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 velocar da Lightfoot

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Data de inscrição : 20/09/2010
Localização : Itabira - MG

MensagemAssunto: velocar da Lightfoot   Ter Mar 10, 2015 7:50 am

A New Velocar
Mar 8, 2015
A New Velocar

The results of “Rethinking the Velo” (blog of December 13) (editado, aqui: )are in, and here is a result. I say ‘a’ result, rather than ‘the’ result, because the same list of criteria could easily have lead to a different result when followed by different designers, or when certain criteria received more emphasis than others.

The all-weather vehicle you see here is described by us as a ‘velocar’, rather than a ‘velomobile’. This is because the word velomobile is widely understood these days to describe an aerodynamically maximized, single-person pedal vehicle, designed primarily for speed. The word is used by Lightfoot to describe an enclosed, modestly aerodynamic pedal vehicle that is designed primarily for utility.

What has been accomplished by following the criteria of rethinking? This velo is extremely maneuverable; it can turn on a dime, almost within its own length. This mellow yellow velo is bright in color, moderately tall, and thus highly visible in traffic. The vehicle is easy to enter and exit. The ergonomic position is not at all extreme, and cleated shoes are not absolutely necessary; street shoes will do. View from within is almost totally unrestricted, hearing of external audible cues is unhampered, and awareness of your surroundings is unimpeded. All-weather protection is achieved in this light, airy interior without the loss of the feeling of being outdoors. You can ride with the ‘windows’ or doors open. The cargo space is very substantial and easy to access, and can handle fairly large packages. The cycle is light and quick in acceleration, and although it can accept electric assist, it is not remotely necessary; this cycle can be ridden all day long on muscle power alone. The body is very quiet, a very welcome relief from the noisy velos we have ridden in the past. Finally, the body can be taken off and the cycle ridden in less demanding seasons without its top.

We have not yet ridden in heavy side winds or strong headwinds, but anticipate no problems.

Where do we go next? This is a prototype, and though it incorporates a lot of systems and details that we have developed over the years, it still can use a good bit of refining, and we will be working on that. Also, we have planned three sizes of vehicle, of which this is the smallest, and the larger ones will carry more cargo, with the very largest being able to carry a couple of kids in the back. We hope to have one or both of these larger vehicles ready for next winter.
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