velomobile at JAP 1

Way back in the year of our Lord, 2011, a rather unique event took place here in the United States. A group of velomobiles gathered together in Portland, Oregon to participate in the ROAM velomobile tour from Portland to Washington, D.C. ROAM stands for Roll Over America. They averaged about 125 miles per day. The vast majority of the velomobile riders who completed the tour were from Europe, most particularly the Netherlands and Germany. Their route they were travelling brought them thru Fort Wayne, Indiana where I live so I made the effort to go to the city park where they would spend the night camping.

ROAM 2011 route

I saw many of them as they pulled in to the campgrounds. It was summertime and every single one of them were totally soaking wet with sweat inside their velomobiles. They looked like they had just climbed out of a swimming pool with their clothes on. When I saw that I was really turned off to velomobiles as far as riding inside one of them. I sweat enough out in the open air on my tadpole trike. I could not handle being in a mobile oven.

I was looking over this velomobile pictured above and talking to the owner and builder of it. While I was there a friend of mine happened along with his video camera. He was producing a video about this event and conducting interviews with the riders. I was asking questions myself which were captured on the video’s audio. I did not realize at the time that my friend was producing this video. Otherwise I would not have done this. He said it didn’t matter as my questions were good questions anyway so it didn’t mess up his video taping.

Here are some more pictures of this particular trike:

velomobile at JAP 4

Just a reminder that you can click on any of the photos to have them open up in their own window where you can see them full size. To return to this page just use your browser’s back button.

Pterovelo 72 tooth sprocket roam 2011

velomobile at JAP 2

velomobile at JAP 3

velomobile at JAP 5

In this last picture you can see my trike sitting in the background with my yellow and orange flags sticking up above the open cockpit of the velomobile.

While at the city park checking out all these velomobiles rolling in I befriended a German rider who was in need to new chain for his velomobile. I took him to a local bike shop (before they closed) so he could get the chain he needed.

Markus in his velomobile

european velomobile riders

Here are some of the velomobile riders posing together.

happy birthday from the roam riders

ROAM riders group picture enlarged

velomobiles lined up in front of Capital Bldg. in D

And here they are lined up for photo shoots in the nation’s capital.

velomobiles lined up near Capital Bldg. in D

And here they are riding down the streets in Washington, D.C.

If you are interested in watching more video of the ROAM 2011 velomobile tour HERE is a link to them on YouTube. This ROAM participant has several videos posted online as well.

Also if you are interested in reading websites about this event you can check them out HERE.

If my memory serves me correctly they started out with about 50 riders from 7 different countries. About half of them were from Europe and the rest were from North America (U.S. and Canada). Most of those who were from North America dropped out along the way for one reason or another and it was mainly the Europeans who completed the tour. I think there were 30 some who completed the event.

I talked to several of the riders and some of them reported that coming thru the Rocky mountains they exceeded 70 mph downhill. One of the riders wrecked while travelling along at about 25 mph when he encountered “rumble strips” the second day out. He described what happened HERE. What I don’t understand is this is reported to have happened on I-84. My question is ‘what were these velomobiles doing on an interstate highway?’ It is my understanding that it would be very much illegal for them to be on an interstate highway.

Author: Steve Newbauer

I have a few current blogs (tadpolerider1, navysight, truthtoponder and stevesmixedbag) so I am keeping busy. I hope you the reader will find these blogs interesting and enjoy your time here. Feel free to email me at tadpolerider2 at gmail dot com (

5 thoughts on “ROAM 2011 … A LOOK BACK”

  1. Here is the Video showing the Velonauts of ROAM on I-84. They had a rolling road block that was run by Oregon State Highway Department.

  2. In Oregon, riding on interstate highways is legal, with two exceptions. It is illegal to ride a bike or trike on Interstate 5 through Portland, Oregon, and also on I-5 through Medford, Oregon. A human powered tricycle can ride I-84 legally (shoulders are huge, and even though petrol powered cars are allowed to motor along at 65, it is probably much safer riding there than on many of the standard roads with little to no shoulders and blind curves). It is also legal to pedal the length of I-5, from the California border to the Washington border, with the two excepted areas noted above. Other than the annoying tire whine associated with high speed autos, these highways are easy, and the cyclist is very visible.

    1. I was not aware of that. I just assumed all interstate highways exclude bicycles, mopeds and pedestrians. Here in Indiana where I live it is illegal for them to go onto an interstate highway.

  3. The Velonauts of ROAM had arranged a rolling road block on I-84 the very first day. There is a great video of the huge mass of Velomobiles cruising along. The Velonaut who flipped on the rumble strips was not on I-84. That happened later in the tour. Possible during the second week. All 24 of the European Velonauts completed the full tour. A great many of the North American Velonauts because of work time constraints could not get the time to complete the full tour. A week or two here, a week or two there, that was how they could do it. The Velonaut who crashed on the rumble strips after a few days more of riding, because of damage to his Velomobile had to drop out. He was the only one that had to drop out because of an accident. All others were as I said were because of time constraints. 12 of the North American Velonauts were able to ride the full tour. 36 Velonauts completed the tour, start to finish. The video from the “ROAM participant” mentioned above, Harry Lieben from the Netherlands, He made dozens of excellent videos of the Tour, all the way across America with a tiny watch fob camera.

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