What are they?

The word Velomobile literally means bicycle-car, which is obvious when you consider the early word for the bicycle, velocipede, meaning speedy walker, and the word Automobile, used throughout the US to describe the motorcar.  Incidentally the word, Vélo, is the French for bicycle, which is why it is not a good idea to truncate the word velomobile when referring to this type of vehicle.

The idea is that a velomobile combines the best of both a bicycle and a motorcar or automobile.  In other words a velomobile is a pedal or human powered vehicle that has some degree of enclosure to either, protect from the weather, or give some aerodynamic advantage, thereby increasing the potential speed, or both.

In the case of this website the definition is applied very broadly.  Designs that protect the rider from the wet and cold may not necessarily be good for going fast: and designs for breaking the human powered speed record usually have limited practical use.  This site seeks to encompass both: vehicles used for competition, sport and record setting; and other vehicles designed for more practical transport.