The Blog

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Day off" in Eudora

With only one event at Sunflower Bike Shop in Lawrence planned, I figured we had a pretty relaxing day ahead of us.  We spent the morning organizing the van, finishing up work on the bike we built in Boulder and doing internet catch up.  Peter and I rode electric bikes into Lawrence (about 12 miles) and on the way rode through the nursing home halls where Peter is the medical director.  It gave some of the folks there a real kick to see us riding through the building with our electric bicycle grins shining.
It was hot and muggy in Lawrence so we only stayed for a couple of hours before heading back home.  We talked to lots of people who were quite interested in what we are doing and the people at the bike shop were as kind and gracious as they had been on Saturday.
After visiting a couple of Peter's friends on the way home, we at the giant chicken (6 pounds) that we had picked up at Gasper Farm the day before.  It was delicious and fed the 8 of us easily.
After a thunderstorm moved over the area, Peter and his son Nick went for a ride on the electric bikes.  Nick really liked helping out with the bikes and also really likes the power and speed of the electrics.  (No surprise there from a 13 year old boy!)
About an hour and a half after they left, we got a phone call that the Big Dummy had died.  Rolf and I loaded up the trailer and went out on a rescue mission.  Sure enough, the controller had died and after talking with brother Michael on the phone, we went about replacing the controller with one of the spares we had brought.  It turns out that the controllers we are using are all being recalled since they tend to burn themselves out when attached to a hub motor.  The regeneration properties of the hub motor are not adequately dealt with by the controller, so instead of taking the power generated by the free wheeling hub motor and shunting it off or sending it back to the batteries, the generated power cooks the controller.  That's my understanding of the problem.  The manufacturer wants the controllers back but since we're using them,  they will have to wait and we will have to hope that we don't fry our second to last controller.
So much for a relaxing day.  We didn't finish with the switch out until after 11 at which time Rolf was starting to walk up the walls he was so spaced out with jet lag and fatigue.

Talking with our mother via Skype 
Alexandra on the Big Dummy
Nick wishing his legs were longer
Sunflower Bike Shop in Lawrence
Chatting up the electric bikes
Peter and Catherine enjoy a quiet moment on "our" street corner
Peter and Nick head out on an evening rider just after a storm
A new Green Rider?

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