Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Das Fahrrad walks on water (or The first ocean crossing)

Le Velo experienced quite a few trips from Vancouver to Roberts Creek and back, but today was the first time that I decided to leave the car in the driveway and trust Das Fahrrad (and a ferry) to get me to the other side.
To balance the weight, the ONE remaining saddle bag sits in the middle

So far I only have one battery for Das Fahrrad, whereas Le Velo had two (now one battery and zero chargers), so I was curious to see whether the one battery would be sufficient to master the 30 kms with many steep hills.  But one advantage of the new bike is that BOSCH FINALLY realized that they could build a charger that works both with 220V AND with 110V, a thing that Asian companies have been doing FOR YEARS for laptop and cellphone chargers.

For me this means that I no longer have to lug around a heavy transformer.  It also means that I can simply remove the battery from the bike when I get on the ferry and charge it for 40 minutes during the crossing, which might just eliminate the need for a second battery altogether.

Enough of theory; this is a field trial!
Langdale ferry terminal

Not only is the travel time of 33 minutes to the ferry terminal surprisingly short, but I also have almost 80% battery power left when I get there.  Probably a result of me not knowing the new battery's range and consequently taking it easy on the battery. So, to summarize:

1) The hills are even less steep than on Le Velo I

2) Travel time is shorter than with Le Velo I
3) Battery seems to last longer than that of Le Velo I.

Since I'm using the duration of the ferry ride to re-charge the battery in the business/laptop/work-station section, I am able to unleash the bike at the seemingly low gradient hills between Horseshoe Bay and North Vancouver with almost 100 % battery power.  And after the 16 kms and three nasty hills on the way to North Vancouver I am again looking at barely below 80% battery level.  

I don't think I need a second  battery after all !

I don't think I need a car, either, but I'll keep it for the time being ;-)

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