Rise of the Velomobiles

Charmaine and the Normal Bikes

Most people don’t know what a velomobile. And most of those who do think they are big, heavy little Fred Flinstone-mobiles that you pedal if you live in the Netherlands – which apparently means Pool Table Land in English.

To dispel these ignorant notions, an event showcasing velomobiles came to Portland Oregon in July.  Roll over America was a coast-to-coast velocade.  Basically, a whole mess of velomobiles lit out from Portland with the grand ambition of arriving in Washington DC in about a month’s time.  And they did it.

My friend Charmaine persuaded me to join her in greeting the velomobiles as they entered DC. After waiting around for an hour at the finish line at the Georgetown University Hotel, we rolled downhill to the intersection of the Key Bridge and M Street NW in Georgetown.  We waited another 20 minutes and were about to give up when, one by one,  a steady stream of velomobiles of all colors and designs came in to view.

We rode over to Wisconsin Avenue to get a closer look and were delighted to see one velomobile after another cruise up from M Street.  The riders were clearly punped up as they rode the final mile of their cross country trek. After taking several pictures, Charmaine and I mounted our trusty steeds and gave chase.  I was expecting the velomobiles to crawl up the hill to Reservoir Road.  If the riders were laboring from their efforts they showed no signs of it.

The velocade turned on to Reservoir and finished by riding straight into the Georgetown University Hotel parking garage.  Then down several levels they went until they arrived at four nondescript parking spaces.  Here they came to rest with riders hoping out of their machines.  A couple of young women stood with us and the riders taking pictures.  They had ridden down to Georgetown from Bethesda on the Capital Crescent Trail to catch a glimpse of the show. They arrived at Key Bridge just as the first velos came of the Key Bridge.

Bethesda Velo Groupies
I Felt Like I Was Part of the Velo Borg at This Light

Roll over America Finalists

We all enjoyed congratulating the velo riders and taking copious pictures of the finale.  Fantastic job to all the participants and their support crew.

3 thoughts on “Rise of the Velomobiles

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