625 watts of solar energy expended today, 825 human Watts expended by me from the chickpeas and bread that were donated to me by a kind coffee shop, which is all I'll have to eat because the money for food and certainly for lodging is now invested in about $1,500 worth of enhancements to this vehicle. What money I have left is due for my lease, cell phone, $30 a month Insurance on this vehicle. I've done, I'll do, I'll do my of this mission for as long as my body keeps going, the rest is out of my hands.
A year ago this happened to me and probably it was 6 hours for several days of peddling before I figured out what was going on. When it happened a year ago I assumed that it was me and not the vehicle. Today was probably 15 or 25 degrees cooler than it has been recently. What happened was my legs this morning when I left at 5:30 and for the first 12 miles about an hour and a half, my legs felt like, well, no strength. It seems like the vehicle wouldn't even roll. Anyone know what the problem was? Again, let me emphasize, a year ago when I was having my first experience in 40 years with a bicycle let alone a 240 pound bicycle loaded, it took me at least six hours and maybe several days before I figured out what was going on.
Answer: this vehicle, three tires for the vehicle, the tires are rated at 65 pounds of pressure. For reasons I don't know, I've chosen to inflate them to 60 pounds pressure. After 12 miles this morning, it finally dawned on me. I had not inflated the tires in at least a week. They were down to 40 pounds. What I find most amazing is that when this has happened to me in the last 6 months or so where I am more experienced, it's still sneaks up on me. Yesterday I traveled 30 miles I think. It was warmer, but still no hint. Today it was like I was riding through sand. How does it manifest so suddenly? Maybe all of it is to do with the temperature dropped. It's a mystery. When I inflated the tires all of a sudden I had a workable vehicle back.
why did it take me 12 miles? there was a variable distracting me from the ultimate cause, the tires. This vehicle is probably 40 pounds heavier than it has been because of all the stuff for this 2 months or two years Journey. Much of that weight is frozen bread and Frozen legume that I've been accumulating from this coffee shop that donate food to me for my mission. And Ice to keep it cool. I have no idea how long it will stay edible in this soft sided cooler.
The batteries were run down much more than they otherwise would have been. My body was run down much more than it otherwise would have been. But a very good learning experience.
This fabulous Android application , at sign voice, reads to me the hundreds of articles that I Q up when my work process does not allow for me to read long articles. All day long has been consumed with that. Extremely productive. Extraordinarily productive.
Weather Underground said that today was 70% overcast. That means that this was not a great solar generation day. By my choice I currently don't like eating into my reserves which are 30 - 60 miles in reserve depending upon how hard or soft a pedal. So after the first 12 mile debacle I throttled back from the nine miles per hour that I attempted yet and rather favoured trying to achieve a ratio of one part energy from the batteries, the Sun that I've stored, and one part energy from me or 100% energy for me depending upon the terrain.
Speaking of terrain, wow, so, I'm only 25 miles or so from Washington DC, oh my goodness it is so hilly here. And it's deceptive because it doesn't look that way but I have another application that will tell me a good approximation of the grade and frequently I was on three, four, five, even 6% grades. In case anyone was totally ignorant, as I have been, once you're on on an upgrade the issue is you're basically lifting your self and the vehicle which in my case is now 160 pounds, me, + 160 pound vehicle, Plus 70 pounds worth of stuff, one is lifting, literally the lifting that so many feet per minute. Yes, I get to go down those grades, but I also get to come up, and I'm particularly a slow today when I bled all kinds of battery because of under-inflated tires, I enjoyed being immensely conservative, two and a half miles per hour going up a grade, polite to the traffic as always. I choose times of day that are more likely travel than others, and have two sets of flashing lights that I use certainly one it's dark, but also in more dense traffic areas as a courtesy to drivers behind me.
Yet in combination, and I have excellent instrumentation on all this on the vehicle, part of the $1,500 upgrade, I averaged 8.6 miles per hour on this 40-mile leg today. And even better of the 625 Watts that I expended judging from my battery levels now I recovered probably 60% of that on a 70% overcast day, and traveling 42 miles, and averaging over 9 miles an hour. Did I mention that a significant portion of the $1,500 or so upgrade was to move from two solar panels to three, the second is identical to the third and they are immensely light, four pounds, and eventually efficient putting out as much as 75 watts each in full sun.
It is, very much the Gestalt of sailing, and when I am Skipper of any sailboat I find it very very mentally engaging. This has tremendous similarity to the Aesthetics of sailing the way I do it. I'm tremendously conscious of where of the sun is relative to the vehicle. I'm very aware of whether I'm in open space or trees. Point being, my enjoyment of sailing comes from being extremely conscious of opportunities to harness any breath of wind, and I have a similar Consciousness to gather every watt of sunlight.
My current routine is to plan on stopping two or three times per day. Morning Sun is problematic because it's low on the horizon as is late afternoon sun. So by choosing to arrange my stops from 8 in the morning until 10, and 3 in the afternoon until 5, I'm able to select a spot where the sun is hitting well where the vehicle can be parked and the panel on the roof can be angled toward the Sun, did I mention I spent $1,500 upgrading this vehicle, and the panels on the trailer can be easily tilted toward the sun, did I mention that I spent $1,500 upgrading the vehicle?
No, I am not doing this trip for the pleasure of it. Did I mention that I'll be staying each night in the Walmart Four Seasons or the equivalent? Did I mention that I'll be sitting up in the vehicle only slightly reclined every night all night? Did I mention that on one's mind in these situations is both robbery and undesired interest by the police or security? Did I mention that such things are stressful? Did I mention there have been no takers in terms of showing any interest in tapping into friends, churches, synagogues, mosques, organizations , relatives, to offer me periodically a safe place to throw down a sleeping bag and do laundry or get out of a storm?
It's not possible for me to avoid paying rent on the property without being unethical, and without drawing a suit or legal action. I'm liable through March and I'll pay through March. Point being I have a very large, very modern, very comfortable apartment. Pleasure would be staying there. Pleasure would have been enjoying the nice mattress that I have there the last 3 weeks. But joy was sitting up every night for the last 3 weeks so that my body became trained in managing the discomfort, and joy is being on this arduous, riskey, worrisome, starvation-prone, Storm vulnerable, exploration for life in us.
Trolling for live souls or those that have the ability to be rekindled was a metaphor that came into my mind and will stay there, today. Sowing seeds, of course. The notion of Johnny Appleseed about which I know little has come to mind with respect to this voyage.
This morning's Target was George Mason University. I know next to nothing about it as I'm heading there. I arrived at about 8 a.m. or so on a cold windy morning. Arrived at the Student Union and sat there for 20 minutes outside checking the news and what not and it was pretty much a ghost town. As with other campuses that I have seen there is a trend among some to keep the students on campus away from pollution by townies and regular folk. This strikes me as that type of Campus. It's small from what I could see. According to google there are two Starbucks on the small campus. Has they been part of an attendant town they would have been an interesting spot for me to sit and thereby troll. But they appeared to be embedded in campus buildings so my destination became a coffee shop about 2 miles from campus. There the vehicle and I sat for maybe two and a half hours. At least an hour of which was me sleeping quite exhausted after the weeks of preparation and pedaling a bike with flat tires for 12 miles, lol. Quite exhausted. Every 15 minutes the timer woke me up and the body said set it again which I did 4 times. But there was another hour or so there are where while I was working I could be aware of the reaction of passers-by on foot or car in this mall sort of area. This is Fairfax, VA fairly upscale suburb of Washington DC. My sense was that my sisters and brothers walking by are Walking Dead. Too busy, too consumed , too preoccupied, too obsessed with the worldly values of Our Sick culture to have the slightest room for a childlike curiosity, Wonder, awe, amazement, reverence for life. Not only are you welcome to evaluate my comments here in this regard as judgmental, having to do with superiority, putting people down. The reader is welcome to that judgment and encouraged to see cease observing anything that I write in the future because if that is how I am assessed then there is nothing of use that I can share with such a reader. What kind of a doctor is not aware of the health or lack thereof of those around her? What kind of a brother who is instead deeply concerned with the spirit of individuals, whether those Spirits are experientially dead, or whether they are filled with the optimal Human Experience which is joy?
Currently the vehicle and I sit in the parking lot of a large sprawling big-box Mall, in an area that does not have a lot of cars around it, but a 3 Iron from stores like Modell's, Sports Authority next to each other, Toys R Us, Hallmark, Designer Shoe Warehouse, Saks Fifth Avenue off fifth.... my strategy is to spend maybe half an hour organizing the log that I intend to keep to track energy investment, sun and plants that I eat, and energy consumption for which I now have excellent instrumentation, did I mention a $1,500 upgrade to the vehicle? And then to spend several hours sitting up here catching some sleep. And then when discomfort causes me to awaken and move, going another half-mile to where the Four Seasons Walmart is. And sleeping there for another 5 hours or so.
Early, probably 6 a.m. before the Sun is up and employees are around, the next destination is a 10 a.m. Unitarian Universalist service in Manassas about an hour and a half ride away.
I I mentioned that the notion of trolling , not rolling as in the internet, but trolling as in fishing, I've never liked fishing, that trolling as in fishing, is very much on my mind. I expect to more and more intensively troll so-called houses of worship as I get my stride over the next days and weeks. Tomorrow will be some introductory trolling, constituting possibly nothing more than my physical presence outside prior to the service and inside during the service , at the Unitarian Universalist Church there.