Monday, April 29, 2013

It's Melting! The snow is Melting!

It's Melting! The snow is Melting!
The week started off cold, but I didn't care. My snow tires were off!!! Much much faster now. As the week went by my daily speed on my commute really picked up. Thursday night was the first night where it didn't go below freezing. And Saturday it went up to +17C. Everyone is happy. Maybe soon I can post a picture without snow in it. My wife said no to putting the snow shovels away. I hope she is wrong.
           This blog is a day later than usual. I worked  3 days of double shifts so I'm late with every thing this week. .         
 I added a music system to the Quest. I used a Mp3 player, an amp with it's own battery mounted under the seat in a plastic container. The design for it came from Yellowmobile so I am linking to his blog and giving him all the credit (or Blame). My female Husky doesn't like it! Too loud I think. I will use out in the country or when I'm alone on a Brevet somewhere. By the way Stuart if you are reading this, Check out the update page on Ray posted my Quest picture on top of your Stada. Good looking windmill you have
          On Saturday I rode out to Birds Hill Park to be a corner Marshall for a road race. Before the race I got to do a couple of fast laps around the race course while the racers were warming up. I sure had fun passing these racers. I could not believe the difference in speed especially in the rolling sections. This was their first race of the year so they should get faster. But I should too. Round trip for the day was 130 km and the legs felt great. I should be in good shape for our first 200 km Brevet next Saturday. For some reason Blogger won't let me upload any pictures so I'll put on next weeks blog.
Until then: Greeting from the center of Canada... 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Installing Spring -ERROR

This was the feeling we all had Monday morning. It was not a spring day!

Monday Morning view from Truck.

Monday started off with a day of heavy wet snow. I left the Quest at home. The forecast was right. It stayed mild and the city dumped lots of salt on the roads. By Tuesday the roads were clear of snow and any water was frozen.  It was a fast commute to work after an extra day of rest for my legs.
Clear roads!
          Wednesday I had a day off so I took a trip to St. Agathe, a small village south of Winnipeg where I live. The trip takes me along both sides of the Red River. This year they have a lot of extra snow in North Dakota so if it melts too quick we may have a flood. Right now the melt is slow and the Red River is frozen solid still. I took a few photos along the way. It was nice to drive on clear roads and I really wish I had changed to my "Summer Tires" before I left.
It was overcast and I ran into some snow on the way home. It's a good thing I had "Da Hood" on. Yellowmobile who writes a great blog,  got his "Race Kap" and made a great report in his blog this week.
And earlier in the week Quezzzt. blogged about a good way to quiet the Race Kap. It seems that sales for the Race Kap and the Da Hood have really taken off. It sure makes a difference in the winter. To someone who does not own a velomobile the price might seem high. My wife's bike cost less than "Da Hood". But my use of my Quest is much higher which justifies buying "Da Hood" If you don't think that logic will not work on the the wife don't tell her the price. :)
          Saturday I finally took the snow tires off the Quest. I mounted the Durano's on the front and the Marathon racer on the back. I have a Durano for the rear I will mount after the roads get cleaned up. The speed difference from the snow studs was amazing. I will see Monday morning how much quicker it will be on my commute to work.

And Sunday morning I awoke to more snow coming down. The dogs were happy as they got one more sled run!
Until next week Greetings from snowy Canada....

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I'm a Nutcase!!!

I'm a NUTCASE! (crazy person) I'm sure my friends think that when they see my Quest. I went this week to my favorite bike shop and shopped for a helmet. My old one would not let me turn my head very much in the tour cap. We brought my Quest into the shop and I tried on dozens of helmets. I found six that I thought would fit. I sat in the Quest and was handed each helmet and tried them under the tour cap. The one that fit the best came in yellow too! So I bought a Nutcase helmet.
New Helmet
Now all winter I have not been wearing a helmet since "DA HOOD" arrived. But on May 4th we have our first Brevet and helmets are mandatory. This helmet is heavier but it allows full movement in the Tour Cap. It comes with several thickness of foam insets to make it fit you.
Foam insets for new helmet.
The Nutcase Helmet is for mountain bikers or Kids doing tricks on BMX bikes. It will survive multiple drops or hits that a standard helmet would not. I may open up the vent holes for better cooling if it ever warms up.
The helmet name says it all.
I did a club ride Friday night and tested the helmet. It was our first ride of the year and not a lot of people out. But it was fun ride. I hung back for a while and let the others take turns setting the pace. I waited for a while until one of the stronger young guys got up front. I pulled beside him to talk. I slowly picked up the pace until he had to drop to the back. The younger guys tried to keep the faster pace but they could only take  short pulls and could not even talk after a while. A lot of them got dropped very quickly. When we got into a rolling section of our route I put it into the big chain ring and left them far behind.  When I got back to the start I had to wait quite a while for their return. One young fellow could not believe he got dropped by a Yellow Quest on studded snow tires. I told him he better get in shape before I change over the tires. This was the most fun I have had on a club ride.

Scouts building in my shop.
Checking out the new walls.
Over the last couple of weeks one of brothers has brought over the scouts to work one night in my home shop. Their project was to build a couple of out houses for their camp. It was built in sections so they can take it apart and put it together on the site. They all learned a lot in those two nights. Next week they will take the walls, roof and floor over to their scout hall and learn to paint. They just have to buy a new toilet seat for it. Of course I had uncover the Quest which really impressed them.
          And believe it or not I'm still dog sledding as the snow is slow to melt. So I hope everyone reading this is having as much fun as I am...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Fuel Economy = 1000 mile to a Gallon.

Fuel Economy? I get a 1000 miles to a gallon of water! That what I tell people when they ask what sort of Fuel economy I get. Then I go on to tell them I am the motor in my Quest. It is new to most people and I am really discovering that some people are not shy about asking for info. Twice this week people have followed me into my driveway to ask questions. Most people think it is an electric vehicle they are following because of the speed. I have other people hanging out their cars to take pictures of the Quest. I have not driven the Quest in Daylight without having it's picture taken. Riding a Velomobile is definitely not for shy people.
Weather forecast
          Five days of nice winter riding. Cold mornings at -12 and nice afternoon commutes around -3C.  O sure I had one afternoon with a 70 kph headwind but it only took me 2 extra minutes that day to get home. The Quest handled it better than I thought it would. Friday afternoon I put the Quest into the shop just as it started to snow. The old joke about six months of winter and six months of bad dog sledding looks true. I most likely have more km on the dog sled than the Quest this winter. This picture above is the weather forecast for the snow we are getting.
Even though the calender said spring is here the birds are slow to return. The ones that are back are not very impressed. Most people here are tired of winter. It's not that we have had a lot more snow. It has not been colder this year. It's just the last two winters have been mild and short. I enjoy winter and I enjoy summer.
Goodbye Winter!
Some people have other ways to express their thoughts of winter:

And this week I had a minor problem with the Quest. Some glue let go on the wiring for the front lights. It wrapped around my left toe and I had to stop right away before any damage.  I put the Quest on it's side and taped the wire back in place. This was very early in the morning and I was carrying a flash light fortunately. It was a minor problem, not like Yellowmobile who had a more major problem that forced him to be rescued by his wife and stuff his Strada into his hatch of his car. I thought it would be a bearing failure but he said they were good. If anyone reads this, please read his blog let me know what you think may have caused this. Of course as soon as I read this I went out and checked mine as our Velomobiles are produced in the same month. No problems with mine.
           And finally look at this picture of my friends cabin on Lake Manitoba. He hasn't been there since last fall and most likely be staying there for a while.
No spring here yet!