Battery Roulette, SAFE at home

So the battery I had installed in the Prius roughly a month ago has been giving me problems.  At least a half dozen times the red triangle of death has returned.  At first it was a couple weeks between the light coming on and then a couple days, and then nearly every day.  I was carrying my code reader in the Prius.  Every time the light came on I would read the code and then clear it.  Unlike the original failure, the car continued to drive normally even with the warning light.

So obviously this was not acceptable long term and since I have a one year warranty on the replacement I contacted and sent them a picture of the warning light with the error code on my reader.  They gave me no hassle and said they would send back out the same kid and his dad that installed the replacement.

They had to drive through torrential rain, as I did to get there.  I parked the Prius in the garage so they wouldn’t have to possibly work in the rain.  They pulled up in a 2nd gen Prius this time with battery4prius signage on the side, last time he was driving a Civic.  I didn’t see a battery in the back of their car.  When I asked him about it he said they were actually going to swap the battery from their car into my car.  He knows that pack is good.  Wow, I wasn’t expecting that but whatever, as long as it works.

Jonathan and his dad were like Prius battery tornadoes, in the about an hour they had swapped the batteries between the two vehicles and I was good to go.  I can only hope this is the end of my Prius battery woes for at least until I am ready to move onto something else.

As I mentioned we had another HORRIBLE few hours of rain.  When I came home the front yard looked like it did after the hurricane, almost totally submerged.  The property was a total mess.  The transformation in a span of less than 24 hours was pretty shocking.  The one bright spot was the elevated area I constructed for the chickens in their yard seems to be performing just as I hoped.  Even with nothing but water elsewhere, that 10′ x  20′ section is safely above the water line by 6 inches or more.

So because of the shitty rain I didn’t get to practice outside on the One Wheel as I hoped.  Well a little after 8:30 the rain had stopped so I decided I would go outside and just stay on the driveway, the spot I cut my teeth on EUC training.  Very early in the process I had a hilarious (in retrospect) series of events that was partially caught on the front security camera.  I was on the angled portion of the driveway, perpendicular to it.

I was feeling a bit shaky and had been having issues doing a proper stop where you raise the heel of your lead foot to disengage a pressure sensor, which turns off the motor.  I decided to use the other beginner technique of dismounting, simply hop off the board with both feet at once which should instantly kill the board.  So I hop off, look down and see the board is not only still balancing, it has started to roll away from me, quickly.

So if we didn’t just have a massive rain event, this wouldn’t have been a huge deal as the board was directed onto the grass and down the hill.  However last night, at the bottom of this hill was a huge area of standing water, oh shit.  In a millisecond my body reacted, forgetting that it is 50 years old and filled with various aches, pains, and ailments.  I took off like a rocket after the board and accelerated when I realized it was not going to stop.  As I saw the board heading off into a watery grave I did the only thing I could, a Pete Rose, head first dive onto the wet grass that allowed me to just barely snag the end of the board just as it reached the high water.  I wish the whole thing was in the field of view of the camera, it had to look absolutely ridiculous.

So after allowing myself a minute or two for the adrenaline to settle down I resumed my practice.  Having the entire driveway felt good compared to the narrow confines of the house.  I didn’t feel rock solid but I didn’t feel awful either.  I used a tip that helped me a lot with EUC riding, looking where I was going instead of down at the board, it helped.  I did a bunch of up and back loops in the driveway and even ventured onto the road and into the neighbors driveway, without a fall or crash.  The wet ground was a reminder why a fender for a One Wheel is a good idea.  I was getting sprayed with misty dirt/sand the entire time.  By the time I was done the wheel was too dirty to bring inside, I just left it in the garage. The ride confirmed that I am already past the most awful part of riding that was so painful with EUCs.  Once you can roll and turn slowly, things normally progress pretty well from there.

This weekend I don’t have to worry about grass maintenance since it was all done on Wednesday.  I hope to get some prolonged One Wheel practice in, hopefully with Cindy participating.  I am really curious to see how she does on it outdoors based on her prior considerable skateboarding experience.  I can only hope that we somehow manage to avoid the daily thunderstorms for a few days to allow the ground to swallow the standing water that lays on top of it.

Here is a video of my initial indoor One Wheel experience.



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