Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Tehachapi to Barstow - Driven by the wind
Our hostess Debbie - What a gem
We woke to a windy drizzly 40 degree morning and were treated to a fabulous breakfast before heading down the road to visit Mike at the GE Wind Turbine facility where he works. We got a fantastic tour of the facility and saw every stage of fabrication of the nacelles (everything that sits on top of the tower except for the blades) of the 1.5 megawatt turbines being built in Tehachapi.
After leaving Mike, we headed up and over the hill towards Mojave. Initially we had furious crosswinds that kept us weaving all over the road. As the road headed east, tailwinds prevailed and our struggles ended. In addition, we saw more wind turbines than cars . . . a lot more. Thousands of them! Going down the back side I hit 55mph on my bicycle! And that was being careful!!
When we hit the flats in Mojave, it was close to 2 but with the tailwinds, we sailed into Barstow by 6 after doing 100 miles! A few more days like this and we may land an extra layover day in Flagstaff.
My take home image for today is riding down the road, not pedaling, my safety sock hanging limp, leaving a message on Michael's phone and traveling at 29 miles per hour! It seemed impossible and it sure was a blast.
In Tehachapi and from Paul Gipe we learned that the transmission capacity from Tehachapi is going increase almost 10 fold. To me that means jobs in wind. Tehachapi has been unable to install more grid-tied wind because of the lack of big power lines. Now that more wind power can be sent into utility lines, there will be a huge demand for building and installing more turbines. I predict that Tehachapi will experience an economic boom over the next two years that will be the envy of the nation. So let's learn and imitate!!!
Cold Tehachapi morning with a beautiful electric bug (Blown controller not so beautiful!)
Our host Mike posing with us in front of one of "his" nacelles.
Zond Blade Riders
Catherine, tailwinds and power
Top of the pass
A beautiful site
A little of course
Sean gets to fly on the Surley