FOR THE STRONG, A FAST, EXPENSIVE AND ENERGY-EFFICIENT NEW TRICYCLE

October 18, 1981

Want to have a shot at a world speed record under your own power? If you have $10,000 and a pair of reasonably strong thighs, the world's fastest bicycle—or is it a tricycle?—can be yours.

"It's the most efficient man-powered vehicle ever built," says Doug Unkrey, one of the designers of the Vector, a low-slung three-wheeler that set a single-rider-class world record at the May 3-4, 1980 Human Powered Speed Championships in Ontario, Calif. Propelled by David Grylls, it attained 56.64 mph through a 200-meter timing trap.

Now the Vector is the first fully streamlined racer available to the public. "We'll build one for anyone," says Unkrey, a partner in the Versatron Research Corporation of Anaheim, Calif., which made the Vector. A handmade Vector can even be ordered from Early Winters, a mail-order house at 110 Pre-fontaine Place South, Seattle, WA 98104.

What you'll get bears a minimal resemblance to an ordinary racing bike. The Vector, only 32 inches at its greatest height, has the tandem wheels forward, enclosed in a Fiberglas shell shaped something like the fuselage of a plane. The driver sits pretty much laid back, clearing the ground by about an inch, his legs set between the paired wheels as he works the pedals on the oversized, 100-tooth forward chainwheel that drives the single rear wheel. He steers with an airplane-type joystick, changes gears with a six-speed Shimano derailleur and watches his speed on a Pacer 2000 computerized speedometer. The 51-pound Vector is equipped with front internal drum brakes and a sturdy roll bar, because, says Unkrey, "on a 1% downgrade it'll quickly reach 70 mph." The manufacturer recommends, though, that it be operated in a velodrome, on a road-racing course or on any other smooth surface where car drivers won't interfere with it.

Last May, a two-man version of the Vector averaged 50.5 mph over the 42 miles from Stockton to Sacramento on Interstate 5. "Eventually, we may all commute on Vectors," says Unkrey.

HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
OUT
HOLE YARDS PAR R1 R2 R3 R4
IN
Eagle (-2)
Birdie (-1)
Bogey (+1)
Double Bogey (+2)