July around here is really the start of the summer; not that the weather has not been nice to ride previously but kids are out of school, people are starting to take their summer vacation. Everywhere we go, there are tons of people outside. So far we have not had oppressive heat waves and I like it.
Last week I went to get the 11-40 cassette I ordered a few weeks ago. This cassette will hopefully provide me a bit more range for climbing steeper hills I may encounter during brevets and bike tours.
I ordered the cassette from a bike store that is on the other side of town and the roads in in the city are a mess especially this summer as the city is going to light rail transit. Many roads are closed, some have closed lanes, etc. I decided to ride the DF to get there but had to plan the trip carefully.
My route took me over the Eastern Parkway to downtown then across downtown, passing in front of the parliament buildings, several museums then on a bike path across a bridge over the Ottawa River then a short ride in front of more large government buildings to get to destination. This is probably one of the best bike store in the area but they do not sell recumbent bicycles and had never seen a velomobile in real life. Most of the staff came out to see the unusual bike and were receptive to this new type of bike.
After purchasing my cassette, I made my way back home but traffic downtown in the afternoon was getting fairly heavy, tour busses, hoards of tourists visiting, workers trying to get home early on a nice day. I make it back on the Parkway where traffic is lighter and pass the Aviation Museum, which is the starting and end point of the weekly Ottawa Bike Club 15km time trial.
I finally make it home and load my GPS data on Garmin and I find that I scored 3 first places on Garmin segments set on the TT course. I guess I should go see if the club will let me participate in the TT.
Yesterday I was driving my vehicle with my velomobile on the back. On the road I encountered a number of cyclists. At the bottom of a hill I saw 3 riders by the side of the road. As I was passing by, I noticed that they appeared to be injured. I decided to turn around to see if I could be of any help. As I suspected two of them had fallen down at high speed, one bike had a broken wheel, on rider had serious road rash and the other just minor stuff. I offered first aid and helped one the chain had come off the front ring and was stuck. In the course of this, I pointed to the velomobile and said that maybe they would not have sustained injury if they were riding a velomobile. At least one of them already knew of velomobiles and said they don’t climb very fast but I said you will be much faster overall not to mention safer.
We need to do a better job of introducing cyclists to velomobiles and debunk some of the preconceived ideas they may have with hard facts. The fact that there are so few on the roads is already a reason for this lack of knowledge but we must take every opportunity to inform them.
In the world of velomobiles, Veklomobiel and IntercityBike were busy delivering velomobiles and the guys are probably enjoying the nice weather to go riding.
In June Velomobiel delivered 10 velomobiles: 2 Carbon Quest, 2 Carbon Quest XS, 3 Quest XS, 1 Carbon Strada and 2 Strada. And there are 38 velomobiles on order at the end of June.
June was a good month for deliveries with 7 DF and 7 DF-XL for a total of 14 deliveries. There are 66 velomobiles on order at the end of June. At the current rate, the waiting time is less than 6 months.
Intercitybike delivered the DF-S the last week, the smaller version of the DF was built as custom order will be apparently used to race and set records. It is probably one of the lightest velomobile on the road currently and provided an opportunity for Daniel Fenn to see how to produce a lighter velomobile without compromising durability and strength. The DF-S may not go into production; the cost to produce the molds may not be recuperated in a reasonable time because the demand from very small riders is… small!
The first production hoods for the DF should be delivered from Romania at the end of July. They had to address quality issues and IntercityBike and waiting delivery of the hardened windshield.
Australian Pedal Prix
The Victoria Park race is taking place this weekend. Let’s see if the same team will be able to repeat their excellent performances.