Every year in Canada and in the U.S pesky rodents called groundhogs, emerge from their burrows on Feb. 2, to help predict the weather for the coming months. According to the tradition, if a groundhog sees its shadow on Groundhog Day, there will be another six weeks of winter. If it doesn't, that means spring is coming early. In Canada Wiarton Willie probably is the best-known rodent and Punxsutawney Phil the US equivalent but there are several others. Well this year Wiarton Willie predicted that there would be 6 more weeks of winter and he appears to be right. At the time, I had no faith in the prognosticating rodent, at that time we hardly had any snow on the ground and the temperature was relatively mild but I was wrong. Since the beginning of February we’ve been having snow and widely fluctuating temperatures. Going from deep cold, snow to rainy days then back to cold again. As a result I’ve spent hours making big piles of snow around my property.
|Deer feeding in front yard by piles of snow|
Maybe Willie was not happy that I did not pay him a visit during the Wiarton Connection 600km brevet I rode last year. So what does it have to do with velomobiling? Anyhow this weather is making it virtually impossible to ride and it will not get better for the next couple of weeks.
In the mean time, I am continuing to plan my season; I am ordering parts, performing maintenance and some modifications in preparation for the time when I will be able to ride safely on the roads.
Wim posted pictures of Daniel Fenn’s DF with Stormstrips. When I had my Carbon Quest, I discovered the Stormstrips. They provided a real improvement when riding in situations where there was a side wind. The wind pushes the velomobile sideways but the wind over the shell also creates a zone of low pressure on the other side of the shell just like a wing, this low pressure is creating suction on the opposite side therefore increasing the push of the wind. The Stormstrip breaks the airflow over the shell that creates this low-pressure area therefore eliminating the effect of suction, making it easier and safer to ride in windy conditions.
The problem can be acute at times in a strong side wind on the Quest due to the smooth shape. When I purchased the DF, people told me that this problem would be virtually gone because the humps would not provide the smooth airflow required to create a strong low pressure. While the DF is much better than the Quest, it must be helping, Daniel apparently saw an improvement in the handling of the DF. While the Quest has a single Stormstrip going from nose to tail down the middle, Daniel installed one strip on each of the humps at the front and a single Stormstrip from turtle deck to the tail.
|DF With Stormstrips|
I wonder how many people will try the Stormstrip on the DF, I think I’ll give it a shot. For those interested, the Stormstrips are available from Wim’s web store.
This week Trisled launched a new website . All models from road to track are available. Looking at site I am surprised to see that a road version of the world speed record velomobile Completely Overzealous 2 is available for sale if you can spare A$16,500 or approximately US$12,000 or €11,000 you can get the new 25kg Overzealous XC. There are few specifications published but we know that it has a Pinion 18-speed and a 16m turning radius. I compared the size to the Milan SL and it Overzealous is 30mm shorter, 24mm wider and 65mm lower and it sits 70mm above the ground. I wanted to compare the Trisled velomobile to the Milan RS but the information regarding this model has disappeared from the Milan website. I wonder how many Overzealous RS will make it to the road. One thing I’m disappointed that I did not see is the new Coroplast road velomobile kit currently under development.
SPEZI is the largest tradeshow where European velomobile manufacturers display their products is coming soon. The tradeshow is open to the public will take place April 23th and 24th in Germersheim, Germany. This event provides the opportunity to see and test velomobiles as well as to attend lectures and meet other riders. SPEZI is not a velomobile specific event; it caters to all types of special cycling vehicles including recumbent bikes, trikes, transporters, etc.
While manufacturers have not made their plans known yet there are some hints of new velomobiles making their appearance. The following is speculation but it is probably a given that the QuattroVelo will be there, the upgraded version of the Evo-K will probably be there and maybe the elusive Evo-Kx may make an appearance, there is a chance we could also see the Velomo Quad velomobile. Will Daniel Fenn be ready to show his new DF-XL derived quad velo? What bout Raderwerk? They should have the Milan 4.2 but what else do they have? Of course those are still under development so they may not be available for show.
Over the next few weeks I will try to inform myself of the upcoming appearances and report here. Unfortunately I will not be able to attend and see those in person. Maybe I should have started a fund me campaign!