Falco Trail - e5.3 Falco eBike System Components
Sept 06, 2020
We planned this ride in the early part of September 2020 to explore the Virginia Capital trail, which we have not tried before. This article describes the Virginia Capital trail in brief. Some of our ride details on the way and then ends up with a brief review of the performance of the Falco eBike System or Electric Bike Kit e5.3.
Virginia Capital Trail
According to Wikipedia, Virginia Capital Trail is a dedicated trail for bicycles and trail crossing between Virginia's first capital and current capital. It is also known as Cap Trail. It was founded in 2004, and the construction was started in 2006 and completed in 2015. Here is the map for the trail. This trail connects the state's capital Richmond to Jamestown and Williamsburg's historic capitals, and the distance is 52 miles. It is not entirely built on former railroads, but some portion of downtown Richmond is rail-with-trail. The southern end, the Greensprings segment, begins near the Jamestown Settlement, which reflects American history and culture. Some of the amenities located along the trail are Greensprings, Chickahominy Riverfront, Charles City Courthouse, Park segment, Varina, and Richmond Riverfront. This trail is in partnership with the Virginia Department of Transportation and the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation.
I am 6' tall and weigh about 200 lbs. Riding comfortable long distances is crucial to maximizing the physical and spiritual value of the biking experience. Bike geometry for endurance riding is quite critical. I call the converted cycle the Falco trail. It has been built from Motobecane, bought from bikesdirect.com. There are 9-speeds in the rear and three in the front. The bicycle came with front shock absorbers. Riding geometry is comfortable for me.
Along with Sanjeev and Sanjeev's dad, my bicycle was also my partner. We have ridden 1000+ miles together within the last 9 months. My bike is equipped with an e5.3 36V/500W/400Wh eBike System, rear rack, and mountain type handlebar. It has been unique and wonderful to ride more than a thousand miles on this bicycle. The Falco eBike system was beneficial on each corner of the journey. When I drain out of my energy while climbing a hill, it gives the right boost at the right time to get me over the hump.
Our Ride Plan
The plan was to visit Williamsburg, Virginia, stay overnight at a hotel and then start in the early morning to Richmond and then return to Williamsburg the same day. That would cover a total of 104 miles. We completed this ride on Sept 06, 2020. We started at about 8:00AM in the morning and reached back at about 10:00 PM. It was an extraordinarily long day with a tremendous test of our sanity and endurance.
The Ride Experience
In this story, I relived some of my childhood memories. Cycling has been my passion since childhood. It gives me opportunities to explore nature. It also helps to get fitter and better physically, spiritually, and emotionally day by day. Our life is just like a balloon; no one knows when it is going to burst. Everybody desires to explore the world, enjoy life, have memories that last long, and live each and every second to the fullest.
It was a wonderful fall morning when we started our journey to Williamsburg. Here in Williamsburg, we stayed at a hotel overnight. For dinner, we had a combination of Italian and Indian traditional dinner.
In the hotel room, the night before the ride. Filling up with enough calories for the ride.
I and Sanjeev at the start of our ride around 7 AM
Baldev, Sanjeev's dad at the hotel parking lot, getting a ride to go to the start of the trail. Baldev is 83 years old and weighs about 130 lbs. He has more stamina than I and Sanjeev in cycling.
In the middle of the ride, Sanjeev and I took a quick snap as we took a break.
We had to stop to check the air pressure in Baldev’s bicycle. Sanjeev had a little hand pump, which is quite handy for this task. I wish the hand pump was battery operated.
On the morning of Sept 06, we took our bikes and headed towards Richmond. We were all set for the ride and ensured the bikes were ready for the ride. There were several scenic attractions along the way. There are so many parks and places which remind me of the history of America and its traditions. We had to stop in the middle to check the air pressure in Baldev’s bicycle. This task was easy as we carried a hand pump with us. As usual, we took some food, water bottles, tools, and accessories. Everything was according to plan. There are beautiful sceneries across the route, and we saw the green fields at almost every mile. In the middle, there is a bridge over the James River. The trail is facilitated at various points with all the needs such as parking facilities, restrooms, lodging, restaurants, bike rental/repair, convenience stores, picnic areas, attractions, etc. Once we reached Richmond, we had lunch in the afternoon, which energized us for the return.
We stopped at this beautiful restaurant for a hefty meal once we reached Richmond.
After our meal, we are ready to ride back to Williamsburg.
While returning from Richmond, we stopped at the Four Mile Creek Trailhead for a quick snap and rest.
Here is me enjoying and singing the Punjabi song. The green fields reminded me of Punjab's green fields in India, the place of my birth. I could not resist appreciating the green fields and the farmers who till these fields.
On our way back to Williamsburg, I had to stop and stretch to avoid any muscle soreness. We stopped after almost an hour of riding to get off the saddle, relax the muscles, and stretch. I found the stretching to be useful to improve my endurance.
Ready to head out from Williamsburg. Helping Baldev with his new eBike components, which he bought from Amazon.
Falco eBike System’s Performance
My main interest during these rides is to really test the Falco eBike system under various conditions. This capital trail is relatively flat with very few ups and downs. It is a well-paved trail. However, even with a relatively flat course, doing 100+ miles a day is challenging. I tested the system at assist levels 1 and 2, which were sufficient to clock an average speed of 11-13 mph. When I looked at the console at the end, I had hardly used the battery even after riding for 100+ miles.
The console showed 39V as the battery voltage. A fully charged battery is about 42V. Although battery voltage is not a good measure of battery capacity, based on my experience, my estimate was that I had used less than 30% of the battery during this ride.
Now the question is, how can a 400Wh battery give you a 300-mile range. My explanation was that because we were on a well-paved road and clocking only 11 to 13 mph, my battery consumption was meager with 70 psi tire pressure. This could be an aberration of the results as well. Another explanation is that because of the nature of torque sensor technology in the Falco eBike systems, the battery is used only when needed to maintain the required speed. This allows for an extraordinary range to be achieved on a bicycle. That is why I love marrying direct-drive electric motor technology with cycling.
Over the months, I have had a wonderful experience exploring the rail-to-trails. There are many places that we should visit at least once in our lifetime. On this trail, I explored many sceneries, rivers, and beautiful locations across the course. Falco eBike system is a reliable and advanced torque-sensing pedal-assist system that gives us opportunities to perform the workout along with our natural riding style. According to your convenience, you can use the pedal assist option on Falco's eBike system. It allows you to choose to pedal entirely on your own or in combination with the torque sensor or throttle or speed sensor-enabled pedal assist mode. In torque sensor-enabled pedal-assist mode, you will use your own power and motor power for the ride; hence you can cover more and more distance. The range is extended dramatically while utilizing the torque sensor-enabled pedal assist mode.