December 14, 2006
Why I like human power and finally, a name for the boat!
The day before the Las Vegas marathon, as I lay in my lawn chair trying to maximize my angle to the low December sun, I got to do some deeper thinking about why "human power" is so important to me. I mean, some people really get into WW11 history, some go nuts over collecting wooden toys and some guys build robots. What is it about human power that turns my crank?
Our passions are obviously related to our personalities. Being a typical male, I am hardwired to dig technology, physical activity is my life-blood, and I like the outdoors and to travel. I also like long walks on the beach and poking dead things with a stick.
As a young kid, I remember reading a National Geographic feature story about a team who rode their '10 speed' bikes from Argentina to Alaska. I was riveted by their story. This really spoke to me. The whole idea of riding my bicycle distances longer that we had ever driven our family car was something that resonated deeply with me. I read that National Geographic story about a dozen times.
I saved money from my paper route and purchased a brand new '10 speed' bicycle. Wow! It had 10 speeds and drop handle bars just like the ones used in the national geographic bike tour. I rode it everywhere. I duct-taped a transistor radio to my handle bars so I could listen to all the 1970's hits on CKXL Calgary radio station while I biked the daily 10 mile route from my house in Lakeview (there was no view of any lake) to my downtown paper route.
My passion for riding bikes returned just after I graduated from SAIT - a technical institute where I received a diploma in engineering, and an education in how to party almost every night, and still pass exams. Phil Evans talked me into riding our 10 speed bikes 100 km from Calgary to Banff. I almost died. I remember reaching the lake at LacDesArc and the lights started to go out. I had almost fainted. I think that trip took us a good 10 hours. Now I can ride to Banff, do a 15 km trail run, and ride back to Calgary in less than 10 hours.
We are the products of our past. Looking back, it's obvious that I would eventually become involved with the design, construction and application of human powered vehicles in some way. We are who we are, and I mean that LITERALLY! - check this out:
I got a really interesting email yesterday from Paul Kolodziej. in case you didn't know, my last name is Kolodziejzyk - only 3 letters longer than Paul's. Paul was reading my article in Popular Science magazine and noticed the similarities in our names. He informed me that in Polish, the name "Kolodziejzyk", and it's various derivatives mean "WHEEL MAKER".
Human power to me though, is so much more than travel under our own physical capacity. It's really about ALL of our power as humans. The power to choose, the power to create, the power to succeed, the power to cross continents, the power to cross oceans, the power to motivate, the power to love, the power to care, the power to inspire, the power to learn and the power to grow. Human power is the power within.
And with that, I have decided upon a name for the human powered trans Atlantic pedal boat.
I hereby christen the boat "Within". Because Human Power is the power from within. Here are some logo ideas. Let me know if you like one of them (click to enlarge).