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September 11

The Bike Trek for Life and Breath was fun. There were 326 participants and we managed to raise over $300,000. The route was from Hassselmere to Cultus Lake on the Saturday and return along a bit different route on Sunday. On Saturady had some great fun in rolling terrain where you could zoom down the hills and carry your speed almost all the way up the other side. Got to try out staying with a paceline but they were just a bit faster as soon as we got off the level or slight downhill. Some strong riders who looked like they trained a bunch. Incentive to train rather than just ride to and from work! There was a vicious hill at the end of the ride Saturday, maybe a km long but with a steep bit at 16% and the rest 8% or so. This is the first time I had to use the lowest gear in the small chain ring. Just crept up the hill at a slow walking pace. Sunday 's weather was nicer and I was the "pacecar" for a little bit for a team until we got to the hills where they got away. The last 25km were slow as there was a fair bit of climbing with long run outs where carrying speed up the other side didn't help much. Here a few pictures

At the start on Friday night a hot air ballon just launching

Looking across the valley to Sumas Mountain

The last bit of the trip back to the shop, the ferry ride across the Fraser River. I rode down to the event on Friday and camped and then rode back after it on Sunday. The ride back was more pleasant than the ride there as I picked a much better route, less traffic more rural, even though I was a bit tried.

The picture below shows the velomobile loaded with some camping gear. Just add another clothes bag, stove and a food bag and we are ready for a longer trip. Suprising the velomobile performed very much lilke when it was empty even with the gear in it. It just felt a bit heavier. Most of the weight ends up close to the rear axle as that is where the most volume is. If I added a bag or two under the seat the weight distribution would be very close to what its like empty. There is still room to strap a couple of bags beside the heel cutouts if you wanted to fine tune the balance.

One thing to add is a easily accessable pouch for the camera and snacks. I had the camera behind me where I could still get it but didn't take very many pictures as it took a while to get it out. The ideal spot would be on the inside of the wheel well just below your elbow. Easy to reach and you can see whats there with just a quick glance. Also need to add another water bottle holder in front of the right wheel well. I just contact cemented a foam loop in front of the left wheel well leaving it big enough to hold a liter bottle. Works great, is light and cheap.


September 8

Have completed making the new mould for the rear vent cover. The opening under the cover is now about half again as big as it was. Have not had a opportunity to try it out yet but willl this weekend as I am participating in the Bike Trek for Life and Breath which is a fund raiser for the BC Lung Association.

Presently comtemplating if making the top half of the velomobile in four parts is easier/better than the present two. The advantage of making it in more parts is that they are smaller and easier to make and can build some extra stiffness into the body with inward facing flanges which reduce the need to use a core somewhat. Another benefit may be the it would be possible to unbolt the door and a side panel on the left side opposite the door and create a convertitble version of the velomobile. A fabric sock/cover could join the front and back sections to keep the sun off or if it caught in sudden showers. The fabric cover would also let you take advantage of evaporative cooling by spraying the inside of the cover with water. Simple and maybe very effective air conditoning. This arrangement might be ideal for summer riding making the velomobile more versatile.

Have finalized the signal lights. They will be a tightly packed array of LEDs cast inside some clear casting resin. After trying a few options we now are now very close to what is found on the second (green) prototype.

With the completion of the lights and a couple other small parts we should be able to complete the red and yellow velomobiles presently under construction. Hopefully they will be done in the next couple of weeks.



August 15

I measured the volume behind the seat by filling the back up with plastic chips. The total volume comes out at about 120 litres. The picture below shows the back filled with 90 litres of chips and the container sitting on the chips is 1.10 litres.

August 11 Progress

Added rear vents to the velomobile and made rain covers for them. After using it a bit I have decided to make them bigger by making them taller to increase the size of the vent. I will have a interior cover for the holes in the shell to close them off, when less venting is needed. I will draw up the vent cover shape and cut it on our CNC router table insuring that the plug is symmetrical so I can use the same mould for both sides of the velomobile.

Made a list of the composite parts now required to build the Aurora. It is quite a bit bigger than the three or four parts I had thought it might take to make a velomobile. At present the list is for eighteen separate parts. Luckly some of them are quite small and easy to make.