Some unseasonably warm weather showed up recently bringing temperatures near 60 degrees, rain, and a few discoveries on my part. One discovery is that my hands get sweaty while riding the velomobile in warmer weather. I don’t know why. Kathy mumbled something about adolescent indiscretions but I’m pretty sure that didn’t have anything to do with it. Well, pretty sure…
At any rate, my next discovery was that I can’t twist the grip-shifters with sweaty hands. Not a great thing to find out when starting up a very big, very steep hill! My quick solution was to slip a hand into my jacket pocket and use the fabric for grip. I’d suggest this only for emergency use. If done incorrectly, you risk another sort of emergency altogether. Don’t ask me how I know.
The long term solution is these…
Am I an innovative genius or what?! I pack them all the time now.
I also took advantage of the warm weather to give the YellowMobile a good scrub in the driveway. This included taking off the wheel covers which keep wind from entering the spokes. Under them, I discovered not one but several – several! – broken spokes. Gah!
I think I must have been a bit overzealous in my fast, tight turns as I figure out exactly what I can get away with in a velomobile. For the record, you can get away with a lot! They are very maneuverable and very stable. But all of that lateral turning force has to go somewhere. Who knew it would be the spokes?
Both of the front wheels are held on by only one bolt. Yeah, you guessed it – right in the center. On the first wheel, I unscrewed that bolt and the wheel popped right off.
The second wheel felt like it was super-glued in place. And yes, I remembered to take off the bolt! But no matter how hard I pulled and jiggled, the wheel simply would not slide off the axle. I had to resort to a gear puller that I had from some long-ago forgotten project. Just a little hand turning of the screw and pop, off it came.
And off they went to the bike shop for servicing because I don’t trust my own truing abilities at this point.