Human Powered Vehicle Association Announces Top Prize for Human Powered Hour Record.
$25,000 Will Go To Single Rider Breaking Sam Whittingham's
Current Record and Reaching 55.924 mph (90 km) in one hour
Challenging the most engineering-savvy and physically fit bicycle racing teams in the world, the Human Powered Vehicle Association Wednesday announced a $25,000 Dempsey-MacCready Hour Prize for the first single-rider, human powered land vehicle to equal or exceed 90 kilometers in one hour (55.924 mph).
If no human powered vehicle (HPV) reaches the winning distance during the time frame, the prize will be awarded to the fastest vehicle.
The hour record is the most famous in bicycle racing, and has been broken 40 times since 1876. Sam Whittingham holds the current record of 79.136 kilometers in one hour. Attempting to break the record, single cyclists race against the clock on smooth indoor tracks, trying to cover the greatest distance in one hour. Standard racing bicycles have gone 56 km (35 miles) in one hour; however, completely streamlined human powered vehicles are much faster and have covered nearly 80 km (49 miles) in the hour. The Dempsey/MacCready prize is open to any type of HPV as long as a single rider propels it and there is no aid from stored energy of any kind.
"The Dempsey-MacCready Prize was created to inspire innovation in human powered vehicles and to promote ultra-light, low energy consumption, high-speed human powered transportation," said Chester Kyle, co-founder of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. "It will probably take a combination of a national-caliber racing cyclist, riding a world-class Human Powered Vehicle along with an excellent course and ideal conditions to claim the Dempsey-MacCready Prize."
Sponsored by Dempsey's World Record Associates of Santa Ana, the contest will run for a five-year period until May 14, 2004. The contest is administered through the Human Powered Vehicle Association (HPVA) under regulations created by that association and will also offer smaller supplemental awards of $2,000 to any competitor who breaks the currently recognized record by at least three percent, at any time during the period of the prize. The contest requires membership in the Human Powered Vehicle Association, an easy process with a minimal fee.
Ed Dempsey, chief executive officer, Dempsey's World Record Associates, and Paul MacCready, winner of the first Kremer Prizes for human powered flight, founded the award. Dempsey, like MacCready, is fascinated by technology innovation and like to support events that push the envelope. Dempsey has designed and built a streamlined, battery-powered electric racer that has a national speed record of 239.533 mph at Bonneville.
The Human Powered Vehicle Association (HPVA) is a non-profit, all-volunteer organization, dedicated to promoting improvement, innovation and creativity in the design and development of human-powered transportation.
Human Powered Vehicles
HPV's come in a wild variety of forms. The fastest are completely enclosed by a streamlined shell resembling the fuselage of a jet aircraft. By nearly eliminating wind resistance, these machines can reach freeway speeds on pedal power alone. They can have any number of wheels (bicycle, tricycle, quadracycle, etc.); however, for the Dempsey Prize, a single rider must power them. The rider can be in any cycling position: recumbent (easy chair posture), prone (on the stomach), or in standard cycling position. Sam Whittingham's current HPV hour record was set on a Canadian automobile test track with a completely streamlined recumbent bicycle.