I’ve now been car-free (locally, meaning for distances of under about 40 km one-way) for more than two years. The second anniversary slipped by without me even noticing. I no longer feel like I’m out to prove something; it’s just become second nature that this is how I live my life.
I ordered studded tires for the new bike and I think these will work much better in the snow than the noisy somewhat finicky chains I had to use on the Rad Mini’s non-standard tire size. Incidentally, the Rad Mini has been passed along to a local friend who is not a winter rider and who rides mostly flat terrain around the village. With a new wiring harness it seems to be running well for her and I’m sure happy that it hasn’t had to go directly to a landfill.
The other day I decided to try out a newly rehabilitated trail in the northwest corner of Kokanee Glacier Park using a recently reopened forestry road for access. To get to the forestry road I had to ride about 20 km from home along the highway to the top of a long hill. I had been assured that the gravel forestry road, just over 12 km long from that point, was in great shape, so there was no reason not to use the e-bike to get to the trailhead. As it turned out it was a great choice.
The 32 km of mostly climbing did give me a twinge of range anxiety. Adding in four hours of alpine hiking, I knew that the climb up the hill back to my house would come at the end of a 7-hour day of non-stop exertion, and I did not want to be running out of bike battery at that point. Having not done a lot of really long rides on the new e-bike I wasn’t sure how much of a cushion I would have, so I kept the power assist either off or — when climbing — on the lowest setting. As it turned out, there was plenty of juice, but I didn’t know that in the morning. Better safe than sorry.
The Roadster turned out to be a very capable Logging-Roadster too. Nice gravel-style tires with a fair bit of volume, some front-fork suspension and a suspension seat-post kept me very comfortable. The hike itself was amazing, though fairly steep, meaning I used muscles on the descent that I don’t stress very often, and I’m a bit sore 36 hours later. But it was worth it to spend a crisp sunny day getting into a beautiful alpine basin that will like get snowed in within a couple of weeks.
Because I was away from home and e-bike for half the summer, it took me until this week to clock 1000 km on the Roadster, and the moment came along the forestry road leading toward Blue Grouse Basin. A great location and a great day for a first major milestone for this bike. Looking forward to many more thousands.