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Aerial adventures with the BBSO2/Montague,RANS S7-S combo

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  • CPG
    replied
    Some of the typical Moab area scenery. Fun stuff, but i wouldn't want to be there in the middle of the summer.

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  • wklatt
    replied
    Haha, yup, CPG, you are a true innovator indeed... BTW, one of our vehicles is a Prius C (even smaller than yours) and believe it or not can get both of our Downtube folder e-bikes inside (same with the Rebel, of course). Haven't tried sleeping in it, but probably could work as well. We often go skiing with the Prius, and don't need a roof rack, with just one of the 60/40 seats down. They sure are clever with their designs to maximize space.

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  • CPG
    replied
    wklatt: I'm using both, for over 1500 hours now. No discernible loss of power.

    Over Thanksgiving, I took my first long road trip in the plug in Prius/e Montague combo. I had some business to take care of in Arizona, and decided to go by Moab on the way. With the bike in the space where the passenger front seat usually goes (with all kinds of room left over for other stuff), and with the rear seat folded down, I had (with a small plywood length extender, when I slide the drivers seat up) sleeping bunk on one side, with the other side used for misc gear. It'd be tight for 2, for one person it was quite roomy and I hauled a lot of gear. I made up some block outs for the rear windows, and some flat black fabric to block off the front, for total privacy, I slept in it 2 nights in mid 30 degree temps, with the cabin thermostat set at 68. The ICE came on for 2 or 3 minutes every 20 to 30 minutes, fuel use was minuscule, as the car is smart enough to come up to its most efficient RPM for topping off the battery, totally unlike idling a conventional car to be able to use the heater. I had some of the flat black fabric (some weird stuff, some kind of synthetic material, that just sucks up the light, shining a flashlight in the window at night, you can't tell you're looking at curtains, just BLACK, so real stealthy) leftover, enough to throw over the bike so keeping it out of sight. Prius campers can also enjoy air conditioned comfort in the summer. This all came as a surprise to me, and it sure makes the car super practical, for me anyway.

    So now, with a 50 MPG plus mini motor home, I hit the road, at one point passing through Moab. I camped out at a trail head (a multiple use one, legal, I guess some aren't) and the next morning had a great ride on the extremely well marked trail system. I'm more used to making it up as I go, never knowing where I'm going or where I'm going to end up, here I felt like someone was holding my hand, the signage was so thorough it's almost like they expected the users to be impaired (on some illegal substance...) so they made it real simple and easy! They had the rock itself marked with paint stripes, but hey at least I didn't get lost, which I usually do at some point. To my surprise, the rock there isn't slick, it (at least where I was) has a nice grit to it, like 80 grit sandpaper, traction was never a problem. The first two hours I didn't see one person, then I saw one runner. At one point further on, by now used to no one else on the trail, I realized I was at a full stop and taking a leisurely look at a large puddle, while trying to decide which way to zig to get around it, when I realized a couple had came around the corner in front of me and were waiting for me to make up me frigging mind. We all laughed at the same time, when they realized I hadn't heard their approach, and was embarrassed by my indecision. Once again, I found that out in the real world, when on a e bike and meeting others who are not, it is no big deal at all, I have yet to get any negative pushback from conventional riders, all were super friendly. I did point out to them the reason for my waffling was that I didn't want to ride into 16" of water if I could avoid it. Other riders I met later never noticed or didn't care. A fun ride, didn't go down once, and no mechanical issues. Perfect weather and few but friendly other riders, the scenery wasn't bad either.

    I had planned, after passing through Arizona to see some friends on Thanksgiving Day, I had planned to ride up Palo Colorado Canyon in Big Sur, where I used to live, but it was raining (big surprise, for November) so I blew it off, next time. The concept of transporting the e Montague via the Prius camper worked out better then I had hoped. The stealthiness of the whole operation is pretty cool, no one knows I have a bike, much less an e bike. I have since built a light rack that plugs in the trail hitch for the fat bike, when I realized I wanted to ride places too far to ride the bike there, but didn't want to drive the "gas hog" RAV4 (only mid to high 20's MPG), and the first time I loaded the fattie up I had to laugh. One of the cleanest cars out there drag wise (the Tesla beats it, just barely) the sight of the thing hanging off the back was an aero nightmare, and a oxymoron visually! the opposite of stealth, but it gets the job done and I really can't see any hit in the mileage. So, this alternative method of carrying my bikes (doubtful I would ever carry both at the same time, but can if need be, and still camp inside) will be great when the weather is too crappy for flying, but still good enough for riding. Several times already, I have made a quick change of plans when I saw the weather had changed, and not good for flying, and I have to wonder if any other Prius, especially Plug in Prius drivers, have discovered how well they integrate with transporting an e bike. These two ways I can carry the bikes doesn't mean I don't ride right out of my home, i do a lot of that also.

    Got a couple good Moab pics, I'll post them shortly after I find them

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  • JPLabs
    replied
    That's a clever design with the spinners. Cool pod.

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  • wklatt
    commented on 's reply
    Are you using both the Rotax muffler, and the Swiss muffler with your plane??

  • CPG
    replied
    Last year I was flying around with my batteries either tied outside on the lift strut, or on the cockpit floor under my seat (both in fire resistant padded bags I made out of an old Nomex insulated flight suit. It worked but was not a long term solution by any means. So, during the last real cold spell here I spent a few days in the heated hangar and came up with this all aluminum streamlined pod, belly mounted. I used RC aircraft 6" spinners, the rear welded onto the 24" long 6" diameter tube, the front spinner hinges down, and is held shut with a simple latch. It's big enough for both of my 11.5 AH Panasonic batteries, even when in their padded bags.

    My charging cable (I have a 12 VDC to 58 VDC on board converter, it puts out about 2 amps) is stubbed out behind the cabane, and there is a hole with a grommet for chafing protection in the pod bottom so I can (of course) be charging while flying. It comes off the plane in about 2 minutes, and weighs a bit over 2 lbs. I feel a lot better having a dedicated all metal container for them, if nothing else it frees up a little space inside. Plus, when I was carrying them on the lift strut, it took a little time to strap them down securely, it's much quicker to slip them into the pod. The other big tube on the belly is my Swiss Muffler, making this plane the quietest thing in the air.

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  • wklatt
    replied
    Your stories and pics are making me think of maybe trying wheels again. I have not had the amphibs off my plane for 16 years!! We fly water here on the coast all year round, except higher up in the alpine. But from mid July to Oct, it is also prime gravel bar flying here with all the big rivers very low. We have a local group that call themselves the Gravel Bar Cowboys, and that's what they do. I could put some 29's on my plane and have some new fun learning to do that...

    And yeah, outside the few main cities in BC, there are vast unpopulated wilderness areas to explore and make your own adventures. Where I live, Vancouver, 99% of the 2.5M people there have no clue what lies just 20 min by plane to the north. And the steep terrain keeps even the hikers out, so we basically have it all to ourselves.

    And it is also good for mtn biking (or ebiking, but they are still pretty rare here) on the old logging trails. And again with an airplane you don't have to fly far to where the dirt bikes and ATVs don't reach.

    Our alpine areas here are already getting snow now (early this year), and ski season (another fav activity for me) is just around the corner. So I am looking forward to that, too.

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  • CPG
    replied
    Twice this weekend, I made impromptu landings, while on the way to my so called destination, when I spotted trails I wanted to explore with the bike. One only went about a 1/2 mile before petering out, the other took me 7 miles and up above 9,000', from my starting point of 6500'. The look on the faces of the two hunters I encountered in their pickup truck was priceless, they were surprised to see anybody, much less a older guy on a bike! There was a fair bit of snow on the road in the shady places, adding to the "fun". I continue to be real happy with my Montague's battery choice: the 6 ah Mini, along with the 11.5 ah frame hung one. It's a similar setup to my plane's fuel system, in that I can confidently run my main tanks very low, knowing I have a instantly available reserve, and once on the reserve, and assuming I left a little fuel in the mains, I can run the reserve out and then go back to the main tank. I have a 7 to 9 hrs range with this setup, and my situational awareness is assured due to old fashioned site gauges, I averaged 3.1 GPH this weekend (REGULAR MO gas no less, no premium required at my altitude), and landed twice at well above 6,000' in less then 200'. This system is better for me I believe then a single very large fuel tank, or a single larger battery. The plane's performance as per STOL/rough field ops, combined with the bikes, is.....awesome! I still can't quite believe how well it is working out!

    Just yesterday, in talking with a buddy who is a pro welder and long time aircraft builder, I realized I can modify a rear of the cockpit strut that right now interferes somewhat with how I load the bike in the plane. It's 4130 chrome moly, and I will put what is called a dogleg in it, ending up with the same strength as before but greatly easing the bike stowage. I would have never considered this mod before (cutting into my airplane, for a bike???!) but the bike is such a valuable addition to my flying "tool box", I can't imagine not making every effort to accommodate it as needed. For those that don't know, my plane is in the experimental category, meaning I, as the builder, can do pretty much anything I want, unlike a certified Cessna etc.

    Great video wklatt, man that sure is some pretty country! I think of BC of being somewhat like Idaho, mostly undiscovered by the great masses, not yet loved to death anyway, and some of the best scenery anywhere! What a great float flying destination, I'd like to hit that in the winter when I have the skis on. A couple more pictures from this weekend's fun. I've been hitting it hard as soon this will all be snowed in, for the bike, not the airplane.

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  • Pugster
    replied
    Don't recognize it, but haven't flown floats in quite some time. Awesome, and sorry to the OP as well, I spend my flying time in "CMD B" now - so talking floats or fun flying always gets me going!

    And yes, since it's an e-bike forum...they are absolutely awesome for exploring the bush. The combo with an airplane to get you to the trailhead is so cool...

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  • wklatt
    replied
    Never been to Kelowna with it, but close by in Vernon, Peachland, Penticton, Mabel Lake... Here is a recent youtube of my type of flying with it. You'll have to tell me if you recognize it. Hope you don't mind, CPG. Don't want to hijack your thread here.
    https://youtu.be/SKNzHx3GDso

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  • Pugster
    replied
    I'm in Kelowna, so who knows may have even seen your Rebel :)

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  • wklatt
    replied
    Yeah, CPG with his S7 really makes the most out of back country mountain flying, and biking. His pics and stories should be very inspiring to others who are maybe thinking of possibly doing it (ebiking or flying). Life is too short, and you have to make the most of it.

    I have the Murphy Rebel, and can actually get two ebikes (folders) in the back and carry a pax, and on floats (amphibs), too. So it is really versatile. We don't have the wide open high country here (coast BC), but we do have lots of water. So our mtn biking is more confined to old logging trails.

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  • Pugster
    replied
    You guys are making me very jealous...I'm not allowed to bring my e-bike on the airplane I fly!

    Beauty S7, those Murphy Rebels too...radial option, or was that the Moose?



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  • CPG
    replied
    Originally posted by CPG View Post
    I've been making the most of the last of the good flying and biking weather, they go together, actually, I can ride in pretty crappy weather. A lot worse then I can fly in anyway, but when it's good for both I take advantage of it.

    This is yet another ghost mining camp, again located very high up and in a remote area. It boggles my mind to think of how tough the miners were to do what they did with the primitive equipment they had to work with. It had to be one dangerous occupation, hell, it still is! After finding a landing spot below the mine camp, I had a couple mile ride to get to "downtown", the big building is the old post office. At one point this was a thriving community, with even a rail line going to nearby Montana. On the ride up to the lake pictured, I went back into the mine shaft as far as I could/dared. At one point it occurred to me that if I had had a bike headlamp, I could have rode down it at 30 mph and see where it ended up, next time, yeah right.

    The lake up top, near 10,000', is pristine, crystal clear, and is snowed in by now. The eMontague gobbled up the two wheel drive gravel road, about 2500' above the ghost town, it continues to perform miraculously. I know many say they only need a very few gears, and that's true, but when you have 14 like with the Rohloff IGH the Montague has, you take advantage of them. It was great being able to keep shifting up, little by little, going faster and faster, until the perfect sweet spot of pedal effort, amp draw, speed, and fun was reached. The ride down was great also, as it wasn't so steep that I had to stay on the brakes ALL the time, like many of my mountain rides, and I was able to average about 30 coming down, more or less safely. 14 miles round trip over all.
    I posted 5 pics, and just see three, but a clickable link shows I posted 5? Anyway, click on that link to see the last 2 pics, I also just noticed that my comments under the pics don't show unless the pic is clicked on.
    Last edited by CPG; 10-24-2016, 08:46 AM.

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  • CPG
    replied
    I've been making the most of the last of the good flying and biking weather, they go together, actually, I can ride in pretty crappy weather. A lot worse then I can fly in anyway, but when it's good for both I take advantage of it.

    This is yet another ghost mining camp, again located very high up and in a remote area. It boggles my mind to think of how tough the miners were to do what they did with the primitive equipment they had to work with. It had to be one dangerous occupation, hell, it still is! After finding a landing spot below the mine camp, I had a couple mile ride to get to "downtown", the big building is the old post office. At one point this was a thriving community, with even a rail line going to nearby Montana. On the ride up to the lake pictured, I went back into the mine shaft as far as I could/dared. At one point it occurred to me that if I had had a bike headlamp, I could have rode down it at 30 mph and see where it ended up, next time, yeah right.

    The lake up top, near 10,000', is pristine, crystal clear, and is snowed in by now. The eMontague gobbled up the two wheel drive gravel road, about 2500' above the ghost town, it continues to perform miraculously. I know many say they only need a very few gears, and that's true, but when you have 14 like with the Rohloff IGH the Montague has, you take advantage of them. It was great being able to keep shifting up, little by little, going faster and faster, until the perfect sweet spot of pedal effort, amp draw, speed, and fun was reached. The ride down was great also, as it wasn't so steep that I had to stay on the brakes ALL the time, like many of my mountain rides, and I was able to average about 30 coming down, more or less safely. 14 miles round trip over all.

    Leave a comment:

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