Welcome to the HUMAN POWER
Digital Library
UK Mirror Site

by David Gordon Wilson

The main purpose of this collection is to present all previous issues of the journal Human Power in an easily accessible and searchable form.  Human Power has been the technical journal of the International Human Powered Vehicle Association (IHPVA).  Chet Kyle describes in his essay Human Power's First Issue how he and Jack Lambie started the IHPVA in California, USA, together with a group of enthusiasts who wanted to race streamlined and otherwise unconventional cycles outside the strict rules of then-accepted bicycle racing.  

Human Power started out as a casual newsletter of this group, with a mix of race and meeting announcements and some technical articles relevant to their activities, often eight pages per issue. Later the group decided to produce HPV News to carry the announcements and race results and similar information of immediate interest, and to reserve Human Power for technical articles of longer-term interest.  This change in direction was given more significance because of the sad folding of two other journals, Bike Tech and Cycling Science, devoted to similar topics.  "HP" also broadened its scope somewhat to include articles about human-powered tools, for instance the analysis and design of a human-powered brick-making machine in India.

 At the time we are putting this collection together (2004), Human Power has been published for over 25 years, producing a storehouse of priceless information.  As Richard Ballantine discusses in his contribution, Dave's Ragtime Boogie-Woogie Band, a small group of enthusiasts has come together to put out this collection, to preserve this information and make it accessible by present and future enthusiasts.

Most of us remember starting in the human-power area without having a library of information on past work available.  Experimenters in human power in general, and perhaps in human-powered vehicles in particular, didn't publish much.  In a world where people seem to have lost their balance with regard to using high-powered vehicles and tools of all sorts, as against using their muscles, and where global warming is producing serious changes in the earth's climate, and where obesity in adults and young people is becoming an epidemic, we want to make sure that a valuable resource like the past issues of Human Power are available to anyone who is interested.

May 14, 2004