Sunday, August 21, 2011

Velomobile ride comes to Northern Virginia

Photo from TBD on Foot
A group of velomobile riders are finishing their ride across America this week and will be passing through Northern Virginia on the W&OD Trail on Wednesday afternoon. The group plans to eat lunch in Paeonian Springs and will likely pass through Reston and Vienna mid afternoon.

Velomobiles are pedal-powered vehicles that are enclosed and can be used in all weather conditions. There are only a few in use today, mostly in Europe. Josef Janning, a former German official, a long time bike commuter, put together the tour. In the TBD article Two dozen velomobiles ride across America to Washington, DC he describes his goals for the tour:
"We in the West have to start doing things in a different way to make room for others to adapt," Janning says in the video.

What does this mean? What Janning gets at is the idea that we have to move away from cars and to bicycles and velomobiles. He talks how he wanted to attract attention to velomobiles and imagined expanding the notion of what bike commuting can mean in the U.S. "Why not take these exotic commuter bikes to the United States and bike across the country?" Janning speculates that there are hardly any velomobiles in the U.S. and sees his trip as a way to raise awareness for what they can do.

We've contacted Josef and plan to meet the riders as they pass on the trail. Watch our Facebook page for more info.

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