Monday, May 3, 2010
May 2 - Wind, Clouds, Snow and a Really Big Ditch
Woke to another cold windy morning and watched a coyote cruise the campground in search of food. After some bicycle maintenance, mostly adjusting loose cables to improve our shifting, we headed down the road dressed in our warmest gear.
I had a conversation in Seligman with a couple of old brothers who kind of looked at us funny and weren't at all surprised when they found out we were from California. After talking for a while I asked them about Global Warming. They were quick to deny that humans have any role in it. I asked about their kids and grandkids and the response I got was something like, "We suffered to get where we are so why shouldn't our kids?" Talking about Global Warming is not the road I want to go down but going after sustainability, renewable resources and saving some planet for our kids seems to resonate with most people. I think it's a sad fact that Global Warming has become a political issue that divides.
I am not writing much about the bicycles themselves mostly because they are so trouble free. Our batteries are charging fine. We haven't met a hill we can't climb. There are a few small problems related to the incredible amount of rattling that these poor bikes get but so far all has gone very well. In addition we are using a lot less battery power than we anticipated. We brought 4 packs for each bike and most days we have finished easily just using 2. The Surley does use more battery power because it is heavier, has rolling resistance from the hub motor and cuts a larger wind profile that takes more energy to overcome.
I heard from MIke, our host in Tehachapi last night and he asked that his EV club's website be mentioned in our blog. Any EV fans interested in what's going on in Kern County, have a look. Mike is the President and he is a total gem. www.KernEV.org
As soon as we hit Route 66, the tailwind blessed us with a 26 mile ride where I used less than 3 amps of power. Catherine used about an amp more and Dave on the Surley used about 4 amps. For those not into electric bicycle power consumption, we were getting completely amazing mileage. Along with the fabulous tailwind, we got cloud formations that were jaw-dropping beautiful. On the bikes we were able to enjoy them as they traveled across the sky, occasionally sprinkling us with snowflakes.
When Route 66 joined the interstate, we decided to load up the bikes and take a detour to that Big Ditch they have here call The Grand Canyon.
Thanks to the weather, there are very few people here, (it's supposed to drop to 24 degrees tonight) and the views were incredible this afternoon. One minute snow and white out conditions, the next minute sun, incredibly clear air and beautiful shadows cast randomly across the vast canyon.
We walked into a museum right on the edge of the canyon and enjoyed the theatrics of a veteran ranger who explained the geology of the canyon with such animation and skill that he received applause when he finished. His love for the canyon and his enthusiasm for sharing his knowledge make him the model teacher. I could have listened to him for hours.
Green Riders not looking very green . . . brrrr!
Sean and Catherine over the Canyon
Getting up there
For Sean's parents
Catherine loving the van
A little morning Maintenance
Bad hair day - again