Monday, August 13, 2012

Surprise, not riding velo much

There is a reason for not riding one of my velomobiles much.  I have a high racer that I am trying to get down to under one dollar per kilometer.  It has taken quite a while to get to this point where I am close to the goal as I have had the high racer for three or four years.  Obviously I have not ridden it much opting to use a velomobile instead.   It is a Bacchetta Strada that I bought from Cambie Cycles for a good price.   I do have some criteria for doing this, it has to warm enough to ride with short sleeves, it has to be dry, there have to be some hills and the ride can't be too far.   Riding to the post office or store on the island fits these conditions but at only 10 km for the round trip you don't knock off very many kilometers.

Last week end I went for a longer ride catching the ferry over to Vancouver Island.  It was a nice warm sunny day and I rode too far without eating and drinking enough so the last bit of the ride wasn't as pleasant as it should have been.  The last steep hill after getting off the ferry to Quadra Island was tough.  Had I been in my velomobile I would most likely have stopped and rested very briefly on the hill or gone at a very slow pace in low gear.  On the high racer I don't have the option of stopping without getting off(walking is uncool but can be necessary) and it is geared a bit high to go slow enough.  If I rode much slower balance becomes my main issue.  I did the same ride just a couple of days ago and felt much better.  A bit more liquids and some food did the trick.  I did have a good tail wind for the first part of the ride and was holding 38-40 kph which was great except I would have to ride back against it. 

I finally rode the velo to the post office the other day.  The big surprise was that I was faster than with the high racer.  The trip ended up being 25:38 minutes compared to around 28-30 on the high racer.  I had assumed that I would be faster on the high racer as it is a bit hilly.  The reason the velo was faster is that I could carry a bit more speed from the downhills to the uphill.  The hills are fairly short but terrain is not would I would call velomobile friendly.  Not enough rolling hills just some short steep bits.  Curious to see if the Milan GT will be even quicker as I should have a bit more speed coming into the uphill bits.  Even just a few more kph cresting the hills would make a big difference.

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