How’s this for a beauty shot?
I put the rear rack on first thing this morning (started to do it day before yesterday when I assembled the bike, but the allen-head bolts were none-too-high quality and I needed to come back with better tools than those provided or risk rounding out the bolt heads) and then put about four and a half miles on the bike, up and down hills, without breaking a sweat. I wanted to go further but got bored with going back and forth between the two recently-flowing and very muddy washes, and didn’t feel like wading to the ankle through mud to get to more road. If the rain holds off this afternoon I’ll take it out again later: the wash mud dries quickly.
It hardly seems to notice the more moderate hills. Climbing the steep hill coming away from the South wash the motor required quite a lot of help and I frankly doubt I will be able to pedal the hill away from Landlady’s house at all – though I haven’t tried it yet because going down that hill on a bicycle is not something I want to do without a helmet and I neglected to pull my skateboard helmet out of the Jeep kit*. That’s the steepest local hill I know. Before the bulldozer and grader made a road there it was basically a short cliff.
When I can go further I’ll get an idea of the bike’s actual range and whether it’s feasible to use it for (non-clandestine! In daylight!) trips to town. But I’m already impressed with its motive power. Except for the aforementioned hills, you really could just use it like an electric motorcycle between neighbors. In use you really don’t feel how amazingly heavy the thing is.
Hey, dig this. I didn’t even know about this until I came back to Ian’s place to make a few adjustments and, er, read the manual…
Ain’t that civilized?
I had to take the light off the bike to mount the rear rack and there was provision (and extra cable and zip ties) for putting it on the rack, so I did that without any thought of actually using the thing. Turns out it works with the brakes without your having to turn anything else on. I didn’t know about it until I, you know, went back and read the manual. Almost like it was designed in Seattle or something. It came with a headlight, too, but I haven’t bothered mounting it yet.
*Yes I do use that, any time I’m working on something overhead and worried about my noggin. It’s also handy for the cabin crawlspace.