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April 21, 2016
Johan Erlandsson

Along the Rhine in a solar and muscle powered quadricycle. Day 4, Boppard-Guntersblum

Wow, I thought yesterday was really nice, but today became even nicer! Fantastic scenery along the Rhine and wonderful company with Dan-Eric Archer. He is on a passive house conference in Darmstadt this week but decided to skip a day, borrow a bike, hop on a train to Boppard with the bike (thanks Deutsche Bahn) and join me for a day and then bike back to Darmstadt. How cool is that? Maybe about as cool as this GoPro video footage he shot during the day (watch it on full screen!):

We had to stop to have a look at Lorelei, the elf deceiving all captains trying to pass this place with her beautiful songs, making them forget the dangerous currents and rocks. Unlucky for us and for you who are trying to spot her on the photo, she is on the other side of the river.

The Armadillo electric cargo bike takes a 500 km trip from Holland to Germany.

Dan-Eric is many things, among them a strong cyclist. Once he biked from Sweden to Egypt, averaging 170 km a day. So this day was the fastest by far! Here we are in Mainz, enjoying some local wines.

In Mainz we also met Wesley, who said he worked at Radhaus, a bike shop. As we needed some stuff, we went there after lunch and got excellent service. Here is Wesley with the Armadillo smile, after a test ride.

The Armadillo electric cargo bike takes a 500 km trip from Holland to Germany.

Dan-Eric pimped his borrowed bike as a way to say thanks (the old pedals had broken bearings, that is the cause of some of the squeking sounds in the GoPro videos… :))

There was no bell on the borrowed bike either, so Dan-Eric took care of that too.

I think this day will be hard to top, just look at the video… Tomorrow I will do the final 80 km to Germersheim, and then this wonderful adventure will be over… I wish I could have stayed out for longer!

Some stats for today: Sunny, some headwind. 101 km. Solar panel charged 1,5 batteries, so I was obviously doing something wrong yesterday. 1,5 batteries are at least 60 km of full assist riding in not too hilly areas, so getting close to becoming totally autonomous with electric assist touring on sunny days! With some optimisation of solar panel size, I think we could get there… Would be so cool! Full electric assists up to 80 km a day, without having to charge the batteries at night. And 40 km on cloudy days. That is on full assist, if you turn the assist down a bit you, of course, get longer range.

Some selected facts about Dan-Eric:

  • Triathlete
  • Develops the solar charging for the Armadillo
  • On a good way to making his apartment house become a passive house, completely covered with solar panels
  • Builds beautiful bamboo bikes

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