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TDE2019 – Day 1: Prologue

Today is the day! The side-bar countdown seemed to melt away in no time during the last 20 or so days. With my experience of many TWIKE adventures I was able to pack my bags and required cables for this trip within 30 minutes late Thursday evening after a late business meeting that saw me getting back home after 10 pm.

Friday morning I spent a little more time than usual with my family to say good-bye. We will be meeting up in Barcelona coming Monday evening.

As usual, my wife takes the ‘TWIKE 560 departing on a long trip’ picture.

Ready for TDE2019 - leaving home for the last day at the office

Ready for TDE2019 – leaving home for the last day at the office


 
This trip isn’t the first one to Spain by TWIKE – 7 years ago, Jean-Claude and I took TW231 to the exact same place I’m taking TW560 this year.

This time, I want to focus on efficiency. With how little energy can I get my TWIKE to southern Spain? 99kWh were consumed last time round. Can I do better?
 
To be able to determine this, we have to get a base-line:

This is our starting point for TDE2019

This is our starting point for TDE2019


 
Since I don’t want to reset my yearly counter, we just have to calculate the delta when I’ve arrived. Furthermore, I will take pictures of every stage’s consumption to be able to see exactly how much energy was used for each day.

I drive to the office and plug in TW560 in my company’s meeting room to top up TW560’s batteries for my drive to my friend’s place close to Thun late afternoon. This drive will be 100% motorway and the only part of the trip with a less than ideal consumption.

Cabling for this charge is creative, as our office is at the second floor of an old office building downtown Zurich.

Some last topping-off of batteries with creative charging

Some last topping-off of batteries with creative charging


 
Just after 3 pm I bid farewell to my colleagues and get everything ready. During the rolling-up of the extension cable, I noticed that one of the pins was very loose. I tried to check if it was just the plug’s guiding pins that were loose, but alas, no. The whole pin just broke. This plug and extension cable has been with TW560 since I bought it when I went on my first trip that required a recharge en-route … which was after 45km with my first set of batteries!

I will have to purchase a new plug – it will be an industrial version as the one that broke is a consumer-grade standard T12-type Swiss plug. More on that later.

Ready to GO – TDE2019 starts for real now!

TDE2019 - all systems GO!

TDE2019 – all systems GO!


 
Leaving early is a good idea, as in about 2 hours all school kids will have been picked up by their parents and a huge wave of holiday-seeking Canton-Zurich-based people will be trying to make their way south. This is also why I’ve chosen not to take the main A1 motorway to Berne and then to Thun but rather to drive direction Lucerne and then cross the Brunig pass. Really hoping that there is less congestion than on the main traffic axis.

When I saw following sign over the motorway, I knew that my departure hadn’t been too early at all!

Already 7km - who gets off work that early to be already there?

Already 7km – who gets off work that early to be already there?


 
There was some heavy traffic around Lucerne with some stationary moments, but nothing really bad.

Having passed Lucerne I knew that it was basically free sailing from here on out. I was just hoping that the rain would hold back for a moment, which it did.

Menacing clouds - dramatic views

Menacing clouds – dramatic views


 
So good to be on a long trip again!

So good to be on a long trip again!


 
Driving towards and crossing the Brunig pass is always a visually very appealing drive. No wonder they take all the tourists here. (and I’ve blogged about this drive a few times already – for example here and here

Lake Sarnen:

Postcard Switzerland

Postcard Switzerland


 

The usual picture :)

The usual picture 🙂


 

And Lake Lungern:

This is the actual hue of blue this lake is!

This is the actual hue of blue this lake is!


 

With no traffic or problems I cross the Brunig pass and get a lot of energy back on my way back down to Lake Brienz, one of the two lakes Interlaken borders on.

Lake Brienz greets us after passing Brünig pass

Lake Brienz greets us after passing Brünig pass


 
Driving along the lakes, I get into super-heavy rain for about 20 minutes. Since I still need to shop for a connector and something to take with me for my friends, I decide to hop into a Coop DIY shop and supermarket.

By the time I arrive at my friends house the clouds have already given way to the sun again and we spend a nice evening outside barbecuing and later drinking and chatting until late into the morning. It’s way after 1 am by the time I get into bed…I am planning on getting up very early tomorrow, since I’ve got around 420 km to cover and will be pushing the limits of my battery’s capacity hard. More on that in tomorrow’s entry. 4 hours sleep … good night!

Consumption for Day 1

Consumption for Day 1


 
Total until end day 1: KM 180 / 10kWh

TDE2019 Day 1 - prologue GPS track

TDE2019 Day 1 – prologue GPS track