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View Full Version : Los Angeles Times West Magazine...I'm in the feature article!!!



Brecca
08-28-2006, 07:34 PM
August 27th issue of the LA Times West Magazine features an article about the Dempsey/MacCready Challenge that was held this past June in Casa Grande, Arizona. Here is the link, and it tells the whole story complete with some pretty cool pictures of which I am in 3...
http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-speedbike35aug27,0,6251615.story?page=1&coll=la-home-magazine
Check my post on my most recent TT. Enjoy the article!

Brecca

MomOnBike
08-29-2006, 08:45 AM
I'd heard Fast Freddy did well this year. It was good to see a real write-up.

Thanks for the link.

SadieKate
08-29-2006, 11:43 AM
Thanks! I was wondering about the race. It would be fun to watch some year.

mimitabby
08-29-2006, 11:54 AM
Interesting article, cool bike.
Which one is you? (sorry, i'm a little slow)

Brecca
08-31-2006, 08:31 PM
Our bike is the Varna Two, piloted by Rob English...the guy who looks half dead in the one full page picture. I'm the one holding his head in my lap after his first attempt at the hour title. The heat was unbelievable and Rob was suffering from heat exhaution. There is also a pic of Dave and myself taping Rob into the Varna before his run. We are very pleased with the article and the humor Preston used in writing it. He also managed to show the heart and drive that goes into piloting one of these speed bikes. I hope you all get a chance to see them in action....Battle Mountain is coming up, girls. Anyone going? It's a great opportunity to see some world class riders and maybe see a new world record or two broken. Lisa Vetterlein broke the womens record last year in the Varna managing to pedal the bike at over 65 mph. Unfortunately, we aren't going this year as it conflicts with another race we want to participate in and Rob won't be available to ride for us as he is moving to the US that week to work for Bike Friday in Oregon.

MomOnBike
09-01-2006, 12:48 PM
Oh man, I'd go in a heartbeat if I didn't have responsibilities here.

Reading that article, I wondered if there isn't some smart way to get some cooler air in to the pilots of those machines. What you lose in drag might be made up in engine performance. Even racing cars work on cooling.

But what do I know, I'm not an engineer.

Geonz
09-03-2006, 06:37 PM
Excellent article! (Well, except for not knowing what prone means!!!)

Brecca
09-07-2006, 10:14 AM
Oh man, I'd go in a heartbeat if I didn't have responsibilities here.

Reading that article, I wondered if there isn't some smart way to get some cooler air in to the pilots of those machines. What you lose in drag might be made up in engine performance. Even racing cars work on cooling.

But what do I know, I'm not an engineer.

Cooling the bikes and staying within the realm of human powered only became the big challenge and bain of all the riders. The rules clearly state that EVERYTHING must be human powered with absolutely NO margin for stored energy. Every watt of power had to be generated by the rider in an enclosed environment. That was where everyone ran into problems and became creative. There are plenty of products out there that are battery operated that would provide cooling, but they weren't permitted.

Every bike underwent an inspection that would make a building code inspection look like a picnic. If the rider could generate the wattage necessary to power a cooling system as well as his bike, great. The problems fell into the catagories of added weight and lack of space.

Matt's bike was state of the art on the inside. He's brilliant. Unfortunately the old saying that the more complicated the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain held true and even though he was powering his own cooling system, it failed early on in his run along with his camera system leaving him cooking in the dark with only one small screen to guide him.

We opted for ice..lots and lots of ice and it worked. Yes, it added weight to the bike. We must have used a good 20 pounds of ice piled into the tub and around Rob. We also used a spray mister that the rider could trigger via a pump handle that we mounted near the tiller.Having to construct it all in a hurry lead to some problems, but it was a viable design. The temp inside Varna II stayed comfortable, even though we were trailing water throughout the second run. The problem was that Rob was simply fried from the effort and the heat from his first run.

Freddy kept it simple. He stripped down to his riding shorts, cut a hole in his wind shield to act as a naca duct, got in and peddled. He kept his cadance steady at believe it or not, 60 per minute and got the job done. Which just holds true the motto of: Keep it simple.

So if anyone can come up with some ideas that we can employ into our design, PLEASE share them with us. They are planning to run the Challenge again next year, hopefull in cooler (For Phoenix that means it's only 90 degrees instead of 110) weather.

Brecca

Pedal Wench
09-07-2006, 01:49 PM
could you create a fan that was powered by the wheels, or crank, or freewheel? It could scoop fresh air up from the wheelwell and also remove hot air from the interior. Cool stuff!

Brecca
09-08-2006, 07:28 PM
Completely feasible idea. We thought about that possibility but we were concerned about power loss and didn't have the time to develope the idea into a workable model. Our concern was Robs ability to focus every ounce of power he could produce into wattage needed to propell Varna at it's top speed. Last year at Battle Mountain a WOMAN propelled the speedbike to a breathtaking 66.6 MPH setting a world record for women so we know that the bike has the potential of reaching other world record speeds. Think about that girls. A WOMAN DID IT!!!!! We are looking for potential riders who are willing to go the extra mile to set their own world record. Lisa recently became a mommy so she isn't going to be riding for awhile.

How many watts can you produce? Come on girls, any takers?

Brecca