Touring cross country with an ebike - Video

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
PaD ....JUST DO IT! About the batteries ...hmm ....how many chargers does she need would be my question? If she has 2.5 hours per battery and she rides 12.5 hours a day ,so let us say 6 batteries, and of course she will need to charge them while she sleeps so if she sleeps 8 hours she will need to wake up every 4 hours and switch the batteries on the 3 chargers? This is why somebody needs to invent a fusion powered bike. Ravi get to work on it.
Steve, I have two chargers, both 4A. wheneverI do any charging, it’s 2 at a time.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
👍👏Bon voyage Pita.:cool:

@Chris Nolte

How many spare batteries did you guys have to put in the trailer? Are those solar panels used for charging a spare battery?
Sorry for being too curious (i have no idea where to even begin) but what sort of gear would you take with you on a journey like this.
I think it would be very educational for a green horn like myself if you could post it .
Greetings. I have 2 batteries on the bike and two in the trailer. His decision was based on this is the number I have available bc I own two eBikes.

In practice, I use a pair and try to top off during the day. At times I’ve used a third. I have found that either you need 2/3 or > 4, so 4 is not an ideal number. My goal for next time is to carry a max of 3 with alternate methods of charging on-the-go.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
Interesting, and clearly a very determined lady. I'd love to do the same but the possibility of coming across wild animals on my travels scares the you know what out of me, so not for me.
The wild animals fear you more.

I spotted rattlesnakes 6x but was never n any danger.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
👍👏Bon voyage Pita.:cool:

@Chris Nolte

How many spare batteries did you guys have to put in the trailer? Are those solar panels used for charging a spare battery?
Sorry for being too curious (i have no idea where to even begin) but what sort of gear would you take with you on a journey like this.
I think it would be very educational for a green horn like myself if you could post it .
The solar was used solely for personal needs and to help out other bikers. I had a 200W bufferbox + inverter and out west the intensity was such that the solarcharging exceeded my personal needs. I was happy to share with others at California hiker-biker sites which generally have no provisions for charging.

I eventually shipped the panelhome after a pickup rear-ended the trailer. One of the support poles needed to go to the ER. I am pleased to report that an ABUS lock took most of the abuse but is still ticking. Big ups to ABUS!

More info about gear, route etc coming soon. Updating en route proved to be problematic.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
If like me you cannot do camping, two months on the road with an average hotel bill of say $100 and other daily expenses of say $50, the trip is going to cost $9,000+. Also, 3 months of no income and you soon realize, this ain't a cheap adventure.
I 100% agree, and this is why Bosch needs to support the US market with a 6A or better charger.

I have found that there is Tremendous interest in long-distance travel based on all the questions I get. A lot of people are retiring and eager to do some bike touring, but nobody wants to sit and charge all the time. A trip of any substantial length means many will be camping for at least part of the time to cut down on costs but this means no guaranteed method of charging overnight.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
Good luck to the rider but that seatpost mount trailer looks unstable to me as seen in the last part where she drops off a curb and rides away you can see it wobble and track slightly off camber.

Anyone that has ever pulled a trail a bike with a kid on it has probably experienced this. A dropout mount trailer that attaches to both sides is much more stable like the Burley model and will carry as much weight.
You are totally correct, the trailer is a disaster. More to come on review.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I wish her the best. There is a lot of heat ahead of her this time of year. That pack on the trailer looked incredibly heavy. I can't imagine climbing the Rockies with that kind of total weight. It's sure going to be a challenge!!!! As mentioned, if considering going cross country, joining the Warmshowers group would be a wise decision. https://www.warmshowers.org
Rich, the warmshowers crowd are not particularly ebike-friendly, so I just don’t have thanking of time to waste...

The duffle without panel came in under 40lb. Panel was about 3.5lb, not sure about the aluminum supports.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
👍👏Bon voyage Pita.:cool:

@Chris Nolte

How many spare batteries did you guys have to put in the trailer? Are those solar panels used for charging a spare battery?
Sorry for being too curious (i have no idea where to even begin) but what sort of gear would you take with you on a journey like this.
I think it would be very educational for a green horn like myself if you could post it .
All the deets coming soon ...
 

steve mercier

Well-Known Member
The solar was used solely for personal needs and to help out other bikers. I had a 200W bufferbox + inverter and out west the intensity was such that the solarcharging exceeded my personal needs. I was happy to share with others at California hiker-biker sites which generally have no provisions for charging.

I eventually shipped the panelhome after a pickup rear-ended the trailer. One of the support poles needed to go to the ER. I am pleased to report that an ABUS lock took most of the abuse but is still ticking. Big ups to ABUS!

More info about gear, route etc coming soon. Updating en route proved to be problematic.
wow I am glad you are doing well and survived the truck. GO GO GO
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
Unless you are extremely hardcore 12+ hours a day on a bike, day in and day out for a month is going to be a major sufferfest. Even on an electric bike.

Long Beach, CA to Brooklyn, NY is a little over 3000 miles, which is reasonably doable in two months at 50 miles per day. Or you might kick up the mileage a bit and have a zero day every now and then. So if she carried two spare batteries and maybe an extra charger she'd certainly be fine. Anyway at 50-60 miles per day your only looking at (at most) 5-6 hours of saddle time per day. Which leaves plenty of time to stop and sniff the flowers, enjoy a beer, or evangelize about e-bikes.

My own $0.02 is that having more than three batteries total, without major charging infrastructure, is unlikely to be helpful for most long-distance e-bikers.
My longest day was about 240 miles. I had to make a deadline in Harmony, MN and started in Jefferson, IA. The total climb was a bit over 5k, mostly at the end, while approaching the Driftless region, aka Mississippi bluffs from the west.

Every conscious moment was devoted to charging. If I stopped for restroom/hydration, I was plugged in. In the upper Midwest, all the convenience stores have external outlets.

I did a laundry stop. Plugged in. Lunch break, plugged in.

What made it possible was an excellent state bike map that allowed me to plan the best route w/o traffic, flats/downhills + constant systematic topping off. I was really moving on back roads.

It was a hassle but not terribly different from the stress of making longer milestones on a non-electric bike. Talking about getting in late after a long, hard day, wringing out your jersey, sleep, up, eat and off you go again.

It was disappointing to have to use so much time charging that could have been used for sleep, etc.

This 240 miles represents an outer limit, obviously. For 120 miles, I was already set up to not have to charge. My 100+ days were all contingent on having electricity at the next stop. I start charging while setting up camp, eating, and try to get the next pair going before sleeping.

Mountains meant a limit o.f 60-70 daily miles. The batteries drain awfully fast while climbing.

We need faster chargers. The 4A doesn’t cut it.
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
If it were me I would want to do the whole trip in turbo since most of it will be along highways. I know its not the race across America but I would still feel the need for 4 + batteries to do 8+ hours in turbo. There is no way I could stop the ride after only 4 hours a day knowing how much farther I still had to go. It is just not in my nature. I would ride at least 8 hours a day and maybe take a whole day off at a time , when it was a planned rest day or a rained out day.
Your “time off” can get determined for you. Here’s an example. I was on my way to Carson Pass in the Sierra Nevadas, CA. I stopped at a well known restaurant that allows primitive camping behind the building. I arrived pretty late, maybe 9:30 pm or so. Started setting up, looked for an outlet. The site is off-grid, so I could hear the roar of a diesel generator.

At 11pm it got very quiet. That’s right, the generator shuts down for the night, ha. So I list the morning charging. When that happens, you lose some planned rest :(
 

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
Your “time off” can get determined for you. Here’s an example. I was on my way to Carson Pass in the Sierra Nevadas, CA. I stopped at a well known restaurant that allows primitive camping behind the building. I arrived pretty late, maybe 9:30 pm or so. Started setting up, looked for an outlet. The site is off-grid, so I could hear the roar of a diesel generator.

At 11pm it got very quiet. That’s right, the generator shuts down for the night, ha. So I list the morning charging. When that happens, you lose some planned rest :(
I've had that happen twice to me. Once at a campground/resort in the Gulf Islands, once at a state park in Oregon where the charging outlets were hooked up to a solar/battery system and once the batteries were drained that was all the electricity for the night...
 

dblhelix

Well-Known Member
I've had that happen twice to me. Once at a campground/resort in the Gulf Islands, once at a state park in Oregon where the charging outlets were hooked up to a solar/battery system and once the batteries were drained that was all the electricity for the night...
Huge, huge respect, Pita... 200 miles plus in a day? 120 mile days? You are killing it.
It felt good to learn that I could pull out a day like that if I had to. For the record, you do the occasional century on non-electric bikes as well when conditions are right. If anything, I’m a bit disappointed that it takes so much effort to get past this. It’s not the pedaling but the charging downtime that gets you.
 

BBassett

Active Member
Interesting, and clearly a very determined lady. I'd love to do the same but the possibility of coming across wild animals on my travels scares the you know what out of me, so not for me.
Bear spray (works on most other carbon-based life forms too), loud music, a slingshot, and exercising caution in not actually attracting something with food. Bad things can happen but the odds are good they won't. You concerned that a passenger jet could kill you any second of the day? Ya got to play the odds if you want to "live" life. Besides... it's the #$%@!?& Ticks that Creap the hell out of me.
 

BBassett

Active Member
PaD ....JUST DO IT! About the batteries ...hmm ....how many chargers does she need would be my question? If she has 2.5 hours per battery and she rides 12.5 hours a day ,so let us say 6 batteries, and of course she will need to charge them while she sleeps so if she sleeps 8 hours she will need to wake up every 4 hours and switch the batteries on the 3 chargers? This is why somebody needs to invent a fusion powered bike. Ravi get to work on it.
I carry 2 30Ah EM3 packs. I only use 60% of the possible total charge, don't fill the battery past 80%... usually, and don't deplete past 20%... again usually. I can get 50 miles out of a single 60% load with a fully loaded bike... probably about 50 or 60 pounds heavier than what she is moving. When the bike is striped down I can ride 80+ miles on that same 60% if I leg it out rather than sailing. I carry 2 batteries that I can drop 15Ah into in about 4 hours with a Grin Satiator or about 4 hours with a 300W folding solar panel if I use daylight to charge. I'd prefer to have a 120V outlet anywhere I stop but I always seem to bump into people where there is power, usually people asking me for money to sleep on their ground. You can wait for fusion if you like, you won't see portable in your life but you could wait. She didn't want to wait, neither did I. I have the same trailer she is pulling with a couple of modifications, but I don't understand why she doesn't have front panniers. My bike is more stable with weight on the front, especially when all the trailer weight hangs at the seat post.

I went a different route with the bike but decided on the Mule trailer too.
 

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