The Time Machine

In the deepest, darkest recesses of the velonaut brain there is a seed of madness.  It is the seed of speed.  It is the need to go faster, for speed at all costs, for absolutely unreasonable amounts of velocity.

It was not always so. We all started out very practically – choosing our new machine to commute in comfort, or its protection from the elements, or its stability, or its year round abilities, and of course its aerodynamic properties which allow us to do more, with less energy.

But that was back in the beginning. We all wrote our checks with trembling pens in trembling hands and submitted our order after long and torturous deliberation. This was followed (for most of us) by a long and torturous wait for the machine to be built. When at last we proudly beheld our shiny new addiction in all its splendor, we quietly vowed to protect it like a child – our lovely little time machine.

First, a ride round the block to set our mind at ease, a week to become accustomed to the enclosure, a month to get used to people looking at you like a madman (or woman), two or three more to gain recumbent muscles and feel one with the machine, and then – the speed. You didn’t notice the change but it’s been happening all the time – the way your heavy vehicle now whizzes by ultra-light upright racers, the way you don’t feel the wind anymore, the way you can now coast forever, and the way the brick wall of max speed has magically transformed into something soft as a pillow – something that can be pushed and negotiated with. That’s where the madness begins…

You didn’t realize, but it has taken that long to break down all of the accepted ‘knowledge’ about human power and machines. Sure, you realized that you would go a bit faster in a velomobile because of something called aerodynamics but it isn’t until you become one with the machine that you suddenly realize you are doing something… superhuman. You have the power to propel yourself faster than you ever believed possible. And once that belief is broken, well, there are no limitations anymore.  You’ve found that the only thing chaining you to the past was your past view of reality.  And all of that has been swept away by the seed of speed.

Once you except your madness, you find yourself subtly transported into the future and are blissfully free… to dream again.

8 thoughts on “The Time Machine

  1. It’s true….never thought i could propel myself with speeds i sometimes see with my own body. It’s also true i didnt buy a velomobile for that reason, i just wanted to ride a bike independent of most weather conditions. It’s nearly as fast as a galopping horse. Altough a sea gull laughed at me as he eased by and took a lazy glance at me, seemingly thinking “idiot human, see, im not even moving my wings and i go faster then you” ;-))

    But even more funny, the same speeds resulted in many a speeding ticket from the police when i was younger and motorized. ( moped ) Now it’s completely legal in most areas, because it’s a bicycle ! It is a flaw in the laws but as long as there is so few of us not making too many problems, they are not going to change them. I do not abuse the speed potential in unsuitable areas, but i do enjoy it where it is safe to do so.

    • That is funny! And I’m with you – I love to go fast but I like to use my brake when I’m around people. I’m the only velonaut in my immediate area and folks are much more happy to see me if I’m not scaring the crap out of them.

      Now if I could just coast as fast as those smug sea gulls, I’ll be truly happy.

  2. True! All of it’s TRUE!!! The only I might add is sometimes I used this speed for evil. I will come upon a group of cyclists and engage their leaders at the front of the group in conversation. I then increase our speed until they can’t talk and the rest of the group starts to drop off the back. Then I speed up to my normal cruising speed and continue searching for more victims.

  3. I encountered your excellent blog while trying to find out if the Bluevelo velomobiles have seats adjustable for different size riders. You have great style in your writing. Enjoyed every word and pic. I like the Quest a lot. Do you know if it’s got adjustment in the seat?

  4. Hello and welcome Firehead! I’m very glad you’ve enjoyed the blog. The Quest is exactly the same as the Strada except for the enclosed wheel wells and the pointy tail. The seat is fully adjustable vertically as well as horizontally. You only really run into trouble if you’re a 6’3″ mutant with super long legs like me. I had to take it to the extremes to squeeze into the velomobile. Otherwise, you can tweak it to an exact fit for you. You can see how the adjustments are made in the owner’s manual…

    Hope this helps you in your velomobile quest.

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