Aerovelo, combining flight with velocipede (bicycle) propulsion provides plenty of exercise for its members on the high ground of Nevada and within the confines of Canadian gymnasiums.
Between September 9 and 14 at Battle Mountain, Nevada this year, one of Aerovelo’s little airfoil shaped recumbent bicycles hit 77.68 mph, requiring a steady hand on the controls as well as incredibly strong quadriceps. As seen in the video at about 30 seconds, the Aerovelo team became a victim of the divergent directional stability common to these short-coupled vehicles. Bluenose parted company with the highway when nearing 100 km/hr (62 mph). Despite the horrendous tumble, rider Todd Reichert was unhurt and damage to the bike was mainly aesthetic. Todd went on to push Bluenose to a personal best speed, and made the University of Toronto group the second fastest human-powered team in history.
Not content to set terrestrial records, the team spent September 23 and 24 with their Sikorsky Prize-winning human-powered helicopter, establishing new men’s and woman’s world endurance records, and creating 12 new HPH pilots.
Alexis Reichert set a women’s world endurance record of 53 seconds, easily besting the previous record of 11.4 seconds.
Trefor Evans didn’t have the satisfaction of crushing the previous men’s record, but did manage a satisfying 86 seconds, 12 seconds better than the previous best. He could have done more, but the spools of wire that motivate the rotors were running out.
Aerovelo noted that there were more people who have walked on the moon than had flown a human-powered helicopter – until this September. Aerovelo let any team member try his or her hands and legs at having an uplifting experience. Twelve joined the elite fraternity of those who at least blew the dust from the floor.
From left to right: (Top) Alex Selwa, Alan Pettit, Calvin Moes, Trefor Evans, Linda Elphick, Wintta Ghebreiyesus, Julian Coelho, Marc Jutras, Cameron Robertson, Davy Evans, Mike Campbell, (bottom) Aakash Goel, Victor Ragusila, Todd Reichert, Simon Li, Prof. Jun Nogami, Marc Poland.
Who knows what the brilliant and hardy folks at Aerovelo will manage next?