Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Velomobiles stop in Vienna on last day of tour - Update

Today in Vienna an enthusiastic crowd of cyclists and others met members of the velomobile group, Roll Over America, on their last day of a four-week cross-country tour of the U.S. Most of the group were from Europe, primarily Germany and the Netherlands. There were also a few from the U.S. including reps from VelomobileUSA which makes and sells velomobiles in Texas. There were 30 velomobile drivers who stopped for about an hour to enjoy lemonade, cookies and water provided by FABB (thanks to Fionnuala for organizing the event).

It was impressive seeing the colorful collection of velomobiles in one place. The first group rolled in at around 3:45pm and the rest came in over the next hour. The group was on their way to their final stop in the tour in Georgetown.

Velomobiles can be an excellent way to use a pedal-powered vehicle year round. Most of them have an enclosing cover that can be used in foul weather. Some have full suspension, including independent suspension that makes for a comfortable ride (although unfortunately we didn't get a chance to try one out). The vehicle produced by VelomobileUSA costs around $10,500 shipped.

The tour is a great way to show off the technology and get people excited about the prospects of using velomobiles for daily travel. Four of the vehicles were power-assisted, but due to the long distances traveled, and the relatively short battery life, those vehicles were often the last to arrive after having to stop to recharge the batteries. For now pedal power is the way to go for long distance velomobile travel.

As the group was leaving Vienna we took this video that shows all 30 vehicles rolling toward Georgetown on the W&OD Trail.

Update: 8/26/2011:
See a video about the velomobile tour stop in Vienna on Vienna Patch.

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