Maitland, NSW, Australia. Monday 19 August 2013
The ebike entry of Maitland Grossman High School all girls team (Team Titanium) found themselves worthy winners of the inaugural Quiet Rush "EcoGeek Factor X incentive award" on Sunday at the 2013 HunterEVPrize race held at Cameron Park Raceway. With over 20 schools participating as part of National Science Week, including a team from Perth, the girls entry caught the eye of Brian Hill, founder of Maitland based online eBike business QuietRush. Their team effort in resource recovery (breathing new life into old objects), demonstration of their commitment to crossing the gender gap in popularising practical science and demonstration of excellence in the Maitland region were the winning criteria to help them cross the line in taking home the award.
About the EcoGeek 'Factor X' Award
The 2013 HunterEVPrize held on Sunday 18August 2013 was an excellent opportunity to showcase the talents of up and coming future-makers for the Hunter Region, providing a competitive yet fun event for entrants. Held as part of National Science Week, school teams entered hand-built ebikes as practical fusions of maths, physics, chemistry, electronics, biomechanics, aerodynamics. Maitland based business Quiet Rush came on as an event sponsor with their inaugural EcoGeek FactorX prize, looking for entries that addressed criteria of versatility of use, ecologically sustainable design, ergonomics and ability to address climate change and population health challenges. In coming up with the award, the Founder of QuietRush, Brian Hill, noted:
"As a born and bred Novocastrian and entrepreneur, I'm intimately aware of the breadth and depth of skills and capacity for Innovation and Manufacturing in the Hunter region. It was this capacity that saw me relocate back to the Hunter after more than a decade away, working on large scale technology and systems integration challenges in national scale projects. I was keen to recognise the hard work and efforts of up and coming stars of tomorrow that will be the next generation of problems solvers, scientists and entrepreneurs.
Quiet Rush - your Hunter region and Eastern Australian based supplier of Stealth Electric Bikes, rider training and support
Quiet Rush are a trusted supplier of tough+powerful hybrid electric bikes for demanding applications, and clean transport solutions that assist rider effort. We are a Hunter region business, servicing Eastern Australian customers.
Whilst our Stealth ebikes are powerful, they make minimal trail impact, delivering electric acceleration whilst assisting rider efforts. Highly regarded for their price-performance-ruggedness profile, our bikes are highly suitable for a range of demanding applications, including agribusiness, defence, law enforcement, facility patrolling and emergency service applications. They're also perfect for:
We find that having a ride of one of our bikes is the best way to get a proper impression of how they handle in a wide range of conditions. It's why we run our business the way we do, setting times and places to meet up with people, taking the time to understand the context of their rides and background skill levels to give them a tailored demonstration.
In our last blogpost we mentioned having set other riders loose on our Stealth Fighter demonstrator at Cameron Park as part of the HunterEV Festival Prize practice day in the lead up to National Science Week.
One of the lucky 3 riders was the owner of EagleBikes, Rob Luck. Rob has a long history with the off-road riding scene in Australia, so we were keen to hear his impressions of the (brief) ride:
"Another dimension in flat-out fun – that's my verdict from a circuit trial on a Stealth Fighter at Cameron Park Raceway. I've been fortunate enough to have some previous bursts on Stealths at other events we've attended with Quiet Rush and always been impressed. But taking to the track pushed the adrenalin rush to a new level. The immediate observation is that riding the Stealth on a track is more like a motorbike experience than a pushbike experience. The Stealth comes out of the box fast and the acceleration rushes you to the corners at near-motorbike velocities. Adopting a motorbike hunch, you can tip the bike right in to the corner at angles you couldn't achieve on a regular bike or e-bike. And get on the throttle early to maintain corner speed and flow to maintain momentum down the next straight and into the next turn.
(Ed: It's just as well the chequered flag came down. We were wondering if we'd ever prise him off the bike..Thanks for sharing the ride impressions Rob.)
We had a chance to spend a brief bit of time this week at Cameron Park raceway with the good folks behind the Hunter EV Festival as part of the Hunter EVPrize and in the leadup to National Science Week.
It was primarily a practice and shakedown day for schools sorting their electric bike entries - we thought it was also a great opportunity to have some of our commercially available Stealth Fighter demonstrators there on show to help give some added inspiration to the school students, teachers and visitors attending.
Whilst the race day itself is on 18August 2013, this was a good opportunity to see how our bikes fare in standard form on a fast GoKart track dedicated to racing, ridden at full power output of 3kw. The verdict? More fun than a barrel of monkeys!
It was great to have a chance to compare the relative stickiness of our Schwalbe Crazy Bobs (on the yellow Fighter) with the Duro Razorbacks which come standard with the Stealth Fighter. Naturally, the Crazy Bobs come up well ahead, with some quite impressive lean angles possible. It's the first time we've seen tread wear getting closer to the sidewalls.
The Duro Razorbacks, as you'd expect with a hard compound rubber, were predictably squirmier on the margins of traction, walking across the bitumen when pressed into hard lean angles. Still, it was manageable and gave good feedback to the rider about the impending loss of traction, allowing me to back off safely without sliding out. After all, we're still talking about the downside risk of hitting tarmac hard at 50km/h, so we're looking to ride within a safety margin.
One aspect we loved about the day was a chance to see what some of the school students had cooked up, with some really novel approaches and inspired designs. it's a great opportunity to blend some practical lessons in science, electronics, maths, physics and construction. Whilst there might be less emphasis on commercial viability, there were one or two designs that leapt out, including some inspired work with plywood. Which of course invites natural comparison against other awesome bikes made of wood. We're always keen to hear of rides with an ecologically sensitive design edge, for which timber is a naturally inspired material.
With a strong emphasis on rider safety and hands on participation, its an event that we'd love to see well supported and attended, so spread the word. Also keep an eye out locally for other National Science week events near you.
Sincere thanks to the supporting sponsors listed at the Hunter EV Festival website. We'll have more material up after race day - we were too busy doing laps to grab too many shots, so we're using images supplied at https://www.facebook.com/hunterevfestival.
Here's a small sample clip - even the wind on the circuit is louder than the bikes themselves..
Revitalising Hunter roots, exploring Newcastle's Electric Vehicle identity and transformation
I'm looking forward to getting back to Newcastle on 18 August, 2012, for the Hunter Electric Vehicle Festival (backed by the good folks at Tom Farrell Institute for the Environment and the Festival partners). After all, with Hunter as a middle name and birthplace, I'm kind of obliged to get along and see what sort of EV vibe exists for Novocastrians. I'm well familiar with the area, having grown up at various locations like Stroud, Stockton and Morpeth, studied at Uni, raced MTB up around Killingworth and adventured at various times in the Barringtons.
My regular uni commute (whilst I was studying Health Science at Newcastle Uni) was a longish one, at about 30km, from Duckenfield/ Hinton through East Maitland or Raymond Terrace (see the Google Maps link below for an idea). How I wish one of the Stealth Electric bikes had been around then. The ride to Uni was bearable, but the ride home was usually slow in the last part after a long day. The decision to ride or cage-dwell it would have been much easier with 3kw under me - it would have been fun hitting Cadel Evans time trial averages in Uni clobber and burdened with a laptop+textbooks (+printer on occasions).
Back then (we're talking 90's people) I watched the rail lines running through swampland, providing a much more direct link to the city, without the meandering path taken by the roads at the time. I remember wishing at the time that the rail corridor could be considered for dual-purposes, letting bikes run alongside for a more certain and direct commute. It's easy to avoid a train - just stay off the tracks!. They're a lot more predictable than some of the cars and obnoxious drivers that I had to deal with at the time.
I've been back recently, catching up with family, and watching as the Hunter goes through its transformation into a new identity, taking on a mixed identity of part quarry, part innovation-centered regional city. I've got a soft spot for Nukes, with friends and family still there now. Chances are they're going to be in the near vicinity of our display stand, so forgive me if I get caught between family obligations to reconnect and the chance to talk about either the Fighter or Bomber that we'll have along with us for the display. Remember, these bikes are not just for sitting on and twisting a throttle - you get the best out of them by using their potential as Active Transport - something Newcastle blokes might do well to reflect on, with 70% of Hunter men being rated as either overweight or obese. Now that's something to consider tackling at scale..I wonder what the folks at Transition Newcastle might have to say about it.
I'm delighted to announce that Quiet Rush have offered support to TEDxCanberra by coming on board as a Partner for their 2011 event, held on 24 September 2011 at the National Library of Australia.
In the news release for this event, Stephen Collins (trib) announced: "“TEDxCanberra 2011 will be a full day of thought-provoking and highly engaging presentations by some of Australia’s brightest minds from Canberra and surrounding regions. If you are up for an experience where your mind is blown 10 different ways, come to TEDxCanberra on 24 September.”
Stephen also noted that "TEDx events bring together the world's leading thinkers and change-makers to share their insights into ideas and solutions that matter. This year’s event will showcase speakers from a range of disciplines including: social enterprise and international development, installation art, military ethics, sustainable agriculture, medical innovation and Indigenous affairs."
As an attendee and sponsor of last years TEDxCanberra via Laughing Mind, I can't speak highly enough of the event, with a high calibre range of attendees from Canberra, interstate and international locations. It was a chance to meet and connect with some of the most interesting crowd that I've ever experienced. If you're wanting to come along to this event, get in early as the tickets sell FAST.
We're going to be attending, with our Stealth Fighter eBike demonstrator to give people a taste of the Quiet Rush experience (but no demonstration rides will be occurring on the day- we're there to hear the talks).