Greetings! I live and ride my velomobiles in eastern Connecticut, USA. The word “velomobile” literally means bicycle-car in French. I’ve been riding recumbent bicycles for 10+ years, and I own a Bacchetta Corsa high racer, a Greenspeed touring trike, as well as a Longbikes Jetstream tandem recumbent bike. But nearly all of my riding miles over the last couple years have been via velomobile, and these bikes have been gathering dust for the most part!
Recumbent bicycles offer so much more comfort and safety over traditional “diamond frame” or df bicycles, that once I made the switch to recumbents I never regretted the change (although I do own a traditional style mountain bike).
I received my first velomobile, a WAW (WAW@2014) in April of 2015. I also purchased a very good condition used Milan GT in November 2018. Velomobiles are uni-body, so there is no metal framework for the body, rather the outer shell is also the frame. Velomobiles actually date back nearly 100 years, but advances in composites, fiberglass and carbon fiber construction have made them stronger, safer, more popular and more available. There are 5 or 6 principal manufacturers of velomobiles around the world; many of the bodies are now being built in Romania. There are no significant manufacturers in the USA, there is a builder in Vancouver Canada that manufactures the Milan (where mine was built).
It takes time to acclimate and train your body and muscles to riding a velomobile; because you ride in a reclined position with pedals and crank in front of you, you can’t stand on the pedals to climb hills. You also pedal at a different body angle, so uses different muscle groups than traditional upright bike.
I describe my current status as “semi-retired”. I’m a real estate broker by profession, and I work alone on a contract to list HUD homes for sale in my area. The job affords me quite a bit of flexibility, so I often combine my work of inspecting and photographing homes, with commuting to the homes via velomobile.
Doesn’t take long owning a velomobile before you see the need for some improvement, or custom add-on. I’m very much a “jack of all trades, master of none” type person. When I started thinking about these customizing options, I realized that mold making and fabricating composite parts was the way to go. So, I reviewed many Youtube videos and taught myself the process. I’m always learning more, and hope that I can share ideas with others who may want to customize their machines.