piranha: red origami crane (Default)
for a while i've been contemplating alternative methods of transportation, because once the boat is finished (ha), the truck will be a whole lot less useful, and instead we'll need something much smaller -- and hopefully much more environmentally friendly.

i've been in lust with the segway ever since its much-hyped reveal, and a few months ago i finally got to ride one, and OMG, it was wonderful. so responsive and intuitive. it was truly as cool as i had imagined it to be, for once the hype wasn't actually too much. but the price tag is still prohibitive tl;dr -- how did i get here )

fortunately, enterprising souls have indeed come up with modern electric motors for bikes. and i am now the proud owner of a 2013 norco plateau with a PL350 bionX electric hub motor and a sleek lithium-ion battery good for about 40km of assisted pedalling.

red step-through bicycle

i'm in love.

this takes the pain out of biking for me, and just leaves the fun. everything on the bike is easy to adjust, and the gear train is so smooth, shifting 21 gears is almost enjoyable.

[*] the tale of actually trying out and buying a bike is a tale of businesses who apparently don't want our money.
embark with me on the long and winding road... )

they'll never know it, but this is a cautionary tale for small, local businesses -- we bought just one bike now, but we will buy another one probably come next spring. i am kinda loyal to anyone who does a good job for me the first time i deal with them, so even if it means vancouver again (that adds $$ to the purchase because it means 1-2 return ferry trips for 2 with the truck), we're much more likely to return there. we definitely won't go back to the locals who had crap service the first time. also, just because once upon a time the early electric systems were fiddly and possibly not worth the effort doesn't mean the state of the art stands still. today's systems are pretty easy to install and maintain, so as a dealer it's silly to be a luddite. especially with the weird legal state for new, alternate, electric transportation, pedal-assisted electric bikes are not in such murky waters as long as the electric motor is speed-limited.
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
so today we took the new bikes out for our first ride away from home. and it was great! we were going to hemer park originally, but when i got to cedar road, i remembered that when playing with google earth i had looked at the nanaimo river estuary, and that there was apparently a road from cedar leading right into it. for some reason i had always thought raines road just went into a native reservation. which it does, but it also leads to a small parking place that gives access to the estuary and its marshes, complete with a lookout. so on impulse i suggested we drive down that road and see what it looks like.

that was a good idea. the estuary is beautiful back in there, and while we're too late for spring migration, this is obviously a place to come to in fall as well. and we found wild asparagus! there wasn't much opportunity to ride the bikes inside the gated area, but this'll be great to come back to with rubber boots and binoculars. saw a bunch of killdeer. i think some of the area was probably once dyked for pasture; we saw what looks like the remains of dykes, though not really high enough. maybe they have been destroyed to allow the water to flow more naturally again.

when we got back home i went back into google earth and plotted the path we took. :)

note to the *poing* -- the peninsula to the right is duke point where we walked all the way up to the tip.

estuary ride estuary ride
4.7 km round trip, along most of raines road, and through the gate into the estuary itself. (clicking brings up 300k large version of image.)

raines road was a perfect ride -- almost entirely level, and just enough distance to get all the unused muscles to start working. i think we're gonna also try for the nanaimo side of the estuary; we went there once last year starting at the campground and got a little lost trying to bushwhack our way out to cedar road, but i can trace a map of the path network off google earth.

note to self; interesting land use information: integrated land management bureau special initiative nanaimo estuary.

(hrm. lj's auto-formatting seems to be broken.)

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piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

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