NEHPV Rally and car free cyclists
From What I've been able to tell, when most people think of going car-free, by default they think of utilizing a conventional bike of some sort, perhaps not realizing that there are alternatives that have many advantages to a conventional upright. This will be the third year I have organized the New England HPV Rally, the purpose of which is to bring people together and spread the word that alternatives do exist!
This years Rally is shaping up to be quite the event - some developments of note regarding the Rally:
David Gordon Wilson (one of the founders of the modern Human Powered Vehicle movement, author of Bicycling Science, and past president of IHPVA, among many other HPV related accomplishments) will be acting as the keynote speaker at the Expo, and for those full registrees who are interested in building their own velomobile/HPV, Nick Hein will give a brief talk on velomobile design and aerodynamics and John Tetz will present information on one of his HPV related specialities, making fairings out of plastazote (he is also bringing his plastazote velomobile).
A wide variety of other HPV's will also be there: Dave Shank from western NY with his kit built Velomobile USA FAW+ and Versatile velomobile, KRASH with his Velo-kit (which is reported to be under $1K), and Steve Mosca, with his BionX assisted Go-One, among others.
Registrations have been coming in, but we are still short of the 30 registree target by September 15, with one week left to go.
For additional information on the Rally, registration info, etc. please visit the Rally page at www.velomobiles.net
The one thing I dislike about current trends in velos is the price. If these are ever going to be viable someone needs to get costs down.
winter is comming
Agreed! But I must say I REALLY like the idea of the twike no doubt the speed of 85km/h is exagerated (or based on 2 fit individuals pedaling madly), but even if 2 averagely fit people could maintain 40-60km/h, this could be a very fun and viable vehicle (if priced appropriatly).
Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
I can imagine the fogging on a cold humid day with 2 riders in the cockpit though.
I think the Twike's top speed is indpendent of human input, and can be raised to over 100km/h by pumping more current through the electric motor. The pedaling just turns a generator that charges the batteries, which isn't very efficient, but given the layout, direct drive was too much of a hassle iirc. Assuming a powerful electric WAW (or something similar) weighs ~200kg with rider, has a Cr=.008, and going off of this, a CdA of ~.12. Then it should need ~1.5kwh@80km/h, which could be supplied by an electric or liquid fuel motor depending on commute distance and cost. If the price of a rolling WAW'ish shell was under $1000 with cycling components... that'd be sweet.
Last edited by lyeinyoureye; 09-08-06 at 10:09 AM.
Wish this was on the west coast.
In the Spring, a bunch of guys held the left coast velomobile gathering, and I would imagine they would probably do it again if people let them know there is interest. See http://www.humboldt1.com/~mhp/LCVMG/index.htm.
Originally Posted by cranky
(organizer of New England HPV Rally)
Velomobiles, cost and other things
As I understand it, the Twike is more of an electric car than a velomobile - human input amounts to less than 10% of the energy that moves the thing, and it is too heavy (about 700 lbs) to move without the batteries. In any event, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) refuses to cerify these things to be used on US roadways, so it is really a moot point. As I understand it, those that are being used here may be legal by state law but not by the Fed.
Originally Posted by lyeinyoureye
At this point, demand for velomobiles is just not there to permit mass production, which is the best hope for an inexpensive (commercially produced velomobile). So velomobiles are currently all hand built, one at a time, and the people building them are really quite adept at keeping the price as low as possible and still being able to support themselves doing it (nobody is getting rich making these things). That said, one of the guys at the rally is just coming out with something he is calling the Velo-kit, retrofittable to a variety of recumbent trikes which is expected to be less than $1000.
Your other option for an inexpensive VM is to build it your self (probably not so inexpensive when you get into it - but a lot of fun and very rewarding). At the rally there will also be a number of folks (experts really) who have gone this route and are willing to share their knowledge.
About the Twikes' reputed top speed. I have no doubt it could go 85 MPH. I had a velomobile decades ago that could reach 70+ MPH down long steep hills; at which point it became aerodynamically unstable. I nearly died finding that out. I would NEVER recommend pushing that bulbous Twike to those speeds. I also damaged my knees 'pushing' it over some very long grades and suffered heat illness twice due to poor ventilation. From now on I wear my environmental protection instead of sitting inside of it.