I’ve been thinking about purchasing a new Velo for a while. My last Velo was perfect. It had rear braking, and smaller, robust wheels (I myself am not very tall). It had only one probem: It had no shifting gears which is definitely not suitable for Switzerland.
In the low country where I was born and raised, a Velo is almost a standard component of your personal property.
It took me a while as a child before I was confident enough to ride a two wheeler because of my fear of falling to the ground. Once I had learned how to ride, there was no looking back. It took me about 35 to 45 minutes to ride to school at the speed I usually rode. I did this for 6 years. The bus was never an option unless there was exceptionally bad weather conditions and even then I had to walk part of the way on foot.
Later, when I lived in the big city, the Velo was still a loyal companion. However, after my last drop in hearing in 2007, I no longer felt as comfortable on my Velo. My balance had suffered significantly due to my hearing loss and I had to be especially aware of traffic around me. How often I experienced that other Velo riders would pass me with shaking heads or angry faces because I could not hear them ringing their bells. Even as a pedestrian, I often had near heart attacks because I could not hear the Velos behind me. After all, I do not have eyes in the back of my head.
Regardless, I continued to ride my Velo. I did try to avoid the particularly busy paths when I was riding alone.
I was surprised when I arrived in Switzerland to find how much valued the Velos are here. I thought this to be a very good thing and I now I am beginning to miss my own Velo. However, it is not easy to find a suitable model for me! This is why I will continue to search, maybe even in the low country, until I have found the perfect velo.