An unusual ride to town…

The Monday morning water run has been moved to Thursday or Friday, details still being worked out, which left me rather at loose ends this morning after morning walkie and chores. I badly needed a hardware infusion, plus Big Brother had left me a package. Happily, it’s a beautiful morning. So…


I got to play with the ebike. Love this thing: It’ll be four years next month since it came to live with me, and I can enthusiastically recommend Rad Power Bikes. It’s only broken down on me twice, the first time being unforced: A cold solder joint which, granted, shouldn’t have happened but I must applaud their customer service – and this was in summer 2020 when everything was crazy. The second time was after a crash, when a connector inside the frame pulled loose and I was able to diagnose and fix it myself. Neither incident would have happened on pavement, so I’ve pretty convincingly put my Radrover through a thorough workout – 1256 miles on hilly dirt roads – and we’re still friends.


I didn’t get the plumbing parts I wanted, but I did get what I needed – I’m not crazy about plastic sink drains but it’s what they had. So later today I’ll go unf*ck Ian’s kitchen sink and clean up the mess I left there. Uncle Murphy being the fun-loving fellow he is, I’ve been waiting for Ian to show up unannounced to a horrific mess demonstrating what a lousy caretaker I am.

Speaking of bikes – Big Brother has been an enthusiastic recumbent rider for – oh, several decades now, I think – and one time he sent me a picture of him on the bike that had ended up published in a local magazine. This was 2020 or 2021 and he was wearing a balaclava – in southern Florida – which struck me as a rather odd thing to do. Maybe it was a nod to face masks? But he’s more sensible than that, there must be a better explanation. Being an extremely private person myself I don’t normally ask personal questions of other people, but in this case I made an exception and the explanation did turn out to be quite sensible: He’s prone to sunburn and doesn’t like slathering his face with sunscreen. Okay.

He reminded me of that incident this morning with a gift I definitely didn’t expect…


My very own dayglo thermal balaclava. “Maybe it will extend your riding season,” he wrote. And maybe it will, indeed. 🙂

About Joel

You shouldn't ask these questions of a paranoid recluse, you know.
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13 Responses to An unusual ride to town…

  1. Tree Mike says:

    You certainly look menacing, in a bright, cheery sort of way.
    Apparently big bro did good on his electric bike research. Glad it’s hanging in there for ya.

  2. Mike says:

    Ebikes are a nice thing to have as a back-up, just in case…

  3. Anonymous says:

    What Wash said to Jhayne in Firefly.
    https://youtu.be/Tne50bE-ips

  4. Tennessee Budd says:

    Joel, I’m curious: how much pedaling do you have to do, vs just letting the battery do the work? I’ve got both feet still attached, but one knee has very limited range; the screws holding it together don’t allow it to bend much. If I try to ride a bicycle the seat is useless, because I’m going up so high when the right pedal comes to the top of its arc.
    I doubt I could use an e-bike anyway, on the narrow roads through the hills & hollers around here (instead of shoulders, we have cliffs, bluffs, and occasionally ditches), but it might be useful in certain applications.

  5. Joel says:

    TB, if you can’t use pedals and you need to go further than the battery will drive the bike by itself, an ebike won’t help you. Some (not all) ebikes do have a throttle lever/ring – mine does – and that lets you use it just like a lightweight motorcycle which is really cool. You don’t need the pedals at all. But it sucks juice like you wouldn’t believe and the range is really limited.

    If your knees have enough range of motion that you can drive the pedals, you can use the gears to move the bike with less motor power which will give you a lot more range but still not require a lot of leg force.

  6. Phssthpok says:

    And here I was thinking he was warding off Love Bugs:

  7. Malatrope says:

    My area is hillier than yours. I’ve put 1762 miles on my current ebike, and get about 45 miles of pure throttle range on routes that include 2000′ down and 2000′ back up. I carry a spare front battery (it’s a dual battery bike) which adds another 25 miles of range. I wouldn’t be afraid of using the throttle, generally-speaking.

    So far the only problem I’ve had is flat tires from thorns, but Slime stopped that one cold.

  8. Joel says:

    Mal, what kind of bike do you have? Mine can’t do that.

  9. Mark Matis says:

    Tactical Gear says delivery of the BDUs is Tuesday, 1 August via UPS. Sent you the link.

  10. Malatrope says:

    Joel, it’s pricey, but in this case you get what you pay for. I’ll send you an email.

  11. Mark Matis says:

    UPS says it has been delivered.

  12. Tennessee Budd says:

    Thanks for the info, Uncle Joel!
    I was curious about them as an option. If I find a secondhand one I can afford, I may get one for Florida beach vacations & the like. For transportation I guess I’ll stick with motorcycles. Oh, woe is me, stuck with zippy motorcycles on twisty roads!

  13. Tennessee Budd says:

    Postscript: Since I posted my question, the leg started its shit again, & right now I can hardly walk. Even motorbikes are out, right now; it’s hard enough to drive the pickup. One of the screws holding my knee together may be backing out.
    That, too, is a first-world problem. Anywhere else, they’d have just amputated the damned thing instead of even trying to save it.

To the stake with the heretic!