Great Western Bike Rally

I met with Duane Jardine yesterday at the Great Western Bike Rally in Paso Robles, Ca. Duane lives in Paso Robles so he knows the best places to ride a velomobile. Riding his Quest, he lead us to a road called El Pomar. This was probably the most fun road that I’ve ridden in my DF. It had everything – downhill, rollers, perfect pavement and some swooping turns. I managed to get a Strava KOM on a section of El Pomar, only to be immediately eclipsed by Doug by 1 second. It was a great ride.

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DFXL Updates

I don’t have much news to share. I’ve been tinkering with my DF XL so I thought I’d post some updated photos. I’ve added a center white stripe using automotive vinyl wrap and knifeless tape. I never liked the little stock mirrors. They are functional but I thought they looked a bit cheap. So I replaced them with B&M Cyclestar mirrors mounted in Velomobiel.nl mirror cones.

DF #36 Sold

My friend, Jonathan Gray, is selling his standard-sized DF velomobile for a great price. I hate the fact that I’m losing a velomobile riding buddy. I’m selfishly hoping that someone in my area buys it so that I don’t have to ride solo. I don’t want to post his contact info here. So if you’re interested, comment below and I’ll get back to you.

DF #36 has been sold.

Here’s the info from Jonathan:

“I’ve decided to sell my standard size DF No. 36 for $7,500. The price includes two head lights, race cap/hood, Kojaks, cloth protective cover, kayak-style cockpit cover, four batteries, GPS mount, water bottle mount, Ventisit seat cover (standard thickness), triangular velomobile bag (for carrying tools, food, etc., inside DF), UTC (Universal Trike Carrier – a simple device to transport a velomobile on car roof), portable pump, and some related items like tools and tubes.

All electrical works correctly. The crank rings are 34/53. Included is an unmounted 56t ring. In the rear is a 11-36 cassette. Shifters are X0 10-speed. Drive train operates reliably and smoothly.
For an additional $500 I’ll include my used SportsRig lightweight trailer at the time of sale.
Also included in the price of the DF are the normal scrapes one would expect to find on a used velomobile.
I’m told by someone who recently purchased a new DF, that you should expect to pay $9,500 today for a DF and transportation to the US.
Should you know anyone interested in purchasing my DF, please give them my contact information. I’ll be happy to show it to prospective buyers here in Santa Barbara. Thank you.”

DF XL Update

img_0885It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything about the DF XL. I’ve been having a lot of fun riding it and tinkering with it. These are some of the changes that I’ve made lately…

  • Lowered the front end by using a shorter, but stiffer spring combination in the front struts. Each strut came with a 25mm red (stiffer) spring and a 64mm blue (softer) for a total spring length of 89mm. The problem was that the front wheels didn’t seem to fit the openings to my liking. The body seemed to ride high above the wheels. After some trial and error I ended up with a 45mm red spring and a 38mm blue spring for a total spring length of 83mm with a higher percentage of the spring rate contributed by the stiffer red spring.
  • Swapped out the outer tie rod ball joints for spherical rod ends to allow changing tie rod lengths by half a turn instead of the full turn required with the stock ball joints.
  • Experimented with the DT Swiss rear shock that came on early DFs. Mine came with the new simple strut. Having seen Jonathan Gray’s tail end (equipped with the new simple strut) dance around and almost tip him over upon encountering a rumble strip, I decided to play with his original DT Swiss shock. After experimenting with the shock air pressure and rebound settings I’ve got it working well. 
  • Played around with vinyl wrap material to add a stripe to the rear deck and race cap. I’ve added some new pictures here: DF XL

Passing Bikes

My friend Bill and I took a nice ride up and back on Highway 1 between Rincon and Ventura today. This ride is a perfect velomobile route. It is very flat, the pavement is perfect and the views are great.

I’ve mounted a rear facing video camera on the DF just in case I ever need evidence of a misbehaving driver. On today’s ride, I captured a fun little clip. Bill and I were cruising along at about 18mph. We were caught by a small group of 3 bike riders. As they came by, I asked if I could hang behind them. They were OK with that. I stayed back for a short while and decided to jump to the front to pull them along. I stepped it up to about 22mph for a mile or so. Here’s how it looked:

You’ll notice in the distance that Bill also passed them and left them behind. We never saw them again. This is the kind of fun that you can have riding a velomobile. Imagine how fast these younger, stronger riders would go if they got their hands on a velomobile.

Early AM Ride

I usually log into my job at around 6AM from my home office (the dining room). I like to get going with my work, then take a short ride when the sun comes out. At that time, the bike path to Goleta Beach is pretty vacant. I can do the short round trip in the DF at a pretty quick pace without worrying too much about congestion on the path.

Today, it was a bit chilly so I thought it might be fun to try out the race hood. Staying warm is not a problem with the hood. Here is a picture that I took this morning after arriving at my daily destination. That’s the UCSB campus in the distant background.

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Riding the DF XL

I’ve had the DF XL about a month now. Most of my rides have been short sprints up to Goleta Beach early in the morning when I can sneak away from my computer. I’ve got the velomobile pretty well dialed in to my liking. It’s very comfortable, it shifts well and it’s fast.

Today I took a 32 mile ride down the coast and back with my friend Jon Gray, owner of (standard) DF #36 and the first DF to land in the US. The ride is very velomobile-friendly. It’s totally flat with very smooth pavement. As an example of the benefits of following a faster velomobile pilot, today’s ride ended for me with 21 new Strava personal records. Here are a couple of pics:

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