My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

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parajared   10 kW

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My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by parajared » Sep 25 2014 11:35pm

In the same sickly fashion that some consider climbing a tall mountain “fun” I decided to do a cross-country trip just for the crude enjoyment of it all. After all, if one cannot enjoy a good torture session what is there left to enjoy in life. Now I have done several 80 mile trips where I went out and back in a single day, but never have I done a multi-day cross-country trip.

Now at first I just tossed a sleeping bag and my battery charger in but realized that a tent would be nice too; then I realized that I probably should pack a change of clothes and a jacket in case it got cold, then came the inflatable mattress, toothbrush, lighter, flashlight, sunblock, handgun, kitchen sink and deodorant leaving the trailer looking like this:
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Besides giving everything a good tune-up I modified my bike by melting a hole in my cargo hold so I could sip from a camel-pak and peddle at the same time and I welded some braided steel to the frame so that I could lock the batteries to the bike leaving the potential to lock up the bike and wander.
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I headed out to the Grand Canyon, which seemed a respectable destination and despite a bit of trepidation about how hard it would be to charge on the road I was able to easily find a charge point at my first stop, Ashfork Arizona the Ranch House Café. I was grateful for my braided steel mod because the very first thing after eating lunch at the café was to leave my locked up bike as it charged and wander about the town.
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54 miles and 31ah
I stopped at Marias Restaurant in Williams. I was a bit exhausted as it was quite an uphill chug from Ashfork to Williams (an 1800 ft climb) and just as I was plugging in to the outlet the owner of the restaurant walked out saw me messing with his power outlet and with wild eyes asked me what exactly I was doing. I told him I came to eat at his restaurant and I wanted to charge up my bike while I ate. He paused for a moment gave the bike a disapproving look and told me to come in. I ate my meal, but not wanting to hang out at Marias any more than I had to unplugged with half charged batteries locked the bike elsewhere, wandered the town for a bit then set up camp in the woods five miles out of town.
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someone left a nice chair out there at the campsite for me. =D
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96 miles 52ah
After I finished charging by the soda machine at the Econolodge and grabbing a burger at McDonalds I made it to Valle where I charged up at the Chevron station.
“lunch time”
I eyeballed the gas station hot dogs and instead opted for an overpriced hot pocket and packet of combos to hold me over until a real restaurant emerged.
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110 miles in I made it to Anita road and decided I would rather set up camp here rather than hauling all my camping gear all the way to the Grand Canyon.
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Riding without the trailer was a breeze and I made it to the canyon easily.
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I felt like I had just flown in from the moon as the visitors at canyon had a lot to say about the peculiar bike which seemingly sprouted right out of the pages of a science fiction novel for some. I showed a tourist my battery, a bunch of remote controlled car batteries shoddily duct taped together and he just laughed and looked at me like I was crazy.
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131 miles and 70ah
After a day of goofing around at the park I stopped at the Grand Canyon McDonalds and ordered a Big Mac, fries and an Oreo McFlurry, which only ran me $15, apparently the going rate for food around the park.
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140 miles and 81ah
I raced the sun back to my campsite and made it back just as the sun was setting. My electric mattress pump stopped working and not feeling up to the task of blowing up a mattress by mouth I decided to sleep on bare tent floor. I quickly realized why I decided to pack the heavy bugger as snuggling up to that rock that wants to stab you in the back has limited appeal. I managed to get to sleep anyway until I ran into gang problems.

I didn’t realize the Grand Canyon had gang problems, but just as I had fallen asleep a roving gang of elk passed by my camp and crashing around, bugling, and generally being highly inconsiderate of my sleepy time.
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185miles and 107ah
I made it back to Williams and had lunch with the wife who was on her way to visit with her parents. Lured in like Odysseus to the sirens call, the allure of a warm shower, a beautiful wife and not having to sleep on hard ground for the night overtook me and ended the journey early only traveling a mere 185 miles over the course of 2 ½ days.

Total time 15 hours 37 minutes
Average speed 11.8mph
total watt hours 4770
average consumption 24.4 wh/mi
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mlt34   100 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by mlt34 » Sep 26 2014 3:29am

Very cool! I'm planning my own XC soon so reading your experience has been helpful.

The braided cable mod you did, was it just the loop on the frame to give you a locking point? Or is that red cable permanently on there?
parajared wrote:...flashlight, sunblock, handgun, kitchen sink and...
I've never been to the grand canyon. Does everyone bring a gun?
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
Then I wrote the book (literally) on building custom lithium batteries.
I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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dogman dan   100 GW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by dogman dan » Sep 26 2014 6:02am

15 bucks for a Mc lunch? Sounds crazy till you remember that they likely have to add a bunkhouse for the workers to the price. The canyon is way out there to commute there to work low wages.

Shows you how in a regular city, they don't pay enough for their workers to live.

Impressive that you can carry the trike on the back of a focus!

Nice that the gang was only elk. I know a campsite in NM that has been skunk infested for decades. Ever wake up with a skunk sitting on your chest staring at you? Yee ha! Another I know is raccoon infested, they get your food unless carried in a locked metal box.

Charging on the road out west is the real problem. You just don't have another place to try every 10-20 miles.

You should ask, but if you do they have no idea how to answer. If by day 3 you are starting to look hobo, they won't like you much. Buying something first always helps of course.

I look for hot plugs in public parks first.

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parajared   10 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by parajared » Sep 26 2014 10:21am

The braided steel was a dog "tie out cable". I welded one end to the frame and had a padlock on the other end so I could hold the batteries down like a strap. Someone would have to cut the lock or the cable to get to the batteries.

The handgun may be more of a Arizona thing. Concealed carry without a licence is legal here and quite a few people carry them (often just for fun). For me it helps me rest a little easier when an unknown creature is crashing around in the woods outside my campsite.

I carry a Taurus 380 which only weighs about 300 grams.

Image


I will remember the public park trick. I imagine there would be a lot less potential to get hassled at a public park.

Towns in Arizona are spread apart pretty far and I miscalculated my range. I did all my calculations based on the range and times I was getting on just the trike but shame on me for not doing a test run with all my camping gear in tow. Fortunately I brought a 30ah pack with me which allowed for some fudge factor.

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mlt34   100 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by mlt34 » Sep 26 2014 4:46pm

For my own XC in the works I'm planning on how to add some anti-theft/anti-messing with to my packs (two 72V20AH) and I like your welded cable idea, very cool. I might have to try implimenting something like that.

Interesting about the concealed carry there in Arizona. I'd be scared if everyone here could carry without a license, and that's even with us all being soldiers once.
Are you planning your first electric bicycle conversion? I wrote a book that teaches beginners everything they need to know about building their own ebike.
Then I wrote the book (literally) on building custom lithium batteries.
I also write for EbikeSchool.com, a site that does mainly how-to style articles and other informational write-ups. Check out our youtube channel for great how-to battery building videos.
Lastly, I run www.Vruzend.com, which sells solderless 18650 battery kits, 18650 cells, li-ion chargers, BMSs and more!

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Hwy89   1 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by Hwy89 » Sep 26 2014 6:43pm

Good for you Jared.
That is a trip I have wanted to make for several years. I did ride to Williams once from Paulden but I took the back way from Drake and came into Williams from the south on Perkinsville road. It is still a heck of a climb but much more scenic and less stressful than the freeway. If you had continued back from Williams you could have coasted for nine miles and improved your efficiency.
Let me know if you decide to try again, I might want to tag along.

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amberwolf   100 GW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by amberwolf » Sep 27 2014 3:11pm

Funny you did and posted this now; I just posted a reply to Grindz' epic thread that is problaby more appropriate here:

http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 08#p952208
amberwolf wrote:Sort of OT, but something for people to think about, if they're inspired to do something like this trip:


As far as inspiring people goes, I've had a number of inspirations to want to do longer trips, outside of Phoenix, but am deterred because I need to bring the dogs with me (presently that's just Tiny and Yogi, only about 230lbs of dog between them, so not quite as big an issue as it used to be with the previous four, plus I think if I have a trailer big enough I cna put both Tiny and Yogi into the same one, which I coudln't've done iwth the other batch).

The first trip I'd like to do is to go up to visit people up north of here, around Camp Verde, etc., and even farther north, maybe to at least reach the Grand Canyon and see it in person, if I had the time off to make it worth a trip.


The problem isn't so much bringing the dogs, but finding a road that's:
--good enough to go fast enough on (15-20MPH) to be worth using, without beating up the bike or the trailer/dogs
--safe enough to be able to have the dogs along, which will extremely limit my agility; it won't be possible to dodge around holes or obstacles, or dive off the road in the event of a moron speeding up from behind
--legal to use, and unlikely to be harassed for using a lane (since a shoulder won't work with a heavily-loaded trailer). (I can use a highway legally when I'm outside city limits, but finding a safe one is hard--I17 is not a good choice, and it's the main road north or south out of the valley).

I'm well enough lit that people wouldn't have a problem seeing me at night if they are paying attention (if htey're not it odesn't matter anyway). Daytime I'm big enough to be seen easily, and of course I can see them coming, too.


There's other considerations, such as dog food and people food, and water, and I'd also need to bring a small generator to recharge from, preferably capapble of actually delivering at least 2000W directly to charge while riding if necessary. I have a fair bit of battery I could use, but at best it'd get me 40 miles or so with the load I'd be pulling, evne if it was all on completely on flat roads (which it wouldn't be), if I was going 20MPH. I'm sure I could get a bit more at a lower speed, like 12-15MPH, but it'd take way too long to get anywhere. I expect I'd be pulling as much weight in supplies/etc as I would in dogs, so I'd probably be realistically moving almost 2/5 a ton, including me and the bike itself.



Anyway, those are some considerations for others thinking about such a trip.

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by arkmundi » Sep 27 2014 5:45pm

Well parter, if a road trip, big mac and a gun ain't the all American experience.... :lol: :lol:

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parajared   10 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by parajared » Sep 27 2014 9:59pm

Let me know if you decide to try again, I might want to tag along.
You bet. We would have to work something out to where we charge at different plugs though. I was only charging at a rate of 400 watts but still pretty scared I would accidentally trip someones breaker. :oops:
The problem isn't so much bringing the dogs, but finding a road that's...
I wouldn't imagine 1-17 in Phoenix would even be cyclable due to how aggressive of a highway it gets. :ike HWY89 was saying there are some nice hard-pack dirt roads away from most of the traffic like Perkinsville road/Drake Overpass to Williams, but most of the stuff out here isn't well maintained. The shoulder from Williams to the Grand Canyon is kind of skinny and on my trike I frequently had one tire right on the edge of the white line.
Down in your neck of the woods I have motorbiked a neat path from Lake Pleasant to Crown King to Prescott, might be a neat little route on an e-bike assuming you have the juice for the job. I think the primo stuff is the dedicated bike lanes however, like the scenic bikeways in Flagstaff and Prescott's Peavine/Iron King trail.
Well parter, if a road trip, big mac and a gun ain't the all American experience
I drank lots of soda pop too :D . I couldn't get my camelpak to fill properly in the tiny bathroom sinks so I would buy a small glass for the soda machine and use it to poor water into my camelpak instead. I couldn't let a soda cup go to waste, so I would ended up drinking some soda too.
As soon as Jubilant Jared's Bicycle Grand Canyon tours opens for business all foreigners will be given a high powered handgun, a soda pop, and a fast food item of their choosing so long as its slathered in either bbq sauce our ketchup.

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by mateusleo » Sep 27 2014 10:37pm

When you stop, connect both packs in series and connect positive to the bike frame. Deadly trap to thieves, and, potentially, you. Hahahaha
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Hwy89   1 kW

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by Hwy89 » Sep 28 2014 9:59am

Amberwolf; when Jubilant Jared's tour business opens I suggest you get someone to drop you off in Yarnell. The route from there via Kirkland Junction and Iron Spring road into Prescott is not bad at all. I can't imagine the amount of battery you would need to climb out of the Valley with the dogs and camping gear, plus once you get to the top of the hill heat isn't as much of a factor. I wouldn't even consider riding on I-17 even though it is legal once you get outside of Phoenix.

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Re: My first cross-country trip: 185 miles

Post by Modbikemax » Sep 28 2014 10:31am

Come visit Australia. You won't need a gun!

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