Sportin’ the CALB pack donated by Mike Corbin, and refitted with an actual speed controller from Alltrax, the 1974 Corbin XLP-1 made it all the way to the summit of Mt Washington again – a feat it hadn’t achieved in over 40 years. Here’s the clip of it making the final climb into the summit parking lot:
…and a few shots from the base, and the climb (courtesy of Howie Wemyss):
The original Alternative Energy Regatta had a turtle as the logo, which you can see in the photo above. I learned why, soon enough. The motor was a 2hp Baldor special order, and although it did actually pull the bike up the 12% grades, it was a tall order for it. At the very first pitch out of the parking lot, it slowed down to about 15mph, but once there, it stayed there – didn’t go any slower and pulled like a beast. Kind of a little beast, but it wasn’t giving up.
At about halfway up, I could feel it getting warm, since it was right under my thigh, so I took it easy on it and made several rest stops. (After all, I’m riding a museum piece, right?) In spite of the fact I was worried I was probably pulling some decent amps, the 250A fuse never blew, and the pack, controller and wires stayed cool as cukes. That huge rear drive sprocket? It needed every tooth.
Here are some more photos:
We were goofing around trying to re-create Charlie’s suave pose from the 1974 postcard, but I don’t have the same amount of James Bond Cool Charlie did back then. You’ll have to imagine that part.
Here’s Sue Humphries, Charlie’s lifelong partner, with the bike that, until today, she had never seen actually run.
As is pretty evident, the weather was absolutely perfect, and we were only a few days off from Charlie’s ideal date of June 20 – the Summer Solstice. It was well into the 60s on the summit, with only an occasional puff of wind.
While we were well prepared for carrying the bike down in the truck, it didn’t seem like the noble thing to do, to such a venerable machine. The brakes seemed to be in good shape, and though the throttle assembly was integral with the front brake lever and I’d had to move it to put the Domino throttle on, I didn’t disconnect it, and could still use it. We started the slow, steady descent, alternating front and rear braking to allow some cooling. They got hot enough to burn fingers, but never faded or smelled. The bike made it all the way down, on it’s own two wheels.
As Sue said, Charlie MacArthur will always be a part of this mountain.