Atlas was built in 2009. He
has achieved speeds of over 30 mph!!!
The team took 2nd place overall along
second in the male sprints, third in the
second in design, and second in
First bike – Marshall Saville:
I first competed in the Fourth Annual IHPVA (International
Human Powered Vehicle) championship race in May 1978 and placed 9th out of 30
riders. My average speed in the 200m time trial was 40.75mph. My bike did not have a name and my brother,
Wink Saville, was my helper.
I also competed in the same event in 1979 using the same
shell with a larger windshield and a bike with higher gearing. My average speed
was 42.57 mph and I placed 6th overall out of 26 riders. (Note:this was years
before the ASME HPV races started in 1983).
The idea of entering the human powered speed championship
was brought up during an ASME student project brainstorming meeting by Steve
Ward, the president of ASME. I decided it would be an interesting project, so I
signed up for it. It turned out I was the only one interested so I did it as a
Since my time was limited, I went with a simple design aero shell
over a standard bike. The shell frame was made of aluminum tubing pop riveted together
with small gussets. The covering was doped polyester dress lining and I used an
old motorcycle windshield. I started
construction 2 weeks before the event and finished at about 4 or on race day. I made a few passes
down the street for check out and was totally amazed how fast I could ride.
I also discovered that standard gearing was way too low and pedal
rpm was limiting my speed. The first day of the event, my average speed was
36.3 mph. That evening, I installed a 56 tooth front sprocket and achieved
40.75 mph the next day.
Interest in the human powered speed championship really
picked up at Cal Poly in 1979, but unfortunately I had to transfer to another
school after the fall quarter. I was not able to work on the 1979 multiple
rider vehicle (Darla), but I was
proud of what the team accomplished.
Participating in HPV was a fantastic learning experience for
me and fun at the same time as I am sure it has been for all the teams since
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Note to Alumni: If you would like to contribute any stories, memories, or
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or Carole Leone at email@example.com. Please e-mail us with any
mistakes you may find. Any additional information would be