Hailing from Jax, FL

Discussion in 'Introduce Yourself' started by cdevidal, Jan 17, 2010.

  1. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    Hello from sunny ?? Jacksonville, FL :cool2:

    Ten years ago I got a cheap electric friction motor kit off eBay that I used for over a year... gave me about ten miles at probably 10 miles an hour, had a heavy (lead acid?) battery that was always swinging around, throwing my balance off. The connectors were always coming loose and I re-wired some with RCA audio connectors, but others I was unable to change, and at times you'd catch me re-plugging while riding. Dangerous :rolleyes5:

    The friction wheel was metal with sharp-ish edges. It attached between the seat post and the wheel, but was designed for a much bigger post than my old 1970s Schwinn, so I had to wedge in lots of rubber to keep it from shifting (which it did anyway, but less often). Because it shifted and had sharp-ish edges, it popped a few tires so I eventually installed a solid tire. This kept me from losing tires -- there was even a nice wide groove that the friction motor cut into the solid tire -- but the solid tire eventually warped the rim. It was a $10 bike so that was no big deal, and I wasn't about to take that solid tire back off (a huge fight to get it on the first time!).

    LOL what an experience. Hey, I saved about $300 on the kit over similar motors :) And despite its faults it did get me to work on time. Though next time I may pay a little more.

    Fast forward ten years and a marriage with kids. I just got a new job and will be travelling about the same distance as I did last time, six miles. I want some exercise, but I don't have as much free time as I did ten years ago, so I need to spend as little time biking as possible.

    I also don't want to arrive poring with sweat; I recall that ten years ago it wasn't too heavy exercise. I also would like to save some gas money, and give my wife access to the car.

    A bike motor fits all purposes; I can spend just half an hour extra a day on the bike, which of course means half an hour of moderate exercise. Plus it saves about $35/month, and gives the wifey a car. So it's like I'm getting paid $35/month to exercise half an hour a day. Pretty good deal.

    My biggest concern will be travelling along a six-lane road which is marked as 45MPH. (For Jax residents, Southside Blvd. from the Avenues to Tinsel Town).

    That's not bad enough, but several pieces "feel" like a freeway and so most travel at 60+MPH. Yikes :sweatdrop:

    To add to it, I'll be riding at night, so tail lights will be a must, perhaps with a flag and reflector. I'm also considering adding knee and elbow pads and a mirror to my excellent helmet.

    Unfortunately there's no alternate route which is any safer. So I'm having second thoughts. Your input is encouraged.

    Motorized biking is definitely a cool way to arrive in style! If only the Florida laws weren't so heinous about bike speed limits, I could strap on a serious motor and get there in no time :evilgrin:

    Cool forum, glad it's out here. Thanks for letting me share my story, and God bless!
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2010

  2. Hello and welcome,

    I lived in Jax Beach back in my Navy days in the late 60s, early 70s. If I become a sunbird now that I'm retired, North Florida may again become my part time residence.

    Your route does sound a tad dangerous. I'd recommend several blinking LED taillights and several reflectors. I wrap reflective red tape around any verticle or near verticle surface on the back of my bikes also. Wear a reflective safety vest as well. You may look like a nerd, but being a live nerd is better than being a dead duck. Best of luck to you.

  3. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    I tend to be nerdy, but it got me a killer job so -- nerdiness is cool with me! Yep I agree, SS Blvd. + biking + night = much visibility.
  4. 1983JZR3W

    1983JZR3W Member

    I live out north of the Jax airport, but go to the southside a couple of times a week. That sounds like a dangerous commute to me, but I am old, so what do I know. I do attend the Cars and Coffee at the Wild Wing Cafe in front of the Tinsel Town theater and eat often at Jason's Deli nearby. Good luck with your travels, George.
  5. cdevidal

    cdevidal New Member

    Heh, small world. Or maybe it's a big forum :)

    I may ask the local police officers to keep a better watch on that stretch. It's easy to speed, heck I catch myself going 55-60 there if I don't pay attention. Right where SS Blvd. crosses under JTB really feels like it should be a high speed expressway...