4/17/2015 Choctawatchee to Mobile, Alabama

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I camped next to a hospital and was able to charge my bike up overnight. I have been having some issues with the BMS- this is a circuitboard the manages the lithium batteries. I was hoping a full charge would fix my issues. The bike did not fully charge, and the battery was not balanced. I need to check out the BMS. Still, I can ride, so I keep on going!

What a lot of rain! Soggy camps are no fun, but at least it wasn’t freezing as well. Showers pass.
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The library in Defuniak Springs, by popular demand, installed this outlet right next to the bicycle rack.

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My favorite library so far, old wooden floors, a feeling of history, lake view.

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Sweet far-from-home Alabama.

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Later the rain begins in earnest. Cars drive slowly with their blinkers flashing, water builds up in ponds on the sides of roads, and cars and sensible ebikers pull off and seek shelter.

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What serious rain does to you:

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On the theme of Victorians, check out this beauty. What a history!

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I decide to spend the night in a hotel to dry out and try to sort out my BMS. I cannot repair it with the tools at hand, I need to take it apart in my shop and run tests and rebuild the resistors.

After consulting with my lead genius, Mechanical Mike, I decide to rent a car and come home, repair, and then drive back to Mobile to resume the Loop the USA tour. I have ridden 870 miles. I have broken it and know it’s weak link. I will fix this and continue.

To be continued….

The First Day

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Beginnings give me butterflies. I am apprehensive, worried. The unknown might upset these cozy dreams. I don’t feel prepared enough. But at some point, the ship must sail, and sail she did.

My son Drew (Fez) was there to give me a send off, I left feeling loved.

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I ran into my very cheerful friend Ray on the bike trail.

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I decided to ride at just 15 mph all day to try and lose the rushing nervous jitteries. Once in beautiful central Florida I rode through citrus and cattle and phosphate mining country. Sherpa took me 110 miles before we ran out of daylight. My math tells me Sherpa could have done close to 200 miles at that speed using pedelec. I charged him four times, only once for an hour:

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Here at a food store where I ate lunch.

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Here at a community center.

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Here at a park.

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And here at Publix while shopping for groceries.

Not a dime is spent on fuel unless you count mine. Sherpa is very well behaved, and a pleasure to ride. It seems to work well to charge Sherpa whenever I stop, and to choose stops where I can charge. I begin to feel an emerging rhythmn for the trip.

I am listening to gunfire from my camp. There are lot of rounds being fired rapidly. It makes me feel safe. I’m stealth camped in a 200 foot road-median-forest across from a police training academy, where they have their shooting range. This is the last place that a criminal would choose to roost, so it’s perfect!