Wednesday, May 31, 2006

'69 Sol Camino & Carbon-less Anniversary...

June 3rd, Thurston & Lovey aka The Howell's of Palm Harbor, celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary (applause). With only 7 weeks separating our initial meeting and subsequent wedding, some may have thought we'd never reach this milestone, but we did. To celebrate, we rode our bikes and toured down the Pinellas Trail, south to St. Petersburg, and some points between.

We feel it's important to celebrate the opportunity to Cut20 even more. We 'could' load up our Subaru SUV (sensibly utilized vehicle) and go camping, kayaking & hiking like we typically enjoy doing... but rather, for this momentous event, we decided on going carbon-less in our means to make the most of these special moments.

Recently, I read about the destruction of the Boreas Forest and surrounding waters in Canada. This due to oil sands being processed for the purpose of filling America's gas tanks. I have to think, should we be sacrificing one of the few remaining forests in North America, decidedly ruining our headwaters (it all comes downstream), and uprooting the indigenous wildlife - just to have more convenient and affordable excursions. I can't disagree with anyone that says it's not entirely practical to park the fossil fuel machines for good and ride a bike everywhere (though some have, quite successfully). I completely understand other's viewpoints... but, I also look forward to the approaching days where I will saddle up to a solar charged electric vehicle and make my way to and fro (the DORSAL, coming soon...).

It would be thrilling if next year The Howell's could be loading up the kayak, camping & hiking doo-dads, and making our way to a great destination... via solar electric. Some day, it won't just be a dream of mine, like my Sol Camino pictured above (five-seat convertible with Solomon Technologies drive system, L-Ion battery system, and 3kW solar tonneau cover). Oh, did I mention Quadraphonic stereo...!!!

So come on, share your thoughts about solar electric vehicles, concept rides, your own estimation of the near future of transport. Maybe you've got some ideas (and concepts) of your own that could create the next great trend ! Groundswells are the basis from where most paradigms begin their shift...

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

My Vectrix, I must be dreaming...

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Monday, May 08, 2006

My Vectrix dream journal !

Just got my new Vectrix Scooter today !!! (oops, that was a dream). Can't stop thinking and talking about how quiet and powerful it was when I test drove it down in Miami Beach last weekend for Earth Day. October's going to be a long ways off. Here's another pic for those interested. I wonder if people will be able to make deposits when they start adding dealers. Can you say 'camp out'...?

Had to suffice with another human powered day doing the Cut20. It's a carbon offset thing. We run errands on weekends or drive our cars to work and then look for opportunities to offset it by riding on two, non-fossil fuel wheels. That's what is all about. Be sure to check out some of my links, post a comment, buy something green, exercise, hug someone (or something). Thanks - JD.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Riding Green... on a Vectrix !

The author strongly desires to transport around 'greenly', i.e., without the fossil fuel aspect. With that I've been riding my bikes as much as possible, working on an electrically driven Xtracycle design, and hoping for the day when I can park my Suzuki Burgman (63+mpg) and Forester (24+mpg) and going without fossil altogether. Well, this past Sunday I had a glimpse of the 'near future'. The Vectrix Maxi-Scooter.

It's practically the same size and weight as my Burgman, which is 400cc sized. It has similar detailing and look. The one I rode was even silver in color. It's an integrated electric motor and final drive assembly, powered by strong Nickel Metal Hydride batteries, and the strength of the motor was impressive. It would leave my Burgman in its wake.

My family and I traveled down to Sarasota and Miami (South Beach) during the weekend to visit two separate Earth Day events (you know, burn 25 gallons of gas to go see how to save gas). We all got to ride the Segway product, which the City of Sarasota embraces in their civil program for human transport. We saw the Ford Hydrogen product, which was trailered to and from the event. We saw several other interesting things, but all in all the real show was in Miami. There we were able to view several great innovations, as well as meet people that are all about - making a difference.

The greatest part of our adventure, hands down, was the opportunity to ride and learn about the Vectrix bike. Speaking with the Director of Sales for Vectrix, North America, I learned that production will start this summer with October deliveries. People are getting excited and the inquiries are in the thousands. It's priced higher than our Burgman, reaching into the $9K region. The batteries themselves cost $3K, which is a large part of the overall cost. Range is expected to be 50-70 miles dependent upon terrain , rider, and riding style. The most exciting aspect though is cost of operation. It takes roughly six bucks to fill my Burgman... theirs, about $.35-.50 for a recharge from near empty. Top speed is 62 mph, which makes it suitable for every part of most commuters ride to work. People, this thing is, well, quite amazing... and of course, I've included a picture and a link to their US website. Leave comments, and thanks for coming by... JD