Long distance riding

WilliamT

Active Member
So yesterday I took the Radwagon out for a 145 mile ride. It was the first time I used tailwind packets in my drink and it really kept my energy up and feeling hydrated.

It was mainly on the C&O canal and I must have passed 50 squirrels trying run in front of me. One didn't make it. I passed a crane standing on the edge of the trail watching me go by. He must have been at least 4 feet tall and was much bigger than I imagined. Passed a bunch of deering staring and darting away. One deer ran along side me for 200-300 feet. I also passed a bunch of baby raccoons trying to get off the trail with an angry mother growling.

Before, I would ride for a maybe 3 hrs with just water and snacks. Then my energy level would still crash in the end. This time, I felt great even after 8 hrs of riding. I used sun sleeves to keep me comfortable and a cap with a flap to keep from getting sunburn on my neck.

I was thinking about carrying bananas, but not sure how to keep them cool for a multi-hour ride. I also found out you can run a GoPro for a few hours if you use an external battery pack. I'll try that for my next ride and bring back some pictures.
 

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PSm

Active Member
Region
USA
Not familiar with your bike, but 145 miles
range?! How'd you get so much range out of that bike 🤯🥳
 

WilliamT

Active Member
I have a 28 ah battery in the frame. That got me 100 miles. Then I have a 34 ah rectangle battery pack in the pannier that sits on top of the wooden platform in the footwell. Both used for the rear motor. I also carried a 20 ah battery on the other footwell for the front motor used in hill climbing. (Since my route was mainly flat, I only used about 10ah on the front for the entire trip)

I wasn't too worried about the range. If I could go one way on the 28ah, then I should have plenty to head back with the 34 ah. I turned around for home after the 72 mile mark (all in eco mode). Wanted to be back for dinner. Switched from eco (210 watts) to standard mode (400 watts I think) for the remaining 28 miles on the first battery. Then just rode the remaining 45 miles on the second battery in standard mode.

Lessons learned.
1. Don't ride with hiking pants; they are waterproof but don't wick away sweat. I didn't want to wear shorts to avoid getting bitten by bugs.
(maybe I'll just spray myself with deet and use shorts next time)

2. Carry more powered drinks. I carried a 1L bottle which wasn't enough. I also had a 128 oz insulated bottle but it was only water and didn't help much at all in keeping me hydrated. Probably would have helped more to just pour it over my head.
(Next time, probably mix the powder in the 128oz bottle.)

3. I had moisture wicking socks, but my shoes didn't breathe well; just pair of Rockports on flat pedals. Need to get breathable shoes. I felt like I was walking in wet sponges after a few hours especially in 90 degree heat. Path was mostly shaded so that helped a lot.

4. Turn off rear taillights on the trail and save them when your back on the road. (Garmin Varia)
5. Cliff bars taste terrible when warm. Need better food
6. TT bars are a real lifesaver on long rides. Give you a place to rest your upper body.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
Hope the squirrel didn't make a mess on your tires. You rode west to east? That would be mostly downhill, which would help your range. Did you stop at any of the locks to take a break? Sounds like a great ride!
 

dodgeman

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Macomb, Illinois
Water is pretty good at hydrating, you don’t need to change that. That’s a pretty serious ride and I’m guessing took you all day.
 

WilliamT

Active Member
Hope the squirrel didn't make a mess on your tires. You rode west to east? That would be mostly downhill, which would help your range. Did you stop at any of the locks to take a break? Sounds like a great ride!
The tires were ok. Just felt a bump on the rear tire. Every squirrel I see, I'm thinking "don't do it, don't do it".

Everyone was riding west to east and I was looking forward to that on the ride back. Riding back mostly downhill was fantastic.

I tried to take a break every hour to eat and drink. Looking at my Wahoo computer, it was almost 8 hrs for the entire trip.

Some of those lock houses have refridgerators so its possible they have outlets to charge your batteries overnight.
 
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Mike TowpathTraveler

Well-Known Member
Outstanding ride report!! :) Staying hydrated is a big deal going beyond the 30 mile mark of any ride, especially so in summer heat. I've often thought about packing along my water filter in order to take advantage of nearby streams or rivers I might be riding alongside of on any of my extended rides.
 

retiredNH

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
So you did a round trip ride? Where'd you start and where'd you turn around?

Used to live in DC and walked many a section of the canal path, but never biked it. That was long before ebikes....
 

6zfshdb

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
City
Northeast Pennsylvania
An excellent one day ride!

I've ridden the C&O from Harpers Ferry to Cumberland many times over the years and it is indeed a great ride. The section between Harpers Ferry and Washington is a bit too congested for my liking. The trail has a very gentle slope. It climbs just 600' over it's 150 mile length (4' per mile) and it's hardly noticeable, especially with an e-bike.

At it's western terminus in Cumberland MD., the C&O connects to the Great Allegheny Passage (GAP) trail. For a really long ride, consider taking it another150 miles all the way into Pittsburgh. The trail surface is far superior to that of the C&O but there is a considerable slope to deal with. The trail climbs 1700' in 24 miles (71' per mile) up Big Savage Mountain between Cumberland and Deal. I burn up a good percentage of my battery on that one.
 

PSm

Active Member
Region
USA
I have a 28 ah battery in the frame. That got me 100 miles. Then I have a 34 ah rectangle battery pack in the pannier that sits on top of the wooden platform in the footwell. Both used for the rear motor. I also carried a 20 ah battery on the other footwell for the front motor used in hill climbing. (Since my route was mainly flat, I only used about 10ah on the front for the entire trip)

I wasn't too worried about the range. If I could go one way on the 28ah, then I should have plenty to head back with the 34 ah. I turned around for home after the 72 mile mark (all in eco mode). Wanted to be back for dinner. Switched from eco (210 watts) to standard mode (400 watts I think) for the remaining 28 miles on the first battery. Then just rode the remaining 45 miles on the second battery in standard mode.

Lessons learned.
1. Don't ride with hiking pants; they are waterproof but don't wick away sweat. I didn't want to wear shorts to avoid getting bitten by bugs.
(maybe I'll just spray myself with deet and use shorts next time)

2. Carry more powered drinks. I carried a 1L bottle which wasn't enough. I also had a 128 oz insulated bottle but it was only water and didn't help much at all in keeping me hydrated. Probably would have helped more to just pour it over my head.
(Next time, probably mix the powder in the 128oz bottle.)

3. I had moisture wicking socks, but my shoes didn't breathe well; just pair of Rockports on flat pedals. Need to get breathable shoes. I felt like I was walking in wet sponges after a few hours especially in 90 degree heat. Path was mostly shaded so that helped a lot.

4. Turn off rear taillights on the trail and save them when your back on the road. (Garmin Varia)
5. Cliff bars taste terrible when warm. Need better food
6. TT bars are a real lifesaver on long rides. Give you a place to rest your upper body.
A ha, you have some serious batteries available for you. My Roadster only has the 7ah internal + 7ah external 😆

Fueling is a really big deal, and I almost never blow up anymore after being well supplied.

Favorites are GU salted caramel gels, Pro Bar Bites Peanut Butter Chocolate, and Pro Bar electrolyte gel blocks. Much better on the road, than those other non-specific snacks and nutrition!
 

WilliamT

Active Member
So you did a round trip ride? Where'd you start and where'd you turn around?

Used to live in DC and walked many a section of the canal path, but never biked it. That was long before ebikes....
I started in Springfield VA heading east to the river (Mount Vernon Trail) up to Georgetown. From there I headed to Brunwick Campground before turning around.
 

Catalyzt

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
That is some serious range. I do like that part of the country, and should have explored more while my Dad was alive. (He lived in DC, Georgetown, Luthersville, and Towson at various times.)

I am sorry about the squirrel. The skunks here are the same way, unfortunately-- if they see me, they panic and try to run away by running alongside me. Not a good plan. I think I've posted about this before.

Skunk: "You are a giant, terrifying creature, both man and machine! I may have to fire my most devastating weapon at you!"

Me: "Why are you running alongside me?!"

Skunk: "I don't trust you! I can't take my eyes off you for a second! Leave now, or I'll fire!"

Me: "I can't turn left or right, and I'm afraid you'll skunk me if I stop! This thing can ride on trails, but this is a canyon, I can't ride up or off the side of a cliff!"

Skunk: "See?! There's no escape!"

Me: "That's just panic talking! God, can't you just chill out?! Or turn around, I won't follow you, I swear!"

Skunk: "You're trying to trick me!"

This can go on for a quarter mile or so. No collisions or skunking so far, but some very close calls.
 

Cowlitz

Well-Known Member
I carried many a banana in the backpack of my timber cruising vest. Bananas survive although it might get bruised a bit. They don't have to be kept cool.
 

RabH

Well-Known Member
So yesterday I took the Radwagon out for a 145 mile ride. It was the first time I used tailwind packets in my drink and it really kept my energy up and feeling hydrated.

It was mainly on the C&O canal and I must have passed 50 squirrels trying run in front of me. One didn't make it. I passed a crane standing on the edge of the trail watching me go by. He must have been at least 4 feet tall and was much bigger than I imagined. Passed a bunch of deering staring and darting away. One deer ran along side me for 200-300 feet. I also passed a bunch of baby raccoons trying to get off the trail with an angry mother growling.

Before, I would ride for a maybe 3 hrs with just water and snacks. Then my energy level would still crash in the end. This time, I felt great even after 8 hrs of riding. I used sun sleeves to keep me comfortable and a cap with a flap to keep from getting sunburn on my neck.

I was thinking about carrying bananas, but not sure how to keep them cool for a multi-hour ride. I also found out you can run a GoPro for a few hours if you use an external battery pack. I'll try that for my next ride and bring back some pictures.
145 miles in 8 hours is impressive, my longest on my e bike is 152 but that took me over 10 and a half hours actual riding time! My assistance cuts off at 15.5mph though but its good for battery life, I managed that ride with just 1 battery, I completed the first half of my riude without assistance as I had a nice tailwind all the way to my destination! I now have 3 batteries and I'm planning a long ride this Wednesday and hoping to beat my 152, I should be able to up my average speed this time, at least I don't have oppressive heat to worry about here!;) I wish I had a flat course like you , its all hills here in Scotland! 🤣

I too have had many close calls with squirrels and usually when I'm doing well over 30mph, the little blighters sure get your heart rate up! Here are the stats from my ride in 2018!

1658742717896.png
 

marina.vlasenko

New Member
Region
United Kingdom
Wooow cool
You can also check about Delfast e-bike...but I guess its more like motorbike, not bicycle really, but it can handle 135+ miles on a single charge.
I heard of police in US using this e-bike for their needs)
 

K PierreR

Well-Known Member
Region
USA
45 lbs of batteries trump my 28 lbs 78 amp hours vs 49 amp hours. Way better mileage than I get also but I have only recorded long trips with hills and head winds. How does that bike handle with all that weight on it?
 

WilliamT

Active Member
45 lbs of batteries trump my 28 lbs 78 amp hours vs 49 amp hours. Way better mileage than I get also but I have only recorded long trips with hills and head winds. How does that bike handle with all that weight on it?
Bike handles great. Weight is down low in the back so I don't notice it.. Front uses Rockshox air forks for a smooth ride over dirt and gravel I was comfortable riding it on gravel using my tt bars. I also have 760 mm wide handlebars (with a 45mm stem to account for the width) on it so its stable when I need to manuver between water holes on the trail.
 
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