Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today's discovery was that while the RotoVelo might look a bit like a kayak, it doesn't behave like one.

I was riding in the storm drain that is Moonee Ponds Creek, and the grass growing out into the creek has grown out to the point where there's only about 10cm between the edge of the grass and the edge of the water (right where the video snippet the other day showed the dog). So at about 25kph I decided to ride mostly over the grass in an attempt to avoid the water.

Turns out that the "grass" is actually quite a solid mass of mostly soil and roots.

The front wheel bounced up and off the grass, turning me sharply left and into the creek. Which is only about 15cm deep, but that's deep enough for the foot slots to act as big water scoops and stop the trike very quickly. While filling it with water.

Fortunately I was the right way up and could just ride out of the creek, then stop and drain the water out. Which is easy enough, that part is just like a kayak - grab the back end and roll the vehicle over.

Cue rattling sounds as all the junk I've stashed in it clatters out, along with the

The good news is that inside the velomobile there's no real wind, so despite being sopping wet I was still quite warm. It was about 8 degress (Celcius) this morning, not a good temerature to be riding an upright while wet.

Tomorrow I will bring a spade to work and on my way home do some "lawn mowing".

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Tim gets excited... going fast in the rain

Tim has just sent me this link and it's worth a couple of minutes of your time. He's riding down a bit of a hill on a motorway, in the rain. With the hatch cover off by the look of it:

Which does remind me, I need to get a better speedo. The Knog one seems to record 145km/hr as my top speed every day, so I suspect it has some kind of limit to what speed it will allow. I don't think I go anywhere near that fast, so I'm going to try for a more accurate speedo. My actual top speed on my daily commute is probably only about 60km/hr, usually on the new bridge near Flemington Station. That's a fairly steep descent on a fairly good path, so I can coast from 30km/hr at the top of the hill and still be doing 50km/hr when I get to the bridge.

Ride to Work Day

Today is National Ride to Work Day, and there were free breakfasts all over town put on by bike shops and random advertisers. Naturally I planned a route and got up early to maximise the number of free snacks I got.

I left home at about 6:30am (actual time 6:45am) and headed to the Human Powered Cycles stall in Merri Parade / St Georges Road since they opened first. Free muffin and a quick chat with Bill and Lewis then off down St George's Road to the bowling club and a particularly badly located stall. In a park some distance from the road, on the inside of a corner, with no pram ramps and a high curb. But they had muffins and fruit, as well as juice and coffee. So the few cyclists that stopped were well rewarded.

Stop three was Velo Cycles who are located brilliantly for a day like this with the Park St bike path giving them lots of quiet outside space. Another banana and muffin, a quick peek inside the shop (they stock the Taga bike/pram that I haven't had a chance to peer at before). Then off to Commuter Cycles by 7:30am to watch Huw getting organised and meet up with a couple of Victorian Greens people winding up for the state election next month.

Those were all within a couple of kilometres of home, so I added less than 10km to my commute.

Then off to work along the usual route and one last stop at Docklands which was very corporate as you'd expect. The Melbourne Bike Share people were there in force peddling their scheme with its "bring your own helmet" problem, as well as their RACV sponsorship problem (We love cars! We sell car insurance! Win plane travel!).

Lots of comments on the rotovelo, especially since it was foggy with light misty rain, making it a bit unpleasant for other cyclists :) People were impressed with the lights and how visible it is as well as the "out of the wet" aspect. And the "not falling off" thing on a day like this with nice greasy roads.

All up a slow and well-fed ride to work today.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Video from the social ride

Ben has edited together video from the social ride the other day. We had a bunch of the cheap cameras on different bikes: