Welcome to my blog!

I’m a Brit but in April 2014 I moved to Germany to experience life in a different country, and I chose a wonderfully flat part of the world (the Niederrhein area) which is ideal for velomobiles or recumbent trikes.

I include lots of photos (including cakes!) and I hope you find it all interesting.

Kind regards, Auntie Helen

Willkommen auf meinem Blog

Ich bin Brite, aber im April 2014 bin ich nach Deutschland gezogen, um das Leben in einem anderen Land kennenzulernen. Ich habe mir einen wunderbar flachen Teil der Welt ausgesucht (den Niederrhein), der ideal für Velomobile oder Liegedreiräder ist. Ich habe viele Fotos beigefügt (darunter auch Kuchen!) und hoffe, du findest das alles interessant.

Beste Grüße, Auntie Helen

What’s in this blog?

I have been writing this blog since 2008 and it has over 440 posts and 35 summary pages.

If you want to read my most recent posts, go here.

This blog was originally used for reports on my various cycle tours, when I still lived in England. You can read about the cycle tours here.

Then I moved to Germany and started writing one post per month about life in Germany under the heading Six Wheels in Germany (although sometimes I had 9 wheels, and at one point 10). As the focus has moved away from cycling these are now under the heading Life in Germany.

There are also a few posts about road trips we have done by car here (honeymoon in Italy, Scotland), and also some posts about sailing written by my former husband James.

About me

I was born in Germany but at 18 months old the family moved back to England and I was bought up in Southend-on-Sea in Essex.

I studied at the University of Sheffield and lived in Kent and north Essex before moving to Germany in 2014 for a year.

I live with my husband Klaus and our cockapoo dog Poppy in a lovely quiet hamlet near Kempen in Nordrhein-Westfalen, an oasis of calm between the Netherlands and Düsseldorf. I met Klaus initially through this blog as he read it when I was still living in England and sent me a message saying how useful it was. When I moved to Germany he got in contact again and we got to know each other. We have now been together since 2017 and got married in 2021.

About my trikes and velomobiles

I started triking in 2007 when I moved to the flatlands of Essex. I bought a Trice Q recumbent trike and rode 40,000km on it before awarding myself a new trike for my 40th birthday, an ICE Sprint recumbent trike, Alfie, purchased in July 2011. I wrote lots about this trike, including lots of photos of assembling it, servicing the Alfine hub gear, servicing the brakes, even building a shed to fit him in!

My first Velomobile was a Flevobike Versatile velomobile called Penelope which I bought in January 2014. You can read about my rides on Penelope around Niederrhein in Germany using the menu item Penelope the Versatile.

In October 2016 I bought a speedy Milan GT Carbon velomobile and you can read about Millie the Milan here.

In February 2018 I bought a brand new Quattrovelo from Velomobiel.nl. He was called Humphrey and you can read about him under Humphrey the Quattrovelo.

I didn’t actually get on with Humphrey so I sold him and bought another Versatile as a commuter bike, this time a yellow one called Bertie, which I sold later as I did not use it enough. I am still riding Alfie the trike on summer days and when touring by car but I ride the Milan for speed and for protection in the rain.

So why this blog?

I’ve been writing this blog for over a decade now and it is a wonderful chance for me to look back over the fun I have had cycling and living in Germany. It has also become a repository of photos of lots of excellent German cakes. I have to pay a fair bit for web hosting and I don’t earn any money at all from it (no advertising), but as it was through this blog that I first met my husband Klaus I feel it doesn’t owe me a thing.

I appreciate comments and messages so please use the relevant forms in the footer if you have something to say.


  1. Just read your article in the CTC magazine. 8,000 miles a year!!! Wow – that is amazing – you must be so fit. An inspiring read – good for you 🙂

  2. Thank you very much Helen and Klaus, for inviting me and for the nice day I could spend with you. Now, for the first time ever, I was able to take place not only in one, but in four VMs, the Milan, the Quattrovelo, the Strada and the Versatile. I really love them all, still astonished about their look in real live, opposite to pictures.
    All the information is really helpful.
    Yes, I have to go to Dronten.
    And thank you for the english tea, too.

    kind regards
    Gute Grüße

  3. I’m super curious as to why you chose to get another Orca/versatile even though you have a Mulan? I want to buy a velo, but from what I have read it seems the lighter weight velos accelerate faster and are easier up hills and require less effort overall to pedal. Can you explain why you chose an Orca over say, an Alpha 7 or the Mulan?

    1. The Milan is a great velomobile but it is not very waterproof. The Orca/Versatile are much easier in the rain for short journeys and are also shorter so easier to store. I bought the second Versatile for my commute as it’s just 4km (so the speed/weight of the velomobile doesn’t matter) and because it could stand outside my workplace all day in the rain and I would remain dry cycling home. With the Milan I would be very wet! However, I ended up selling the Versatile as I had to store it in a garage 500 metres away which meant I rarely bothered to collect it, and my workplace found a covered parking area for me so the Milan stays dry.

      The lighter velomobiles have many advantages but sometimes the heavier, slower ones are easier for daily living if you’re not hoping for record speeds or distances.

  4. Hi Helen it was very refreshing & motivating reading your life adventures I was trying to find X girlfriend of mine called Helen she didn’t own a car just a bike for work . I did 25 years in Germany with army so I know a lot of area to North, hope you been to Velvet Caves at Christmas in Holland at Vogelburg that was amazing place tonnes of Christmas stalls in them caves.Why don’t you put it all down in a book that make you some money sell it booth in UK & Germany.

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