Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Getting the Hang (and the Range) of the New Bike

Yesterday's ride was 17 miles, give or take -- to the gym via one route, home via another to get a good mix of "country bike trail," "county road," and "city street." My speedometer/odometer phone app kept freezing up, so I don't have average speed stats, etc. Probably fairly slow, as much of the ride was in traffic and on streets with traffic lights.

No problem with battery life for that range. I pedaled when the going was easy (probably 8-10 of the 17 miles), used "pedal assist" on uphill grades, and only hit the throttle for things like getting across intersections from a dead stop, or swooping across from a far-right bike lane to a turn lane. Basically anything where doing so seemed like it would reduce inconvenience to nearby motorists (and make collisions with same less likely). I did go full throttle the last 1/3 mile or so just to see if the battery was dying -- it didn't seem to be.

When I ordered the bike, I considered "pedal assist" an afterthought, but I can see now it will be the real workhorse, at least if I want to get much range out of the bike. It cranks up the motor just enough to make pedaling easy. So I expect to find out fairly soon whether my knee problems from pedaling have more to do with the motion, or more to do with the weight they're pushing.

I'm reasonably confident I have a 20-mile-plus range if I'm smart about minimizing throttle use and only using pedal assist when it makes sense to.

My next plan, probably for this Friday, is to take a 30-mile ride to Bronson and back. I've always hated that ride -- it feels like it's uphill both ways for some reason -- but it should be a good test of whether I can milk 30 miles out of a single battery charge. Besides, it's been at least a year since I visited Bo Diddley's grave or had a burger at Shakers.

If I can get 30 miles out of one battery charge, the next steps, in November or December, are visits to Fort White (40 miles) to visit one of my fine readers, and perhaps Cedar Key (48 miles), with a battery re-charges at the far ends.

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