Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Pacific Populaire

There were three velomobiles in the Pacific Populaire this year.  Aaron in his Quest, Brock in his Borealis V1 and myself in the Borealis V3.  This was the first longer ride for me in the V3.  Here's a picture of us waiting before the start.    
We ended up moving onto the sidewalk behind us as the 100 km Populaire started in the opposite direction from our start.   The whole roadway was filled with bikes and we would have been in the way.  We choose to do the 50 km route.  It ended up being a good choice for me as I haven't been riding all that much.  This way we had time for a leisurely lunch afterward. 

Once we were underway I got sucked into going a bit harder than I had intended.  A small bit of uphill at the  start and I couldn't resist not being dropped badly so I worked a bit much.  The beginning of the route is on side streets with quite a few stops and  traffic calming circles.  The traffic calming devices all seemed to have 6" high curbs around them which would  be uncool to hit as you round them at speed.  Probably not too hard to end up on your side or even roll the velo.  I was quite impressed with suspension on all three wheels as some of the road surfaces left a lot to be desired. Once this section was done we crossed the Fraser River and we were on the flats in Richmond.  I was familiar with the route now as its the same as the 100 km route which I have done before.  I was feeling good and just rode fairly hard to the control point.   I arrived a bit before Brock and some time before Aaron.  Brock took off almost right away as he wanted to see if he could better his time from last year.  Brock thought we were to first of the 50km riders to arrive at the control point.   I waited for Aaron and then we started back together.  Aaron and I did a coasting test at moderate speed and I coasted faster.  We should have coasted at the same speed but Aaron suspected he had  a mechanical issue with one of his wheels.   After lunch Aaron and Brock worked on the issue while I rode off down to MEC to buy myself a GPS.   The reason for buying the GPS was to campare velomobiles.  I now have a V1, V2 , V3, and a WAW to compare.   One conclusion from the ride was that the V3 is a bit faster than the V1 even though its 5 cm wider.  More on why this is in a future post.  Brock did better his time from last year but was passed by five riders on the uphill to the finish. Here's at photo of the V3 in the parking lot at the shop.

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