Made On Earth
The first build took about six weeks, but
Fardoe spent 18 more months tweaking the
design to make it more practical and efficient.
The initial frame weighed in at only 11lbs and
didn’t stand up to his 6-mile commute to work.
“I bought some hot glue and zip ties, etc.,
to make it look remotely pretty. The making
it pretty bit didn’t work very well,” he jokes.
Overall, the vehicle cost about £ 2,600
($4,000) to build — far less than commercial
velomobiles, which can cost twice that price.
Fardoe admits his way of building is very
learn-by-doing, which is how his vehicle
earned the name OTP (On the Piss).
But hot glue and zip ties aside, it’s a pretty
serious ride. He’s done 125 miles in a single
trip and reached a top speed of 73mph going
downhill, 53mph on flat ground.
In the process, Fardoe has become a pretty
serious velo pilot; at press time he was planning to race a commercial velo in the Cycle
Vision races in the Netherlands in June.
—Jerry James Stone
As gas prices soar, Ian Fardoe of Staffordshire,
England, is faring better than most — at least
better than those of us who drive cars. The
40-year-old is car-free and always has been.
“I’ve been cycling all my life. I did learn to
drive a car but realized that I hated it a long
time before I took my driving test, so didn’t
even bother,” he explains. And with the price
of petrol above 130 pence a liter (about $8
a gallon) this year, he’s much better off.
Fardoe commutes 4,000 miles a year by
bike, so building a wacky, plastic-wrapped
tricycle is no surprise. Called a velomobile, the
trike’s outer shell is made from repurposed
corrugated plastic that was harvested from
a recumbent bike’s fairing, and fashioned
after vehicles found in Australia’s Pedal Prix.
» Fardoe’s Velos: picasaweb.google.com/ian.fardoe
24 Make: makezine.com/27