Tuesday, September 18, 2007

NonConform Weekend

This weekend found me and my son, Erik, and his best buddy, Eric, in Cedar Rapids for an HPV (Human Powered Vehicle) Race. Although I was totally out of my league geekwise - these folks are ingenious - I had a good time and the boys did too.

We arrived late Saturday and Dennis hustled me up and got me in a race before I could say yeah or nay. Unfortunately, the low racer had taken a beating since the Wednesday we learned to ride it and I had scads of tech problems and came in last among the women with several chain drops and high speed runaways into the grass-filled center field of the race track. No wrecks tho.

The next day, however, Dennis and his buddy Rick, who had brought low racers for the boys, had my low racer dialed in a lot better and I only had two chain drops, no grabbing brakes, and a solid steering column, so I was able to crank up the speed a bit. And, I guess that's the coolest thing about these to me. You're down low to the ground with 30 mph easy to attain and boy o boy does it feel fast. Occasionally it sneaks into my mind just how much skin would come off if I were to screw it up, but then I just relax, look where I want to go, and give it a bit more power. After all, speed is your friend. It's momentum keeps the bike up, right? ;)

In other news, my Erik said he figured he actually did have the family competitive spirit since it bugged him so much when people passed him. On Sunday, Mr. High Speed even drafted and was completely annoyed and may have even cussed when he skidded out on a turn and had to chase down folks he had been just about ready to pass.

His buddy, Eric, also did really well considering he learned to ride the bike the night before and was in a race the next afternoon. He also had a crash into the tires and hurt his ankle a bit, but I think he'll be fine. Didn't seem to dim his enthusiasm for the machines.

A huge thanks to the HPV community for letting us newbies come out and play, sharing their gear, and telling us about their vehicles. An even bigger thanks goes out to Dennis and his mom and dad. Dennis for making it possible to participate and perhaps finally getting my boys turned on to the beauty of two-wheeled conveyances, and his mom for the most delicious baked goods... which is why Dennis has to ride bikes so much. If he didn't, I don't see how one would avoid becoming a 500 pounder. Both Dennis's folks are so nice and without them the race wouldn't have been half as fun. Thank you! I'm sure you'll see us non-conforming again.

Prolly won't be the first time this kid has a lead on his ol' mom...


sda said...

cedar rapids used to be a big weekend in june ... street sprints/rr/crit .... and even an omnium at hawkeye downs one year. brings back good memories.

those things look geekey ... i mean fast. good stuff.

oldmanandhisbike said...

Looks like fun.
Nice that you and your son could participate together.
Maybe a Tandem HPV is in your future! :^)

JuneBug said...

Oh my GOSH...My heart was pounding just thinking about going that fast on something new and unfamiliar. Thrill seeker!!!
You are having too much fun on the off season! haha ~ Racing !

I might want to try one out some time. I especially liked that your son was in jeans. VERY cool. probably safer??

Have fun! Stay focused!

Chris said...

What is the top speed on that thing? Looks like it will haul the mail.

Neve_r_est said...

He, he..geeky....you have no idea. www.recumbents.com

Tandem? yea, maybe they can be the test pilots..I hope neither of you get motion sickness....

Junebug: The good news is you don't get much bruising from crashes, the bad news, you slide farther. You know there are a couple of hpv races in your area in July, one at Northbrook velodrome and one at Kenosha velodrome. These events are super mellow(well, at least for the racers anyways)chances are if you ask you can prolly get a test ride on most anything there.