Sunday, October 7, 2012

First Connecticut Velomobile Ride

Yesterday we got three of the four velomobiles in Connecticut together for a 40 mile ride.
From left to right Howard Pfrommer, Mike Zych, and Merrill Gay.  Howard met me at my house in New Britain and we rode out to meet Mike at the Bristol Farmers Market.  After a stop at Super Natural Market and Deli (where the picture was taken) we headed out to Collinsville.  There we encountered the normal attention one gets with a velomobile times three.  Including someone from the Canton Patch who took a picture and wrote a short story.  After breaking loose from the curious we finally headed out.  Along the way we saw a sign for a solar house tour and stopped in for a look.  Turns out it was the home of Lou and Judi Friedman, parents of a co-worker at the Connecticut Citizen Action Group from some 20 odd years ago.

Here's the route we took.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

New rod ends, suspension and lid

 I spent the weekend working on the velomobile.  I replaced these old worn out ball joints

With these new Teflon race rod ends

The new rod ends really tightened up the steering.  I also replaced the springs and dampers in the shock absorbers.  I took the velo out for a test ride and it was so much better.  I wish I had done this before ROAM.  It would have made some of those fast descents down the Rockies and Alleghenies a lot less hairy.  

If you've been following Bentrideronline's velomobile or homebuilder forums you know that the "hot" new material of choice for making fairings this year is blue camping foam.  While not as refined as Zote foam, its a whole lot cheaper and available at the worlds larges retail chain.  Since everyone else is playing with it, I figured I'd try it out.  The Alleweder A-3 has probably the largest opening of any velomobile.  Great for getting in and out, but pretty awful for aerodynamics.  So here's my stab at a velo skirt.  I haven't tried a roll down test or anything to see if it really made it any faster, but it should have.  I have to find that wireless speedometer my brother gave me for Christmas and get it mounted.
Next on the list is a Wakefield roof.  Based on coroplast guru Lee Wakefield's unique design that he used on the Roll over America, its remarkably simple and aerodynamic.  Here's a picture of Lee's mounted on the Quest he rode on ROAM.  Lee even found some silver shelf liner to stick on the top to make sure he had lots of shade.   He was the one Brit on the trip who didn't get sunburned.  Beside being very light weight and having virtually no wind resistance, it comes apart easily and folds so it can be stored in the velo if you want that big sky experience