We bought some Trek ebikes (Trail 7s) and have thoroughly enjoyed them. We even did a serious 80 mile trip by biking 40 miles on gravel roads and single track trails to the Strawberry Lodge in the mountains, staying the night to recharge the batteries (and us) and then rode home the next day. Very fun.
It of course occurred to me that this could open up some trips and adventures that were not possible before. If the bikes fit in the Cessna 210 plane. So we planned a trip to the semi-famous mountain bike ride out of Quincy called The Huff and Puff, supposedly a contender with the Downieville Downhill for the best mountain bike trail in California.
They are big, heavy bikes at 52 lbs each with big 29 inch wheels. But by dropping the seat posts and removing both tires we were able to fit them in the plane along with camping gear! So that was two bikes, gear and two people. I did remove all seats but the two up front, which are pretty critical to flying so I figured it would be best to leave those forward two seats in the plane.
I did have a small situation on landing when a fire attack helicopter was hovering to the right of the runway carrying a long line and water basket. He was on the common airport frequency while on approach, but now he was quiet. I asked several times over the radio if he was going to stay clear of the runway. On final I was ready to go around, but he confirmed that by sliding to the left over the runway. I added power, gear up and went around to the right and flew the pattern again (with several hills around) to a landing. The airport was being used as a Heli-tack base (now in clean up mode on a nearby fire) so I figured maybe I screwed up by not checking NOTAMs (Notices to Airmen) and getting a temporary tower frequency. Except there was no NOTAM and a temporary tower was not active. Oh well, that happens. It happened to me earlier this year when I turned the volume all the way down to better hear my passenger and forgot to turn it up again.
We camped on the field at Quincy although the firefighters had dibs on the best spots. It was an easy ride to town (could easily walk) to good food, although because of Covid we ate outside and froze. We found an unattended live electrical socket at the airport to top-off the bike batteries overnight. Betsy wanted to leave money but I argued it was probably less than a dollar so Betsy left a dollar bill on the receptacle.
The ride was less than 5 miles out of town and you climb 10-11 miles and over 4,000 vertical feet up a gravel road to the top of Mt. Hough. Everyone we saw was shuttling with a vehicle to the top, so an ebike was a great way to get up there. Still a bit of work of course. Then a fantastic swoopy relatively smooth downhill to the bottom. Compared to Downieville it has less rocks and is a bit less technical. More “flow”.
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Fifty Classic Outdoor Adventures: Epic Experiences for Your Family Bucket List.
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