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September 12, 2007

A few pictures from the 23rd Bicycle Trek for Life and Breath, a fund raising event for the B.C. Lung Association.


At the start of the Bicycle Trek on Saturday

At the finish on Saturday, after 3:53 hours of pedaling with an average speed of 25 kph. It was an interesting ride as it starts out with lots of folks around at the beginning with a short but steep hill and then rolling terrain to the first checkpoint/rest stop. The velomobile has a big advantage in rolling terrain using the momentum of the downhills to fly up the next uphill. At times the difference in speed between the velomobile and upright bikes must have been 30-40kph. At the end of the ride the max speed reading was 80.4 kph. At one time I coasted for almost 2 km having exceeded the speed at which I spin out pedaling. The next two sections were basically flat but with a strong headwind or sidewind for a good portion of them. I was quite surprised that the Borealis handled the side winds reasonably well, as I suspected that the front could be shortened if getting blown around was a problem. I think I will leave it the way it is. In comparison, the Aurora is a bit steadier in sidewinds even though it is taller mostly due to the longer wheel base. The headwind resulted in the loss of between 6-10 kph in speed. All the other cyclists were complaining about it. I didn't really notice it much until I looked at my bike computer.

Camped at Stillwood Camp above Cultus Lake. I have no data for Sunday's ride as I inadvertently packed the computer for the velomobile in the tent and could only retrieve it at the end of the ride. Sunday had the same winds as Saturday but now as tail or side winds. On the first section some of the upright bikes were keeping up but then there was a lot of flat or slight downgrades and it was easy to outpace them. I would lose a bit at the stop signs but gain it back quite quickly. After the first rest stop a paceline was behind me trying hard to catchup. I let them catch up and draft for a while. They would hold their own better with a tailwind while I had an easier time with a sidewind. The Borealis must act a bit like a sail with a crosswind gaining a bit of speed. With about 15 km to go to the lunch stop I started to feel really good and just pulled away from the paceline. After lunch there was a 4-5 km section that is just slightly downhill that was magnificant riding. I was in top gear almost spun out the whole time. Probably doing 45-50+ kph with relatively little effort. There was one dicey bit where I passed two police cars pulled over on the other side of the road. They had just apprehended someone who looked not too happy. Anyway they both watched intendly as I went by at around the speed limit. The reason I was concerned is that I was pulled over by the police two days before. That officer was mostly curious about the velomobile and we had a nice chat while I had a nice break in the commute home. The reason I was pulled over was that he had just had to deal with a pocket bike on the road and wanted to check if I had an engine and was allowed on the road. The last quarter of the ride was easier than last year mostly because I knew what to expect in the terrain and paced myself better.

Front view comparing the Borealis and the Aurora

Side view