This brevet has been on my calendar for a few months, I rode the same course last year and I though it was a good course, in particular for a velomobile with only 2000m of climbing.
At 4:30AM, the air is cold, 9C but relatively comfortable and the sky is clear. I needed to put on a jacket, I wish I had my sleeves but at least I have my warm-up legs.
My friend Alain from the Montreal Randonneurs, who was at the Sunshine 1200, came with his Quest to ride this brevet. We quickly made our way to the front while riding through suburbia and once on the open road, we started putting serios distance between us and the rest of the group.
After a few minutes, I found myself way ahead of Alain too, and while he is a stronger and more seasoned rider, he could not keep up with the speed of the DF and I waited for him. The difference in speed is so noticeable, it is in the order of 5 to 7km/h on the flat. Since he came from Montreal to ride with me, I wanted to remain with him so I would stop and let him catch-up.
Around lunchtime, Alain started having drivetrain issues, he had problem especially going up the hills, there were weird noises, thonk, thonk. At that point we are at the furthest from our point of departure. After a long time trying to figure out where the noise is coming from, He decided to continue at a slower pace to see if he can ride gently back to the arrival but he give me his key and tells me to go ahead and if he can’t make it, I would be able to rescue him.
|Trying to resolve drivetrain issues on the Quest|
In the afternoon the road is busy with a large bike tour with several thousands cyclists and a motorcycle tour with some 500+ motorcycles travelling on the same roads. I make it to destination at around 8:20PM.
Alain and I stay in touch throughout the day and he’s stuck almost two hours by car from the point of departure/arrival. His idler broke and he had no way of repairing it on the road. I went to pick him up and we made it back after 12AM. Velomobiles are very fast but sometimes more difficult to repair than standard bicycles.
It was fun to ride with another velomobile and to see the difference in performance first hand. The DF is faster, climbs better (well it also depends on gearing and legs) and size difference is fairly big. I had a chance to try the Quest and it feels so large, I had forgotten how much.
Oh, by the way, my new custom foot beds have improved but not cured the hotfoot issues I had on the 300km brevet, my toes got numb and the foot started to be sensitive on the last 75km but it was not overly painful. I will go back to see if they can be improved.
Australian Pedal Prix
Teams are getting ready for the second event of the season and organizers have made changes to the start of the race. A fifteen-meter gap between each of the different categories will be mandated on the warm-up lap before the start of the race. This will address a problem where some teams took position ahead of others in their category at the start thus giving them an unfair advantage for the race.
Production has resumed at Intercitybike, in May there were 10 velomobiles delivered by Intercitybike, 5 DF and 5DF-XL The orderbook is relatively stable with 84 velomobiles on order.
Daniel’s Skunkworks is still very busy, Daniel is in the process of designing a new stiffer boom for the DF. Strong rider notice some flex in the current boom and this will address this issue. The bottom bracket and crank will be inside the boom, that will be raised a bit to center the pedal stroke. The boom will have pre-drilled location for the crank as a result, the location will be moved significantly if the crank is moved from one hole to the next. He’s also continuing work on the DFs, the extra small velomobile, pictures show that he has built a narrower bridge.
The order book is filling up at Velomobiel there are now 44 velomobiles on order, almost half of them are QuatroVelos. In May, there were just 6 velomobile delivered in May. The brakedown is 4 Strades, 1 Strada Carbon and 1 Quest XS Carbon.