cycling utah April 1999

Electric bicycles featured at 24 Hours of Moab

DAVIS, WV-With recent advances in battery, micro-electronic, super-efficient electric motor and solar energy technologies, the advent of power-assisted bicycles is on the horizon.

According to Laird Knight, President of Granny Gear Productions, Inc., "The development and application of these technologies will have significant positive impacts on the bicycle industry and will expand cycling opportunities for both recreation and commuting applications. It's important for people to understand that the emphasis is being placed on power assistance. T---here is a synergy that can be created between man and machine with these power assist technologies that will make the bicycle an even more practical machine while maintaining the aesthetics of silence, efficiency and low-impact that bicycling represents."

In 1999, Granny Gear Productions will be organizing exhibition races for power-assisted mountain bikes on the Friday prior to each of its popular 24 hour mountain bike team relay races: The 24 Hours of Canaan, 24 Hours of Donner Pass, and The 24 Hours of Moab. The races will be based on a four lap format with one pit stop allowed during the race. Total mileage for each race will be 40 to 50 miles.

Certain criteria will be set, defining power assistance, although the exact values for these criteria have not been set at this time. Power output will be limited so that the total power output of the bicycle and rider will be equivalent to one horse-power or less (a human being can produce between 1/4 to 1/3 of a horse-power). A cut-out speed may be applied, limiting the top speed at which the power assistance will engage. No internal combustion engines will be allowed. Operation of the power-assist motor must be silent or nearly so. Batteries or fuel cells must be made of non-toxic materials. Solar cells will be allowed.

Under current laws, these machines will be classified as motorized vehicles and would not be allowed on many public lands. But Knight believes that there are reasons to consider their use on a case-by-case basis.

Invitations are being made to all companies currently involved in developing this new technology. In addition to fielding entries in the races, companies will also be able attend the product expos throughout the weekend at each of the 24 hour races. Independent homegrown designers are also being encouraged to enter their own designs.

The dates for next years series of 24 hour races are as follows:

The 24 Hours of Canaan - June, 5th & 6th, The 24 Hours of Donner Pass - August, 7th & 8th and The 24 Hours of Moab - October, 9th & 10th. The Power-assisted Mountain Bike Race Series dates are June 4th, August 6th, and October 8th. respectively.

For questions regarding the 1999 24 Hour Race Series and/or the Power-assisted Mountain Bike Race Series, contact: Granny Gear Productions, Inc. P.0. Box 189, Davis, WV 26260, Phone or Fax: (304) 259-5533, e-mail: [email protected]

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