‘Just the Bike’ for an Urban Environment

Background Reading

Summary

Chicago’s so-called ‘elites‘ are very certain that they have a handle on the future of Human Powered Vehicle transportation going forward. In fact one of these said as much here:

Tribix Velomobile

Tribix Velomobile

Posted by Mike Zumwalt on July 30, 2014 at 3:25pm
Well maybe? It might have been another make but this is all I got back from Google-ing that looked like it.
It was going up Broadway and was really visible from behind but shorter than the parked cars it was riding next to and no front light during the day.

Reply by Tricolor yesterday
I’ve seen an enclosed torpedo-looking recumbent on the lake a few times now. Never moving, so I don’t know what kind of speed it can make, but it would be nice for when it rains.
That thing and pedicabs are a bit too wide for your average bike lane or filtering through traffic, but it would be fun to pilot if it’s not too heavy.

Reply by Nikul Shah yesterday
I saw that on NB Lincoln a couple weeks ago. Seemed to be moving at a pretty good clip, but hard to judge as I was going SB.

Reply by Anne Alt yesterday
A few years back when I was a course marshal on Bike the Drive, I saw a very aerodynamic one (seen it at other events too) multiple times in the course of the event. That one started with the earliest riders at 5:30 a.m. Saw him go past 3 times to/from the south end of the route, with enough time between trips south that I assume he got all the way north in between. If he made 3 full circuits, as it appeared he did, he did 90 miles in less than 4 hours – seriously fast. He was zooming past at rocketlike speeds every time I saw him.

Quest Velomobile

Quest Velomobile

Reply by Marc A. Irwin yesterday
I’ve seen this guy in an enclosed recumbent trike with a friend of mine at OHR in Ann Arbor, he said 38-40 is not uncommon. He will average around 30mph on most century rides.

Reply by Jeff Schneider yesterday
It looks like a lot of fun for a recreational ride without much traffic. It must be extremely efficient on a decent open road. It would be hard to carry up the stairs to my apartment, however – and I’m not sure where I would carry the groceries 😉

Reply by Mike Zumwalt 13 hours ago
It would be great on a rails to trails but really difficult to get in your 3rd floor walk up.

Reply by Chitown_Mike 11 hours ago
I would totally make plane noises as I rode around in one of those things.
Probably paint it like an old WWII fighter too!

Reply by Walter Dworak 11 hours ago
This needs to be a thing, it sounds like it’d be one of the funnest rides ever.

Never The Brightest Bulbs On The Tree

Abraham-Lincoln-quote

Abraham-Lincoln-quote

You can always count on the ChainLink Forum members to prove the truism of Abraham Lincoln. All you need is a sense of arrogance (check) and the feeling that the sun shines out of your arse and you are ready to make a fool of yourself.

A few notions about recumbents:

  • They come in different heights and widths
  • They are quite fast
  • They almost always have a minimal amount of storage for things like groceries of stuff to carry while riding
  • They are by their very design precisely what would work in nearly all weather conditions
  • They are heavy and probably cannot be carried up to your apartment, but you cannot carry your car up their either. Think of this as a human powered equivalent to your car

For Those Not Too Arrogant To Learn

What May Not Be Clear About Recumbents

Of all the places in the world The Netherlands are a hotbed of recumbent design and manufacture. In fact if you are talking about things like velomobiles look no further than The Netherlands. It might shock some readers who are hellbent on forcing the world into their own very limited mindset of what constitutes an Urban Cycling vehicle. But the Dutch are very far ahead of Americans on this issue. The Germans are also quite proficient at recumbent manufacture and design.

When it comes to understanding anything about bicycles Americans and Chicagoans in particular are likely to be asses. That goes a very long way to explaining the nature and atmosphere of the ChainLink Forum.