Who Runs The World? Velomobiles!

Rachel’s Team Pick:

Do you know what a velomobile is? Neither did I until I read this at GOOD:

If you’re road-tripping through the northwestern United States this weekend, don’t be alarmed if you see a pack of Europeans flying by in colorful bike pods. The vehicles are velomobiles, a covered recumbent bicycle (or tricycle) optimized for aerodynamics and long-distance travel. Departing from Portland tomorrow, the Roll Over America Tour is bringing velomobiles from coast to coast over the course of a 30-day road trip, hailed as the “world premier of velomobiling.”

What is a covered recumbent bicycle??? It looks to me like someone took the body of a motorcycle sidecar and put it on top of someone else’s bike. But it is so much more!

+ The shells reduce drag and make you more aerodynamic!
+ You get to sort of recline back while you pedal, which makes it more comfortable!
+ There’s cargo space in there!
+ They cite “protection from the elements,” which I hope means some sort of awesome Jetsons bubble-windshield
+ “One-third less effort” which, DUH, YES

I think these are being marketed primarily as long-distance vehicles, the structure and physical demands of the velomobile making it possible to bike (velo?? Velo is my favorite French word guys) for much farther than would ordinarily be feasible for people that aren’t Lance Armstrong. Look, this guy went on a whole QUEST!

What do you think? Do you LOOOOOOOVE IT? Do you want one? Is it because you’re European? Is it because it reminds you of the podracers in Star Wars? Would you wear an outfit that matched your velomobile? What would you name it? Most importantly, are you going to get me this for my birthday next month?

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our A+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining A+ and supporting the people who make this indie queer media site possible?

Join A+!


Originally from Boston, MA, Rachel now lives in the Midwest. Topics dear to her heart include bisexuality, The X-Files and tacos. Her favorite Ciara video is probably "Ride," but if you're only going to watch one, she recommends "Like A Boy." You can follow her on twitter and instagram.

Rachel has written 1142 articles for us.


  1. Wrt the locking concerns… I imagine it’d be a bit like stealing the Batmobile. Not exactly an inconspicuous getaway vehicle.

    Though I guess if you’re shelling out 12k for a bike that may not be reassuring enough. Maybe it could shoot a net at would-be-thieves. Or something with lasers.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!