Willkommen auf meinem Blog.

Ich schreibe (auf Englisch) über das Leben am Niederrhein, über das Fahrrad fahren, deutsche Torten und Kuchen – und was mir sonst alles des Weges kommt. Jede Menge Fotos gibt es ebenfalls. Ich hoffe, dass Du viel interessantes findest.

Beste Grüße, Auntie Helen

“There may be a better land where bicycle saddles are made out of rainbow, stuffed with cloud; in this world the simplest thing is to get used to something hard.” Jerome K Jerome in Three Men On The Bummel.

This is not quite true! There is a world of a comfortable bicycle seat and it is the world of recumbent bikes and velomobiles. For extra stability I have an extra wheel and I have several exceptionally comfortable mobile deckchairs which I use to pootle around.

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.

Six Wheels in Germany

I’m writing various posts about life in Germany under the heading ‘Six Wheels In Germany‘ although this should technically now be Nine Wheels in Germany as I have a Milan velomobile, a Versatile velomobile and a recumbent trike. I live with my German partner Klaus and he has a four-wheeled Quattrovelo velomobile and an ICE Sprint X trike.

Cycle Tours

This blog has reports written daily on each of my cycle tours. Use the header at the top (“Cycling in Germany”) to give you the list of cycle tours – click on the title of the tour and you’ll reach a page with a summary of all the blog posts.

I have also written a few posts about cycling in the UK and they are available under the menu “Cycling in England“.

About me

For a page with information about me, click here

About my velomobiles and trike

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 Velomobiles ‘Penelope the Velomobile‘.

You can also read about my ICE Sprint recumbent trike, Alfie, received in July 2011 – including lots of photos of assembling it, servicing the Alfine hub gear, servicing the brakes, even building a shed to fit him in! This is all in the menu “Alfie the Trike” at the top of the page.

In October 2016 I bought a speedy Milan GT Carbon velomobile and you can read about Millie under the Menu item Velomobiles and Millie the Milan.

In February 2018 I bought a brand new Quattrovelo from Velomobiel.nl. He is called Humphrey and you can read about him under the Menu item Velomobiles and 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 protectiohn in the rain.

15 Responses to Home

  1. Safe journey and have a great time!

  2. Bite the street Helen!!!! You’re a great one!!!
    Greetings from Italy

  3. Oh great . I’m cycling Europe starting 30th May and spending approx 6 wks in Germany . Information gleamed . Thanks and safe journey .

  4. steve

    Hi helen, what model is your old bike and where did you get it from? thanks Steve

  5. Hi Helen, I just came here after ICE posted it on twitter, could you please get in contact if you have time, I have a couple of questions regarding the sprint. I am raising funds just now to buy one because I am no longer able to cycle upright http://www.gofundme.com/Gkam84

  6. Jim

    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 🙂

  7. It is awesome model recumbent bike. Where did you get it from?

  8. Exceptionally useful guide to Alfine Oil Change thank you.

    (Almost) looking forward to Rosie’s first change when the bits arrive tomorrow!

  9. Glen Beckley

    I’d like to rent a recumbent trike in Berlin, Germany. Do you know of a shop where I could rent one?

  10. Norbert

    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

  11. Pierre Henry

    Love your shared railway tunnel on your way to Trier.
    Merci d’indiquer où il se trouve.

  12. David

    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?

    • 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.

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