I worked at the ligfietsgarage today, a Saturday, as we had several people wanting to try the Sinner Mango velomobile.
The demo machine isn't needed until Tuesday, when I next work there, so I've borrowed it for the weekend and rode home today on the Mango, leaving my PDQ at work.
It's the first time I've ridden such a machine more than a few hundred metres, so I was timid with it to begin with as I started on the 31 km trip back home. As I grew more confident I was quite happy with speeds around 36-37 km/h, roughly the top speed I'd expect on the PDQ, but in the second half of the commute I started to get more used to it and went a bit quicker.
It doesn't initially accelerate very quickly, but your speed can just continue to increase. Wow, it's fast. In open stretches on the cycle paths between villages I was going along sometimes at 45 km/h without really trying all that hard.
When I arrived home, the elapsed time was just under 52 minutes, the best average speed I've done to date for the commute. If I was to use this bike every time then I'd get used to it and the average would perhaps drop a little on good days.
Several months later: I now own my own Mango.
I've previously shown my commute here and here, or you can see more velomobiles here.
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The less positive stuff What not to do if you want a cycling "revolution" - Long list of interventions and policies which are not helpful. Copy the best examples from the Netherlands - a short list summarising the above. Important to copy the best examples, not just anything "Dutch". Bear in mind that the Netherlands is not perfect. Shared Space - this much hyped idea simply does not work well. It disenfranchises the vulnerable and claims of safety are exaggerated. Don't confuse the concept with far more successful nearly car free streets. Shared Use Paths designed to be used by pedestrians and cyclists together. These rarely work well because the two user groups are too different and it leads to conflicts. They are not built in the Netherlands (but cycle access to pedestrianized zones is good). Strict (or presumed) liability - If you think this is an important part of why people cycle in the Netherlands then it is probably not what you think it is. Helmets - one of several ways of scaremongering about the supposed dangers of what is actually a very safe means of transport
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A cyclist in a cycling family living in the capital of the cycling province of the world's greatest cycling country.
I was born in the UK, lived for over 8 years in New Zealand and have lived in the Netherlands since 2007.
I organise cycling infrastructure study tours, run an online bicycle shop, arrange cycling holidays and write a popular blog about cycling.
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