Nov 5

November 5, 2005

Getting closer.

Went to the track yesterday, and I did a couple of laps around the oval with the frame only, and decided NOT to risk doing any testing with the fairing on. It was WAY too windy. Sustained winds of 30 kph with gusts of over 40 to 50. The frame takes the wind much worse than the fairing, but I wasn't in the mood to take any chances. These fairing shells are do thin that a crash at speed could mean days worth of work repairing them.

So instead, I took some photos:

The white triangle shape on the right hand side is the NACA duct that I purchased from Aircraft Spruce. This carbon fairing is about 2 inches narrower than the fiberglass work fairing was. Shown also is the RENN 650 disc wheel that I purchased from my buddy Greg at Way Past Fast. Also included in the performance modifications, but not shown are two new DuraAce chains, a new DuraAce bottom bracket cartridge, and a new Amercian Classic bottom bracket cartridge that wouldn't screw into my aluminum BB shell - have no idea why??

I installed new tires on the wheels - a ZIPP 700 tubular tire for the rear. The Zipp is supposedly a nylon tube with high thread count which means low Crr. On the Renn 650 disc is a Vittoria tubular. The Vittoria can be pressurized to 200 psi and the Zipp is marked at a max of 130 psi, but is advertised at 180 psi - don't know what's with that... Supposedly, the Zipp IS the Vittoria tire, but with a slightly higher thread count. I need to do a slow speed coast down test to confirm that the Crr is as low as I am hoping it will be - or at least as low as the original set of clinchers I have been riding on.

The ride around the oval on the new tires was certainly nice. I was expecting it to be a bone shaker because the race City oval is pretty rough, but I was surprised.


Details

Ben and I added a layer of Kevlar to the inside of the right hand shell. We must be getting pretty good at this - It was the fastest wet layup in history. It took us 45 minutes to do all this:

1. Clean out the mold
2. Spray a few coasts of PVA into the mold
3. Sand down and clean the inside of the existing carbon shell
4. Cut and lay-in a sheet of Kevlar
5. Wet out with epoxy resin
6. Cut and lay-in a sheet of breather
7. Cut and lay-in a sheet of release film
8. Pull over our old vacuum bag
9. Hook up the venturi and pull a vacuum
10. Repair various leaks in the bag.

Now both shells are fairly stiff and strong - still only about 5 pounds each.

This is a neoprene strip that closes in the front wheel opening. I can still turn the front wheel because the neoprene flexes quite a bit, but most of my riding will be straight forward.


I have decided to DRIVE to Alabama.

It's 4000 km and at 10 hours of driving a day, I could make it there in 3 days. I figure that if I can cycle for 14 hours in a day, I should be able to drive 10 hours. I was measuring the fairing shells the other day and realized that even if I rolled them up, the resulting size is OVER Purolator's maximum. More headaches! Driving there actually solves quite a few problems - shipping size (and cost) issues mainly. Secondly, I can bring all of my tools, supplies, etc. And also, I won't have to completely disassemble the vehicle only to have to spend a full day putting it all back together again. And finally, it should be way cheaper than flying and shipping and I'll have a vehicle when I'm down there. I think I could fit everything into the Suburban and not have to break the frame in two parts. The fairing shells can easily roll into a semi circle to fit into the back of the Suburban.


Rules, details, etc..

As far as a date goes, I am looking at Nov 25th (the day after Amercian Thanksgiving). And if the weather is bad, then the 26th, 27, 28th - a good window of opportunity for decent weather.

The rules for a iHPVA sanctioned record attempt are here

The HPVA says I need two official observers and one person to operate the timing system. I also require at least TWO others, possibly three or four to crew for me. That is, to help me at pit stops, replace batteries, replace food, water, help me out of the streamliner, and back in, etc, etc.

Since my dates coincide with the Thanksgiving day weekend, many of my previously arranged volunteers have evaporated. I have one observer confirmed - Robert Poole who is an Alabama HPVA member, but I am still looking for one additional observer, and I would prefer that he or she have some HPV race org experience.

The duties of the observers are listed in the official HPVA observers guide

Buzz Powel has offered to operate the timing system for me. I rent the timing system directly from Al Krause from the HPVA. It is an antiquated DOS based transponder / antenna system - two of them actually, a primary and a backup. Every time I go around the track once, the transponder sends a signal to a tape that goes across the road and the computer counts 1 lap. Then the number of laps is multiplied by the survey distance of one lap, and the result is my total distance. The clock in the computer is calibrated and approved to be accurate. For a third backup, I will either use the web cam at the track, (check it out and remember to book mark that page so you can check in on me on Nov 25th!), a video recorder, or a GPS in CP1.

Ben is driving down with me, and John M might fly down with Helen, so I'll have three pit crew volunteers there which should be OK. Helen is familiar with the routine and will monitor my food and hydration, Ben and John are both pretty familiar with CP1 and are very technically adept, so they should be able to handle any problems that arise.

Also from the Opelika / Auburn area, I have Scott and Jayne from the Auburn Flyers Cycling club who have both offered to help.

As you can see, the weather here sucks. Yeah for long in-door training rides!


Final push to-do list:

Here is my guerilla schedule to get this puppy DONE in ONE week. I call it my "Guerilla schedule to get this puppy DONE in ONE week" plan.

ANY DAY STUFF (these items can be done or thought about any time during the week):
1. Pick up HID light from Speedtek (nick) 250-7751 1655 32 ave NE
2. After we get the light, we need to find some off-the-shelf product to mount the light to, AND something to act as a reflector AND lens. This could be as simple as some large flashlight - or even a small car headlight or motorcycle headlight. This is really the only experimental item left to be done (Ben)

SUNDAY
1. get foam rubber and velcro and bond to frame edge (greg)
2. try to get resin off mold (greg)
3. try to sand down carbon shell (greg)
4. cut and prep carbon, blanket, bag and ply for next layup (greg)

MONDAY
1. layup new fairing shell (Ben)
2. Micro rear wheel well (I decided to do the simplest thing with that rear wheel fairing, and that is to just smear with a bit of micro to smooth over the transition a bit - no time to make a full-on fairing for it.) (greg)
3. cut and prep carbon, blanket, bag and ply for next layup (Ben)
4. Call courier to pick up spider at Gregs work (greg)

TUESDAY (Tuesdays are my long training day. If the weather cooperates, I should be gone all day)
1. Pull out new fairing shell (Ben)
2. layup second and final fairing shell (Ben)

WEDNESDAY
1. Pull out second fairing shell
2. Cut both fairing shells
3. Apply velcro tabs to fairing shells
4. Bond-on canopy bungie hooks
5. finish rear wheel fairing micro and sanding
6. Cut 1" off rear and bottom corner (to fit shipping size) and reinforce with carbon strips.
7. Cut off rear wheel fairing and make a way to bolt back on again.
7. seal up rear wheel discs ( will epoxy leak through?)

THURSDAY
1. Spray paint rear wheel fairing
2. Spray paint rear part of canopy dome
3. Get disc wheel and new parts from Way Past Fast and install (greg)
4. Cut and install the NACA vent(s). (Ben)
5. Install new tires. (greg)
6. Install landing gear hatch

FRIDAY
1. Race City TEST to confirm that everything is cool (Ben and Greg)
2. Add Kevlar to the right hand shell

WEEKEND
1. Test the new HID light and set the correct angle at night (greg)

MONDAY
1. Cut notch in nose of frame for the new light - and place for batteries to go (Greg)
2. Cut hole in the nose of both fairing shells for the light (Greg)
3. Install the light (Greg)
4. Finish landing gear hatch (may have to make the dish deeper) (Ben)
5. Bond new Velcro to LEFT hand fairing shell (Ben)


TUESDAY (Greg training)
1. Build new stand to fit in Suburban ?? (Ben)

WEDNESDAY
1. Continue with stand, headlight, landing gear hatch and other vehicle-fit stuff


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