Author Topic: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum  (Read 962 times)

I recently spent some time in the Netherlands, including a night at the Zerofield campsite (google translation).

As I was about to start prepping my evening meal à la headtorch, one of the proprietors came over to say hello and conversation rapidly descended (ascended?) into bike nerdery. I was invited to see his bike shed the following morning and naturally I accepted!

So, it turns out one of the owners of the campsite is Wim van den Assum, long-standing member of the Dutch Association for Human Powered Vehicles (NVHPV) and former world championship title holder. I can't find the exact title online, so I won't guess but, suffice to say, he's into recumbents.

Despite no longer running a shop, he still has one or two in his shed:





Rowing recumbent:


Lefty recumbent:


Removable-seat-so-you-ve-got-an-armchair-to-sit-in recumbent:

(Ask about the front wheel...)

Not a recumbent, but has a sweet fold:




That back-to-back recumbent tandem is homemade. It's also folding. Because the Dutch rail regulations clearly state that folding bicycles can be taken onto trains for free...

Wim also has a good collection of magazines and photos from The Olden Days.



Well, the '80s and '90s. He also has an amazing collection of anecdotes. For example, there was that time he persuaded some designers to make a zip-in base for his fairing so he could convert it into a tent...



So if you're at all interested in recumbents, cycle design in general, or just good ol' tinkering in sheds, then I whole-heartedly recommend you stay over at Zerofield! (camping, yurts or B&B).  :thumbsup:

https://www.natuurkampeerterreinen.nl/en/terreinen/noord-brabant/zerofield/

Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #1 on: October 08, 2018, 08:14:56 pm »
I think that has ascended way beyond nerdery into the highest stratosphere of geekdom.  :thumbsup:

(Welcome back to the Big Island!)
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2018, 08:36:13 pm »
*bike shed envy*
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

ElyDave

  • Royal and Ancient Polar Bear Society member 263583
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2018, 09:54:51 pm »
If you can find footage of the rowing recumbent, its worth watching
“Procrastination is the thief of time, collar him.” –Charles Dickens

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #4 on: October 09, 2018, 12:26:57 am »
If you can find footage of the rowing recumbent, its worth watching

There were a couple of rowing bikes at the world championships this year:

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/oxEGy0Wq13I&rel=1" target="_blank">http://www.youtube.com/v/oxEGy0Wq13I&rel=1</a>
https://youtu.be/oxEGy0Wq13I?t=1056

(Also appearing in the footage of the slower group crits, a couple of minutes later.  That's a good forumite spotting video, BTW.)


I'm also compelled to link to this tweet: https://twitter.com/kimble4/status/1031150863224631296
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2018, 07:36:23 am »
*bike shed envy*

I think it would be fair to call it a barn.


Trying to understand the gearing on the rower did my head in.

Kim

  • 2nd in the world
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2018, 12:29:45 pm »
Trying to understand the gearing on the rower did my head in.

I've spent some quality time contemplating it between races, and even had the mechanism explained to me, and I'm still not sure it isn't witchcraft.

Riding alongside one is weird too.
To ride the Windcheetah, first, you must embrace the cantilever...

Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2018, 12:51:05 pm »
Delighted to the 'Harrogate Report' featuring prominently on the magazine cover!

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #8 on: October 09, 2018, 01:17:26 pm »
Great mag, I had that issue for years. It was the first time I'd read anything sizeable about recumbents. A few years later, I got to ride a very early LH drive Speedy.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Mr Larrington

  • A bit ov a lyv wyr by slof standirds
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Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #9 on: October 09, 2018, 01:40:23 pm »
Great mag, I had that issue for years. It was the first time I'd read anything sizeable about recumbents. A few years later, I got to ride a very early LH drive Speedy.

I've still got that one!  And I probably rode the same Speedy as well.
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Cudzoziemiec

  • Solar powered, tea fuelled cycle-wol
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2018, 02:01:25 pm »
Great mag, I had that issue for years. It was the first time I'd read anything sizeable about recumbents. A few years later, I got to ride a very early LH drive Speedy.
Meaning the drive chain was on the left-hand side?
An ungovernable laughter, a joyous agitation which makes the summer stretching before you seem like an unrolling canvas on which you might draw those first rude pure strokes that are free. (Capote)

Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2018, 02:04:50 pm »
I remember seeing a back to back recumbent tandem when I was there last year,  but at a passing distance.  How do they work ?
Not fast & rarely furious

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LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2018, 03:32:48 pm »
The LH drive Speedy had the cassette on the LH side of the frame, making the rear wheel even more offset than 'normal'. The chainrings were similarly on the left (tandem cranks?) and Mike had to fabricate a funny-looking front derailleur to suit.

That back-to-back tandem has completely independent drivetrains but the stoker's tension and return chainlines cross at the idlers, letting them pedal forwards (for them) but backwards relative to direction of travel.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #13 on: October 09, 2018, 04:38:26 pm »
the stoker's tension and return chainlines cross at the idlers, letting them pedal forwards (for them) but backwards relative to direction of travel.

That's what I was expecting too, but in this case the stoker's chain is 'draped over' the chainring, so the lower run becomes the tension and the upper run the return:




Re: "The Fastest Tent in the Netherlands" - chatting with Wim van den Assum
« Reply #14 on: October 11, 2018, 08:31:00 am »
If you can find footage of the rowing recumbent, its worth watching

Here's a video I shot years ago at Cycle Vision with a Rowbike winning the drags, you can't see it but he was pulling a wheelie for the first few strokes, impressive traction in the pouring rain as well. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fq2E6Ih1IU