Give me a break.........
- on Friday, 13 October 2017.
So, out the gate I rode, with a little trepidation I might add, due to the trailer weight . However, I felt I’d get used to it and there is really one way to test one’s hypothesis on trailer weights, and that’s with real world use.
I left around 1ish if I remember correctly and rode for just under 3 hours. The wind was horrific, as in a 30 KM/H Easterly, still “I got peddle assist bro’ an’ I don’ care” Honestly, in those conditions it works really well. Heading straight into it was a hell of a lot easier than having it as a cross wind. When I turned South it blew me all over the shop!!! I pulled up around 4 because I was in a nice little area and as the more seasoned amongst us know, never go past a good camp site any time after 2pm! J The trailer handles shitloads better than my previous iteration, I got the wobbles up on one section and went hammering off into the scrub, BUT, I didn’t go arse up, which I can guarantee would have happened with the MK 1 trailer. I was pleased with that. It was a nice cool night and I slept well. I was pleased to be on the road again.
Covered 30 K’s.
So I was up at a reasonable hour and on the road by 0730 ish. I had decided to toddle through to Merredin which was only 40 K’s away, and camp on the outskirts of town. The wind was a lot more gentle today, which was pleasant. My brother, who was going into Merredin for parts, stopped and had a chat on both the way there and the return trip, he was very envious and wished he could be doing the same as me……. NOT!!!!! I arrived at what I thought would be a nice camp site. When I pulled in the whole ring went turtle up and bent the shit out of the towing yoke. I thought it was an easy fix, but there was no way I could get it straight and not jammed against the tyre, so I had to ring my brother and he bought the trailer out and we loaded the whole lot on and headed home. I was pretty gutted, to put it mildly. I had only covered 70 ‘s in total. I was ready to burn the whole lot!!! (As an aside, it took about 2 seconds to bend and a full hour and the use of an oxy set, to straighten it)
Covered 40 K's.
The next morning I was up very early and doing research on 4 wheel trailers as I know the weight is the real issue when John [my brother] rang me from Perth, he’d gone down at 0400 to see his wife. I got him to drop into Bunnings and pick up a particular model of a 4 wheeled garden cart. My intention was to mod it if possible for towing behind the bike. When he dropped it off I manufactured a towing yoke using an old yoke with a long [bad] history, loaded it up and went for a test tow. Having the weight on 4 wheels is the answer, all I have to worry about is towing weight, there is no issue with ball / yoke weight. However, the small diameter tyres on the buggy and lack of suspension are a major drawback, not whilst on the tar or other smooth surface, but as soon as one has to drop off the shoulder, things get interesting…. Lets’ say things go bananas and leave it at that!!!! So, needless to say, it was back to the drawing board!
First thing I did was wrap the laptop keyboard with gladwrap to keep the tears out whilst researching ideas…… J
I had decided the full sus bike had to go, a $10.4K mistake and a bit of a bitter pill to swallow, but facts are facts and I badly needed to get weight off the trailer if this gig was to be successful. This would necessitate the purchase of a hardtail peddle assist. One of the huge issues with this peddle assist caper is the fact that the different manufacturers all use different battery formats and the batteries for my Bosch powered bike are 1200 bucks a throw. I have 2 spares, hence 2400 bucks!! To try and cut my losses I decided I need to stick with Bosch. Not so easy when one is looking for a very specific motor type in the Bosch line.
Now, this is where Vanessa, a good friend of mine will just sigh and carry on with her coffee, she’ll know what I’m talking about! I jump on Gumtree and punch in electric bike as my search term. It threw up some 200 ads, so off I go, trawling through them, short listing those that loosely fit my criteria. I get to about the tenth from the end and lo and behold it’s a Reise and Muller hardtail with a Gates carbon belt drive and Nuvinci hub, $3800, absolute gold!!! It’s pretty late at night when I find the ad and as the seller is in Brisbane, I wait until the next morning before I ring. Turns out it’s still for sale, done about 70 K’s and he's selling it because he’s 70 years old it nearly killed him, literally! So, I say to him, “Mate, I’ll be dead honest, I know the real value of the bike and one half of me is saying don’t be tight and pay your full asking price and the other half is saying, see if you can barter” He doesn’t even hesitate and says “You happy with 3500 dollars?’ “Sure am” says me. [That’s a tad over half new price] It was paid for within 20 minutes via Pay Pal!!! It’s now on a truck and heading towards Perth and if the stars all line up, it’ll be here around next Wednesday.
This is a great development as far as I’m concerned as I can use my existing spare batteries which turns my ballsup into an 8K one, and as this will be my last-ditch effort at towing the trailer / generator combo, if it doesn’t pan out I’ll be able to recoup a reasonable amount of my money as I got the second bike at a good price.
So, the new bike, which is designed to carry rear panniers, will be able to take between 20 to 25 Kg’s off the trailer, which will put the trailer weight at under the magic 35 Kg weight limit. I sure as shit hope it all works out as I’m getting a little despondent about this whole gig. The thing I’ve got to contend with now is the temps on the Nullarbor, it’s already into the 30’s here in Muka. Upside, the new bike has lights…….. J
Stay tuned……. It’s all go here at Adventure Central…… Mind you, I’m living on beans, suet and oranges off my tree……. Ah well, that’s life!