The annual 24-hour Australian International Pedal Prix is the oldest, longest, largest and fastest human powered vehicle (HPV) race in the world.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    The cocooned nature of the machines leaves riders reliant on hearing the chirping, piezo-electronic horns that warn of a fast-approaching rival.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Maintenance teams help with the repair and care of a HPV machine. 

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Eighty per cent of the 225 machines entered in the 2015 race were from school teams. Pro teams typically do one hour cycling stints, with eight riders in each team, while primary schoolers are allowed up to 20 riders.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A high school student sits in his machine. Students choose HPV racing as their winter sport, although there’s a lot of academic application as well.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    The sun sets over the Murray Bridge race course, as drivers settle in for the long night ahead. 

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A young driver cocoons himself in a sleeping bag, waiting for his turn in the relay-style 24-hour race.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    The inner parts of an HPV machine, essentially a recumbent trike with fibreglass or plastic bodywork.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    At night, windows fog up and some machines channel air over the inside to fight condensation, while shrill horns alert riders ahead.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Some riders radio into their pits and others shout out when they pass to indicate they want to swap riders.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    HPV machines speed past onlookers, who flock in their thousands each year, along East Terrace. 

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Despite the course’s bumps and trike-tipping corners, the fastest can average more than 50km/h during a 2.1km lap.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    At pit stops, tired riders are hauled out by the shoulders before worn out tyres are replaced and a new rider jumps into the front seat.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    The youngest teams are allowed up to 20 riders during the 24-hour slog. Most students are involved in the design, maintenance and repair of their machines.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Two competitors huddle under their tent, waiting for the call to swap drivers.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    Some competitors aim to stay awake on the sidelines, while others huddle into their warm sleeping bags for a night’s rest. 

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    School teams typically camp around the track during the 24-hour event. Some will be roused from their sleep for a stint at the pedals – or to attend pit duties.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A determined young racer looks out to the track ahead, which sits only metres behind the serene moorings of the Murray River. 

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A school-entry competitor rehydrates on the run.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A young school student opens the door of his machine. School teams are the lifeblood of HPV racing, making up about 80 per cent of entries.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

    A young competitor entertains himself on his phone in the cockpit of his machine.

    Photo Credit: Thomas Wielecki

GALLERY: Pedal Prix 2015, SA

By AG STAFF | May 18, 2016

The annual 24-hour Australian International Pedal Prix is the oldest, longest, largest and fastest human powered vehicle (HPV) race in the world. At Murray Bridge, riders who have gone head-to-head in the shorter races during the UniSA Australian HPV Super Series gather for one last, gruelling battle. The 2015 competition attracted a staggering 225 teams – each with 8–20 riders – from almost every corner of Australia. Read more about the Pedal Prix in #AG133.