Not every ride turns out the way one plans. Let’s just say the Uber ride home was deeply appreciated at 10:30 at night.
What started out as a late afternoon pedal to the bike coalition event, turned into a fantastic day of exercise and bad planning on our part. But, oh well it’s a memory.
So the bike event started at 6 and it was 14 miles from the house. After getting off work hubby and I started pedaling. First up over the summit, down the main boulevard, and over pothole ridden streets. Then up into a few neighborhoods just to ride on smoother streets. So many potholes!
It’s summer and it’s not going to get dark until after 8 here in SoCal, so there’s time to enjoy brats, a brew and music at the event.
The ELFs have solar panels on the roof to charge the batteries, but it was late and the sun was going down. We have 3 – 15amp batteries between the 2 of us and it was obvious that we did not have enough battery power to get home. it seems we each used about 3/4 of a battery. My first thought was, “well this is going to be an adventure”.
Just a week earlier hubby had created a homemade emergency battery and he just started to carry with him. To be perfectly honest, I think the extra weight verses the extra power it gave was a bump.
Anyway, while at the event we tried to find a place to plug the ELFs in to charge. Perfect they can charge up while we eat. Well, that never happened, There were no available outlets anywhere. It’s now dark and we decided to leave. We still had to pedal the 14 miles home at night. Remember now we need our headlights and safety lights it’s dark. On go the lights and down goes what little voltage we have left.
We decided the straight path home was the shortest, since we didn’t have much juice left in out battery packs. We’d have to take those potholed ridden streets if we planned on making it home.
It was an 80 degree, Friday night. We dodged potholes on the boulevard through the nicer areas to the not so nice areas and up over major hills.
Finally, we stopped to gather our composure and rethink our plans. Neither one of us had much battery left for the power assist and there’s at least 10 miles to go and a lot of up and down hills to make it worse.
Then we had a thought. It’s about 3 miles to hubby’s place of employment. Can we make it there? I don’t know we have 2 major hills to climb. Remember an ELF weight 160lbs so pedaling it up a hill without power assist is not easy.
Ok, here goes. On the pothole ridden boulevard we were pedaling like crazy. We needed to gain enough speed to make it up the next hill without using too much of our power assist. OMG there’s at signal light at the bottom. At the top of that hill we sat for a few seconds. We needed to time this out so that when we hit the bottom of the hill, the light turns green. We really need the speed to make it up the hill.
We did it! We sailed thru the green light, and now it’s PEDAL, PEDAL, PEDAL. We crested the top and found out our batteries were now dead. On a good note, we had pedaled up the entire hill on pedal power alone. Man, I didn’t think we had the strength to do that. That was kinda exciting and exhilarating.
There’s just a mile left until we can sit quietly at his office, and let the batteries charged. But what’s left to pedal is a half a mile down a hill and half a mile up a hill. A steep hill.
As we sat in a parking lot, we had to make a few decisions on what to do next. We have one good battery left. One of us could pedal home the 9 miles, to get the trailer and come back for the other. Hmm, it’s already 10pm and we’re in a dark parking lot. Nope, that’s not gonna happen.
The next idea was to plug in that little homemade battery that hubby has been carting around. Since I have the good battery, we decided he’d go first. This was to be the last leg of tonights adventure. Hubby takes off, sporting the bare minimum of lights for visibility. Since I have full power with the new battery, I stayed close behind lighting the way with my headlights and protecting him from the late night traffic.
Down the hill we went. Again, it’s time to PEDAL, PEDAL, PEDAL, we need the speed. We made it to the top of the hill. Now to pedal the last couple of blocks. Thank goodness we made it! Here we’ll sit for at least an hour. Time chill relax and recharge the ELFs batteries.
After about an hour, I’m tired and bored. I’ve got an idea! Let’s lock up the bikes behind the gate and UBER home. At first hubby just looked at me with a confused look. “Really you want to do that?” he said. “Sure, why not the ELFs are locked up and safe, right?”
What a fantastic idea it was, and we did just that. The next day we got a ride back to pick up the ELFs and then it was fun relaxing ride home.
Our Friday evening ride definitely didn’t go as planned, but it was fun and an adventure.