Meanwhile, Back At The Ranch……….

Spring is the busy season for student design teams. So busy, in fact, that as many as three teams may be on the road at the same time. Concrete Canoe, Steel Bridge, and Human Powered Vehicle are now back at class and catching up on laundry, and the newly-validated Advanced Aero Vehicle Group leaves tomorrow for the SAE Aero fly-offs near Ft. Worth, TX.
During all this mayhem a special group, the Human Powered Speed Challenge, is quietly working away, designing, evaluating and testing for a September race that will be nearly devoid of spectators. This project is open to the public and is not sponsored by any industry association. It is run, instead, by a dedicated group of individuals who like to push the limits of pedal-powered speed.
Many of us recall Jerrod Bouchard’s heroic attempt to break the collegiate record back in 2007. Battling winter-like racing conditions in the high Nevada desert he came painfully close to that 61 mph mark, and in September a renewed S&T group wants to pick up Jerrod’s ensign and bring the record back where it belongs. In the S&T trophy case.
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Whittney Metcalf, S&T’s premier female rider, will pair up with David Long to see if the Miners can’t pull off a double record. StreaMiner veteran Andrew Sourk will again be responsible for the blueprints, and he and David will build Miner Details in what we HOPE is the last summer in the sweltering Design Center.
Whittney and David will take turns on Miner Details, and that means it must be the right fit for both. They have already measured each rider’s pedaling path to see how the outer shell must be configured. Fortunately their toe and heel motion, as recorded by the blue and red LEDs respectively, shows nearly identical techniques. More to follow.