Yellow velomobile is dream machine for Spalding engineering teacher

Engineering teacher Philip Ibbs with his velomobile. SG130517-310TW
Engineering teacher Philip Ibbs with his velomobile. SG130517-310TW
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Spalding Grammar School engineering teacher Philip Ibbs is practising what he preaches by riding a state-of-the-art velomobile.

Philip says his £5,000 Velomobiel Quest is so aerodynamically efficient it is around 20 per cent faster than a normal cycle.

He said: “The cycles you see in the Tour de France are basically a 100-year-old design ... you don’t see people riding around in Model T Fords any more.”

Velomobiles are essentially recumbent cycles with a body shell.

In the case of the Quest, the makers say the body is made out of 100 per cent carbon composite, the model is wind tunnel tested, and the machine is “fast, comfortable, efficient and provides excellent weather protection”.

It has three wheels, which have independent suspension.

Made in The Netherlands, the Velomobiel Quest is also standard equipped with a complete lighting system, head/tail light, turning signal lights and a brake light.

The manufacturers also say the Quest comes with large luggage capacity, which provides enough space for camping gear.

Philip finds there’s room to stow away his laptop and spare clothes, and has occasionally used his 2.85m long Quest to cycle the 14 miles to school, a distance he manages in around 40 minutes.

His bright yellow Quest is his first choice over his car, which he describes as “a tin box people carrier”, for short distances.

Philip said: “If everybody was riding round in these, you wouldn’t need cars for journeys of less than five miles.”

He’s been riding bikes for around 50 years but bought the Quest four years ago because of its engineering efficiency.

Philip has been teaching engineering at the grammar school for the last nine years.

“This is really the way cycles should be,” said Philip. “I practice what I preach.”