BREWSTER – It was a sunny Sunday in December and we were driving along Route 6A, you know, the Old King’s Highway, one of the most historic roads in America, when we saw it.
“What’s that thing in front of us?,” Brian asked.
There was this little white car-like thing on the roadway. We thought it was some kind of a space age go kart. A futurama roadster. A super fast bobsled on wheels. Except it almost seemed to float above the road—Jetsons-style.
The guy in it had on a rad helmet and a half-smile, the kind you have when you are riding some kind of super cool futurama-mobile.
Who’d of thunk it? On historic Route 6A: the last place you’d expect to see a Jetsons-style race car.
Of course, we followed the car—or whatever it was.
We kept a safe distance back for awhile but then we got curious and decided to pass on the right. I got a good photo when we passed him. The guy was flying.
We got ahead of him and tried to flag him down for an interview.
He yelled out that he had to keep going—he was heading to North Eastham, he said, and he was being timed. Or something like that. We weren’t really sure what he was talking about–and we still aren’t.
So we hopped back in the car and kept following him.
As the two-lane Old King’s Highway passed into Orleans and became a four-lane road, he kept going.
We pulled past him again and watched as he stopped at the traffic light at Skaket Corners, the intersection of West Road.
Then darned if he didn’t take a left turn and a quick right to hop onto the Cape Cod Rail Trail.
Driving a car, we were out of luck. We couldn’t hop on the bike trail and follow him. (Not that we didn’t discuss it.)
So we lost him. Now what to do?
I spent an hour googling the term “weird car” to no avail.
Brian thought of zooming in on one of the photos that appeared to have a company name of the vehicle.
We could see the words “blue velo.”
Back to the Internet.
Turns out Blue Velo is a maker of velomobiles that is based in Ontario, Canada.
What is a velomobile, you may ask?
A velomobile is not a car at all. It is a bike.
That’s right, a bike.
I called Ontario and spoke to Randy Mickevicius, 42, who, with his brother, Ray Mickevicius, 44, co-owns Blue Velo. They are biggest makers of velomobiles in North America.
Randy said velomobiles are already pretty popular in Europe but are just being introduced in this country.
He said there are a total of “in the low hundreds” in North America, though there are thousands in the rest of the world, mostly in Europe.
Why would someone want a velomobile, I asked. Is it mainly for bikers? Bikers, yes, Randy confirmed, but also “people who want to go fast and people who are tired of cars and want an alternate mode of transportation.”
How fast do they go? Well, Randy said, like any bike, it depends on who is riding it. But it goes about five to 10 kilometers per hour faster than a road racing bicycle.
I explained that as an American, I am a little stupid when it comes to kilometers, so perhaps he could translate.
He said that a racing road bike ridden by an in-shape biker can go upwards of 25 miles per hour and the velomobile can go about three to six miles per hour faster than that.
The model that we saw on Route 6A, Randy guessed, was the Quest XS. They run about $8,500, according to the Blue Velo website. [Subsequently, we learned from a comment below, it is the Quest–not the XS.]
So in honor of and a few days in advance of New Year’s Eve, we at Cape Cod Wave offer a toast to the Quest and all those Cape Codders—like the guy riding the velomobile on the Old King’s Highway—who plan to surprise us in the coming year.
Please like us on Facebook
– Laura M. Reckford