Sunday, September 09, 2012

Nice ride home in the dark

A nice ride down to Charlotte to visit the ADV Garage today.  It's about 9 miles each way - about a 5 or 6 out of 10 on the "hilly-ness" scale.  Started out with a fresh charge, pedaled a little (not very much) mostly because I was going too fast to pedal much.  The ride down (during the day) was very easy.  A little chilly, but not too bad.  Traffic was down as it's Sunday afternoon/evening.

Had a great dinner and watched the sunset, then headed out when it was completely dark.  Man, I was glad I brought my new wind breaker (early birthday present from father-in-law),  Doing 30 mph in 50 degrees is COLD.  The new headlight performed like a champ.  The more I use it, the more I appreciate the beam pattern and throw.  It's a very wide beam pattern, which keeps you from getting claustrophobic, but the throw is still plenty good enough to dodge a pothole in pitch darkness, at top speed.

The trek home was paced by a convoy of my neighbors (who all were headed home from the same place).  I had a tiny bit of a lead on them, they passed me about 1/2 of the way home.  Then about 2/3 way, they hit the construction/paving on route 7 and had to wait for the flag man.  I caught up to them, jumped on the sidewalk and blew by. Slowed it down a lot when I saw a cop car at the end of the work zone.  I was far enough out of the way to be harmless, but I figure it'd be hard not to notice a bike going 30 mph down the sidewalk at night.  Pretended to pedal my bike like an average Joe, and then gunned it out of the hole when I was far enough out   As the bike lane ended and the speed limit dropped, I merged with car traffic and rode along for a while, just ahead of the neighbor pack.  Back to the bike lane. An unknown who had been behind me passed me and yelled out their window "that thing is so FAST!"

The neighbor pack once again passed by as we reached the final leg of the 9 mile trip.  I ended up getting home just behind them, about 3-4 minutes.  Not bad for a bike.

Trip mileage: 18 miles
kWh used:  .73

Electricity cost: $.10

CO2 produced (based on electricity national average): 1 lb.

Alternative to: ~1 gallon of gas, $3.60, 19.4 lbs. of CO2 (in an average car)

For more info about how all this is calculated, see this interesting blog post.

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