On invitation of Voka Limburg we went to visit Flanders Bike Valley. We were given a full explanation by CEO Bert Celis on the establishment and operation of FBV. They are working hard and thinking about cycling mobility in Flanders. Companies (both national and international) are being grouped to work together and think about alternative traffic. We refer to the construction of bike highways (covered or not) with car parks on the city’s outskirts. Or a covered bike, as seen on one of the pics below.

And then there’s aerodynamics. In collaboration with several bike manufacturers (such as neighbour Ridley) they test clothing, socks, frames, forks, helmets, etc. Anything to get the percentages of resistance down. All to reach the finish as fast as possible. Everything you need to take time on your hands (or any other body part).

Therefore FBV built a wind tunnel of 50 m long. Cyclists can experience innovations at firsthand there. As it’s clear from the pics, the bike is stuck a platform. Four large fans generate wind power to the desired speed. The flow of air, the turbulence, the thrust, all of these parameters are measured.

The beauty of the story is that the platform can be interchanged. This means that the bicycle can be removed from the wind tunnel and replaced by, for example, a platform in order to test the resistance of a RPAS. So whoever wants to be able to present official figures on the Beaufort-scale to get the custom-made drone registered, knows where to go…

Flanders Bike Valley

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