Friday 29 January 2010

Riding back home in the snow / Mango Sport introduction

The snow is back. For two days in a row this week my 60 km round trip to work and back has again been accompanied by snow. This morning it was snowing gently as I rode to work. This is a problem as the snow gets in your eyes if you don't wear glasses, and if you do wear glasses it settles on the front so you can't see much and you have to wipe regularly. Also, the difference in temperature between inside and out causes glasses to steam up. Not the weather for trying to set any records.

During the day the snow continued to fall gentle, and settled on top of my Mango, parked outside the shop while I worked with my colleagues on making new Mangos inside the shop.

Occasionally people ask me how the weather is kept out of a parked Mango. The photo shows the two part cover for the top. The larger part is used when riding in the rain or snow, leaving a gap for your head. The smaller part covers the gap when you park. Both can be stored inside when you ride, which is great on a warm sunny day. On a coldish day like today, when it was hovering around freezing point, a T shirt is warm enough inside the Mango with the cover on (plus woolly hat and scarf). Some people like the optional flevobike top.

Anyway, this was the first commute home in a long time when there was enough light to make a video, so I did. You can see it below:

When I got home tonight the odometer of my Mango read 3101 km. That's how far I've ridden my the Mango since I started riding it on the 9th of October last year. Most of the distance has been ridden in the dark morning and evening commutes three days a week. I quite like riding in the dark. You see a lot of other cyclists here even in the dark and in winter. It's safe on the cycle paths which make up over 28 km of my 30 km commute.

Apart from the commutes there have also been several day rides, and these have often been in snow too. However, due to the completely enclosed drive-chain I've been able to this without any additional horrible jobs like cleaning the chain. In fact, it's needed nothing more than the seat cushion washing and a bit of a polish to look nice. That's real practicality.

Today at work we sent out press releases, in several different languages, for the latest Sinner Mango offering: The Sinner Mango Sport.

This is one of the lightest weight practical velomobiles available, weighing just 27.5 kg - a much lighter weight than my own Mango, achieved with different techniques for building the shell and a change to the components used. There are more details on the Ligfietsgarage website, on various blogs and websites which have responded to the press release, and also quite a lot of photos, including of the internals, on the Sinner facebook page.

There are more stories about the Mango, snow and ice treatment and winter riding.
Read my review of the Sinner Mango Velomobile.

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