mishap, is quite tedious on a bike with a
rear hub motor, especially a cargo bike.
There’s a lot of weight on the back tire.
The bike, with only one battery, weighs
in at 85 pounds. Adding two more
batteries adds 20 pounds each, and
when you add in chargers, clothes and
camping gear, it’s easy to see why tires
get stressed even before road hazards.
Langille upgraded to the strongest
tubes he could find—Schwalbe Big Ben
tires with K-guard—and lined them with
Mr. Tuffy tube liners. He even added
Slime to the tubes, but he said that only
worked one time. The rest of the time it
just made a mess.
Battery charging was of paramount
importance. If he had used two full
batteries and started using his third, he
knew it was time to find a place to stop
for the night. The third battery was his
“reserve tank.” The few times he used
it, he’d find a place to stop, charge it
while he ate dinner, then put the other
two batteries on charge overnight while
In many campgrounds the guard
at the gate would let him charge his
batteries in the guard shack overnight.
But one night, when he stopped at
Gaviota Beach in Goleta, California, this
would not be the case. The woman in
charge cited a rule in her book that says
that wasn’t allowed. Langille knew she
wasn’t telling the truth, but there was
nothing he could do.
To maximize range on the heavy
bike, Langille used level one or two
assist on flat roads to help with the
weight of the bike. On downhills, he
would simply drop down to level zero
to save battery power. For rolling hills
he’d use level three and level four on
steeper hills. He estimates 90 percent
of his trip was in level two and about 8
percent in level three. The only time he
had used level five was on the interstate
in sections with narrow shoulders and/
or a bridge to cross to get closer to the
speed of traffic. He found that most
motorists were very accommodating
and understanding at those times. He
did use the throttle at stop signs to
provide for an easier takeoff.
“ In just a few weeks I put myself around the arc of the planet. The
stars are different. It’s
pretty cool to be able to
do that on a bike! ”
1.) Jon learned on this trip what he needed and what he didn’t. Some stuff he shipped
back home before he even made it as far as California. 2.) The Stretch proved to be
the perfect bike for the festival, as the restrooms and concert were far from the campground. 3.) Fully packed and ready for a cold morning on the road.
Though he faced triple-digit temps on part of his trip,
riding through the South Bay area was much more
temperate and the views were beautiful.