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2016 ElMoto 4Corners - Ashland to Sacramento


Waking up without a full battery presents a challenge at the start of an otherwise lovely day. Today is one such day. Since I arrived at the hotel late at night and left early in the morning, I had 80% charge, not enough to get to my first destination.

Fortunately, Ashland is a college town and thanks to Southern Oregon University, I had several charging stations ready to fill me up pronto! It only took about 15 minutes and I was on my way by 7:30am. It was cold in the morning, and riding in 55 degree weather was a bit chilly indeed.

Riding through the mountains of southern Oregon was beautiful, even on I-5. Northern California, north of Sacramento, was also beautiful. It was fascinating to see the mountains go from lush green in Oregon to dry beige in Northern California.

The next two charging stops went smoothly at a doctor's office near Mt. Shasta, then a Best Western in Redding, CA. Then I was really looking forward to charging using solar at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Co. in Chico, CA.

Alas, both chargers at Sierra Nevada were taken by a Tesla and a LEAF. So I went to a VW dealer and they had a Chargepoint station that is 6.6kW shared (too slow). At the VW dealership they were super-nice, and chatted with me for a while before I dropped the Android phone that controls the supercharger on the pavement. So now I need a new Android phone. (I have an iPhone for personal use.)

Finally I found a person on Plugshare willing to let me charge using his NEMA 14-50, and we had a lovely time chatting and charging. I really enjoy stopping at private outlets to charge because they people are always so interesting. This stop was Sun Valley Acoustical, and Craig was generous and fun to talk to. He has met quite a few fellow Tesla owners by offering his garage for them to plug in.

One more stop at the Marysville CA DOT office (near Yuba City) and I was on my way! But something funny happened at this stop. At this point the temperature was 105 degrees. That's right, I started the day riding in 55 degrees and ended in 105 degrees! I didn't realize it at the time, but my bike stopped charging around 80%. That was enough to get me to my destination, and the reason it stopped was because the battery overheated. This is an extreme situation and it only overheated because I was riding in 100+ degree weather on highways, then supercharging, then riding at highway speeds again, etc.

However, all's well that ends well. Right?


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