Donnerstag, 30. Juni 2016

Old & New


Here are new photos just for fun,
to give you an impression of the differences
 There's still some work on the new velocar...


Mittwoch, 29. Juni 2016

Critical Mass Berlin

It's nearly two years now,
since we joined a Critical Mass.
This time we made it to Berlin, 
to take part in one of the biggest events of this kind in Germany.

We started at noon, with the velocar strapped down to the bed of our transporter.
Due to the very hot weather,
we interrupted our journey to Berlin for a few hours
 to take a swim with our kids in one of the countless lakes around Berlin.

At 5 p.m. we finally arrived in the central city, just south of the Tempelhof airfield,
which we also wanted to discover.
It is closed for air traffic since a few years and opened to the public instead,
so it's now the biggest recreational park in Berlin.
On the runways we saw lots of people on skateboards with surf sails on it, 
some were pulled by kites.
The greenfields in between were filled with many crowds, who enjoyd grilling, playing music 
or simply relaxing in the evening sun.
At the east end of the former airfield a group of enthusiastic people has build up a public vegetable garden, open to all who are also interested in planting their own food.

We rode for an hour up and down the runway with the velocar 
and took some photos.
 Finally we leaved the park 
to make the last three kilometers to Mariannenplatz in Berlin-Kreuzberg,
the meeting point of the Critical Mass.

Starting time was at 8 p.m.,
we arrived nearly an hour earlier.
Just a few people were waiting at this time around the place,
so we wondered, how this can be such a big event.

But after 45 minutes the picture has drastically changed

There wasn't a real starting sign,
after some time the mass of riders began to move slowly into one direction.
And I have to say again, VERY slowly.
The street was so jam-full of bicycles,
the first minutes we were barely able to cover 100 meters or so.
This was the first bicycle-caused traffic jam of my life !
Then, the mass stretched, the rows cleared somehow and 
off we went.

We saw lots of stylish fixies, all sorts of soundbikes, trailers, tandems
 and self built cruisers.

At 10:30 p.m. we leaved the crowd,
taking care of our two little girls on the back seat.
I'm still editing some video stuff,
hoping to include it here soon.

Sonntag, 12. Juni 2016

What is a Kinneri?


Kinneri is the old Finnish word for pedal cars or velomobiles.

 Some years ago I found an old drawing of a Kinneri,
which is one of my favourite plans for a one seater replika. 
 This example seems to be very similar
I don't know, who was the constructor of the plans, 
nor do I know more about the beautifully built example above.
Most likely the drawing appears in one of the numerous magazines for self builders,
which were very polpular in the 1950s.

Several vehicles were built, some of them were restored nowadays.

The photo is taken from the blog.

Back to the drawing above:

While I like the lines and shape very much,
 there are some details I want to change.
For example I want to equalize the size of all wheels,
to reduce the number of spare tubes/tires when underway.
I'm also concerned about the rolling resistance of  small wheels, 
especially on the uneven roads I drive frequently.
 So I decided to use 24" wheels, 
trusting the experience with my velocar.
I also lengthened the entire vehicle to fit my size (I'm 189cm/6'3" tall)
including a slightly lower seat position and a more horizontal backrest.
I prefer a bloody simple construction 
just like the original.
This includes the sliding pillar suspension for the front wheels
(Morgan style).
I just added a rear swing arm.
Now, this is what comes out so far:

And again the original drawing for comparison:

My falsification is not accurate in all aspects.
It was made only using copy, paste and stretch.
My intention was to create an inspirational drawing, 
which I can roughly follow for a future project.

Redesign datas:
Length: 300cm
Width: 105cm
Height: 75cm
Seat height: 25cm
Wheel base: 190cm 


Sonntag, 5. Juni 2016

Last weekends ride


I want to share a few pics from our last ride with the velocar.
This time we drove to Naumburg (by car) to join a small but beautiful steampunk exhibition there.
There were lots of self built steam engines, all of them able to run,
steampunky computers, useless boxes and other funny stuff .
A Mendocino-motor leaves me head-scratching.
Imagine a rotor without anything around...
Luckily the builder was so friendly to explain the principles to me.
One artist brought his steam powered pets, a rat, a turtle and a beautifully made drageon, able to move almost his whole body.
Also at display was a steam powered bicycle.
The engine propelled the front wheel via a wooden friction wheel.
The builder explained, he is able to cover 5 kilometers in flat terrain, before the boiler runs out of steam.
We were also invited to drive a few circles with the garden train, which was - what else - steam powered.
And all that entertainment was offered for free.

After the exhibition we discovered the picturesque valley of the Saale river with our velocar.
We drove from Naumburg to Bad Koesen and back, always alongside the river.
Because of its sunny microclimate, some of the northernmost vineyards in Germany are situated here.
And of course a lot of small taverns and restaurants.
So we took the opportunity to taste a glass of wine.
Sweeter than I suspected...

All in all we had a great sunny day,
lots of interestig things to see,
antique buildings in a beautiful landscape
and a glass of wine.

What else could you want?