The following advice is an introduction and recommendation for new team managers, beginner and novice riders new to HPV/trike racing within the UniSA Australian Human Powered Vehicle (HPV) Super Series (AHPVSS).
check your trike and rider
It’s imperative when you get into a trike for training or racing you follow a simple procedure plan. This may include:
- Check tyres are pumped up to correct PSI ie 80psi. If the tyres are low or flat you have less control and you go much slower. This is a safety issue.
- Check wear and tear of the tyres so no canvas is showing, look for tyre tread indicators
- Check wheel alignment and that brakes are not rubbing
- Check the brakes are working
- Check the horn is working
- Check safety harness fits correctly with lap part of belt across your hips
- Check you fit correctly into the trike
- Ensure you have a helmet on and that the chin straps are adjusted so it is sitting on your head properly.
- Know your trike’s race number
- Ensure the team manager’s phone number is inside the trike
Ensure your rider’s harness is fitted properly. To do this:
- It is critical that the hip belts are not across the stomach but across the hips
- Ensure the shoulder straps are loose at first
- Ensure the hip straps are done up first, then tighten shoulder straps
- The rider can adjust the shoulder straps themselves to ensure they can breathe and are snug
- The lap belt holding the pelvis and rider secure is critical
- In the event of a roll the rider must hold the steering handles and allow the safety harness and trike to protect them.
The rules and vehicle specifications are about rider safety. Doing the right thing will make a difference so your rider is as safe as possible in the event there is an issue.
Making sure you have all the tools necessary for training and racing is critical. The HPV community are often happy to assist, however being prepared ensures you keep your trike on the track at both trainings and races. At the very least have a strategy for your tyre’s and basic maintenance of your trike. This should include:
- A pump
- Spare tyres, wheels and tubes
- Tools to change your tyre
Entering and exiting pits is a critical part of the race, it important to do this safety. You must know where your pits are on the track and where your pit entry is as the approach to the pits is very important.
- Plan to show your arm band
- Check your horn
- Know and ensure that your rear light is on (and front light during night racing)
- Harness is done up correctly
- Helmet is on
- Glasses are on if you/your vehicle requires them (open canopy)
- When exiting a pit stay to your pit side of the track until you reach your racing speed
- When entering the pits it is fundamental to prepare early
- Making a late decision to enter pits and cut across the track and/or traffic is unsafe and dangerous
- Prepare at least 50+ metres up the track before your pit entry
- Ensure you are on the pit entry side of the track
- Slow gradually and ensure before you reach the pit entry you are only travelling at 10km/h
- Doing things smoothly and controlled is best for Marshals and people in the pit areas.
Be smooth, hold your line and leave room around you
Suggestions for good and safe racing for beginner and novice riders include:
- Take a smooth line, no radical turns on the corners
- Don’t cut the corners and know the apex
- If you’re starting on the left hold one single arc around the whole corner
- Turn 1 Victoria Park – slow trikes remain to the left.
Benefits for safe racing include:
- You lose speed if you cut sharply
- You could cut someone off or block their way causing a collision. Holding one line is crucial. Hold the middle the track if you have to
- ..maintain a constant line so other riders can judge your speed and you can judge the speed of others
- Try to leave a trike width around you, from the edge of the track
As a rider ask yourself what’s the smoothest line I can take without causing any issues with other trikes. This will normally be the fastest and safest line around the corner and often means sticking to a constant arc is the key.
Being smooth is safe, smooth is fast!
As a rider it is important to look ahead at the traffic and ensure you know, what’s ahead, what’s coming up and where you want to be. Don’t be just focused on the trikes around you. For most tracks within the AHPVSS you are able to see through the corner meaning you can better prepare for managing issues on the track such as yellow flags or slower trikes. Looking ahead ensures you plan for safer racing.
know your trike as a rider
Figure out when the trike feels good and it’s running smoothly. If you start to hear things going wrong or unusual tell your team manager quietly. ie strange noises or its pulling to the left. This could be a flat tyre. Where you’re stepping into the trike it is important so as to not damage anything. Know your procedure for stepping in and out safely.
race and training preparation
Preparing for racing is crucial for the best performance. Fitness, hydration, nutrition and the right attitude all go towards being a more successful trike racer. Watch the video from elite trike racer Kyle Lierch on how to be the best trike racer you can be.