Most Americans have never seen one before. When Stephen Mosca takes his out on the street, he says he's treated like a mini Mini Cooper.
A bike/car hybrid
A velomobile is a part bike, part car. It guarantees you protection from rain, sun and even cold, but you still need to pedal. Because underneath the aerodynamic shell that gives it the sleek look of a minicar lies a recumbent bicycle.
The fairing (shell) not only helps protect drivers against the elements (and even collisions to some extent), but it gives it an aerodynamic advantages making it one of the fastest bicycles on the road.
The smallest car-looking vehicle on the streets of New Jersey
Mosca bought his first velomobile about ten years ago when he was looking for something that would protect him on his daily commute. Today, he pedals the 15 miles to work in a full business suit with his briefcase and morning coffee tucked in alongside.
It's technically a bike, but some call it a bicycle car and it does straddle the line. It has both a bell and a horn. It's human-powered, but his ride is equipped with headlights, backlights, turn signals, odometer, and iphone dock.
There's even the option to install an electric pedal assist kit to really blur the line between human-powered vehicle and something more like an electric vehicle.
It draws enough attention- there are only a few dozen owners in the U.S.- that Stephen set up shop and now sells these bicycle cars online.
In this video, Stephen takes us for a ride- in full work attire- from his home through the streets of Maywood, New Jersey in his Mango velomobile.