Lecture series: What can a velomobile be used for?
Today: vacation with the velomobile
- Made by Jens
Today I want to tell you something about vacation trips with the velomobile.
Technically speaking, the velomobile is a bicycle. Nevertheless, a vacation with the velomobile is very different from a conventional bicycle vacation.
There are several reasons for this. In contrast to a bicycle, a velomobile has very good weather protection. With a hood, the driver and luggage are hermetically protected from rain, and the vehicles are also tight from below, as they are built on the basis of self-supporting bodies.
That means that you really become independent of the weather; the fear of rain and storms suddenly no longer plays a role when planning day or longer tours. This is a very significant difference, because many people don't even get on their bikes when a rain shower threatens. With the velomobile this handicap does not apply and that makes enormous possibilities.
The second major difference is the incredibly high driving efficiency of the velomobile compared to conventional bicycles. This means that you can achieve much higher average speeds and ranges. As an example, it should be mentioned here that in 2018 Marcel Graber won the Trans America bike race continental race on the Alpha 7 velomobile. Marcel drove through America from west to east in just 16 days, 6 hours and 40 minutes (6900 km with 65,000 meters of altitude).
Or that the Velomobile Milan set the 24h, 12h, 6h long distance and 200 m sprint world records.
Velomobiles are so efficient that you can plan completely different tours due to the enormously increased daily range. Sporty ambitious drivers can usually travel to their holidays by velomobile and no longer need a train or car. That creates great independence.
But the not so sporty drivers also benefit greatly from the long range and can drive many kilometers per day. An average trained everyday rider will easily cover 150-250 kilometers a day with a velomobile.
What other differences are there to conventional cycling holidays?
Velomobiles have a lot of storage space (video about velomobile storage space), so that you can easily have camping equipment on board. The big advantage is that the air resistance of the vehicle remains minimal even when fully loaded. With a conventional bicycle, the air resistance would increase enormously and the riding stability would also be poor. This is not the case with the velomobile.
You can position food and drink within easy reach and then take it easily while driving. Or simply take breaks in the vehicle when it rains continuously and eat at the same time.
A velomobile has 3 wheels and you don't need to keep your balance. It has full suspension and, thanks to its seating position, offers a very relaxed and comfortable driving position. This means that you can ride for much longer in a row without pain on your bottom or chafing. This also increases the daily range a lot. This is also due to the fact that you don't have to do any holding work in the velomobile as you do on a normal bicycle. The entire upper body remains relaxed and the muscle work benefits the propulsion to the full.
Another advantage of velomobiles is that they can be driven on the road and are highly respected by cars. In many European countries, road use is accepted by law and the police. Country roads are the ideal terrain for velomobile to make a route. But they can also be used on all cycle routes; Gravel passages are no problem at all with somewhat more robust tires. You can of course use all types of cycle paths with velomobiles.
If you want to get to know people on vacation, that's no problem with the velomobile. Every time you take a break on one of the great cycle paths, you will get to know enthusiastic people who would like to know something about this new type of vehicle. This often results in interesting acquaintances.
We live in a time when climate change is threatening people's living space.
Anyone who goes on a self-sufficient active holiday with a velomobile and does without a car or electric bike shows how we can really have a sustainable holiday. Without sacrificing comfort.
And it makes a good contribution to the decarbonization of our society not only because it generates very little CO2 but also because it makes a strong statement in the public space and shows an example of how it works:
Velomobile vacation is a fascinating adventure with guaranteed experience.