Saturday, December 29, 2012

Too Much Christmas and Not enough exercise.

On a blog by Rob Nieuwegein he said after two days of sitting and eating his body was crying for some exercise. I agree! Christmas here in Canada involves Family, friends and lots of food and drink. I take holidays this time of year to prepare for Christmas and time to recover from Christmas. This year is different because I have the Quest. I have been riding it with just the snow tire on the back and the Durangos have been doing a good job on the front so far. Since I had a set of Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires that I had ordered before the Quest arrived, I put them on just to see how well they performed.  I find the Winter tires on the front really increase the effort  but in soft snow it lets the bike float over the snow better than the Durango's. The stopping is better too on ice. Now I get back into shape riding the Quest.

Winter tires added to front.


One project I also completed this week was a trail groomer to groom trails for our dog club. One member has some treed property with trails that we will groom for a race later this winter. Our club is made up of people that Skijour with their dogs and others that use a kicksled like me with their dogs. I only have 3 dogs but they go fast enough for me. The Huskies really enjoy it!  Sunday we will take the groomer out and test it.     

      I got a video camera for Christmas with two mounts for it. The helmet mount got Velcro-ed to the Quest and the handlebar mount got mounted on the dog sled. I hope in the future blogs to include a video as well as pictures. Maybe I can go on my own Donut tour next week since I missed Oliebollentocht 2012...

Quest camera mount.
Dog sled camera mount
Taking the Quest XS out for a night ride.

Friday, December 21, 2012

It’s a Real White Christmas

It’s a Real White Christmas
Lets start this weeks blog by wishing everyone a Merry Christmas!  Here in the center of Canada it is really white now. The weather has been mild this week with -15C lows and   -7C highs. We have had snow every day. The dry flaky type of snow that slowly floats to the ground. On the streets the salt melts it but on the bike paths it adds up. Monday night when I was coming home late at night I had to get out and push the Quest across a snow covered bridge that was too deep and had not been cleared. The mild temperatures made it nice to cycle in just a light summer jacket. I’m learning how to dress for the Velomobile now. This is the chart I made up, but I haven’t tested it yet.
0 to -10 C  a light summer jacket
-11 to -20 C add a cotton T-shirt
-21 to -30 add Fleece shirt
-31 to -40 add long underwear.
-41 and below – add the 1 piece red woolen long underwear or stay home and drink hot drinks.
 Of course I carry extra clothes in case of tire problems.
On the bike path in the early morning. First tracks of the day!
.  I start work at 7:00 am so I leave to work early before 6:00 am. There is very little car traffic and no traffic on the bike paths. I usually make the first tracks. Very quiet out except for the noise I make. I added a buzzer to my turn signal flasher so I can hear it now. There is nothing worse than me driving down the street now with the turn signal on  Now they can see and hear me too!
White buzzer showed here Velcro-ed  in place

At home the Quest rests inside a nice warm shop and at work the same thing. Our shop door at home has a remote that I mounted in the Quest and at work we have a magnetic loop in the concrete that detects metal when you drive over it. I was surprised that the Quest opens it. A regular bike won't open it. Another reason to love your Quest :) 

Saturday, December 15, 2012

I’m Learning… Slowly.

I’m Learning… Slowly.

I’m learning slowly about riding the Quest in winter. Monday morning started out with a -29C temperature. I got up extra early for this first ride. I packed my lunch, extra jacket, extra clothes and extra heavy mitts. I dressed like I would to ride my regular recumbent. BIG MISTAKE! I was too warm! Now being too warm is a good thing to complain about. I had to stop and remove my jacket and take off the mitts. On the way home I dressed lighter. It took me longer to go home as I got stopped several times by people wanting to take my picture and asking me what type of motor was in my Quest. The only problem I had was my Garmin 500 would not work. It kept searching for satellites. The second day I solved that problem by putting it outside the body of the Quest until it found the Satellites and then putting it  inside. I was surprised by how fast I was really going with the winter tire on. I also found out the average temperature was -5C inside the Quest even though it was -21C outside that morning. Lots more things to learn about riding the Quest.
          I had to take Wednesday and Thursday as snow days (no riding) .The snow was coming in the foot holes it was so deep. Friday gave us more snow. Today the roads and bikeways still were not clear enough to ride, but they finally had the salt trucks and plows out. The temperature is up to -7C today. No riding until Monday morning now.
         I did manage to modify the snowmobile cover into a Quest cover. I even have a strap under the middle of the Quest to prevent a wind from blowing it off.  I left some room in the top so I can add a race cap to the Quest. After Christmas I will have to order one. I guess winter would be the best time to have one...

Friday, December 7, 2012

One Ride, I’m hooked!

One Ride, I’m hooked!
Bad cycling weather this week, but I did sneak in a short ride before the freezing rain hit again. I could not believe something that weighs 29.2 kg. could feel so light and go so fast. I’m hooked! I don’t want to ride my 2 wheel recumbents anymore. The Quest seems so fast and smooth.
         I encounter a few cars and people on my trip around the neighborhood. The sight of this yellow Quest stopped traffic and turned many heads. I had someone do a U-turn and pass me to get ahead and take a picture with his phone.  At another stop sign a girl almost hit a pedestrian with her car because she was staring at the Quest. It sure catches people attention.
          I had to do some fine tuning as I had trouble see over the front and the seat was set low. Likewise once I adjusted the seat I had  to adjust the pedals. Even with the 155 cranks one heal touches the body sometimes. I had to trim the back of the foot holes. Of course I added spare tires and tubes, tools and a small blanket in case of tire problems. Headlights also got adjusted as well. I changed the back tire for Schwalbe Snow stud tire. I took a ride and did some errands in my local area. The studded tire handled the ice really well and the Duranos on the front handled and stopped well too. I was going to change them to a set of Schwalbe Marathons I have but the Duranos seem to be doing the job quite well. The other problem I had was undoing the Velcro stapes  on the cockpit cover so I sewed some loops on them to help me undo them. 
This weekend I will make the cover I bought for the Quest fit better and with some luck I will begin my daily commuting on Monday with the Quest. Snow and cold weather is in the forecast. Tonight's ride was done at -17 C. with just a light jacket and summer gloves. I brought warmer mitts and a warmer jacket with me, but it was not needed. I have ridden before in winter on recumbent bikes but this is such a pleasure so far. Not all velomobile owners will see the cold and snow that we get in our part of Canada, but it for me it will be better this winter!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

It's Finally HERE!!!

It’s finally HERE!
Monday morning started off in a weird way. I left home at 6:00 am on my recumbent bike and the temperature was up to + 2 degrees C. Roads were clear of ice and snow. No wind. It was a great ride. While at work I got the call from the transport company. They had a crate at there warehouse for me. Great news I thought. It must be my Quest!!!
          As the day went on the rain started. It rained, and rained! And then the wind came up and got strong from the North. It cooled down real fast and before I knew it we had freezing rain and lots of ice. When I left work I was in a hurry to get home and pick up my truck. The north wind gave me good speed to go home. That was not a good thing on ice. How I made it home without falling down I don’t know. I am not the best rider on ice but that day I was more lucky than good. I had a lot of close calls but I made it.
           I drove my truck to the warehouse where they showed me the crate. I looked at it and thought they must have sent my two Quests by mistake. The crate was 4 meters long, by 1.5 M wide. The crate weighed 100 kg. I opened there in the warehouse and checked. There was just my Quest XS Carbon strapped down in the middle of this large crate. Before I could get the Quest out of the crate and into the truck, I had a large crowd of employees around it asking questions.
           I got it home and unloaded it into my warm shop. By then the rain had stopped but everything was covered in ice, so my test ride will have to put off until another day. I weighed it and it came to 29.2 kg. on my scale. That includes the roof and wheel covers. I snapped a few pictures. 

I will have to fine tune the seat position and BB position as my heals are hitting the back of the cut outs. More after I get my first ride in...

Saturday, December 1, 2012

I like Winter BUT...

I like winter but this year it came too early for my liking. I have been waiting for my Quest XS to arrive, but winter came first. We have had lots of snow and cold weather. Wednesday morning I rode my recumbent to work and it was - 21 degrees C. Thursday morning it was only -15 degrees C. And Friday we had too much fresh snow for me to ride! My Quest was shipped from Toronto on Monday and it's still not here yet. Today  it was 0 degrees with freezing rain. The highways are closed until they can clear the ice. My wife teases me that the truck with my Quest has slid off the road somewhere. The winter is only good for my Huskies so far. They like the cold and the snow. I had hoped to post Quest pictures by now but I only have dog pictures and snow. And my wife holding the sled dogs. So maybe next week I will get to post some Quest pictures in the snow...

Saturday, November 24, 2012

It's finally Coming!!!

It's a good news/bad news day. The good news is they are shipping my Quest on Monday. I am sure it will be worth the wait. The bad news is it's -15 degrees C. and we are getting another 15 cm. of snow to cover the freezing rain we had Thursday morning, I rode my recumbent the first 3 days this week to and from work. I tried to ride Thursday morning but only made it to the end of my very short street and I could not see anymore. My glasses were coated in such thick ice I could not see though them. I had to turn back and walk my bike home. Friday the roads were still very slippery. I can only hope by the time my Quest gets here the streets will be clean. The cold temperatures don't bother me as much as the ice and snow. The Quest will be warmer  to ride than the recumbent bike and more stable when it's slippery.
        I am not sure how long it takes to ship the Quest from Toronto to Winnipeg by truck but when I get to uncrate it I will post the pictures. Are Velomobiles like ships? Do you have to name them? Do you have to Cristin them before you launch them? Ships and spacecraft are both named and launched. Would it be fair to think a velomobile is in the same class?
As you can see by the picture I have 3 very happy sled dogs when it come to snow. I hope next week to post some Quest pictures.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Winter and snow is here!

Last weekend we had 27 cm. of snow dumped on us. Saturday night I hooked up the Huskies to the dog sled and took them for a run though our snow covered streets. The snow plows and sanding trucks were not out yet and it was still snowing. We were the only thing moving around our suburb. They had a great time. Sunday was spent cleaning the driveway and part of street with the snow-blower.  I mounted my studded snow tires on my SWB recumbent but I could not ride it until they got the streets cleaned out better. It's a much slower ride on these wider low pressure tires. And you have to be more careful on the icy roads.
       Here is a picture of the bike on the stand in my shop/garage while I'm changing over to the winter tires and rims.  You will notice the open space where the Quest will be parked when it arrives. I received another email today from Bluevelo to tell me I have to wait longer for delivery. They are waiting on some part for my Quest XS  from Europe to arrive. I'm sure the wait will be worth it. While I wait the wife has a list of stuff for me to do :(  and the Huskies need their daily 5 km walk. No rest while I wait.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Big Snow fall is coming first!!!

Big Snow Fall is Coming First!!!
I’m still waiting for my Quest Velomobile to be shipped. Most other Velomobile owners know what that is like. Blue Velo said my Velomobile should be ready to ship November 19, But the weather forecast is for 20 to 30 cm of snow overnight and into tomorrow. That amount of snow should stick around, so when my Quest gets here I’ll have to mount winter tires. This is where my wife thinks I’m crazy, for I already have a pile of tires for my Quest waiting for it. We don’t have a large amount of recumbent owners here in Winnipeg so none of the bike shops stock recumbent sized tires and tubes. I ordered the Quest with Durano tires, but with the snow and ice, I’m switching to Marathon tires on the front and a studded tire on the rear. Of course I also ordered  3 spare Durano tires and tubes to have on hand for the Brevets next spring. So now I have 6 tires, and 12 tubes and no Velomobile yet.
            I also cleaned out my garage/shop to make room for the Quest. It was something that was long overdue. I moved out most of the summer stuff and brought in the snow blower and dog sled from the shed. Yes the Quest will be pampered in a heated shop parked beside the snow blower and a dog sled. At work it won’t be so lucky, as it’s too big to hide in the shop I work out of. It will have to be locked and chained to the bike rack outside under the watch of video cameras. I went out and bought an extra large snowmobile cover for it as the bike shops were all out of Quest covers here. ( I don’t know if anybody really does make them.) I’ll post some pictures when my Quest get here.  At least the Huskies will be happy when it snows tomorrow.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The long wait is almost over!

This first blog is being written as I am still waiting for my Quest XS Velomobile to arrive. I live in Winnipeg (sometimes known as WINTERPEG) , which is a city in the middle of Canada. When my Quest gets here in November the roads may be covered in snow and ice by then, but so far the weather is holding out. I'm still riding one of my recumbent s to work. Most people who read this know that riding a bike can be fun and that's why I ordered a Quest-(more FUN).
        Many years ago I used to be a car person. Then fuel shot up in price a lot. I got mad and said I'm not paying that price. I felt like I was being robbed. So I started to ride to work. It was not far, just 25 km round trip. I was slow and out of shape riding a mountain bike. The first couple of weeks I hurt when I got home. As time went on it got easier and I lost some weight, (30 pounds the first year) and I felt great. A friend got me to go on a 160 km charity ride over two days and I made it on the mountain bike. The next year I got a road bike and it got easier and faster. A few years went by and I was doing longer rides for fun. I read some where that recumbent bikes were faster but nobody sold them in my city then. Hey maybe I could keep up better if I got one I thought. I just had to convince the wife I should get one.
       Before I could mention the subject some thing happened. We were at a charity event having some drinks afterwards and my friend said his brother the doctor kept teasing him. His brother said if he rode his bike too much he could get Erectile Dysfunction. My wife looked really worried and said "oh I wouldn't like to see that happen to you. You should get one of those funny bikes (recumbent bikes)!"  The next day I was on the internet buying one. Since then I ride it everywhere and I'm faster too.

      I followed the ROAM blogs and Youtube videos last year and made up my mind I wanted a Velomobile. I read BROL and follow a few blogs. There are quite a few velomobiles been made out there but only the Quest and the Milan are being made in Canada right now. I decided on the Quest XS as my first choice for my commute based on its suspension and our rough roads we have here. Now it's just a few more weeks until it shows up. The wait is the hardest part...