Some of you were intrigued by a vehicle that passed in the opposite direction as we travelled between Strensall and Sheriff Hutton on Wednesday. Yes, despite its rapid progress against a stiff headwind its only motive power was human. It was a faired, recumbent tricycle, a setup usually referred to as a Velomobile. I’m all but certain the one we saw was a “Quest” . If not it was one of a couple of other very similar machines. All of them are made in the Netherlands, where the flat terrain and often-windy conditions are a natural home to a machine that is highly-streamlined, but rather heavy. From my years in HPV racing, I know several velomobile owners; all are utterly converted, and don’t all even live in particularly flat areas.
People much cleverer than me have calculated that a Quest pedalled on the flat by a rider putting out 150W will travel at about 23.5 mph, whereas the likes of us – on an upright, riding on the tops – would be more than 8 mph slower.