Human Power Vehicle Races 2011 Michigan Rally
photos and story by John Heiam

Saturday I drove down to Waterford, which is north of Detroit [ed: Michigan, USA], to see and photograph the human powered vehicle races.

I don't go to see the races so much, but to check out the bikes. This is a very low key event. As you will see from my photos there are a few teenagers racing and a bunch of overweight senior citizens.

You cannot find a more supportive group - everyone is there just for the fun of it. There were a few really interesting bikes. There was the commercially produced trike with a full fairing, lights, etc. Then there was the total carbon fiber recumbent tandem where the riders sit back to back. The front person drives the front wheel via a front wheel drive setup, and the back person drives the back wheel through a rear wheel drive.

However, I thought the most innovative was the lowrider trike driven through the front wheel. The two back wheels were only about 18" apart and they leaned so you could lean the trike through the corners. In the road race that trike lapped all the others! Given that it was only a seven lap race and each lap was about a mile long, that was quite a feat. There were even some bikes there that had been made as a joke - you will recognize it immediately from the photo.


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