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Old 12-27-02, 05:21 PM   #1
pletcgm
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Location: Nashville, TN
Bikes: 2002 Giant OCR 3, 2003 Giant OCR Elite, 2004 Giant TCR, 2004 Giant OCR Touring, 2003 Giant Iguana, 2004 Cannondale Ironman 800, 2005 Giant Trance 3
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New Guy from Nashville, TN

I love to go riding on the Natchez Trace Parkway and on Highway 96 in Franklin, TN. My other favorite place to ride is Highway 68/80 in Southcentral Kentucky, which goes from Bowling Green to Russelville. I do like to go on long road trips. When I am gone for several days at a time on long trips, I attach a Garmin Etrex Legend GPS, Archos Jukebox 10 GB MP3 player, and two solar panels onto the back to power those two components. The GPS is great! It not only give me a road map, but will also show me where the closest restaurants, hotels, parks, and etc are and how far they are from my current position. My MP3 keeps me more than entertained the whole time with more than 700 songs on it. The best thing of all is that I never have to worry about running out of power with the solar panels. I also put on my 30 watt headlights when on trips.

My bicycle setup is as follows:
2002 Giant OCR 3
Shimano WH-7701 Dura-race Carbon Composite Aero wheels
Shimano Ultegra Gear System
Shimano Ultegra Brakes
Giant Aero Carbon Fork
Selle Italia Gel Saddle
ITM Carbon Composite Handle Bar
ITM Magnesium Stem
Campagnolo Record Carbon Seatpost
Michelin Axial Carbon Road Tire

I upgraded my bicycle to the above specs, instead of buying a new TCR because I think its black, yellow, and silver paint job blows away any TCR model bikes. I dropped its weight down 7 pounds from 24 to 17.

My new years resolution is to ride 2 and a half centuries on a 4 day weekend from Nashville to Shilo, TN National Battle field and back.
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Old 12-27-02, 06:45 PM   #2
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Welcome to the forum. Sounds like you did the same as I. I to have an OCR3 that has many upgrades (basicaly everything).
We ara now working on some frame modifacations so I can put the new XTR disc brakes on.

Slainte
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Old 12-27-02, 06:57 PM   #3
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Cool bike, and I'm sure a lot of people will be interested in you solar power supply for GPS, there was a discussion a while ago about it, and battery life was one of the concerns raised. Will the solar panels charge the batteries for the lights?

BTW, welcome to the forums!
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Old 12-29-02, 09:14 AM   #4
pletcgm
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Recharging the lights is one thing that I am going to work on next. I plan on adding another solar panel to the bike for the lights. My thoughts are to create a circuit board with a voltage activated diode, so that when the power levels of the light's batteries fall to a certain point, the diode will open up the gate to let power go from the solar panel to the battery. Plus, I also plan on putting another diode on the board that when the one from the battery is opened up, the other diode will close, preventing the power from the panel to go to the headlight. Right now, I am working on designing the board and the solar panel.
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Old 12-29-02, 09:24 AM   #5
pletcgm
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One thing that I didn't mention about my solar panels is that I have just purchased a titanium plate (very very thin) that is 5" x 16" and weighs 0.98 pounds and a titanium rod that was cut into 10 pieces. I have the plate at a machine shop right now. The machinest is welding the titanium side bars up both sides and the back. The panels will sit inside the bars. This way, if I have a wreck, the solar panels will not be damaged.
:cool:

Last edited by pletcgm; 12-29-02 at 09:29 AM.
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Old 12-30-02, 09:39 AM   #6
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Welcome to BikeForums.

Sounds like a pretty cool solar panel setup. Got any pictures?
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Old 01-17-03, 04:04 AM   #7
trmcgeehan
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I got all the info for the Natchez Trace, and I'm thinking of trying it this spring. But I've heard that the road has crushed rock in the composition, which makes it a rough ride for a road bike. A hybrid or even a mountain bike might be better, because of the wider tires. True? (Or, maybe lowering the tire pressure on a road bike might make a difference).
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