How far are you willing to bike?

Recently, my girlfriend and I decided to go with one car. We both work from home and so it makes sense. We get to split costs and avoid paying for something that costs money just sitting there (not to mention depreciation). But, we also have to share time in the car.

This means we’ve both pioneered new modes of transportation, with biking the clear winner. Where we’ve discovered just what it means when you say “that is too far”.

At first, it was a couple of blocks. Anything beyond that seemed like a waste of time, compared to driving. As we got in the groove that expanded out several miles. We’re up to a 5-mile range now, and pretty surprised at how much fits within that range:

  • Local natural foods market – 2.2 miles
  • Starbucks #1 – 1.5 miles
  • Starbucks #2 – 2.5 miles
  • The Beach (Huntington Beach Pier) – 4 miles
  • Gym – 1.1 miles
  • Blockbuster Video – 2.5 miles
  • Shopping Center: Pizza, Comics, Bookstore, Chipotle, Pep Boys – 1.2 miles

One could nearly survive on all that. But, maybe we’re just lucky. We do live in a pretty dense area with a lot of local businesses. I wonder how your neighborhood works out. Have you measured up any of your local businesses?

As I’m getting more and more into this, I’ve started asking myself, “is driving really quicker?” After all, biking mostly avoids traffic, sometimes has quicker routes, and there are no parking problems. As an answer, I turned to Google Maps to compare the estimated times for driving vs. biking:

  • Local natural foods market – 6 mins driving  // 13 mins biking
  • Starbucks #1 – 5 mins  // 9 mins
  • Starbucks #2 – 7 mins // 15 mins
  • The Beach – 13 mins // 23 mins
  • Gym – 4 mins // 7 mins
  • Blockbuster Video – 7 mins // 15 mins
  • Shopping Center: Pizza, Comics, Bookstore, Chipotle, Pep Boys – 6 mins // 7 mins

That’s pretty amazing and I would consider it a wash. Biking only adds on a few minutes to most locations. With driving, you also have to take into account red lights, traffic, time for parking, and time to walk from the parking lot to the store. Each of which can add a few minutes to the journey.

There is the added benefit of a solid workout, but that can also be a problem. Sometimes I want to bike, but I’m too tired or hungry to do so. Although, I think it has improved my endurance going on a lot of  quick 1-2 mile jaunts. I’ve even looked at expanding my range to 7-10 miles. It was kinda fun looking-up what is within that perimeter: movie theater, more beaches, shopping mall, chocolate store (See’s Candy), Whole Foods, the library, etc.

I guess that’s how far I’m willing to bike…for now. Before we made this shift I never even considered biking to many of these places. Now, it seems ridiculous not to. I guess that how it happens when you’re trying something new, at first it seems out-of-reach and then after some time it becomes completely natural.

 

Continue reading How far are you willing to bike?

Ford Focus Electric – now all major manufacturers sell EV’s – comparison of the basic specs

Note these specs are the most hotly contested in the industry. The price is based on MSRP excluding tax credits and all those crazy option packages (for Tesla you can get the base model for $50k and the same car with options for $100k).

Battery power and range are based on EPA estimates (though, those vary a lot too).

 

Ford Focus Electric

  • $39,995
  • 23 kWh
  • battery range – 76 miles

 

Nissan Leaf

  • $35,200
  • 80 kWh
  • battery range – 73 miles

 

Tesla Model S

  • $49,900
  • 40 kWh
  • 160 mile battery range (+$10k for 230 mile range)

 

 

Hybrid Plug-In

These two cars are marketed as Electric Vehicles (EV) even though they have a gas engine. What separates them from other hybrids is a larger battery pack that requires a charge (plug-in) to function.

 

Chevy Volt

  • $39,145
  • 16 kWh
  • battery range – 35 miles
  • 1.4L 4-cylinder gas engine

 

Toyota Prius Plug-in

  • $32,000
  • 4.4 kWh
  • battery range – 11 miles
  • 1.8L 4-cylinder gas engine

 

Photos of each EV:

 

Continue reading Ford Focus Electric – now all major manufacturers sell EV’s – comparison of the basic specs

BMW shows off an electric scooter with 62 mile range, 75 mph speed, & 3-hour charge

A new BMW prototype is looking to split the difference between speed and range in electric scooters. BMW’s C Evolution, which the company recently presented as a “near-production prototype” in London, is a stylish but pretty ordinary-looking scooter that charges through sockets or a dedicated station.

Its three-hour charge time gives users up to 100 kilometers (62 miles) of range, BMW says, and it can reach speeds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour).

“BMW has read the signs of the times and is expanding its business activities to include the facet of urban mobility. Electromobility has a key role to play in this new segment.”

 

 
Source: The Verge – BMW’s stylish electric scooter shown off in new video, can go 62 miles with three-hour charge

 

 

Continue reading BMW shows off an electric scooter with 62 mile range, 75 mph speed, & 3-hour charge

Electric Car Owners Dish on Their Real-World EV Experiences

Safety first

“I’d rather sit on batteries than a tank of gas, in terms of explosion risk,” says Olivier Chalouhi, who became the world’s first Nissan LEAF owner when he took delivery of one in late 2010. It is a sentiment that Patrick Wang, one of the first to own the plug-in hybrid Chevy Volt, shares. “There’s a ton more energy in gasoline than in the battery pack—so to me it’s not a concern at all,” he says.

The only safety concern among a small sample of EV owners interviewed in conjunction with the May EVS26 electric vehicle symposium in Los Angeles relates to pedestrians’ obliviousness to the quiet electric drivetrain. Chalouhi, whose LEAF is equipped with an automatic pedestrian-alert sounder, says he has not had any such issues. Yet Wang, whose Volt is equipped with a driver-actuated pedestrian-alert sound, says that sometimes in parking lots pedestrians have not noticed him, so he activated the chirping noise.

Maintenance and driving range

Given that the battery pack is the single most expensive part on the vehicle—some estimates are up to 45 percent of the total cost of the vehicle—questions have been raised as to how frequently it will need to be replaced.

 

via Nick Chambers – Scientific American

Continue reading Electric Car Owners Dish on Their Real-World EV Experiences

Yosemite – Range of Light

Ever since I became fascinated with timelapse photography almost 2 years ago, after seeing the work of Tom Lowe, I’ve wanted to do a piece on Yosemite and the Sierra. Now after almost 2 years of shooting, I’m thrilled to share. I hope you enjoy my vision of my home, the majestic Yosemite & Sierra. Best viewed Full Screen with Sound 🙂

***

I am a destination visual artist who specializes in photography, timelapse cinematography, & filmmaking.  I love to travel, so if you have a project in some far-flung location, lets talk.

If you would like to license any of my clips or hire me to shoot for you, please be in touch.

***

So it seems like a lot of people are asking what gear I used. Here’s the core of it: (Shot at 5k in Canon RAW)

  • Canon 5D Mark II
  • Canon 5D Mark III
  • Canon 14L II & 16-35L II (rented from LensProToGo)
  • Canon 17-40L, 24-105L, 50L, 70-200L IS
  • KesslerCrane 5 foot Cineslider, Revolution Head, Oracle’s & Basic controller, Elektra Motors, AT Outrigger Feet