It was getting dark nearing Nelyadi and rain which appeared imminent for a while started to drizzle. Anil advised me to leave the trike overnight somewhere with known people but I was not ready for abandoning the trip midway. Shankar also started feeling concerned as I was almost invisible both due to darkness and rain. The drivers have never seen something like this contraption cannot properly visualize the trike dimensions. Getting mesmerized, they may come and hit me was his concern. If under influence of alcohol mean they not even realize that they have hit me. We came across a muddy layer on the road that happened because of rain moved the soil heaped on roadside. Two vehicles had collided just before we reached there and then Shankar became more tense. Operating a Maruti authorized service centre, he gets news of accidents too often and naturally becomes tense before all of us. Not being exposed to so many accidents, I was more cool.
Beyond Golithottu, I put in all efforts pedaling furiously. I had earlier traveled in that road more than ten times and must have created new record on this day. Mohan driving Nano tried to illuminate my path to maximum extent.
Reaching Uppinanagdy Shankar told me that he can talk to hotelier and we can leave trike here. I convinced him that just 15 km more for your workshop and Puttur road in front of us is less crowded. I had told Shankar during planning stage itself that he has to watch over me. Having sensory and perception problems, I don’t always realize being close to collapsing point due to fatigue. Actually I meant more about heat factor during daytime as sensing ability of my body is poor and urinary inconsistency may push me towards dehydration. Maybe it also made him more jumpy.
The road towards Puttur was more undulating with plenty of turns. So I had to depend on my feeble LED trike light for some distance. When we reached Bolwar circle, Mahalingeshwara was on his yearly rounds. Luckily only front end of procession had reached there and we were not delayed. Finally at 8.30, I got out of the trike and stretched my limbs.
Total distance on trike was 230.3 km and I had been riding for 11 hours and 15 minutes. So moving average was 20.4 kmph. Energy used was about 65 Ah plus maybe another 5 Ah when I had disconnected the meter. Power usage was much more than my estimation because of bad design of locally procured rear tire and bad road near Mudigere.
Next day I had to take Sunil to his school for readmission and so took Omni. When I went near the trike, I was shocked to find deflated rear tire. It is not very easy to attend to rear tire as chain, gear system plus my bag limit our access. So carried the trike home in Omni. I dismantled the tire at home, only to find very small pin hole puncture. I could have pumped air and bought it riding if necessary.
I had noticed more power usage since sometime but never thought increased drag was due to the tire. Now have replaced the local Ralson tire with original Schwalbe and performance improvement is noticeable. I am sure this tire would have saved minimum 10 Ah power during this trip and naturally moved faster too.
Having support crew and vehicle with charging facility saved me about five hours charging time along the way. Maximum time spent in riding was around seven hours earlier and it was four more hours this time. That means with battery exchange facilities available or with more batteries very long trips can easily made with pedal assist bikes or trikes. Darkness, Rain and