Friday, 18 January 2013

Halfie tries a £6,000 Velomobiel Quest XS tricycle for size

Six thousand pounds? A tricycle? Has Halfie lost the plot?

Well, not yet. But look at this! In the days BS (Before Snow) Adrian's friend Bill rolled up in his Dutch built Velomobiel Quest XS human powered vehicle.

It's an amazingly curvaceous machine with its smooth white carbon-fibre shell hiding three wheels: two in front and one behind.

Adrian squeezed in to model the front view. Imagine having this coming up in your rear-view mirror! Bill says he has no problem keeping up with traffic in 30 mph areas.

Yes - I got to have a go, just round the end of Adrian's cul-de-sac.

It might go fast - well over 40 mph - but it has a lousy turning circle compared with a conventional two-wheeler. My first car, an Austin 1100 with a notoriously poor turning circle, could turn in less space!

But I suppose that's not the point. The thing is, it looks fantastic and goes like the clappers. It has brake lights and indicators. It has luggage space. I want one! Not sure how I'd get it on the boat, though. Oh, and it costs a cool six grand - but it's cheaper than a Jaguar E-type.

I wonder how Bill got on in the snow.


Graham Budd said...

The E Type when first launched was only £3500

Halfie said...

Ah, but can you get one now for that?

Halfie said...

HS e-mailed me to say ... well, here is what he said:

I try to send comments but am bemused by the word verification symbols. You used not to have them. By your apology, I assume you can't do otherwise. I have tried to ask how if it human powered, can it go so fast and for how long. Does it need a road licence? If you think it worthwhile, you could ask in my name.

The word verification is an anti-spam measure. I was getting a lot of computer-generated advertising messages, nothing to do with the content of the blog. The letters of the word verification thingy are made hard to decipher in an attempt to foil computer text-recognition programs. Don't worry if you can't decipher them very well either: sometimes you can get away with guessing some of the characters, especially where the photo of the number is particularly hard to read.

In answer to your query about the Velomobiel, what limits the top speed of anything is the resistance to motion. In this case the factors are wind resistance and rolling resistance of the tyres on the road. The wind resistance is often what limits the speed of a conventional bicycle; the Velomobiel is designed to slip through the air easily. The fact that it has one more tyre in contact with the ground is neither here nor there. Bill told me that a German cyclist covered 1200 km in a 24 hour period - an average speed of more than 30 mph. It doesn't need a road licence.