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

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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 » Jun 21 2018 2:12pm

solarEbike wrote:
Jun 21 2018 12:27pm
StuRat wrote:
Jun 21 2018 5:02am
Anyone know how to integrate an altitude graph to the live map so we can see what the terrain is like?
How about this?<snip>
Perfect!
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by solarEbike » Jun 21 2018 2:54pm

Here's an easier way: just download this KMZ file I created with all the live KML links and open in Google Earth.

Tips:
  • Clicking the link above may render it as a web page with a map showing only some of the participants' tracks. They're all there it just looks like this Google Docs preview does some lazy rendering and only includes the first few. Find the arrow icon in the upper right corner of the page to download the actual KMZ file and open that file in Google Earth.
  • In Google Earth, you should see a "The Sun Trip 2018" folder on the left side. Click the triangle arrow to open the full list of names.
  • Click the checkbox next to "The Sun Trip" to hide everything, you can then selectively view individual tracks by clicking their checkboxes.
  • Double-click a participant's name in the list to reset the zoom level to view their track.
  • Double-click any bicycle icon to instantly zoom in on the last known location.
  • Right-click any track and select "Show Elevation Profile" to see, you guessed it, the elevation profile.
  • Within the elevation profile window, you can click-drag with your mouse to visualize just a portion of the track and see the distance and elevation data for that segment:
    Elevation-profile-segment-detail.jpg
  • There are no timestamps in the data so there's no way to get speed or know where each day starts and ends.
  • There are significant gaps and position errors in the data. I'm pretty sure our intrepid duo didn't take this shortcut over the top of a 2900 m peak but followed the valley instead. The elevation profile is way off in this case.
    hey this looks like a good shortcut.jpg
Last edited by solarEbike on Jun 22 2018 9:40am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Limezy » Jun 21 2018 11:05pm

I regret that the official map is not in line with the quality of the event !
Many thanks for this amazing tool that adresses this gap.
Now, I only have to find a way to display meteo forecast (wind and sun) on Google Earth ;)

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

Post by solarEbike » Jun 22 2018 12:18pm

Limezy wrote:
Jun 21 2018 11:05pm
Now, I only have to find a way to display meteo forecast (wind and sun) on Google Earth ;)
There is a "clouds" layer available in Google Earth (left sidebar: Layers > Weather > Clouds). It appears to update regularly but I have no idea what kind of time delay it has. I looked around for additional weather data and found a few single-country specific KML/KMZ links but nothing that looked terribly useful.

Here's an elevation profile of the straight line connecting Lyon and Tehran. It looks like the most of the hill climbing still lies ahead.

Lyon-Tehran-elevation-profile.jpg
That rowing action is going to come in handy on the Black Sea. Deploying inflatable pontoons in 3, 2, 1...
Lyon-Tehran-elevation-profile.jpg (229.21 KiB) Viewed 788 times
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 22 2018 5:39pm

solarEbike wrote:
Jun 22 2018 12:18pm
That rowing action is going to come in handy on the Black Sea. Deploying inflatable pontoons in 3, 2, 1...
I'm mildly annoyed that Justin and Anne Sophie have already used the "rowed"/road pun. Probably just as well I guess.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 22 2018 7:50pm

It seems like the plan is to camp out each evening in a field, park, etc. I wonder if Justin and Anne Sophie realize that they are camped right next to two homes that have two rather large solar arrays. :^)

(Actually, the building with the larger array in the lower left appears to be a work building of some kind - perhaps for a farm?
SunTrip_6-22_evening.jpg
Last edited by wturber on Jun 22 2018 9:12pm, edited 1 time in total.
"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 solarEbike » Jun 22 2018 8:22pm

I've recorded a video fly-through of their route so far.



It starts in Le Bourget-du-Lac, near Chambéry, halfway between Lyon and Chamonix and continues through France, Switzerland and Italy to their last known location today, June 22. The recorded route includes the challenging ride coming into Chamonix described by JLE. Total distance is about 430 miles (700 km) according to the Spot device but the long update interval (5 or 10 minutes) means the track doesn't follow actual roads very well. It assumes straight lines between updates which also includes some longer intervals where the scheduled update failed due to weather, poor sky visibility, satellite network downtime, etc.

If you're not getting the full screen, 1080p glory and you have the bandwidth for it, try watching it on YouTube instead. Depending on your device, you may be able to speed up or slow down playback if the speed is not to your liking.

I think I've figured out Raf's strategy: follow an arc of the Great Circle a straight line from Lyon to Guangzhou.

Raf-straight-line-clouds.jpg

I've added lines connecting Lyon-Guangzhou and Lyon-Tehran to the KMZ file I provided earlier. You can re-download it if you want to see them yourself.

Great-circle-arcs.jpg
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by justin_le » Jun 22 2018 9:27pm

Limezy wrote:
Jun 20 2018 2:14am
Hi Justin,
Thanks for this great insight !
This solar race is really crazy, the only thing I regret is the lack of information we get from the runners !
There is a private wechat group that the organizers setup so that all of us can stay in touch during the limited time when you're not either on the bike or handling basic logistics of finding accommodation, food, basic repairs etc. It would be neat if some of this was public since you'd get more of an insider view on people's challenges and decisions etc. Personally I'd love to share a lot more if only it was easier to hit our 200km average daily goal before 9pm!

I believe it has a great impact on the overall performances. At your high travelling speeds, a small mistake of 4-5 hours can lead to hundreds of kilometers losts on competitors ! Also, the road choosen has to be the result of a very complex mix : less kilometers, more sun, less vertical drop, big and flat road vs small but harsh path, risk taken on the mechanics... Please tell us more !
Oh, it's easy. I recently posted this picture on the wechat forum. You just need to avoid shadows ! ;-)
Solar Cycle Routing.jpg
Solar Cycle Routing.jpg (54.38 KiB) Viewed 734 times

No but seriously, your questions here are super on point and front and center on everyone's mind and I'll share my own take on a lot of these details when I have a chance. What I've learned is that for sure the most important strategy for covering ground like those at the front is just to be on the bike for as many hours as possible between 7am - 9pm when you are allowed to ride. If you're able to ride (with or without the solar assist helping, and regardless of where the sun is at) for like 12 of those 14 hours, then even with an average speed of like 20-25 kph you'd be doing super well. In a race like this It is almost never a good strategy to stop and wait for the battery to be charged or the weather to improve, just keep rolling at every chance that you can, and take advantage of the sun when it's there.

If you don't get packed up from camping and breakfast until like 9-10am, and you take a couple 30-40 minute shopping breaks or side detours during the day (ie, me and AnSo!), then there's almost no chance to make the kind of mileage of those at the front.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Snickers » Jun 23 2018 5:37am

justin_le wrote:
Jun 22 2018 9:27pm
What I've learned is that for sure the most important strategy for covering ground like those at the front is just to be on the bike for as many hours as possible between 7am - 9pm when you are allowed to ride....
If you don't get packed up from camping and breakfast until like 9-10am, and you take a couple 30-40 minute shopping breaks or side detours during the day (ie, me and AnSo!), then there's almost no chance to make the kind of mileage of those at the front.
You are right, Justin
A video makes by another Suntriper (Gregory Lewyllie) showing what you must do on your Solar bike to win the suntrip. :lol:

solarEbike wrote:
Jun 21 2018 2:54pm
Here's an easier way: just download this KMZ file I created with all the live KML links and open in Google Earth.
Yeesss, thanks for this great job solarEbike. Do you know if there is also possibility to have weather forecast on google earth?

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

Post by usertogo » Jun 23 2018 2:57pm

solarEbike wrote:
Jun 22 2018 8:22pm
I think I've figured out Raf's strategy: follow an arc of the Great Circle a straight line from Lyon to Guangzhou.
The distance traveled data displayed on the satellite tracker supports this - Hulle has 'only' 1108km down, some of the leading runners up have already more than 1250km down yet appear to be losing by a margin!

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

Post by StuRat » Jun 23 2018 4:15pm

I suppose it was always on the cards... Team Grin have left the southern route to go further south. Looks like they won't be seeing any other riders for a long time.

Who'd have thought Justin would follow everyone else? Nobody.

Just them and their adventure, I like their style.

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

Post by usertogo » Jun 24 2018 8:06am

Its a rather strange style... Participate in a race without even the intention to get to the goal? That's not really participating... Maybe the organizers were happy enough to oblige because it is another starting fee without even the cost of the return shipping of the vehicle (which is probably taken care of by a sponsor anyway). The truth is I am quite disappointed that they aren’t able to arrange their schedule to really run the distance!

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

Post by Snickers » Jun 24 2018 9:42am

Snickers wrote:
Jun 23 2018 5:37am
justin_le wrote:
Jun 22 2018 9:27pm
What I've learned is that for sure the most important strategy for covering ground like those at the front is just to be on the bike for as many hours as possible between 7am - 9pm when you are allowed to ride....
If you don't get packed up from camping and breakfast until like 9-10am, and you take a couple 30-40 minute shopping breaks or side detours during the day (ie, me and AnSo!), then there's almost no chance to make the kind of mileage of those at the front.
You are right, Justin
A video makes by another Suntriper (Gregory Lewyllie) showing what you must do on your Solar bike to win the suntrip. :lol:

solarEbike wrote:
Jun 21 2018 2:54pm
Here's an easier way: just download this KMZ file I created with all the live KML links and open in Google Earth.
Yeesss, thanks for this great job solarEbike.

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

Post by solarEbike » Jun 24 2018 3:05pm

Snickers wrote:
Jun 23 2018 5:37am
Do you know if there is also possibility to have weather forecast on google earth?
You're the second person to ask so I'll dive in a little deeper. My ideal weather forecast on Google Earth for solar bike touring would be something I could configure to show maybe 2, 4, 6, 12, 24, 48 and 72 hour sun/clouds/rain conditions and high/low temps depending on distance from my current location. To my knowledge, no such thing exists.

Google Earth used to have several weather options, including radar but they stopped working over time and a couple of years ago they dropped them entirely. My guess is that if Google couldn't find a way to license this kind of content then this is not an easy problem to solve. Or it just wasn't a priority for Google.
GE-weather-old-new.png
GE-weather-old-new.png (21.03 KiB) Viewed 546 times

The remaining "Clouds" layer is not a forecast but seems to show current conditions? It has decent coverage for the area we're interested in and is kind of neat for visualizing which riders are currently experiencing sunny conditions vs. overcast/rainy.
GE clouds layer.jpg
GE clouds layer.jpg (120.41 KiB) Viewed 546 times

Beyond that, the options are limited. A couple hours of searching various words for weather, KML, KMZ, GIS, Google Earth, etc. have yielded a few finds like this radar image for Slovenia. It looks like Youssef and Mohamed are about to get wet.
Slovenia radar.jpg
Slovenia radar.jpg (209.13 KiB) Viewed 546 times

I've added 3 of these weather radar images to my KMZ file if you want to re-download They're turned off by default so you'll need to enable them yourself. If anyone finds other Google Earth resources, I can add them as well.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by StuRat » Jun 24 2018 3:34pm

usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
Its a rather strange style... Participate in a race without even the intention to get to the goal? That's not really participating... Maybe the organizers were happy enough to oblige because it is another starting fee without even the cost of the return shipping of the vehicle (which is probably taken care of by a sponsor anyway). The truth is I am quite disappointed that they aren’t able to arrange their schedule to really run the distance!
Hang on. This is a 'race' and the goal of a race is to win, correct?
But the vast majority of the riders have no intention of winning, so are they participating?

Grin has committed their schedule (and big $$$) from beginning of April until end of July in a mammoth effort to create something the world has never seen, and ride it for weeks across lands they've never seen, speaking tongues they don't have. And you're dissapointed??

Flying home to get hitched is a far better ending than crossing a line.

Anyway, winners are grinners!!

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

Post by StuRat » Jun 24 2018 3:47pm

Just over 1000kms! :mrgreen: woohoo! Where's guiness book when you need them? Maybe they'll be in iran??

They have company too!
In that video, Justin did say there were 3 teams taking the southern-most route.

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

Post by Cephalotus » Jun 24 2018 5:47pm

I would be interested in the daily harvest of solar energy and the daily usage of energy for the motor drive,

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

Post by teklektik » Jun 24 2018 6:22pm

Cephalotus wrote:
Jun 24 2018 5:47pm
I would be interested in the daily harvest of solar energy and the daily usage of energy for the motor drive,
Yep - but going to have to wait until the DataBoxes are pulled at the end of the trip and the files are posted.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by wturber » Jun 24 2018 8:16pm

usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
The truth is I am quite disappointed that they aren’t able to arrange their schedule to really run the distance!
I am mildly disappointed. But in the words of Steven Wright, "You can't have everything. Where would you put it?"
"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 billvon » Jun 24 2018 9:27pm

usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
Its a rather strange style... Participate in a race without even the intention to get to the goal? That's not really participating...
I beg to differ. I've done several relay triathlons where I did not cross the finish line; I would do the bike segment while two other team members did the swim and run. We were all participating.

Likewise, I've done local rides where there is a 50 mile option and a 100 mile option - often with different end points. Again, everyone was participating.
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by e-beach » Jun 24 2018 10:07pm

Team racing is old and venerable.....
How Cars—and Drivers—Survive the Brutal 24 Hours of Le Mans
Snip....The Human Element:
As impressive as the machines are, the humans piloting and preparing them arguably face the greater endurance challenge. All the teams at Le Mans field three drivers per car which, evenly spread out, is eight hours per driver of extreme g-forces and attention. Because Taylor is on a team with a gentleman driver–essentially a semi-professional–he’ll probably do closer to nine hours total, in stints that last 90 minutes to two hours......snip
https://www.wired.com/story/24-hours-le-mans-logistics/
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Re: My Sun Trip Bike, Back to Back Tandem Trike with Rowing Generator, Pedals, +Solar

Post by Limezy » Jun 24 2018 11:16pm

@Solarbike, thanks again for your efforts making our following of the race way better than with the official tools :mrgreen:
usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
Its a rather strange style... Participate in a race without even the intention to get to the goal? That's not really participating [...] The truth is I am quite disappointed that they aren’t able to arrange their schedule to really run the distance!
I believe the problem here is to call the Suntrip a "race". Of course, a few dozen of inners are racing to be the first to cross the "finish" line, but it's much more than that. I would rather call it an "organized adventure sponsoring a new kind of mobility".
Some want to finish first. Others just want to finish in time (which is already quite an outstanding achievement). Others want to participate. I'm perfectly fine with that. Even if Justin will never cross the finish line, I'm pretty sure he will remain as one of the recognized figures of this 2018 edition, for his inventivity, sense of humor, technical support to all others...
usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
Maybe the organizers were happy enough to oblige because it is another starting fee without even the cost of the return shipping of the vehicle (which is probably taken care of by a sponsor anyway).
I'm pretty sure it's really far from that. First of all, I don't know the starting fee but considering how some runners are on a budget I'd guess it's quite low. Secondly, it doesn't look like Suntrip spirit at all.

The Suntrip, and the whole solar e-bike (even plain e-bikes) industry have a lot to gain from Justin's being one of the current runners. I'm pretty sure those 5000km+ he will do on his solar bike will eventually end up with new products / ideas such as his Solar CA, etc...
justin_le wrote:
Jun 22 2018 9:27pm
No but seriously, your questions here are super on point and front and center on everyone's mind and I'll share my own take on a lot of these details when I have a chance.
@Justin could you please tell us more about your "south" option ? I have to admit that Raf's route looks easier (less mountains), more straight (less km lost), and I dont' get the point to go from south like Stephane and Eric, appart from having a bit more sun (which was not the case these last days...). Would be really interested to have your insight !

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

Post by Limezy » Jun 24 2018 11:20pm

StuRat wrote:
Jun 24 2018 3:34pm
Flying home to get hitched is a far better ending than crossing a line.
+1. Mariage is the best of all adventures :wink:

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2nd Half Plans

Post by justin_le » Jun 25 2018 1:04am

Snickers wrote:
Jun 23 2018 5:37am
You are right, Justin
A video makes by another Suntriper (Gregory Lewyllie) showing what you must do on your Solar bike to win the suntrip. :lol:
Yeah, Greg' did a great job on that video! There's a bit of a conflict since the Suntrip organizers want racers to explore and interact with locals on the way, but even to stay caught up with the middle of the pack requires a dedication to staying on the road. Minimal distractions that keep you from rolling forwards.


usertogo wrote:
Jun 24 2018 8:06am
Its a rather strange style... Participate in a race without even the intention to get to the goal? That's not really participating...
The truth is I am quite disappointed that they aren’t able to arrange their schedule to really run the distance!
I'm honestly disappointed too that the scheduling worked this way since I'd love nothing more than to ride it all the way into China, but we (me and AnSo) already had our wedding planned at the start of August and that's not something easily rearranged.

HOWEVER, my most sincere hope is that we can find a team to take over the vehicle once we're done our leg and who will then continue to ride and row it right to the finish line. That would be so great. I held off posting this publicly until we we sure that the machine was robust and viable and I think we're at that stage now. So usertogo, if you are really game to see it finish and can arrange your schedule for end of July to Sept, the option is there to help make it run the distance! ;-)

The only complication is that we'll be leaving it in or around Tehran which has a more complicated Visa situation (esp for Americans, Canadians, and UK citizens). But if there is anyone reading this who could seriously consider making that arrangement or knows someone who'd love the experience, ideally as a 2 person team, then please get in touch with us. Maybe you wanted to do the Suntrip but couldn't get June/July free, but can have August off? I can be hopeful!

We have a flight booked from Tehran on July 22nd. The route through Turkey and Iran is not the most efficient since you'll then need to head north to avoid countries with trickier political situations, but it should be quite spectacular.
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.

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Re: 2nd Half Plans

Post by Limezy » Jun 25 2018 1:59am

justin_le wrote:
Jun 25 2018 1:04am
The route through Turkey and Iran is not the most efficient since you'll then need to head north to avoid countries with trickier political situations, but it should be quite spectacular.
So why would two award candidates such as Eric and Stephane take that route ?

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