Pedal Cars For Adults
By Jonathan Poet
The velomobile might be the perfect choice if your New Year's resolution involves getting fitter, but you can't tolerate the typical speed of bicycles.
Velomobiles are essentially recumbent trikes encased in composite bodies — sexy in the case of the Trisled Avatar and zoom-zoom cute in the Velomobiel Quest. Despite some relatively high-tech materials, they can trace their lineage to the Velocar, an early 20th century French vehicle.
Some of the finer modern examples bring to mind a 1950s vision of the future — or at least fake visions of it. (I could totally see one of these painted like a tin toy rocket parading around town.) Though they might be mistaken for something you might see at the Bonneville Salt Flats, they actually can take a ton of cargo and require minimal energy to go twice as fast as a well-tuned road bike.
Josef Janning recently wrote about his experiences in a velomobile at Commute By Bike. He put it thusly: "The velomobile … allowed me to ride faster than on any of my other bikes, in more comfort, with better weather protection through all seasons, better luggage capacity, and on top of all this, with the most sensational feeling I have ever experienced on wheels."
Not bad for an adult-size pedal car.