With some pretty cool modifications, Escape Adventures can now host eBikes in Southern Utah’s Mountain Biking paradise.
Picture this: You’ve had a long past year and a half. But it’s finally time to treat yourself with an All-inclusive Mountain Biking Trip. You decide to lose yourself in the dramatic landscape of Canyonlands National Park. Maybe you call up some friends, some of whom are jumping at the chance to test themselves against the rugged landscape. Excited to leave all the planning, packing, navigation, and food prep worries to Escape Adventures and just enjoy the outdoors. And if you want the extra thrill of an eBike adventure, you’re in luck. They’ve recently been permitted for use in the National Park. One problem, there’s just no way to keep up the charge for multiple days of riding in Canyonlands.
See, one of the reasons that Canyonlands National Park is such a sublime escape, is the fact that there are NO generators allowed at campsites. No buzzing breaking the subtle sounds of desert life at night. The peace and quiet is amazing, but if you have anything that needs a charge (AKA eBikes), you’ll be in a bit of a pickle.
Luckily, we know some pretty creative people. Jesse Marshal of Moab, Utah was the true mastermind of the solution. And Merrick, our Escape Adventures General Manager, helped him build it. They put a system together that makes it possible to charge eBikes while in Canyonlands without the forbidden generators.
The way our team went about solving this issue was so innovative, we had to share! Since using a generator wasn’t an option, Our Escape Adventure support vehicles are used to charge the large lithium ion batteries that provide power for the eBikes. The issue then comes down to finding a way to store lithium ion batteries and the inverters and charge controllers needed to charge and take the power away from the batteries. With all the gear required for adventuring in canyonlands, there’s no room inside the trucks to store those large batteries.
Jesse Marshal decided it would be best to place two large weather tight coolers on top of the roof of the truck to house the batteries. Large inverters change the power from DC to AC for the bike chargers to plug into. The bike chargers then change it from AC to DC to go into the bike. With this kind of power, we’re able to charge 7 eBikes in one go.
The modifications didn’t stop there, Jesse and Merrick then had to install a heavy duty high amperage alternator on the truck. After replacing the stock alternator with a large heavy duty one, the alternator now creates enough power to recharge the battery in 3 hours. So after all the bikes are charged up, it only takes 3 hours for the support truck to recharge the batteries so that they are ready in the evening to charge the eBikes once again.
Jesse and Merrick built 3 total eBike charging systems. And since they can charge 7 eBikes each, 2 charging systems can support a full tour of just eBikes, if need be. We plan to do this to all of our trucks and vans eventually, ensuring safe, fully charged escapes for everyone involved.
We’re happy to develop these kinds of innovations for our guests, because that means more people can enjoy the stunning beauty of Canyonlands. Creative problem solving is what pushes the outdoor adventure community forward, and we love to see it!