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Proposed changes to WHPVA rules

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gNick View Drop Down
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    Posted: 12 September 2017 at 2:19pm
Peoples,

As some will be aware, there has been a certain amount of discussion in some quarters about the allowance of a certain amount of gravity assistance on record courses, particularly the flying 200m. The allowed gradient is 0.66% or 1 in 150. Whilst this is a minimal slope for mere mortals, when travelling at 80mph that slope effectively is a 200W advantage.
So to get a solely human powered record a change of the rules has been proposed and will be voted on at the end of this month by the Board of Representatives in the WHPVA.
As the WHPVA Chairman, the BHPC representative and a member of the Record Committee, I am officially taking an neutral stance in this. The rule change would give records that are more reflective of the rider and vehicle than those set in more 'favourable' geography but they will of course be lower

The proposal is below, please read and comment. Try to keep to the proposed rule change on this topic, I am happy to field any comments about the WHPVA but I do need to represent the opinion of the BHPC membership on this specific proposal. The current rules are here: http://www.whpva.org/WHPVA_COMP_RULE_04-17.pdf

Cheers
gNick

Rule 3.3.1:
...
<new part>
Course Flatness and Straightness: Except for the road race events, and
time trial events one hour and over involving multiple laps, all courses
must be sufficiently flat to give no speed advantage compared to the
otherwise same situation on a hypothetical course with constant
elevation. This is the case when all points of a timed course or section
have an elevation which is equal to or higher than that of its start,
and for events with flying starts having unlimited and untimed run-up
sections, all points thereof have an elevation which is equal to or
lower than that of its finish, which is also the start of the timed
section. See Appendix C for explanations.
</new part>
...

<new>
Appendix C

WHPVA Land Vehicle Environmental Explanations

Gravity:

Rule 3.3.1 implies that the potential energy of a vehicle and rider(s)
(total weight x elevation) at the start of a course may vary along the
course but not be of a lower value at the finish. Timed sections may
contain a positive variation of potential energy (hills) and run-up
sections may contain negative variations (valleys), of any magnitude,
but not vice-versa. This is because such variations represent no
advantage compared to a perfect course of equal elevation. See the WHPVA
website for more information.


Determining Elevations:

The relative elevations of the starts and finishes of course sections
should be determined as accurately as possible, the error given and
applied in the disadvantageous direction. Except when it is clear to all
observers, for instance by sighting along short straight-line courses,
and affirmed by them that there are no valleys in timed sections or
hills in run-up sections, an elevation profile should be drawn in order
to show that the required conditions are met, again with measurement
errors given and applied in the disadvantageous direction. The
resolution and accuracy of the profile need not be greater than
necessary to show the fulfilment of the requirements.
</new>
gNick



"I'm afraid it's definite, Mrs Banker - your son has bicycles"
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atlas_shrugged View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote atlas_shrugged Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2017 at 8:25pm
Apply the rule: first do no harm.
 
If it turns out that applying this rule kills off all practical courses then this rule would be too harmful. It is up to the folks proposing this rule to demonstrate that there will still be courses available and will not kill off speed runs or existing events.
 
I am also not convinced that start and finish at the same elevation is sufficient to remove the speed advantage of a sloping course. If the valley is very asymmetrical with a hill up at the finish then most of the distance is covered at increasing velocity just as before.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legs_larry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 September 2017 at 10:08pm
A cynic might think that this is mostly a reaction to the Battle Mountain event being run by Them, and while it's true that the Battle Mountain course fits the current IHPVA rules to a "T", the rules were there long before Matt Weaver found the road.  The big number is the one that people remember and if the Lander County proposal for a dedicated facility with an eight or ten mile straight road gets green-lit the biggest numbers are going to continue to come from Nevada.

Plus there's already a h < 700m record category which no-one cares about; Sam Whittingham's had that one since 1999.
====================

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2017 at 7:37am
I think these show what kind of assistance a none flat course can provide Quoting Mr L; "Yasmin unable to get out of first gear and spun out after 200 m - she coasted the rest of the way and still clocked 42 mph though her freewheeling distance was some way short of that achieved by my man Jan-Marcel van Dijken last year."

In my mind I can visualise what the thinking is, but another way to look at is why not do timed runs in 2 directions, as per most (all?) speed records, I appreciate logistics of timing kit etc and increasing the time available to undertake the runs though.

I support the change if only to distil the record to as near human powered only as possible, and be that a different location, well so what?
Ian, racing again No 6.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheoS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2017 at 10:10am
Hello old and new friends. As the main supporter of this proposal I have registered here. My first introduction to HPVs was through Simon Sanderson at the Aspro Speed Event in Brighton (I was living in Britain then), and we have come a long way since then.

The intention is exactly the opposite you fear, atlas_shrugged. Presently all new 200m records were done at the Battle Mountain site and there seem to be few other sites worldwide which can exploit the "gravity-doping" of the present IHPVA/WHPVA rules so well. We wish to have as many practical courses available as possible. After many many hours of thinking, calculating and discussing, the WHPVA record and rules committee has formed the opinion that the new rule can potentially offer this, because in some ways the new rule is actually more relaxed. 200m records on long round circuits become competitive, for example. The 5.8 km long Dekra Oval in Lausitz, Germany, comes to mind. It is smooth but with varying elevation, but by centering the 200m timed section around the highest point, the rules are fulfilled and the radius of the two curves is 160m, big enough that HPVs need not use the raised banks.

The key points are that a hill in a timed section gives no advantage, whereas a valley in a timed section can. This is easy to show plausibly, also using simulation software. With an untimed, unlimited run-up it is the opposite. You could take your time leisurely climbing a hill and then zooming down it towards the timed section. It is less plausible that a valley of en unlimited run-up gives no advantage, but thinking carefully or simulations can show this.
For more info see http://www.whpva.org/SlopeRuleChanges2017.pdf - http://www.whpva.org/BackgroundSlopeRuleChanges2017.pdf

Cheers,
Theo Schmidt, WHPVA rep. Future Bike Switzerland, member WHPVA RRC
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheoS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 September 2017 at 10:28am
Originally posted by legs_larry legs_larry wrote:

A cynic might think that this is mostly a reaction to the Battle Mountain event being run by Them, ...
...
Plus there's already a h < 700m record category which no-one cares about; Sam Whittingham's had that one since 1999.


No need to be cycnic! You are quite right, but it goes back further. This issue was already being discussed many years ago in the IHPVA but nothing ever came of it, because people prefer speed and thrills to science and ecology and of course the holders of the then existing record holders were opposed. However Europeans including Britain and also Australia were very much in favour of introducing a "pure human power" category allowing courses in most countries, and this, amoung other things, led to the reorganisation of the IHPVA into what is no two organisations. Richard Ballantine was a strong supporter of this position but didn't succeed.

No doubt people will continue to go to Battle Mountain for the fun of it, and we will simply have an additional, slower, category for the more scientifically and green-minded.

Yes, we also need to think about what to do with the unloved 200m timed sections with limited 500, 600, or 1000m run-ups. So far you are the first to even notice!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheoS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2017 at 9:08am
In the meantime WHPVA members are voting on the rule change, but without the appendix, which is thought to be unneccessary. So far Future Bike Switzerland and HPV.org Germany have voted yes and Propulsione Umana, Italy has voted no. In his reasoning for rejection Giovanni Eupani included something the rest of us had not thought about: the safety of the course with regard to width and alongside "furniture". At Future Bike we once held a speed event on a 2 m wide cycle path, but speeds were much lower then. Now most roads are over 5 m wide but have verges, ditches, shrubs or even trees and other things alongside. Giovanni says the road at Battle Mountain is safer, even though speeds are over 20 km/h faster. I would maintain that the extra driving and air pollution getting there would statistically outweigh any safety advantage, but Giovanni says that the organisers of an event will be held responsible for any injuries, whereas any damages incurred or caused getting to the event does not count. 

I have witnessed several high speed HPV-crashes and in each case it was the rider of a faired vehicle losing control and falling on its side, and sliding for a long way on its side in exactly the previous direction of motion, with little injury. But it is possible that during losing control, the wheels could push the vehicle in a sideways direction off the road. I would like to ask those here who have witnessed crashes: Does this happen? And to those you have been to Battle Mountain events with the very high speeds: Have such crashed vehicles remained on the road or did they slide onto the sand, which is presumably Giovanni's safety feature?

Best, Theo
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yanto Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2017 at 9:20am
Thanks for the update.

Giovanni does have a valid point regarding the width and road furniture, however from what i've seen and read, BM also has road furniture that is shielded by straw bales, whether hitting a straw bale is better than a road sign/post may be a moot point, those that have 1st hand experience are obviously far better to comment.

Regarding crashes there are examples at BM (videos and stills) that show tumbling of vehicles off road happens, not just sliding.



Edited by Yanto - 12 October 2017 at 9:21am
Ian, racing again No 6.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TheoS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2017 at 10:19am
Thanks, Ian. Super sequence, showing the HPV (this September!) falling over on the road, turning, sliding on the road and eventually off it into the sand or gravel. I guess as roads are banked for drainage, this is bound to happen. So the width doesn't seem to be the problem, but the topography on the sides of the road, and any obstacles. Swiss roads generally have smooth low barriers if there is any danger. These are counterproductive for upright cyclists who just fall over them, but might be perfect for sliding HPVs.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote legs_larry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12 October 2017 at 5:35pm
Theo,

Nearly all the crashes I can recall from Battle Mountain have resulted in the machine eventually ending up off the road and in the brush, which slows the bikes down very nicely. Ian has linked to Eric Satterlee's photos of one of Isaac Chung's crashes; apparently the one he performed the following day was even more spectacular, and killed the bike.  Isaac undamaged, at least until his Mum finds out what he's been up to.

All the formerly-steel roadside marker posts have been replaced with bendy plastic ones and the few remaining items of road furniture and drainage culverts are padded with some three tonnes of straw bales.  Although we found a bunch of culverts this year which even the locals didn't know were there.

There is a bridge over the (usually dry in September) Reese River in the slowing-down part of the course, which has double-height Armco barriers. The barriers don't extended all the way down to the road surface, though, so to prevent streamliners from getting into the gap wooden boards are zip-tied to the barriers to close it. These proved their worth when Phil Plath stacked the Glowworm tandem a few years back - there's a video of it out there somewhere shot from the University of Toronto's chase car.

Injuries are rare.  This year Shinsuke Kouzai got a bloody nose after being ejected from the bike; the team fitted seat belts after that.  Damjan Zabovnik got concussion after decking an early, and comparatively flimsy, iteration of Eivie.  And Hans Wessels got some spectacular road-rash when the Whitehawk's screen shattered on impact, his legs came out of the bike and "the desert came in".
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