Scaling New Heights
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: North Van.
Interest: Anything mountain related
"Augmented Hiking" or Frank's Mechanized Assault
So, I haven't posted here in a while due to the snow and my lack of interest in snowshoeing an the attendant hazards of avalanches etc. Meanwhile in my basement, I've been plotting a means to take the drudgery out of endless km's of logging road approaches and get to where I want to go faster to high grade my experience. Not wanting to be a motorized boor in the back country, I opted to go the electric mountain bike route. Got 2 Cyclone 3000 watt mid drive kits from Luna Cycle in California and bought two 2000's era clunker downhill bikes, a powerful battery from China (a reputable source) and got to work in my basement. First one took about a month to build as I learned the various nuances. Its not pretty, but it smokes. Took it for its first maiden uphill journey 2 weeks ago and it smoked - literally. Had it in the 44 tooth chainring going up for 4 km's and must have been travelling 20 km/hr at least on a pretty steep uphill trail. Got to the start of Pingu and smelled electric burning. Learned my lesson. In the future, I'll be hitting steep uphills with the 22 tooth front chainring. Anyway the proof of concept is there. Second test on Sunday was range. Had the battery at about 85% charged and went from my house in Deep Cove area to upper Blueridge/Hyannis Point and down the trail to Twin Bridges along the fisherman's trail to spur 4. Up the steep connector to the main bike trail and back to the entrance shack and down the steep trail to Twin bridges and then back up the steep trail from fisherman's to Hyannis and back home. Took my GPS and travelled 30 km and gained 1800 feet elevation. Still had about 25% capacity on my 52volt 20 ah battery and that was with mostly throttle and little pedalling. I am so stoked to try this on a mid week run up the Lions. The idea is to travel along logging road, ditch bike in woods with a camo tarp and lock and remove expensive battery and hide it separately. This thing is a gravity sled on the way down and being dual suspension, I expect it will take the drudgery out of the endless downhill switchbacks. Now I have a world of areas I can try such as BCMC's mountain lake cabin without worrying about a key, maybe even Tenquille lake. I assume some people will deride me for taking the suffering out of the enjoyment, but I have a thick skin and reminds of years ago climbing Alpha and we took a helicopter to Lake Lovelywater and a snooty younger person suggested it was cheating. I could have suggested to get the full experience she could have walked from Vancouver and worn a hair shirt, but each to their own. Second Bike build took 5 hours as I had all the right tools and chains etc.