A commuter has found a novel way of defying soaring petrol prices - by travelling to work each day in a pedal-powered 'torpedo bike'.
As for many, the daily gas-guzzling commute had become an increasingly expensive chore for Ian Fardoe.
So the cycling development worker found an aerobic way to beat the petrol price hikes on his home-made velomobile.
Pedal-power: Ian Fardoe beats the rising petrol prices by making his six- mile daily commute to work in a velomobile
The 39-year-old, travels the six-mile journey from his home in Whitmore Reans, Staffordshire, in the wacky vehicle, which consists of an adapted tricycle wrapped in a plastic casing.
Sitting only a few inches above the gravel of the A449 Ian can be seen each day being passed by stunned drivers of cars, vans and articulated lorries.
But Ian has been in love with this futuristic form of travel since his first encounter with a velomobile seven years ago. And he says he feels perfectly safe travelling this way along the Midlands' busy highways.
'I first came across them when someone brought one into Maclaines's bike shop in Wolverhampton, where I had worked previously, to part exchange it,' he said.
'The staff all wanted me to ride it. They said: "this is something you'd like, one of these daft bikes," and I liked it straight away.
'I don't feel vulnerable, becaure everyone sees me. People say: "aren't you worried about drivers not seeing you?", but I'm not worried because everybody stares.'
While Ian has gradually built his own bike over the last 18 months, the initial cost of buying a velomobile can be off-putting, with commercial vehicles costing £6-10,000 - but the running costs are minimal.
'There are no petrol costs, and there's not much maintenance involved because it is just made of standard bike stuff.
'And all the running gear is enclosed so it is not affected by the usual silt and muck you would get on most bikes so they last a lot longer.
'Most people I know who have one know how to repair them themselves, but If they'd take it you could probably get it repaired at your local bike shop.'
A little goes a long way: Ian Fardoe is swamped in his velomobile alongside other traffic
But it is not just the daily commute in which Ian uses his velomobile. He had been a keen bicycle racer for several years before he discovered velomobiles and now competes in about 12 velomobile races each year.
His hobby has even taken him as far as Holland, where velomobiles are far more popular, to compete and he will take part in the World Championships in Italy this June, riding at Monza's famous Formula One race track.
'It is a great aerobic workout on the way to and from work so the concept of driving to a gym is so alien to me. I just change when I get to work,' he added.
'My vehicle is like a mobile sauna. It gets incredibly hot. A lot of commercial ones tend to be 'head out' vehicles so you are cooler, but I was riding around in it when it was minus 20 in a t-shirt and shorts and I wasn't cold.'
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