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On Saturday I succumbed and bought an electric bicycle.  It is marked Evo-Race and Easy Motion.  I got it from a small store in North Vancouver on Forrester Avenue for about half of what I paid for my five-year old Honda Civic when the lease ran out.  A bargain—the Honda, not the bike.

Yesterday I rode the new bike up the Lower Seymour Conservation Reserve road. Some fourteen kilometer uphill and the same downhill.  Those hitherto steep hills faded to nothing.  Put the bike in level five electric assist and up you go at far greater speed than is polite.  Then coming back downhill, I put it to level one assist and hit a high of 55 km/hr.  This speed, amazing to me, was not the electric assist.  For the assist cuts out at 39 km.hr.  Rather the speed is the result of long, steep downhill stretches and a bit of pedalling.

Today I rode into and back from town along the usual routes I take with my ordinary bicycles: the Cannondale Quick, the Trek roadbike, or the Trek cross country bike.  I prefer the Cannondale as it light and easy to maneuver.  You sit more or less upright and can see and weave in and out of traffic in the city streets and bike lanes.

But it is a whole different ride on the Evo.  I took me but 45 minutes to get home across the second narrows bridge; it normally take an hour and a quarter—half an hour more to drink!   The ride down to the SeaBus was not much different as it is all downhill.  But those steep hills, that get steeper each year, melted in the face of level five assist and a bit of pedalling–for you have to pedal otherwise the assist cuts out.

In spite of what I imagined, you still get a good workout on the electric bike.  It is heavy and needs human (arm and upper body) power to control.  You still have to pedal furiously to keep it moving in the lower gears and lower assist settings.  You still need to move those legs and breath fast to keep moving.  Faster than a normal bike, perhaps, but an equal physical workout over an hour and a half there and back.

So I am glad I stopped hesitating and at 68 gave into to a modern contraption–an electric bike.  If you are hesitating, getting old, and the hills are getting intolerably steep, go get an electric bike.  It is great and I will still ride the other bikes to keep in peak fitness.  Promise.

And in closing let us stop to sympathize with the Iranian blogger Farshid Fathi and the Saudi Arabian blogger Raif Badawi both of whom are sentenced to and have been flogged and imprisoned for blogging.  I have done in a secular sense what they did otherwise.  So now I blog poetry and electric bikes.  Makes you wonder?

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Here is a challenge written up in a recent comment on a previous blog posting:

I would love to see someone write a paper on the merits of a wet tailings pond. Today’s lovechild seems to be the filtered tailing concept but let’s hear some kudos for a properly designed wet tailings pond. It gives the ability to deal with seasonal or short term storm water surges, the ability to store water for use in low flow periods, avoids needing to continually withdraw process water from rivers or lakes, keeps ARD materials submerged, lower capex & opex, lower power consumption via natural clarification instead of mechanical clarification, and less greenhouse gas emissions related to lower power consumption. Where are the friends of the conventional tailings pond or have they gone into hiding from the filtered tailings mob?

Today I had lunch with John Gadsby who is 82 and still active in tailings.  Way back in 1983, he and Syd Hillis were the peer reviewers of my work on the design and construction of the Cannon Mine tailings facility besides Wenatchee, Washington.  I asked him the questions implicit in the comment above.

He quickly reminded me that the Cannon tailings facility was a very successful wet tailings deposition facility that was also designed to contain lots of water from heavy rains in the catchment area of the Cascades.  He reminded me that that facility was built to be secure as it is upgradient of a significant part of Wenatchee.  He said he thought the facility must surely represent the best tailings technology for wet tailings deposition ever.  And now it is closed and part of the Dry Gulch Riding Stables–an asset to the local community.

Without being too bold & boastful, I know this dam was good, is good, and will remain stable for a very long time hence.  It proves, in my mind, that you can mine close to communities, can safely manage wet tailings in sensitive environments, and can close mine sites for sustainable use.  Here are links to some papers I wrote on its design & construction:

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You can get all these papers by going to the InfoMine Library and doing a search for Cannon Caldwell.  You can also get a lot more information at the official Cannon Mine website.

So now let us have a debate about whether this tailings facility built in 1983 and 1984 represent current best practice or best available technology for wet tailings management.  I think it does, but then I am hopelessly prejudiced.  And I recognize parochial sentiments sometime inhibit cross-boarder admiration of engineering works.  Still you can get there in a four-hour drive from Vancouver.  Go see it sometime.

 

 

 

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It has been a tumultuous week of many events.   No blogging however. No topic caught my attention enough to spur the muse and misogynist.  So here a few stories of mining to entertain us and prompt the responsible journalist to attention. (more…)

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Goldcorp has announced that it will seek to involve more women in mining.  That is admirable.  Here are some of my stories of women in mining. (more…)

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As a US taxpayer I am at loss to understand how $1 million dollars can be sent to Peru to deal with illegal mining.  Here is a link to one report on the US taxpayer-funded largesse.  The report notes:

The U.S. Department of State awarded US$1 million to the Blacksmith Institute to work with Peru’s Ministry of Environment (Minam) to reduce the use of mercury and design remediation plans in Madre de Dios and Puno, it was announced today.

The United States believes it is crucial to support the Peruvian government strategy to combat illegal mining and reduce mercury use in artisanal and small-scale gold mining.

Where is the Tea Party when we need them?   Have they nothing to say about this blatant waste of money to support a lousy government unable to manage it own affairs?  The only explanation I can come up with is that somebody related to somebody or indebted to somebody has managed to arrange this and is being paid a considerable percentage of the funds.  Smells rank & corrupt to me. (more…)

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A typical Vancouver Saturday:  cool, overcast, some sunny periods, and much reading.   Then after six pm a bottle of wine and an opera. Here are some of the books I dipped into today–I have been reading some for a while; some are old and should have been finished a long time ago; and some are new.  For I am a dipper, i,e., someone who picks up a book, reads part, and then picks up another to read part, as the fancy & interest turn. (more…)

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In an upcoming EduMine course on Risk Assessment, Decision Making, and the Management of Mine Geowaste, we write the following on the topic of Net Present Value (NPV): (more…)

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