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8321Geeking out on energy and elevation

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  • Morgan
    Feb 19, 2009
      Yesterday I started geeking out, seeing how much I could reduce my energy usage on the
      electric bike, by only using it to "take the edge off" the hills, and nothing else. Turns out I
      was able to get energy usage down very low (6.3 wh/mile). However, my average speed
      was only around 13 mph.

      I started feeling like maybe I'm really slow or something. But it doesn't seem like I'm slow
      when I'm on my road bike. I used bikely (bikely.com) to map out my commute, and it
      provided an elevation profile. Wow, for anyone who hasn't done that, it is worthwhile.

      Much to my surprise, I am climbing slightly over 1,000 feet every day (17 mile round trip),
      due to all the little hills combined. With a loaded cargo bike that is well over 300 lbs with
      me on it.. that's a good climb. I guess they don't call it "Chapel Hill" for nothing. Anyway,
      now I know why I don't feel like doing that ride every day without my electric assist. I
      wouldn't have any energy left for other things.

      For those who want to really geek out, I've done some energy computations in my latest
      blog posting: http://www.cycle9.com/blog/c9blog.php Among other things, I figured out
      how much the electric assist "pays for itself" in terms of being able to carry its own weight
      up hills.

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