Monday, July 17, 2006

Bike Clubbing

A bike club is growing in Toronto. Right now the name isn't quite decided on, so it's going by Human Powered Vehicles Toronto. Here's a quote from the club's web site that really sums things up:

"This is intended as a social group of people who enjoy pushing the limits of bicycles and other human powered vehicles: recumbents, cargo-bikes, home-built-creations, etc. Bike rides, food, and fun are also important elements of this group!"

We've had a few get-togethers so far, usually involving eating somewhere, preferably with a patio, and hopefully a bike ride.

You can find out more about it on the official club site, and if you're interested in joining us, sign up for the mail lists. Events are different every time we meet. We usually talk about all kinds of things, but you'd be amazed by how many topics of conversation can lead back to bicycles. (My wife is sometimes amazed too, but that has nothing to do with the bike club.)

On this past sweltering Saturday, we met up at the Velotique bike shop on Queen Street East. Our excuse for going there was to see a velomobile being shown by Blue Velo. In case you're as unfamiliar as I am with this stuff, a velomobile is recumbent tricycle with a fully encased seating area. They're made to be comfortable, low, aerodynamic and fast.

Somehow, I was offered to take one of these things for a ride. I didn't even have to pretend I was thinking about buying one.

Vic went first and took off around the park. They're almost as cool to watch move as they are to ride. Since you can't see the cyclist's feet moving, or even much of the cyclist at all, they look like some kind of Star Wars droid zipping along the road or path.

My ride was interrupted by some pedestrians crossing the path, which then led to a long conversation with a couple about what the hell this thing was that I was sitting in. They were impressed.

It was fun to ride. I felt the acceleration on my back as I quickly got up to 20 km/h. I wasn't able to go too much faster because of all the turns. It's extremely comfortable to have your torso at rest, while your feet spin away up in front of you.

Everyone turns to look as it passes, and they usually smile when they realize what they're looking at.

I'll add a couple photos here when I get a chance. In the meantime you can check them out on Vic's site.

Darren J 7/17/2006 01:48:00 PM

3 Comments:

Cool eh, uhmm now you have to buy a recumbent bike and you'll never look back :-D
Those velomobiles just look fast.

I've always wanted to try a recumbent. I'm going to try and get out to the next meeting. I don't have any more weddings to go to this summer ;)
Hey Darren;
This is the bike you need for your next ride to Ottawa. I note you didn't ride your bike back to TO though. Is there a side car with it or is that something that will come as the price of gas continues to rise in an upward spiral.
The Dincus kid just called to say that he busted his left ankle in all directions whilst decending Whistler today, 8 weeks incapacitated, means no more Mtn. Bike coaching for the summer, Bummer.

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