Tuesday, June 03, 2008

It's Electric!

Again, long time, no post. I've been busy, we moved my mother in law into a nursing home, I took a trip south (see last post) and general other stuff. I am in the process of buying a new (used) car, more on that later.

I don’t think I mentioned that I bought an electric bike. I did> I have taken it on one test ride into work so far, and it doesn’t look like I will get another ride this week because it is due to rain the rest of the week. I bought the bike here. So I am substituting dirty coal power for human power, somewhat. I can basically live with that, since it is not a whole lot of dirty coal power, but that brings up another issue. I rode the thing into work, using the battery fairly frequently to give me an assist up hills and so on. I then let the battery sit the rest of the day while I worked. What I really wanted the power assist for was the ride up a long hill at the end of the ride home. But when I reinstalled the battery at five, it was indicating a half or less charge. I wasn’t sure how much power was left, so I rode the bike as a regular bike most of the was home (albeit a seventy five pound regular bike). When I tackled the hill, the battery still had juice, but it didn’t seem to be much. The bike and I struggled up the hill.

Now, I am not supposed to let the charge go below 20%, but there is no meter to indicate when you get down to there, so I just have to hope. The battery on the bike is a sealed lead acid type, apparently the heaviest, and indeed it weighs 25 pounds by itself. Meanwhile, I am only supposed to get 200 to 300 charges on it. Maybe by the time I go to replace it there will be something lighter and more durable. Meanwhile, that 200 to 300 charges was the reason I didn’t plug the battery in at work. I may have to start doing that, but then maybe I won’t be riding the bike that much, not if I want to avoid rainy days (rain plus electricity does not sound like a good idea, besides the lack of fenders). We’ll see. Still, even if I only ride 100 to 150 times, that’s a lot of gas to save.

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