photo)
    Here's the top two from each event:


One-hour time trial:  Streamliner – 1) Warren Beauchamp, 22 laps of the 1.4 mile track at average speed of 30.794 mph, 2) tie: Dennis Grelk and ???, riding U-T Ace.  Streetliner – 1) Bill Hannon, Springfield, Ohio, Milan velomobile. 18 laps/24.375 mph; 2) Chris Evans, Flint, Quest velomobile. Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 18 laps, 25.077 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez, 12 laps, 15.485 mph.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 14 laps/18.141 mph, 2) Bruce Gordon.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 17 laps, 22.313 mph, 2) Cecelia Kowalik. Tandem – 1) Michael Moorhead and Calvin Moes,  15 laps, 20.442 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler. 
Hill climb:  Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T, 2) rider?  R-H Celeritas.  Streetliner – 1) Wally Kiehler, 2) John Simon.  Stock – 1) Trefor Evans, 2) Peter Wen, Univ. of Toronto???  Women – 1) Dora Cortez.  Tricycle – 1) Daryl Hanger, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecelia Kowalik.  Tandem – Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler.
Coast down ((combined with the hill climb; when riders reach the top of the hill, they stop pedaling and then coast):  Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T) Dennis Grelk.  Streetliner – 1) Wally Kiehler, 2) Rich Myers. Stock – 1) Fran Kowalik, M5 M-Racer, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez. Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) Chris Cortez, xxxx.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecelia Kowalik, 3) Genevieve Kowalik. Tandem – 1) Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler.
Standing start 1-kilometer:  Streamliner – 1) Dennis Grelk, 1 minute, 22.78 sec./27.02 mph, 2) rider?  R-H Celeritas, 1:24.63, 26.43 mph. Streetliner – Wally Kiehler, 1:37.13/23.03 mph, 2) John Simon, 1:51.91/15.99 mph. Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 1:29.29/25.05 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk, 1:30.72/24.66. Women – 1) Dora Cortez, 1:48.59/20.60 mph. Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 1:37.38/22.97 mph, 2) Daryl Hanger, 1:49.05/20.51 mph. Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 1:27.25/25.64 mph, 2) Genevieve Kowalik, 2:51.53/13.04 mph.  Tandem – 1) Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes, 1:49.44/20.44 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler, 2:12.91, 16.83 mph.

Among those waiting for the start of the hill climb / coast down are Fran Kowalik on his M-5 M-Racer and daughters Cecelia, 11, (green jersey) on an Earth Cycles Sunset and Genevieve, 9, (orange jersey) on an upright bike.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

Urban vehicle competition: Points were awarded for time in the hill climb; finishing position in the coast down; time around two loops of an oval in the parking area, with braking performance evaluated at the finish; and points for each feature during an evaluation of the vehicle. Points were awarded for lights and fenders, front and rear; reflectors; daytime visibility; cargo carrying capacity; brakes; rearview mirrors; security against theft; convenience (getting on and off or in and out of the vehicle); weather protection; horn; bell; tools; tire pump; spare inner tube or tube repair kit; and "anything else."
Daryl Hanger on his Catrike Trail and Wally Kiehler on his Lightning F-40 tied for first with 32 points,  while John Simon with his Lightning P-38 with fairing was third. Tied for fourth were Univ. of Toronto HPV team adviser Jun Nogami on his Rock Lobster upright bike, which he uses for daily commuting and Dennis Grelk with his Barracuda streamliner, 25 points. Sixth was Tedd and Donna Wheeler on their BikeE tandem, 17 points.

         Our thanks go to Mark Berend, a friend of Mike Mowett, who brought his grill to the track, bought the food (for which he was reimbursed) and cooked the chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs. There were perhaps 50 people eating. With so much time spent next to the grill, Mark may have been the only person there who was warm (albeit smoky). Making his long day longer, his vehicle ran out of gas while he and his family were going home.
         Thanks also to Mike Mowett, who ordered the 30th anniversary cake from the nearby Kroger's.
         A special guest was former International HPV Association President Marti Daily, who drove with  her friend from Indianapolis, in time for the barbecue and reminiscing with old friends. Because Marti had to work Sunday at Home Depot, she and her friend left after dinner and drove home.

Fran Kowalik and three of his kids (left) apply the condiments during the barbecue following Saturday's events. Mark Berend did the cooking on the grill he brought to the track, as well as buying the food.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

After dinner, Donna Wheeler, who handled everything involving the 30th anniversary T-shirts, presented special yellow shirts to Mike Eliasohn of St. Joseph and Terry Gerweck of Monroe, who started the first Michigan rally in 1983 in Monroe and have been involved ever since.  (For those doing the math, instead of the Michigan HPV Rally, in 1989, the Michigan HPV Association conducted the International HP Speed Championships in 1989 and the Michigan HP Speed Challenge in 2009.)

Michael Hinterseher moved last August from Germany to Farmington Hills with his family and his Milan SL velomobile. He commutes in it to work at Bosch. He spectated and took photos at the rally on Saturday, then competed on Sunday. He finished first in the streetliner class in the 200-foot sprints (39.77 mph) and in the 20 lap/12-mile road race.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)


Flying start 200-foot sprint: Streamliner – 1) Trefor Evans, U-T, 45.74 mph, 2) rider?, R-H Celeritas, 42.17 mph.  Streetliner – 1) Michael Hinterseher, Farmington Hills, Milan SL velomobile, 39.77 mph, 2) Wally Kiehler, 34.71 mph.  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 38.73 mph, 2) Dennis Grelk, 35.97 mph. Women – 1) Dora Cortez (29.84 mph). Tricycle – 1) Dennis Grelk, 31.06 mph, 2) Bruce Gordon, 27.77 mph.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 36.09 mph, 2) Cecelia Kowalik, 20.86 mph. Tandem – Mike Moorhead and Calvin Moes, 33.45 mph, 2) Tedd and Donna Wheeler, 27.27 mph.

On the short six-tenths of a mile course used Sunday morning, there was plenty of close racing. From left, Mike Moorhead, Mike Mowett, Jim Iwaskow, Dennis Grelk and ???.  Mike Mowett on his Morciglio M1 won the 15 lap/9 mile race.  (Bill Frey photo)

20 lap/12-mile road race for faster vehicles:  Streamliners – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) rider?, R-H Celeritas.  Streetliner: 1) Michael Hinterseher, 2) Wally Kiehler.
15 lap/9 mile road race for slower vehicles:  Stock – 1) Mike Mowett, 2) Dennis Grelk.  Women – 1) Dora Cortez. Tricycles – 1) Dennis Grelk, 2) Daryl Hanger.  Junior – 1) Florian Kowalik, 2) Cecila Kowalik.  Tandem – 1) Matt Skorian and Louis Vaught, R-H (only competitors).

Prior to the start of the Sunday morning (I think) 20 lap/12 mile road race are, from rear, Wally Kiehler, Dennis Grelk, Amanda (standing) Zolyniak and her husband, Dan, from Toronto. The Zolyniaks were members of the University of Toronto HPV team. Now graduated, they built their own streamliner. Other than using a U-T mold for the fairing, the streamliner is their own design. They took turns racing it at Waterford Hills. On Sunday, Dan rode in the first race and Amanda in the second. In the 200-foot sprints, both had the same speed, 33.48 mph.  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

George Cooney of Royal Oak demonstrated his monocycle on Saturday. It's propelled like a scooter, that is, standing on one foot and pushing with the other. Pulling down on the handlebars provides added "thrust."  (Mike Eliasohn photo)

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30th Michigan HPV Rally T-shirt, jersey

We can't have a 30th annual Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Rally  without a T-shirt and thanks to Donna Wheeler of Reed City, we do. We also will have cycling jerseys. 
The white short sleeve shirt will have the full-color design on the front.  The cost is $12.  To order, e-mail Donna at State how many shirts you want and the sizes. Payment can be made at the rally (cash or make out check to Donna Wheeler) and shirts can be picked up then. Orders need to be placed no later than Monday, May 5.
Donna will take orders for jerseys at the rally or send her an e-mail beforehand. The jerseys will be available about 3-4 weeks after the event. The jerseys will be fitted shirts, white with black lower sleeves, with a zip-up front and pockets in the backThe design will be on the front, with sponsors on the back.  Jerseys will cost $55, plus $6 shipping, if necessary.
Donna  would like to have at least 10 orders for the jerseys. Here's a sizing chart, though it may not be readable even with a magnifying glass.

Information about the Michigan HPV Rally is below the entry about the MHPVA annual meeting.

Monday, April 7, 2014

MHPVA annual meeting - March 22, 2014


JOHN WILLIAMS of Harrison Township showed the wood bike he built about four years ago, using plans sold by James Robinson of San Angelo, Texas. The frame is made mostly of 2x4s, glued together with WEST SYSTEM epoxy (made by Gougeon Brothers Inc. in Bay City). He said it rides rough. "I call it my park bike," he said, meaning he mostly rides it for short distances in area parks. "It's mostly for fun."

Report by Mike Eliasohn

     About 20 people attended the Michigan Human Powered Vehicle Association annual meeting Saturday, March 22, at the TechShop in Allen Park.
     Prior to the meeting, TechShop event coordinator Ashley Kratzke led attendees on a tour of the facility, which for anyone who likes to build anything, was/is terrific!  Among the equipment available for members to use are computers with modeling software; 3D printers; milling machines; laser cutters that can cut wood, plastic and glass; welders; English wheels for forming parts from sheet metal (one part seen looked very much like a fender for a classic fat-tire cruiser); and a powder coater.
     During the tour, one man was building a prototype of a four-engine aerial drone. A man and a woman were building a Greenland kayak, which has a frame of wood ribs, lashed together with nylon cord (no glue, nails or screws).  There was a casket converted into an outdoor grill, mounted on a trailer. Half of the space normally occupied by the deceased housed a grill; the other half was a sink. Picnic anyone?

Two more views of John Williams' beautifully constructed wood bike.  The bottom bracket axle fits through a slot in the 2x4 boom tube, thus allowing  the BB position to be adjustable forward and backward (photo below).

      During the meeting, officers and board members elected were: President, Mike Mowett, St. Clair Shores; vice president, Mike Eliasohn, St. Joseph; secretary, Paul Pancella, Kalamazoo, who was absent; treasurer, Bruce Gordon, Buchanan; and members at-large, Wally Kiehler, Grosse Pointe Woods, and Bob Krzewinski, Ypsilanti.
      Bruce replaces Bill Frey, treasurer since 2002 and long active in the MHPVA before then, who chose not to seek reelection. Bruce had been a board member at-large and the other at-large member, Rick Wianecki of Okemo, who also did not want to be reelected. Wally was MHPVA president from 1998-2008 and Bob runs the Wolver-Bents website ( and edits the MHPVA site.

TechShop event coordinator shows the MHPVA group the wood shop during a tour of the facility in Allen Park.  There are eight TechShops around the country. For more information, go to

      With Bill Frey absent, Mike Mowett presented Bill's final financial report.  It showed 2013 Michigan HPV Rally expenses of $985 and the MHPVA ending 2013 with $1,517 in the bank.
      Wally and Bob also talked about their forthcoming 4,200 mile, nine-week trip which starts June 14 in  Seattle and ends Aug. 16 in Boston. They wanted to ride their Lightning F-40 streamline bikes (Doug Grossjean's F-40 can be seen behind John Williams in the top photo), but the tour organizers, Cycle America, insisted on bikes that will fit on a motor vehicle bike rack, so they will be riding unfaired Lightning P-38s. 
      The Cycle America tour includes three meals a day, camping and showers.
      During the tour, Wally will be blogging about his journey, with hoped-for daily updates. Go to www.crazyguyonbike, then click on "journal," then "wallyk." This will be a one-stop deal for me," Wally said. "I'm not going to do it again."
     He and Bob will be newly retired from their jobs, which will give them the time to undertake their trip. The Cycle America route will go through Michigan. The participants will cross Lake Michigan on the Badger ferry, which docks in Ludington, then have overnight stops in Farwell, Frankenmuth and Memphis.
     Mike Mowett reviewed the proposed schedule of events for the 30th annual Michigan HPV Rally May 17-18. The concensus of those attending was to keep the events and schedule as-is, rather than making any changes.
     Mike M. also talked about a proposed 100-mile tour through Detroit and the Detroit area and showed various satellite phones of various oval test and race tracks in Michigan and nearby that could be used for future HPV events.

This four-wheel creation seen at the TechShop was built for some type of Star Wars building competition. Look past the outrigger wheel  and you can see a short-wheelbase recumbent.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Preview: 30th annual Mich. HPV Rally - May 17-18, 2014

The rally will be held at the Waterford Hills sports car racing track on the Oakland County Sportsmen's Club grounds in Clarkston, near Pontiac - the location since 1986.
The oldest such event in North America is open to riders of all human powered vehicles — recumbents, regular bicycles, tandems and handcycles.
There are classes for streamlined, unstreamlined cycles, tandems, women, youth and tricycles. The rally is conducted using Human Powered Race America rules ( Note: HPRA rules require all vehicles to have a mirror or mirrors enabling rear vision to both sides.
The track is 1.4 miles around, with nine turns and one hill. Sunday races use a shorter course without the hill.

ENTRY FEES: One day only, $30; both days, $40 (includes $10 MHPVA membership); 
college/high school teams with several riders, $100. $1 of each entry fee goes to support the League of Michigan Bicyclists. Test ride pass, $10, which includes MHPVA membership. Spectators free.

Even if you don't want to compete, come and see some unusual and some very fast bicycles and tricycles. Prize money will be awarded to top finishers in each class.
Concession stand with hot food will be serving lunch on Saturday and possibly on Sunday, breakfast and lunch.

Schedule of events, subject to change:

Registration and technical inspection starts at 8 a.m.
One-hour time trial (streamliner, streetliner classes) - 9:30-10:30 a.m
One-hour time trial (stock, junior, women, tandem) - 11 a.m.-noon
Hill climb/coast down (all classes) - 1:30-2:30 p.m.
1-kilometer standing start time trial - 3-4 p.m.
Urban transportation contest - in afternoon.  
Scores will be based on finishing position in the hill climb, coast-down and obstacle course, plus vehicle evaluation. For instance, if there are 10 competitors, the fastest in the hill climb gets 10 points; second fastest, 9 points, etc. In the evaluation, 1 point is awarded for each feature:  Lights, front and rear (1 point for each); fenders, front and rear (1 point for each); reflectors; daytime visibility; cargo carrying ability (minimal, one grocery bag, or two grocery bags – maximum 3 points), rearview mirrors, security against theft, convenience (size, getting on/off or in/out), weather protection, horn, bell, tools, tire pump, spare inner tube or tube repair kit and "anything else."
6 p.m. (approximate) – Trackside barbecue. Choice of hamburgers, hot dogs or chicken, plus salad and soft drinks. Paper plates, napkins, etc., will be provided. Minimum donation of $5 per person. (Note: This is a change from what was previously listed of either bring your own food to barbecue, plus supplies, or eat at a nearby restaurant. )
Followed by – Dessert (provided) and an opportunity to reminisce about 30 years of HPV racing.

200-foot sprints, flying start (all classes) - 8:30-9:30 a.m.
Tricycle race - 10 a.m.
Road race 1 (faster vehicles, 20 laps, 12 miles, no hill) - 10:30 a.m.
Road race 2 (slower Vehicles, 15 laps, 9 miles, no hill) - 11 a.m.
Awards ceremony by 1 p.m. (hopefully)
Location: Oakland County Sportsmen's Club: 4770 Waterford Road, Clarkston,
MI 48346. For a map of the track, visit or For additional information, contact: Mike Mowett, 586-863-3902 or, or Mike Eliasohn, 269-982-4058 or

From I-75, get off at exit 91. Take M-15 south to Dixie Hwy. (US-24). Turn left, continuing south about 1 mile and turn left onto Waterford Road, then proceed to track.
If coming from the west, take U.S. 23 north (or south) to M-59 (Highland Road). Go east on M-59 to Airport Road, then left (north) to US-24. Turn left, then immediately right onto Waterford Road. Go about a half-mile to track.


MOTELS (with approximate distances/direction from Waterford Hills track)

Clarkston - Clarkston Motor Inn, 6853 Dixie Hwy. (US-10), 248-625-1522, 12 rooms, 2 miles northeast.
Clarkston - Olde Mill Inn of Clarkston, 5835 Dixie Hwy., 248-623-0300. Across Dixie Highway from Waterford Road leading to track. This is the closest motel to the track.
Hartland - Best Western of Hartland, 10087 M-59 at US-23, 810-632-7177, 61 rooms. About 18 miles west.
Waterford – Comfort Inn, 7076 Highland Road (M-59), 248-666-8555, 111 rooms. About 3 miles southwest.
Waterford – Waterford Motel, 2201 Dixie Hwy. at Telegraph Road, 248-338-4061, 50 rooms. About 6 miles southeast.
Waterford – Holiday Inn Express, 4350 Pontiac Lake Road, 248-674-3434, 83 rooms. About 7 miles southwest.
Whitmore Lake - Best Western of Whitmore Lake, 9897 Main St. (off US-23, exit 53), 734-449-2058, 61 rooms. About 33 miles southwest.


Free camping available overnight Friday and Saturday at the Waterford Hills Sportsman Club, site of the HPV rally, starting at 6 p.m. Friday. Restrooms, showers available and possibly electrical hookups.

STATE CAMPGROUNDS (, then click on "camping and
recreation," then "camping and harbor reservations." Reservation can be
made online.
Highland Recreation Area, 5200 E. Highland Road (M-59), White Lake, 248-889-3750. Two miles east of Highland.
Holly Recreation Area, 5300 McGinnis Road, Holly, 248-634-8811. Five miles east of Holly.
Ortonville Recreation Area, 5779 Hadley Road, Ortonville, 810-797-4439. Four miles northeast of Ortonville.
Pontiac Lake Recreation Area, 3480 Teggerdine Road, White Lake, 248-625-9112. Closest to Waterford Hills track, about 4 miles west.

OAKLAND COUNTY:  Groveland Oaks County Park, 14555 Dixie Hwy., White Lake, northeast of Holly, 248-625-9112.

PRIVATE CAMPGROUNDS (  Detroit Sportsmen's Congress Campground, 10150 E. Oakwood Road, Oxford, 586-739-3500, e-mail,

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Bruce Gordon hosts HPVers in Buchanan

Get a group of HPVers together and they have to build something, even if it's from balloons. From left are Tony Alevand, Rich Myers, Warren Beauchamp, Chris Cortez and Jeff Hunn. (Bruce Gordon photo)

This seemingly never-ending winter paused long enough for HPVers suffering from cabin fever to gather at the home of Bruce and Linda Gordon in Buchanan in southwestern Michigan on Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014.

In addition to Michigan, people came from Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.
According to MHPVA President Mike Mowett, about 27 people were there, including all nine members of the Kowalik clan, Fran and Lisa Kowalik and their seven kids, from Deerfield, Ill. Genevieve, Cecilia and Florian, then 8, 10 and 14 respectively, competed at the 2013
Michigan HPV Rally.
Mike reports they brought with them the Varna Orpheus molds from Dave and Becky Balfour (from Marietta, Ill.), which Rich Myers of Xenia, Ohio, took with him to return to Garrie Hill in Granville, Ohio.
Dan Glatch from Franklin, Wis. brought a Lightning X-2 nosecone from Tyger Johnson, from the Rockford, Ill. area.  Coincidentally, Don Smith wanted to come to the meeting (but didn't) to talk to Garrie about getting the Lightning X-2 molds to use for a new bike.  Dan gave the nosecone to Mike to take to Don, who lives in Chesterfield.
The gathering also included a meeting of the Human Powered Race – America race directors. They decided to combine the stock and superstock classes because very few people were racing in superstock and they thought that combining the classes might stimulate some tailbox development.
The stock class did not allow any added streamlining except for wheel disks, while the superstock class allowed use of a front or rear fairing.
Thus what will continue to be called the stock class will allow use of a front or rear fairing.
Another rules change is that use of seat belts by riders in streamliners is now recommended.

Dave Johnson models Tyger Johnson's Lightning X-2 nosecone that Dan Glatch brought to the meeting and Mike Mowett took with him to deliver to Don Smith, who plans to use it for a new bike. (This could be made into a board game to teach geography: "Follow the Nosecone.")  (Mike Mowett photo)