Sunday, July 4, 2010

The Next Challenge

Ever since I was a kid the idea of riding across the country has appealed to me. However, job, mortgage, kids etc all intervened to push the idea off the priority list. Next year I'll turn 50 and through Bentrideronline I discovered that a group of 24 European velonouts are planning what they are calling the Roll Over America. ROAM won't be your typical relaxed two or three month cross country ride. Since the Europeans will be doing this on their August vacation (yes, most Europeans get the whole month of August off) the ride will be an ambitious 4,000 kilometers (3,300 miles) in 30 days. Its now or never, if all goes as planned, I'll be rider # 36.

Next step, acquiring a real velomobile. The Quest is a beautiful machine now manufactured in Toronto, but with a daughter starting college next September the $8K price tag is out of the question.
The only thing significantly cheaper is the FAW+ from VelomobilesUSA that can be purchased as a kit for a little over $3K.
It's an updated version of the original production velomobile before the industry got into fiberglass, Kevlar and carbon fiber. Fortunately, I have a friend who's built a couple of airplanes so the idea of building a velomobile out of aluminum doesn't sound too daunting.

3 comments:

Ethan said...

Since ROAM is already happening, I think it would be a good idea to help to spread awareness of velomobiles by doing what we can to publicize it. Maybe some gatherings that dovetail with ROAM when it is passing though, so that interested people will be able to learn more about them rather than just seeing a bunch of odd machines pass by, without explanation. What do you think?

Ethan said...

Since ROAM is already happening, I think it would be a good idea to help to spread awareness of velomobiles by doing what we can to publicize it. Maybe some gatherings that dovetail with ROAM when it is passing though, so that interested people will be able to learn more about them rather than just seeing a bunch of odd machines pass by, without explanation. What do you think?

Merrill Gay said...

Sounds like a great idea. I'd love to identify groups along the route that might use the arrival of 50 velomobiles as a draw for a fundraiser that might involve feeding the velonauts. After a full day of riding it would be nice to have someone else cooking. The rest days would be ideal for "expo" days to show off the vehicles.