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18 May 2012

Spezi, the weekend

8 velomobiles and a Pioneer is what rode from Lingenfeld to Germersheim on the evening before Spezi. I could keep up, sort of. We went to a meeting of the German forum. I had a beer.

The group I went back to the campsite with, was smaller. I knew how to get back, well, I had a GPS and lead the way. As I approached the viaduct outside of Germersheim, I saw my shadow on it's greyish walls, projected by the light of Ymte, LeeW and Wilfred. 3 metres high it was, and moving from left to right, and back again. I took my task as leader serious, but didn't hesitate to guide use over the narrow and steep bridge over the railways. On the last 2 km back to camp, the other 2 youngsters sped of in to the darkness. I kept my cool and so did the blue Q's velonaut. He just rolled past me when we descended to the gate of 'Bagger See'. Aerodynamics in the real world at work that was....

The next morning, around 10, I parked the Pioneer against the fence of the outside exhibition. So much to see, so many people to talk with. I wandered, I guessed and I tried. Because some of the things I saw, really made no sense to me. And I tried 2 rides too.

After I'd spoken with a man from Ice, I went to the test track to ride an Ice, the Vortex. Now I don't know much about trikes. Carrying an extra wheel, with out it being a velomobile, only makes sense to me on a steep hill or on ice. But, I liked this one. No pedal or brake steer, and it cornered pleasantly at low and higher speed. Also, the quality and the way Neil talks about designing trikes gets 'thumbs up' from me. We both could not understand how some manufacturers put 'bents on the market with obvious design flaws, and get away with it. Don't others do any research with different geometries?

Ice once built the B1. I never saw one in real live, but their quality combined with a folding 2-wheeler sounds like a combination I'd like.

The 2nd test ride was on a Carbon Recumbent. Despite having no suspension, this 10kg 'bent felt pretty comfortable over cobble stones and the annoying kerbs you find in German cycle paths. The build quality was fine too, and the drive train felt stiff. To test this I selected the granny gear and gently pulled the brakes. No movement to see at the boom, nice. Up hill was funny easy compared to my Pioneer. I was less happy with the handling at low speed, a bit like M5. So many 'bent manufacturers do not get this right! Once you've tried a Nazca, you know how good a 'bent can handle, at any speed. Good thing is that the price of just over €3000,- is alright for the quality and low weight.

I also spoke with the owner of Evo K #5 and had a look at his K. He'd made a clever cover from neoprene, fixed with Velcro and bathroom suction cups. Another man, Rudolph, visited Spezi for his first look at the recumbent scene. I showed him around a bit and gave him some advice.

At the Gingko stand I looked at their latest offerings. They're a small company that specialize in light weight, yet reasonably priced parts, mostly for velomobiles. With some of their parts, my Fuego for instance could loose another halve a kilogram.

A silly thing I did was only take a tiny amount of chain oil with me, for a two week vavation. So I bought a bottle of my favourite oil at Icletta and enjoyed a cup of their delicious coffee. There I noticed that sell handle bars in different widths, and with different angles. Important stuff when you want to build up a bike exactly as you want it.

In hall 3 I met the Slovenian Nazca dealer. Together with 2 others, he started up a company in recumbent clothing. I bought a pretty blue shirt with long zipper. The collar is low at the front and the backside is a bit longer. It fits nicely and has little recumbents printed on it.

On Saturday evening I ate at an Italian restaurant together with Wilfred and his 'Roamies'. I didn't take part in ROAM, but had bought a t-shirt and am, I guess, accepted as an 'ok guy' in 'our' recumbent world. On Sunday I prepared dinner for two again at camp Bagger See.

Spezi is not complete with a visit to the test track and a portion of 'Siberischen Pelmeni'. At the track I rode the Vortex, a Giro and a kick bike. Furthermore I looked around a bit more. Being surprised of what I saw.

Sunday ended  quite early. Monday was planned to start at 06:00h.

1 comment:

  1. Does men and women of different height, weight, with need the same bike geometry?