Sign-on is the process of entering an event.  We will take your name (as you would like it to appear in the race results, which does not have to be your real name - see Juniors below), race number (new riders will be allocated a number as part of the process) and details of your HPV (see Classes below) for the race timing and scoring database, and collect your entry fee where applicable.  If you do not have timing tags, let us know at sign-on and we can issue new ones.

For the 2020 season, in order to comply with COVID-19 regulations, we are operating an online sign-on system via the BHPC web shop.  Entries close at 9pm on the Thursday before the event.  We will not be accepting in-person sign-ons at the events for this season.

BHPC aims to foster the development of Human-Powered Vehicles, free from the constraints of arbitrary technical specifications. Therefore we have very few rules governing the construction of race machines. There are a few rules, however, regarding safety. The Competition Secretary has the last word on all of these; if in doubt, please ask.

  1. Helmets
    All riders must wear (on your head) a helmet approved by a recognised national standards authority (e.g. Snell, ANSI, TUV, etc.) The sole exception to this rule in in the case of a faired machine where the rider's head is enclosed, in which case any helmet designed to protect the head (such as a leather "hairnet" type helmet) may be used.

  2. Brakes
    You must have an effective means of slowing down, appropriate to the event. For a velodrome no brakes are required IF and only if a fixed-wheel is used. For closed, road circuits at least one effective brake is required. For any events on public roads, legal requirements apply, i.e. two independent braking systems must be fitted. The race committee has the last word on this sort of thing, so if in doubt, ask.

  3. Guards
    In accordance with the need to remove all forward pointing "sharp" bits, the chainring must be covered by either a fixed shield or by a strong rotating chainguard (including those with a single chainring). A lightweight chainguard for protecting the rider's trousers from the chain will probably not be sufficient. Any homemade guarding must be free from sharp edges. Competitors who fail to do this will be warned; a second warning will mean you will not be permitted to compete. If you are unsure - ASK! Looking for ideas? Check out the chainguard photo gallery. If your machine has any other projections that may be dangerous to other riders or yourself (open-ended tubes - think apple-corer - are one of the more commonly seen dangerous design "features") you may be asked to remedy it before being allowed to race. Again, if unsure, ask.

    It is strongly recommended that those riding bikes without the benefit of a hard-shell fairing use elbow guards, and that everyone has a rear-view mirror.

  4. Starting, Stopping And Signalling
    For events run on the public highway, such as time-trials, riders must be able to enter, start, stop, and exit their machines without assistance. They must also be able to give clear signals. This isn't our rule, it's Her Majesty's Government's. [Currently no BHPC races are on public roads].

  5. COVID-19
    For the 2021 race season (and beyond?) see our COVID-19 specific rules page.

Race numbers

New riders, and those who haven't raced for more than a year or two, will be allocated race numbers as part of the sign-on process.

You must display legible race numbers on the front (where practical) and both sides of your machine, at least A5 sized. Failure to show numbers may result in failure for your result to be registered.  You are free to use your imagination for how these are made.  Adhesive vinyl lettering of the type used for wheelie-bins is a good choice, but we've also seen laminated paper/card, 7-segment digits made up of strips of insulating tape, numbers incorporated into the paintwork of home-made fairings and chainring guards, and the timeless last-minute approach of drawing on a scrap of cardboard with a permanent marker pen.

Timing tags

Riders will be issued with a pair of self-adhesive RFID tags for our electronic timing system.  (It's not an especially strong adhesive - tags un-peeling is more of an issue than sticky residue being left on surfaces.)  These should be attached to both sides of your machine, ideally at around waist height (the height of our trackside antennas), and aligned horizontally.  As they rely on radio waves, they will not work properly if attached to an electrically conductive material, such as metal or carbon fibre: If you have to do this, pad them out with at least 5mm (preferably 10mm or more) of non-conductive material.  If you are attaching them to a thin surface such as a number board, do not place both tags back-to-back.

Helmet with a SMARTRAC tag attached

We have found that attaching timing tags to either side of a cycle helmet works well, and is a convenient option for most riders of un-enclosed machines.

This also enables you to change machine without having to swap or obtain additional tags.

If your tags are damaged, lost, coming un-stuck, or were having problems being read by the system at the previous race, please ask the timing team to issue you with new ones (preferably more than 5 minutes before the race is about to start).

Because people sometimes ask, these are SMARTRAC 'Dogbone' tags, and measure 97mm(w) × 27mm(h).

All riders are included in an overall class which is known as

  • Open

Some riders also participate in separate, non-exclusive, classes:

  • Women
  • Juniors (riders aged over 10 and under 16 on 1st January)
  • Arm-powered (hand-cyclists)

Each of these four rider classes can, potentially, be divided into subclasses according to machine construction. Whether a particular machine-based subclass is recognised depends on whether there are sufficient participants to sustain it. Currently the Open class is divided into five machine-based classes:

  • Open
  • Part-faired
  • Unfaired
  • Faired Multitrack
  • Multitrack

(The only other rider class to have machine-based subclasses are Women, with Women's Open and Women's Part-faired classes.)

The five machine-based classes are listed below with examples. The classes are defined to be exclusive, i.e. a machine has only one principal class, but some classes automatically include other classes for the purposes of race points. These are listed in the right-hand column (e.g. all 'Unfaired' machines also gain points in 'Part-faired' class). The purpose of this is to encourage mid-season development and enhancement: a machine may be upgraded by, for example, adding a fairing without losing points already gained on the unimproved machine.


ExamplesAlso in...

Full fairings are allowed. If it's human powered and conforms to the safety rules, it's in. All entries in the subclasses below also qualify for Open.


A front fairing OR rear fairing is allowed. From the side the view of the rider's torso, head and upper leg must be uninterrupted by aerodynamic additions, though the tail fairing may protrude forward to the mid point of the rider's torso


No fairings are allowed (wheel discs are permitted).

Faired Multitrack
A machine with three or more wheels in two or more tracks and a full fairing. The wheels must be structural, a bicycle with lifting or flexible 'stabilisers' is not considered Multitrack.
As 'Faired Multitrack' but with no or partial fairings.
Faired Multitrack,


Further classes serve to provide an entry-level competition for riders who do not (yet) possess an out-and-out racing machine, to promote the development of road-going machines with fairings, and to encourage riders who don't drive to races. These classes do not have strict technical specifications. Eligibility will be determined principally by the competitors or, if arbitration is required by the Competition Secretary

This class is for all cycles, other than velomobiles, suitable for use on the open road. Front and tail fairings are allowed (side fairings and "bags" are not considered suitable for road use and are disallowed). Examples: Kingcycle with nosecone, Challenge Mistral with Zzipper fairing, Geoff Bird T7, conventional upright bicycles and tricycles.



For riders of any machine who have travelled to the race without using a private motor vehicle.  Multi-modal journeys incorporating public transport (eg. bus or rail) are allowed.  This is intended to recognise that cycles suitable for riding (or otherwise transporting by human power) to events are often at a competitive disadvantage in order to be road safe and legal, have some luggage-carrying capability, or fit in the cycle space on a train.  Additionally, riders who drive to events are likely to have less fatigue at the start of the race than those who have cycled.



Experimentally for the 2022 season, we're permitting the use of road-legal electric assist, providing that either:

A) The rider shall have sufficient physical impairment that completing the race with their chosen machine would be impossible or exceptionally challenging without the assistance of an electric motor.


B) The rider wishes to compete with a road-going HPV (other than an un-faired upright bicycle) that is normally fitted with electric assist, but removing it for the purpose of racing is too inconvenient.

For the 2022 season, electric-assist HPVs will be in their own exclusive class for the purposes of competition. They will not qualify for points in any other competition class, including Open.


Therefore the full list of classes is currently:

  • Open
  • Part-faired
  • Unfaired
  • Multitrack
  • Street
  • Electric-assist
  • Carfree
  • Women
  • Women Part-faired
  • Arm-powered
  • Junior

As everyone knows, Points mean Prizes. In the case of BHPC this translates to the presentation of various trophies at the AGM at the end of the season. Each racing Class has it's own trophy (with a few exceptions), awarded to the rider with the greatest number of points in that Class at the end of the season. To avoid giving those more able to travel an unfair advantage, only points from a certain number of races are counted (usually 2/3 of the total number). As noted above most machines, except for fully-faired two-wheelers, fall into several Classes so...

How does this work?
After a race event, the results of the slower/faster race groups are combined, and each rider is given a position in each Class they are eligible for. So, for example, a woman riding a part-faired lowracer would be eligible for three classes: Part-Faired (P), Women Part-Faired (WP) and Open (O), which includes everyone. Say she finishes 9th overall (O), 3rd among Part-Faired bikes and 1st among Women Part-Faired, she would gain points in all three classes according to these positions:

  • 430 points for 9th place in O Class
  • 810 points for 3rd in P
  • 1000 points for 1st in WP

Ah but....

How are these points calculated?
The points awarded to each position are calculated according to an obscure formula which is revised from time to time. For a stand-alone round, 1st place gets 1000 points, then the points decrease by 10% for each position below 1st, rounded to the nearest whole point. This gives the following allocation for the first 20 places:

Position Points
1 1000
2 900
3 810
4 729
5 656
6 590
7 531
8 478
9 430
10 387
11 349
12 314
13 282
14 254
15 229
16 206
17 185
18 167
19 150
20 135

Mathematicians will note that this formula means that all finishers get a minimum of 5 points.

What about non-finishers?
Riders who are signed on to race but don't make it to the start line will have Did Not Start (DNS) status in the race results.  DNS riders are not allocated points.
Riders who start the race but withdraw before the final lap will have Did Not Finish (DNF) status in the race results.  The BHPC handles DNFs slightly differently from most organisations, and will calculate an average speed for DNF riders using their completed laps and the finish time of the overall last finisher (ie. after the results of the slower/faster racing groups have been combined).  This speed is then used for calculating the place order.  If a rider starts a race but fails to complete a single lap, they are placed using an average speed of zero.  If you do withdraw from a race, it's a good idea to make sure that the timing team know when you've done so, in order that your lap count is correct.

Occasionally a rider may show as Not Placed (NP).  This is typically used when there is a known problem with their results, or if we've allowed them to participate in a way that violates BHPC competition rules (for example, we've had pedal car teams who swap riders use our events for practice).

The software also supports Disqualified (DQ).  We sincerely hope never to need to use it...

What if there is more than one race at an event?
Most events ('event' just means a day of racing) have more than one 'round', as we call them, for example Round 1 may be a 1-lap time trial and Round 2 a 45-minute race. (Confusingly, each round may be split into more than one race, to limit the speed/experience differential between riders on track at the same time, with the results of the faster and slower races being combined for a given round.)  Each round is treated separately for points purposes, as above, but the total number of points available is weighted to account for differences in difficulty.

As of the 2020 season, we've changed the software used for scoring races.  The new software allows us to score each round independently, which means we can reflect class changes accurately (see below) and that doing badly in any one round (eg. due to a mechanical problem) won't detract from your performance in other rounds at the same event.  Weighting will be achieved by allocating points proportionally to each round, such that the points available for coming 1st in all rounds of an event will add up to 1000.

For example the time-trial may contribute 20% of the total and the longer race 80%.  Points would therefore be allocated to finishers accordingly:

Position Time trial 45min race Event total
1st 200 800 1000
2nd 180 720 900
3rd 162 648 810
4th 146 583 729
5th 131 525 656

For example, someone who comes 3rd in the time-trial and 5th in the 45-minute race would gain 687 points in total at that event. 

How does this affect the 'Worst 4' calculation?
Historically we would only count the points from a rider's best 8 (of 12) events toward the championship total, with the "worst 4" results being disregarded.

As all rounds now stand independently on the points table, this calculation will be based on the total number of rounds in the season (which means the exact number may not be known until the season is over, as the rounds at an event are sometimes changed due to unforeseen circumstances).  Normally we intend to count the points from the best 2/3 of the total number of rounds.

What if I change my bike between races?
The new scoring software allows for the correct allocation of points to riders using different classes of machine in different rounds.  Unfortunately, this is not (yet!) handled automatically by the sign-on system, and the relevant changes will have to be made manually.

If you intend to race more than one machine at an event, or have to borrow another rider's machine or remove a fairing to complete a race due to unforeseen mechanical problems, please make sure the timing team are aware of the relevant details.  At sign-on please provide the details of the machine you intend to use in the first round of the day.

Juniors do not pay race fees.

Juniors are riders over the age of 10 and under the age of 16 when membership starts (either their own or their Adult's - see below).

There are two options for a Junior to race:

  • As a member: He/she has Junior membership in their own name. They must be accompanied to races by a responsible adult (who doesn't have to be a member).
  • As a non-member: He/she must be accompanied to races by an Adult member from the same household.

Juniors (or anyone else) do not have to be identified by name in the race results. Just give an alternative name (eg. "Smith Jnr" or "BHPC racer #136") at sign-on.  The names used for race timing and scoring are independent of those recorded elsewhere for membership purposes or payment/shipping in the web-shop.