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Had a chance to try the roof out in some nasty weather today. It works fine except in a hail and rain storm. The hail was bouncing off the shell and being blown onto me. I just wiped them off me when they landed but it did illustrate that it was possible to get wet in these conditions. Still way better than being plummelled without the protection of the velomobile. The more annoying part of the experience was that before long there was a couple inch accummulation of this slushy stuff on the road which slowed me down considerably. I ended up shifting down three gears making for a slower trip than normal.
November 15, 2006
"It was a dark and stormy night." Well it did not quite start out like this in the morning. On the ride into work it rained/poured in varing amounts. At one point just before I crested a little hill it was coming down so hard that the horizon line of the hill was absured be the water bouncing off the road. It looked like snow about 4" deep. Would have made a great photo. During the day the wind picked up with gusts to about 70 kph. We decided not to bag any parts as the power could go out at any time. This turned out to be an unnecessay precaution but the power did finally fail at about 8 pm. I decided to try rdiing home even though it was still quite windy. It was a fairly uneventfull ride as most of the way it was a tailwind. Even going fowards at about 25kph you could feel the wind bellowing in the bottom of the Aurora from behind. Only had one twitchy moment where the wind swirled around after some parked trucks which made me slow down and be more careful. The rest of the trip is sheltered from a southeasterly wind so it was uneventful except for the detour around a blocked road with a powerline down. Then just a kilometer from home another blocked road requiring a retreat. This detour was a bit more tedious as it involved going back downhill and than back up a steeper route. The night seemed darker than normal with lots of what seemed to be very bright car lights. The fact that it was also raining and I had to ride unfamiliar roads may be a factor. From this have have concluded that a more powerful head light would be very welcome. At present the velomobile has a 20 watt 6 volt halogen. Will be looking into the options available.
November 14, 2006
Perfect weather for a velomobile this morning, cool and raining. Just a few degrees colder and it would have been snow. Tested the latest concept and it seemed to work well. My helment got a bit wet with a few small drops on my glasses. It was raining fairing hard for about 20 minutes and I stayed dry apart from the drops on the glasses. Even if I continued for an hour I would have only have to wipe the droplets off the glasses once or twice. The roof could be a bit wider over the head opening so water drops falling off the edge of the roof fall a bit further from the opening. The other way to address this would be to have a slight rim on the edge of the roof so they just drain off in one place. The drops that fell on the shell around the opening drained off to the outside as there is a slope to the shell. A few drops puddled in front of the opening but they stayed in front of the lip at the front of the head opening. Will use it in the rain a bit more before making any changes.
A couple of pictures of the front vent tube and the cover for the vent hole in the bulkhead. Probably ony have to cover the vents in the bulkhead when it gets below freezing. The covers are easy to install using the opening for the front wheel. They are held on by velcro.
A view of the bottom of the velomobile with the chain covers in place. They are held on with velcro so they are easy to remove without using tools. The hole for the front vent still needs to be cut.
November 12, 2006
Have tried out the roof with a window in it. Much nicer view and its does not feel as closed in anymore so much so that I might leave the roof on all the time. The view under the roof foward is only slightly less than that with the visor on my helmet. Tried a couple of different things to deflect the rain drops that get blown in but do not have the best solution yet. I will finish up the latest idea tomorrow and try it out in the rain as its probably going to rain most of the next week.
October 15, 2006
As its been very dry here for the last three months so there has not been the need for a cover to fend off the rain. I am sure that this is about the change so I have been working on a roof for the Aurora. Made some progress so far but it looks like the roof will need to have a clear window in it to work well. It just feels a bit claustrophobic being solid. Just tried it in the rain with the front bit cut off and replaced by some lexan. It was a short test as the front lexan insert flapped around madly once you got to a reasonable speed. l have started another roof as I anticipated this happening so will now try supporting the lexan at the front edge with the composite laminate.
First mock up after making the basic shape
Solid roof mounted on 3" pins
Unsuccessful attempt at adding lexan front
From the short test it appears that the idea has merit. The front of the roof may need to be lowered a bit and or a clear wind/spray deflector added under the roof just before the cutout in the door. The roof tends to funnel a bit more air into your face so this mgiht be good on hot days. An additional benefit on hot days might be that you are in the shade to whole time.