Crash and Burn?

Wheel full 70pxIt sounds like this guy’s ride across the country [linkie]

is toast, if I’m interpreting his most recent webcast [linkie] correctly.  It looks like Eric Hites is back in Indiana with his wife, his dog, his RV and his bike after spending over $15,000 of other peoples’ money saying that he was “riding across America” for the past year.  The comments folks left him on the webcast are, err… interesting, to say the least.

Wheel full 70pxI’m trying hard not to be judgmental, but Mr. Hites said at various times he was riding to “win back his wife (who had apparently left him for another man),” “get a new start to his life,” “lose weight (he started at over 500 pounds/`225 kg),” “find religion,” “get material for a book,” along with a bunch of other reasons.  Never once, though, have I heard that he said he was doing it for the sheer joy of riding his bike a very long, long way.  Some call what he has been doing a scam [linkie – not for the faint of heart].  I just think the guy never set his priorities in line with what he was ostensibly setting out to do.

Wheel full 70pxAnd he shouldn’t have expected to do it with other peoples’ money.

David Edgren

One Point Two One Gigawatts…

Great Scott 800px

Wheel full 70pxWell, not quite.  While I am looking for a bit of onboard power on my bike, it’s kind of impractical to be tethered to one of these.

Chief Joseph Dam 800px

Chief Joseph Dam, Columbia River, Washington* – Image credit: Wikimedia

Wheel full 70pxA few posts ago I wrote that my ride was not going to be about how many tech gadgets I could bring with me [linkie]. I have to admit that I’ve found there’s a fine line, though, between bringing just what you need and going full Navin Johnson.

I don't need this 800px

Wheel full 70pxBut I do want bright reliable LED lights front and rear without the hassle of carrying extra batteries and keeping up with them and enough auxiliary power to recharge small electronic devices, like my iPhone and Bad Elf GPS unit [linkie] on the fly.  So I added to my bike build one of Schmidt’s P-238 filled hubs.

Peter Schmidt Generator 800px

…heh, just kidding about the plutonium part…

Wheel full 70pxYou can read real facts (and probably more than you ever wanted to know) about the Schmidt dynamo hubs here [linkie].  The big thing for me is that the hub sounds bulletproof.  I just need it to last about ten weeks without any issues.  It sounds, though, like it will still be functioning after I’m not.

Wheel full 70pxTo pull off power to charge electronics I had one of these included in the build.

The Plug 800px

Wheel full 70pxYes, it’s an honest-to-gosh USB port on a bicycle.  Swiss-made, too, by a company called Supernova.  There’s more information here [linkie].  The little rubber cap hanging open in the photo covers the port, which delivers cleanly regulated 5 volt power at 500 milliamps.  That just happens to be the spec power for USB 2.  The only catch is that I have to be riding at least 12 kilometers/about eight miles per hour.  Something about “engaging the flux capacitor,” probably.

Wheel full 70pxBut enough about tech.  In the next post we’ll talk about why my ride is different from this guy’s [linkie], and how I intend to keep it that way.

David Edgren

* I have to admit that having the bike built in the Pacific Northwest, where pretty much everything runs off hydro power, put me in a “if they can do it, I can do it too” frame of mind. I love wild rivers as much as the next guy, but the hydro dams up here are, by and large, magnificent pieces of civil engineering.