News of interest to WHPVA (previously IHPVA) members - Most recent at top.


New developments 2013

Sadly WHPVA chairman Richard Ballantine died midyear. Nick Green of Great Britain offered to be his successor and was practically unanimously elected. The ratification of new records has ground to a halt and those with pending proposals in Switzerland and Germany are requesting a review process to get the WHPVA under way again. A key element is the still missing formal constitution. Previously accessible elements of this were lost in a crash of the WHPVA webserver some years ago. Future Bike Switzerland is proposing a draft constitution as a starting point. Members can edit and disscuss it here on this wiki.

New developments 2008-2009

18 June 2009

A new web presence is being started at [1] and the old site being more or less preserved as an archive at [2], both maintained and sponsored by Neil Carter of the British Human Power Club. The Wiki you are reading is spnsored by and located at [3].

4 May 2009

Name change: A few weeks ago, the IHPVA members voted to change our name to WHPVA - World Human Powered Vehicle Association - as it became clear that we would need to spend money on legal procedures in order to get our domain name ihpva.org back. Accordingly a lot of titles and links on these pages are now out of date and need to be corrected.

1 February 2009

This section hasn't been used for board communication since almost two years. The IHPVA board has gone back to email and is considering a web forum in the future. In the meantime, the HPVA has changed their name also to IHPVA, which creates not only competition but confusion! They have also hijacked our domain name ihpva.org, which is why this Wiki is presently at whpva.org. The most up-to-date information is at [4], but this can change at any time.

Board Changes

11 July 2009

Italy has joined the WHPVA with its club Propulsione Umana - Human Powered Vehicles Italy. Giovanni Eupani is the representative.

3 June 2009

Knud Jahnke has replaced Christian Meyer as WHPVA representative for HPV Germany.

21 April 2007

Mark Olaf Slot has for personal reasons resigned as IHPVA representative for HPV Denmark. His successor is Brian Sharling.

29 March 2007

Ben Wichers Schreur has resigned as IHPVA Representative for NVHPV Netherlands. The new representative is Marcel van Eijk.


9 November 2005

The International Human Power Vehicle Association (IHPVA) now ratifies performance records for a new, restricted class of human power vehicle (HPV).

Founded in 1975, the IHPVA promotes the development and use of human powered vehicles, and ratifies and maintains performance records for human-powered vehicles on land and water and in the air. The basic requirements are: human power only with no use of stored energy, and for land and water vehicles, no features (such as moveable panels) which might enable sailing. Otherwise, anything goes. The reason for minimum rules is to stimulate invention and innovation in design and technology.

For land vehicles, the main line of development has been the use of streamlined body shells or fairings to smooth the flow of air and reduce aerodynamic drag. In the early years, open class (unrestricted) HPVs vied for world records at annual IHPVA World Championships. The premier event was the 200-metre sprint, and progress was swift; nearly each year saw faster speeds and new records, as HPV designs evolved and improved.

Eventually, the evolution of HPV streamliners refined, and speeds peaked. Teams seeking new records resorted to utilising venues with environmental advantages such as: sites at high altitude for less air pressure; courses with long run-up sections; and courses with gradients exactly at the slope which is legal under IHPVA rules. Currently, a handful of highly evolved streamliners compete for records once a year in a speed challenge event at a remote location in the USA, and occasionally (for distance events such as the hour) on special tracks. It has been decades since a sprint speed record was set at a IHPVA World Championship.

Meanwhile, commercially produced HPVs have become increasingly popular, with thousands in use around the world. Most of these HPVs are unfaired or semi-faired; they have some aerodynamic features, but not full body shells. IHPVA recognition of a HPV Restricted Class will enable mainstream HPV enthusiasts to participate in competition and record-attempts, and revitalise the annual IHPVA World Championships.

Briefly, in a Restricted Class HPV, the machine is unfaired in front of the rider, while behind the rider, anything is allowed. The rider can be seen from the front, with allowance for handlebars, controls, and structural elements such as chassis or transmission. Disk wheels are permitted. The definition is intentionally broad, to include all current 'unfaired' HPVs except those with a front fairing, and to encourage design development.

Which of today’s current HPV designs are fastest? More to the point, what innovations or features might make them faster? The IHPVA has always been about invention and experimentation. IHPVA recognition of a new HPV Restricted class signals a new era in record-attempt performances and the development of HPVs.

Richard Ballantine, Chair


6 October 2005

The IHPVA Board has voted to recognise a new speed record: the HPV Velodrome Hour Record.

The new record speed event is accessible, inexpensive, and repeatable, all over the world, at any time of year. It will hugely increase the opportunities for competitions and general public involvement with HPVs.

Many countries have velodromes, surveyed and marked for distances, and set up with professional timing equipment. Velodromes have no problems with wind, rain, or daylight. Record attempts can be made when riders and teams are ready to go. A qualified observer must verify that a record attempt rider stays within the appropriate marked sections of track, but otherwise, there is no special administration or expense.

For the general public, the HPV velodrome hour record gives a direct comparison with the performances of UCI-legal 'safety bikes'. The 200-metre sprint speeds attained by top HPV streamliners are astonishing, but are difficult to relate to everyday cycling and sport.

The IHPVA hopes the new record category will promote international communication. Competitors all around the world can compete with each other, without having to travel thousands of miles to do so. The natural sequence will be for competitors to set regional and national records, and then for national champions to compete at international events.

If the IHPVA approves recognition for a Restricted HPV Class as well, then making record attempts will be open to a lot of people. And – can't help repeating this – they will be able to do so in their own countries and towns, in their own time, at little expense. This is a natural formula for involvement, development, and growth.

This is a great day for HPVs!

Richard Ballantine
Chair, IHPVA