WHPSC 2003 Pictures by Mike Mowett
WHPSC 2003 Pictures and Storyline by Mike Mowett
OK, so by now, you’ve all seen the bikes. What happened behind the scenes?! The following may not show many bikes, but it was all a part of this great event!
These were collected from Wednesday night, till Saturday morning.
Wednesday
A frequent scene shuffling volunteers back and forth between the catch area, start area and finish area. Carol Leone driving. Her car was the only one with the flashing blinker light because she was the boss! Also the back of her station wagon was filled with supplies and other stuff.
Jason Erickson, recently graduated from the University Nevada-Reno stands by guarding the pressure sensitive tapes at the very start of the timing trap. Chase vehicles and other traffic had to be ushered over to the right lane to avoid hitting the tape. Jason camped out the first few nights in Battle Mountain.  
Once again, the timing equipment is set-up for the Wednesday night runs. Each night, we hid some of the signs back in the brush, far off the highway. Its hard to believe that from Jason above to the Timing Area 200 meters distance, the bikes would cover that distance in about 5.5 to 9 seconds. 
Team Eivie and friends refuel on Wednesday night. Damjan, with arms behind head, is at left. Matjaz, a national class cyclist and PhD in Physics is at right in the green sweat suit. We closed the El Real Mexican Restaurant down twice – the staff was very friendly, staying open late for us. We were out till about 9:30 to 10 pm each night after the evening races and nightly meeting at the Civic Center. 
Sitting are Carol and George Leone, the co-organizers of this year’s event. Standing is George Georgiev, builder of the Varna Diablo. Everyone was happy that the event was off to a successful start. 
Thursday
In a good show of camaraderie, some of Carol’s students from Cal Poly, Nathan Saichek and Paul Vanzin help Jason Erickson of University-Nevada Reno ready his bike during the Thursday morning practice session. Both UN-Reno and Cal-Poly compete in the annual ASME, American Society of Engineers HPV competition held on the West Coast.
Orin and his girlfriend. Orin built his own frame and put two 700 cc wheels on his Varna body streamliner, a bit larger that the original wheels.  
Carol checks with Timing about 2 miles down the road, before Damjan gets launched for a practice run.
The four person Eivie team from Slovenia. Holding up the bike at the rear is Arnie, a National Geographic photographer from Slovenia. He said remember, my name is Arnie, like Arnold Schwarzenegger. Apparently Arnie is a bit of tough guy too having been in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Baghdad recently. He told us tales of being robbed in some of these places. His job is hard as well, since he might spend up to eight months a year away from home.  
Arnie once again steadies the Eivie bike while Damjan exits. The big truck that they rented upon landing in the States is visible in the background. According to Arnie, they had trouble finding a truck big enough to carry around all their materials.
The local Basque club performs.  This was part of a traditional dance.  Those are sticks that they are tapping together.  The performers were about 8 to 10 years old.  Northern Nevada maintains a rich Spanish heritage.  In fact, the Reno Gazette ran a cover story on Northern Nevada’s Spanish heritage during this race week.
Later they grabbed people from the crowd. The young girls, picked on Macky Martin especially, dragging him out to the dance floor! Maybe it was because he asked them for not just one, but all three desert plates, when they were the hostesses. Macky’s a growing boy you know, and also the fastest “kid” in the world.
Sam and Damjan share a moment at Thursday night’s Basque dinner.  Matjaz talks with George Georgiev across the table.  Arnie looks on.
George and Carol at the Basque dinner with Paul Gracey.
Friday
Dave Kennedy, volunteer, and past IHPVA president, 1996 Olympic team bike consultant.  Dave recently moved to Reno, NV with his wife Linda, and now sports a cowboy hat – a necessity in the hot dry sun.  
Though hard to see, quite a few vehicles went off course, through the gravel on this portion of the infield.  The Road Race was quite eventful!  Steve Delaire won an award for furthest off-road distance.  With all the streamliner crashes, Matt Weaver won this event on an unfaired recumbent
Might be hard to see, but there was at least a half dozen tracks in the gravel off to this side of the road.  This was the last outside turn before the main strip in front of the “stands”.
The start area Friday night.  Smart thinking – everyone huddled on the shady side of their vehicles.  This is where they warmed up as well.  That’s me taking the photo – well, the shadow at the bottom.  
Determined to set a record, Damjan warms up on the Eivie bike in the start-area Friday night. 
Sam warms up as usual with his Optima Baron recumbent.  Both Sam and Fred “cooled down” after their runs by climbing atop the pick-up and pedaling the Baron which was hitched in its bed.  That’s a neat idea.
That’s Fast Freddy Markham’s Ford Mustang parked at the back of the Start Area.  Notice the cowgate at right.  Apparently, a cow won’t walk across this gate with roughly 4” wide trenches.  Leaving and entering Battle Mountain, you cross these gates laid across the highway.  Fast Fred’s car battery went dead, and Jim Peterson was nice enough to drive all the way to the next town, Winnemucca, 54 miles away to get a new one for him. 
 Fast Freddy meditates for a moment on the highway before going off.  The night before he set a lifetime single rider best of 66 mph.  Both Easy Racers team members, Fred and Macky Martin got personal bests Thursday.  Fred raced the Varna Mephisto in the foreground. According to Andrea, it was only his fifth time or so in the bike and he was happy to beat her 64 mph world record set in it!
Kim, Andrea and Sam check over the Diablo II’s tires before each run.  The front tire is a regular $12 Panaracer.  It had only a slight imperfection that the team noted as usual.  This is one day before the big tire blow-out Sam suffered at nearly 82 mph!  
Andrea driving.  A view few people will ever get to see - going down a freeway at 60 MPH and having a bicycle ahead of you!  Notice that the speedo reads 100, but that’s100 kph (about 62 mph) since this truck was bought in Canada.
Andrea shifts and gives it some more gas as the speedo gets up to 120 kph (that’s about 75 mph).  Sam went 78+ on this run Friday night.  Those splotches on the windshield are bugs.  Kim filmed part of this run.
Kim and Barney carry the Varna Diablo top back to the pickup.  
A high-level get together.  The two world’s fastest men (Sam and Matt) and the world’s fastest women (Andrea) look over Sam’s SRAM data output on Shar Peterson’s computer after the Friday night runs at the Battle Mountain Chamber of Commerce.  Note the horses on the wall and the Battle Mountain 2003 poster on the file cabinet. 
Reflective vests were standard issue for all the catchers, start people, timers, etc.  Thom Ollinger, with the baseball cap on, is just thrilled about his run.
Interesting name given to University of Nevada-Reno’s streamliner.  Past team member Jason Erickson trucked this streamliner, now over two years old out to this year’s event.  Several new team members came out during the week to watch, race and learn for next year.
Saturday
Coffee and breakfast Saturday morning at the Comfort Inn.  Both Dr. John Weaver and Matt (seated by tree) gave an impromptu lecture about nutrition and sports medicine that was well received.  Dave “Legs Larry” Larrington and Johnathan Woolrich share a conversation with Dave Kennedy and Ray from California at the other table.  
It was truly great to talk with everyone. In the white shirt is Nathan from Cal-Poly, that's Chris Bechtel in the black shirt standing at the juice machine, and the person sitting in a black shirt is Tom Amick from Cal Poly. Standing in blue is another team member from Cal Poly, Fast Freddy is in the background.
Jeff Bales and his Lunatic Fringe speedbike.  Jeff should win an award for the best documentation of his design and building - over 40 pages on the web with color photos! 
Joe Kochanowski’s other bike, beside his Varna bodied streamliner.  Joe could win an award for the most high-tech glasses as well.  Sorry no close-up of the glasses though they were on the dash of his truck here!
Gabe DeVault from Easy Racers let everyone ride his trike out in the parking lot.  That’s Barney Bauer who the last two years has driven the more than 4,000 mile round trip from Detroit to Battle Mountain.  Barney’s a seatbelt engineer who volunteered much of his time as a catcher.

Conclusions:

The most impressive part of the weekend was hearing that Damjan had achieved a new European Record on Saturday.  To think of all the history of cycling in Europe, and then know that Damjan is the fastest of them all, that is fantastic.  To have met Gardner Martin and Freddy Markham, again after so many years was special.  I grew up reading about the Easy Racers team accomplishments, writing about their achievements and HPVs in countless school reports.  To have met Sam and Matt for really the first time, the last time we saw each other, it was probably 1991, that was significant.  All of these people have done so much for advancing HPVs.  I side with the riders who thought that going that fast was unsafe.  I had a difficult enough time navigating Gardner’s mirror bike around the motel parking and know how it feels to pilot an unfamiliar bike at speed, having built two for the ASME HPV competitions.  However, speed and danger aside, it was great to see four new members of the 60 mph go by – Matjaz, Thom, Joe, and Damjan.  I think if I hadn’t waved at Fast Fred going by just before the traps -he had a bobble right after that, he might have had a legal 70 mph run!  I can’t wait till next year!

Back to WHPSC2003 results