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It's been FAR too long!

Wow - how time flies hey?

I have been very bad at keeping the blog up to date - sorry. Here is a quick update on some of the various projects I am working on:

PedalTheOcean.com - human powered ocean crossing



You might recall that last winter I decided to push the pause button on PedalTheOcean for a few reasons.

One of the reasons, was to focus on getting the 24 hour human powered boat record right. In June of 2006, I built a pedal powered boat and challenged what I thought to be the world record for the most distance traveled by human power on water of 168 km (according to the International Human powered Vehicle Association). I found out that Carter Johnson had bettered that by a HUGE amount. 242 km to be exact. I wanted to revisit the challenge and do it right this time. I spent the entire Spring, summer and early fall, designing, building and testing a new boat that would be capable of challenging Carters kayak record.

I was successful when I surpassed Carters 242 km mark with 20 minutes left to go and ended up with a total of 245.16 km in 24 hours on Whitefish Lake, September 8th, 2008.

The other reason for pausing was to get a grip on the entire expedition - what I really wanted to gain from it, and how I wanted it organized to facilitate a safe and fulfilling journey for me and everyone involved.

I have decided to change a few things:

1. I am NOT going to stamp a strict time constraint schedule on the project. Frankly, there is no hurry and I don't need the stress.

2. I am not going to stress about finding a corporate sponsor. If one comes along and there is a good fit, then great, if not, then I am prepared to do what I need to do, to make the crossing along with my personal and small business sponsors (that's you guys!) who have been very supportive so far.

3. I will DEFINITELY do the crossing WITH a safety boat. This is a promise that I made to my family and I plan on keeping it.

4. I am thinking about changing oceans. Canada to Hawaii has never been human powered and it would be a first. Other advantages of this new route is not having to find (and PAY$$$) a way to ship my boat to Canary Islands and not having to deal with any of the other logistics such as the Spanish Coast guard, etc. I have already checked in with the Canadian coast guard, and as long as my vessel was safe, they wouldn't object to allowing me to leave. I have hired Rick Shema from Weatherguy.com - a weather expert who did a viability study of the new Pacific route and it is very comparable to the Atlantic Canary Island to West Indies route. May would be the preferable departure month. If all goes as envisioned, then May of 2010 (next May) would be my departure date.

I have started construction of Ocean WiTHiN - the new ocean crossing boat designed by naval architect Stuart Bloomfield. The drawings are being finished now and I am happy to announce that I have hired local composites guy Ken Fortney to start construction.


We would like to have the new boat (for now called Ocean WiTHiN, or OW for short) ready for open water testing in the Spring, then maybe sea trials in the summer. My goal would be to spend as much time on-board gaining experience in the Pacific ocean off of the west coast of Tofino later this summer and next winter in preparation for a journey to Hawaii in May (conditions permitting).

Recumbent indoor velodrome hour record


My training is going pretty good. I have increased my 20 minute power from 250 watts to 260 watts over the last 7 week cycle. That's not super great, and really nothing to brag about, but it is improving and my latest 20 minute test which was yesterday may have been a bit lower than what I was capable of. I'll try another test this weekend. I would really like to see 270 watts. The NoCom is great, but I haven't been outside because the ground is now covered with snow, so most of my training has been inside on the mag trainer (another reason why the 20 average power might be a bit low).


I have some ideas for cleaning up the steering tiller bar which in my opinion is a very large creator of drag. I plan to get onto experimenting with some of my ideas as soon as my schedule eases up, which should be after tomorrow night because....

Motivational Speaker

I am doing a keynote address to a corporation's annual customer event tonight. Professional motivational speaking is something that I have been passionate about since my sister Theresa and I started doing KidPower school presentations over 3 years ago. Each show I do is a big deal in my mind. They say that when you speak, your goal should be to change the world, but my goal is to change lives. I prepare and treat each presentation as seriously as I would for an Ironman race and a world record attempt.

Here is a quick 30 second introduction video to Bold!:
www.human-power.com

And here is a the web site for my motivatinal speaking:
www.human-power.com

Human Powered Flight

I'm not sure exactly what direction I want to pursue with this project. I have a few options. There are a few designs that are being considered and these will need to be built in-house from scratch (a huge job!). Another option is to bring a HPA over from Germany. Velair was built by Peter Frank in 1989 and requires at least 255 watts to maintain flight for at least 3 hours which is way beyond my ability for going after the impossible 115 km MIT Daedalus record.

I have spoken to Executive Vice President Al Krause from the IHPVA and Chris Roper, the IHPVA Vice President for Air records. They have agreed to set up a new record category that would be similar in spirit to the existing 24 hour human powered distance records for both land and water. Since accumulated flight distance in 24 hours is counted, I would be allowed to land and take-off as many times in 24 hours as I wanted - exactly the same rules that allowed for pit stops during my 24 HPV record in Critical Power as I made my way around the 1/4 mile oval race track in Eureka California, and the 24 hour human powered boat record in Whitefish where I circled a 5.79 km loop on Whitefish Lake in Montana.

Of course, the clock would continue to tick during the stops and only miles of actual flight would be counted (wheels off the ground). I'm thinking that a dry lake bed or the salt flats would work for this. Even better would be a frozen lake in the winter near sea level. I could use some sort of light weight skis. The advantage with this approach is density altitude - the air is much thicker at sea level when it is cold and the power required for lift is reduced.



One of the issues is getting the HPV over here from Germany which would require a container ship and cost about $5000. Still, far less expensive than building from scratch.

Well, that's all for now. I'll send out another update and let you know how the big keynote went. I'm getting excited!!

Cheers,
Greg

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1 Responses to “It's been FAR too long!”

  1. # Blogger Frank Eeckman

    What happened to Ironman Arizona? The weather is nice, 80 degrees and sunny. No excuses there;)  

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