Friday, June 24, 2016

Roadtrip Pikes Peak Part 2: Slow Riding, Range Anxiety, Charging Anxiety, and Camping with a tarp.

Day 3:

   My next charging spot was in Tuba City about 75 miles north of my then current location in Flagstaff.  That's still well within the range of the 9.8kw Zero ...if you're going 30mph.  At 60 it's a few miles too far.  At 65 its about 10 miles too far.  So what's a man to do?  I discovered on this and the next leg of the journey just how scared the average driver is to pass, as car after car would slow down 10mph and follow me for miles before finally passing.  And if any of you have ever driven between Flagstaff and Tuba City, it's pretty much wide open and there are few curves to conceal oncoming traffic.  It seems that people just really hate to pass.  It got so bad headed into monument valley, that I got into the oncoming lane and braked hard forcing the tailgater to go by on the right.  I was literally screaming in my helmet because I couldn't fathom why someone would rather drive a half a car length from someone than just go around them.

  Charging issues continued to haunt my mind.  In Tuba city I turned the bike on and used the quick charger to charge through the accessory connector afraid the onboard might trigger the bike to freak out again.  Without the onboard the charging would take a while and I used this time to study from a bench within eyeshot of the bike.  When the accessory charger had maxed out at around 87% I plugged in the onboard and hoped for the best.  It was charging!  After about an hour the bike was ready to go with 100% and good thing because at 99 miles the next leg was longer than anything the bike had seen in one charge.

  I confess that even after slowing up traffic, riding sometimes 20 under, and spending almost two hours on the bike I was going to be about six miles short.  Fortunately there was city Kayenta, that had a few stores, restaurants,  and hotels a few miles before I would have run into problems.  I found a gas station where I could plug into a wall outlet and grabbed something to eat.  As improbable as it was I was able to reach the 2 outlet circuits with the aid of a 50ft extension cord.  That meant I could use the quick charger.   40 minutes later I was headed for the valley with a comfortable range cushion.  Utah here I come.

That night I camped at the Gouling's Lodge and RV park in Monument Valley.  Or I suppose I kind of camped.  I plugged in everything, rolled my tarp out onto the picnic table, rolled out the sleeping bag and wrapped myself in the tarp.  I slept about as well as you suspect I did, but I did get at least a few hours of shut eye.  I woke in the middle of the night just in time to see the moon rising over the mountain,  I grabbed my camera and did the best I could with about 30 seconds to prepare.  This time tomorrow we'll be in Colorado. 
Bye bye, Arizona see you again soon.

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