WHPVA Agenda Requests

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Agenda Requests for Discussion or Action

30 January 2005 19:42:09 GMT
To: IHPVA Board and Friends
From: Richard Ballantine, Chair
Re: IHPVA Board in 2005

I would like the IHPVA to make significant progress in 2005! Instead of responding to events as they take place, let us consider what tasks we would like to accomplish, and then start on the ones we agree are most important. Here in random order is a recap of outstanding issues and concerns, drawing on my memo of 10th December 2004:

1. Speed Proposal

Proposal by Matjaz Leskovar for a change in the rules for speed record competitions. A change in this area will have considerable importance and impact, and there should be widespread discussion and agreement before the IHPVA Board considers and votes on a formal proposal. I have been working on creating a forum for discussion, and will initiate it in February.

Status: Discussion in progress, see IHPVA Meeting Room

2. HP Archive/Possible Legal Action by the HPVA

On 31st August the IHPVA Board voted to support the promotion and circulation of the Human Power archive created by Dave Wilson and The Band. On 12 October I wrote the HPVA Board asking if they would abide by the IHPVA resolution, or contest it through legal action. On 10th December there was a further prompt via a IHPVA Board Memo and Pedawiki posting. The response from HPVA representative Paul Gracey was:

To the member organisations of the IHPVA.

The position of the HPVA remains that the distribution of the contents of the Human Power Archives by electronic and other means is contrary to its interests. The HPVA maintains that the dispute as to which organization has rights to use of those contents and how freely they may be distributed has not been settled. Though the Board of the IHPVA has decided to continue with the Archive distribution, the HPVA has not agreed to it. I ask once more that distribution be stopped.

Status: The HPVA have not changed their position, and the Human Power Archive continues to be freely available from member organisations of the IHPVA and other sources. There is no action or proposal for the IHPVA Board to consider or act on.

3. HUMAN POWER eJOURNAL as the official publication of the IHPVA.

The old journal HUMAN POWER is no longer an IHPVA publication. However, the new HUMAN POWER eJOURNAL (HPeJ), published on the Internet by the Human Power Institute (HuPI), is developing nicely. Theo Schmidt is editor and associate editors are John Snyder and Dave Wilson. I propose that HPeJ become the official technical journal of the IHPVA.

Material in HPeJ is published under creative commons licence. The HPeJ license can be seen at http://www.hupi.org/static/HPeJ/about.htm and a general reference is at http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-sa/2.0/ which includes translations in several languages. Briefly, a CC licence means that the material is freely available for people to use or quote. This obviates any possibility of the hassles and misunderstandings which took place over the HUMAN POWER archive and which consumed so much time last year.

The launch and existence of the HUMAN POWER eJOURNAL is significant. Communications are a major factor and resource in promoting HPVs! The Human Power Institute have made a pivotal breakthrough by developing electronic publishing and making information and news freely available on the Internet. We should give HuPI, and more particularly, Theo, John, and Dave, a show of confidence, support, and respect, by voting the HUMAN POWER eJOURNAL as an official IHPVA publication.

Status: Important (and easy to do).

4. Membership Qualification in the IHPVA

The IHPVA has two broad purposes: to observe and ratify performance records, and promote the development and use of human power. Yet the membership structure of the IHPVA inhibits the development of new HPV groups.

When the IHPVA was reorganised in 1998, member organisations previously known as chapters were identified as national organisations. There can be only one WHPVA.organisation per country; however, some countries have several HPV organisations. The only way these other groups can have IHPVA representation is by joining the already established national organisation. There can be all sorts of practical problems with this, including direct rivalry between groups, and groups simply having very different interests and priorities.

Another problem with identifying IHPVA members as national organisations is that the IHPVA has no regulations or procedures which apply to member organisations. IHPVA 'rules' are about requirements and conditions for setting international performance records. There is not a single word about the definition of a national organisation. Yet because IHPVA members are charactised as 'national', a new member can only be from a new country.

Problem: HPV organisations when starting are usually small. I have had enquiries from South America, Russia, and Asia, by small HPV groups very interested in making contact with the worldwide human power movement. A typical group might consist of two or three people interested in designing and manufacturing and/or selling HPVs, a dozen or so people strongly involved with HPVs, and perhaps 50 people who are simply interested. There is usually a web site, and sometimes a basic newsletter. Small groups of this sort are vital seeds for the HPV movement, but are too small to represent larger countries such as Russia, Brazil, and China. In English idiom, this is known as a Catch-22: to grow, a small group needs recognition, but recognition is possible only when the group is bigger!

The purpose of the IHPVA is to promote the development and use of human power. We need to encourage and stimulate the growth of new HPV groups. This can be done with a change in the qualification for membership in the IHPVA. Instead of limiting membership to one organisation per country, we should offer membership to human power groups with 25 or more individual members and ongoing communications: active newsletters, web sites, and publications. Promoting human power means telling people about it, showing what human power is, the technology involved, and much more -- for which communications is essential.

Under this scheme for membership, each IHPVA member group would have a vote proportional to the number of individual members. This is in accord with the structure suggested when the IHPVA was reorganised in 1998. As well, I think that new members should have a trial period during which they are on a learning basis, before becoming full members with voting rights. This will give new members time to 'learn the ropes' and benefit from the experience of the existing groups.

Status: In my opinion, very important. For growth, the IHPVA must cultivate and share development at the grassroots level. We cannot say: 'Be big before you can join'. We must share information and resources with, and help, new small groups in all areas of human power. I will set up a discussion forum; again, a change of membership terms will work only if we have a strong general agreement.

5. Venues for HPV and HPB Championships 2005

The HPV Championships 2005 are in Denmark on August 20-21. However, the venue for the HPB Championships is under discussion. Briefly, the Danes are not experienced with HPBs, and the waters are ocean, with salt, currents, and waves, which may not suit HPBs. It appears that an Austrian organisation, PFOA, may have both the experience and desire to organise the HPB event. I will post further news as it becomes available. Newsflash - It appears that the Austrian venue is not available. See Main Page, Breaking News

6. Vehicle Classes for IHPVA Events

Torben Thellefsen, one of the organisers of the WC HPV 2005 in Denmark, has volunteered to draft a proposal for IHPVA vehicle classes. Those of you who participated in previous discussions of this topic will know that there are no easy answers. However, of the many thousands of HPVs currently in use, only a few are seriously competitive in the Open Class (no restrictions, other than human power only) which is the only one recognised by the IHPVA. To cater to the majority of HPV ridrers, most IHPVA member organisations use a system of vehicle classes when running national events. For international IHPVA Championships, the tradition has been to use the vehicle class system of the host country. Of course, these rules vary from country to country, and sometimes people become very upset with what they consider to be incorrect or unfair rules. As for compromising on an agreed set of international vehicle classes -- none of the groups wants to change from their own rules!

The situation with defining vehicle classes is difficult, and in my opinion will not be solved overnight. Still, we should do the best we can to work with this problem. I suggest we take advantage of the fact that the rules for international championships are set by the host country, and encourage organisers to experiment with rule variations and ideas. Instead of forever arguing theories on paper, let's try ideas out in real life and see what we can learn from practical experience. Instead of attempting to formulate and issue absolute rules, the IHPVA could seek to create guidelines for vehicle classes. This way, if a host country felt very strongly about a particular issue or technical point, they could still use rules in accord with their own ideas.

I think the issue of defining vehicle classes is important. HPV events in countries such as Holland, where there are thousands of HPV riders within a small area, are popular and well-attended. However, on the international front interest in staging and attending championship events has waned. It is often a struggle to find a group willing to do the job. Partly this is because setting IHPVA-recognised speed and distance records has moved to specialised venues, limited to few competitors. In fact, most current record-holding machines are rarely if ever seen at WC and EC HPV events, and so as a practical matter, IHPVA rules are marginally relevant to such events. (There may be a best sprint performance, but it is unlikely to be anywhere near the level reach by specialised machines competing at specialised venues.) Yet we continue to characterise WC and EC as IHPVA events. This simply does not make sense!

The nature of championship events has changed. They are now much more about the machines we ride every day. If the IHPVA wants an association with championship events, then the IHPVA has to change, too!

Status: Important. I look forward to Torben's proposal. And as your faithful chair and someone who thinks the issue of vehicle classes is important, I am going to push hard for progress in this area. I hope each of you will participate.

Please think about the suggestions above, and let me know which you consider to be the most important. As well, tell me your other concerns, ideas and issues you believe the Board should address in 2005.

Best wishes,

Richard Ballantine
Chair, IHPVA