Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sunshine 1200, a Velomobile Dominates

Sunshine 1200, a Velomobile Dominates
The inaugural Sunshine 1200km brevet took place last weekend.  I was invited to attend but at the time I did not know if I would get my DF in time to participate let alone adjust and practice enough for such a long event this early in the season. 

I rode over half the course in my Quest when I crossed the US a few years ago.  Of course riding with all the extra weight from luggage made it harder but nonetheless, I was chasing bikes across the length of the state and leaving them behind.  The extra weight also caused me a few mechanical issues along the way. When I received the invitation, I though this would be ideal for a velomobile, the road is relatively flat and straight but the big issue for us northerners would be the heat.

My Canadian friend Alain with his Carbon Quest decided to register for the event part of a field of composed of mostly regular road bike and a few recumbents.  From the start he took the lead and stayed in front for most of the first day but probably due to the heat and a number of flat tires, he fell behind but remained near the top.  It was a tough day for him.  After a few hours of sleep, he got back on the road and managed to return to the front and quickly started to put some distance between himself and the rest of the pack even is the hilly section of the course.  With such an advance he did not stop for more sleep and arrived at destination some six and half hours ahead of the second place finisher.  What is incredible is that Alain had 12 flat tires during the event.  The heat was certainly an issue as the thermometer registered above 100F (38C).

The velomobile industry is relatively quiet at this time and as a result there is relatively little to report this week.


It appears that the work on the new MX is progressing well and the delivery of the first MX is expected to be in December.


Raderwerk is now a dealer for velomobiel.nl products.  Jens announced that they now have a red carbon Quest at their test center in Siedenburg, Germany. The test center provides a place for test rides to compare several velomobiles at the same time. The test center’s stable now includes of course includes the Milan GT and SL as well as the Intercitybike DF and the Quest. 

After more than two months of waiting the countdown page to the unveiling of the new Milan website was finally updated last weekend, it has more info but the same old look and a lot of recycled content!  I guess the development of a new website is unfortunately proving beyond the abilities of the company.  It is very disappointing as there is no mention of the Milan SL MK3 or the two-person Milan 4.2.  Lets hope that work is still working in the background because this website is not at the level of their velomobile building abilities and they company is missing a lot by not being able to communicate the latest velomobile developments with their potential buyers that may even be too far for a visit.


  1. Merci Luc!
    For mulan website it is unfinished in fact and the old website still in place. It will come....soon!
    Still I agree, it is unbelivable to have such a lack of communication nowadays. As much as I love my Milan, their communication sucks. And whitch company need 3 month to code a full new website? On the german forum, there where even ppl offering to help them set up a wordpress blog as an easy website to manage.
    It is also uncleat what they want to do with the velomobil zentrum. A dealer in north germany would be great, except that siedenburg is not easy to reach except with a car....

  2. Thank you for the input Romain, I am keeping an eye on the German Forum and hopefully we'll see something soon since it is a key marketing tool. For most, this is the way you learn about available products.

    Many of you are lucky in Europe to get to a dealer that has many velomobiles to try, we do not have that luxury yet in North America, one has to travel sometimes thousand of kilometers to get to a manufacturer or a distributor and I think all of them are not very close to a big city. A network of dealers who are committed and situated in key locations would certainly help increase the popularity of velomobiles.