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2016 ElMoto 4Corners - LA to Austin, TX


Surprise! Your bike didn't charge last night.

This is what I woke up to on my first day riding East. Fortunately I hadn't used too much of my battery the day before. At 64% I could get out of the main traffic zone of Los Angeles.

So off I went, trying to get as far from LA as possible as early as possible on what will be a roasting hot day.

After checking Plugshare I decided to stop at Cal Poly Pomona because college charging stations usually are reliable to charge at during the summer.

Not today, though. Today I pulled up to the charging station at the John T. Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies and within 15 minutes both a ticketing agent and a professor came to check on me at my bike. Fortunately, in my other life, I'm a physics teacher, environmental science teacher, and green roof coordinator. So I asked if she could help me with the green roof I am now coordinating. The professor's face went from ruthless inquisitor to welcoming colleague in no time flat!

Not only did I *not* get kicked out of a perfect charging spot, but I got a tour of the facilities. *phew*

Then I went to a gas station by the highway that has dual Clipper Creek High Power stations. One worked, but the other was powered off. So I ate inside and waited about 45 minutes. Then I returned to my bike only to discover that it almost didn't gain any charge at all. There was sand everywhere (I'm in the desert now) and the gas station was under construction so it didn't seem like optimal conditions.

From there I traveled just a bit down the road to Indio, CA where I charged at the Justice dept and got some air conditioning in the library. I was tracking my charging via the handy Chargepoint App and discovered that my bike stopped charging. What?!?

So I posted some photos of my Chargepoint app screen and Terry Hershner commented that my battery may have overheated. Zero has set the battery to stop charging when it reaches 122 degrees Fahrenheit. The ambient temperature was 110F, and the battery got as high as 124F.

Then I went to a nearby Applebees and get to large cups of ice to rub on the battery. After going through both cups of ice, I asked the librarian if I could park my electric motorcycle in the lobby of the library. Nope. So my day of motorcycle travel ended in Indio. Stayed in Gilbert, AZ (near Phoenix) with the parents of a friend from high school that night.

After a lovely evening visiting the parents of a friend from high school in Phoenix, I headed to Tucson to say "Hey!" to fellow electric biker Darwood whose workplace has solar panels shading the parking lot. Ended that day in Spicewood, TX visiting my friends Orion & Tina at TerraPurezza Regenerative Agriculture Institute.


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