blog header

blog header

Search This Blog

31 Mar 2010

Preparing for the recumbent Eastermeeting

For the 11th time it's organized and I'm attending for the 6th time, the Dutch recumbent Eastermeeting. It's held every year on a campsite close to Apeldoorn, near the village called Harskamp. This get together of almost a hundred 'bent riders is one of the highlight in the recumbent year. We camp, we ride, we chat, we eat and we goof around. If you've got some spare time, browse through this set of photos on my picasa page.

I went there twice with my Flevobike Alleweder and twice with Yavixa. Once I chose to go there with my previous Fuego and a Radical Cyclone trailer. This year is different. No trailer, no velomobile, just the Pioneer and two big bags I sewed together a few weeks ago. And since I already had the sewing machine installed, I also made new front wheels covers for Yavixa and a little sack to pack fresh underwear. My old toiletry bag turned out to be a little bulky, so I made a smaller one too. It was the first time I sewed in (?) a zipper and it turned out fine. I could of course buy all these things, but this is a lot cheaper and more fun. Besides, I'll probably only use the large side panier's once or twice a year, so buying a pair of €200,- would be silly anyway.  This cost me less than €30,- They lack all the handy cords, ties and zippers, but they're big and fit on the bike.

A lot of people go there without the luxury of a velomobile or the large luggage capacity of a trailer, but it's my first time on two wheels. The Nazca Pioneer isn't  frightened by big bags and longer tours, but I had to figure things out. And my Pioneer is different. It's modified so it's not as throughly tested as a regular big Pioneer. Those have travelled the world. South America, Australia, Asia, you name it, a Pioneer has been there. I decided to play on save for my tiny little journey and gave my re-build a proper pre-ride check. An important thing I did was mounting a new rear shock. The old one was worn down and didn't had any damping left. The 'new' one (yes, 2nd hand from the shelf) has a slightly heavier spring and adjustable damping. This has greatly improved the handling. It's more stable, especially in bumpy corners. And since the Easter meeting is held in an area with hills, high speed stability is highly appreciated.

So it may sound strange to the experienced bike traveller, but I'm quite excited about this ride. Friday will start just after 7am when I'll ride to work. I'll leave work a little earlier than usual.  It's just over to 90km from work to the meeting. If I leave at 4pm,  then I'll be there around 8pm.

Hopefully we'll have some sunshine so that I can make nice photos and possibly even a video.

This is an earlier video showing the capabilities of my big red Nazca.

27 Mar 2010

The 2628 racer, changes

That won't be it's name, but it does say what it should be. There'll be a real name by the time it turned out to be a good bike. It does look like it'll be a good one. The design has undergone some important changes since the race in Sloten. Changes have been made on several aspects.

The shape of the frame was changed to lower the aerodynamic drag, especially around the wheels.
I went for a non-integrated seat. An integrated seat looks better and gives a stiffer and lighter frame, but does demand an adjustable boom or bottom bracket. That's a difficult part the built for a first-timer without specialist tools. I could ofcourse let someone else do that. But that's not homebuilding and does make things expensive.

I've also learned more about how the use carbon fibre. With this knowledge I've come closer to a reliable bike that does what it should, go fast and be fun to ride. If I keep the design simple, keep an open mind and do things step by step, it will work. There are a few places in the design that allow afterwards changes. I can adjust the headtube angle by adapting the rear dropouts, or by mounting a 26" wheel.

The geometry has also been worked out, sort of. Tests have shown that a seat angle of less than 20 degrees does give an advantage. Twenty degrees was long time considered to be the limit. By most people it still is. But you need to try new things if you want to go faster. The Nadir showed that lower than 20 degreed does give an advantage. I had a short talk about this with David, one of the guys that designed the Nadir. The only uncertain factor in the design is the rider. Maybe the engine (I) does not like such a laid back seat angle. Another good reason the go for the separate seat design. 

I'll order all the frame materials next month. Exciting, isn't it?

26 Mar 2010

Special short message

A mysterious short blog post...

It's tall, white, slender, good looking, fast and almost ready. I'm not sure how much time it'll take the chief engineer the finish it, but unless something goes horribly wrong, it'll be ready to ride within a week.


The frame to bottom bracket distance is an amazing 60 centimetres. It's equipped with Shimano Ultegra. The seat is extra large. It rolls on a pair of sticky and fast Continental tyres.


I think they'll send you an e-mail, wait patiently. This message has not been officially confirmed.

I'll write about something everybody understands tomorrow.

23 Mar 2010

Fast velodrome race in Alkmaar

I wrote a preview about this event last Saturday.

We arrive so early at the velodrome that the staff refuses to let us in to the hall. It's only 12am and the track is reserved for us from 1pm to 5pm. So we enjoy the sunshine as long as the doors stay closed. Spring has really started now but we've decided long a go to race indoors today...

First thing I do when I'm in the velodrome is find a bench and unpack everything. Then it's time to 'drop the chain' and do a pre-ride check on Yivalté. You talk a bit about what has been going on lately and look around to see if there's anything new. Finally I get on the bike and do a few installation laps. Check the brakes, listen for strange sounds and shift through all nine gears. I then fiercely accelerate and enter the wooden track. Everything works and I feel good. The corners feel alright, the bumps haven't changed. Knowing that I should now be ready to race I leave the track.

As I lay there, waiting to start my 1000 metre time trail, there's the sound of air. I also feel a stream of air around my ankles. The rear tyre of the RazzFazz in front of me looks alright, it's my own front tyre that suddenly lost about 6 bar. I walk back to the bench where I quickly conclude that the problem is that the valve and tube have said goodbye to each other. Luckily, a racer from Elan has a spare tube in the right size, a narrow 406. It's nice that this happened just before my start and not when I'm diving into a corner with 55km/h on the speedo.

Anyway, my second attempt at doing the 1000 metre does succeed. Not that I set a new personal record, but it's reasonably fast and my strategy came out just right. Only problem was that I didn't know how to handle the first corner at a relative low speed. The start is only 10 metre before the corner, and I don't like that. Now I know how to deal with such a situation, just pedal really hard, but Sunday I lost a whole second in those first 100 metre. My time was 1:16:200.

It turned out that I qualified for the hares race! I didn't count on that, I expected to race with the turtles as usual. Luck is on my side again and I'm not the only little hare today. The fast woman and the Raptobike rider with whom I raced in Apeldoorn also made it to the fast group.

'Long John' did his first race since more than half a year and he chooses to ride with the turtles. I quickly strap my camera to his Optima Baron TT 2x26", just before he starts. He rides an impressive race and does an average of 45.5km/h. The video shows what went on behind him.



While the turtles have their race, I talk to one of the brains behind the 'Nadir'. It's always interesting to hear the thoughts the designer had when developing a bike and it helps me to improve my own design. (more about that later this week)

My own race is the a fast one. The start is good and the three little hares form a group. I try shake off the Rapto rider, but he manages to keep drafting, even when I overtake him with 53km/h. Alright then, he gets to ride along. Not only does he keep a nice pace when he's drafting behind 'Miss 2x26 M5LR', his wide shoulders create an easy draft for me. I check my heart rate every now and then and that is what it should be.

Our speed is around 46km/h most of the time. That changes when we hook up with the big hares. My first big sprint takes me far away from the other two. It's during these 10 minutes or so that I lap the Rapto three times. She however, is a tough one and only loses 11 seconds to me in the end. And to be honest, I couldn't keep up with her in the last two minutes. The whole story is told in the video. It's quite long, but worth your time.



I finish with a big smile. We have laughter, a few podium ceremonies and some quiet moments after the races. Everybody packs all there stuff again and leaves the velodrome. Some go home by car or van, others ride home or take the train. I think one Quest rider had done over 150km before the race and had at least 150km to go when he left.

It was an easy task for me. The drive home in the van took a little more than 2 hours. I then loaded my luggage into Yavixa again and headed home. My head was aching and I was very tired. But the 17km ride did feel pleasant. I snuggled in to the seat and had my collar up to my nose.

Links: results, photos, turtles video, hares video, previous blog item.

20 Mar 2010

Tomorrow: velodrome race Alkmaar

The final race of this years winter competition is scheduled for tomorrow. It'll be on the good 250 metre track in Alkmaar. Getting there will be different then other races. This time there's no train involved, I can travel together with 4 other competitors in their van. I'll ride to them tomorrow morning with Yavixa. Yivalté is already there. The driver picked her up yesterday on his way home from work. It won't be more than a 17km ride, but the roads are wet, so riding on an open bike, in race set-up is quite a bad idea.

The 1000 metre time trial is something that should be able in a new personal record. The strategy is simple. Start fast, hit 55km/h in the 2nd lap and do lap 3 and 4 as fast as humanly possible. My current personal best is 1:15:6, unfaired and 6 tenth faster with a tail fairing. The average speed is around 48km/h.

The 1 hour criterium is something you can't forecast. Just keep the heart rate around 183 and make sure you stay close to the fastest rider. Drink enough, ride save and don't blow yourself up halfway the race. An hour is pretty long, so don't do anything stupid. Most important is to make a good start. You can loose a lot if you start with a 100 metre disadvantage during the rolling start. And don't forget to look in your mirror, like I did in Apeldoorn....

Read what happened on the day self.

17 Mar 2010

About 'grease for oil' and gravel.

The grease used in (some?) Nexus hubs has a downside, it causes drag. You can feel the resistance when freewheeling, especially when it's cold. And when you accelerate, it all feels very, ehm, hub-ish. The best way to solve this is to mount a dérailleur system, but as you probably know, I like the practical aspects of internal hub gearing on a bike like my Pioneer. Luckily there is a relative easy way to make the el-cheapo Nexus 8 feel less hub-ish.

You take out the real wheel, remove the parts (couple of nuts and covers) on the left side of the axle and pull the entire 'gearbox' out of the hub. Then you remove all excessive grease and soak the gearbox in special Shimano oil. Let it drip for a minute or so and re-assemble the hub. The result is, as you re-assemble it properly, a smoother and more efficient hub. Do I have data to go with that? No, I haven't. It does feel better and spins longer.

This morning I took my big red Nazca out for a spin through Assen again. I tried out a new piece of cycle path alongside the 'Havenkanaal' (harbour canal). Nice corners, pretty little bridge and a pair of annoying gates. Difficult to pass without dismounting and almost impossible to do if your pulling a trailer or otherwise ride on more than 2 wheels.

But the sun was shining and spring was in the air. It was getting warmer and I felt light hey fever coming up. In other words, the weather was great today. I also tried one of those 'Pioneer only paths' as I tend to call them. It's alongside the same canal, isn't a cyclepath and gets narrower in Southern direction. The path gives a interesting view at an industrial area. The last part is so narrow that I had to walk 10 metres or so. Otherwise I could have fallen 3 metres down towards the canal. The mud was a little slippery here and there. Best way to ride was slow and steady with the big hub in first gear. I made a photo halfway the path. The old truck, the piles of gravel, the colours, worth a picture moment. (click it for full size)

More Nazca Pioneer of road entertainment in this video.
More Pioneer photos in this gallery.
Another blog post featuring Lobbes.
The photo on the above was taken here.

15 Mar 2010

E-koi helmet, additional information

A little while a go I wrote about my E-koi helmet. It turned that a few things weren't clear yet. So here are three photos to explain things better. The first post I wrote about this helmet is here. The little bolt I used comes from an old Quest velomobile mid-drive. The 3mm bolt replaces the silly little screw.

The foam around the helmet straps on the third photo is there to reduce wind noise. It's nothing more than a piece of foam held together with a staple.

13 Mar 2010

Faster with Yavixa & Nazca Cruiser 2010

Was it because of the new tyres? Did the little addition to the seat make such a difference? Or was it that I had no head wind? The thing is that I was finally managed to do a decent average on my commute to Nazca yesterday. Even early in the morning it all felt faster than it felt for months. I'm always relatively slow in the morning and the temperature of 3 degrees C didn't really help either. Although that was considerably warmer than most of rides in the past months, the air still was cold. I think I can say that it takes until noon for me to built up some steam. And the real speed doesn't show up before 4 in the afternoon. If I had a tailwind in the morning and a headwind back home late in the afternoon, the ride back probably will be faster. I had that situation quite often on many commutes to school or work.

So yesterday I had a reasonable pace. Cruising at 31km/h gave an average of 28.4km/h. As I said, that was early on the day, before 9am. At the little international headquarter there was plenty of work to do. I did a quick full pre-ride check on a Cruiser and fully assembled an Explorer. I swapped some parts and was making headlight mount parts at the end of the day.

I also took a closer look at new developments. Last winter and autumn a lot of time was spent on further developing an 11 year old success story, the Cruiser. A bike well known in the European recumbent world. Together with the Explorer, the USS version of this bike, this was the first Nazca model available.

Henk van der Woerdt, one half of the well known duo 'Henk en Monique from Nazca' originally developed the Cruiser without an idler. The original idea was the keep the chain as much protected by chaintubes as possible. This keeps the chain clean and is very convenient on an every day bike. But through the years he found out that placing an idler can seriously improve a bike. If mounted in the right place, an idler can direct the chain in such a way that the effect of pedalling on the suspension is greatly reduced to close to none. This makes for a more direct feeling, a more efficient ride and much better climbing capabilities. All the other models already had an idler from their start, and now idlers have also found their way onto the models where it all started with.

Another addition for 2010 is the Flevobike seat. Not standard, but available as an option for the those who like mesh seats. I'm not familiar with all the details about when (not yet) and for how much. What I can say is that I like the looks and that, in my opinion, it's a welcome and special addition to the choice in seats. It's the same seat that's been in use on the €3700,- Greenmachine for a couple of years now. What you see on the left is the prototype, it misses a few little details, you'll probably won't notice them. As with all models, the list with options on gearing, tyres, colours, shifters and wheels is endless.

My ride home was fun. Wind from the side, high gears, high cadence (100+?) and, proper numbers on the speedo. One sixth faster than usual, 32.4km/h. The race home was rewarded a good meal of carrots mashed with potatoes. Fish with that and yoghurt for dessert. Swimming went surprisingly well after all that cycling, just over 1 kilometre in a little more than half an hour.

10 Mar 2010

Test ride: Sinner Mango Sport

Today I did a little test ride in a Sinner Mango Sport. I was invited by the Ligfiets Garage Groningen. Would I be able to tell the differences between my Mango and the new Mango Sport, with 24,000 kilometre experience in my Yavixa as a background? Yes I was, the Sport is different in so many ways. I'll first have to tell you about Yavixa. She's been fine tuned to be exactly as I want a velomobile to be. It's quite close to the optimum I could wish for. Maybe a bit more light, less weight and better finishing, but nevertheless she suits me like a glove. Seat, tyres, gearing and add-ons, after more than two years, it's all sorted out.

A video from 2008 with Yavixa.


Her specialty is being silent, for a velomobile that is. The noise level of other velomobiles always comes as a surprise to me. A combination of delicate adjustment, different chain tensioners, better idlers, a slightly different chain route, lots of chain oil, the right tyres and good servicing, have made her a joy for the velonaut's ears.

Well then, there's a lot the mention, so I'd better use a new paragraph for each topic. The finishing of the Sinner bodies is much better than that of the Beiss bodies. The German firm Beiss used to make them before Sinner did, Yavixa has a Beiss shell. They've also improved a lot on the inside, although it's not yet up to my standards. Must be that I'm used to the Nazca level of finishing. Don't get me wrong, it's good right now, it's me who likes to fiddle with tiny little details to get them exactly as I want them to be.

The electric part of the Sport is very simple. There's enough to be seen and to read your speedo. If you want a good headlight, you can opt for a mirror mounted B&M IQ-speed as you see on the photo. Take a look at Yavixa and you'll understand how I want lights to look, like an integral part of the vehicle. The IQ-speed is a fabulous head light and it works very good mounted this way, but it's just not car-ish enough for me. And what's a vm without indicator lights? Four pairs please, just like the Quest has.

The sounds level does need a little of fine tuning as I did on Yavixa. The main cause are the tyres. Duranos are light and fast, but also hard (and not long lasting). For a 130 grams more you have a set of Kojaks to tackle this problem. They did fit my favourite idler, a Terra Cycle one, so that part was as up to my standard.

Disc brakes are powerful, but wouldn't like what I do with drum brakes in the winter, which is close to nothing, except for braking every now and then. I lube a few parts once a year and spray them with Vaseline to protect them against salt. Disc brakes need cleaning and wouldn't like being covered in snow. Discs are fine for good weather and hills. Drums are the choice for a year round commuter. Sinner is thinking about switching from hydraulics to cable operated discs. Their current system has one very large problem. If one side leaks or bursts, the other one fails as well. They both use the same fluid, reservoir and lever. One broken cable however, still leaves one cable operated brake working. Luckily, drums are available at no extra costs, the choice is yours.

The standard version of the Sport comes with a 'compact' crank set, which I don't like. One blade extra, a triple, gives much better gearing. With a compact there's always the need to shift with the front dérailleur. My Mango's triple middle blade has the right range from 0 to 35. The big blade is to big for a smooth standing start, but is good at high speeds. The smallest blade is for climbing. How 200 grams can make such a big difference...
Shifting however, is something the Sport does very well. It has a 10 speed cassette and bar-end shifters. Those shifter should be standard on each velomobile! Sometimes you don't have the grip for gripshifters. Gloves solve that problem, but that's no pleasure on a warm day. A 10 speed cassette gives nice small steps between gears. Nine would do and be a lot cheaper, but 10 isn't that silly as I first thought.

The seat is comfortable and will need a thin layer of foam to be good. A ventisit is a little to much, riding without a pad really hurts. (could be my 'lack' of body fat) The holes make for good ventilation and seriously reduce the weight.

Well than, how does it handle? Quick, direct, agile, but a little rough. In other words, very sporty. The weight advantage (5kg?) isn't the only good thing, the whole thing, all the parts, the light tyres make it feel, well, sporty. Accelerating is a joy, it all feels so lively. Once again, a bit more rubber on the front would be welcome. What most impressed me was the direct feeling it gave me, like a little dancing mosquito

As a conclusion I can say that the Sport is an excellent vm for touring, racing and recreational rides. For the price of maybe 1.5kg more it'll also make a good commuter velomobile like my Yavixa is. Because when I rode home in my heavy and 'old' girl, it did all feel very comfortable and car-ish, as it should be. I wouldn't want to miss my extra lights, fatter tyres and drum brakes. Going for a Sport, with those changes I mentioned, would be a step forward. Faster and even more fun to ride.

The great thing about such a special product as a velomobile is that a lot of things can be done as you'd like. Gearing, lights, brakes and tyres as you'd like them. Only problem is of course, the budget. I'd like to have one, I'd recommend it to others, but can't afford it now. And now where at the money topic, a Sport costs €6000,- The only velomobile with a truly fully enclosed chain, that's sub 28kg is a special Milan. That one is also faster on the straights, but costs a whole lot more.

A video I made early February.


More Mango Sport photos.
More Yavixa photos
The Ligfiets Garage Groningen website
A video explaining my Mango, great for newbie velonauts or for those who like to more about the Mango in specific.

9 Mar 2010

The Terra Cycle idler after 17,000 kilometre

You may known that I'm a cheapskate. The budget is tight and I'm really inventive when it comes to saving money. What comes with this behaviour is that I don't buy high end bicycle components. No 'Durace' or 'X9' for me. 'Tiagra' and 'X7' is where it ends for me. What's the point of having a carbon dérailleur? I know that the high end components tend to last longer, but 'above average' probably still is pretty good. My 'bent's components don't have to withstand a 3000km trip to the Arctic. Partly because I'd rather spend my money on a vacation to BC, and partly because I don't want to die from hypothermia. I don't tend to demand exceptional things from my shifters and bearings, so I don't bother paying an exceptional price.

There is however, one part that stands out above the other. This is the only part that costs five times more than the 'just above average' part would do. This part then, must be very special and important. The standard idler of a Mango velomobile is, how do I say this, crap. Well, it used to be when I bought mine. It could be different nowadays, it probably is. If not so, do the same as I did, only sooner. I contacted Terry Cycle after about 7000km of noise and drag. We e-mailed a bit back and forward and came to the conclusion that a 13 tooth idler, with titanium sprocket, would be the best for a Mango. (warning! Tall people often do not have enough room for this slightly larger idler)

Since I upgraded to this little work of engineering art the Mango felt much smoother, especially when pedalling hard. I often do traffic light sprints and, apparently, I seem to be very good at sprinting. It used to sound like something was being cut in half when I accelerated, now it's sounds and feels very smooth and direct. You want some figures to go with that? This may sound meaningless, but it takes me 11 seconds to accelerate from 5 to 45km/h. I don't start at 0, to prevent me from damaging things like knees and frames. My gut feeling tells me that the TC idler helped to bring that time down from 14 to 11 seconds. The feeling, the smoothness, the sound, all as it should be in a, anything but cheap, velomobile.

Another great thing about the €100,- idler is that it lasts long. Mine is know 17,000km old and still looks and feels good. Yes it's shielded against the things that usually ruin chains and alike within one winter, but is has to deal with horrible stress loads. And don't forget, every watt you put in at the front must pass that little wheel under your seat.

So, is it worth costing five times more than just above average? Yes, it very much is. You could even make it more expensive by buying the ceramic bearing version, but that gives you the same speed advantage as using a fart for jet stream propulsion. Imaging how hot a little bearing would become if it would cost you 5 watt efficiency. Just touch a hot halogen bulb and you'll know what I mean.



More photo's can be found here. Terra Cycle is here, or here for European readers. And no, I'm not being paid for this, I'm just sharing my experience, although a TC t-shirt would be nice ;-) A nice video about a recumbent race can be found here. I do a fabulous standing start in Yavixa at 2:07.

8 Mar 2010

Weekly group ride: 3 Huneliggers, 3 Mango's

Yesterday we had a group 3 times as big as last week. Eight days ago my solo ride was short because of a slight headache and the dreary weather. But last Sunday, we had sunshine accompanied by a chilly breeze.  With me as the leader of the pack we rode a route similar to the Northern Velomobile ride. My two fellow Huneliggers weren't there at January 17. They did have to imagine the snow, the soup and 12 other velomobiles, but apart from that, this came pretty close to the original. They did have a good reason not to attempt. One got stuck in the snow, the other had a broken leg.

We had lunch after 25 kilometre beside one of my favourite heathland cycle paths. For me it was a total of 55 relaxing kilometres.

On the left you see a black Mango+ with a Philips sba-1500 speaker set mounted on the front wheel wells. The same set as in the back of Yavixa and the yellow Mango. You may guess three times to name the guy who came up with the idea to use those speakers ;-)

6 Mar 2010

From PM to Racer

Today I gave Yavixa a new set of front tyres. Not that the Perfect Moirees where worn out, not even close, but I'd like some more agility. The Moirees where almost perfect in a straight line. Their wide of 47mm, a smooth carcas and the relative high pressure made them fast, yet still surprisingly quiet and comfortable. But oh boy when you came to a corner. 47mm just is to wide in a Mango. The + version on the other hand, will keep a good turning radius with such wide rubber.

So one of the PM's went to the back to replace the 9000km old 54mm Moiree. The other Moiree will have to wait another 8000km to replace the first one. As you may have noticed in the titel, my new front tyres are a pair of Schwalbe Marathon Racers. A totally different tyre. I used to dislike them quite long because they wore out to quickly. But nowadays I can get a good discount on my bicycle parts, so that argument no longer exist.  I really do like slick tyres, but there's no slick tyre on the market right now that I'd want to have on the Mango. The new vm tyre Wim Schermer has a part in could be a good one.

Well then, how does she handle know? The tight cornering is back and Yavixa feels much more direct (which was a little scary at the first fast corner I did). I keep 'em at the same pressure as the PM's, just below 6 bar, but they're narrower and lower. These tyres do seem to be slower, data here, but that means I just have to pedal harder ;-) Comfort seems to be in order and they're relatively easy to mount. However, the folding version showed more difficulty going on than the thread (non-folding) version. The difference was 3.5bar or so. The folding version popped in to position at 7bar.

Below: Yavixa on normal Marathons with a race hood, parked beside a nice Lotus Elise.

2 Mar 2010

Sunshine and a goat, photos

The weather has been quite alright since yesterday. So good that I took the Pioneer out for a ride, twice. I just came back from number two, during which I discovered a new path. One of the great things about the Pio is that it can go off road. And that ads a whole lot of possible trails to the list. This one took my to a nice view over a little lake.

These kind of waters are the result of people digging for fuel up to 75 years ago. The thick of material they dug up is called 'peat' and is the product of thousands of years of leaves falling into puddles. Those leaves didn't fully decompose because of the high ground water level. Working in the peat was very heavy. People where poor and often had a hard time. Peat was used in heaters and to cook on. The result of their work is visible throughout my province. This where I got the photo from: http://mail.bs-goedeherder.nl/meesterdorus/aardrijkskunde/AkH8/vroegerveen.htm


After I'd waited for clouds to go away I had the right light for some photography. I was glad to wear a thick coat because it still was colder than the sunshine might suggest. It was however worth the waiting.


As I rode back to the asphalt road a came past some goats. That also explains why there's a fence up around this patch of land. Goats seem to be less curious than sheep. Sheep can look at you as if you're from Mars, the whole herd at a time. Goat just continue chewing, well, mostly.

1 Mar 2010

The Flevobike Oké-ja brought back to live

After I'd given the sub-frames two new layers of red paint and I'd removed rust from several places it was time to reassemble this little long wheel base recumbent. I spend most of my Saturday building it up and twitching the details. It all paid of, it now is and looks way better than when I bought it. Most of the bike's parts stayed the same, but I did change a couple of things.

  • I swapped the narrow rear tyre for a 50mm Big Apple, and mounted a really big mudguard.
  • The front tyre was replaced by something better looking.
  • The old shifter cable was rusted, a new one cost me an awful €12,- (better get one from work next time :-S )
  • I mounted a new head light.
  • And I tidied up the cable routing to look spare again.

It's meant for general purpose. My parents may ride it for the longer rides in Assen and I could use it for shopping. Other possibility is to let newbie 'bent riders have a go. And I'll ride when it's slippery because it does very well in the snow.

I've posted 16 photos in a picasa album, complete with captions. The first rides Saturday made clear everything works. The gearing is a little high, or maybe it's just me having a high rpm. Not that important to mention, I had a top speed of 35km/h. Getting it at 45km/h should be possible. Do keep in mind that you'd better ride a Fuego if you want to go that fast for a longer period of time.