My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jul 10 2018 3:29pm

wturber wrote:
Jul 05 2018 10:55pm
Don't forget to lube the threads! :D
After the first one seized I immediately grabbed the nearest lube like substance I could find on the other hand tight bolt, which was left over butter from a restaurant. It did the trick (no galling), But on the lubed roof screw, in the end I completely sheared off all the aluminum threads from overtightening. I kinda knew better about using m5's into soft aluminum for a screw that would be tightened and loosened many times a day, and was meaning to install helicoil inserts before packing the trike, but didn't get to it.

In anycase while on the ferry I drilled and tapped some holes for stop bolts that protrude throught the curved arch and provide fixed stop points for the rolling wheels. With these in place things are working great again for us to flip the roof to the left or right while riding, and only nominal tightness is needed on the caste break screws now since the travel is stopped by these protruding bolts and the roof doesn't risk drifting down to a new angle when we hit bumps.
I'm curious. How is the back to back scheme working out for conversation and such? The setup is counter-intuitive since we are so used to facing in the direction we are traveling for obvious reasons. But it struck me as one of the really good things about youbgur trike.
The one thing that hasn't worked as well as I was expecting is communications. I thought with our heads close together like this that we'd be able to talk while riding without yelling, but that's only the case if we have a nice tailwind and no traffic. At one point we started using a walkie talkie phone app and using phone headsets to chat. It worked decently well but becomes a bit of a wire jumble trying to have the microphone pickups from the earpiece to fit at the right location.

What's worked awesome about back to back is that combined 360degree visibility. Not just for managing traffic, (rear rider can tell front rider when its safe to change lanes etc.) but also for interacting with everyone as either we pass them or they pass us. There's such a huge range or expressions and feedback that you'd never notice both facing forwards.
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by e-beach » Jul 10 2018 9:43pm

justin_le wrote:
Jul 10 2018 3:06pm
Well hopefully this is the last post I make about flat tires. .......
In that way all your ES fans are rooting for you and AnSo!!!!!
justin_le wrote:
Jul 10 2018 3:06pm
......In any case,flats.., just an occasional fact of life when doing long distances by bicycle.
In that way we are all rooting for changes in bicycle tire design. IMO it is really stupid that bicycle tires have to be so tender compared to all other types of wheeled transportation. I have had that same steel belted wire strand flat as you showed in the picture.....many times in my big city. Why cars and motorcycles can roll over them and not get flats but bicycles are almost required to go flat from them probably means that manufactures have a high rate of return from the puncture resistant fables they sell to us 365 bike riders. It is time for a change.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jul 10 2018 10:16pm

e-beach wrote:
Jul 10 2018 9:43pm

In that way we are all rooting for changes in bicycle tire design. IMO it is really stupid that bicycle tires have to be so tender compared to all other types of wheeled transportation. I have had that same steel belted wire strand flat as you showed in the picture.....many times in my big city. Why cars and motorcycles can roll over them and not get flats but bicycles are almost required to go flat from them probably means that manufactures have a high rate of return from the puncture resistant fables they sell to us 365 bike riders. It is time for a change.

:D
The fragility is fairly understandable for bicycles since it is important to keep the rotating mass low if you want a responsive bicycle that is fun to pedal. Steel belts and thick rubber - the things that help out car tires so much - would place a heavy burden on an ordinary bicycle. E-bikes, OTOH, can tolerate heavier tires and rims when they have a LOT more power and torque. Perhaps those ebikes limited to 250 watts don't, but many other do. We can see many e-bikers reflecting this by their use of moped and even motorcycle tires on their e-bikes.

The more I ride my ebike, the more it becomes clear that the differences between e-biking and regular cycling are substantial.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jul 11 2018 1:04am

One of our favorite delays back in Italy. Mark at Grin had stumbled on this video and sent it to us, a makeshift amusement park that is human powered!


And what luck, it wasn't all that far away from the region of Northern italy we were biking through. However, the day we were set to go that way was the first rainy/cloudy one of our adventure. Rather than the ( zippy in some contexts) 30-32 kph speeds we'd been used to up to that point, we were now reckoning with dialing the power down to 50-100 watts and moving a heavy machine at like 15-18 kph. Then we realized that the park was only open on weekends anyways and this was a Friday. Oh hell, but we had already headed down the detour path to visit so we stuck ahead.
PioppiWorkshopFirstSight.jpg
And THANK GOODNESS. As we arrived there was clearly some kind of private event going on, so we didn't want to disturb that. We rolled up expecting to just have a discrete peak at all the machinery and then carry on. But the trike attracted it's own attention, and soon (private event or not) the entire family came out to see what this contraption was about.
PioppiExplanations.jpg
PioppiMoreExplains.jpg
It's a total family operation that just seems too amazing to be true. The old man Bruno in the blue work jacket started this as a restaurant some 50 years ago. And on the side he started making small playground objects for kids to play on, which overtime grew more and more elaborate, eventually becoming the attraction itself. But the place at its core is a restaurant, they have expansive outdoors seating for many 100's of people and so long as you've paid for a meal then all the rides are free for kids and adults alike.
PioppiFirstImpressions.jpg
They're all made from various scrap salvage materials with a general theme of human powered, but not just in the merrygoaround Variety. During the weekend when thousands of families pass through things break down one after another and then Bruno, his grandsons, and their old time right hand man spend the 5 weekdays repairing everything for the next Saturday opening.

After explaining and demonstrating the trike rowing mechanism you could see total delight in Bruno's eyes. It was right up his alley. We went there to visit his attractions and then we became their attraction. I'm just hoping it plants a little seed so that one day we may see a row powered ride at the al pioppi amusement jungle


In the meantime though, there was work to do! One of the major rides they were in the process of rebuilding is a swing carousel contraption that was getting a whole new drivtrain, going from an original chain mechanism to a shaft drive with bevel gears, linking a human pushed drive wheel to the spinning column with swings.
PioppiWelding.jpg
Bruno was in his small workshop cutting small steel bits that they were then welding in situ to reinforce aspects of the drive that were slipping. Me and also got to be Guinea pigs and sit on the chairs while they spun up the machine to look closely at what was going on. At some stage the bevel gears were popping out and so they cut and welded reinforcement bars to hold the two perpendicular axis more tightly together. It was on the spot fabrication in action, no CAD models involved, just a keen mechanical eye and back to the shop. We still had freewheels on our mind it was fun to see the massive one that they welded here so that the swinging column would keep spinning even when the drivers stopped pushing.
PioppiLiveExaminatoin.jpg
The two grandsons were at work helping out, having learned what they need from the old man, although one of them was going to be going back to school to study computer programming.
PioppiFamilyFabrication.jpg
I was only half joking when I offered to spend a winter here doing free ride fabrication with them in exchange for room and board in Italy. Since the park was technically closed we didn't want to intrude and try the other rides, though anso did ride down the very first thing that he built, this small little slide that started it all.
PioppiSlide.jpg
In the meantime, it was of course still a restaurant. The private party was a group of hikers on a trip and after they left we were served up some Yummy polenta, pork chops, and fried mushrooms. And of course the sun came out while we were there to get some charge back in our trike.
PioppiPolentaPork.jpg
Didn't do many km that day, but that was an experience and encounter we will never forget.
PioppiGroupPic.jpg
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PioppiFreewheel.jpg
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jul 11 2018 4:10am

justin_le wrote:
Jul 10 2018 3:29pm

The one thing that hasn't worked as well as I was expecting is communications. I thought with our heads close together like this that we'd be able to talk while riding without yelling, but that's only the case if we have a nice tailwind and no traffic. At one point we started using a walkie talkie phone app and using phone headsets to chat. It worked decently well but becomes a bit of a wire jumble trying to have the microphone pickups from the earpiece to fit at the right location.
Bummer. So it sounds like the main issue is wind noise and or traffic noise? I can imagine that for wind noise that "cat ears" might work for the rider on the pedals, but would they work in reverse for the rower?
https://www.cat-ears.com/cycling
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jul 11 2018 4:16am

The Al Pioppi Amusement Jungle!!!

That is so cool. Love the picture of An So on the swing (horizontal unicycle?) while the old man was pondering the repair.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jul 11 2018 4:31am

wturber wrote:
Jul 11 2018 4:10am



Bummer. So it sounds like the main issue is wind noise and or traffic noise? I can imagine that for wind noise that "cat ears" might work for the rider on the pedals, but would they work in reverse for the rower?
https://www.cat-ears.com/cycling
If you look closely at pictures of me with my helmet, you'll see that I've already got these! But as you say they don't do much for traffic noise which at present (highway riding) is the main disturbance.

We have quite a large 2ft. gap between our heads which was there to make more room for luggage space between the seats. I bet a back-to-back tandem with the head rests only inches apart would work better in this regards.

Now what we do when talking is make a point to both turn our heads to the same side, and then even with ambient noise we don't have to yell just talk more loud than usual.
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by fechter » Jul 11 2018 8:10am

I hate the wire tangle thing. I used to use a radio with my motorcycle helmet that worked well but the wires were always a pain.
You could possibly figure out a way to mount a piece of tubing that goes from the side of your head to the other person. Talk into the end of the tube. Bigger tube works better. Hard smooth interior is good too.

Just a thought...
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by philf » Jul 11 2018 11:22am

Too bad the route from Tekirdağ to Tehran wasn't a straighter line (as the map reads). They could've visited Batman.

batman.jpg
batman.jpg (163.36 KiB) Viewed 1195 times

Edit: Disregard that notion - it looks like Batman is in the restricted zone, close to the border in Syria. Hope he gets it cleaned up.

batman2.jpg
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Last edited by philf on Jul 11 2018 5:22pm, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Warren » Jul 11 2018 11:59am

Justin,

The human powered amusement park is amazing. What a special place. Thanks for sharing that. Love the giant freewheel!

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by zro-1 » Jul 11 2018 7:30pm

So truly awesome. I have a feeling that this will be one of those defining experiences for you both Justin. I know just reading this thread, that your story is one I won't forget. Thank you for sharing it with us.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jul 12 2018 12:10pm

On the map it seems like they are so very close to Tehran. But that's still 1500 km away ... It is amazing how far they've already traveled.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by philf » Jul 12 2018 7:02pm

I wonder if that Super Soaker is a strong enough defense against the wild dogs in Turkey. This surveillance video was taken in the Turkish province that the southern route cyclists have just passed through. (Speculation is that a small animal, possibly a cat, had taken refuge in this car's engine compartment).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_cont ... 0nX8Es3r84

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by AWD » Jul 13 2018 2:43am

Very cool Justin, you'll have to start one in Van! Bon Voyage

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by AWD » Jul 13 2018 2:43am

AWD wrote:
Jul 13 2018 2:43am
Very cool Justin, you'll have to start one in Van! Bon Voyage, Bob

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Turkey

Post by justin_le » Jul 13 2018 6:35pm

wturber wrote:
Jul 12 2018 12:10pm
On the map it seems like they are so very close to Tehran. But that's still 1500 km away ... It is amazing how far they've already traveled.
It is kind of crazy how quickly things are moving along and how near in sight sits the end goal for us. Today we started seeing the first road signs with Iran on them. We're in the city of Agri right now about 100km from the border.
IranOnRoadSigns.jpg
If all goes well we'll be crossing it mid-afternoon and then it's just a couple days and mountain pass to be by the Caspian Sea!

For what it's worth, Turkey has been an absolute solar ebiking paradise. It's got lots of hills and mountains yes, but they aren't forested so you still get full sunlight on the sides of the road. The road conditions are great, unlike most of europe you can bike the shoulder of all the highways here and aren't forced onto small bumpy and inefficient side roads. And the hospitality has been legendary. All the trucks pass with friendly musical honks, we get waved over for tea every time we stop somewhere, and the food has been pretty wonderful whenever we get to stop at an actual restaurant/eatery and aren't forced into gas station food to hit our daily km target.
TurkishBreakfast.jpg
Smaller towns are my favorite as there are always small groups of people just hanging out in their roadside hangouts, smoking or drinking tea or whatever. Then they'll hail us over, offer drinks, and we'll do our best to explain what we're up to using google translate and gestures to the flags on our trike.
StoppedForCai.jpg
We had an interesting experience yesterday but it feels like a week ago already. A guy Hakan who's involved in Turkish cycling scene contacted Anne-Sophie and came to meet us as we arrived in the city of Erzincan and took us to a restaurant. We were a bit in a rush to leave and keep moving but found ourselves in front of a whole media crew on the sidewalk, and by the end of the day this was love on turkish CNN and a number of other local news sites

https://www.cnnturk.com/turkiye/gunes-e ... ler?page=3

TurkishMedia.jpg
The last several days we've been doing 220-230km. The sun makes that possible but it still takes a toll on us, physically and mentally. It would be soo much nicer to shoot for 150-180km, then the touring would be wrapped up by later afternoon and we could relax, enjoy the city, post on ES etc. ;-) ). However, we have that flight to catch out of Tehran in like 8 days, and have to sort all the logistics of the dealing with the trike itself before then. Even with 200+km there's no margin if we run into difficulties ahead and so every day we're riding until 8:30-9pm. It could end sooner if we rode nonstop from the morning, but there are always little interruptions scattered throughout.

For those following the race from the Suntrip sites, you'll see that there's been a number of records broken in the past few days as riders going through Kazakhstan had nearly perfect conditions of great sun and tailwinds. It was first 380 something, then 398, then the latest being 427km in one day! I can't imagine what it takes to pull that off. Well I can, and I'm glad it's someone else in the saddle for 14hrs and not me :-)
Attachments
TurkeySunsetPic.jpg
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jul 13 2018 6:52pm

John in CR wrote:
Jul 08 2018 7:29pm
Hi Justin, Awesome adventure! I figure you've got enough seat time to answer a question I've had about solar panels on a bike. Do you get much heat radiating down from the backside of the panels,
As others have mentioned, our final solar roof that we put together at the last minute has the solar panels sitting on a glass covered 1" thick styrofoam sheet, so even if the panels are roasting hot on the top surface there's no way for that to radiate downwards. I just love being under the shady roof structure and out of the direct sunlight.


A lot of the other riders have roofs where the flexible solar panels are supported by a metal or wood rod support grid so those ones could potentially radiate heat downwards when cells are hot, which would only happen when the bike / trike is parked. I'll ask them about this. Once rolling airflow certainly keeps the cells pretty cool.
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jul 13 2018 7:00pm

philf wrote:
Jul 12 2018 7:02pm
I wonder if that Super Soaker is a strong enough defense against the wild dogs in Turkey. This surveillance video was taken in the Turkish province that the southern route cyclists have just passed through. (Speculation is that a small animal, possibly a cat, had taken refuge in this car's engine compartment).
Wow, here's hoping that no cats take refuge in our trike's storage compartment over night!
Turkey has had it's share of dogs but mostly on private properties, and they stop running after you once you pass the property line more or less. The super soaker hasn't been pulled out since that one incident in Croatia.

This here was one of the most persistent stray dogs that we had for company. He ran beside us, behind us, in front of us, literally doing circles around the trike before seeing a car that was moving even faster than we were and then off it went to chase the car instead.
DogChase.jpg
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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Re: Turkey

Post by wturber » Jul 13 2018 7:23pm

justin_le wrote:
Jul 13 2018 6:35pm
Image
I'm sitting here eating Walmart trail mix and looking at that Turkish Breakfast photo. Dang! That looks good! Was it as good as that photo suggests?

As one of my table tennis/hardbat buddies sez, "Onward and upward!!"
"Commuter - DC Booster"
Iron Horse 3.0 hardtail - 48V / 1000W / 470rpm generic Chinese DD Hub motor (ebay)
8 x 36v 4.3ah 10s 2P battery packs - 1500W 30A DC Boost Converter delivers 54v and about 1000 watts peak
53T/42T Sakae Road cranks - 30mph+ on flats
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=90369

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by usertogo » Jul 14 2018 10:05am

Meanwhile on the main spearhead of riders the half way mark has been crossed and the leader Raf van Hule is just about to cross the border into China! I am guessing 50 to 60 days total race duration for the first riders to cross the finish line...

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Iran!

Post by justin_le » Jul 17 2018 1:08am

wturber wrote:
Jul 13 2018 7:23pm
I'm sitting here eating Walmart trail mix and looking at that Turkish Breakfast photo. Dang! That looks good! Was it as good as that photo suggests?
Oh yeah. I mean there is great food in all countries, but usually you have to go into the cities or towns to get it and when you're on the road trying to clock in kilometers there isn't time for that. Here it was great tasting meals available beside gas stations off the highway and at truckers stops. Maybe every 3rd gas station on the road in Turkey had a small restaurant beside serving food like this.
Justin_LE wrote: It is kind of crazy how quickly things are moving along and how near in sight sits the end goal for us. Today we started seeing the first road signs with Iran on them. We're in the city of Agri right now about 100km from the border.

If all goes well we'll be crossing it mid-afternoon and then it's just a couple days and mountain pass to be by the Caspian Sea!
Well that was very optimistic no doubt. The weather turned into some of the strongest headwinds we've dealt with and occasional storm clouds, so we didn't get to the border until nighttime. Along the way though we were enthusiastically flagged down by a Turkish family who had been out picking plants for herbal teas. They invited us over for a picnic with watermelons, flatbread with cheeses, rose jam, endless tea etc. and we had a nice time conversing and laughing through phone translations. While we were there the sun came out, batteries got charged, it was the perfect final farewell from Turkey.

TurkishPicnic.jpg
TurkishPicnic.jpg (171.48 KiB) Viewed 821 times

As we approached the Iranian border there were fewer and fewer cars on the road until it was totally empty. I was fully expecting to be thoroughly searched given all the electronic gizmos on this contraption, but in the end there was way less grilling or questioning than I have from a typical crossing of the canada / us border. The only real holdup was that once again, all the border / security guards wanted to pause for pictures of themselves with the trike.

And that if anything has been the most constant theme riding in Iran so far. Where we stopped at the hotel in Bazargan crowds immediately came around to take pictures or themselves with this funny contraption. Then people were showing us on their phones how it was already all over the internet on some binanews.ir site.

BazarganHotel.jpg

It might be a translation thing or a cultural thing but everyone called it a 'car', as in "very nice car!". Inside I'm going "no, no it's a bicycle people" but then AnSo pointed out that, really, it looks a lot more car-like than bicycle-like. And there isn't much of a bicycle riding culture at all here, asides from children on bikes who will often follow us very enthusiastically for a couple blocks.

While in other countries we had lots of people on the road taking photos and videos as they drove past and hollering from the windows, here people are frequently pulling over on the side of the road in front of us, getting out of their car and then insisting that we stop. Sometimes it's been really timely, with people giving us bottles of ice-water just as our supplies are low. Other times people really want to chat, take photos, and offer us to stay at their house for the night. We have to struggle a bit to explain that while the offer is kind we're on a tight schedule and have to keep riding till nightfall in order to wrap up our trip in time.

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IranTrikeCrowds.jpg

On our 2nd day we were a little peopled out and just wanted some tranquility and solitude, so we hiked out in the middle of the plains to do some totally isolated camping.

IranCampingPlains.jpg

It seemed ideal at first, but then winds picked up. Initially I was grateful for the nice cooling breeze to take the heat off, but then it got sooo intense that our tent collapsed, the trike got blown over sideways, and we had one of our most difficult nights ever. At least the trike blew over in such a way that it was facing the morning sun

IranTrikeBlownOver.jpg

We're now readjusting our route plans somewhat based on the limited sun forecast for today and strong winds from the southeast. We'll be veering north to go right to the Azerbaijan border and then down along the coast to the city of Chalus, north of Tehran. It's about 50km more than our previous route plan but minimizes our total elevation gain (nearly 2000m less climbing required) which is good when the weather is cloudy, and it maximizes the time we get to spend on totally flat terrain beside the Caspian sea :-)



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Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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philf   1 kW

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by philf » Jul 17 2018 1:28am

The absence of Google street view in Iran makes this part of the journey less clear to follow, but the satellite view certainly doesn't make Iran look like the most hospitable terrain to cycle through. Then there's the heat. Wondering how An-So is making out, given that she's required to wear way more clothing than she probably enjoys in that weather.

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fechter   100 GW

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by fechter » Jul 17 2018 9:47am

Wow, good thing nothing broke when the bike tipped over. Put some fan blades on one of the hub motors and you could use it as a windmill when the bike is parked (just kidding of course).
"One test is worth a thousand opinions"

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wturber   100 kW

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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jul 17 2018 4:03pm

OK. So the way I see it they've got three more days on the road (a bit more than 600 km) to make it to Tehran. That seems doable but a little tough. Depending on their flight date and time, they've got a buffer of one or two days (Justin said they had eight days last Friday). So things are looking a little tight. Let's cross our fingers and toes and hope for lots-o-sunshine for the next few days. The current weather forecast looks favorable with clear skies and sunshine.
"Commuter - DC Booster"
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justin_le   10 MW

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The last leg

Post by justin_le » Jul 20 2018 4:10am

Well we were pretty much on the homerun stretch but conditions didn't quite work out as hoped. We had 270km of riding yesterday to get to Chalus and at the 150km point heavy clouds set in while the battery was only like 30% charged. Not a very ideal situation. We tried to push things through the night, dialing the motor power back to like 50 watts to stretch the juice out, moving slowly with lots of grunt, but decided around midnight that's not how we want to spend our last day. It would have involved ending at like 4am completely and utterly drained with still a lot of logistics to work out.

So now we're in a town west of Chalus and have a truck booked this afternoon to collect us and the trike and drive to Tehran. We had also been trying to push back our flight by several days to complete the journey right to the city but the airlines were all booked up unless we wanted to spend about $4000.

Obvious Conclusion: Touring on a solar-only charged ebike is a little bit like travelling by sailboat. You can't easily run on a fixed schedule of dates and locations, instead you take each day as the weather grants you, sometimes covering lots of ground and other times less so, ideally with a flexible arrival schedule!
fechter wrote:
Jul 17 2018 9:47am
Wow, good thing nothing broke when the bike tipped over. Put some fan blades on one of the hub motors and you could use it as a windmill when the bike is parked (just kidding of course).
Well, not far past this point where we camped we started seeing a number of windmill installations, and all of them were fixed with their blades pointing straight into the wind. When the winds are so strong that they shut down and lock the windmills to prevent them from being overpowered, then you better hope that the winds are at your back! In our case, they were head on, and we were consuming about 25 wh/km just to move forwards at about 20 kph. If those were tailwinds, we'd have been sailing at about 35 kph using probably 4-5 wh/km.
philf wrote:
Jul 17 2018 1:28am
Then there's the heat. Wondering how An-So is making out, given that she's required to wear way more clothing than she probably enjoys in that weather.
After some dehydration and feeling ill those first days things got better as we rose to higher elevations, generally around 1500-2000m, and the air was noticeably cooler. We also met and stayed with some wonderful people which cheered things up. After that we had an epic 2000 meter drop along the border with Azerbaijan to get down to the Caspian sea. Like literally along the border, with barbed wire fences and skulls/crossbone signage.

AzerbaijanBorder.jpg

On the other side the street was lined for km after km with vendors selling cups of fresh berries, jars of honey, and roasted corn. I had some notion that things would somehow be cool by the water but this is no pacific ocean like I'm used to, it is warm warm warm and humid too. Still nice to see nothing but water on a horizon.

FeetInTheSea.jpg
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I had been annoyed at the clouds and headwinds as we approached the drop to the sea but in the end thank goodness for that; we started the descent with the battery at ~35V and arrived at the bottom sitting at 41.5V. That must be a record for the most regen energy captured in a single day on an ebike! Had it been sunny we'd have been fully charged half way down the mountain, lost our ability to do regen, and then probably burned through several pairs of disk pads.

Anyways while the cycling portion of this trip is now over for us, the trip postings here are not. Now that I don't have to spend most of my waking hours occupied with making forwards progress, I'll be able to fill in a lot more details about the trip and observations (technical and otherwise) about solar ebike travel. Plus I'll be following the progress on all the other teams who are still trucking their way along to China.

Impressively of all the 30 odd participants we left with us on that first day, only one has had to abandon the trip after experiencing mechanical failures on his solar trailer that made it impossible to travel through Russia before his visa would have expired. There are a lot of real troopers on this 2018 suntrip voyage and it'll be nice to relay some of their experiences here on ES too.
Currently recovering from the Suntrip race on a back to back tandem solar powered row/cycle trike. 550 watt solar roof, dual Grin All Axle hub motors, dual Phaserunner controllers, 12 LiGo batteries, and a whole wack of gear.

Now back in Vancouver with my Big Dummy Frame (yes This One, thanks ES!) with Grin all-axle front hub, Phaserunner controller, and 52V 19Ah Cellman triangle pack
My website: http://www.ebikes.ca
Please contact via email, info@ebikes.ca, rather than PMs, which are disabled

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