Thursday, April 23, 2015

Time off but not for all

Time off but not for all
This week I am in NC where I have a chance to ride the new DF where the weather is better at this time of the year.  I am starting to get my bent legs back, a few more weeks and I should be able to get closer to the full potential of this machine.  It was also the first time I introduced the velomobile to the area’s finest when not one but two police cars stopped me; the officers were very polite and after a couple of minutes answering questions like does it have a motor I was on my way.

This weekend, is the 20th SPEZI bike show and conference taking place in the town of Germersheim in the south of Germany near Heidelberg.  This annual show is usually well attended and several velomobile manufacturers show their products but this year is an anniversary and it may attract more people to attend.  We hope to see some new velomobiles, participants have an opportunity to try some of them and possibly there may be some new product announcements taking place.

Wind Tunnel for Velomobiles

Ostfalia University in northern Germany claims to have the first wind tunnel designed for smaller objects like velomobiles. The wind tunnel named after Prof. Dr. Hans-Ulrich Meier was built by student of the institution.   The unit was specifically designed for small vehicles, Velomobiles, bicycles or small wind turbines, it has a test section has a cross-section of two meters by two meters.  It is not clear if the facility will be accessible for manufacturers.


Velomobiel is displaying the shell of the Quatrovelo at SPEZI but it is not be rideable. The internal components are still being built.  It will take a few more weeks before the velomobile will travel on the road. As a teaser, this week the company posted several pictures of the retro-looking velomobile on Facebook.  


Daniel Fenn is looking at setting a one-hour world record of more than 80km in the DF.  I asked Mike Mowet who keeps track of cycling records; he is a living encyclopedia of cycling records.  It is interesting because, in looking at the record book, multi-track faired bikes appear as an annotation in the list of the best times for faired bicycles.

Going down that list, the fastest multi-track faired is the Vector Tandem in 1980 with a distance of 74.10 km.  Gareth Hanks holds the single rider, best two marks 73.8 km and previously 71.376 km in the Completely Overzealous.  Daniel in his Evo-K is the next fastest with 67.481 km, the distance he completed in the Cyclevision one-hour race set in 2012.  It is not clear if this is recognized by the WHPVA as a record attempt since it was a mass start event.

While velomobiles have set the 6, 12 and 24hr records, currently all the top distances for one-hour set by faired bike belong to Streamliners.  The current overall one-hour record belongs to Francesco Russo; it was set in 2011 on the 5.8 km oval at Dekra-Lausitzring, Germany where he rode a distance of 91.556.


Things are moving at the new Marvelo factory.  Jon has been busy organizing the legal aspects of his company and setting the production at his new facility.  This week he posted pictures of the Marvelo on the road and the production of the molds.  I expect the first production Marvelos will be coming out of the shop soon.   Stay tuned.


The new website scheduled to be launched with the start of SPEZI has been delayed.  In an e-mail message, the company announced the delay.  The new banner on the website indicates that the launch is now scheduled for mid-May.

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