Sunday, November 17, 2013

Texas takes its toll on Terry Hershner's trip, stuck in Austin wating for Graingers to open

Terry Hershner was doing pretty good, made it to Austin at a reasonable time today.  But, then, Texas took its toll on his trip, and I suppose beating the record is now out of the question.

On Facebook, Terry explained that they'd been at the Whole Foods charging and showing the bike to passers-by and taking pictures .. but a SNAFU occurred, in which part of the charging system shut off, shunting the entire charge current through connectors not built to take 280 amps of current.  By the time he noticed the connectors had melted preventing use of the addon battery pack, leaving the bike in its 9 kilowatt-hour stock configuration.

Friends are posting suggestions to him on Facebook but since it's after Midnight on a Sunday night, there aren't any open stores at which he could buy Anderson connectors, welding cable, ring terminals or the crimping tools required to rebuild the cables.  It seems there's a couple Graingers stores that open at 7:30 AM, so Terry should be able to get back on the road pretty quick after building new cables.  In the meantime they're staying overnight in a Motel.

Will he make it in time to beat the existing record?  Team Moto Electra has the record, set in June, taking 3 1/2 days to travel from Jacksonville FL to Santa Monica (84.5 hours).  At the time they did that trip, Terry was attempting to make the same trip in reverse, going from San Diego to Jacksonville.  But a SNAFU on that trip cost him time and he took a bit longer than they did.  Terry should be getting extra consideration because his trips have been solo while Moto Electra's trip was a whole team of people, along with a van and trailer full of parts and a portable generator.  I dearly love everyone on Team Moto Electra, but there's a world of difference between what they did and what Terry is doing.

In any case, Terry's departure from San Diego was at 2:22 EST on Friday.  By my rough estimation he'd be leaving Austin by Noon local time, or at about the 72ish hours mark.   I'm guessing it's nearly impossible to make it from Austin to Jacksonville FL in 12ish hours with any kind of vehicle, much less one that has to stop every so often for an hour of charging.  In any case the hard deadline to get to Jacksonville and beat Moto Electra's record is 2:22 AM Tuesday morning.

At the same time, just finishing a cross country electric motorcycle trip is amazing enough even if Terry doesn't beat the record.  We want Terry to arrive safely, and if that means not beating the record then so be it.

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