Team Cygnus has developed a fully faired recumbent bicycle that can compete with the fastest recumbents in the world. The main goal is to use an optimum man-machine combination to break world records. The Cygnus team consists of technical specialists from various disciplines. Between them they have many years of experience with fully faired recumbents both in racing and in designing. All Cygnus team members are racers at the highest level. Every year they compete in national and international competitions such as Battle Mountain, the European Championship, the World Championship, and the Michigan Human Powered Speed Challenge, but they also attempt to break records on the tracks of RDW, DEKRA and Opel.

zondag 18 september 2016

Battle Mountain - Saturday

Just a short update.

After the riders meeting in the morning the group pictures are taken.

The evening run went fine. No legal wind though.

Pictures from Jun's blog. Have a look at Dave's blog as well, a good read.

vrijdag 16 september 2016

Battle Mountain - Friday

We just got back at the hotel after a busy day. This morning we did some grocery shopping and attended the riders meeting. After lunch Hayco and Sjaak entered the drag races. They did well, though Scout, Barclay and Beth's dog, was a lot faster.

Starting was a bit troublesome tonight, but eventually my run started well. I was doing fine until the 1 mile sigh was in sight. Shifting to the highest gear did not work. I could reasonably keep the speed I had, but accelerating was impossible.

Ryochei Komori of the Japanse team was the fastest of the day with a little over 80 mph. A great performance.

After the riders meeting we went to the Ming Dynasty restaurant quickly to have someting to eat. This time we joined Barclay, Beth, Dave, Al, Alice and Mike. Now it is about time to go to sleep.

Battle Mountain - Thursday

Because of the large number of guests in the hotel, the internet connection is not sufficient. No connection at all at the moment. This morning we slept in until 7.30h, had breakfast and worked on the bike. Hayco had joined the mine tour. At 11.00h we were at the Civic Center for the riders meeting. The cut-off speed for the evening runs was raised to about 63 mhp. Oops, that meant no evening run for me. After the seeding proces, one spot remained open in the first heat. I mentioned to the riders/organisation that this could not be the purpose of this event. Let's not loose an opportunity in the evening. The cut-off speed was lowered to 60 mph and the two riders that qualified, could then choose a spot in the evening in order of their reached speed. That meant that I could run in the evening, and Alexei got an On Deck position in the first heat.

The start was smooth. The run was heavy and the speed lower than I wanted. In the end I reached 73.84 mph, but the wind was too strong. After the riders meeting tonight, we went to the Chinese restaurant together with Dave. We did get back to the hotel to have time for 10 minutes in the swimming pool (the spa is still out of order). Let's sleep in again.

woensdag 14 september 2016

Battle Mountain - Wednesday

We decided not to run in the morning, so everybody could get the much needed rest.

After the IHPVA meeting in the afternoon, we did a power nap and then took our time to get everyting ready for the evening runs. I was the first rider in the second heat. The bike fell in the first attempt to start. Sjaak and Hayco got me on two wheels quickly, and the second start attempt was successful. Almost immediately the chain came off. I steered to the left lane for a midway catch. After some trying to feel what was wrong it turned out that the chain came off at the cranks. That side I could not reach or solve during the run, contrary to the derailler side. At that time my speed was around 40 to 45 km/h. The chase car apparently thought my speed was high enough and did not overtake me.

Slowly the speed increased to around 60 km/h even though I could not pedal. At a certain time I was overtaken by Calvin. My speed remained relatively stable until right after the timing traps. Then the bike decelerated slowly.

Barclay cought the bike nicely.

Tomorrow morning we are going to sleep in and then sand and plaster the bike. Hayco will do the Newmont mine tour.

Todd has got a new world record: 88,26 mph = 142.04 km/u. That is really well done!

dinsdag 13 september 2016

Battle Mountain - Tuesday

The morning runs were all cancelled because of the rain, and so were the evening runs.

Battle Mountain - Monday evening

The weather wasn't too good tonight. The wind was pretty strong. A number of riders did start, mostly trikes. No legal runs tonight, due to the wind. Team Cygnus decided not to start tonight.

maandag 12 september 2016

Battle Mountain - Monday morning Qualifying runs

This morning we got up early for the qualifying runs. After breakfast and putting enough pressure in the tires, we load the car. Just before catch we see the schoolbus going into Battle Mountain. That means we've got time to spare, because we will start in the 3rd heat. It is hectic at the start, which is quite normal for the first time. But this time it is even more hectic than usual; even a truck gets stuck and needs to be dug/towed out. Barclay and Beth brought a nice trainer with them, that I can use as well. A fine example of the good atmosphere.

We start as the first bike in the third heat. The start goes well and we are off. I'm not going full out to make sure I still can do the evening run. The wind is quite strong but not problematic. Just cruising along. This means coming through the timing traps with over 61 mph. Fast enough for the third heat tonight. First we will get some groceries, have lunch and some rest as well.

The Cygnus Chronos has reached a speed of 61.6 miles per hour during the qualifying runs this morning.

Battle Mountain - Sunday

After breakfast it was time to assemble the bike. Because the bike cannot weigh more than 23 kilos during the flight, we took most parts out of the bike and distributed this in the rest of our luggage. Around 11h the bike was ready and we went looking for some "catchers" to practice some starts. We did not find any at the Civic Center or the other hotels, so we looked for a road that would be suitable for some practice starts. The road we used in the previous years had just been plastered with new grit and wasn't suitable anymore. We met the Japanese team on the road and the NHK film crew, and we were greeted most heartily. Of course the cameras were running. Before we knew, the interview had started. This was also our first chance to have a look at the new bike of the Japanese team. This looked professionally made, very beautiful. A lot of the advice we could offer during our stay in Japan, had been taken in and use, that really showed in their bike. After the interview we made some practice starts and 5 people of the NHK television helped to catch.

Then we went back to the hotel for some lunch. At 14.00h we went to the Civic Center to have the Cygnus Cronos approved for taking part in the WHPSC event.

After a power nap and a dip in the pool, where the other people present were all Dutch, we went out to eat in our favorite restaurant in Battle Mountain.

At 19.00h the first riders meeting began. After the introduction round we had an elaborate explanation of the event tomorrow and the rules and regulations. The starting order has also been made for tomorrow morning. We will start then by 7.00h in 5 heats. We will start in first position in the 3rd heat, probably around 8.20h. There are a lot of teams this year, and we expect their performance to be excellent. So it is going to be an exiting week.

zondag 11 september 2016

We arrived in Battle Mountain

After a good nights sleep and breakfast, we are on the road again. First stop is Bonneville. It is very busy there. People drive all kinds of vehicles, not because they have to, but because they can on that enormous plain of salt. We had a nice lunch in Wells at Porter House Skillet restaurant. Around 16.00h we arrive in Battle Mountain. We shake hands with Mr Larrington, Joyce Lem and her partner whose name does not come to mind right now. We move into our room and dive into the swimming pool. I mean, we take a swim, diving is not allowed of course. Ming Dynasty is closed tonight, due to family circumstances. We are assured that they will be open tomorrow. So we go for a pizza in the Pizza Factory. When we get back to the hotel, there are more hands to shake. Arnold and Marieke have arrive too, just as Hans and Ellen and team Aerovelo. We chat a bit with Todd, Hans and Steve Nash. Now it is time for bed. Tomorrow will be busy enough.

vrijdag 9 september 2016

Team Cygnus has arrived in America

Team Cygnus has arrived safely in America. After a long flight the team has landed in Salt Lake City. In the air we have chatted with Arnold and Marieke. We got to our rental car pretty quickly, so we could do the neccessary shopping. The first kilometers by car towards BM have been made. We are spending the night in Wendover. Tomorrow we will have a look in Bonneville, and then continue to BM.

On our way to Battle Mountain

zondag 28 augustus 2016

World Hour Record for Pieter Pas, Team Cygnus!!!

During the DEKRA Speedbike races in Germany, Team Cygnus has again had fantastic results. Peter Pas rode his super trike for an hour with an average speed of 70.7 km/h, and he broke the world hour record for trikes. The record has recently been acknowledged by the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA). With his ride Pieter broke the long-standing trike record by Eric Edwards from 1980. Pieter: "During my record attempt not only the weather circumstances were good, but also the cooperation within our team. Team members David Verbroekken and Jan van Steeg were always there for me."..

The official record: http://www.ihpva.org/hpvarec3.htm#nom27 and http://www.ihpva.org/home/?view=plink&id=24

Jan van Steeg also made a top performance in his Cygnus Omega, his personally homebuilt bicycle. During the 200m sprint runs, he reached 2nd place with 103 km/h. That is a top 10 position in the world records on a track at sea-level. Jan really got into riding, and one day later he made a terrific one hour run with an average speed of 86.5 km/h. This makes him one of the six fastest speedbikes ever on the hour. Jan: "We know that our bikes belong to the fastest in the world. We also learned a lot about our bikes this weekend. So next winter will see some time spent on tuning and designing for next year!"..

Pictures: Carsten Boettcher

dinsdag 24 mei 2016

Design and development of the PP3.0 (Pieter Pas, Team Cygnus)

It all began in July 2015 during the DEKRA Record races in Germany. I had wanted to drive my Cygnus Trike during those races. Unfortunately, when I lifted my trike a day before the races, I hurt my back so badly, that I could not compete. My Cygnus Trike was a fast and narrow trike last year. A very good aerodynamic design by Thomas. The bike weighed 41 kilos after all the adjustments I made to the bike to improve the stiffness and fit. I also had difficulties with stability above 75 km/h.

In August 2015 I decided to design and build a completely new trike named PP3.0. The goal of the new design was: Lighter, more stiffness, improved streamline and steering, and a smarter rear wheel attachment. The bike had to be build tighter around my body to get a lower wet surface. I started with my Cygnus Trike. After I had fully thought over the design and ideas of the PP3.0 I got out my angle grinder and cut into my beautiful Cygnus Trike. It felt as if I were cutting my own legs off.

After that I used foam and plaster until I had the shapes and lines I wanted. After a number of weeks sanding and polishing, it was time to make the mold for the new trike. My old Cygnus Trike would serve as a plug. I could use the workplace of Alain Beirnaert, an acqaintance from Ieper in Belgium, to make the glass fibre molds. Alain is specialized in working with carbon fibre and polyester, and also in vacuum pressure techniques (www.beirnaert-composites.be). When the negative molds had been made, Alain made a copy. The bottom mold and the plug have been ruined when the copy was taken out. Just the top mold can be used to make a new copy when needed.

November to and including February have been used fully to build the trike. The aluminium sub frame from the old Cygnus Trike could still be used after the neccessary adjustments. After the optimal camber/caster angles and sized had been measured, Boudewijn Polanen (LTE Ligfietsen) and Allert Jacobs (Velomobiel.nl) executed the welding.

March was used for plastering and sanding the PP3.0. In the end the trike is reasonably smooth and ready for spray painting. Because I did not have the time to get the paint on just like I did on the Cygnus Trike, I decided to get the final painting done by a professional.

My first successful test run with the PP3.0 was in the beginning of May. Wat a great experience that was!! The last weeks have been busy with testing and tuning the bike. This will continue during the coming months.

dinsdag 3 mei 2016

Big in Japan

Those of you who know their way around tracks will have noticed that the track in the last post wasn't the RDW track in Lelystad. Nor was it the track in Aldenhoven, the DEKRA track, or the track at Opel or Ford. We have been riding on the test track of the Japan Automobile Research Institute (JARI) in Shirosato.

We were asked by the Japanese Public Broadcasting Company (NHK) to cooperate in a television program called Supreme Skills (Sugowaza). This program asks two teams to compete against each other to make an extreme effort. This time it was the Japanese team that will also take part in the World Human Powered Speed Challenge in Battle Mountain and Team Cygnus.
The Japanese team also had a chance to check out their performance before they will go to Battle Mountain in September.
After shooting some footage at the team members' homes or work place and at the Team Cygnus workshop in February, the rest of the filming was done in Japan at the end of March. In the Netherlands the film crew consisted of four persons; a director, a camara man, a sound man and an interpreter. In Japan everything was just huge. When we entered the JARI test track, we were under the impression that some kind of event was still going on. But that was just the film crew.

On Saturday we had the opportunity to test the bike a bit and the rehearsals for the filming of Sunday were done.

The program will broadcast on Saturday 7th May; on Japanese television that is.

zaterdag 26 maart 2016

Preparations for the new season

Members of team Cygnus are busy with preparations for the coming season. At this moment we are testing the bike at a beautiful test track.

zaterdag 30 januari 2016

A new shipment of Schwalbe tires has arrived!

Another great sponsored contribution by Schwalbe Nederland. They are also supporting us this year by sending us a large number of tires. This year team Cygnus will also be using the reliable tires of Schwalbe. And not only because they are sponsoring us.

Our team is always looking for reliable tires with a low rolling resistance. Tires that will last and will not let us down. And especially tires that have a low rolling resistance at higher speeds. Team Cygnus has done a lot of testing and it became clear that not all tires remain their low rolling resistance at higher speeds.

Team Cygnus consists of 4 speed bikes and one speed trike. With this sponsored shipment by Schwalbe, we can test some more, train and compete at the top of the speed bike competition.