I sold my velomobile today. It is currently on the way to Greven, cycled by its proud new owner.
Why did I sell?
Well, first of all, I am going to Canada, so I need the money more than I need a cycling extravaganza. Longworth is definitely not a place for a velomobile.
Secondly, I did not ride it all that often. Actually I have not used it in several month and only rarely before that. I found it clumsy and a little claustrophobic in inner city traffic. While you are clearly visible to other vehicle drivers (it is a 2 meter long bright yellow egg we are talking about), your own ability to see the surrounding traffic is rather limited. Two rear view mirrors help, but it is in now way comparable with the easy round-view a normal bike gives you.
On longer overland tours the velomobile does fine, as long as the weather is cool but not rainy. When it rains, you keep dry, but your vision gets very limited because of the drops on the windsheet (no wipers). When it gets too cold, the air you breathe out condensates on the inside of the windows, making it difficult to see as well. When it gets too hot, it just plainly gets too hot. So actually I found the velomobile much less suited for different weather conditions than I had originally thought.
Plus it is a lot heavier than a normal bike and takes a lot more power to get to speed. Wind does not bother you all that much, but even the slightest uphill slope will slow you down considerably.
All in all I found the velomobile more a crazy (and admittedly very cool looking) gimmick than a usable everyday vehicle. And I just don’t have room for gimmicks like that in my life at the moment. So when the opportunity to sell came from out of nowhere this week, I took my chance. Sorry Soeren! I know you wanted to testdrive. The new owner works at Tectura, so you still might get a chance.
And even though I just ranted how useless it was, I have tears in my eyes at the moment when I think of my Fliwatuet. I will miss my crazy yellow egg.