World Human-Powered Speed Challenge: Day 2 video

Click above button to play video | produced by Tom Shipley

Bringing StreaMiner in for a Landing

Race officials look like they are trying to land planes on an aircraft hanger, which is similar to grabbing bikes that have just been going from 60 to 80 mph.

A scratched-up StreaMiner cruises in for a landing, safe in the hands of fellow speed enthusiasts.<a href="" onclick="‘
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Volunteers act like a safety net to grab (and run with) the bikes as they slow to a stop, and prevent the two-wheeled jewels from falling over. It gets particularly dicey when bikes come in just seconds apart, because as exhausted riders are being extracted from their mounts other machines are easing to a stop.

High Drama in the High Desert

Day three of human powered vehicle racing was pretty. Pretty blustery, and very nearly disasterous for StreaMiner. The UMR team designed a vehicle that slips through the air, but its flat sides make it difficult to control in strong cross winds.

After a perfect start StreaMiner streaked down the course, and even began to pull away from the chase vehicle as Jerrod approached the 50 mph speed mark. A sudden blast of wind nearly toppled the bike but he recovered nicely; moments later a bigger gust instantly flipped StreaMiner on its side and sent it careening down the highway like a spinning top. The chase crew immediately pounced on the bike to clear it from the road and check on Jerrod’s (and the bike’s) condition. Remarkably both were fine despite a nearly 250-ft slide down the asphalt. Not a scratch on Jerrod and only gouges and paint damage to StreaMiner, but with only one run per day it looked like the day (and maybe the event) was over for UMR. The guys gathered their wits, loaded it back in the truck and as soon as the road reopened headed back to the start where one remaining time slot was still available. In recognition of UMR’s dedication and potential race officials agreed to a rare second run for StreaMiner and Jerrod was back in business. Though a little winded from his rocky first run, he took off with a vengence and blazed to 59.26 mph as darkness fell, just short of the existing record.

It looks like the team is now poised for an all-out attack on the title, though warnings of winter-like weather tomorrow are being heard.
Stay tuned and hang on for a real rough ride!

Oh, Yeah, One More Crew Member

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention Jerrod’s biggest supporter, counselor, and part-time crew member, his mother Marcie. Marcie and her husband Robert have been been at the race site to offer support, and while we are sure Jerrod will be a little embarassed we thought we’d share this tender moment anyway.

Racing–With a Little Help From Your Friend, Who Just Happens To Be The World Record Holder

With the desert sun beginning to dip behind the Nevada mountains, Jerrod warms up and psyches up for UMR’s first-ever attack on Nevada Route 305 and the collegiate speed record, while Craig and Matt make last-minute checks on StreaMiner.

StreaMiner finally hit the speed run and blazed down the course at 54.9 miles per hour, nearly 7mph faster than the second-place college team.

A day after a thrown chain aborted UMR’s first record attempt the crew finally got it together, but not without another equipment scare. Just before their first scheduled run one tire blew and the other’s valve failed. The guys had extra tires, but back at the hotel, miles away. Turning to the other riders lined up behind them, world record holder (81.5mph) Sam Wittingham came through with spares, and in a wild rush they yanked out the chassis and in under 10 minutes had both tires repaired, Jerrod jammed back in the bike, and pushed off with a support vehicle trailing behind.
StreaMiner’s first-ever full length run took place just seconds before the end of the first heat. Worries about windshield condensation and sufficient air in the cramped enclosure proved unfounded, and Craig, Matt, Jerrod and Andrew feel confident that the speed record is well within their reach over the next evenings.

The Pit Crew Sets Up Shop in a Motel

Where do you keep a highly-prized vehicle that you spent months building? In your hotel room, of course! While competitors’ bikes sit outside the Battle Mountain Super 8 Motel, Andrew and Craig carefully haul StreaMiner from their room. Is it crowded? Four guys, all their stuff and a nearly 10-foot-long vehicle? You bet! Is it worth it? Absolutely!

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Speed Challenge Team is Missouri S&T’s Public Debut

Weeks ago, when StreaMiner was covered in Masonite and duct tape, we said that a really cool paint job was in the offing. Well, Duke’s Body Shop pulled out all the stops and StreaMiner really ROCKS! Just hours before heading to Nevada Andrew Sourk, Jerrod Bouchard and Craig George unveiled the shiny new paint scheme topped off with the first public use of Missouri S&T’s new logo. With a new racing venue and audience, they figured that they may as well get a jump on the publicity.

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UMR Alums Have Our Backs

As the Land Speed Challenge Team of Jerrod, Craig and Andrew head for the Nevada desert, we want to recognize the great support that UMR alums provided at the recent Gateway International raceway speed trials. Recent (and some not-so-recent) UMR grads came by to run the radar gun, hold the bike up, offer encouragement and advice about design issues, and praise the team for its goals

StreaMiner hits sustained high speeds, proves stable

Any engineer worth his or her slide rule knows that you design, build, and TEST. Over and over again.
UMR’s second round of longer-distance testing of StreaMiner, again hosted by Gateway International Raceway, proved successful Monday night. After a brief run to check out pavement conditions Andrew and Craig bolted the top of the fairing on sealing Jerrod inside, and giving several UMR alums a preview of what StreaMiner will actually look like.

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Our Pit Crew Wears Rollerblades

StreaMiner is built for high-speed stability and performance, just like a jet fighter. But just like a jet fighter, it can have problems getting started and off the ground, so to speak.
Solution? How about outriggers? Nah, too much drag. How about running alongside? Nope, can’t keep up. What about Craig on wheels? Now there’s a solution! Craig George holds up the fairing to keep Jerrod from falling over at low speed, but Craig can’t push or he’ll fall over, too. Why not use Ben Kettler for motive power?

So here’s the scenario. High-powered racer Jerrod, held up by composite specialist/rollerblade phenom Craig George, and propelled by fellow Human Powered Vehicle racer Ben Kettler. It may not be pretty (sorry, guys!), but it gets the job done, and that is what the team is all about.

Oh yeah, and all that stuff duct-taped to the side of the fairing? It isn’t camouflage to keep the bodywork a secret (think automotive spy photos in Popular Mechanics magazine). It is just to keep the shell from getting scratched up in the event of a wreck. They will unveil a cool new logo and paint scheme in a week or so.