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Victor Ragusila
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
402 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2013 :  10:42:07  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello Everyone

Aerovelo is looking at putting together a team for RAAM (RaceAcrossAMerica) for 2014 or 2015. We are thinking to design a new streamlined trike, or maybe adapting one of the speedbikes. First however, we hope to get a lot more experience about the event from all the great people that raced it before.
A few questions to start the discussion about long distance streamliner racing:

What was the hardest part of the race?
How did you prepare for the race, and was the preparation enough? How did you organize your support crew?
How crazy do you have to be to participate in RAAM?

If anyone has raced or know people from the Lightning or EasyRacer teams (they raced in 1989 and 2004), I would appreciate all the input.

The two teams i know raced streamliners were:
Diet Coke Lightning built by Tim Brummer
Riders
Pete Penseyres, Jim Penseyres, Bobby Fourney, and Michael Coles

Gold Rush Easy Racer built by Gardner Martin
Riders
Michael Shermer, "Fast Freddie" Markham, Greg Miller and Dan Tout

If anyone has their contacts, or can help with any information about racing, organizing support crew, etc, we do appreciate all the help :D

Thank you for your time. My contact is
victor.ragusila at gmail dot com
416 828 0319
We have videos of our helicopter flight and speedbikes at http://www.aerovelo.com/gallery/featured-videos/

warren
human power expert

USA
6424 Posts

Posted - 07/22/2013 :  19:13:11  Show Profile  Visit warren's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi Victor,

Faired RAAM racers had the toughest times with mountains, high wind, and overheating. If you are planning on having them ride the same vehicle all the way across America, the vehicle will have to be very light to allow long and steep climbs, not be susceptible to sidewinds (and getting blown off the road be trucks), have brakes that shed heat well when going down the mountains, and have the ability to get maximum airflow to the rider to keep cool up hills and in high heat conditions. Maybe a super light trike 'liner with two tops. One for mountains and high heat when aero does not matter so much, one for blasting across the plains.

Good luck!

-Warren.

Edited by - warren on 07/22/2013 19:14:20
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Garrie L Hill
human power supergeek

USA
1786 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  04:41:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Victor;
You might talk to Dana Lieberman at Bent Up Cycles for the perspective of organizing AND riding in a team RAAM. Contact info at his website www.bentupcycles.com

Or you might talk to Bill Cook ( former owner/builder of Barcroft recumbents) for perspective on being a driver/gofer on Dana's team. Both of the above guys are genuinely nice folks, and will go out of their way to do anything they can to help you out.

Last, but not least, talk to John Schlitter. He's done RAAM several times on 'bents. You can reach him through his website www.vitebikes.com.

Make certain that you read up on Maria Parker's ( www.cruzbike.com ) RAAM 2013 experience/trials/tribulations.


...and, like you need someone additional to tell you, this is CRAZY!!!!! ;-) There are certainly less expensive, easier ways of getting yourself killed. By way of comparison = falling out of the sky while pedaling is infinitely safer, and 100% more sane than doing RAAM in a streamliner. If, however, you do continue along this path, I'd be happy to do whatever I can to support your effort. Insanity is an acquired taste ;-)

Garrie "carbon based lifeform" Hill
HPRA Co-Dictator of the East
for pics of some of my time and money sucking projects
http://garriehill.winkflash.com/
and
http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g277/cfbb/
and videos
http://vimeo.com/5513519



Edited by - Garrie L Hill on 07/23/2013 10:35:24
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jjackstone
recumbent enthusiast

USA
266 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  07:55:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Garrie L Hill

Victor;
Insanity is an acquired taste ;-)

Garrie "carbon based lifeform" Hill
HPRA Co-Dictator of the East
for pics of some of my time and money sucking projects
http://garriehill.winkflash.com/
and
http://s58.photobucket.com/albums/g277/cfbb/
and videos
http://vimeo.com/5513519






And is often contagious.

JJ
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Upright Mike
human power expert

USA
3860 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  14:34:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Victor,
You all have the brains and the will-power to succeed, but I foresee the physical training of your riders as perhaps the biggest obstacle.

Anyone who has taken undertaken RAAM, I believe are rather serious high-mileage cyclists training several hundred kilometers a week. Who will be riding on your team? What is your team rider's training plan? Would you enter the 2-person, 4-person, or 8-person team category?
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Larry Lem
human power expert

South Sandwich Islands
2538 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  15:00:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
One of the first things to do is to clarify the rules. They are not very well written. They are written with a bias against non-standard bikes.
--------------

HPV – Human Powered Vehicle. A non-upright bicycle – typically a faired recumbent.

Bike Type Categories are as follows:
• Upright Single
• Tandem
• Recumbents
• Human Powered Vehicles (HPV)(includes faired recumbents)

All members of a Team must ride the same bike type; no mixing bike types. RAAM has no fixed gear division. Fixed gear competitors must race in the appropriate Solo or Team divisions.

---------------
This implies that one cannot ride a lightweight upright bike on the climbs and a streamliner on the flats. Weak.


Larry Lem
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Victor Ragusila
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
402 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  15:02:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hey Mike

We are still learning lots about RAAM, and while we are pretty committed to compete, nothing is yet set in stone. We are definitely looking at 4 or 8 people, and also looking into the possibility of getting all riders to be experienced RAAM / pro riders.
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Joel DIckman
recumbent enthusiast

USA
157 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  19:22:35  Show Profile  Visit Joel DIckman's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hello Victor,

The Lightning riders you named won the race in 1989. Another group of Lightning riders did it again in 2004: Jim Kern, Tim Woudenberg, Bob Fourney, and world speed record holder Sam Whittingham. I am not sure, but think that unfaired Lightning R84 bikes may have been used in the steepest climbs, with the faired bikes being used at all other times. There is a good article by Chris Kostman about the 1989 RAAM competition between Team Lightning and the Easy Racers team. You can find the article on the Lightning website.

Good luck, and safe riding,
Joel Dickman
http://lightningriders.com

These three prevent most accidents: seeing, being seen, & common sense.

Edited by - Joel DIckman on 07/29/2013 13:28:23
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Speedbiker
human power expert

USA
3835 Posts

Posted - 07/23/2013 :  19:24:38  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Richard Myers and myself discussed just such a liner recently. Years ago we discussed the design for a good liner for ultras. He built the Chiquita and proved it's design at Calvin's. Since then we have taken what he learned and come up with a new design. Lower, longer, more gears, and much lighter. Picture the offspring of Richard's Mody and an F-40. Removeable sock for heat and crosswind control. Lwb for high speed stabilily and simplicity of drivetrain. Pivoting steering and front wheel ahead of cranks for easy entry/exit. I have the whole design sorted oit, but it isn't like you guys need design help :)
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speedshaper
New Member

USA
81 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2013 :  16:44:49  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Logistics and planning!!! It crucial to know the course (Have your drivers and riders drive it before the race). GPS will help immensely, if allowed on-board. Radio communication with the rider would be necessary. The previously mentioned 1989 race was won in a large part by familiarity with the course. A wrong turn, especially on descents, has to be made up by turning around and riding back to where you know you weren't lost. Having a fast 'bent go the wrong way eats up huge time. Good navigation, communications are critical. Brummer's genius was in using the Penseyres and others who had experience in that type of racing.
All the Best in your adventure!
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Jeff Wills
human power supergeek

USA
1272 Posts

Posted - 07/24/2013 :  18:25:16  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by speedshaper

Logistics and planning!!! It crucial to know the course (Have your drivers and riders drive it before the race). GPS will help immensely, if allowed on-board. Radio communication with the rider would be necessary. The previously mentioned 1989 race was won in a large part by familiarity with the course. A wrong turn, especially on descents, has to be made up by turning around and riding back to where you know you weren't lost. Having a fast 'bent go the wrong way eats up huge time. Good navigation, communications are critical. Brummer's genius was in using the Penseyres and others who had experience in that type of racing.
All the Best in your adventure!



Darn, beat me to it.

Yes, logistics is a huge part of just making it to the finish line. Read up on the successful RAAM teams- they're organized down to the minute with riders, chase vehicles, communications, feeding, contingencies, etc. etc. The teams that aren't organized sometimes self-destruct.

A couple of the OHPV folks were crew for Race Across Oregon riders last weekend. Lonnie and Edna were out there posting photos from their support vans. Also, Keith Kohan has supported RAAM as an observer (I think) and supported his son Alex in the Furnace Creek 508: http://ohpv.org/events/albums/alex508-2008/

I'll also put in a recommendation for Robert Johnson, who works for Terracycle. He's been crew chief for several RAO teams and individuals, and is known to be meticulously organized.

__________________
Jeff Wills
All my bikes:
http://home.comcast.net/~jeff_wills/Gallery/index.html
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alevand
human power expert

USA
3434 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2013 :  07:08:13  Show Profile  Visit alevand's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Do the rules allow fans inside, either battery, or better, solar powered? Even with ventilation holes going uphill in the sun with a tail wind results in high temperatures and humidities inside with no air moment. My thermometer reads over 100F sometimes with no top on, just unbearable. The fan would reduce the possibility of heat exhaustion. Stopping for traffic lights is also a cooker.

Communication is important. I think a head seat would be good to have either FRS or better, ham radio. When I rode up to Door county last week I was thinking that a two way video screen would be a great thing to have. I suppose it's possible nowadays with the smart phone technology.

A low profile is good for side winds, but limits view of pot holes and debree, as we saw a few years ago the high racers were faster than the Nocoms, mainly due to crashes. For a trike , though the lower cg would be better.

If you keep the trike with fairing weight under 40 lbs, then you only have a 20 lb disadvantage climbing.

Mistakes happen when people are tired. GPS navigation can give turn by turn ques, relayed to the rider via the head set, Like rally car driver, there is a navigator in the passenger seat.

C:
Tony Levand

Edited by - alevand on 07/25/2013 07:36:13
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sean costin
human power expert

Lesotho
2005 Posts

Posted - 07/25/2013 :  20:07:03  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I never ride long distances, so you can devalue my thoughts if you like.

The most practical all around HPV for something like this I have ever seen is the Razz-Fazz with tailfairing. Great visibility of the road. Ratio of speed to weight is also the best. I recall Dennis Ahrens had his down to 16.5 lbs for the World Championships in Brighton shown in this picture.

https://encrypted-tbn2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcT7jKWgL6kE7jpb1UDzuGGKOZWHFaAZV-REgDTH4XLX6Oh9cpRE


I think you guys could design a removable front fairing that could boost speeds when conditions permit. I was thinking of kite design where the wind inflates the structure. This would also provide better internal cooling of the interior

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Victor Ragusila
recumbent enthusiast

Canada
402 Posts

Posted - 07/29/2013 :  09:59:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hello everyone and thank you for all the good ideas!

We had a busy week of brainstorming ideas for the vehicles and the race logistics. Here are our general findings:

Vehicles will be trikes. Not only they are stable, but they are more practical as fully faired vehicles.
We are considering the tadpole design with fully enclosed wheels (similar to our Celero ASME vehicle) and a leaning delta design with wheels in exterior pods. We will use the ASME race to further test the ideas, since our RAAM vehicle will have to be second generation anyway, so we can iron out as many bugs as possible.

For the race logistics, since we will try to complete the race in under 5 days, we have almost no posibility for support vehicles to stop. That means no camping.
With that in mind we are trying to figure out whether a RV with 2 chase vehicles (which seems to be what everyone uses) would be better or worse than a team of four identical vans. Each would have 2 sleep bunks, one for their rider, and one for one of the crew. This would mean each rider has their own support car, so the system is more flexible, and if there are any breakdowns the whole convoy is not stopped.

anyway, we are still in the early stages of planning, so please keep the ideas flowing :D

Victor
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