Mochet Velocar

Mochet Velocar Racing

Manuel Morand leads the pack on a Mochet Velocar during the "Paris-Limoges" race in 1934. When Manuel was leading the field he would go an easy 31 MPH for several miles at a time. This forced his rivals to work very hard. Unfortunately, uphill he was usually dropped. As happens today, Manuel raced by himself, and was not able to race in a team pace line.  Because of this he did not win races, but usually finished in a quite respectable position. 

Also in 1934 a French second category professional track cyclist named Francois Fauvre rode the Velocar to record speeds, breaking both the mile and kilometer records of the day. This created a storm of controversy within the UCI. The debate centered on whether the Velocar was a bicycle and if the records were legal. In 1934 the UCI ruled against the Mochet-Faure records, banning recumbent bicycles and aerodynamic devices from racing.

Today, recumbent bikes are still shunned in most bike races across the country. Fortunately, the tide is turning, and with the newfound popularity of the fast low racer and high racer recumbent platforms, more upright racers are seeing the advantages and beginning to race recumbent bikes. Some USCF time trials allow recumbent bikes under 2 meters in length to compete (dual 406mm wheeled low racers). More races are allowing recumbent bikes, though usually in a separate class. Nonetheless, it's up to us to enter the races, as the race directors are not usually willing to create a new class for just a couple of weird bikes.

When enough low racers compete in a race that they can form pace lines, the tide will be turned and recumbent bikes will win most races. Steep hills are still a problem for recumbent bikes, but the advent of super light weight recumbent bikes using carbon fiber and titanium materials may solve this issue as well. 

See:
More about Velocar racing in 1934
Recumbent history
Winning Forbidden
War of Wheels
 

The Velocar was a fast racing bike, but like most most modern recumbents, the Velocar was most often used as a recreational bike. Here, a woman pedals serenely through the French countryside.

 

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