Saturday, November 26, 2016

Multi-Voltage Family

Today, we acquired the second of the two Chevy Volts that will replace our Volkswagen TDI Jetta and Golf.  In the picture below taken at the dealer, the "Summit White" one is Danielle's which we bought a month ago and the "Kinetic Blue" one is Edward's which we bought this morning.

We got both of these at AutoNation Chevrolet West Austin. I highly recommend this dealership. On all of our reconnaissance forays, we had our questions courteously answered and were left alone when we didn't need help. Our actual purchases were also low pressure without all of the stupid "four square" trips back and forth to the "mystery manager" in the back room. We had done our pricing homework and were shown respect rather than derision for having done so. On both occasions, from the time we came in with our offer until we left with keys in hand was less than two hours. Most of that was waiting for the car to have its detailing done. Actual price negotiations took about 15 minutes.

Back at home, we have both vehicles plugged in and posing for their group photo. The charger for the blue Volt is on the wall behind the car.

Meanwhile, the buy-back process progresses. We have the final purchase offer completed on the Golf and should receive one for the Jetta in a few days. We are awaiting scheduling of the actual transfer which is likely to happen after the holidays. As we are concerned that the new administration will cancel the EV tax credit, we decided to complete the purchase of both Volts in this calendar year, even without the Volkswagen cash in hand. Here are the two Volkswagens in the back yard with the rest of the junk waiting to be carted off to the dump.

Update Dec 3 - Yesterday, we had the after-market Katzkin leather installed by Dealer Source in Austin. They did a great job and the service was excellent. I opted for a contrasting center panel in the seats. I had not been able to find a vehicle with factory leather in stock so took this approach. I think that the factory leather feels firmer and stretches tighter on the seat. The Katzkin is more supple and puckers a bit around the seat well. Both look good but are different in style.The photo shows first the original cloth and then the leather replacement.

We also had the windows tinted at Sunbusters in Austin. As with the white Volt, we selected the Formula One Pinnacle ceramic film, 30% on the sides and 15% on the rear hatch.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Goodwater Loop

The Goodwater Loop is an epic mountain bike trail that circles all of Lake Georgetown. I have ridden various segments of it many times over the last ten years but had never tried the whole thing in one go. I gave it a shot today and completed in just over 6 hours. Including the segment of the San Gabriel River Trail from River Road, the whole circuit was just under 36 miles. Without that segment, the loop itself was about 31 miles.

Trail record logged by iSmoothRun
I logged the trail with iSmoothRun on my iPhone. The map above is a screen capture from that app. The colors represent speed with hotter colors indicating faster progress. I rode the loop counter-clockwise, starting from Overlook Park, the segment I am most familiar with. The section from Russell Park to Camp Tejas is primarily a jeep road and goes very quickly. The southern part of the loop, especially in the middle part, I found to be the most challenging with regard to longer technical climbs. The trail is described as alternating between dirt and rocks and rock and rocks. Except for the stretch on the jeep road, that is pretty accurate. Much of the rest of the trail is riddled with repeated outcrops of eroded limestone that add to the technical challenge. 

Lunch at Russell Park
Many spots offer great panoramic views of the lake and its various alcoves. I also saw a myriad of butterflies on the trail. I almost wish I had had a camera with me ... of course, the loop would then have taken a lot longer. These longhorns were at Crockett Gardens

I got through with only one mechanical problem. The bolt through the lower eyelet of the rear shock sheered in half. I did not take any big drops, so not sure how that happened. Fortunately, the remaining pieces held the shock on until I finished the ride.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Double Rainbow

After a day of rain, the sun came out low in the west giving a great double rainbow against the gray eastern sky of the receding storm.