My 40th birthday present

I bought my 40th birthday present today. I’ve been planning this for a while and the weather was finally good enough for me to go test a few models and then finally purchase a medium-end recumbant tadpole bicycle, a hpvelotechnick scorpion, to be precise. My plan is for this to become the primary way that I commute to work each day, as well as the way I’ll do my weekly grocery shopping and Saturday morning errands. I’m fortunate that there is a local bike trail which runs from my house to the Amherst campus which also passes right by two of the three main shopping plazas in the area, and the third one is also very close to my office. Here’s a high resolution photo of the bike from the manufacturer’s site. I’ll post pics of mine once it’s delivered – I had a few options added onto it (cargo tray, mirror, computer, better pedals, and a better seat material), and it will take them a couple of days to put it together. I also had them remove an option which adds 10″ or so to the length of the chain and makes it easy to adjust the thing for different riders. Less chain is better. The only downside is you have to be around my height to try the thing, and I’m sure everyone I know is going to want to take it for a spin.

0 thoughts on “My 40th birthday present

  1. Nick S. says:

    Very cool man, congrats on the buy! That thing looks like good fun. I’m really interested to know what kind of average speeds you post after a few weeks, and what kind of hills you’ll be commuting on.
    Do you expect to add some sort of wind shell? And what will Soolin do to keep up? Trailer? Sidecar? Reigns and whip? πŸ˜‰
    I went to a velomobile gathering just this morning in SLO-town. There were 4 different velos, plus 4 or 5 recumbants and some Segway clone with giant offroad tires, the owner of which spent the entire time I was there driving in figure-8’s in the parking lot. I got a few velo links I hadn’t seen before. Nothing spectacular but still interesting. They claimed more realistic average speeds than I’ve been reading on the web – approx. 20mph or so, including slight inclines – which is still a bit faster than my road bike, but not nearly the 30mph I had read about.


  2. mom says:

    what a hoot! I do hope you ordered the helmet too. I worry, my son. I also wondered what Soolin’s ‘ride’ will look like. Do you go really fast in this and if so, do you kind of go around other 2 wheelers? How is it with cars, looks really low to the ground. I’ve seen one guy on something similar around here. Do they make 2 wheel recliner bikes? Do you graduate to a Barcalounger from here?


  3. dlh says:

    Hey all,

    So – my commute is a gradual steady uphill on the way in, and all steady downhill on the way back. I can get home faster by 10 minutes than I can get there at present on my mountain bike. I will add a wind shell this fall, possibly sooner. The thing is ridiculously expensive (~$400) and I need panniers too and those come first. Soolin will ride in a trailer.

    Velomobiles get most interesting when you add power assist so they can do 20mph up the hills. They will get more interesting when they drop below $20k

    Yes I have a helmet. It does go fast, especially down hills where I can (supposedly, I’ve not yet tried it) reach 30mph easily. I will be passing the slow folks on the bike trail every day πŸ™‚ It has a flag sticking off the back end so cars can see me. They do make recumbent 2 wheel bikes, which were banned from competitive cycling because they are too fast. And yes, this is an extension of my couch potato position πŸ™‚


  4. Jesse Hamilton says:

    There are quite a few people here on 2 wheeled recumbents. I’ve never seen the 3 wheel version… They are really hard to see here in city traffic, even with the flag… you oughtta to get an air horn and defend yourself! or a bat…


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