Originally proposed at the 2019 AGM, we are experimentally permitting riders of electric-assist HPVs to participate in our races for the 2022 season.
This is intended in the spirit of inclusiveness, recognising that an increasing proportion of recumbent cycles - particularly tricycles - are being sold with electric assist, and that electric assist makes cycling practical for many disabled people. The BHPC would like these riders to be welcome at our events.
Nevertheless, the focus of the club remains primarily on human power, and we do not want to become an electric vehicle competition. As such, we have decided to only permit machines that comply with the UK's Electrically Assisted Pedal Cycles regulations. Chiefly, this means a maximum of 250W, with the assistance cutting off above 15.5mph / 25kph (they may exceed this speed under human power alone). We will also allow vehicles conforming to the Class 2/3 Invalid Carriage specifications, providing they are able to be propelled by human power (eg. a handcycle or wheelchair with power-assisted wheels).
Additionally, we expect that electric assist machines not being ridden for reasons of physical impairment should be HPVs in the strictest sense: so a recumbent (supine or prone) bicycle with or without fairings, a multitrack cycle, or an upright bicycle only if fitted with a fairing of external surface area of at least 0.25 m2. This is intended to allow riders to participate using HPVs where removing the electric assist would be impractical or inconvenient, but prevent our races becoming dominated by conventional upright e-bikes. Disabled riders who need electric assist in order to participate may use un-faired upright bicycles if they wish.
As ever with matters of eligibility, the competition secretary's decision is final.
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. This may change in future, when we have more experience of electric-assist participation.