The New Year of 2015 has started, so it's a good moment to look back upon my experiences with my Solowheel so far.
I bought my Solowheel in early June 2014 as an alternative to the typical folding bike. I was looking for something that could take me to work for the last couple of kilometers so I could park my car where parking is free instead of having to pay the full parking fees every working day.
On December 31th, that was exactly 212 days ago and since the Solowheel arrived, I have travelled an estimated 1906 km with it (1185 miles).
After two evenings of practicing the Solowheel, I took it outside and started travelling around town with it. It has been an awful lot of fun so far and I am using it every single day. Even to the point of taking it out in the evening on a day I haven't found another reason to, just to clock some extra distance.
Since I have the Solowheel, I often go riding around just for the fun of it. In reality, I have been going places in town with the Solowheel on a regular basis that I would hardly ever go to on foot. Especially locations that are hard to reach by car and a farther away than 2-3 km are within easy reach with the Solowheel.
Technically, you could use a bike for that, but in town, the problem is always where to put your bike once you have arrived. In practice, a bike simply needs to be chained up to prevent theft, and often, you wind up with a bike stacked between others and you still need to walk part of the distance.
I use the Solowheel for just about any distance over 200 meters because it is so much quicker than walking. I basically do all my shopping with the Solowheel and I would actually rather go twice with the Solowheel for small shoppings than walking the distance once and carry everyhing in a bigger bag(s).
I cannot count the number of times I have been stopped by people asking me questions or wanting to try the SW and the reactions have been overwhelmingly positive.
I have fallen down hard only once (two stiches in my chin and a sprained and stiff elbow for weeks), but this could have happend on a bike just as well (or even falling down a stairs).
It only shows that being careful is important, even if you have become proficient.
I have driven the SW in pouring rain and very heavy winds and although not much fun on those occasions, I did not fall down.
Last week, I rode the SW through snow and that was not easy, especially when parts of it are frozen or when there snow heaps as well. If those touch the pedals, you're off!
As for my savings, so far I have saved around 1287 Euros (mostly parking fees) since I have started using the SW. So it's earning itself back very quickly.
Thus, to summarize, the Solowheel has been a lot of fun and I absolutely love it. Would I make changes to the design if I could, YES, but still, I love it. I has proven to be very sturdy and has not failed me yet.
I am looking forward to a happy new year of Solowheeling in 2015