Monday, December 03, 2007

This bike looks like a car

From the Toronto Star, 12.02.07:

"That's quite the little thingy you've got there," says a young he passes Ray Mickevicius's bright yellow vehicle, sleek as a dolphin...

The "thingy" is a velomobile, a ground-hugging, three-wheeled horizontal bicycle, sheathed in fibreglass. About three metres long, it looks like a miniature race car, but it's powered by pedalling. It has a steering bar, 27 gears, turn signals, lights and a speedometer.

A cyclist who watched the velomobile skim by...said longingly, "I want one." While its aerodynamic form allows for speed--Mickevicius easily cruises at 40 km/h or more--its protective shell may offer a solution to the problem of cycling in Toronto when the weather turns foul.

Could velomobiles be the future for energy-conscious Toronto commuters? (Read more.)
Over the years, recumbent enthusiasts have wondered why they haven't gotten more love. I'm among those who may have neglected 'bents, never having had one. But this article from Toronto demonstrates the benefits of enclosed recumbents, especially in colder regions such as Canada.

With their cost, novelty, and weight, velomobiles may never attract more than the most serious human-power enthusiasts. But there are certainly appealing aspects of such machines.

Image: Web capture.
Humor: A real bike car - video from Toronto
Visit: Paul Dorn's Bike Commuting Tips


sasquatch2 said...

I want one! just cuz I'm a bike nerd... I can't image riding anywhere near cars, it's so low I doubt cars would take notice. You wouldn't ride that thing on a bike/pedestrian path cuz you'd go too fast. I don't have any experience in a recumbent so this is all just opinion...I'm all for a 'bent highway system tho!

Fritz said...

Paradoxically, the problem for cold weather cyclists is often ventilation. Enclosed 'bents like this keep you out of the weather, but "cold" isn't really one of the problems winter cyclists need solved except in mid-continent and far north extremes.

clark said...

yeah, i was thinking the same things, re.: cold weather and cars. it doesn't look like it could negotiate bumpy, icy hills as well as a decent mtb with studded tires. might be good in a rainy place, if you could see OK, eh. is there a windshield wiper? would it fog up?

thoglette said...

If I can ski down to 0F, what's the problem with riding, if suitably dressed.

Now I still want one, particularily for days when I've got a 30kn headwind!

Anonymous said...

Where do you get these?