I have thought from time to time that winter wouldn’t be nearly such an obstacle to bicycle riding if only I had an enclosed bicycle. (Accumulated snow would still be an issue of course.) Finally, some time ago, I went and looked to see what the web had to say about it. Properly speaking, the are usually called velomobiles, and typically are recumbent tricycles.

Velomobiles, for the most part, are only available in Europe, and even there only in small, usually hand-built quantities. They do occupy a rather uncomfortable middle ground. Usually too big for bike trails or sidewalks, and too slow for most roads. Owing to the small scale production, they also tend to cost nearly as much as the cheapest new cars. (Never mind shipping from Europe…)

The end result is that I won’t be getting a velomobile any time soon. I may check back every once and awhile to see if the situation has improved. The speed problem for one may not be insurmountable – the human powered speed record could technically get a speeding ticket on any road in Illinois. This of course is a competition racer, on a smooth protected track, in a racing vehicle – designed for tight aerodynamic form and light weight – not for carrying groceries.

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