THUNDER BAY, ON ---- June 9, 2010 ---- This summer Art Burns is making an epic journey. He is traveling from Dundas Ontario to Langley B.C. by e-bike. “No-one has made this kind of trip on a scooter style electric bike” says Art. It will put these e-bikes to the test. His ride is a Velotec Challenger RSV e-bike. His bike is equipped with a set of lithium ion batteries which is out of the ordinary for this model. The bike features a front disk brake which Art feels would be needed due to the extra weight he will be carrying on this trip and the hills in British Columbia.
Extra equipment for this trip includes a Honda 1000 watt generator for charging where no outlets are available. The bike has an oversized trunk and two saddle bags, a camera, a miniature stereo system. “It’s a long ride at 32 Kilometers a hour”.
The highlight of the trip was watching a bear being trapped by MNR personnel at the Husky truck stop at Nipigon. These e-bikes are meant for city communing with a run of up to 50 kilometers on lead batteries, so making a long haul trip poses special challenges.. One of them is the need to recharge. “Its not really a problem because after three hours it s time for a break” I use a wall outlet or my generator it takes 2 ½ hours to go from 1/3 rd charge to a full charge.
Another big concern is “go around “drivers will often wait for the last minute before they pull into the passing lane and go around the cyclist. Twice Art was forced off road by large trucks who did not slow down or pull over. “The driver was not concerned about me at all”. Construction zones are a problem for Art as well. A well worn gravel path is not too bad, but e-bikes don’t do well on loose gravel.
Art plans to reach his destination of Langley BC by June 18th that means he will need to travel 350 kilometers daily to meet his goal. Tomorrow he is off Kenora. He has a couple of days to spare on his schedule in case of bad weather. We wish him a good journey.
In Thunder Bay, Veloteq can be found at http://Golectrictbay.com
Bert Rowson for
Lake Superior News.com