By Cierra Putman
MIDLAND - A Tall City company is helping Americans travel in style, but only on three wheels.
"Velomobiles" are a type of tricycle first made popular in Europe, but a Midland man hopes to help jump-start the trend stateside.
"We were on a bike ride around town and some little kid was out in the front yard and said, 'Daddy look. It's a rocket ship," David Eggleston, co-owner of Velomobile USA, said.
No, they're not rocket ships, or even very small cars. Believe it or not, they're recumbent tricycles equipped with bicycle bells, turning signals and much more.
After seeing the trikes in the Netherlands, Eggleston bought one, and then started Velomobile USA with a friend in 2003.
The company builds and ships out Velomobile kits across the U.S.A.
"I though if there was anything that people would like to have," Eggleston said. "That was as fun as it is to drive a car then this would be it," he said.
In the beginning, his wife didn't see it the same way; instead she was just in shock.
"At first I was concerned, I though ‘oh, my gosh' what is he getting into," Lois Eggleston said. "Then he talked about the races we saw in the Netherlands and I said yes go for it."
Now they both hope the sleek shape and design will get more Americans peddling instead of driving.
"Mainly I do it because it's fun and it's my main form of exercise," Eggleston said.
Once you get in and used to it really is just like riding a bike. Except it has turn signals, a motor if you need it and yes even a horn.
At 75 and 80 years old, the Egglestons aren't afraid to lead by example.
"If you ride regularly, you'd probably have a very good chance of say 10 years more of active life than most people would have - maybe more. We're almost living proof of that," David said.
In time they hope to see more and more Velomobile riders in West Texas: www.velomobileusa.com.