388 Mile Ride: Laguna Woods, CA, to Mammoth Lakes

Thank you thank you thank you!

I knew there was someone who would come to my rescue and who also was smart! I obviously multiplied something too much.

64 mpg seems a bit shy. I'm guestimating what my tank holds and how much I actually got in it. I'm sure the figure is a little higher, still it is a long way from 200 mpg! Perhaps less climbing a lighter load and a gentler throttle will do the trick.

Thanks SimpleSimon. You've put me on the right track.

WOT, trailer, constant climbing - they all consume more fuel than you might expect. I'd bet that in normal cruising mode without the trailer and extra gear, on local roads, you'll get better than double that mileage.

I use a one gallon fuel container to mix two-stroke fuel in, and with my trike with an HT engine, 3 speed mid-drive, and a "poor man's differential" to provide power to both rear wheels I averaged 140 mpg around town. Of course, Shreveport is very flat, for the most part, and I weigh 220 pounds - the trike as I equipped it weighed 56 pounds.

The new recumbent tadpole trike I am working on will probably come in at a bit less in total weight, but not much.

I've been thinking about building a two-speed, shift on the fly system for this new trike. The GEBE system is easy enough to change gearing in, but being able to do so without stopping would be useful, and pretty easy to do.
I put a lot of miles on my me and my Robin suburu friction drive in 2008, including a section from topaz lake to Barstow, but i still have never went 100 miles in a day. There are an awful lot of beautiful places to stop along the Sierrras, spent a weeks just hanging and hitting the hotsprings around Mammoth Lakes. There are also several free campgrounds mainly in the glass creek area.
WOT, trailer, constant climbing - they all consume more fuel than you might expect.
indeed, but twice as much? with my tanaka 40cc and a heavy payload, my mileage is reduced by about 30percent. backazimuth, mayhaps you're lower-geared than needed?

VERY NICE write-up of your journey to date...thank you :cool:
Independence, CA to Cold Water Campgroung, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Day 5 - Independence to Cold Water Campground - Final Day and I Climb A Net Gain of 5,000+ Feet

Tuesday, August 31, 2010 - 89 Miles - Total So Far = 444 Miles

No 32.5cc engine should be require to endure the punishment I put this little Robins Subaru through. It seems impossible that such a tiny little putt putt of a machine could do what this thing has done, but it has done it and with spades. Not only did I climb a net total of more than 5,000 feet today, I did much of it into a nasty headwind that was variable, meaning that sometimes it was on the beam and sometimes is was from dead behind. Mostly, though, it was on the nose. I am confident my total climbing totaled more than 6,000 feet because of the ups and downs.

I spent a week at the final destination, Cold Water Campground, which is just a bit shy of 9,200 feet (I was told). I was there with my wife, Kristina, her brother, and friends. For me, it was about six and a half days too long. The thin atmosphere was rough on me and I could barely walk a 100 yards without gasping for breath, so everyone got to play -- hike and kayak and so forth -- while I more or less just sat around. I did start to acclimate after a couple of days, but there was not a whole lot of improvement.

The little engine that could, however, didn't seem to miss a beat. Town -- Mammoth Lakes -- was 1,500 feet below and you can imagine the hard work it had to endure when it was forced to make such a climb in only five miles and I went to town and back four times without a hitch.

I put on a new tire, fixed the broken spoke and had the broken braze-on, to which the right side engine strut was attached, welded by Brent Allen, owner of Allen Iron Works. He practically had to do the job under a microscope, so small was the broken piece. This man, who employed 35 persons fabricating metal buildings along with doing industrial repairs before the financial crash, must have personally spent 45 minutes working on my little project and then refused any payment whatsoever. I was humbled by his generosity. I was sure this would have been a budget buster, but it was not. I owe him and will duly repay him in kind one day.

That last day blessed me with three flats, so I bought three more spare inner tubes and a second spare tire for the return home. I'm having a little trouble with the clamping mechanism slipping and causing the friction roller to chew up the tire a little. I dunno. Perhaps a GEBE might be a better choice for me considering the long distances Kristina and I ride. I'll give it some thought. The important thing is that I be able to ride the bicycle freely. The exercise is too important to not get.

I still have not had a chance to post the photos, but I will eventually. Some of them are spectacular. The distances the eye can see are vast and really do give meaning to the word awesome. Thanks for riding along with me. I will post the ride home under a new thread.
Loving reading about your journey. Question about the flats - do you have tuffy liners installed or did you slime the inner walls of the tires?
Hi Ollicat -- Yes, I have used both Tuffy liners and Slime. Kristina and I were riding up the spine of Australia, from Adelaide to Darwin, and were literally attacked by what the locals called goat heads, a particularly vicious thorn with multiple spikes. The thorns laughed at both the liners and the goop designed to plug the holes. It also added substantial weight to the wheels, which added hugely to the rolling resistance and the effort necessary to keep the bicycle going.

That was before my engine days and such weight was not to be tolerated. No so these days, however, I still don't have much faith in the products. I love the engine.

I should note that the thorns are really only a problem in the arid west. I've never had much problem in the east or midwest.
Ride Photos

A few pics . . . All the down hills were done with the engine disengaged. It was faster that way. Highest speed hit while coasting: 44 mph . . . much too fast for such a simple vehicle. No complaints about the engine. A few about the engine mount and bicycle failures, but they are easy fixes. I also am interested in investigating the Golden Eagle setup. Some of the views and expanses were breathtaking.


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With the golden eagle setup you would need to remove the belt on long downhill runs. It is hard on the belt to have it flapping around. You would also need to keep an extra belt around for when one brakes on long trips. I intend to use the Stanton chain drive. I am using a tandem so I will get the CycleTote cargo cart with the brake option.
Stock, the GEBE does suffer from the issue of being unable to free wheel when coasting down hill with the belt in place. As I build this tadpole I intend to remedy that problem - I've designed a fairly simple "shifter" that will enable me to change sprocket ratios while rolling, or to disengage the belt so it is rolling on an idler and not engaging the engine at all. I will fabricate that from aluminum plate and a pair of short shafts. Once done and de-bugged I plan to put up some pics - who knows, maybe the folks at GEBE would be interested.