Over the hump on the Radrover…

Sometimes I have paying gigs on the other side of the big plateau to the east of the Gulch. I’ve been interested for some time to know how much hassle it would be to go there on the new ebike. But I wasn’t going to try it until I’d rigged it with tools and water to ensure that a pleasant hour’s outing didn’t turn into a big ordeal. Also it’s been really hot and I didn’t always have the want-to when I had the time. But this morning was both chore-free and relatively cool, so today was the day.

Range is no problem at all. I’ve got about 65 miles on the bike now, mostly in small outings between chores, and I’m learning that there are ways to get more work out of the bike with a practically symbolic amount of pedaling while leaving the throttle alone. The bike doesn’t care if you’re really putting any effort into pedaling; if you’re rotating the sprockets at all, the controller will run the motor. You can barrel right along with the derailleur in first gear, with the motor pulling 400-500 watts instead of the 750-odd watts you use playing motorcyclist. This has a remarkable effect on range, and you only have to push into it when you’re climbing hills.

I didn’t want to go all the way across the plateau today, there’s really no reason to. I only wanted to get to the highest point in the trip and see what effect it had on the bike and me. Neither the bike nor I broke a sweat at any point. I love this thing.

Then I just turned around and headed back down. About six miles by road from this point to the garage.

I’m playing around with ways to carry stuff. I hoped that cutting the top off this old milk crate would restore my ability to mount the bike by kicking over the basket, but the old man can’t quite Ryker maneuver that high and far. This is a tall bike. So I’m dropping $20 on some pannier bags from Amazon. In addition to lowering the rear load, I could carry the spare tube, canteen and chain lock without hassle. I’ll get it right eventually.

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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11 Responses to Over the hump on the Radrover…

  1. free.and.true says:

    Nice! Could you mount a basket or bag on the front of the handlebars, too?

  2. Dennis says:

    If you haven’t pulled the trigger with Amazon yet…don’t. I have a pair that will suit you well that I will send. Let me know via e-mail and give me an address.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Very nice. I’m going to have to get me one of these for next summer.

  4. Michael Gilson says:

    I use the 4 gallon square jugs restaurant cooking oil comes in for luggage carriers on my bike. Cut off the bottoms of two empty jugs, there is a molded in line around the bottom so it is easy to do with a pair of scissors, then clean them thoroughly and dry. Pack your stuff in one then slide the other over it, like a shotgun shell match keeper. Be sure to keep the handles parallel. Loop bungee cords or rope through the handles to hold them together. Now you can use rope or bungees to hang the handles from your handlebars. Or pannier style with one handle bungeed to the luggage rack and the other bungeed to the lower frame to keep it from swinging. The tighter it is packed the stronger it is, monocoque style. If you don’t like the white color, wrap it in duck tape, which will also mean you have a supply of duck tape with you.

  5. Jim Price says:

    I don’t need one of these. I really have no use for one of these. I can’t justify spending that much money for a mere luxury/toy. It would probably spend most of its time just sitting, unused. But you’re chipping away at my reasons NOT to buy one. The temptation is great. It’s like putting a large bowl of chocolate ice cream in front of me and a spoon in my hand.

  6. R says:

    Don’t expect much life out of cheap panniers, Ariel and Ortlieb are the durable European brands. Consider making some Bucke -Panniers if you want something inexpensive and durable.

  7. Norman says:

    Joel, how noisy is the bike? I expect some road noise from the fat tires, probably some from the motor and gear train, but how much? At “normal” speeds – whatever that is – how far away would you estimate the bike can be heard?

  8. Joel says:

    There’s a little motor hum and about as much tire crunch as you’d expect from a switched-off motorcycle. As far as radius of hearing is concerned wind noise is more of a factor than bike noise. As to how far away it can be heard, I wouldn’t want to speculate. I’m too tinnitus-filled to rate an opinion as to how well other people can hear things.

  9. I’ve been hoping for some real-life experience from someone with an ebike vs. all the crap on the bike sites. Any guess at how much effort you put into it vs. what the bike puts into it/

  10. Joel says:

    Except for steep hills the bike does almost all the work, making it practical for an old one-legged guy to eat up miles without being a real steel-legged rider. You still get a lot of assist on hills but you find out the motor’s limits.

  11. Good to know. I’m not to the point where I want, more or less need, one yet, but that day is coming. I’m trying to do my homework prior to then.

To the stake with the heretic!