The Mini Micro Missile

Six year old Mini Micro Missile pilot, Keith zooming along!

A bicyclist on a typical road bike has to develop 1.0 Horsepower continuously to hold a speed of 30 Miles Per Hour. A "first class athlete" can sustain this level of effort for some 30 seconds whereas a "healthy human" can only sustain this level of effort for about 12 seconds. At 30 MPH, 12 seconds is just enough time to travel 200 meters!
The IHPVA (International HUMAN Powered Vehicle Association) Speed Championships held at Ontario Motor Speedway measured each vehicle's average speed through a 200 meter time trap.

So HOW could Keith's backup pilot, Michelle Malewicki, an 8 year old with maybe 1/8th of an adult's total Horsepower capacity officially average 29.62 MPH over the 200 meter traps to become the "World's Fastest Self Propelled Kid" and place 16th overall out of 26??  Keep in mind that the rest of Michelle and Kieth's competitors in the single rider category were all serious adults - no kids.  What happened?  Did we cheat? Did we bribe the timing people? Or perhaps did we use a knowledge of aerodynamics and ergonomics to accomplish this little feat? Read on and learn!

The Mini Micro Missile is a 18 pound, partially faired, prone recumbent Human Powered Vehicle. Stretching the pilot/rider out flat like Superman reduces aerodynamic drag by minimizing the amount of frontal area to be pushed through the atmosphere! Using a partial fairing also helps the air to spread apart easier. We also used special high pressure 130 PSI "Sew Up" tires to help reduce rolling resistance forces.


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