I had decided to byepass Madurai and took smaller SH 72 instead of National highway 7 that passes thru Madurai and it was really nice passing thru rural area and smaller towns along the way. In a small town, Sholavantham or similar sounding town I was asking for route to Dindigul when a 100 rupee note was thrust into my hands by a guy on motorcycle. I simply did not know what to do & thanked him and also gave him a pamphlet about e-triking.
I had no chance eat breakfast this morning and most of roadside shops on the way had exhausted their tiffin stock. Finally I had some idli about 10 AM after covering 40 km from Thirumangalam. The lady at the tea shop spoke tolerably good English and when I asked, she said she had studied upto 10th. I said you speak rather well compared to average Tamilian. There I noticed the yellow /red flag I had been carrying has fallen off and only the flag pole was remaining. Maybe it was not tightly fixed in the morning and I did not observe later on.
Sitting in reclining position in trike, sometimes we tend to make wrong judgment whether road is going uphill or downhill. My poor skin sensation only adds to confusion regarding wind direction. So sometimes I must have given throttle unnecessarily. Other thing about safely consideration, the speed difference between one on trike and other road users is huge compared to riding or driving & the vehicles approach us from back with little notice. We always have to be very much alert about such circumstances.
GPS stopped tracking few km out of Thirumangalam and I changed the batteries. Then I felt it is good opportunity to take video and mount drift camera only to make out the batteries in it are running low. By mistake I mixed up the charged & discharged batteries and have three pairs of Uniross Ni Mh batteries which look completely alike. Dinakar had agreed to give the charger that can take four batteries at a time but forgot on the last moment. I was engrossed with other preparations & neglected to remind him. With six chargers and eleven cables with me now, I have plenty to keep eye upon.
Today being Sunday few shops were open. Then I found two people in roadside concrete hollow block making factory. These people willingly agreed to give power but slowly changed tune & it looked like they are keen on money. I started feeling uncomfortable and decided to move without full topup. So it was sort of mystery exactly how much charge was taken but looking at consumption figure at the end of the day it was about 500 Wh topup.
There was heavy headwind from after Dindigal and the battery power consumption was rather high. I had a bit of pain in the knee in the morning and probably did not pedal hard enogh though I had done my best. Anyway my power consumption today was 35.5 Ah and 1323 Wh.
People in cars in two different occasions spoke to me and I explained the electric support concept. They gave me ten rupee each when I said that pamphlet is not free, costs me Rs Two. It looks like the curiosity can turn into supporter & e-mobility can be real cheap if we reach critical volume.
There is two hour load shedding all over Tamilnadu and so if go asking for power during that time I am bound to be disappointed.
The afternoon ride, for that matter most riding in National Highways is monotonous, boring. I would prefer the rural roads any day. I would have taken rural roads in Kerala if it was of same quality but narrow strip of land called kerala has few alternate routes in many places and so for long cross country trip it may be difficult.
I am staying in a lodge next to NH 7 and hope to have early start tomorrow. All three lodges I stayed in Tamilnadu had only rooms & no food & no hot water too. In coastal Kanyakumari it was okay but here weather is very cold & feels the need for hot water. Unfortunately better options were not available in these places. In today’s case, have to walk fairly long distance to get something to eat. I will be spending only one more night in Tamilanadu and mostly will cross into Karnataka on Tuesday.
I was concerned about dwindling power available & so wanted to find a place to sleep and time was well past 4.30 PM. Next town with good hotel facility is Karur about 30 km ahead and I was not sure have enough power in batteries.
5 hour 15 minutes was riding time today with moving average of 21.9 km. It looks like for increasing the moving average I have sacrificed some battery power. Have loaded GPS tracks of todays ride