2/10 4 – First Rad Rover test ride
We’ve had some very wet winter weather which has kept me off the bike for a 5 days thus far this month. I snuck in a short couple of rides on some other rain days but they were brief. Still, 200 miles for the month! Knees are great! I have to remind myself to take it easy. I don’t want to push too hard as I did when I was riding back in Memphis 20 years ago.
My third full Rover Ride yesterday, Saturday, was my first ride over 30 miles. The Lectric’s reliable range topped out at about 28 miles. I was really impressed with the battery on the Rover as we had winds from 15 to 20 mph with some gusts possibly higher than that and even with the wind I ended the ride at just over 31 miles and 40% battery, mostly ridden at PAS 2, average speed of around 14 mph. Given that I’m going to speculate that on a less windy day I could safely get 40 miles or more at PAS 2. I wouldn’t be surprised if I could get close to 50. My ride today is set to be a nice one. 55 degrees and no wind so I might try to push to PAS 3 and see where the range lands me at an average higher speed.
Adding a new tag for my Rover Rides which will likely be the primary bike I use going forward.
1/26: 22 miles
1/27: 22 miles
1/28 15.5 miles
1/29: 12.4 miles
1/30: 25.2 miles
1/31: 23.7 miles
2/1: 24.5 miles
2/2: 27.5 miles
2/3: 20.3 miles
Lots of riding since my last post! 72 miles in February. My total for January was 406. Total thus far since getting the bike in December is just over 600 miles. What a blast! My longest day of riding was 27.5 miles and I think that’s about the extent of the battery. I could have possibly pushed it to 30 but I’m finding that with three bars left the voltage is at about 43 to 44 which means there’s a lot less juice available for the battery and it really shows. The motor struggles to do much at all at that point. While my knees have been great I would not want to try to pedal this bike the last mile home on our gravel. The hills and softness of the wet winter road would mean I’d be pushing it for much of that. Worth noting that the 27.5 miles on February 27 was a warm 70ish day so no energy loss due to a cold temps. I was riding at PAS 3, about 18mph which seems to be the sweet spot. I could ride on PAS 2 at 13mph with similar terrain and temps and get 30 or more probably.
Loving it. That said, as I mentioned in my previous post, I was considering a new bike for longer range. I actually did end up ordering it but not the one I was thinking. Rather than go with a light road bike I went with another fat tire, but a 26” tire, the Rad Rover, which should be here tomorrow. It’s also a heavy bike at about 70lbs. I debated back and forth. Ultimately went with the Rover because it’s coming from a company with a proven 10 year track record and with progressive work culture (as far as I can tell) and great support. After doing a lot of reading and watching and comparing, it seems there are maybe 5 or so bikes in this category. The Rover is a slightly better deal price wise with very similar specs so it won out. I should be looking at 35 to 40 mile range with the better battery and larger tires. So, not a huge improvement but better. And, should I get to the point where I want to do 60 miles a day I’ll get another battery. This bike has the benefit of a battery that not only has more capacity but is fairly easy to change. A final benefit (which can also be a drawback) are the larger tires. Yeah, heavy compared to the thinner options I was considering but I think ultimately a good choice for the terrain in this area.
More soon. Next post will be a fun update about our local cycling project which is moving along at a good clip now with new support and a new website. I’ll have that up later today or tomorrow.
Ha! In my last post I was expecting bad weather for a few days. As it turned out, mostly not, so I was able to get out and ride everyday and I’ve had some great ones! I did miss 1/17 due to weather but then had 5 straight days of riding. Then we did get some actual winter weather, two days of snow, rain and freezing rain.
1/18: 9.5 miles
1/19: 11.7 miles
1/20 17.5 miles
1/21: 21.6 miles
1/22: 21.8 miles
1/25: 19.7 miles
Total is now up around 409 miles since getting the bike less than five weeks ago.
These were some great rides. I ventured up 219 to another county road 221 and then out to Hwy J which was a 15.5 mile ride and no dogs! A few nice hills and some great views of farmland from a distance. Will be a great spring/summer/fall ride. As with 217, 219 and 221 are very quiet with almost no traffic. Fantastic.
The bike continues to perform as expected. After 21 miles and starting with a full charge, I’m still at about 35% battery. Now, that said, I’m peddling the whole time. The last few rides I’ve mostly been in PAS 3 60% of the time, 30% in PAS 2 and the remainder in PAS 1 on the 2 miles of our gravel drive which is a slow ride. The rest has been blacktop but with lows of gentle rolling hills, a couple of steep hills. I’ve learned though that at 30% battery remaining, available power is less and drops far more quickly. So, the top 30% of a fully charged battery is not the same as the last 30%!
Letric’s user manual says I should expect 35 miles on PAS 3 on flat ground, 180 lb rider. With my winter clothes and boots I’m about 175. Add in another 12 lbs for my water, grocery baskets, pannier pack, lock, two small tool/phone packs. So, about 187 and fairly hilly. I’m going to speculate that I’d be good for 25 miles which is short of the 35 but I’ve got more weight and on hilly terrain. I’m not disappointed at all as that seems about right and is more than enough for the rides I’m currently doing. But…
All that said, I’m already thinking that in 6 to 8 months, if my knees continue to do well and if I continue riding as much as I hope to (300 miles/month) I think I’m going to look at adding another, lighter electric bike. Lol. I’d keep the Lectric to share with friends/family and to continue using as my town commute bike for shopping and meetings in town. I’ve got my eyes on a new bike that only weighs in at 38lbs (compare to the Lectric 63ish lbs). It would make a perfect gravel bike for longer distance rides around the county, handling blacktop or rock roads. The batteries are very light weight so I’d carry two extras and I think I’d have no problem going out for 40 to 60 mile rides, quite possibly 90 miles with the two extra batteries. The kind of bike I could go out for a day with and ride all these county back roads. At 15 to 18 mph, that’s potentially 4 to 6 hours of riding.
Funny, when I bought this bike I was expecting to use it to ride the 2 mile round trip to my parents so I could visit them more often without walking it all the time. I had no idea my knees would hold up so well to peddling nor that I’d actually be riding it 10 miles to town for fun rides. It was supposed to be a fun little utility bike for short range rides around the lake. That’s been the biggest surprise of having it. If the weather forecast holds for the next week I’ll likely have 400 miles just for the month of January.
And, last, all this has lead to me fully rediscovering the bike. As I’ve been writing about for the past month, I’m not only riding the bike as much as possible but also have jumped into the best way that I know to try to be active in terms of climate change and that is to create a local cycling project. Transportation will be a key cornerstone in how we deal or do not deal with our climate change problem. Getting active in promoting local cycling as a part of that solution feels like the best thing I could do.
1/13: 12 miles
1/14: 20 miles
1/15 23.4 miles
1/16: 4.5 miles
I took off a few days between the 9th and the 13th due to rain. A lot of rain. But I’ve had some great rides the past 4 days. Well, yesterday’s ride was a very short one due to the day being taken up with errands, family visits and a few work related tasks.
The forecast for the next 2 days is snow, freezing rain and rain so I’m doubtful I’ll get any ride time. That said, were we to get a couple inches of snow I’d love to go out for a couple miles of snow riding. Not so much if it’s covered with a crust of ice though! But chances are it’s mostly going to be rain. Followed by some pretty cold weather. Then more rain. So, sadly, my ride time in the next week or two will likely be diminished.
In any case, in the nearly four weeks with the bike I’ve got in just a bit over 300 miles and I’m looking forward to the next 100 and beyond. Woot, woot!!
Today’s ride was a pretty fantastic one hour adventure. 1 hour and 11 minutes to be exact. I’d mentioned to my friend Russ a week or so ago that I was thinking of exploring County Rd 219 but was a bit reluctant. My primary concern with this particular route would just be lack of cell service and the unknown dog factor. Being the great friend that he is he offered to ride along on his motorcycle and it was an excellent ride. Much faster and a bit more difficult that my usual ride of 217 to town which is mostly flat and all paved.
We did 20 miles, 10 miles each way. The plan was to ride to Womack which would have been 25 miles round trip but my battery was at 55% so we turned around just 2.5 miles short of the planned turn-around. This was super hilly terrain. It started with pavement, then went to gravel for about 30% of the ride. I was riding much faster than my normal speed since Russ was there on his motorcycle. Average speed today was 17.1 mph with an elevation gain of 1,300 feet.
So, really hilly, lots of gravel and increased speed all add up to the funnest, most adventurous ride yet. This felt much more like mountain biking. To be clear, it was a road and not a trail, but due to recent storms some of this gravel was rougher than the a normal gravel road.
By comparison my usual ride is fairly flat, recently paved and is very casual at about 14 mph using pedal assist 2.
After the ride I did an additional 2 miles to a nearby lake south of our place and then the mile to my cabin for a total of 23.4 miles for the day. Battery was at 20% so I probably could have done another mile or two. Given the speed of the ride, the gravel road and hilly route I’d say that range is excellent. Were I to do the ride using pedal assist 2 at 14 mph I’d likely have a range of 35 miles. Total miles on the bike now at just over 300!
A last note, at the increased speed of today’s ride the bike handled very well on the rougher terrain and hills. Also, after today’s ride I’ve decided to stick with knobby tires.
1/6: 20 miles
1/7: 19 miles
1/8: 21 miles
1/9: 6.5 miles (rain!)
So, that’s about 240 miles in the three weeks of having a bike again. That’s all pedal assisted, mostly in pedal assist mode 2, some 3. Average ride time in January is 69 minutes. I know this because I have a spreadsheet. I have a spreadsheet because I am a nerd.
Being on the bike has me remembering back to my cycling in Memphis and it’s every bit as fun as I remember. I’m happy that at 50 years old I want to be on the bike as much as I wanted to be on the bike when I was 28.
I’m feeling pretty good about my knees. No pain or discomfort after 3 weeks. The electric motor is doing most of the work but I pedal constantly and, based on my heart rate and the battery level after my rides, I’d estimate that I’m adding in between 30 and 40% of the energy moving the bike forward. It’s not 100% as it was before but that’s still significant. My heart rate is consistently averaging 135 bpm during my rides.
A last benefit to mention would be mental health. I can say with certainty that, simply put, cycling makes me a happier person which seems to contribute to an interest in the wellbeing of the people around me which is to say, more social.
As I write this I’ve been off the bike for two days due to rain. 4” of rain in one night and persistent drizzle over two days. That’s not to say I won’t ride in rain and e-bikes are okay in light rain and small puddles but I’m less likely to ride in those conditions if I don’t actually need to. Anyway, the next few days look good.
I’ve had the bike for two weeks and I’ve ridden almost everyday. It’s been fantastic. Since my last ride update on 12/26 here’s a list of rides:
12/31: 14 miles
1/1: 13 miles
1/2: 12 miles
1/3: 19 miles
1/5: 13 miles
180 miles in the first two weeks. That’s all pedal assisted, mostly in pedal assist mode 2, some 3. Average ride time in January is 67 minutes. I missed a few days due to heavy rain and some work I needed to attend to.
I’ve added the Thudbuster suspension seatpost and that’s made the ride much more comfortable. It looks like I’ve got three or four days this week before rain comes in so I plan to get out a good bit.
Also worth noting, I’ve now got my baskets and locks so I expect I’ll begin transitioning my shopping to the local grocery store for most of my groceries. I’ll still be doing my aunt’s weekly shopping at Walmart via the car but it’s a step!
I’ve had a chance to explore a few corners of town that I’d not seen before and looking forward to seeing more. Small town cycling is really very nice as the traffic on the the small side streets is usually very low, almost non-existent. When there is traffic it’s just one car at a time and usually slow moving at 20 mph or so. I’ve got took keep watch out for loose dogs but that’s about the only thing I find concerning.
The bike continues to perform very well with more than enough battery capacity for my needs. After 20 years away from the saddle I’m looking forward to making up for lost time!
My butt’s been just a wee bit sore so slightly shorter rides the past two days! Taking a break on Friday. I don’t really want to take a break but my rear end demands it.
Just a ride up to Scoops and back, 13 miles on peddle assist 2 for most of the ride. Battery at about 75%.
Same ride up to Scoops and back, 13 miles. Again, peddle assist 2 for most of the ride. I didn’t charge battery so started off at 75% and at about 50% now. Rode for about an hour, average speed around 13.
Continuing to peddle a good bit but keeping the force applied light. That said the Apple watch for the past two days is showing about 45 minutes of exercise each day for the ride and active calories for each ride at about 250. So, it’s a big step up from my usual walks with the dogs.
100 miles in the first 6 days! No knee pain or discomfort!
New seat arrived today so next ride (tomorrow weather permitting) should be more comfortable. I’ve also ordered the Thudbuster which should help quite a bit with larger bumps in the road and on gravel or off-road.
Started at 10:30 am, finished at 12pm. Sunny and 50 degrees.
I took the same route into town that I’ve been using, County Road 217 but then did a loop heading east of town then south then west. I did a couple small rectangles going from street to street then turned north and headed pretty much straight up towards Court Square and back past the grocery store and Scoops before heading home. The full route was just over 20 miles. For the first 2/3 I kept it at pedal assist 2 and about 12mph. The last third I bumped up to pedal assist 3 and hit the gas in terms of pedaling. I probably averaged 18 or 19mph. Battery shows about 50% at home. So, not too shabby in terms of a workout and the range.
A few hills on this route but nothing crazy.
No photos but I’ve got a map!
So, 4 days of riding, averaging about 20 miles a day, puts me at 80 miles thus far. Will continue to take advantage of the good weather and current light work load as both are creating the ideal circumstance for lots of riding time. I suspect one or both of those will change in the next 4 to 5 days and I’ll have to take a break from my 2 wheeling!
I’m hoping to be doing several rides a week but many of them will be the same or a very similar route so I’m not sure how often I’ll post once it starts getting repetitive. But as an extension of my initial review when I do post notes about rides I’ll tag the post as Lectric Ride Journal.
And, here’s another!
I got on the bike around 11:30, 50°F and sunny. Today’s rides include a trip to Scoops and then up to City Lake which is where Fredericktown gets it’s water. I’d never been but it’s a pretty lake and a nice ride.
6.4 miles to Scoops Coffeeshop, ride time about 18 minutes
2 miles to City lake
8.6 miles return to cabin via County Rd 211 then 217 for remainder
Ride time about 1 hour, 45 minutes
4 miles round trip to the “Slime Pond”
1 mile goofing off
22 miles total for the day
One of the many bridges in Madison County
I did the first ride of 17 miles in pedal assist 2 and a slower average speed of 12 mph. I ended the ride with about 70% of the battery remaining. That looks pretty good as far as getting a full 50 mile range. I used the throttle a few times to boost past a chasing dog but this route had some pretty big hills which the bike handled very well with help from me. In fact, one was quite large and steep and I breezed up it with just moderate effort.
I’m finding that by the time I’ve done 15 or so miles (90 to 105 minutes) I need a break for my rear end though I’m still wanting to ride. I’m really looking forward to the new seat. Would love to be able to do a 25 mile ride! I’ve also got my eyes on a better suspension seat post. Will wait to see how the new seat does with the current seat post.
This is the third day of riding in a row and still, no knee discomfort and I put in a good bit more of my own effort today. According to my Apple Watch my first ride resulted in about 400 active calories and 64 minutes of exercise on the green ring. Much more than the rides on Saturday and Sunday.