Friday, August 30, 2013

Another longer ride and observations

A few days ago I took the Milan for a longer ride on Vancouver Island from Campbell river to Comox.  When I left the house, I had the hood on but ended up removing it on the ferry and putting it in Jan's car.  The reason for taking it off were twofold:  first, it was annoying me having it on and it wasn't raining much nor was it supposed to (forecast said only a couple of hours for less than a mm).  I figured this should be OK as it was warm enough and all that could happen was my getting wet.  The second reason was I was riding with a friend to whom I had lent my Borealis.  He didn't have a roof so why should I!!  I met him along the road and off we went.  Well it went from just a few sprinkles to a downpour an hour later.  Just as we got rolling along a slightly downhill section, that goes on for about 15 km, I got a flat.  Changed out the tube and on we went.  I did get a bit chilly doing this but warmed up once we had to climb some hills heading to lunch at a pub. 

 Before the flat I had given up leaving my glasses on as it was just raining too much.  The rain also slowed progress quite a bit.  I am sure on a sunny day I would have ridden this section at 40+ kph just dancing lightly on the pedals--just a perfect section for a velo.   Will need to ride here again. 

The conclusion drawn from this ride was that there is a need for a easily deployable roof that stores inside the velo.  What I am thinking of is a tensioned fabric structure with some batons in it that can be put on in a minute or less without getting out of the velo.  If it works out it would also work nicely as a sunshade.   The Flevobike roof would do this but I would prefer the roof to be wider and to pack smaller.


  1. How about building the roof in sections that Velcro together like Wim Schermer's race cap? I have a Flevobike roof for my Quest and I find it is only good for shade. I t really slows me down. I have "Da Hood" from Sinner that I use in the winter or rainy days. The Flevobike roof will go for sale as soon as I get some time.

  2. I guess it comes down to not liking siting inside a hood. Not that I am claustrophopic but I much prefer the head out approach, feels more like you are connected to what's around. To use a velo as a touring machine having a large hood to store just doesn't cut it. Even if it breaks down into a number of parts. To go faster or stay warmer when it's really cold may justify the bother. A very simple solution may be a cloth cover that fits inside the head opening and catches the rain entering rather than it landing on your chest.