It’s Getting Colder

It’s the day after Christmas. We’ve been very lucky, so far this year, in Charlottesville’s weather. Although I’ve had to take the ELF out in 26 degree weather once, generally I’ve been able to save my trips for temps above 40. Above 50, it feels great. At 40, I need to wear gloved and several layers of clothing. At 30, despite those layers, I feel a little cold particularly when I’m at a stop light and the wind is blowing crosswise through the door. At 26, I’d better have the special biker’s cap on, and my fingers get uncomfortably cold grasping the metal brake levers and handling the big metal lock and chain I got.

However, there is new from OT, as we owners affectionately call Organic Transit. There’s a heated seat kit. I’ll wait till spring to get it because I know myself better than to think I’ll go out there in the cold and install it. Ain’t gonna happen. So next year I’ll have a heated seat. They also now have doors we can install or soon will have. I’m hesitant. I’d rather have an extra battery and take longer trips when it gets warmer, and get impervious tires when I eventually need new ones. And then there’s the cost. Meanwhile, I have taken a short night trip, finally, and it was fine, except that by the time I came out of where I had gone, the windows were very fogged and I was very glad I didn’t have far to go. I need to get canauba wax for all my windows.

Last of all, today, I’m ordering what I hope will be a hoody, but it may just be a sweatshirt. It will say “To thine own elf be true.” Maybe it will even be on sale since it’s after Christmas.

Speaking of my friends (and other things)

That very first post proved to me that it’s been far too long since I worked with WordPress. I don’t know how to change the background picture at the top or to separate the words in it and get them formatted the way I want. I got discouraged, and it took a while to come back. Still, here’s a new try.

Since I posted that first entry, I’ve been on TV featured in a story about the ELF. That was fun, but of course sets a new challenge for me. I need to track down the link to the video of the story, I assume I need to get permission to inculde it in an entry, and I need to find out how to enbed (is that the proper word?) it in a post. Have patience with me. The ELF has obviously increased my street creds but behind that oh-so-hip facade lurks a person who has fallen further than she would like behind on technology.

Anyway……I have three things I want to tell any readers today.

1) I want your ELFies. Those are the pictures you take of my ELF going by. What would be great would be if I had one to include with every post. Maybe every week? How do you get them to me? Oh dear. That’s a whole ‘nother question considering that I would rather preserve what remains of your privacy and mine. I’m on Facebook, if that helps. Friend me long enough to send a message. I FaceBook on an iPad and the app doesn’t make me aware of “other” messages. I won’t mind if you unfriend me afterward.

2) Thanks to a special group of UVA students that absolutely made my day on Saturday. I was riding down Main Street toward the university. They saw me approaching and chanted “ELF! ELF! ELF! ELF!” as I went by. Had me smiling for hours. Is there some kind of contest in Cville for the most ELF sightings?

3) A technical note about the ELF for ELF owners. (Well, technical for me. I know it will be minimal for many.) When you take the battery inside to charge it, it’s best to leave the charger unplugged while you plug the battery into it, then plug in the charger rather than doing it the other way around, plugging in the charger and then the battery into the activated charger. The other way didn’t work for me today and had me panicing, and you know what Kilgore Trout said (I think), “Don’t panic!”

That’s all for now. Thanks again to any readers.

What led me to buy an ELF

At least two years ago, on the site Inhabitat, I saw that there was a Kickstarter for an interesting vehicle. It was the ELF, and they had no trouble at all getting enough subscribers for their Kickstarter to be successful. I was not among them.

I haven’t owned a car in more than 30 years. That sounds more impressive than it really is. Most of those years have been spent in New York City and Europe where the public transportation systems are excellent. I had no real need for a car.

Then I moved to Charlottesville, where I had bought a house years before. I knew that Charlottesville’s public transit system was better than that of ┬ámost small cities and decided to see if I could get by using it along with assists when needed from taxis.

This worked pretty well for the first two years, but then the service to and from my particular part of the city diminished. There were no buses on Sunday, and on Saturday I would find myself waiting outside at a bus stop for nearly an hour, whatever the weather, with all my groceries. Last winter, I pretty much gave up and had them delivered. The bus system wasn’t working for me anymore.

Meanwhile, Organic Transit, the maker of the ELF announced that it was putting out a new version, one in which many of the most desirable options would be standard. New options were especially useful for the type of terrain in my city, a lot of hills.

And then I heard that the job I had would be ending. I could already imagine possible new employers asking me if I had my own transportation to and from work. I knew that answering no could cost me that job.

it was time. I ordered my ELF.

ELF ownership: Day 1

Well, I suppose, since I sent the money for the ELF in six weeks earlier, I technically owned an ELF earlier, but not until there was a physical ELF, a bright wasabi green ELF to be specific, sitting outside my house, did I consider myself an ELF owner.

It arrived inside a truck. The door of the truck opened and there it was hiding in the shadows of the interiors. The deliverer went inside the truck and then, shyly, nose first, it emerged into the semi-shade.

I’d been anticipating it so long that it almost didn’t seem real. The deliverer took a few minutes to point out each control and what each control did, and then it was time for me to get in….

which at first seemed impossible. I’m not sure how I did it that first day. Let’s just say that it was with several false starts, and grace was not in the least involved, but making the moves a woman doesn’t make if she’s going commando was. I could tell right away that my legs would soon be more limber than they were at present.

And then I took it around the block, once, twice, three times. It was mine and I was driving again for the first time in 30 years. I took it to get a lock and I took it to get registered, and everywhere I went, it attracted tons and tons of attention.

If this doesn’t knock me out of my rut, nothing will.