Gepubliceerd op

We kregen een leuk artikel toegestuurd van een lezer van ligfiets nieuws over de oudste deelnemer aan de tocht Roam.

Onderstaand stuk is een artikel dat op 23 juni heeft gestaan in de Midland Reporter Telegram, de plaatselijke krant van Midland, Texas, waar David woont. In het hol van de leeuw, want het is de geboorteplaats van George W Bush en het centrum van de Texaanse oliebusiness.

Tim Fischer/ Reporter Telegram

EASY RIDER*David Eggleston plans to ride his velomobile across America during July. The journey will begin in Portland, Ore., and finish in Washington, D.C. Mildand resident Eggleston, 76, will be the oldest member of his team.


Cyclist taking on cross-country journey in velomobile

As captain of his own ship, David Eggleston happily casts his craft into thecivilized wilds. With it, he wishes health and vitality to all folks through cycling and good eats, energy for the engine.
"Look, Daddy, there's a rocket ship," a youngster exclaimed, as Eggleston recently was riding around Midland on a Saturday morning. He was cycling, comfortably and somewhat reclined, in his velomobile.
It's essentially an aerodynamic, elongated cockpit without wings but with wheels. It has two wheels up front for propulsion by pedaling and the tail-wheel where it belongs. Eggleston steers the craft via a control stick. The velomobile's shell resembles a streamlined airplane's nose, akin to the P-38 Lightning, a World War II twin-boom fighter --- but without the firepower or speed.
Eggleston's vehicle is a recumbent tadpole trike, a European designed and "over there" popular pedalpowered touring vehicle with the vintage airplane's "open cockpit" whereby the cyclist is comfortable and often smiling while pedaling.
There is not the discomfort of the traditional bicycle's leather saddle and down-turned handlebars.
For Eggleston, the velomobile has supplanted his collection of classic diamond-framed bicycles, his primary means of transportation for most of his 76 years.

Come late July, Eggleston will join about 50 fellow velomobile enthusiasts, both Europeans and Americans, in a 3,000-mile Roll Over America (ROAM) coast-to-coast tour. It travels from Oregon to Washington, D.C. He is the senior granddaddy of the tour --- others are in their 30s and 20s.
The 28-day adventure, beginning in Portland and continues into Washington and then eastward on U.S. Route 12 into the Midwest, takes in 24 days of riding and four days of rest.
"Anybody who is going to survive an event like this is going to have to adapt to all manners of problems cheerfully," Eggleston said of the stamina required to endure the journey.
Eggleston will have to mount hills and mountains, endure rain, headwinds, crosswinds, dust, traffic and miles of pedaling, sleeping outdoors, taking in nourishment at the marketplaces. Hospitality is always welcomed, he said.
In his heart, there is the joy and derring-do of an adventurer.
"I hope to survive, too," said Eggleston, who is riding 1,000 miles each month to prepare for ROAM. Germany's Josef Janning, who is into his 50s, is captain of Eggleston's team.
For the ride, Eggleston is planning to pedal the Netherlands-designed, Canadian-made Quest Velomobile, a $12,000 "super-aerodynamic" craft of strong and lightweight carbon-fiber shell. He provides the horsepower for the Quest, which is "really happy at 25 miles an hour."
The velomobile has 27 gears designed for the rigors of climbing hills, sailing along on the straightaway or streaming downhill faster than the Quest's "happy" cruising speed. Eggleston said steering then becomes tricky.
From his vantage, the most difficult aspect of the journey is "getting up after you have already ridden nearly 200 miles yesterday and then trying to convince yourself to ride another 150 miles today," he said. "It is pure grit. Sensible people would go to bed for the next day.
"I am addicted to bicycling," he said, adding it caught his fancy at age 8 when he lived in Minneapolis, where he first rode a three-speed Montgomery Ward bicycle.
"It is good for your health," his wife, Lois, said of cycling.
In 2001, the couple rode their classic Mercian tandem bicycle 300 miles from Midland to Wichita Falls to ride in the Hotter 'N Hell 100mile Endurance Ride there. They did.
The next year, they toured England, the Netherlands, and Germany on their RANS Screamer recumbent tandem bicycle. Back Europe in 2003, Eggleston built an aluminumbodied velomobile, which spurred his interest in the vehicle.
His devotion to bicycling became apparent to West Texans when he, as a control engineer professor at The University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB), daily pedaled the 34.6-mile roundtrip ride from his home in Midland to UTPB in Odessa and back home from 1977 until his 1992 retirement. Before he ventured into West Texas, Eggleston, who holds the doctorate from the University of California at Berkeley, was an aerospace engineer for General Dynamics Aeronautics and later taught at San Diego State University.
On the West Coast, Eggleston also learned to fly, sail, taught sailing and raced sloops.
A passionate cyclist, Eggleston created the "Pedal Yourself Healthy" campaign and launched the VelomobileUSA to manufacture the Netherlands- designed velomobiles in Midland.
"The resistance of Americans to getting out of their cars is almost insurmountable," Eggleston said. "They --- we --- are so taken with cars. They are so convenient, so comfortable, air-conditioned. You don't have to work hard work. Just push the (fuel) pedal a little bit and go. Americans are so spoiled by cars."
But things are different in Europe.
"The velomobile people pride themselves on dusting a group of roadracers (who are riding traditional bicycles)," Eggleston said. In his velomobile rides, the cyclist enjoys "dusting" riders as he happily pedals onward, hoping to attract motorists to cycling, by bicycle or velomobile, and to health and happiness.


Er zijn nog geen reacties op dit bericht.

Als je een reactie op dit bericht wilt plaatsen, moet je eerst inloggen of registreren.