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Canberra Challenge 1999

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Moz's View - may not conform strictly to events as seen by unbiased Ians. There's a more official website somewhere
The event is held at a driver training track near Canberra, in the Australian Capital Territory, Australia. There's a 2.5km loop of road with a bit of up and down, some corners and a straight bit. There there is car parking and connecting roads, a skid pan and various other bits. It's enough variety that we can get all sorts of practical tests for an HPV in a very compact area.
The complete event has ten races in it, a hill climb, road race (25km), 200m drag races, rolling start time trial and slalom, shopping race, criterion and an off road event. Plus probably some that I' ve missed. I suck at sprinting, so anything less than 10 minutes long I tended to finish well down the field. But my trike turns very well, and I can drive so I did OK in the road race and criterion. The drags were a joke for me, I have a nice powerful start so I was ahead for the first meter, then it was basically all over. So in the slalom I went for the humour award, which seemed to work.
The event is at least as much about seeing other people and their cycles, and a lot of that went on. The photos below show little racing because I was in most exciting things, and most racing is tricky to photograph well, let alone with a disposable camera.
I spent a lot of time riding all sorts of things. It's important to note that I'm long in the legs, and I have a lot of force but no real sprinting ability. So my reviews tend to emphasise adjustability and frame flex, as well as cornering ability. Rather than things like weight and comfort. And most people have trouble riding my trike because it does not adjust easily so they end up lying way, way down looking at their knees instead of the track. And I like low, solid trikes that corner as though they're on rails. Someone somewhere must have a photo of me on my trike doing the criterion, as I'm told that I had my head within 2" of the curb on one particularly fast corner. That's hiking right out the side and getting *low* for the corners.
So, read on:
 The van was full. With five bikes and two trikes.
 Ian Humphries had both a bike and a trike, because he's like that. The rest of us had only one cycle each, although I have to admit that I kindly lent my bike to Owain, so I had both my recumbents here too. And I could always unlend the bike if I really needed it :)
 Ian is the village idiot in the middle, the rest of the lads are (from left) William Reid, Ken Wilson (in the hat), Tony Jack, Evan Wills, Ian Humphries, Ben Goodall (TriSled builder, hence the pensive look at my trike), Jason?? (Swift rider) and Owain. The trike is my TriSled, and it gets a fair bit of use. It's supposed to be a lightweight race trike but I commute on it. 30km each way with a pannier on board. Ben recommends a heavier trike for this!
 Ben builds very nice trikes. Like this disk brake prototype. I want one. Ben's fully faired trike to the left.
 Anyway, we started with breakfast.
 The morning was fine, the camera was cheap and disposable, but it was looking like a good day.
 Camp Swift were way more organised than us.
 So I took a look at the new aluminium Swift. Very nice. Note the adjustable handlebars. Could be very useful I suspect.
 Or perhaps carbon fibre is more your thing? Maybe the Windcheetah behind it? The CF is built by a guy who works with carbon a lot but had never built a trike before.
 This is Mike Dennis's real carbon fibre racer. It apparently needs a little more tweaking, he rushed to get it ready for Canberra. It's quite rideable, but the turning circle is huge.
 The standing round talking started early, and went on all weekend. Greenspeed touring in the canter, my TriSled right in front of the camera.
 Ben had a fully faired trike, with 16" front wheels and various tricky bits. It was very fast, he won all the events he entered I think, but missed the off road event and some of the more cornering oriented ones.
 Paul Sims had something to distract the other competitors, this tricky to ride low racer bike. The guy in the picture is Adrian, who managed to ride the thing. The moving bottom bracket means your arms provide the counter force to pedaling torque. Riding in a straight line is very hard.
 There was a lot of organisation involved. Here is the usual view of the people in charge, as they frantically tried to make it all happen. Behind that placid- looking canvas wall is a queue of cyclists fighting to get their entries in. Wayne Kotzur on the left, the man who built a lot of the bikes we see in other photos. Including my bike, and Evan's bike.
 And this is the start line, where the short races happen and the long races pass through. Way back to the right is the camp area.
 More socialising up here too... Paul Sims' prototype trike in front, then a Freedom behind it. The Greenspeed tent behind, and a lot of Greenspeeds in the car park. Including a hand trike. We found that hard to ride, but then that's hand trikes for you.
 And, of course, people selling bike bits and the occasional bike. The is the Canberra Cycles tent, featuring a Bob trailer and a BikeE.
 Some people just bought their bikes along and let us test ride them. This lot are all Freedom machines, and I don't think they were ever all resting at the same time again. Paul Sims' nose cone to the right, as well as his low racer.
 Which we did... Note Adrian's very heavy home built bike in the foreground. The weight is useful, because he needs all the frame strength he can get. That bike goes into some amazing places. The delta trike is lean steer and very silly. But fun. Evan riding Ian H's trike. On three wheels, the cheat. There was a lot of riding trikes on two wheels, it seems to be everyone's standard test.
 But not on the enduro course. This is Ian Humphries on his GLR which is apparently a road only trike. He did PBP on it as well as Interlaken. And now this.
 The enduro was won by Glenn on a mountain bike. He didn't enter any other events as far as I know.
 Helen Curtis won the women's section again. Only three women, but Helen seems to compete against the men anyway, at least if the expression on her face when she gets beaten is any guide. And she's riding yet another Kotzur SWB bike.
 Evan on the enduro. Note that he only has a handlebar on one side of the bike. And that he's towing Maccers, a McDonalds happy toy that survived all the way from Sydney behind the van, right through the weekend, and all the way home again. 700-odd kms is not bad for a soft toy. Do I need to mention who made this bike?
 This is the tour bus side of the Greenspeed line. Heavy, but can carry a truly silly amount of gear. I'd guess you could load 200kg of luggage on here and still ride it. Slowly, but you wouldn't break the machine. And the delta trike behind it, with a pile of Freedom machines.
 Speaking of silly, once the skid pan gets wet it becomes a trike only area. Unless you're really keen, because it's slightly rough concrete covered in fine, dirty mud. Slippery as anything. From the left we have a Greenspeed tourer, Paul Sims' trike, Paul's wife whose name I forget, Ian H, and Paul. Then a Giles Puckett trike, my trike with Evan on it, and the carbon fibre trike. Plus a kid on a BMX bike.
 We had a ball... At a guess the spray is Ben Goodall on a TriSled touring trike. With William Reid on a Greenspeed tourer behind him. Giles Puckett wielding the camera to our left.