Well it was bound to happen: my beloved Furby ran outta juice! And boy was I screwed. When it comes to certain things, I definitely suffer from OCD. Take tire pressures, for example. When I lived in Raleigh, my car got a flat tire three times in two weeks. In one case, it happened on my drive down to Charleston, SC, and I hadn’t even noticed until I arrived at the construction site. I freaked out at the thought of me driving like a retard with a flat tire. Anyway, after those incidents, I got this awesome digital tire gage (I needed anal-retentive level of accuracy) AND this car battery-operated air pump. I know, a little overboard, but after that my tires were always at optimum psi. So same deal with our bikes. Purple Forever was always giving me a smooth ride, because I was pumping her tires once a week. Back to the battery… Bubbey always makes fun of my paranoia, so on this particular day, I figured, fine. What the hell! The pointer is at half full. Not ideal, but it should be fine. I need to relax.
So I pushed off on my merry little way. As soon as I twisted my wrist to give the Furbster some juice, the pointer dipped to 1/3 full. Great, that’s a lame indicator. Still, I figured 1/3 tank was enough to last me: big mistake. So I trekked my way to the LifeLine Shanghai office. As soon as I arrived, I realized I forgot my damn software CDs. Fuck. Determined to salvage my trip, I poked around on the LLS redesign, made some minor changes here and there, reformatted some pages, reformatted some documents. Two hours later, I had enough: time to go home.
Mind you, this was my first time to the office on Furby, so yeah, I got a little lost on the way back. I watched the meter obsessively, dreading that I ultimately would have to doggie-paddle my way home.
I mean, had Furby gone 30 km/hr with the battery at less than full charge, I would have made it home– even accounting for getting lost. Unfortunately, I learned on this outing that the max speed decreases significantly at lower charge. Sucks. So at 1/3 full charge, I only got about 10 km/hr. At that rate, I could have probably walked faster. Regardless, I tried my best to conserve the energy for later. I got so far as the JianGuo Lu/Hengshan Lu, five-street intersection point. When the light turned green, I gave Furby the gas, but I putzed along at a rate so slow, I wasn’t even going to make the light, and this intersection was no games. Desperate, I started peddling and omg, I was peddling like a maniac, but the bike was so heavy and the wheels so small, I wasn’t really moving. I finally started pushing off with my feet like a damn skateboarder. Yes, it was awful. And yes, after I cleared the intersection, I laughed at how ridiculous I must have looked with all the normal bikes passing me. So bottom line is that I’ve learned my lesson. Always keep the thing at full charge. It doesn’t matter if that means lugging the mother fucking 45-lb battery inside. Anything beats the stress of peddling in vain.