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2016 ElMoto 4Corners - San Francisco to LA


Today I had a riding partner! Terry Hershner joined me on the ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. He is the only other person who has gone cross country on an electric motorcycle so far (John Flores did it 1 month after this post), and we met in 2013 on my first cross country trip going from LA to San Francisco.

To start the day I traveled alone from San Francisco (really Palo Alto where I was staying) and met up with Terry in Santa Cruz, near Zero HQ and where he lives. Then we rode to our first charging stop where the challenges began.

8:00am - Meet at Staff of Life grocery store, Ben charges up at single Chargepoint station.

9:20am - City of Marina Public Works. 2 Chargepoint Stations, I started charging but Terry's charger had a stuck handle. He had to eat and we went to a gas station to get food. When we got back to the bikes Terry was able to get the handle unstuck and charged up a bit.

10:30am - Charged up at the Monterey Airport, met a guy in a Fiat 500e. That is a sweet looking car and he enjoyed it a lot! Both Terry and I charged up, but he is still not near 100%.

11:30am - Arrived at Craig Vetter's house to chat and Terry needed to pick up something. We could only slow charge using 110V outlets here so we will need to charge one more time before heading out on our first long leg of the day (89 miles)

12:00pm - Departed Craig Vetter's house after charging a bit, then went to a hotel with a Clipper Creek High Power charger.

12:30 - Arrived at the Highlands Inn that is South of Carmel, CA.

3:00pm - Totally starving now! Made the 89 mile ride to San Simeon Bar & Grill (it takes longer because the speed limit on the Pacific Coastal Highway is slow). However, the level 2 charger didn't work with either Terry or my supercharger so we both slow-charged while I got a veggie burger. The plan was to charge up faster about 3 miles down the road. At this point I realize we are not making nearly the distance we need to...

3:30pm - Plugged in without permission at the Blue Dolphin Inn at San Simeon until I got enough charge to make it to San Luis Obispo. Terry took a little longer to charge because he hasn't charged up to 100% all day.

4:50pm - Charging at California Polytechnic Institute - San Luis Obispo. There were plenty of charging stations so we both charged up quickly. This is only the 2nd charging stop that actually went according to plan.

5:40pm - Left SLO for Santa Maria.

6:30pm - Arrived at Santa Maria Government Center to charge. Got a smoothie. Then Terry's supercharge overheated (he carries it in a case covered by a pillow that insulates it, whereas mine is on my back seat so it cools down quickly).

7:40pm - Left Santa Maria toward Santa Barbara without Terry who was waiting for his supercharger to cool down.

8:05pm - Arrived at Santa Barbara and charged while traffic died down due to an accident. Ate another veggie burger.

9:30pm - Arrive at downtown Ventura to charge one last time.

10:15pm - Left Ventura for final destination in Inglewood, CA.

11:00pm - Finally arrived at my friend's house in Inglewood, CA. Terry made it to Brandon Nozaki-Miller's house around 2:30am.

I am bummed that the first long range ride that Terry and I took did not work out better. The two of us have more experience than anyone else on the planet and yet a ride that should have been very easy and enjoyable turned out to be stressful and challenging. It will get easier as more charging stations are installed. Also, we may have been able to plan the trip better in the first place and that probably would have made it smoother.

Regardless, overall it was a very good day!


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