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Mens Journal

Hey everyone.


Not much to report aside from my training is going fairly well - just plugging away at the training program my coach Jason Yanota made up for me. The riding is all inside on the mag trainer which, for shorter-harder workouts, isn't so bad.

I've been in dental hell since getting a pile of work done on November 24th. One of the crowns abscessed and now I need a root canal - scheduled for today, gulp!

I picked up the January issue of Men's Journal and I'm on page 22 which is kind of cool! Check it out:


(click to enlarge)



We ordered the materials for the new ocean crossing boat (carbon, core, etc) and we'll start construction as soon as Stuart Bloomfield finishes the drawings and the materials arrive.

I've hired local composites guy Ken from Stratto Composites, and we're going to start building the new boat in his basement. We will start with laying up flat carbon panels, then trace and cut out the cured panels, then lay them into a jig and seam together to form the hull. This method of boat building is called 'developable panels'.

I have a short demo video and a FREE PDF photo book available for download called "Bold!":



This book is also available in PRINTED form. Let me know if you would like one and I can direct you to a site where you can order it for $6.00

Motivational speaking is a lot of fun for me, it's a great way to spread my message about the benefits of being active.






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Critical Power in the 2009 Guinness Book


Man, it's been a while since I've blogged... I've been busy and I guess there just hasn't been much news of interest to report. Until just now.

It seems that the 24 hour human powered vehicle record from 2006 in Eureka, CA was picked up by the editors of the 2009 edition of the Guinness Book of World Records. There is a photo of Critical Power on page 113 directly beside Richard Branson - one of my hero's. That is quite a thrill for me!

I actually met Richard Branson when we were on a family vacation in Maui. We were walking on the beach at night looking up at the Hale-Bopp comet - remember that? And we walked right into Sir Richard Branson who was out for a stroll with his family. I introduced myself and shook his hand.

Ever since then Richard has become quite a nuisance. You know, constantly asking me for favors, advice, etc, etc... Now that we're together on the same page of the Guinness book, I'll never hear the end of it...


Other news is that Guinness has ratified the 245.16 km human powered boat distance record from Whitefish Lake last month. The IHPVA still hasn't ratified it - that could take years (seriously).

I am training rather hard these days trying to increase my short-term power output, which, after so much training this summer, is very impressively average. My coach is Jason Yanota and the goal is to try to get my power output up to somewhere near 280 to 300 watts for an hour. There is an intermediate challenge that I am focusing on that will require at least 250 watts straight for one hour.

I'll say more about the intermediate challenge when my NEW BIKE arrives! Training for this will prepare me for a much bigger goal on my horizon: A Human Powered Flight record. Here are a few ideas I've been playing around with:




Any ideas, suggestions, hints, thoughts, questions about HPA's - let me have'em. I'm not sure exactly what kind of record, or what kind of human powered airplane this would be - or even if I will build it. Just doing some information gathering and learning work before planing the details of a new record attempt.

This is not to suggest that Pedal The Ocean trans Atlantic project is off. One of my goals this early winter is to start construction of the new ocean crossing vessel. Nimbus kayaks is interested in building it for me, or I could build it myself - I'm open to ideas. If anyone knows of a good boat builder, please let me know.


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24 hour HPB record report


Wow... "this is one of those moments that I will never, ever forget"
I thought. My senses were being overloaded. It was nothing less than absolutely spectacular. From my three sentence blog that I typed in over my Blackberry from on board Critical Power 2 in the middle of Whitefish lake sometime around midnight: "15.5 hours into this world record attempt and I'm feeling amazing. The lake at night is absolutely spectacular. I know it can change in a minute but I'm really having a great time right now." I wondered if I was on another planet. I was turning my headlight off to get a better feel for this surreal night and I had just seen my 3rd shooting start. There must have been some major meteorite shower happening as these weren't just specs of light streaking across the sky. I'm talking full-on fireballs that leave long, dark smoke trails in their wake. On top of it all, I was feeling amazing. I mean really, really good. My average was slipping, but I was feeling no pain, and very little fatigue to speak of. The water had calmed down substantially since early evening, and I was still really cruising along rocking out to my iPod and singing at the top of my lungs. I was truly on top of the world. To experience this moment, I thought, was really what this adventure was all about. To experience a moment like this, in fact, is what EVERY adventure is really all about. This one single fleeting moment will last forever as a memory and it definitely makes every bit of effort, stress and hardship I had dealt with over the previous 5 months totally worth it.

The song that I chose to start my attempt to break uber kayaker Carter Johnson's unthinkable 242 km world record was fittingly appropriate - as it traditionally is. "Shut up and let me go" by the Ting Tings. It had been a big-time stressful week for me leading up to the attempt and I kept focusing on what I was there to do - to GO. To go as hard as I could for 24 hours without ever stopping. DOING the record was the easy part in many ways. The months of boat designing, building, testing, training and organizing was the hard part, with the stress definitely culminating in the few days leading up to the big event and I was really looking forward to getting on with the real job at hand. So just let me go!

I arrived in Whitefish on Wednesday and met with Skip Schloss who lived right on Whitefish lake and who kindly offered to act as my event organizer. Skip had found some volunteers to act as officials, helped me with some valuable ideas about exactly where to best take advantage of calm water for my course, booked a work boat to set the buoys, booked a surveyor to measure my course, sent out press releases to the local media, and got permission from the State to string some buoys to mark a course, and to use the lake for a 24 hour period. Skip was a gold mine of resources and a tremendous help.

One of the problems we had to overcome was where to station our official observers so that they could see me at all times as I made my way around the course. This took a few days to iron out, as I had to design my course along the protected west shore in Google Earth, download the way point coordinates into my Garmin GPS, then ride the course with Critical Power 2 to make sure that I was able to make the turns with her tiny, but efficient rudder. We also had to confirm that all of the markers would be visible from our observer stations along the course. This required many revisions, as my first course design was too tight and I found myself drifting dangerously close to shore, and some other ideas were hidden from view.

By Sunday, we had designed a 5.79 km out and back course with two turn around loops at each end that was placed along the west shore with the north turn around near a dock at the north end of the lake. This meant that we could station one observer on the dock for 24 hours to watch me clear the buoys in the north turn around loop, and we found that with a small array of telescopes situated in Skips house, on his deck and his neighbors lawn, that a second observer could see all of the buoys in the south turn around.

On Saturday I inflated 12 buoys, assembled and fastened flashing red LED lights to each of them, purchased some cinder blocks and some rope from the local hardware store, picked up some borrowed scopes and binoculars, confirmed with my official observers, and went through the pages of other last minute details before 'riding' my course just one more time. As luck would have it, during my last test on Whitefish Lake with CP2, I slammed the right outrigger float directly into the dock during a miscalculated 'landing' and snapped my outrigger standoffs in two. When I took CP2 out of the water, I found that the shock of the crash caused all of my 3/8" aluminum bolts to gall up (stick together, or seize) and I had to torque them apart with a wrench. I replaced the thick aluminum bolts with some thinner 1/4" stainless bolts which I thought would be fine, but would actually cause me some grief later on during the record attempt. The bolts secure the outrigger floats onto the outrigger struts in a level attitude and stop them from teeter tottering over the waves.

On Sunday, Helen, Ben, Theresa, Pat and their two kids Nick and Andy arrived from Calgary and while Helen and Theresa did some last minute shopping to get all of my support supplies ready (food, water, clothing, etc), Pat and Ben and the guys from the Whitefish Lake Services got to work dropping the buoys down into the lake to mark my course.

By Sunday night everything was ready for a 9:00 am Monday start. It was all up to me now and I wasn't exactly bursting with confidence.

Every calculation I had done - every simulation, every speed test - all confirmed that I would NOT be able to break Carters 241.8 km record. I had three 24 hour events that I had completed previously and I knew exactly how many watts of power I was physically capable of exerting for 24 hours. Knowing that I needed to end up with at least an average of 10.1 km/hr average speed to break Carters record, I also knew to a 10th of a km/hr, how fast Critical Power 2 was at various power inputs, and my average power required to maintain that critical 10.1 km/hr speed was about 10% higher than I was capable of. And this was during ideal, perfect conditions of zero wind and mirror glass calm water, which I don't think really exists for 24 hours anywhere on any lake in the world. Add some wind and waves, a few stops to change clothes and you end up with power output requirements of up to 20% higher than I have ever done before for 24 straight hours.

I had shaved Critical Power 2's weight down to just under 40 pounds, as I had calculated that every pound of additional weight could be worth up to 1 km at the end of 24 hours. I had even lost 6 pounds of body weight to weigh in at 148 pounds on race day in the hope that if I did everything possible to make CP2 faster, that it would result in slightly less pressure on my own physical performance.

I had done everything I could possibly do to make Critical Power 2 competitive with Carter's Surfski kayak record and it was now all up to me. I had to perform like I have never performed before. This was going to be tough. There was a long history of conventionally human powered boat 24 hour distance records I was challenging and there were many skeptical paddlers following my attempt, so the pressure was really on. Here is a quick history of the 24 hour paddle records, as well as the 24 hour 'pedal-boat' records. As you can see, there is obvious reason for the paddler to be skeptical of what I was attempting to do.

Kayak 24 hour records:

Date Rider Type Distance
1986 Randy Fine surfski 193 km
1991 Marinda Hartzenberg canoe 220.5 km
2006 Brandon Nelson kayak 235 km
2006 Carter Johnson surfski 241.8 km

Pedal powered boat 24 hour records:

Date Rider Type Distance
2000 Kevin & Karin Hughes Microcat Ultra 90.25 km
2000 John Howard Pedalos 168.43 km
2005 Team of 3 riders Trieste Waterbike 176.8 km
2007 Greg Kolodziejzyk WiTHiN 173.76 km

Controversy

As you can see from the "pedal powered boat" record list, I had attempted this record in June last summer. I did successfully beat John Howard's HPVA ratified 168.4 km record by pedaling my pedal and propeller powered kayak 173.76 km in 24 hours. I was contacted soon after what I thought was a victorious world record to be told that Carter Johnson along with a long list of others using conventional human powered boats like kayaks and canoes, showed a history of distances in 24 hours far beyond my paltry 174 km.

My objective regarding my pursuit of the human powered boat record is the same pure ideal that I believe in and used to guide my human powered vehicle record quest that was successful in 2006 of 1142 km - that is, to go farther than any other human has on water (or land in the case of my 1142 km land record) in 24 hours using my own power. Simple and elegant and pure. A paddled kayak DEFINITELY counts as self-powered, and as far as I am concerned, basically re-labels all of the previous 24 hour HPVA HPB records into a category that should be called "PEDAL POWERED boat records", not "HUMAN POWERED boat records". They are grossly mislabeled. John Howard's 168 km 24 hour human powered boat record from 2000 is NOT a "human powered" boat record. It is a "pedal boat" record because 14 years previous a fellow by the name of Randy Fine paddled his surf ski 193 km around a lake course setting the true "human powered" boat record. In all fairness to the HPVA, none of the previous canoe/kayak record holders were members of the HPVA, followed the HPVA competition rules or had their records ratified by the HPVA. Except for Carter who took the trouble to register with the HPVA, use HPVA officials and submit his record to them. Carters record has not yet been ratified by the HPVA, but I recognize it as the true bench mark for human powered 24 hour distance on water, as I do all of the kayak and canoe records dating back to 1986.

If the true goal of the IHPVA is to encourage technological innovation in the pursuit of human powered efficiency, then we need to know what works best, where to start and what the real targets are. If paddling a boat with oars or paddles is more efficient than propelling it with pedals and propellers, then I think that is what the IHPVA boat designers and record attempters need to be focused on either as honest bench marks that can be challenged using innovation and new technology, or as existing technologies that can possibly be improved on.

My goal was to see if human powered pedal and propeller boats could possibly be more efficient than a paddled boat at long distances. If I could beat Carters record, then it would be the final straw in the old debate as to which method of self propulsion was better, as all of the shorter distance records are currently held by pedal powered boats.

The Attempt

After a huge and delicious spaghetti dinner, followed by a large slice of calorie drenched cheese cake at our traditional "Last Supper" at Mambo Italiano restaurant in Whitefish we all headed back up to our cabin on Big Mountain and I enjoyed a restful nights sleep. I woke up refreshed at 7:00 am on Monday morning, ate a good breakfast, downed a couple cups of java and we all headed down the mountain to Skips house on the lake. When I got to Skip's house, I met with my two IHPVA officials Tom Arnone and Glen Nye and went over some IHPVA rules, their stations, viewing my course through the scopes, recording my lap times in the binder, using the atomic clock to time the start, and the race finishing procedure for Tuesday morning (which really felt strange because it seemed so very far away!).

Then Ben and I climbed into Pat Lor's boat and headed to Senator Weinberg's house where CP2 was waiting for me at his dock. I negotiated through a rather thick patch of weeds on the short trip from the Senators dock to the north observation dock and official starting line. The water was like glass - as per what the weather forecast was predicting. There waiting for me was the rest of the crew on our second support boat - a large pontoon flat deck boat rented from Extreme Motorsports. We cleaned off the mop of weeds from my prop, bow and rudder, then allowed the officials Glen and Tom to inspect CP2. After finding no secret sails or mini nuclear powered motors, we got prepared for the starting countdown. Using the Atomic clock we purchased at Radio Shack the day before, head official Tom Arnone counted the seconds down to exactly 9:30 am, and shouted GO! I crossed the green start buoy and headed out to my first marker.

My plan was to be conservative and to try to maintain an easy pace of 10.5 km/hr from the start to the finish which would put me at 252 km total and about 10 km over Carter's record. But this was far more difficult in reality because 10.5 kph felt far too easy and I was feeling rather ambitious, so decided right then and there that I would try to nail 11 km/hr for as long as I could and allow the overall average to slowly drop down to 10.5 as the 24 hours rolled by.

Once every hour or so, I would radio Helen and Theresa to tell them what I needed as far as my nutrition and hydration requirements go. Helen and I decided that since I have had stomach issues in the past, this time we were going to try to stay away from the typical carbohydrate packed energy bars and try to incorporate more regular food into my diet. I consumed 300 to 400 calories per hour consisting of pretzels, fig newtons, some balanced energy bars with a higher percentage of protein and fat with the carbs, bagels with peanut butter, noodle soup, some natural honey gels and even a cheese sandwich. To hydrate, I was consuming about 1 liters per hour of water mixed with an electrolyte. I got sick of the taste of the electrolyte after 10 hours, so switched to regular water. Over the night I drank 2 cokes, 2 Redbulls, a cup of coffee, and a cup of hot chocolate in the morning. I am happy to say that this plan worked out very well and provided me with a steady energy level without spikes and a very happy stomach.

The support package hand-offs were conducted via an extendable golf ball retriever pole with a soft vinyl lunch basket hung over the end of the rod. The extended pole was typically held by Helen from the edge of the pontoon boat. Without pausing the turn-over of the pedals, I was able to cruise right under the basket, grab it and keep on going. While I pedaled on, I unzipped the basket, removed my goodies, threw in my garbage and empty water bottle, then tossed the whole bag into the lake. They would follow me in the support boat and pick up the basket from the water.

Helen and Theresa had set up a camp at Skip's neighbors dock on the East side of the lake. My course was on the west side. When I needed something, I would call them via the two way radio, and they would hop onto the pontoon boat and cruise out to meet me somewhere along my course at the north end. This system worked out perfectly. While Helen and Theresa were handling my support needs, Pat and Ben were busy in Pat's ski boat ferrying the local press around, taking Jeff the surveyor from F & H Land Surveying around to the buoys for precise GPS location measurement, activating the LED lights on the buoys, and other general running around as issues popped up throughout the day and night. Ben was busy inside Skips with web updates, and on the course taking photos and shooting video. What a team! They were efficient, organized and had everything under control. I was able to do my thing without a concern or worry in the world about the all the crucial stuff that was happening back stage. I am very lucky to have this kind of support and I do not take it for granted.

At about 4 hours into the record attempt, the wind started to pick up from the South and make rougher conditions at the North. There was no shelter from this wind or waves along my West side course, so I had to increase my power output a bit to counter the slowdown caused by the waves. To maintain my current 10.9 kph average, I found that I had to maintain 11.5 kph on the leg going into the wind, and 10.5 to 10 on the downwind leg. This was frustrating, but I knew that it was typically the windiest part of the day and that it should calm down as night approached.

At about 7:00 pm, the water got much better and I had watched my average slip to 10.7 km/hr from 11 during the windy day. I was really going to try to not let it slip further than 10.7 if the night would stay calm. But it didn't. The wind slowly started picking up and not before long it was blowing from the North this time making whitecaps at my south turn around. I was still feeling very good though, so I just sucked it up and tried as hard as I could not to stop pedaling and not to let that average drop any further.

I was really surprised at how warm I was staying. The forecast was predicting evening low temperatures of the low 40's and I could definitely feel the temperature drop as I approached the North turn around and observation dock. But as soon as I got back down over deep water, I warmed up immediately. I think the lake water absorbs some heat during the day which was keeping me in a light sweater for most of the night.

At about 3:00 am I took my first and only quick break to slip on long tights over my legs and a light jacket. I also placed foot warmers into my socks. This pit stop took all of about 3 minutes and I was off. My average had been slipping through the night due to the ever increasing wind and was now at 10.4 kph. I now wasn't totally sure I was going to make it to 242 km before 9:30 am on Tuesday.

The last 5 hours were pretty tough. I was tired, no longer hungry, but kept stuffing food in, and getting pretty fatigued. I was also having problems doing the math. The average on my GPS was still showing an above record pace of 10.3 kph, but I knew that this wasn't my "REAL" average, as we were counting laps that were surveyed and my real average speed was the total time divided by my actual distance covered as per the surveyed course. I radioed the south observer Greg B who had taken over during the night shift from Tom and asked him for my actual average. He gave me the disappointing news that it was much lower than I had hoped for. I had to keep my speed up, I could NOT give into the agony and slow. Greg was kind enough to continually reassure me that I had the record if I could keep my speed going and this was exactly what I needed to hear.

So I pressed on. I passed Carters 241.8 km world record on my 42nd lap at 09:19:40 on Tuesday morning with a total full-lap distance of 243.2 km and I knew I had a bit more than 10 minutes left to tack on as much distance as I could, so I really started to hammer. By then, the lake had calmed remarkably which was good, but I was noticing that one of my outrigger floats was bouncing around quite excessively. My smaller 1/4 stainless bolts that were replacing the thicker aluminum bolts had worked lose and the left hand float was how flopping around on it's strut. The bow of the float was plowing right through waves rather than skimming over them. How long had it been like this? In the calm water of the last 30 minutes, I figured that this torpedo float was costing me a couple of 10ths km/hr. This was not good. I think it was flopping around like that since the peak of the wind during the night. I am lucky that my average didn't slip any further than it did!

The support boat with head official Tom, the rest of the crew, and a TV and newspaper crew from Kalispell and Whitefish. Tom counted down the finish from the Atomic clock and Ben threw in a new buoy from Pat's motor boat at my finish location at exactly 09:30. Head official Tom was watching to ensure that the buoy correctly marked my finish location. Tom took a hand-held GPS reading of the finish buoy and recorded it. After subtracting 33 feet from the GPS reading to allow for the GPS accuracy, we would add the partial lap distance to my full lap distance to come up with a final distance. Since I was near shore, a land mark on the nearby shore was also noted and recorded as a reference to my finishing location.

Here are the UNOFFICIAL Distance calculations:

Course distance by F & H Land Surveying, Inc. = 19,003.88 ft (accuracy less than 1 cm)
Number of full laps completed in 24 hours as counted by official observers = 42
Total full lap distance (42 laps x 19,003.88 ft) = 79,8162.96 feet
Final partial lap distance calculation:

Distance of finishing point (dropped buoy at 09:30) from last surveyed marker (B6) = 3410.12 feet (Garmin GPS accuracy of 33 feet)
Distance of finishing buoy from last surveyed marker corrected less Garmin GPS error (3410.12 ft - 33 ft) = 3377.12 feet
Total distance of last partial lap from start buoy (B9) to finishing point (279.58 + 965.28 + 1559.84 + 3377.12) = 6181.82 feet
Total finishing distance = 804,344.78 feet (245.1642 km, 152.338 miles)

This record is NOT official until the records committee at the International Human Powered Vehicle Association ratify it.

Thanks to my HPVA officials:

Tom Arnone
Glen Nye
Greg Bradley
Bryon Howard
Eddie Monday

Thanks to my loyal and efficient support crew. Most of these amazing people have been with me through thick and thin since the first Alabama HPV record attempt in 2005.

Skip Schloss
Helen Kolodziejzyk
Ben Eadie
Theresa Lor
Pat Lor
Nicholas Lor
Andrew Lor

Special thanks to Whitefish Lake Services for donating their work boat and their time to set my buoy course. Special thanks also to Jeff Bell and F&H Land Surveying for providing me with a survey of my course and a distance calculation. I would also like to thank Skip's friend Sandy for taking some awesome photos, and Senator Dan Weinburg for letting me store Critical Power 3 at his house the night before the attempt. Thanks to Tom LaChance for the use of his dock for our North observation station, Skips neighbor Rick Anderson for the use of his dock and lawn for my support crew and of course Skip Schloss for the use of his house and his generous hospitality.

And finally, there would be no record if not for the help from Aussie engineer Rick Willoughby with the design of Critical Power 2 based on Rick's V11. With Rick, I had unlimited access to one of the true geniuses of the human powered boat world. In my opinion, there is not a more efficient boat design on the planet. Thanks Rick.

What's next

I am asked that quite often these days. I need to get back onto the Pedal the Ocean project. That needs to be completely re-organized and I'm just not exactly sure what that will be yet. But, I have realized one thing since taking a break from the Atlantic crossing, being on the water so much this summer and our kayak trip to Johnstone Straight. It is something that I really WANT to do. I will focus on that and find a way to organize the project in a way that makes my journey across the ocean safe and fulfilling.

Until then, I have another project that is in the incubation oven. With human power, I have conquered land, water, then ......




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New world record!

No person in history has traveled further on flat water under his own power in one day than Greg.

On September 9th, 2008 Greg Kolodziejzyk set an unofficial (pending IHPVA and Guinness ratification) world record by pedaling his human powered boat 245.16 km (151.3 miles) in 24 hours on Whitefish Lake, Montana.

Here is a slide show featuring some great photos. A complete race day report is forthcoming! Enjoy!

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Unofficial Record!!!

245.164 km !!

I am trashed right now - back at the cabin after a few hours of sleep. I finished a total of 42 laps + 1.9 km of a 43rd lap equaling a total of 245.164 km This final number is unofficial because the 1.9 last partial lap needs to be adjusted for GPS error, and all of it needs to be ratified by the IHPVA, but it should end up close to that.

Much more when I recover - until then, thanks to an AWESOME CREW!! and also to you all for following.

Cheers,
Greg Kolodziejzyk

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Decals and final details




CP2 is now finally finished and ready to set a world record! I leave for Whitefish, Montana tomorrow and if the weather cooperates, the record attempt will start at 9:00 am on Monday morning. Make sure you tune into this web page for up to the minute reports on my progress.



I had some decals made for CP2:



The course and some last minute changes


The map above shows my probable course on Whitefish Lake that measures about 6 km around. Skip - my right hand man in Whitefish has a house on the lake and is out most mornings in his row boat. He really knows the lake and has made an excellent suggestion for a very protected route along the west shore. The prevailing winds over the lake are usually from the South and West, so the mountain along the south and west shore shelters the water. The photo below was taken from Skips house a few minutes ago. Note the strip of glass water along the far shore. That will be my lane.


I ran some tests on Glenmore with my small rudder compared to the large rudder and the smaller rudder was definitely faster (about 0.1 kph faster, or 2.4 km over 24 hours). The problem with the small rudder is my turn radius is very large, and if I were to get into some wind at some point during the day, I have a very hard time controlling CP2 with the minuscule 1" x 4" rudder.

The new mid-sized rudder. The brown stuff is bondo

I also tested out the flip-down kayak rudder. The idea is that I use the small rudder to maintain my course, then flip down the large bolt-on rudder for turns. This doesn't work as well as it needs to. Because both rudders are in the water at the same time during turns, the turns are very draggy and slow.


So, I decided the best solution would be to use a permanent rudder that is half-way between my tiny knife blade rudder and the large one. So, I cut the big one down to about 1/2 the size and polished it up to a shine.


I tested the new rudder, and my new prop that Manny kindly made for me after my other one broke off and fell into Glenmore reservoir. The test was in exact RACE-DAY configuration and the results were VERY good. The water was very calm and I was able to record 10.7 kph on 120 watts which is the highest speed so far (for 120 watts).

Manny's sweet CNC propeller

The new rudder is VERY sensitive, and as a result, I found that I had to make tiny course corrections very often. I found this a bit annoying, so when I got home I decided to change my steering handle from the bottom side to the GPS mount. Because I am so used to steering the M5 recumbent with my arms out and in front, I find that on long CP2 training rides, I like to place my hands on top of the GPS which is mounted on an aluminum tube that places the GPS in front of my face so that I can see my course and track at night.



I added two handle bars to the GPS mount, then added a lever to turn the steering cable. It seems to work great and I can steer just like the M5 without having to constantly lower my right hand down to the old lever. The bolt that secures the steering line to the lever is secured with a thumbscrew and it can easily be removed and the cable moved back to the old handle if need be.

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Rudder or not

I got up early this morning to get the calm water at Glenmore before the wind started howling. I met up with my sis Theresa who happened to be running by the rowing club where I was setting up CP2.


Today's training ride was to get a feel for my 'race configuration' speed and make a decision rudder or not to use the new bigger rudder or my tiny knife blade. Contrary to what you see in these photos, the water was NOT calm. 4 to 5 inch waves with a 10 wind, but at least it was consistent for the test.



The results were that the larger rudder was .1 km/hr slower than the small rudder at 120 watts out and back runs, and 170 watt out and back runs. Here is the data:
  • 2-3 inch waves, large rudder, 120 watts = 10.3 km/hr
  • 2-3 inch waves, small rudder, 120 watts = 10.4 km/hr
  • 3-4 inch waves, small rudder, 170 watts = 11.7 km/hr
  • 4-5 inch waves, large rudder, 170 watts = 11.6 km/hr
.1 km/hr works out to a whopping 2.4 km over 24 hours, but since I am killing myself for every single kilometer, I guess that the small rudder will stay. The reason I am testing out a slightly larger rudder is because I need to stay tight to my buoy marked course. The small rudder won't allow me to turn as tight as I need. The alternative is to go back to my flip-down kayak rudder that I stole from my Mirage drive Hobie Adventure.

The flip-down unit weighs 1.8 pounds and is only used when making a turn. When I am going straight, I use my small rudder to keep on track. I calculated that the weight of the flip-down rudder would cost me about 1.5 km over 24 hours which is less than the 2.4 km cost of having a larger rudder permanently in the water all the time.

I am splitting hairs here, as there is only a .9 km difference between the two approaches. I guess the deciding factor will be that if I go with the flip down rudder I have a built-in back-up for my rudder if something were to go wrong - like if my regular rudder just fell off or dissolved into thin air or got eaten by the Ogopogo or something.


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CP2 goes on a diet



At this point, I know of only 4 ways to make Critical Power 2 faster for my attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat distance record on September 8th, 2008:
  1. Increase my power output over 24 hours
  2. CALM water
  3. Reduce the weight of CP2
  4. Stay very close to course markers and keep the angle between buoys as wide as possible.
In response to item #1 (fitness) - I have been training my ass off and I do plan on increasing my average power output by 10%

In response to item#2 (calm water) - One of the reasons I am planning the attempt at Whitefish Lake in Montana is because it is a large lake and there are always areas of the lake that are sheltered by mountains depending on the direction of wind. I am hopeful that we can pick a day during the week of September 8 to 12th where there is a favorable wind forecast and from a direction that has shelter.

In response to item#3 (reduce weight) - I have shaved 10 pounds off Critical Power 2. Less weight means less displacement in the water and a correspondingly faster speed. Rick and I calculated that 10 lbs of weight reduction would be worth about 3.6 additional kms in 24 hours. It doesn't sound like much but I will need every INCH I can get.

The place I started was the floats. When I first made the carbon shells for the floats they leaked like sieves so we filled them up with expanding foam. The expanding foam expanded more that I expected and it stretched out the side walls. It was also quite heavy weighing in a 4.5 pounds per float.

I hired composites expert Dave Houbrechts to hollow the floats out, insert some Corecell bulkheads, water proof the skin, and top-off with a Corecell top deck. He did a fantastic job! They are now as narrow as they were originally supposed to be and weigh in at 1.6 pounds each.






Next, I replaced the aluminum floats strut with a carbon version. I ordered two carbon tubes and joined them together using a sleeve. To fix the strut to the floats I bonded a carbon sleeve tube to each float. The floats slide onto the strut tube and are clamped down to the tube with some aluminum bolts and washers.

The outrigger strut slides into a sleeve that is bonded to the float. Aluminum bolts through the flange on the floats clamp down the on strut tube to hold the floats tight and level



The outrigger strut fits to the top deck with two wood standoffs and aluminum bolts



I also fabricated a new rudder steer clamp with aluminum and replaced all of the stainless steel fasteners with aluminum fasteners.

And finally, I am well on my way to reducing the weight of the engine itself from 156 pounds to 150 pounds. Overall, this should result in a 15 pound weight reduction which should equate to about 6 km over 24 hours.

In response to item #4 (stay tight to course) - another potential source of drag is veering too far away from my course markers during turns. My tiny 1" wide x 4" long rudder is just too small and won't allow me to stay as close to my turn buoys as I need to. I made a new rudder than is about 2 times bigger than the old one. I need to test this to make sure that there is no substantial additional drag, but there was hardly any difference between my backup very large rudder and the tiny one. I would expect that the increase in drag this medium sized rudder adds would be insignificant, whereas my ability to control CP2 around the markers would be vastly improved.

Remember that on September 8th (or the best weather day from Sept 8th to Sept 12th), you can follow my progress by tuning into this blog. Each blog post will feature the following "24 hour progress dashboard":


Also don't forget to enter the free Nomad hand held computer contest by predicting my finishing distance (online entry form at the blog to the right).
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I was away last week in Durham, North Carolina delivering my son Cody to Duke University where he will be joining the Duke Blue Devils diving team and getting through his first year of computer science. We got him moved into his dorm, acquired his first term books, toured the campus, registered with various offices, got him cards, keys, cell phone account, etc, etc.

Cody and Krista in Cody's dorm room at Duke

It was a bit of a stressful week and a bitter sweet time for Helen and I. We are very sad to see Cody move away, but we're thrilled and excited about this new opportunity for him.

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A huge shout-out and congratulations to my two buddies Greg Bradley and Bryon Howard who both smoked Ironman Canada yesterday. Greg achieved one of his long term goals to break 10 hours and Bryon blasted out a 9:45 for 3rd place in his division and a qualifying slot for Kona!

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GPS distance measuring

Check out this cool high-tech GPS gear I got from my friends at Trimble and Geneq!



The SXBlue from Geneq is a high precision GPS that delivers sub-meter positioning accuracy and low power consumption. It uses a new GPS engine architecture that provides faster startup and acquisition times. the SXBlue will be mounted on CriticalPower2 and will transmit my position via a XTend radio frequency modem to a receiver unit tat is connected to my Trimble Nomad hand held computer which will accurately map and log my position.

Greg Bradley holds the reciever unit with
the antena mounted on a fiberglass rod.


On board CP2, I will use my Trimble Nomad running GPS software to collect redundant data and so that I can see where I am on the moving map. The Genec GPS will not only transmit my position to the ground based unit via radio, but simultaneously broadcast my GPS coordinates via Bluetooth to the Nomad which I will have in front of me as I make my way around the lake. Very slick.


This is the transmitter unit mounted behind the seat of CP2.
The GPS antennae is on the top of the Genec cap I am wearing.
They call me Super Geek.



The transmitter unit will be powered by four 7200 Ma Lithium Polymer batteries connected in parallel which will give me about 30 hours of continuous use.
The photo above shows my charging station.

The rules

According to the Guinness World Record guidelines for "GREATEST DISTANCE BY A PEDAL POWERED BOAT IN 24 HOURS", an acceptable method of measuring my distance is:
"The progress of the journey must be tracked using timed GPS position reports which are transmitted to a separate station. The onward transmission may be via Inmarsat, Argos or another system capable EITHER of collecting the data and automatically forwarding it at preset intervals OR of being polled by the base station (or both). The essential feature is that the timed GPS position reports must be collected and forwarded without any action by the participant. The data collected in this way must be submitted with the record claim and must be certified as being true and accurate by the person/persons manning this station. "
The alternative method of measuring distance which is also accepted by Guinness is the old fashioned surveyed buoy course and counting laps.

The International Human Powered Vehicle Association is reviewing the GPS distance measuring method. They suggest that using the GPS to measure a pre-existing marked course might be acceptable, but to freely wonder around the lake using the GPS to measure my distance would be against the spirit of the competition. I would have to agree to some extent.

To satisfy both Guinness and IHPVA, I may have to revert to counting laps of a professional surveyed marked course like I did during last years HPB record attempt for HPVA, and use the GPS distance for the Guinness record.

New modifications to CP2
In Whitefish I noticed that I had problems making tight turns in windy conditions so I stole the flip-down rudder off of my Hobie Adventure Mirage drive kayak and installed it on CP2. It works VERY well. When I need to turn a corner, I just pull a cord and flip down the large rudder. To make small adjustments to my course, I use my small efficient rudder.


Check this sweet elliptical chain ring out:



This is an elliptical chain ring made for me by my buddy Matt Cochran at Kittadyne. As you can see in the photo, the chain ring is not round, but oval. I rotate the ring such that the widest diameter of the oval coincides with my optimal pedal torque position. This tends to better simulate the momentum of a road bike. Riding the round ring on the boat is like pedalling your bike with the breaks on and the elliptical ring relocates more of the torque to my power position, and less to the part of the pedal stroke that doesn't do much work. It seems to work great and after 10 brutal hours on the lake yesterday, me knee seems to be a lot better. I'll post results of my training run in the next update.


my new serious haircut

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Whitefish lake



We were in Whitefish, Montana at our cabin for the weekend and I got in two great days of 8 hours straight, non stop in CriticalPower2 on Whitefish Lake.

The good news is that the conditions were way less than favorable and I still managed to end above record pace each day. I also found that because the lake is so big, that if you know what direction the wind is coming from you can go to that side of the lake and get calm water.


On Sunday I was on the north side of the 10 km long lake enjoying flat, calm, glass-like conditions when the water on the south side was rolling with 2 to 3 foot waves! By mid-afternoon the waves on the south end would swamp my hull from the tip of the bow all the way back to behind my seat. I got soaked and CP2 took on so much water through the seams that I couldn't lift her out of the water.

On Fridays ride the wind picked up in the afternoon while I was en route back to the south dock and I got blown to shore and had to jump in and drag CP2 onto the beach. I waited for 20 minutes until it calmed down a bit and re-launched. Made it back to the main dock safe and sound. On Sunday I used my large rudder which made ALL the difference with control in the rough water. With the large rudder on (slower due to increased drag), I spent about 50% of the day in waves and wind I was still able to maintain an average of 10.4 kph (10.2 required for record). My small rudder is more efficient, but I can't use the small rudder in large waves - just not enough control. The large rudder worked really well.


Sunrise on Whitefish lake

I think I can do the record attempt at Whitefish lake. According to rower Skip Schloss and a few fisherman I spoke to, it was unusually windy for the weekend there. But even with that wind, I was still able to find large areas that were very sheltered. On Friday the wind was from the south west and I had the entire 10 km west side that I used that was very calm. On Sunday the wind was from the north and the north tip of the lake was very calm. On a typical calm day, I would expect that there could be many calm areas. I was also told that the ski boats disappear mid-August when school starts back again. I found that the waves from the boats don't effect me as much as I though they would. There were dozens of motor boats all around me on Sunday, and I didn't see my speed being effected that much from them. The wakes are large and rolling, not choppy. I think additional skin friction is caused by small, scattered waves, not by large rolling smooth waves.


I think that a large, retractable rudder for turning would be beneficial. When I was looping around the North end of the lake, I found that I could do a fairly tight turn and stay in the calm water easier with the large rudder than I could with my small blade. When I was touring the west side of the lake on Friday, my turns with the small rudder took me way out into the middle of the lake which was fairly wavy. The small blade is more efficient for keeping on track though.

I borrowed the retractable rudder from my Hobie Mirage drive kayak and I want to install it on the stern of CP2. When I need to turn around at the end of the lake, I'll just flip down the large rudder, do my turn, then flip it back up again. I think this would be more efficient in the long run than doing HUGE wide turns with the small rudder and risking drifting into windy, wavy conditions.




After I finished shooting this video I found a plastic bag in my waste pouch and placed the camera into the bag. A minute later the wind and waves pushed me into shore. I had to jump out and swim to shore with CP2 in tow. I landed on PGA pro player Tyler Erickson's beach. He kindly offered me a ride to the main dock, but I was able to push off after a few minutes when conditions calmed a bit. Thanks anyhow Tyler - nice to meet you!

Early morning on Whitefish Lake

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1000 meter sprints

This is rather encouraging.

I have analyzed and calculated and ran numbers in every combination and permutation regarding my chances to break Carter Johnson's 242 km surfski 24 hour distance record. So far, to be brutal honest with you, I have not been totally convinced that I can do it. Carter is a formidable opponent and it is very difficult to beat the simple efficiency of a Surfski kayak and a paddle.

Is my boat fast enough? Am I physically capable? Both really important questions, and both difficult to answer independently.


Typical afternoon thunder boomers rolling in

However, I found a way to directly compare man and machine. I found a YouTube video of Carter doing a 4 minute, 11 second thousand meter sprint in the same Surfski kayak that he used to set the 24 hour HPB distance record. I figured that if my fitness and my boat were both up to the challenge, I should also be able to complete a 1000 meter sprint in about the same time. And I did - 4 minutes, 11 seconds exactly.

Below are the two YouTube videos - the top one showing Carter finishing his 4:11 sprint in his Surfski kayak and below that, me finishing my 4:11 sprint in Critical Power 2 human powered boat.





I haven't been training these short bursts, so my sprint interval power is probably down from what it used to be, but I was able to complete a few very painful 1000 meter intervals between 4:11 and 4:16. My interval was also interrupted by some waves from the SS Moyie paddle boat, and my prop striking the hull near the end of the interval when I was pushing out over 400 watts to finish. I am certain that I could shave at least 11 seconds off with some additional training - which would probably be good for me anyhow.

I think this is a fair comparison and at the very least, it provides me with some level of confidence that I should be able to go at least 242 km in 24 hours with the assumption that my long distance endurance is at least equal to Carters.

I have postponed the 24 hour record attempt until later in August to allow me more time to find a lake and get organized. We're off to our cabin in Whitefish, MT this week and I am planning for some epic long training days on Whitefish Lake and maybe even Flathead lake with CP2.

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I just had an email conversation with Jeff Potter about what exactly we are hoping to prove to the world by beating a simple kayak with a complicated pedal and propeller powered boat. Jeff really makes me think about the bigger picture. I get so immersed in my challenge that I sometimes lose site of why any of it matters at all.

If the record is a vast improvement over the kayak, then we could certainly state that our system is simply a better way of travelling on water by human power. It's not that simple, and I really doubt that if I break the record, it would be by a substantial amount - however, 1 km over the current record in my books at this point *IS* substantial! A kayak is simple, light weight, and inexpensive. It can be dragged up a beach and generally weeds don't effect it's forward progress much. There isn't much to break on it and you can paddle in shallow water because the draft is so small. The pedal powered boat is none of the above.


A pedal powered boat does have it's merits though - The advantages might be equal efficiency to a surfski - but I would say more comfortable to more people for longer distances than paddling. It also frees up the arms for fishing, or reading, or whatever. Most of the rowers tell me they would kill to be able to use their hands and arms during a long rowing journey.

The technology we develop in pedal powered boats, however, has far greater importance than for what Joe Sixpak wants to tool around in on the weekend. Because we are developing a means to power a boat (or a road vehicle for that matter) that does not rely on large oars or paddles extending from the hull, we have a way to make our boats more aerodynamic for wind and weather sheltering for the rider(s). On long journeys, this is substantial (as PedalTheOcean hopes to prove).

For the advancement of energy efficient water transportation, what we are developing with our pedal powered boats is DIRECTLY APPLICABLE to that end - whereas, paddle powered boats are not (I doubt anyone would be interested in pursuing a solar powered rowing boat). An adequate solar panel on CP2 would probably be the most energy efficient boat on the planet. I'm not sure how you could use a solar panel on a Surfski.

I've said this before - Human power is about the pursuit of doing more with less rather than our current way of always trying to do more with more. Someone calculated that a gas engine in Critical Power would demonstrate fuel efficiency of over 10,000 miles per gallon.

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I would like to extend a HUGE congratulations to Carter Johnson who recently won the men’s solo division of the Missouri 340 kayak river race. Carter finished the race in 37 hours, 46 minutes. Johnson’s time is record-setting for this race, now in its third year. He finished more than eight hours faster than the winner in the men’s solo division last year. WOW!

Carter Johnson during the 2007 Texas Water Safarai
Image courtesy of FitToPaddle.com




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GEEKMOBILE


Ya, I know. What a dork huh?

I met my buddy Bryon Howard at the Heritage Park docks at Glenmore reservoir to help me launch the new floating geek-mobile. I chose the Heritage docks because they are usually fairly deserted aside from a few guys trying to catch fish from the dock. I seriously did NOT want anyone to see me in this! Especially the competitive rowers and kayakers that I race around the reservoir all the time.

I knew it wouldn't work and it didn't. My average speeds were way down due to the weight of the silly fairing contraption. It was pretty calm, but there was a section of the lake that was windy and my speed decreased just as much as it usually does when I passed from the sheltered area to the windy area. After a few loops we tore off the fairing and did another couple loops unfaired as a control. Results below:



With fairing @ 150 watts = 11.2 kph
Without fairing @ 150 watts = 11.5 kph
Wind: calm sections, 5 kph sections

I know that the benefit of the fairing should really only be for moving into head winds, but from these tests, I think that the weight of the fairing during calm waters would defeat any benefit the aerodynamics of a fairing would offer for the windy portions of the ride. My gut feeling at this point is to focus on weight shaving rather than wind shielding.

That said, our calculations still predict a net overall gain if the full fairing weighs less than 10 lbs. I think this could be possible with an aluminum wire frame/mylar covering. But, I think the gain would be very small and might not worth the time or effort.


Here is a photo of Rick Gritters streamliner HPV. The photo shows it with a heat shrunk mylar covering, but I think Rick used aircraft Dacron wing material as the final cover. He says the bike weighed in at 40 lbs, so I would guess the fairing itself might be about 10 lbs.


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Friday, July 25th report and a comparison to last years record attempt:

I was on the lake for 3 hours today. The objective was non stop and to maintain 150 watts. It was fairly windy - 10 to 15 kph and quite wavy for most of the 3 hour ride. My SRM battery died after an hour, so I don't know what my ending power average was, but it was probably between 140 and 150 watts. My speed however was very low - 10.5 kph. There were quite a few stops due to weeds collecting on the prop and wrapping around the bow. These stops were probably responsible for .5 kph of the average. Still, without these stops, I would really only have been at an average of 11 kph. 10.2 kph is record pace. Calm water is a very important factor.

I looked back at last years blogs to see where I was during training for last years pedal boat record attempt. On May 18th I finished a 10 hour day on Glenmore reservoir. I reported that it was very windy at times, and dead flat at times. I was pedaling an early version of WiTHiN which is based on a double kayak with a recumbent seat, pedals and a propeller. I finished the 10 hours at 7 kph average speed which was right at the 168 km record I was training to break. This compares now to an entire day spent on the water with CP2 and ending with an average of 11 kph (I am using the average speed from my 5.25 hour training day because it included both calm and windy periods just like last years comparison training day) which is 264 km in 24 hours, which is 22 km over the current record of 242 km. This is encouraging.

WiTHiN-24 from the 2007 HPB record attempt

To summarize, my long training day average speed from last years boat WiTHiN was right at the record pace, and this years long training day average speed on CP2 is slightly over the record pace.

Also, here is how both boats average 150 watt speeds compare to their respective records they were design to break:

WiTHiN 150 watt speed = 9.2 kph
24 hour record = 173.76 km
Theoretical 150 watt 24 hour distance = 24 hours * 9.2 kph = 220.8 km
150 watt efficiency over the record = 127%

CriticalPower2 150 watt speed = 11 kph (average water and wind)
24 hour record = 242 km
Theoretical 150 watt 24 hour distance = 24 hours * 11 kph = 264 km
150 watt efficiency over the record = 109%

CriticalPower2 150 watt speed = 11.5 kph (calm water and wind)
24 hour record = 242 km
Theoretical 150 watt 24 hour distance = 24 hours * 11.5 kph = 276 km
150 watt efficiency over the record = 114%

CriticalPower2 150 watt speed = 11.8 kph (mirror flat)
24 hour record = 242 km
Theoretical 150 watt 24 hour distance = 24 hours * 11.8 kph = 283.2 km
150 watt efficiency over the record = 117%

As you can see, this comparison shows that it will be more difficult to break the 242 km record in CP2 than it was to break the 168 km record in WiTHiN. However, my training day average now shows a higher average speed relative to the respective record than last years training day average.

"At some point you have to put the calculators down and just go for it."
Greg Kolodziejzyk


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3 hr fairing test


This is what the wind sees

I spent 3 hours on the water Monday non-stop at 150 watts with the front and rear fairings on and my overall ending speed average was quite disappointing. I ended up at 145 watts and 11 kph. The wind was very calm for Calgary - long periods of very calm with pockets of 5 kph wind and ripples to 10 kph gusts with a bit more roughness in the water, but over all a very good example of a calm weather day - probably about as good as I could expect for an entire 24 hours.

I don't think the fairing did a thing, but it is hard to say for sure. Compared to the last 5 hour non-stop run where I ended at 160 watts and 11.4 kph average. The first 3 hours were very calm like Mondays test and my average was at 150 watts and 11.3 kph average - this compares to 11 kph from Monday in the same conditions, but with the added weight of the fairing shell on CP2. All that said, it is still hard to say for sure because I was continually pulling weeds off the prop. My speed can slow down by up to 1/2 kph or more when there is a weed on the propeller. There are sections of the reservoir where large patches of weeds are growing right up to 6" of the surface. It's a major pain.

I need to clarify a few of the reasons regarding testing of a fairing, as I've been getting quite a few emails. I know that at low speeds of 10 km/hr, the aerodynamic drag reduction from a fairing won't provide much additional speed. I am also aware that my fairing only went half way in creating a really good, smooth airflow over the cockpit because it stops abruptly before the pedals and starts again right behind my back. The reason why we think it could help is mostly due to reducing the effect of pedaling into any head wind. This is the same reason why WiTHiN human powered ocean crossing boat is fully faired. When I am moving forward at 10 km/hr into a 15 km/hr head wind, the apparent speed of the hull through the air is 25 km/hr and at 25 kph, a fairing is very effective.

For those of you reading this who aren't aware of my previous project, I did play a large role in the design and development of Critical Power human powered vehicle where I set a 24 hour distance record of 1041,24 km by circling a 1/2 mile oval race track in Eureka, California in the summer of 2006. When Ben and I designed the fairing shell for Critical Power, we ran various shapes through CFD software to test and refine the shape.


Also - about comparing my faired human powered boat performance to Carters unfaired effort, I don't see any reason why a fairing would be considered cheating or some kind of unfair advantage. One of the advantages of pedal/propeller power over paddle power is that we have the option to encapsulate the driver because there are no large paddles or oars that extend out from the boat that need to be allowed for. A large benefit of the pedal/prop platform is that it is more aerodynamic to start with due to the lack of the draggy paddles, so why not build-on that as a feature? I mean, that is the whole idea behind my pursuit of what can be accomplished using human power and some open minded innovation.

Hopefully technology that we develop and demonstrate will inspire new attitudes toward pursuing energy efficient boats and vehicles. Human power is about doing more with less rather than our current gluttonous attitude of doing more with more.



My buddy Gary takes CP2 for a spin

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fairing test and 10 mph!

Because I realize that dealing with some wind for most of the afternoon during the 24 hour distance record attempt is going to be a given, I decided to test out a fairing. At 10 km/hr, an aerodynamic fairing won't help very much, when when I am pushing CP3 10 km/hr into a 10 km/hr head wind, my apparent speed is actually 20 km/hr, and at 20, the advantages of a fairing could be substantial.


The fairing was easy to make - just a thin PETG clear plastic sheet curved over a curved plywood bulkhead. I had a few large sheets of PETG in the shop from when I was making canopy domes for Critical Power streamliner. Both the front and rear fairings took me a total of a few hours to make.



The test was the same loop I did at the reservoir on Friday at 150 watts and my average speed was 11.5 km/hr. This is .1 km/hr faster than without the fairing. That's only about 2.4 km over 24 hour and only 1.2 km if half the day is calm. It was typically windy with some calm periods. I would say periods of 10 to 15 km/hr winds with patches of calm.



At this point, I can't say for sure that pursuing this fairing is worth it. I will experiment with additional fairing to fill in the area behind my seat and possibly some additional covering for the sides of the cockpit. Over 24 hours including some calm periods where a fairing would not help at all, I would say the weight of the fairing which increases the displacement could result in a SLOWER over all average.



I can still set the entire boat up at the car in the parking lot and carry it on my shoulder down to the dock.




Here is a video of me hitting 10 miles per hour (16 km/hr) in CP3.
I'm not sure why the image is so washed out.


I decided to maintain 400 watts as I approached the dock and got Gary to film this. I hit 16 km/hr then the prop flexed up so high it struck the hull. I've done 15 km/hr before and the prop clears the hull - I guess 16 is the limit for now unless I lower the angle of the shaft and gear box. I think I could hold 400 watts for about 4 minutes which means it might be possible for me to average 16 km/hr for 1000 meters.

Mixing it up with the rowers

My buddy Gary was with me and here's a photo of him taking CP2 for a spin. The fairing might not help the speed all that much, but it sure looks cool! It would look even better if it was painted silver with a giant Critical Power 2 logo on the side.


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6 hour trial results - not great


I got out to Glenmore reservoir yesterday for a 'race-day' simulation. The goal was to maintain my target wattage non-stop for 6 hours following a GPS route that I plotted on my Garmin etrex using Google Earth. I would then have a really good idea how close I could get to Carters 242 km kayak record using this real-world test data and extrapolating my result out to 24 hours.

It's very close, but probably slightly UNDER Carters record at this point. My average power was 160 watts and 11.4 km/hr average speed. I plugged these numbers into Ricks excel calculator and came up with an expected average speed of 10.1 km/hr for 120 watts which is the average power I hope I could end up with for 24 hours. This is a total of 242.4 km - almost smack dab exactly what Carters record is. BUT, I didn't allow for the difference between my actual track and the surveyed course. Since I would be rounding the marked course to the outside of the buoys, I will end up travelling further than I am given credit for. I was also able to measure this 'slippage' and it works out to about 1.9%. Adding 1.9% to the total distance of 242.2 km would mean that just to EQUAL Carters record, I would need to go 246.8 km - an additional 4.8 km, or .2 km/hr additional average speed (significant). I think I can reduce the slippage but it would mean more buoys in the water marking out a rounder, smoother course. One of the reasons my slippage was so high was because I had plotted a GPS course using very few waypoints which meant that my corners were sharp. You can see in the image above how far my track veered off of the course.

The other issue with the projected 10.1 km/hr average speed is that it is based on ending with 120 watts of average power and so far, my peak average power for a 24 hour event has been 115 watts. 155 watts would convert to 10 km/hr + 1.9% slippage would equal 235.4 km. This is 6.6 km short of the record.

My average speed would have been higher if there was no wind, but for the first 4 hours of yesterdays test, the wind was pretty calm - probably about what I could expect for a day of very calm weather in Calgary. Probably 5 to 10 kph wind with periods of flat calm and periods of ripples. At the 5 hour point the daily poltergeist thunder storm blew in and I barely made it out of the water before all hell broke loose. I was racing back to the dock with 2 foot whitecaps breaking all over the deck and got slammed head first into the dock because I couldn't stop. I had placed a new 62 tooth front chain ring on my cranks and my chain pulley wasn't tight enough to allow me to back pedal, so I had no breaks.

My average speed also would have been a bit higher if I weren't carrying so much additional weight. Since I was by myself on the water yesterday for 6 hours (cut short by 45 minutes due to the storm), I had to carry 6 hours of water, food, some extra clothes, a life jacket (got in trouble from the patrol boat the other day about not having a PFD on board), etc. I figure I was carrying an additional 15 pounds which is quite a bit. Without that additional weight, I might expect 11.4 km/hr at 150 watts of power rather than 160 average watts. This would equate to 10.4 km/hr at 120 watts average power (249.6 km total), and 10.1 km/hr at 110 watts of average power (242.4 km total).

Jeff posted a comment regarding the rules, GPS data and the surveyed course to this blog post that I thought was rather important, so here it is along with my reply

  1. Now, if you could keep an average speed of about 13.0 km/hr for 120 watts, I might win the computer.
    seriously though Greg, what ever the end result, you will still be a winner to us that are rooting for you.
    The course you will be going around. Will the actual distance be taken from how many laps you complete in 24hrs or will they accept a GPS reading as it is in basically still water?

    Jeff in the UK

  2. # Blogger Adventures of Greg

    Jeff: The IHPVA will only accept the # of laps I make around a professionally surveyed course submitted with verification by qualified observers that I followed the course.

    Guinness on the other hand will accept transmitted GPS data as long as the GPS data is transmitted wirelessly from the GPS on board to a remote station and the data is sent to Guinness and has not been in contact by me.

    IHPVA may accept GPS data for distance, but I would have to subtract the known error which could be up to 20 meters per waypoint (significant). The alternative is to find a high resolution GPS. I haven't looked into that, but it may greatly reduce slippage.

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PREDICT GREG'S FINISHING DISTANCE CONTEST UPDATE:

As I progress along with these tests and further refinements to CP2, you can revise your contest prediction as many times as you like. We will take your latest prediction as your final prediction and the contest will close the day before the record attempt.

Enter your prediction or revised prediction here:




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Physical issues:

The majority of my distance training has been on the M5 lowracer which is the exact same geometry as CriticalPower2, so I would expect that my muscles are fully adapted to the position. This does not seem to be the case. After my 5 hour non-stop ride on the water with CP2 yesterday, I notice that I was getting a sore knee which is a bit tender today. There seems to be a difference between pushing the pedals around on the road bike vs pushing them around on CP2. I think that there is a lack of momentum helping the pedal stroke around and this stress is relatively new to my legs - meaning that I will probably require more specific boat training to be fully ready for 24 hours and especially if I want to achieve the higher average power output required to break the record.


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Goals

Every time I do an Ironman race (or marathon) I try to come up with a prioritized list of goals for that race. For example, here are my goals for Ironman in order of importance:

1. To place high in my division and qualify for a world championships slot for Ironman Hawaii
2. To set a new personal record
3. To break 11 hours
4. To finish the race

The idea of using the ranked objectives is to provide some alternative goals if the first goal doesn't look like it will be possible. At Ironman Arizona in 2006, I had the race of my dreams and was able to accomplish the first goal and got a Kona slot. I have finished 13 Ironman triathlons and have accomplished goal one once, goal two a few times, goal three a few times, and goal four 13 times.

Here are my goals for the 24 hour human powered boat distance record:

1. To break Carters human powered boat 24 hour record of 242 km and have the record ratified by the IHPVA (International Human Powered Vehicle Association)
2. To break my own pedal powered boat 24 hour distance record of 173.76 km and have it ratified by Guinness World Records

The difference between the Guinness record and the IHPVA record is the IHPVA record allows ANY kind of human powered boat including a kayak, a row boat, a pedal powered boat or even a swimmer. It is pure and simple and an ideal that I believe in and pursue with passion. The HPVA record is the record that Carter owns (in my view, but it has yet to be officially ratified by the IHPVA records committee for unknown reasons). The Guinness record that I own is from last summers record attempt. I was able to beat the existing IHPVA 24 hour HPB record of 168 km, but wasn't aware of Carters 242 km pending record. I was able to establish a record category at Guinness for pedal boat distance in 24 hours, and was awarded that record. Goal number 2 is to break my own record of 173.76 km which I feel should be fairly easy to do with Critical Power 2 compared to the big and slow WiTHiN-24 which was essentially a tandem kayak with a recumbent seat and pedals. It was heavy and inefficient compared to the new CP2.


-----------------------------------------
Lakes

My search for a QUIET, isolated lake has not been going well. I have been speaking with Rachel from Parks Canada about using Emerald lake or Lake Louise for the attempt. She has been helpful, but has determined that it would definitely be considered an 'event' and as such would require various approvals from Parks Canada. She thinks she can get me final word on these approvals by the end of August! I'm not holding my breath. Another problem with the mountain lakes is they are typically situated below glaciers which feed them. I've been told that cold catabatic winds blow down the the glaciers every afternoon, so I'm not sure how much additional wind shelter these mountain lakes would provide.

Moving further west into BC has some issues as well. I was speaking to a BC parks guy and he tells me that most lakes that are accessible by vehicle are filled up with water skiers and motor boats every day during the peak summer season. There are a few lakes with motor bans, but they are typically very small - possibly too small for my 24 hour record attempt.

So, I've been taking another look at Glenmore Reservoir. If I can pick a good, calm weather day, I might expect 5 to 10 kph for most of the afternoon with calm during the night. I would say maybe 50% of the day could be calm and 50% could be a bit windy. That's why I consider my test yesterday at Glenmore pretty typical of a calm day. I had periods of flat calm, and periods of 10 to 15 kph winds with ripples and small waves.

I think that rather than pulling my hair out trying to find a windless lake far away from Calgary and all of my volunteers, observers, family and friends, I am going to have to plan and deal with some wind and just try to pick a good weather window for the attempt and do it here in Calgary on Glenmore where there is no motor boats allowed. Many of you have suggested taking a look at a fairing, but according to our calculations, a fairing would not be very effective if the winds were less than 5 kph. With winds varying from 10 to 15 kph periodically, a fairing could possibly be effective. It won't help with reducing drag due to the wavy water surface, but pedalling CP2 10 km/hr into a 10 km/hr head wind is like 20 km/hr wind on the bow of the boat. At 20 km/hr, a fairing becomes very effective.

Have a great weekend!
Greg

-------------------------------------------
Greg is challenging kayaker Carter Johnson's
24 hour distance world record of 242 km
with a new human powered boat specially built
for this record attempt. (Last week of July, 2008)

PREDICT GREG'S FINISHING DISTANCE
AND WIN A FREE TRIMBLE NOMAD
HANDHELD RUGGED COMPUTER!
Enter now:
http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPB/HPBmain.html

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enter my contest!

Win a FREE Trimble Nomad® Handheld Computer!
Predict my finishing distance and you can win a free
Trimble Nomad handheld rugged computer.



The farthest distance a human has travelled under his own power on flat water is 242 km by Carter Johnson on April 29-30, 2006 on Lake Merced, California using a Huki S1-x surfski kayak. On the week of July 27 to August 2, Canadian Greg Kolodziejzyk is going to challenge Carter's record using a specially designed, state of the art carbon fiber pedal powered boat called Critical Power 2.



Event sponsor Trimble is offering a free Nomad® handheld computer to whoever can come the closest to predicting Greg's finishing distance during his attempt at a new 24 hour human powered boat distance record.

The contest is free to enter and open to anyone. Simply fill in your name, email address and distance prediction in miles or kilometers on the form found below.

The new Trimble Nomad handheld computer delivers maximum performance and reliability in a lightweight and extremely rugged design that's easy to carry. Featuring built-in GPS, color camera, embedded Bluetooth and 802.11g wireless, the waterproof Nomad weighs just 17 ounces, meets military specifications for drops, vibration, and both high and low temperature operation, and runs Windows Mobile 6. With rounded edges to fit comfortably in your hand, the Nomad works wherever and whenever you need it. More information on the amazing Trimble Nomad can be found here.

Contest entrants can follow my progress live during the record attempt here at the BLOG: www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPB/HPBmain.html





Labels:

Thunderstorms



Training is going well, but the weather isn't exactly cooperating. I did a 3 hr hard & fast ride last night and got caught in the worst electrical storm. Total down pour mixed with hail and thunder and lightening all around me. I got drenched and wasn't really anywhere convenient to pull over, so I just hammer through.



Same thing today, but this time I was on Glebmore res. Luckily it's just warm enough outside to stay warm through it by stoking the furnace with about 250 watts.

I'm trying to get out to the lake for as much training as possible this week because Helen and I are cycling Sonoma in California next week. I'll be on the M5 for that.

I got some decent speeds today on Glenmore despite the rough water due to the winds. 11.3 kph average speed for a 5.8 km loop of the entire lake at 150 watts. most of the lake was ripples with sections of 6 to 8" waves, and even some waves breaking over the deck. Updated speed data below:

Speed data:

date lake power watts wind kph waves rudder prop loop size km loop dir other SPEED kph
06/05/08 elbow 150 5 ripples big thin .5 counter
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat big thin .5 counter
11.2
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thick .5 counter
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter prop strut pulled into hull with cord 11.6
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat none thin .5 counter
11.8
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 clock
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 10 ripply small thin .5 counter
11.5
06/12/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thin .5 counter
11.0
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thick .5 counter
10.9
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thick .5 counter
11.3
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter skimmer 10
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter skimmer 10.2
06/16/08
elbow
150
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
flex shaft & freehub
11.9
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow100
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
flex shaft & freehub10.3
06/16/08elbow200calmflatsmallthin.5counterflex shaft & freehub13.2
06/16/08Glenmore
150
calmflatsmallthin2
out&back
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin2.6
out&back
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin1.35
counter
flex shaft & freehub10.9
06/16/08Glenmore15010
ripply
none
thin
.84
counter
flex shaft & freehub11.6
06/16/08Glenmore15010ripplybig
thin
.8
counter
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/17/08Ghost
150
5
ripply
small
thin
.8
out&back
flex shaft & freehub11.6/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.52counterflex shaft & freehub11.5
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.56clockflex shaft & freehub11.6
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick1out&backflex shaft & freehub11.7/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick.7out&backflex shaft & freehub. NO PROP STRUT
11.8/11.2 = 11.5
06/28/08U Kanan
15010waves, ripples,
some calm
smallthin7.19out&backflex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripples
smallthin1.19clockflex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripplessmallthin1.13counterflex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan15010waves, ripples
smallthin10.3giant loop of lake - counter
flex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan12010waves, ripples,
smallthin10.1giant loop of lake - clockflex shaft10.1
06/28/08U Kanan1205ripples

smallthin1clockflex shaft10.5
06/28/08U Kanan1005ripplessmallthin1clockflex shaft9.6
07/01/08Glenmore1505-106 to 8" waves
smallthick2out & back
flex shaft, alum spiners,
heavy boat
11.3
07/01/08Glenmore1505-108" wavessmallthick6clock loop entire lake
flex shaft, alum spiners,
heavy boat
11.3
07/01/08Glenmore1505ripples
smallthick.8out & back
flex shaft, alum spiners,
heavy boat
11.4
07/02/08Glenmore15010-15waveysmallthin.8out & backflex shaft, alum spiners,
heavy boat
11.3
07/03/08Glenmore1500calmsmallthick1.5out & back(same above)
heavy boat
11.5
07/03/08Glenmore1500calmsmallthick5.6counter loop
(same above)
heavy boat
11.4
07/03/08Glenmore2005-10ripples, waves
smallthick5.6clock loop
(same above)
heavy boat
12.4
07/03/08Glenmore1205-10ripples, wavessmallthick5.6clock loop
(same above)
heavy boat
10.4
Observations
1. Every 5 kph of wind equates to .1 kph decrease in speed
2. Big rudder is .6 kph slower than small rudder. Small rudder is .1 kph slower than no rudder
4. Paint vs packing tape was worth a speed increase of .1 kph
5. Elliminating the prop strut is worth an additional .1 kph in speed.
6. Counter clockwise loops at Elbow Valley lake are worth an additional .2 to .3 kph average speed due to current.
7. remove the seals and backing off the lock-nuts on the gear box are worth an additional .1 kph average speed.
8. The narrowed 1/4" spring steel shaft compared to the 3/8" stainless shaft is worth .1 kph speed increase

k

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WOW! Spectacular day!


Long training day on upper Kananaskis Lake

What an amazing day! I met Chris Comfort at Upper Kananaskis lake on Saturday morning and spent the next 4 hours collecting speed and power data by blasting around the large 10 km circumference lake on Critical Power 2 (yes, it now has an official name and logo - perhaps you recognize it?)

Things look OK - not super great, but good enough to move forward with my plans for an attempt at the 243 km human powered boat distance record.

The big problem is I realize that WIND is a huge issue around here. I will NOT be able to find a day with zero winds. On the very best weather day, I can probably expect glassy conditions at dust, dawn, perhaps during most of the night, but mid-afternoon there will always be at least 5 to 10 kph winds.


I think my 24 hour record venue lake has to be small enough NOT to allow 5 to 10 kph winds to build up big waves. Upper Kananaskis lake is large and the winds only ever got to 5 to 10 yesterday (when they were easily 15 to 20 in the city), but the waves were over 1 foot high with white caps. On my long, 10 km loops around the circumference of the lake I often got tossed around quite a bit and the wind really does suck speed away. I have always measured better test results from doing small loops in small lakes because even with a 5 to 10 kph wind, the waves never get beyond ripples. A ripple in a small lake becomes a 1 foot wave in a large lake.

Here is the data for the Kananaskis lake day:
  1. 10 km circumference of the entire lake, 150 watts, 5 to 10 kph winds, waves at times, dead calm at other times, very windy at times = 11 kph average (I repeated this TWICE and got the exact same average)

  2. Same loop as above, same mixed conditions but with 120 watts average power (this is what my overall average power expectation will be for 24 hours) = 10.1 kph (that's 242 km total in 24 hours)

  3. Small, 1 km loop in protected bay. It was still 5 to 10 kph winds, but water was ripply rather than wavy. 150 watts = 11.5 kph (repeated this both directions with same average)

  4. Small, 1 km protected loop at 120 watts (my goal wattage for 24 hours) = 10.5 kph (255 km over 24 hours)

  5. Small, 1 km protected loop at 100 watts = 9.6 kph (230.4 km over 24 hours)


At Elbow Valley lake, the best I measured during calm conditions was 11.8 kph for a 150 watt .5 km loop. If I subtract .3 for the current, that would equal 11.5 which was what I got at Kananaskis yesterday for 5 to 10 kph windy day. I can probably ADD .2 kph for a windless day and I would be at 11.7 which is .2 kph higher than the best I was getting at Elbow. The .2 kph gain could be due to the freeing up of the gear box.

lunch break with Chris

I cannot use the lake at Elbow anymore for a control! I went out there the day before yesterday and the weeds are growing up to the SURFACE! I did not get one single run in without having to stop to tear weeds off the prop. I think that same thing was happening at Ghost and Glenmore which was why I was getting such poor test results. There was an article in the paper last week about weed growth in local area lakes being a big problem this year.


TRAINING

The 4 hour solid effort yesterday was a good experience for me, and I realize that spending more time training in the boat is necessary. There is a subtle difference between pedaling on my M5 road recumbent and the boat, and I didn't 'feel' it until after I was finished yesterday. In preparation for the 24, I have been doing plenty of single leg drills on my M5 rides. I am now able to go almost indefinitely with one leg on the M5. This has been good to strengthen and reinforce my CIRCLING, but it is still different that on the boat.

With the bike, I have momentum from a 'push' pedal stroke that carries through to the 'pull' portion of the pedal stroke. During the pull, I can take advantage of the previous push force, and most of my pulling effort is just lifting the weight of the leg around. On the boat, there is far LESS momentum due to the increased drag of the water. For the portion of the pedal stroke (VERY small portion, but it is still there) where a single leg is doing some pulling, there is a greater resistance and therefore more effort during that phase. It adds up over time. The test to really feel this is to compare a single leg drill on both the M5 recumbent and the boat. It is much easier to keep a higher wattage on the M5 with one leg than it is on the boat because I take take advantage of my powerful PUSH muscles on the M5, whereas on the boat, I must recruit weaker PULL muscles slightly more often - like I said, over time it adds up.


I am starting to experience some of the same issues that I experienced last year, and earlier this year - sore knees and sore Achilles again. This makes sense because the portion of the pedal stroke that is not being assisted by the opposite leg the most, is near the top - the 'rounding over' of the pedal. This action to the leg, is like kicking a soccer ball and directs more stress to the knee - the same road bike geometry as an extreme seat-forward position which is known to cause knee problems. The opposite leg is doing the same from below, but it is the Achilles that is doing the work.

Not that I would bother trying this at this point, but I believe the easy solution would be to incorporate a fly wheel into the drive. And no, I don't think the freewheel helps because this is all happening way to fast for the pawls to kick in. The more difficult solution is to continue to train into this geometry.

Speed data:

date lake power watts wind kph waves rudder prop loop size km loop dir hull floats other SPEED kph
06/05/08 elbow 150 5 ripples big thin .5 counter taped norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.2
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm prop strut pulled into hull with cord 11.6
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat none thin .5 counter painted norm
11.8
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 clock painted norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 10 ripply small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.5
06/12/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.0
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thick .5 counter painted norm
10.9
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.3
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers rods 10
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers no rods 10.2
06/16/08
elbow
150
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub
11.9
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow100
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub10.3
06/16/08elbow200calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub13.2
06/16/08Glenmore
150
calmflatsmallthin2
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin2.6
out&back
paintednormflex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin1.35
counter
paintednormflex shaft & freehub10.9
06/16/08Glenmore15010
ripply
none
thin
.84
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6
06/16/08Glenmore15010ripplybig
thin
.8
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/17/08Ghost
150
5
ripply
small
thin
.8
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.52counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.5
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.56clockpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.6
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick1out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.7/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick.7out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub. NO PROP STRUT
11.8/11.2 = 11.5
06/28/08U Kanan
15010waves, ripples,
some calm
smallthin7.19out&backpaintednormflex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripples
smallthin1.19clock

flex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripplessmallthin1.13counter

flex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan15010waves, ripples
smallthin10.3giant loop of lake - counter


flex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan12010waves, ripples,
smallthin10.1giant loop of lake - clock

flex shaft10.1
06/28/08U Kanan1205ripples

smallthin1clock

flex shaft10.5
06/28/08U Kanan1005ripplessmallthin1clock

flex shaft9.6
06/28/08Glebmore1505-106 to 8" waves
smallthick2out & back


flex shaft, alum spiners
11.3
06/28/08Glebmore1505-108" wavessmallthick6clock loop entire lake


flex shaft, alum spiners11.3
06/28/08Glebmore1505ripples
smallthick.8out & back


flex shaft, alum spiners11.4
Observations
1. Every 5 kph of wind equates to .1 kph decrease in speed
2. Big rudder is .6 kph slower than small rudder. Small rudder is .1 kph slower than no rudder
3. Right hand turns dramatically slow the boat down.
4. Paint vs packing tape was worth a speed increase of .1 kph
5. Elliminating the prop strut is worth an additional .1 kph in speed.
6. Counter clockwise loops at Elbow Valley lake are worth an additional .2 to .3 kph average speed due to current (??? need to verify)
7. remove the seals and backing off the lock-nuts on the gear box are worth an additional .1 kph average speed.
8. The narrowed 1/4" spring steel shaft compared to the 3/8" stainless shaft is worth .1 kph speed increase


Labels: ,

Lousy day



Why is it that when ever I make some solid plans, things just get all messed up?

I created a draft for a press release for the 24 hour record attempt - It is still a work in progress, but you can check it out here if you like:

http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/24hour.html

Then I made plans for a long training day today (Thursday) on the water with the boat gathering some really solid speed/watts averages over about 5 hours. This is what I need as my final sort of confirmation that breaking Carter's 242 km distance record is even remotely possible for me.

I'm not sure I mentioned this before, but I found some spring steel to use as a flexible propeller shaft, but it was 1/4" rather than my 3/8" stainless shaft. I had to get my machinist wizard to whip me up some new couplers to mount the shaft onto the gear box, and to mount my 3/8" bore prop and hardware onto the other end of the new 1/4" shaft. I picked up the new parts from Manny yesterday and installed them along with a new 55 tooth chain ring and new Dura-ace chain. Of course, the new chain ring meant adding a link to the chain which meant moving the gear box back to tension the chain, but I didn't think twice about it and assumed everything would be great.


This is the new extended coupler between the gear box and the new 1/4" spring steel shaft. We shortened the length of spring steel shaft being curved by starting the shaft at the water level.
Wrong. (loud buzzer inserted here!). I drove 45 minutes to Ghost lake today prepared to spend the day out there and right away the prop started smashing into the hull. DAM! When I adjusted the gear box position, I had inadvertently reduced the shaft angle and now at 150 watts (about 83 rpm with my new gear ratios), my razor sharp prop starts to slice through the thin carbon hull. Basically, two knives spinning at 400 rpm.

I stopped in time to save the hull from being cut open and messed around with the chain length and gear box angle to fix it lake-side. I was able to lower the prop so it didn't hit the hull when I spun-up by lengthening the chain. The chain was floppy and derailed continuously, but I did get a couple of out and back runs in at my target 150 watts. My speed was disappointingly slow - I think just over 11 km/hr - that sucks! I was expecting an additional .2 km / hr speed GAIN. The reason is that I was speaking to George from Mitrpak about the preload on the gear box. He had run some tests and determined that I should back-off the lock nuts and remove the seals. I did, and instantly REMOVED the 5 watts it took to spin the gear box! This is really new news, as an 5 additional watts is now magically ADDED to my power which according to the calculator, should result in an additional 1.5 to 2 tenths of a km/hr speed gain. For free! I have no idea why I wasn't seeing anything close to what I was expecting for speed, so I packed everything up and drove the 45 minutes back home. It was getting windy as freaking usual, so that could be one reason for the lack-luster speeds.

Back into the shop yet again. I decided the best way to isolate the gear box angle from the chain tension is to add a spring loaded chain guide. Luckily I had a Surely chain guide that I was able to fit onto the frame. It actually works really well. I can adjust my gear box angle, or swap the 12 tooth gear for a 13 tooth and not have to add or remove links from the chain.

This is the new spring loaded chain guide. It seems to work great.

The plan is to test this at Elbow tomorrow morning first thing before the wicked wind starts to roar. I have two shafts ready to test - the free, strutless shaft and a version with the old strut. I'm trying to get everything set so I can focus on planning the 24 hour event and my training. I expected that I was there - done. Ready to move on. This is very frustrating. I'm also trying to get everything set for a long testing day at upper Kananaskis lake on Saturday with my friend Chris Comfort.

ah well, if this was easy everyone would do it. Actually, no. I think they would all rather be doing something else. Non-stop pedalling for 24 hour straight isn't exactly a luxury cruise.

Along with the larger chain ring, I also lowered my seat ever further. This meant cutting out a section of the aluminum frame and shortening it. This position is now EXACTLY like the M5. I want to be sure that 100% of my M5 training applies to the HPB record.


I also changed the steering -
this works WAY better and I guess it was one thing that happened today





Labels:

An honest look at my chances

I sat down with the last 5 years of my SRM power data from training, the speed test results from 3 different lakes with V11G and a calculator and tried to come up with a realistic prediction of what my chances are to beat Carter Johnson's 242 km flat water kayaking 24 hour distance record. I needed to consider what the weather conditions would likely be during the attempt, what my realistic power output capabilities are, and the differences between the surveyed course and my actual track.

My prediction is that I will cover between 242 km and 256 km. It will be CLOSE, and it will probably be the toughest physical challenge I have ever attempted.



When I set the 24 hour human powered vehicle distance record of 1042 km in 2006, we were able to accurately predict my potential distance before the event by testing Critical Power streamliner on the track at various power outputs using the SRM. I knew from training and previous 24 hour record attempts, that I was capable of finishing a 24 hour event with an AVERAGE power output of between 110 and 115 watts. This finishing average seems low, but it INCLUDES zeros logged from brief periods when I was not pedalling, and pit stops. My actual average when turning the pedals around was between 150 and 160 watts.

Predicting my distance based on real average power output is basic physics. If we know what the total amount of energy that is put into the system (watts of power), the drag coefficient, and rolling resistance of the vehicle, air density and other environmental factors, then we can fairly accurately predict distance covered.

I can do exactly the same thing with V11G and the 24 hour human powered boat distance record. If you look at the speed graph above, you will see that the curve isn't perfectly linear meaning that using an overall average power output shouldn't result in the same average speed that using ACTUAL fluctuating power values would. But in this case, it does.

For example, If I pedalled at 150 watts of power for the first 12 hours, according to the graph, I would average 11.7 km / hr, and if I pedalled at 100 watts for the last 12 hours, I would average 10.1 km / hr resulting in a total 24 hour average speed of 10.9 km / hr and 125 watts of total average power. Looking at the graph, we see that my average speed for 125 watts of power is exactly 10.9 km / hr, so the graph data is fairly linear at power levels that I would normally be operating at for a 24 hour effort.

To estimate my total average power output capability over 24 hours, I used two SRM data files: the first 12 hours from the 2006 HPV 24 hour record (the SRM battery died after 12 hours), and confirmation data from a 14 hour, 400 km training ride from Calgary to Jasper in 2006.

My averages for the first 12 hours at the HPV record on the race track in Eureka, California was 120 watts and 568 km total distance (49 km / hr average speed). Since I finished with a total distance of 1047 km, I calculated that my second half average power would have been 110 watts resulting in a total overall finishing average of 115 watts for the entire 24 hours. I believe that with an additional 2 years of training under my belt, I am now capable of finishing with an average of 120 watts.

You will note that there are two curves on the plot: "ideal conditions" and "5 to 10 km of wind". In a perfect world I would attempt the record on a PERFECTLY windless day, but I am not really sure that actually exists. In reality, if I luck out and get a very good weather day, there will still be some wind and it will peak by late afternoon.

So, using the speed curve graph and my power output capabilities, here are some worse case to best case scenario predictions:
  • #1. Worse case: 10 kph winds all day, poor average power
  • Power: 100 watts
  • Average speed: 10 km / hr
  • Total distance: 240 km
  • GPS vs actual course (-1.3%): 236.8 km (5.2 km under the record)
  • #2. Medium case: 10 kph winds for half the day, moderate average power
  • Power: 110 watts
  • Average speed windless half: 10.7 km / hr
  • Average speed windy half: 10.3 km / hr
  • Total distance: 252 km
  • GPS vs actual course (-1.3%): 248.7 km (6.7 km over the record)
  • #3. Good case: 10 kph winds for half the day, good average power
  • Power: 115 watts
  • Average speed windless half: 10.8 km / hr
  • Average speed windy half: 10.5 km / hr
  • Total distance: 255.6 km
  • GPS vs actual course (-1.3%): 252.2 km (10.2 km over the record)
  • #4. Very good case: 10 kph winds for half the day, best average power
  • Power: 120 watts
  • Average speed windless half: 11.1 km / hr
  • Average speed windy half: 10.7 km / hr
  • Total distance: 261.6 km
  • GPS vs actual course (-1.3%): 258.2 km (16.2 km over the record)
  • #4. Best case: windless day, best average power
  • Power: 120 watts
  • Average speed: 11.1 km / hr
  • Total distance: 266.4 km
  • GPS vs actual course (-1.3%): 262.9 km (20.9 km over the record)
What I need to do to confirm these predictions is to spend about 5 hours straight going around a large lake in good weather conditions at my planned power output of 150 to 160 watts and record my resulting average speed. The objective would be to allow my overall average power to drop down to 120 watts, and then observe the total distance covered in the 5 hour test ride.

--------------------------------

No matter how good you are or think you are, there is always someone waiting around the corner who can show you how much you really suck.

Orlando Borini - 24 hour road bike distance record holder 869.5 km

In the pursuit of what is possible using human power and all of the technology available to me, I can't help but wonder what the true limits are - that is, if we combined an athlete with world-class power with my human powered vehicle technology.

The current 24 hour road bike distance record is owned by Italian Orlando Borini. He cycled his time trial bike an unfathomable 869.5 km in 24 hours around an airport road in Italy in 2007. I calculated that Orlando would have had to output an average of 200 watts of power to average 36 km / hr for the entire 24 hour race.

To put that into perspective for you, I averaged the same 36 km / hr on my time trial bike at Ironman Arizona (flat course) and averaged exactly 200 watts and finished the 180 km bike route in almost exactly 5 hours. That put me second in my age group and I finished the day in 4th place. Big whoop. Orlando Borino did the same thing I did for 24 hours instead of 5 !!! In my defence, I am 47 years old and have never taken performance enhancing drugs, nor have I ever trained or competed as a professional cyclist.

Out of curiosity, I did an analysis of my current fitness level and I found that I am right about in the middle between an "average healthy person" and a "world class athlete".

First, I took my power tests and compared my watts/kg of body weight to the 'power profile' table and found that I have been as high as 4.2 watts/kg for the 20 minute test which puts me at the bottom of Cat 1 level cyclist. Not quite at the pro level, but pretty far from an untrained athlete.

Power Profile


Greg's power test data
Then I searched the Internet for more data on human endurance and found two graphs which confirm where I fit into the human power world using my 20 minute power profile, my 24 hour average power output, and Orlando's world class 24 hour power. The graph below shows my data inserted right about in the middle between a healthy human and and world class athlete. I added the top line which shows power for 24 hours.


Human power graph #1


Human power graph #2

Labels: ,

Strutless bizarreness



I went out to a new lake today and the test results were enlightening. I think I can narrow down the speed difference between what we measure at Elbow lake and both Glenmore reservoir and today's Ghost lake to a preferential current flowing through Elbow lake.

I'll explain: At Elbow, I noticed that my average speed doing a counter clockwise loop around the lake was 11.7 and my speed doing a clockwise loop was 11.1 (km per hour). I assumed this was due to some natural left hand turn tendency of the boat that I was fighting when turning right.

We also assumed that the average speed would be slightly higher when moving in a straight line. At yesterdays Glenmore test and today's Ghost Lake test, this was NOT the case - it was slower in a straight line. We figured that must be due to less drag while turning left and started looking into issues like the strut possibly not aligned and acting like a rudder, recalculating the amount of rudder required of offset the side thrust, and looking at the hull itself.

I repeated a short, 1/2 km loop in both directions today at Ghost lake and was very surprised to measure the same average speed in both directions which was 11.5 kph. This pointed to a current at Elbow being the issue. My average speed over BOTH directions at Elbow just happens to be 11.4 kph - very close to my average today. If we add .1 kph for the smaller flexible shaft to the 11.4 Elbow speed, both speeds are exactly the same.

Elbow valley lake is fed by a small river flowing into the West end. There is a levy that runs under a bridge at the south west side of the lake. The direction of water flow would be from the river then south then south across the lake over the levy. A counter clockwise loop would be taking advantage of this flow whereas a clockwise loop would be fighting the current for at least 1/2 of the loop. There is PLENTY of water flowing right now, as the spring melt is happening. The water level in Glenmore and Ghost lake is very low in preparation for the spring melt from the mountains. Stefan tells me it is creating all kinds of strange eddies and currents. Not the most ideal testing conditions.

This Elbow current result is good news and bad news. The bad news is that my REAL average 150 watt speed is 11.5 kph, not 11.8 like I thought. This could be worth as much as 7 km over 24 hours if I could maintain an ending average of 150 watts (which would not happen). More likely, the difference is probably worth 4 to 5 km over 24 hours. The good news is we found the problem and it isn't anything I can do anything about.

This is bizarre: During today's trouble shooting session at Ghost, I wanted to eliminate the prop strut as the cause of the problems so I just took it off. That's right - there was NO strut holding the prop to the boat - just the shaft. The prop was dangling off the end of an unsupported shaft coupled to my gear box.

The two-blade pusher prop is self-stabilizing meaning that each blade corrects it's attitude when the other blade slips due to changes in the angle of attack (or something like that - I'm regurgitating what Rick told me). I may not be explaining it correctly, but I understand what is happening. This means that the prop will simply start pushing against the shaft and find a horizontal attitude on it's own.

And it works! There was no perceptible difference in feel when I removed the strut, and there was a .1 kph increase is speed due to removing the drag of the strut. Very strange. If you saw it you would laugh and think it is a joke.
This is the strutless prop. No joke! It works!

A nano-second after tripping the shutter for this photo,
a gust of wind came up and blew the boat off the stand
into the water busting my rudder in the process!


Speed data:

date lake power watts wind kph waves rudder prop loop size km loop dir hull floats other SPEED kph
06/05/08 elbow 150 5 ripples big thin .5 counter taped norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.2
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm prop strut pulled into hull with cord 11.6
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat none thin .5 counter painted norm
11.8
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 clock painted norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 10 ripply small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.5
06/12/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.0
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thick .5 counter painted norm
10.9
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.3
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers rods 10
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers no rods 10.2
06/16/08
elbow
150
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub
11.9
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow100
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub10.3
06/16/08elbow200calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub13.2
06/16/08Glenmore
150
calmflatsmallthin2
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin2.6
out&back
paintednormflex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin1.35
counter
paintednormflex shaft & freehub10.9
06/16/08Glenmore15010
ripply
none
thin
.84
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6
06/16/08Glenmore15010ripplybig
thin
.8
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/17/08Ghost
150
5
ripply
small
thin
.8
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.52counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.5
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.56clockpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.6
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick1out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.7/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick.7out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub. NO PROP STRUT
11.8/11.2 = 11.5
Observations
1. Every 5 kph of wind equates to .1 kph decrease in speed
2. Big rudder is .6 kph slower than small rudder. Small rudder is .1 kph slower than no rudder
3. Right hand turns dramatically slow the boat down.
4. Paint vs packing tape was worth a speed increase of .1 kph
5. Elliminating the prop strut is worth an additional .1 kph in speed.
6. Counter clockwise loops at Elbow Valley lake are worth an additional .2 to .3 kph average speed due to current (??? need to verify)

Labels: ,

New confusing speed data


It was a perfect weather day today so I got the record boat out to Elbow Valley community lake and ran some test with the new short flexible shaft and free hub:
  • #1 flex shaft, small rudder, freehub, 150 watts = 11.9 kph
  • #2 REPEAT of #1 = 11.8 kph
  • #3 REPEAT of #1 = 11.8 kph
  • #4 100 watts = 10.3 kph
  • #5 200 watts = 13.2 kph
All of these speeds are almost exactly as per Ricks predicted speeds so this is very good news.



The spring steel shaft felt good - about the same as the stainless shaft I had on before. My speeds were about .1 kph faster with the smaller shaft diameter and length.

The other good news was the freehub that I coupled to the shaft worked very well. It allowed me to coast without pedaling whereas before, when I stopped moving the pedals, the prop would stop also and cause drag. However, it did nothing to change the feel of the normal pedal action and I found that I missed not being able to pedal backward to clear weeds from the prop or to go in reverse. I don' think that the weight or complexity of the freehub is worth it for the record boat. I don't plan on coasting at all anyhow. Here is a video of the freeprop spinning:

video

I've been waiting for decent weather, so I took the opportunity and packed the boat up and went to Glenmore reservoir to test some longer, straighter runs with some disappointing results:
  • #1 1 km out and back = 11.1 kph
  • #2 1.3 km out and back = 11.1 kph
  • #3 1.3 km big loop = 10.9 kph
  • #4 .8 km loop, NO RUDDER = 11.6 kph (10 kph wind)
  • #5 .8 km loop, BIG RUDDER = 11.1 kph (10 kph wind)
The reservoir is VERY dirty because of the high water flow and flooding this year. At one point near the canoe club I went through a large patch of branches, logs, weeds, etc. I had to pull weeds off the prop and prop strut and there may have been some weeds on the rudder. I didn't count this run because of this. The runs that I did count were in an area that didn't have any visible weeds and there were not weeds on the prop or rudder before or after runs.

So why were my long runs at Glenmore so much slower than at Elbow?

Is it possible that at the small Elbow valley lake I am taking advantage of a counter clockwise flow in the lake? I doubt it because I don't really ever notice any kind of drift when sitting still.

My rudderless run at Glenmore was very close to the speed of the rudderless run at Elbow if I subtract .2 kph for 10 kph winds. Also so was the small loop big rudder run. The only difference was that the initial runs were either straight or a large loop. This makes me think that my slower speeds at Glenmore are due to the straight line route or very large loops that I did. Perhaps the boat is more efficient if it is making a small, constant left hand turn.

To confirm this, I need to get back out to Glenmore (or some other large lake) and repeat tests with various loop diameters and directions. Here is an updated speed table:

date lake power watts wind kph waves rudder prop loop size km loop dir hull floats other SPEED kph
06/05/08 elbow 150 5 ripples big thin .5 counter taped norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.2
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm prop strut pulled into hull with cord 11.6
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat none thin .5 counter painted norm
11.8
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 clock painted norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 10 ripply small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.5
06/12/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.0
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thick .5 counter painted norm
10.9
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.3
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers rods 10
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers no rods 10.2
06/16/08
elbow
150
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub
11.9
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow100
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub10.3
06/16/08elbow200calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub13.2
06/16/08Glenmore
150
calmflatsmallthin2
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin2.6
out&back
paintednormflex shaft & freehub11.1
06/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin1.35
counter
paintednormflex shaft & freehub10.9
06/16/08Glenmore15010
ripply
none
thin
.84
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6
06/16/08Glenmore15010ripplybig
thin
.8
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
06/17/08Ghost
150
5
ripply
small
thin
.8
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.52counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.5
06/17/08Ghost1505ripplysmallthin.56clockpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.6
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick1out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.7/11.2 = 11.4
06/17/08Ghost15010ripplysmallthick.7out&backpaintednormflex shaft & freehub. NO PROP STRUT
11.8/11.2 = 11.5
06/28/08U Kanan
15010waves, ripples,
some calm
smallthin7.19out&backpaintednormflex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripples
smallthin1.19clock

flex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan1505ripplessmallthin1.13counter

flex shaft11.5
06/28/08U Kanan15010waves, ripples
smallthin10.3giant loop of lake - counter


flex shaft11
06/28/08U Kanan12010waves, ripples,
smallthin10.1giant loop of lake - clock

flex shaft10.1
06/28/08U Kanan1205ripples

smallthin1clock

flex shaft10.5
06/28/08U Kanan1005ripplessmallthin1clock

flex shaft9.6
Observations
1. Every 5 kph of wind equates to .1 kph decrease in speed
2. Big rudder is .6 kph slower than small rudder. Small rudder is .1 kph slower than no rudder
3. Right hand turns dramatically slow the boat down.
4. Paint vs packing tape was worth a speed increase of .1 kph
5. Elliminating the prop strut is worth an additional .1 kph in speed.
6. Counter clockwise loops at Elbow Valley lake are worth an additional .2 to .3 kph average speed due to current (??? need to verify)
7. remove the seals and backing off the lock-nuts on the gear box are worth an additional .1 kph average speed.
8. The narrowed 1/4" spring steel shaft compared to the 3/8" stainless shaft is worth .1 kph speed increase





Labels: ,

Grizzlies and a freeprop



Our climb up the Highwood
-----------------------
Great training day on Friday with Dennis from Boulder CO and his friend Danfa from San Diego. We drove out to the start of highway 40, about 40 km east of Banff and cycled south about 150 km up and down the pass which is still closed to traffic until Sunday. It was a good, hard ride - they are both fairly experienced and capable cyclists and I was challenged to keep up with them climbing the pass. We saw mountain goats, big horn sheep and two Grizzlies.


Dennis and Dafna as we climb the Highwood pass


There is still plenty of snow at the top


Mama grizzly bear and her cub at the side of the road

----------------------------------------



The problem with using the 3/8 stainless rod as a flexible shaft for the pro is that it will eventually fail. Rick calculated the stresses for a number of different materials and I think in order for a fail-safe stainless shaft it would need to be something like 10 feet long. The alternative is to use 2011 T8 aluminum or spring steel. We can't get the 2011 aluminum anywhere and I found 1/4 inch spring steel from a flexible drill shaft manufacturer and purchased some from them.



It's 1/4" OD rather than 3/8", so none of the couplers that Manny machined for me will work, so I just welded a 3/8" stainless length to the end where the prop hardware slides onto. I would plan to ask Manny to machine some nice parts for me, but I wanted to make sure that the spring steel shaft would work first (the length, depth, feel, etc).



I wanted to see what riding with a free wheel would be like so I cut apart this old Shimano freehub that I had and coupled it to the shaft. Now the ride should be more like a road bike than a fixed gear and I should be able to coast a bit without having the stopped prop add so much extra drag. Again, Manny can machine some nice parts for me to mount the freehub, but I wanted to make sure that this freeprop was something that is worth even adding - not sure about that yet - I need to give it a try.


video

Labels: , ,

More tests


I was visited by Dennis and his friend Dafna from Boulder, CO and San Diego respectively. Dennis has been following my progress for a while and was interested in meeting me. Dafna is a member of the Dewalt cycling team. They were passing through Calgary and stopped in to meet me, so I seized the opportunity and dragged them out to the lake to help me through another round of tests.

Since the weather was not as crappy as it's been lately (rather than high wind, cold and rain we have high wind and cold), the test for today would be to see if the thicker prop doesn't start to stall when powering into a headwind. After Manny finished milling the prop, he finished it smooth and ended up removing about a mill too much of aluminum from the mid section of the airfoil on the prop. According to the prop data, if it is 1 mil too thin, then it will stall very quickly if if exposed to higher RPM's. The new prop that I wanted to test today is an extra prop with some small flaws on it that hasn't been polished smooth, and is still 3 mils thick.

It made no difference to my average speed at 150 watts around my circular course, and the wind was REALLY blowing hard.

I compiled all of my speed data including today's results into a table which I will start keeping:

date lake power watts wind kph waves rudder prop loop size km loop dir hull floats other SPEED kph
06/05/08 elbow 150 5 ripples big thin .5 counter taped norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.2
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.7
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 counter painted norm prop strut pulled into hull with cord 11.6
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat none thin .5 counter painted norm
11.8
06/09/08 elbow 150 calm flat small thin .5 clock painted norm
11.1
06/09/08 elbow 150 10 ripply small thin .5 counter painted norm
11.5
06/12/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thin .5 counter painted norm
11.0
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves big thick .5 counter painted norm
10.9
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thick .5 counter painted norm
11.3
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers rods 10
06/09/08 elbow 150 20 waves small thin .5 counter painted skimmers no rods 10.2
06/16/08
elbow
150
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub
11.9
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
06/16/08elbow150calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub11.8
16/16/08elbow100
calm
flat
small
thin
.5
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub10.3
16/16/08elbow200calmflatsmallthin.5counterpaintednormflex shaft & freehub13.2
16/16/08Glenmore
150
calmflatsmallthin2
out&back
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
16/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin2.6
out&back
paintednormflex shaft & freehub11.1
16/16/08Glenmore150calmflatsmallthin1.35
counter
paintednormflex shaft & freehub10.9
16/16/08Glenmore15010
ripply
none
thin
.84
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.6
16/16/08Glenmore15010ripplybig
thin
.8
counter
painted
norm
flex shaft & freehub11.1
Observations
1. Every 5 kph of wind equates to .1 kph decrease in speed
2. Big rudder is .6 kph slower than small rudder. Small rudder is .1 kph slower than no rudder
3. Right hand turns dramatically slow the boat down.
4. Paint vs packing tape was worth a speed increase of .1 kph


The other test we did was an idea from Warren Beauchamp who suggested that planing skimmers rather than displacement hull floats might be more efficient. He sent me instructions for building the skimmers that he made for his Necky kayak HPB. They are simply two strips of 1" thick Styrofoam. I was worried that they wouldn't provide enough buoyancy, so I added some pool noodle foam to the ends of the arms, but thin foam skimmers provided more than enough bouyancy without the pool noodles. I positioned the skimmers to just sit slightly above the water with the tails pushing down slightly to just below the water line. The tails were pushed down using two fiberglass tent poles.



At first they felt really nice - way lighter than the floats for sure. But the tips kept digging down into the water and I thought they were going to snap in half. We pulled the boat out and used duct tape to pull the skimmer tips back - it looked like what Santa would ride if he ever ditched his sled and went the human powered boat route. This worked very well, and I could get up to speed without any issues. My speed was pretty slow though - about 10 kph for the loop rather than 11.3 and I noticed that the tails were really dragging down into the water. We removed the tent poles and went for another run. This time the speed was 10.2 - not much better and probably not worth pursuing any further.



In this photo you can see the fiberglass tent poles
pushing the tails of the skimmers down into the water.

Overall, because of the high winds today my speeds were about .4 kph slower than when it was calm. Over 24 hours that would add up to about 9.6 km if I were able to maintain 150 watts for the entire 24 hours which wouldn't happen. Also, the winds typically start up in the afternoon and die down after 6:00 pm. If it was very windy for 8 hours of the 24 hour day, and I lost an average of .3 kph, I would loose a total of only 2.4 km. That's not as bad as I thought it would be.

Because I've done two wind tests, I can estimate that for every 5 kph of wind at 150 watts of power, it costs me .1 kph

Dennis going for a spin

Labels: ,

Rudder envy





I made a new rudder designed to keep the boat tracking straight. It is ridiculously tiny. The photo below does not do it justice. It's 1" wide, and it works like a charm. I found it very easy to make slow, gradual turns and keep the boat tracking in a straight line. Without any rudder at all, it wants to turn left, so this small little wonder works very well.



I also had the hull finished and painted. It is WAY smoother, and contrary to most of the advice I have been getting, is NOT responsible for any appreciable speed gains! I really don't think that at these speeds, surface finish is all that important.

The good news is that we are now very close to design specs for speed!


I found that the only way to get accurate speed/power data was by doing large GPS speed averaged loops around the perimeter of the lake. They are VERY accurate. I was able to repeat the same configuration more than once and get the exact same average down to .1 kph. I use an SRM power meter connected to the cranks, so I am able to output a constant power level and record my average speed over a set course with a GPS. Repeating this with small changes to the boat allow me to quantify the effect those changes have.

Here are the results of today's testing:
  • thin prop, large rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, no paint on hull, packing tape on hull (test from last week) = 11.1 kph
  • thin prop, large rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull = 11.2 kph
  • thin prop, tiny rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull = 11.7 kph
  • thicker prop, tiny rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull = 11.7 kph
  • thin prop, tiny rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull, prop strut pulled close to the hull by a cord ( I wanted to see what would happen if we moved the prop closer to the hull) = 11.6 kph
  • thin prop, NO rudder at all, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull, = 11.8 kph
  • (I had to stop and start the GPS 2 times to paddle correct course, but I don't think it mattered)
  • thin prop, tiny rudder, RIGHT hand loop (counter to the way the boat naturally wants to steer), 150 watts, painted hull, = 11.1 kph (I had to use the dip steer rudder a couple of times to stay on course, but I still think this was slower because it went against the natural turn of the hull/prop)
  • thin prop, tiny rudder, left hand loop, 150 watts, painted hull, windy (small ripples on water) = 11.5 kph
The tiny little rudder worked very well for keeping a straight line, doing a gradual turn around the lake or for correcting my heading, but was useless for doing any kind of turns. I rigged up my old large rudder up with a spring and pull cord and hung it off the stern for when I needed to do big turns and it worked, but nowhere near as good as when that large rudder is under the hull turning in the rudder tube. I don't have a photo of it - I'll take one next time.

For general touring around and training, the large rudder in the rudder tube works fine. For the record attempt, and testing where I will steer around a large, gradual, round course, the small rudder works fine and I don't even need the dipping rudder.

Pulling the prop strut in tight to the hull using a cord did not do anything to correct the direction of thrust. In fact, I took a close look at the thrust direction when spinning the prop while held back to the dock and the thrust is very straight - I don't think that is the problem. I believe it is due to the thrust being at the side rather than right down the middle, and the cost of putting the thrust in the center would probably cost more than the couple of watts it probably costs now.

To summarize, the paint and body work added some weight because I had to add one washer to lift the outriggers, but the paint made it only .1 kph faster than packing tape, and the packing tape improvement over the unpainted hull wasn't quantified in the loop test, but the straight-line tests showed no difference. The small rudder compared to my large rudder is worth .6 kph (that's huge), and a bit of wind (maybe 10 kph) was worth a reduction of .2 kph. The wind effect could also be fairly significant because average wind speeds typically reach highs of 15 to 20 kph during mid afternoon around Calgary.



This is a cord we strapped to the rudder strut to pull it toward the hull. It didn't change the left steering tendency, and slowed it down (probably due to the drag of the cord) by .1 km/hr


Greg Bradley going for a spin

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Chasing goats


Mountain goats hanging around on the closed for traffic Highwood pass
I had a fantastic ride yesterday! I started at 7:30 am from my house and headed west on transcanada hwy to Kananaskis. It was already starting to get a big windy, but the advantage of starting early in the morning and heading west is an escape from the inevitable headwinds that really pick up in intensity in the afternoons.

Once I turned into Highway 40, the mountains provided quite a bit of shelter from the wind. I was making great time and generally feeling good - my right achilles wasn't at all sore, and my feet are getting numb less often now. I am finding that inserting chemical foot warmers into my shoes (even on warm days) really helps keep the blood flowing. I also found that once they start to feel a bit tingly, I can curl my toes down into the shoe to temporarily remove pressure off of the bottom of my foot until the blood flow returns. This usually only takes a minute or two and I can continue to pedal rather than coasting which is what I used to do.


The climb up the pass went well and I met up with a few big horn sheep, gangs of rowdy mountain goats, an Elk and too many white tail deer to count. No bears (that I saw). The Highwood pass is closed to traffic until June 15th to allow animal migration. It is open to bikes, and it's the perfect time of year to cycle the pass because of the wildlife. I ran into a few other cyclists but otherwise it was pretty desolate.

At the top it got cold really fast and started snowing which turned to rain on the way down. The trip down was a blast on the M5 lowracer. I reached a top speed of 80 km / hr.

By the 200 km mark I started to get this really bad headache. It started at the top of the pass but progressively got worse and worse. This is strange because I never get headaches and I've certainly never gotten a headache while training. At first I thought it was because of the altitude, but the throbbing in my head didn't go away. This made that last 100 km pretty rough - every bump on the road was killing me.

At the end of the ride aside from my pounding head, I generally felt ok. My achilles on my left foot was starting to get a bit sore, and my right knee was starting to hurt a bit. I know I will be ready for the 24 hour record attempt when I can do a 300 to 400 km ride without any of these niggling aches and pains at the end.



At 7000 feet, the Highwood pass is the highest paved road in Canada. The total ascent is 9200 feet and 3000 foot climb from my house to the summit.

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300 km Highwood loop

YEAH! Tomorrow I head out to tackle the 300 km Highwood pass loop. I'm pumped.

It's an epic ride and should be even epic-er tomorrow because the pass is still closed to vehicles. That means wildlife galore - bears, big horn sheep, elk, moose, etc. In 2005 when Greg B and I rode the pass we ran (almost LITERALLY) into two grizzlies laying in the middle of the road. They didn't pay us much attention and we didn't feel like a challenge so we turned around and headed back.

The M5 is packed and ready to go

At 7000 feet, the Highwood pass is the highest paved road in Canada. (click on "show elevation" on the route map below). The total ascent is 9200 feet and 3000 foot climb from my house to the summit.



I checked my training log, and this will be the 6th time I've done the 300 km loop. I did it 4 times in 2005 leading up to my first attempt at the 24 hour HPV record, and once in 2006 leading up to my successful attempt at the same record. In 2005, the most epic Highwood loop ride was 370 km where I started at 4:00 am inside with a three-hour inside mag trainer ride, then packed up and headed west in the dark and cold before the sun rose. It was a very memorable day.

On the rear rack of the M5 is a pack containing food (Cliff bars, gels), cell phone, money, a camera and some additional clothes like a rain jacket and arm warmers. On top is my 3 liter water bag.

My training leading up to the 24 hour human powered boat record of last June wasn't nearly enough and I'm not making that mistake this time around. In fact, I can't make that mistake because Carter's 245 km record won't be reachable unless I am able to fully expend my available wattage.

Note the can of bear spray strapped to the front boom

Here is a comparison of the weekly long-rides from before the 2006 HPV record where I felt I was well-trained and capable of accomplishing a record, and training up to now this year.

12 weeks leading up to 2006 HPV record attempt
  1. 4 hrs
  2. 6 hrs
  3. 8 hrs
  4. 5 hrs (fast)
  5. 9.5 hrs
  6. 6 hrs (fast)
  7. 12.5 hrs
  8. 6 hrs (fast)
  9. 14.5 hrs
  10. 4.5 hrs (fast)
  11. 1 hr
  12. 24 hrs (record)
18 weeks leading up to tomorrows 12 hour ride:
  1. 4 hrs
  2. 4 hrs
  3. 4.25 hrs
  4. 5 hrs
  5. 4.75 hrs
  6. 6 hrs
  7. 7.5 hrs
  8. 1.5 hrs
  9. 8 hrs
  10. 8 hrs (Achilles pain)
  11. 6 hrs (Achilles pain)
  12. 2 hrs
  13. 9.5 hrs (Achilles pain)
  14. 3 (Achilles pain)
  15. 3
  16. 2.75
  17. 8.5 (Achilles resolved)
  18. 12 (tomorrows Highwood ride)
If my ride goes well tomorrow, (hopefully this Achilles issue is resolved, and no other issues suddenly appear) then I should be ready to challenge the HPB record soon. I would like to get at least 2 or 3 very fast 100 mile rides in, plus at least 3 more ultra rides - another 12 hr, a 14 hr and maybe a 16 hr. At least two of the ultra rides need to be on a lake in V11G.

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A little Aussie magic

video
Greg at about 150 watts of power and 11.5 kph

Success! With Aussie Rick Willoughby's help, we narrowed down the source of the speed problems, and it wasn't at all what we thought.

Before I get into that - some additional good news: I finished a 207 km training ride with Chad on Wednesday and my Achilles tendon was fine! It seems to have solved itself, thank goodness! Now I can slowly resume ramping up my mileage.

Rick is from Melbourne, Australia and is visiting Canada with his wife Rhonda. The timing of his vacation worked out perfectly because my human powered boat is basically an attempt to recreate his design - a culmination of many years worth of experimentation, trial and error resulting in what we believe to be the most efficient human powered water craft on the planet for longer distances. I've been having some problems reaching the speeds we should be seeing, and Rick was able to spend a couple of days with me in Calgary trouble shooting.

A single rowing skull is probably faster over shorter distances, and there are a some pedal powered boats that use hydrofoils that are even faster than a rowing skull. The world record for 100 meters is 34.2 km/hr set by a hydrofoil and pedal powered air propeller boat called Decavitator. The current record for the most distance in 24 hours is held by Carter Johnson who paddled his conventional kayak 245 km around a rectangular course on a flat, calm lake. The Surfski kayak that Carter used is very efficient for longer distances, but we believe that our V11 pedal and propeller powered boat has a slight edge over Carter's kayak.

Rick arrived at my house early on Thursday morning with his propeller. He was hopeful that his 'known-good' propeller would make all the difference. Rick was also concerned about the surface finish of my hull, so to test that, we covered the hull with packing tape to smoothen it out. We figured that the combination of the smooth tape covered hull and his prop would get me my 12 kph at 150 watts of power that the boat was designed to produce.


We covered the hull with packing tape

Surprisingly, the speed was a bit SLOWER due to Ricks prop and the taped hull! The CNC machined aluminum prop Manny made for me was actually slightly better than Ricks hand made prop. Rick's prop was grippier because it was designed for power at a lower rpm, but the speed it produced at various power outputs was slightly less than my high rpm prop.

After a few hours of experimenting, the last thing we tried was to remove the rudder. All of a sudden I got a significant .5 kph speed jump! Ah ha. The boat tracked fairly straight without a rudder and I used a paddle to turn. My speed was up to 11 kph compared to 10.3 before.


Rick Willoughby working on the new
flexible shaft and super-thin prop strut


When we got back to the shop, we discussed reasons why the rudder might be the cause of this drag. Rick felt there was some unexpected interaction between my prop strut and the rudder. One difference between my boat and Rick's, is that Rick uses a curved flexible shaft rather than a rigid shaft with a U-joint. Rick calculated that we could temporarily substitute my rigid shaft for a flexible curved steel shaft to test out the elimination of the u-joint. I welded a couple of the shorter stainless shaft sections that I had together and we used a spare bearings tube that Manny made to rig up this very odd prop hanger. This is where the Aussie magic comes in, because if you saw this you would insist that it couldn't possibly work.

The prop hangs from the deck by a 1/16" thick (we're talking cardboard thickness here) by 1" wide flimsy strap of aluminum that has been filed down to a sharp point on both sides. Seriously - you can blow the prop under the hull with a good puff.


The reason this works is that the pusher prop is self stabilizing. When it starts to produce thrust, it maintains a level horizontal attitude and pushes against the angled shaft which forces it to curve up to the gear box. The cardboard prop strut isn't really even required aside from stopping the prop from slicing into the hull during turns.



On Friday morning the lake was calm again and we got some good tests in. The combination of the new flexible shaft and elimination of the rudder produced the best speeds yet of 11.5 km/hr. We put the rudder back in and the speed slowed to just above 11 km / hr. I did a double loop of the circumference of the lake and averaged 11.1 km/hr on exactly 150 watts of power with the rudder in.


The first thing I noticed about the flexible shaft is how smooth the pedalling action was - way better than with the U-joint. Without the rudder, the boat tracked slightly to port, so we thought that a very small fixed rudder would help keep the boat tracking straight. For turning and course corrections, we came up with a dipping rudder idea that would normally be out of the water when not being used. This way, there would be minimal drag when travelling straight forward.

For optimal efficiency, I need to find a very large and sheltered lake where I can plan a huge circular loop consisting of many very small turns.



What next?

I am pretty sure that with some fine-tuning I can get my average speed up to 12 km / hr on 150 watts of power. The hull is now being surface finished by Dave Albreight - a local composites expert who built the University of Calgary solar car. Once I install the new small directional stability rudder, and the dipping steering rudder, and shave some weight off of the outrigger floats, I should be able to maintain 12 km / hr over straight sections.

Here are a few drawings of the dipping rudder idea that will be used to steer about the buoy markers:





The record attempt

I know from experience using the SRM power meter, that I am capable of maintaining power output of 150 watts over 24 hours. If we can achieve the design specifications, then 150 watts will equate to 12 km/hr - or a total of 288 km which would be a whopping 43 km over the current record which is 245 km. Unfortunately, because of power output reductions and slow-downs due to corners, periodic short breaks from pedalling, etc, my real over-all average watts including the 0's recorded when not pedalling, slowly works it's way down to between 100 to 120 watts. I believe that my ending overall average when I set the 24 hour human powered vehicle record was 120 watts, and my average at last summers 24 hour pedal boat distance record was around 100 watts. My 100 watt average speed is 10 km/hr which would equal 240 km (just shy of a record), and my 120 watt average speed is 11 km/hr which would equal 264 km - 19 km over the current record.

Of course, these speed estimates are based on perfectly calm lake conditions with a minimum of speed-sucking turns. This means that I definitely need to find a large, very sheltered, windless lake to make a record attempt on.

I found a database of wind speed averages at the Canadian Wind Atlas web site:

Average wind speeds for Southern Alberta and BC. Click to enlarge

According to this map, my best chances of finding a windless lake is west of the great divide, or West of Banff in the shelter of the Rockie Mountains. Banff, Lake Louise, Field or Golden look good and they are not too far away from Calgary. Here are some photos and basic information for some possible lake venues:

Length: 2 km
Width: .5 km
Facilities: dock, hotel(s) near by
----------------------------------------------------------


Moraine Lake
Length: 1.25 km
Width: 200 meters
Facilities: canoe docks and Moraine Lake Lodge
Comments: too small
----------------------------------------------------------


Johnson Lake
Length: 1 km
Width: .25 km
Comments: too small
----------------------------------------------------------


Bow Lake
Length: 3.2 km
Width: 1.2 km
Facilities: Lodge on the lake
Comments: Big enough, but far from Calgary
----------------------------------------------------------


Vermillion Lake
Length: .5 km
Width: .5 km
Facilities: town of Banff near by
Comments: Too small and shallow
----------------------------------------------------------


Lake Minnewanka
Length: 24 km
Width: 1 km
Facilities: town of Banff near by
Comments: Very large, but possibly windy location.
----------------------------------------------------------


Length: 5.3 km
Width: 1.2 km
Facilities: town of Banff near by
Comments: large, but far from Calgary
----------------------------------------------------------


Length: 2.8 km
Width: .8 km
Facilities: nothing much near by
Comments: large, but far from Calgary
----------------------------------------------------------


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Another U-joint bites the dust

video

I was out on Elbow Valley lake for a 2 hour training spin, and test of the new steering rig, U-joint and a crazy idea I had for the prop.


I sanded down the hull again and was able to sand off some of the weave texture. I also spread a thin coat of micro on the port side of the bow and sanded it smooth. I don't want to do any more because: A. I hate sanding - can't stand it, and B. I'm afraid of making the surface finish worse due to my total lack of ability in that area, and refer to A; my very poor attitude toward surface finishing.


If the reason for the missing 12% speed is due to the surface finish of the hull, then wouldn't you think that I might measure just a tiny bit more speed today after a some sanding and a slightly smoother bow? I didn't see any speed improvements at all. It's possible that I need a glass-like finish all over the hull and I will pursue this regardless. I'm just not going to be the one to do it, I'll probably job that out to a body shop or something. I'm just not convinced that is the reason for my speed issues.

I do not think that the hull is deforming. I reached down today while she was in the water and I was still able to press the sides of the hull in with my hand - meaning they weren't already depressed due to the water pressure. Also a more careful visual inspection resulted in no deformation that I could see.


The other purpose of today's ride was to test out my steering handle. It is a bit awkward to hold onto the steering cables, so I rigged up an aluminum stick and it worked really well. There is enough tension on the hinge for the handle to keep the rudder exactly where I leave it, so steering is MUCH easier now. I can let go and the boat tracks perfectly straight.


This might sound silly, but I had a dream the other night that I solved the speed issues by adding my second prop to the existing prop at the end of the shaft. I tried that today just for the hell of it and it surprisingly had very little effect. I had BOTH props on forming an "x". My speed with both props at 100 watts was 9.2 km / hr compared to 9.3 km / hr with one prop (about the same) , but my cadence was 71 rpm compared to 78 rpm. There was no spinner on the trailing end of the double prop configuration which could have been worth the missing 1 km / hr (but that could easily be error - it was a bit windy and the lake wasn't as calm as the first Elbow test).


The bad news is that after only 2 hours my new U-joint donated to me by Curtis Universal broke! This is strange because it is rated for maximum static torque inch-lbs of 100. Both Manny and Rick think this should be strong enough.


Strangely, I didn't measure any significant difference in speed from the new narrow profile u-joint compared to the old draggy u-joint with the fat flanges.



This boat is very fast - don't get me wrong regarding my constant bitching about the speed. To provide some perspective, the winning human powered boat at last years Hydrobowl finished the two km time trial with an average speed of 9.36 km / hr. Power output for an average person for 20 minutes might be around 200 watts or so which would equate to an average speed of about 11.5 km / hr in my boat. To average the hydrobowl winning speed of 9.36 km / hr in my boat would take only about 100 watts. At 100 watts of output power, you might be able to do the whole 2 km time trial with one leg.

BUT, let me put that into further perspective for you: On May 18th Lewis Laughlin won the Epic Kayak Molokai World Championships - a 32 mile surf-ski kayak race across the Molokai channel between the islands of Molokai and Oahu. He averaged a whopping 14 km / hr for 3 hours, 40 minutes. The stretch of water between Molokai and Oahu isn't exactly mirror flat either.

I have some work to do!

A delivery guy just backed his van into my boat which was strapped to the roof-top carrier on the Suburban! He cracked the carbon near the stern, bent my rudder and forced the kayak cradle off of the roof rack. Idiot. And he wasn't even going to tell me about it. As I was signing for the delivery I noticed the boat was sitting DIAGONAL on the suburban. I looked at him and he fessed up to backing into it.

Oh - and one more thing (almost forgot!) - exciting news: My friend Roz Savage has departed for her Pacific ocean row from SanFransisco to Hawaii. I'll be following closely:

http://www.rozsavage.com/blog/

(I designed Roz's new logo for her)

gk



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leaky boat



I'm just not sure that hull deflection is the reason my V11 is 12% slower than Rick's version. Marc calculated that I should be able to approximate the water pressure on the skin by placing a 2.5 ' long by 4" wide board with a 13 lb weight on the hull between the bulkheads and observe the deflection.



When I took a closer look at how much the skin deflected, I realized that it doesn't move at all on the curved part of the hull which is almost the entire hull aside from a small section of flat side walls under the water line. My water line is about 4" below the deck, and the amount of flat wall on the hull below 4" is only an inch or so. Even if that area was deflecting, it would represent a very small and possibly insignificant portion of the entire hull in the water.



To test, I was going to seal up the edges of the deck with fiberglass tape and epoxy, then pressurize the hull with air to stop the sides from deflecting. Easier said than done.

I had to seal the edges anyhow because they leak water when waves splash on deck, so I figured that it was a job worth doing regardless. After I had sealed up the edges, I hooked up my compressor and there are a million tiny air leaks through the flange where the deck is taped to the hull - the glas stape and epoxy didn't seal it air-tight. They aren't leaky enough to be concerned with much water getting in (that is good), but they do prevent me from being able to keep enough air pressure in the hull to do a water test for hull deflection. To go around and fix all the leaks would be a major pain and I just don't want to do it.



Many of you suggested placing air bags into the hull. Now that the top deck is sealed on, I don't want to cut it back out to place air bags in!

The other solution to deflection that has been suggested is to run some carbon reinforcement ribs longitudinally between the perpendicular bulkheads. Again, I would have to cut open the top deck to get in there, and I don't really want to bother with the effort and additional weight if it isn't really required.

Another idea suggested was to fill the compartments between bulkheads up with expanding foam. The reason I didn't leave the Styrofoam plug in the hull was to save weight. Foam would add substantial weight to the hull and I do not think this option is worth the additional displacement that the increased weight would cause. The hollow shell with the deck on weighs less than 20 lbs and if possible, I would like to keep it that way. Adding ribs wouldn't increase the overall weight that much, but I don't want to cut the deck open to add the ribs if they end up doing nothing to increase me speed.



I do need to surface finish the hull - especially the first 6 feet or so. The surface is a bit rough and a thin application of micro with sanding would smoothen it out quite a bit. With the deflection of the side walls, I worry about being able to sand it flat.

One option that I am considering is to tip the boat on it's side, drill a small hole in the opposite side, then pour in a small amount of expanding foam. This foam would settle against the side wall and could provide enough additional structure to stop any deflection without adding too much weight. At least it would give me a more solid hull to micro and sand smooth. I could limit this foam wall to the first compartment which is about 6 feet from the tip of the bow to the first bulkhead.
My new super-strong stainless steel u-joints arrived yesterday. Manny did some research and found me a new u-joint that didn't have the draggy flange on it, and was rated to take the torque. I contacted Curtis Universal and it turns out that the President is a kayaker and really digs what I am doing, so he donated two of them to the project! That's pretty cool considering they are worth $130 bucks each! Thanks Curtis!

You can see the difference between the two joints in the photo above. I doubt that the more hydrodynamic Curtis U-joint is worth the missing 12%, but it will certainly help.

The next step is to try to somehow stiffen the side walls near the bow, then apply some micro and do some sanding to get the surface finish of the bow area smooth. Rick Willoughby is in Canada on a vacation with his wife, and is swinging by Calgary on Tuesday of next week. He brought his stainless steel prop with him, and we can substitute my prop for his and run a test to see if the culprit is my prop. I took a closer look at the prop today and it is very easy to bend by hand. Perhaps a thin aluminum prop isn't stiff enough to press back on the water as it spins at 400 rpm.

I have a sneaking hunch now that my problems could be due to the prop. Either it is too thick (Manny had to thicken it a bit to cnc machine), or it is too flexy.

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Photographic evidence!

I think we have a break in the case of the missing speed.


click to enlarge

I was thinking more about Cyrille's comments (and others) about the hull skin deforming under the pressure of the water. The hull is made from 2 layers of 5.8 oz carbon and 1 layer of 6 oz carbon/Kevlar weave plus a final layer of 4 oz fiberglass. It's pretty thin - you can cut it with scissors. To add stiffness, I added 6 bulkheads running down the length of the hull:


You can easily indent the hull between bulkheads with a bit of pressure from your fingers. I didn't think that the water pressure could depress the skin because the pressure is distributed evenly around the hull. Imagine pressing one finger into an inflated balloon and then imagine evenly distributed pressure happening from all around the balloon.

I decided to see if I could find any evidence of deformation from the photos, and low and behold - I think I found something. It is very, very slight, but everywhere I thought I could see the water line moving away from a smooth, gradual curve was exactly between where the bulkheads are. I believe that the water is indeed depressing the skin between the bulkheads.

I have an idea how to easily confirm this. I can pressurize the hull with enough air to keep the sides from depressing in (any idea how much air pressure would be required?). First, I need to add some fiberglass tape and epoxy around the edge of the deck flange to seal off the leaks. When it is choppy, water washes over the bow and water leaks into the hull from gaps at the edges of the deck. Once this edging is on, and a few very small pin holes are filled with epoxy, the hull should be air-tight.

I would think that I could pressurize the inside of the hull with a bicycle pump, then quickly hop on for a speed test.

Wait a sec.... If the air pressure isn't enough to stop the deformation, or if I can't get it air-tight enough to hold pressure permanently, how will I get back under the deck to add additional reinforcement to the skin if I have already taped up the edges? I guess if I determine that air pressure would be enough to stop the skin from indenting, then I am sort of committed to that solution once I add my edge tape. Any other ideas?



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A good test!


Human powered boat lake test from Greg Kolodziejzyk on Vimeo.



This morning presented a VERY good environment for testing, and I think I learned a lot. Unfortunately though, she is still not any faster...

I met my brother in-law Cyrille out at the Elbow Valley community lake at 7:30 this morning before the wind started to blow the lake apart. The lake was mirror flat and it ended up being the perfect place to test, as it was easy to do a quick loop, pull the boat up to the dock, make a change and do another quick loop. There was no wind and no current, so the need to repeat every test with an averaged 'out and back' trip wasn't required. I would do a 100 watt 'out' leg, turn around and do a 150 watt 'return' leg back to the dock.

click to enlarge

Rick was exactly right about the self stabilizing features of a pushing propeller. The additional strut that I added to better support the prop actually INCREASED the vibration and made the boat slower due to the drag of that strut. It was faster and vibrated less when I removed the addition. In fact, we found that we could leave the prop strut bracket just sitting on the deck without any fasteners holding it in place, and the prop would still push the boat as fast as it would when the prop bracket was screwed down to the hull.

The additional prop strut was tested and removed

We also found that slight pitch changes to the prop made very little difference to the speed. Neither did slight changes to the direction (right to left) of prop thrust. I brought some clamps with me and we clamped the prop strut bracket down to the deck flange in a variety of different positions which changed the position of the prop. None of these off-center positions made much of a difference to the speed unless it was greatly exaggerated. We also changed the depth of the prop and that also made no difference. This leads me to believe that my prop is OK - it is producing exactly the right power at exactly the right rpm that it was designed to do, and it is able to do it consistently in various configurations. It seems pretty robust and if something in the drive system were responsible for the slower than expected speeds I would expect that the changes we were making today would have a far greater result than they did.


Using my spare prop, I decreased the degree of twist a bit (sorry Manny!). We mounted the 'more grippy' prop to the shaft and it was far less efficient. I produced more power at lower RPM, but the resulting speeds were all lower. Probably due to the inaccuracy of twisting the prop in a vice with wood blocks and a clamp. At least I know now, that the prop Rick designed and Manny CNC machined, is working perfectly as it was designed to.

So, here is where I am at:

1. The speed I need to break Carters record of 245 km in 24 hours is an average of 10.2 km / hr.

2. My average power output over 24 hours (including breaks, coasting, and zeros, etc) is 110 watts.

3. According to Ricks design and his V11, 110 watts should produce 10.8 km / hr which would result in a total of 259.2 km

4. Currently, my version of Ricks V11 goes 9.4 km / hour on 110 watts of power which would equal a total distance of 225.6 km which would be about 20 km short of Carters record.

5. At 150 watts of power, I am currently getting 10.5 km / hour and I am supposed to be getting 12 km / hr. I am about 12.5% slower than Ricks V11 design.

I now know that my lack of speed is probably NOT due to the drive or prop, but probably due to hull drag. The fastest I have been able to go is a little over 11 km / hr and the power required was over 200 watts. Input power over 200 watts produces very little additional speed. Rick can get his V11 up to 16 km / hr! This alone tells me that the drag of my hull, or overall drag is probably the culprit. Here is a speed/power plot - notice that my entire curve is lower than Ricks, which to me, suggests that the reason I am slower is due to my hull speed being lower which could be due to additional drag.


One of the causes of this additional drag could be the outriggers. I am finding it very difficult to balance off of the outriggers. Rick is on vacation right now, so he is unable to offer advice. I played around with trying to balance on the center hull today and found it very hard - even with my new low seat position. We played around with raising and lowering the outriggers and I could not get the boat balanced. You can see in the video that almost always, one outrigger is dragging through the water. The extra drag from this outrigger could be slowing me down, but is it responsible for the missing 12 % ?

Balancing act

Another cause of drag is the flanges on the u-joint that I am currently using. I have ordered a new u-joint that is the same diameter as the shaft and I will replace the fat draggy one when it arrives.


The last refinement regarding drag that need to look at, is the surface finish of the hull. It is far from perfectly smooth, and I wonder if the surface texture of the carbon fabric weave as well as a few bumps and wobblies could be responsible for my missing 12 percent? Also, one of Cyrille's concerns was that the skin of the hull is very thin, and between bulkheads you can depress the hull with your hands. I wonder if the water would have enough force to push the sides in and distort the hull shape? I wonder how I can test for this deformation?

We even placed rocks on the bow and stern to see if weight distribution made any difference. It made it slower.

Click to enlarge

Cyrille enjoying a spin

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More mods, attempt at testing


I finished all my mods yesterday. What a BUSY, busy day! I can't believe I accomplished what I was able to do in just one day. My goal was to add some additional structure to the prop strut to stop it from vibrating, add a bushing half way down the shaft to stop it from vibrating, to lower my seat down to the deck, and to make a new mount for the outriggers (my old mount used the seat frame, and this is now cut off to lower the seat). I wanted to get the work finished and get out to the lake to test it all because I am out of town for the weekend and wanted to take advantage of the good weather.

I finished all my work by 4:00 pm. We were enjoying Calgary's first stellar spring day with high temperatures nearing 29 degrees C and no clouds in sight. But as luck would have it, by the time I got to the lake the wind started howling and the lake was covered with whitecaps. Everything I made seemed to work fine, but measuring speed and power was useless because of the waves. I was getting soaked and blown all over the place.

I hope to test these mods again next week, but even in the waves and wind, she didn't seem appreciably faster.

This prop strut brace is a 2" wide strip of aluminum that is fared to a taper on both sides. It wraps around the hull and is screwed to the main strut about half-way down. I also lowered the prop an additional 2" This was enough additional support to keep the prop from vibrating while spinning in the air. I know that I am adding some drag, but for now, I am looking for a large step in speed. When I find it, then I'll know what the culprit was and I can back-track and re-work things to refine it.


I added this nylon spherical rod end that I had. The 3/8" shaft fit perfectly through the ball. This did a great job in stopping the shaft from vibrating. It is located just high enough that it should be above the water line, so it shouldn't contribute to drag. However, in the wind, waves and chop from my test yesterday, it was definitely getting wet.

Note how aggressive the new seat position looks! Very low and mean. The reason for lowering the seat was to lower my center of gravity to make balancing on the center hull easier. During my brief test, the position felt really good - about the same position that I use on my M5 recumbent training bike, but I have no idea of it's effect on staying balanced as I was getting tossed around quite a bit.

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A bit faster, but not there yet


It was the perfect day - high of around 18 degrees C and dead flat calm during the morning. I finished all of my little fixes to the boat yesterday, and headed out to Glenmore Reservoir early this morning to test the boat again.



I climbed into my seat, kicked her off the dock and started to pedal when the the new U-joint that I had just welded onto the shaft snapped in two! Luckily I always ride with a paddle and was able to make it back to the dock. I drove home, picked up my old shaft with the big fat draggy U-joint on it and drove back to the lake. I installed the old shaft and headed back out.


Disappointing speeds again. Faster than Mondays test, but still not as fast as she needs to be to challenge the current 24 hour human powered distance record of 245 km.

I need to make something clear because I am getting a lot of advice (thanks - it's always appreciated) about what to do and what not to do, etc. There is almost zilch 'research' on this project. I am building a COPY of Rick Willoughby's V11 human powered boat. He has spent years doing the concepting, building, testing, and experimenting. I don't need to do any of that. All I need to do is copy exactly what he has already built and I *should* be able to match his performance numbers.

Here is a YouTube video of Rick pedalling his V11 to 16 km / hr !!!!



Rick's V11
100 watts = 10.4 km / hr

My V11G (on Monday)
100 watts = 8.8 km / hr

My V11G (Today)
100 watts = 9.2 km / hr

My cruising power for a 24 hour event is 150 watts which should equate to 12 km / hr and my current speed at 150 watts is 10 km / hr - 20% slower. If I were to maintain an overall average of 100 watts for 24 hours straight, I could cover about 250 km in Ricks V11, but that would equate to only 220 km in the current state of my V11G which would be 25 km short of Carter Johnson's record.


We need to figure out why my V11 is slower than Ricks. My V11 isn't *exactly* the same, so lets take a closer look at the differences and see if there are any clues to my missing speed:

1. My V11G is lighter than Ricks because the hull was made from Carbon. The weight of the hull with the seat and everything is 39 lbs (the 24 foot long hull alone is lighter than moat racing bikes at 19.5 pounds!). The outriggers are an additional 7 pounds for a total weight of 46 pounds. This means less displacement which should result in FASTER speeds, not slower!

2. My seat position is higher than Ricks. At 11 km / hr, the boat should balance on the center hull with the outrigger just lightly skipping on top of the water. Since I have yet to reach 11 km / hr, I can't seem to get my hull to balance on the center hull. To compensate for my higher center of gravity with the higher seat, I extended the outrigger arms to 8 feet (from 6 feet). This made it a bit easier to balance, but I found that I was still sort of rocking from one outrigger to the next. When it was super calm and flat out, I was able to get a few rides that I felt were very light on the outriggers, but it didn't make an appreciable difference to me speed. The reason my seat position is higher is that I have had foot numbness issues with a lower seat. When my heart is above my feet, I don't seem to get the numbness.

3. Rick is using spring steel for his shaft and no U-joint. We designed my version of the boat to use a U-joint and stainless steel shaft because in theory it should be slightly more efficient than the spring steel. That said, I could see and feel some pretty wicked vibration in my shaft under the water. This doesn't seem right and it seems that there would be efficiency losses through this vibration. The shaft vibrating is also shaking the prop around, and I can feel this vibration in the boat at higher speeds. It might be worth a test to place a support on the shaft at mid point to stop the vibration, and perhaps an angled fin to better support the prop.

When I spin the cranks and turn the prop when the boat is out of the water, the shaft and prop vibrate and shake wildly. Rick says this shouldn't happen under the water because a pusher prop is self stabilizing. When spinning the air, there is not enough resistance for the prop and it doesn't self stabilize. During my observation of the prop spinning in the water, this does not seem to be happening, as the prop and shaft are still vibrating - not nearly as much as in air, but still, something is definitely different with set up. Perhaps it is with the stainless shaft and U-joint.

Rick has a prop that doesn't have a strut! The prop is so stable that it pushes the boat against the spring steel shaft alone!

I ave also noticed that the prop when pushing water, seems to twist a bit to push to the starboard side. It is hard to observe this because the lake water is very cloudy, and it could be an optical illusion, but it appears that as soon as I start pedalling and spinning the prop, that it starts to twist the strut and rather than thrusting directly back, it pushing slightly to the right. When I am moving in a straight line forward, it feels like the boat is tracking slightly to the right. If I let the rudder go, the boat does a slow turn to the right. If the prop was pushing slightly to the right, then it would be pushing the back of the boat to the left which would cause the bow to make a slow right hand turn.

Perhaps providing a support for the shaft will resolve this, or maybe i need to add another triangulated strut to the prop bearing tube.

4. We had Manny at Rhomec Industries here in Calgary CNC machine a custom aluminum prop for me. In theory, this prop should be more efficient than a hand made stainless version because it is almost perfect (it is a true work of art!). Maybe the aluminum is too soft and it is warping under the water. My prop was designed for my cadence of 90 rpm at 150 watts compared to Ricks prop at 80 rpm for 150 watts. This means that my prop is spinning faster. Maybe there is something unexpected happening with that higher rpm? Like some unforeseen cavitation issue or something - I don' know. It would be worth it to exchange the prop for my old stainless hand-made prop from WiTHiN. I believe the rpms were the same - need to check that.

5. Water temperature Warren found this for me regarding the difference in drag of 30 degrees C water temperature: 0.8 KPH with a 30 degree temp spread (20.3868 KPH at 0 degree C to 21.1104 KPH at 30 degrees C). Rick's V11 was tested in the warm Australian waters near Melborne where he lives, and the ice on Glenmore reservoir just melted. That could account for maybe 1/2 kph which is fairly substantial.


To top it all off, my Achilles tendon started to get sore after only 2 hours on the water yesterday! Ugh! It used to take 5 hours at easy effort to cause pain, and now it's down to 2 hours. I have been really taking it easy on the Achilles over the past 10 days. I've been using my ultrasound and applying anti-inflam cream every day. It would seem that the reduction in activity is counter productive to recovery.

The other problem I had at the lake yesterday was repeated chain derailments! I hate those! Luckily, it's an easy fix, but I need to add a chain guide.

I also ran aground yesterday! That is a freaky feeling. The water level in the reservoir is still low and there is a large area to the west where the river feeds into the reservoir and it can get very shallow there. I hadn't realized how far to the west I was when my prop suddenly struck the dirt! Yikes! Luckily, I had my paddle on board and I was able to paddle east and back into deep water. I need to check my prop for damage.

Well, I've got some work to do. I'm planning on getting as much of these changes done today as possible and getting back out to the lake this afternoon. It's supposed to be in the mid 20's today, and I have to take advantage of this weather.

Stay tuned...



Manny from Rhomec made me these neat little brass busings for the rudder.
Plus, I filled and smoothened in the welds



This is the narrower, less draggy u-joint. Good in theory but it failed
immediately at the ball bearings joint




You can see a small pulley on my frame used to tension the steering cable.
It worked very well.

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Lake test!

New 24 hour record boat lake test







Well, the good news is that it floats and generally works well. Very smooth pedaling action, very stable and quite comfortable. The less than good news is that it performed much slower than expectations which means I have more work to do.




Stefan messaged me yesterday that the ice is now melted at the reservoir and the docks are now in, so I finished up the last details of the boat and my buddy Greg B and I headed out to the Glenmore Reservoir with the boat on the roof of the Suburban.

Compared to WiTHiN, this new boat is very easy to haul around. The hull weighs only 19.5 lbs. With all the hardware, seat and frames, etc I think it weighs in at around 40 lbs.


The outrigger floats bolt onto a 1" square aluminum arm that is U-bolted to the seat frame.

The water is VERY cold. A few days ago it was frozen, so I wasn't going to take any chances with safety. I strapped a paddle on the deck in case my drive failed, and had two-way radio communication with Greg. The emergency phone for the patrol boat is right there at the dock, and the patrol boat was out on the water, so if something did happen and I lost my drive and the paddle wasn't working, or went for an unplanned swim, the patrol boat wouldn't have been far away.


At first, I found it quite difficult to balance without falling over onto one or the other outrigger. According to the design, when I reach a cruising speed of around 10 to 11 kph, I can balance on the main hull with the two outriggers lightly skimming on the water. The outrigger level is adjustable with the U-bolts and I found that if they were two high, then I would flop from one side over to the other, so I had to lower them quite far which was creating additional drag.


Low speed expectations were for a cadence of 75, wattage output of 89 watts, and resulting speed of 10 km/hr. Actual wattage at 75 rpm was 100 watts and 8.8 km/hr (and that was WITH the wind). This is FAR slower than it should be and points to excessive drag as being the problem.

Items that need to be 'tightened-up':

1. The outrigger positions need to be adjusted. I notice in the photos that the attitude of the floats is nose-up and they really need to be level. I also need to ensure that they are both pointed directly forward and this isn't something that I measured previously, so they could be off.

2. Rick thinks that because my seat position is higher, I might require a wider stance for the floats to make it easier to balance on the main hull. I am going to add 2 feet of length to the outrigger arms to extend that moment arm.

3. My rudder is WAY too loose in it's tube. The carbon tube is 7/16" ID and the aluminum steering rod is 3/8" diameter. Manny is making me a plastic bushing to make the fit tighter. The rudder was vibrating in the tube quite a bit and also because the fit was so loose, the rudder was flapping back and fourth a lot. I found it very difficult to hold the rudder steady with my two steering lines. This flapping back and fourth was probably creating quite a bit of drag.

4. I have not faired the rudder with micro yet. The rudder is a 1/4" aluminum plate welded to a 3/8" diameter aluminum tube. I grinded down the plate to form the trailing edge of a NACA0020 airfoil (photos below), but have not yet filled the weld gaps with fairing compound.

5. The U-joint that I am using on the drive shaft is the back-up U joint and I think it is creating quite a bit of drag due to the fat flange on it. I have another u-joint that is being repaired by Manny right now that I will exchange for this one. This will make a small difference.

6. To test other components to make sure they are working properly, I have a spare prop from WiTHiN that I could mount on this boat to make sure that the prop is working as designed. I think it is because the resistance I'm getting at rpm is close to design specs and point to additional drag. I also have a second SRM that I will swap out to double check that I am getting the right measurements for power.

Here are some photos of some of the details:


This is my prop strut. I had faired it with an aerofoil leading and trailing edge, but this is not right, and something that I need to fix. The lowest drag fin is a sharp taper on both sides. When I first measured the prop depth and bent the aluminum plate, I positioned it too low. To raise it up I added a couple of spacers. This will allow me to experiment with different positions. Note the FAT U-joint

I welded a 1/4" aluminum plate to my 3/8" aluminum rudder rod, then ground it down to approximate a NACA0020 aerofoil.


I still need to fair in the join with some micro


The rudder is controlled with two lines running to a couple of eye bolts that I welded to the a collar.

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24 hour record boat progress

Big progress over the last couple of days. It is Saturday morning now, and I am pretty sure that tomorrow she will be ready for her maiden voyage if I can find some unfrozen chunk of lake somewhere.

Here are a pile of images showing progress over the last few days:

My buddy Manny from Rhomec Industries contributed this jewelry for the suped up pedal boat. Two complete drive units consisting of a CNC machined propeller from Rick Willoughby's computer file, a bearing tube that hold two glass bearings, an aluminum nose cone, tail cone, U-joint and 3/8" shaft that runs to a coupler that is connected to the MitrPak right angle gear box.

Manny made me some interchangeable gears for the gear box. These collars will hold any standard Shimano rear cassette gear.

This is the MitrPak right angle gear box with a 13 tooth gear mounted on the input shaft and the 6 foot long prop shaft mounted with a coupler onto the output shaft of the gear box.

This is my seat frame sitting on the top deck of the boat hull. I was able to fit the hull into my shop, but the bow and stern are jammed into two corners of the room.

This is the rudder tube after I added the additional carbon reinforcement layers


The rudder tube bonded to the rear bulkhead


Before the top deck went on, I filled the compartments with water to check for leaks

Water filled compartment in the hull

Some very small leaks. I am going to pressurize the hull with air (with the top deck on) and wash soapy water over the hull and look for bubbles which I will mark. Then using a bit of vacuum pressure, I will apply epoxy to the pin holes that were marked from the soap test to fill the holes. We are going to spray a final coat of paint on her, so that will definitely help seal her up.


This is the deck after it was removed from the vacuum bag. We used CoreCell core material + 1 layer of 5.8 oz carbon on the top and 1 layer of 5 oz fiberglass on the back.


The deck has been bonded to the hull using a bit of micro and some epoxy. I clamped the deck onto the flange at first, but we got more even pressure around the flange using weights and duct tape.


Ben is filling my outriggers with expanding foam




Temporary setup showing the seat and pedals







The drive unit is mounted to the seat frame and everything is temporarily clamped to the deck. It all worked!

The SRM power meter chain ring with Dura Ace chain running to a 14 tooth gear on the Mitrbox gear box.

I welded a 2" wide, 1/4" thick aluminum plate to the bearings tube, then bent it. It will be bolted to the flange.


Top view of the boat

The gear box is mounted to the seat frame with a 1/4" thick aluminum plate welded to the seat frame. The slotted holes allow me to tension the chain.

The 6 foot long, 3/8" stainless steel shaft runs from the gear box down to a U-joint which is connected to a short shaft which runs through the tail cone, bearing tube holding two glass bearings, the prop and finally the nose cone (spinner). I still need to fair the strut with a grinder. The large flanges on the U-joint is my back-up U-joint. I am able to make 2 complete sets of drives - the main drive will use a small 3/8" diameter u-joint which could be the weak point of the whole drive. For the back-up unit, I decided to use the larger U-joints.


This is what I am dealing with in the middle of May! All the lakes around Calgary are still frozen over. Stefan was telling me that this is the first time in over 20 years that the reservoir hasn't opened during the first week of May.


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Training woes, and 24 hour record boat progress

Progress updates:

You can now follow my micro updates by subscribing to the PedalTheOcean Twitter feed. I am thinking of updating this feed during the 24 hour record attempt every hour. The advantage of following a Twitter feed is that you can choose to receive updates on your cell phone, text messages, email or follow using the Twitter web site, the AdventuresOfGreg web site (upper right hand corner), or my FaceBook page (status updates).


As with everything in life there is always give and take, pros and cons, good with the bad. Very seldom is anything easy and straight forward. The new 24 hour record attempt human powered boat build is going really great - too great in fact. Something needed to offset all this great progress and that something is the Greek sea-god Achilles.

My Achilles tendon on my right leg is swollen and very, very sore and is becoming an issue for me.

My weekly long training rides alternate between an ultra-long, but moderate paced ride which progressively grows longer each 2nd week as I near the record attempt date and a 5-hour, very intense, hard ride. Today's 5 hour ride was supposed to average 200 watts and I made it to 3 hours and had to quit because my Achilles tendon was too sore.

It's been getting worse over the last few weeks and I continue to hope that it will just disappear. Last weeks 10 hour training ride outside with my buddy Greg Bradley was very painful for the last 4 hours of the ride. Today, I didn't make it past 3 hours. I need to get this problem resolved!!!

My buddy Chad who is an Ironman triathlete and also an MD, suggested I purchase this cool portable home ultra sound device called Sonic Relief:

I've been using it aggressively in combination with a topical anti-inflammatory cream and it seems to reduce swelling. I will keep at it.

What I really need to do is to give my foot a break for a couple of weeks to allow the Achilles to heal, but I am afraid that I will lose too much fitness and won't be able to stick to my scheduled 24 hour human powered boat distance record attempt for late June. We have a pretty busy summer, so it will be tough trying to schedule the record attempt for July or August.

Since postponing the Atlantic crossing until December of 2009, I now have time for other athletic pursuits, so I signed up for Ironman Arizona in November. I really have to get this 24 hour record attempt done and finished with by July at the latest so I can recover and switch training focus back to Ironman. My goal for Ironman in November is to make it back to World Championships in Kona! I have a special reason for going back to Kona, Hawaii in October of 2009 - more on that at a later date.

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24 hour record boat progress


Above is a computer model of what the new boat will look like. Click to enlarge. My recumbent seat sits on a 10" wide, hollow carbon fiber hull that is 24 feet long. There are two, light weight carbon outriggers for balance that typically sit a few inches ABOVE the water line while underway. My forward momentum should be enough to keep the narrow main hull balanced without the extra drag of the outriggers.





The main hull is 2 layers of 5.8 oz carbon fiber + 1 layer of 6 oz carbon+Kevlar weave. To add stiffness and strength, I inserted six bulkheads which I cut out from a left-over section of the carbon fiber sandwich board frame for Critical Power. I think it is cool to have part of Critical Power in this boat. (Critical Power is the name of my human powered vehicle that I set a 24 hour distance record with in the summer of 2006).


I kept the cut-out sections of this sandwich board frame for Critical Power
and used them for the bulkheads for the new boat



I was very surprised when I weighed the hull with the outriggers because it was one pound LESS than when I pulled it off the mold. Even with the carbon bulkheads bonded in, it is only 13.5 pounds. It will weigh more when the top deck is on, but this is a good start!



You can see the Kevlar (gold) with the carbon weave.
Kevlar will prevent the hull from ripping apart if it is holed.




The top deck will be a 24 foot long piece of closed cell foam core called CoreCell. CoreCell is what we are building the new ocean crossing boat WiTHiN out of.



The CoreCell will be covered with 1 layer of carbon each side, then cut to fit onto the flange of the hull.



The short sections of CoreCell are joined with tabs that are epoxied over the seems. This should also provide a bit more stiffness to the top deck.

The rudder tube is an old carbon tube that I had. It wasn't quite strong enough, so I reinforced it with a wrap of carbon. After the carbon went onto the tube, I wetted it out with epoxy resin, then wound a tight layer of electrical tape around it. I poked holes in the electrical tape to allow excess epoxy to seep out.



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The new 24 hour record attempt!!!

24 hour human powered boat record:



This boat is going to be fiendishly fast!

First you have to check out this work of art that my buddy Manny from Rhomec Industries made for me:





It's the aluminum prop, spinner, bearing tube and fairing cones for the drive for the new 24 hour record attempt boat. VERY SWEET!

I want to keep the exact configuration of the drive unit proprietary for a little while, so I'm not posting any drawings of it here. I am aware of another group who has indicated to me that they plan on challenging my 174 km pedal boat record from last summer and I don't really want to give away any of our secrets just yet. I am not **repeat NOT** attempting to break my own 174 km pedal boat record - I am attempting to break Carter Johnson's 245 km kayaking record! I am aware that there is a big spread between 174 km and 245 km, and this boat that was designed by Rick Willoughby is capable of at least 245 km in 24 hours. If I am able to go farther than 245 km in 24 hours on a flat lake, then it will be the farthest any person has ever travelled in 24 hours on water under their own power.


Rick is helping with design and engineering direction, Manny from Rhomec is contributing his wicked machining skills to make the prop and drive unit parts, the right angle gear drive was donated by my buddy George and PedalTheOcean sponsor MitrPak, and my right hand man Ben is helping out in the shop. I'll have a cast of other friends helping with officiating, observing and other help like last year - it is TRULY a collaborative effort and I am VERY grateful for all of the support these friends are providing.

My original intention was to invite Carter Johnson to Calgary and stage a race and possibly a new world record by either Carter or I. I'm not sure that is going to work because lake conditions for a record need to be nearly perfect - very calm and flat water. That means I need to race on a day with little to no wind which means that I can't schedule an exact date for the record attempt. My intention is to be ready to go and watch the weather closely, then when a suitable weather window opens up, just DO IT.

Ben came over today and we made some progress on the main hull. This hull is 24 feet long and 9" wide at it's widest point. The Styrofoam plug was CNC machined by Jarrett Johnson in Saskatchewan and delivered to me in 4 parts. I had to build a 24 foot long FLAT table to place the hull onto deck side down.

I am going to use the same composite layup method that I used for one of the outriggers - that is to cover the entire foam hull with packing tape, lay down the carbon, wet it out with epoxy and vacuum bag & cure for 8 hours. Then pull the carbon hull OFF the foam hull. The thin carbon shell will then be reinforced with some bulkheads and a thin sandwich panel deck will be bonded to the top.

I did this for one of the outriggers and it worked, but there were millions of pin holes in the 2 layers of 6 oz carbon I put on. These holes leaked water like a sieve - not exactly what you want for a boat. For the main hull, we are letting a base coat of epoxy on the taped hull get semi-hard before applying the carbon and wetting out. I am also applying two additional layers of composite fabric - 2 layers of 5.8 oz carbon weave, 1 layer of 6 oz carbon/Kevlar weave and an outside layer of 5 oz fiberglass for sanding. I am also going to apply LESS vacuum pressure this time which won't suck out all the epoxy through the fabric which leaves the nasty pin holes.


Ben and I are pulling a length of string tight to make sure that the
4 foam sections are assembled in a STRAIGHT line


We covered the foam plug with packing tape. When the carbon cures,
I can pull the boat hull right off the foam plug leaving the foam plug for future use.




2 layers of 5.8 oz carbon, 1 layer of 6 oz carbon/kevlar mix the 1 layer 4 oz fiberglass on the exterior. We set the vacuum pressure high enough to press the wet fabric against the form, but not to remove too much excess epoxy.



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Follow AdventuresOfGreg 24 hours a day!

Yes! Your dreams have been answered. If these casual updates are just not enough AOG for you, then I have some exciting news. With my new Twitter feed, you can follow me 24 hours per day. That's right - imagine it! All day long, every day of the week, 4 weeks per month, 12 months per year, year after year after year! Yeah!!!! You'll know when I brush my teeth, take out the garbage, and cut my finger in the shop. It will be like you are there - right in the thick of the action!

Seriously - I have a Twitter feed that I'll be updating every day - or more often depending on what I'm working on that could be semi-interesting. You can follow it at the AOG main blog page (upper right hand corner of the page):

http://www.adventuresofgreg.com/HPB/HPBmain.html

Or at my Twitter page: http://twitter.com/pedaltheocean


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V11G carbon outrigger #1

V11G outrigger shell in the vacuum bag


V11G outrigger shell pulled off the foam plug

My first carbon outrigger popped off of the Styrofoam plug nicely. The general shape is very true, but there are small imperfections on the surface finish due to the release film creases and some imperfections in the styrofoam. These could be sanded off, but I think I would be worth adding a 5 oz layer of fine fiberglass weave for sanding. Then i think the surface would be very smooth.

This is a great way of using Styrofoam as a re-usable male mold (plug). Just cover it with packing tape.

I will probably leave about 1/4" of the flange around the edge to bond a thin top deck to it. The top deck will be carbon over a 1/4 inch sheet of Styrofoam or core material for the top deck. To stiffen the outrigger, I'll add a bulkhead to the middle. I will also fill in the inside nose and tail with some micro to give it some strength.

Getting ready for sea trials
---------------------------------------

Dates for the second set of sea trials have been finalized. I am heading out this Saturday with Murray. We arrive in Tofino on Sunday and launch WiTHiN. Monday morning we meet up with Matahil Lawson and his boat. I'll be spending at least 8 hours on the water. The objective is to head WEST as far as I can for 4 or 5 hours, then turn around and head back. Mat also knows of some great areas to get into some chop and swell and other various challenging conditions, so maybe we'll play around a bit. Tuesday will be more of the same - two 8-hour days in a row out in the Pacific.

I need to establish a speed profile for WiTHiN. I need to know how fast she goes into varying degrees of head wind as well as from abeam and from astern. Knowing the differences in efficiencies between the prototype version and the new ocean crossing boat, I will be able to predict a speed profile for the new ocean boat.

This is sort of important, as I need to get a better understanding of how WiTHiN will perform in adverse wind/sea conditions. Most of the ocean rowing boats can't make headway in moderate onshore winds. This is one of the reasons why they have had difficulties in the past getting away from California for ocean rowing expeditions to Hawaii and Australia.

One of the things I needed to fix on WiTHiN is the nose ring thing. There is a steel tube that runs through the bow and the stern. During the last trip to Tofino, we ran a rope through this tube for towing and tying up at the dock, but the rope was cut from rubbing on the sharp edge of the tube.

Since being able to accept a tow is a very important safety issue during sea trials, I decided to fabricate a bridle to tie the line to. This won't stress the rope like the old set-up did.




I made a couple of foam inserts for the Dorade vents. These will be used to stop road crap from being blown into the vents during the drive, and - more importantly, to stop water from leaking into the boat when I tip her over beside the dock to mount the keel.



Another addition to WiTHiN is the new nifty clamp fan. It really blows, and I can mount it in a variety of places using the handy clamp - to face the window to de-fog, or face me for cooling.

All I have left is to re-build our rotten wooden boat stand on the trailer. This got so wet during the first Tofino trip (snow and constant rain), that it started to fall apart. I'm going to weld a steel one to replace it.

Training
----------------

Tomorrow I have an 8 hour INSIDE training ride - UGH!!! It's snowing and minus 17 degrees C right now, so an outside ride is NOT in the cards unfortunately.

After a rest week last week, I attempted a new 20 minute power test today and I was pleased to find a 15 watt increase over my last test. My goal is to get up to 270 watts for 20 minutes and I'm pretty sure with another set of CP 20 intervals over the next 6 weeks, I'll be able to achieve that - and more, once I get outside. My peak CP20 power was 300 watts a couple of years ago on my tri bike. It's always lower on the recumbent - I think 280 was my PR on the bent.


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V11G outrigger floats


My new friend Murray Flanagan stopped by my shop this morning to meet me and see WiTHiN and Critical Power. We had a really nice chat, and then, of course, I put him to work! I seized the opportunity and recruited Murray to help out with the carbon work on the first outrigger.


Rick Willoughby and I have been discussing ways to use the CNC machined foam hull and outrigger forms as plugs that could be re-used. The advantage is not only having the original foam plug available to make another copy of the V11G (24 hour record boat) hull, but mostly, the resulting carbon hull will be SUPER light without any Styrofoam inside.



So, what we did was tape packing tape all over the foam outrigger plug. This worked out better than I expected - it was very smooth and glossy, and *hopefully* will allow me to pull the carbon part off of the plug leaving the outrigger plug in tact. I say hopefully because it's curing right now. I've never had any problems in the past with pulling composite parts off of duct tape or packing tape, so I'm confident this won't be an issue. But you never know - I've been through too many "surprises" to know better than to assume anything!


To strengthen the finished part, I'll insert a couple of foam bulkheads (with carbon) and place a flat carbon top over the hollow, topless outrigger hull.

We'll do the same with the V11G hull - cover it with packing tape, lay on 3 layers of 5.8 oz carbon, vacuum bag and pop it off the foam plug. Then insert some structural carbon panels, and a flat panel top deck. This will result in a part that is very light weight and hopefully strong enough. THANKS Murray!

Training
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I have been tiring of training in a slightly different geometry on the M5 than in my trainer downstairs, so I welded up some seat extensions for the M5 and resulted in a duplicate seat position - basically a MUCH higher seat bottom which puts my feet below my heart at the peak pedal stroke. This has helped keep blood flowing through my feet - a problem that I have suffered with for years. See the comparison seat position photo below (click to enlarge).

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Discovery Channel interview & sneak preview of the ocean boat!



When Pat and I were out in Tofino for sea trials, my PR genius Mark Dusseault arranged a media day in Victoria for local media to shoot pictures of WiTHiN and interview me. The entire afternoon was spent with a crew from Discovery Channel filming a second interview. The first Discovery Channel show is here:



The second piece turned out well, but I think they kind of focused in too much on the window issue - it wasn't really that big of a deal. Over all the goal was to see how stable WiTHiN was in waves and chop, and it did OK. I think the biggest thing I learned was I wanted to see what a keel would do to mitigate the excessive rocking. We'll find out soon.



Speaking of the second sea trials, WiTHiN is pretty well ready to go. The keel is now finished, and the other day I added this manually operated windshield wiper. I had also replaced the PETG window plastic, so it's no longer frosted slightly with paint over spray like that last one. This should make it easier to see out the window.

You can see the handle to operate the wiper under the top deck.



Another problem I was having in Tofino was my vent fan falling off the Dorade vent. It was held in place with a Velcro-like fastener. The reason is so that I can rip it off and manually shut the valve on he vent if I had to. To keep it in place, I bonded 3 latches onto it. To remove it, I just flip the latches and pull it off.




The last item repaired was where the old stops were for the outriggers. I had to kick them off to get WiTHiN through the door of the pool when we pool-tested the keel. I grounded the rough fiberglass down smooth, and filled over with micro.

Ready to go! Now I just have to find a support boat. I made a call to a friend who works for the Canadian coast guard office in Tofino to ask about boat availability for a couple of days within the next week or so to support me during my trials. He says that whale watching season has just started and many of the whale watching boats are fully booked. He's making some calls for me.

Is anyone local interested in going with me to Tofino?

The 24 hour human powered boat record
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I just finished a 7.5 hour ride. Ugh! It was -10 C degrees this morning, but it was supposed to warm up later and the sun was up, so I figured I would break the day up by doing 5 hours outside, then another 3 inside. The outside ride was not fun. I froze my toes.

My hamstring started to get pretty sore. I'm not sure if it was because of Wednesday's KILLER AT intervals, or because the geometry on the M5 isn't exactly what I've been training on with the inside trainer. Anyhow - not a lot of fun.

One advantage that postponing the ocean crossing has is affording me a bit more time on other projects - including the 24 hour HPB record. I was thinking about an early June attempt, but I only get 1 month of unfrozen water here to train on. Glenmore res opens in May. That means that most of my training has to be either downstairs on the inside trainer, or outside on the M5. Outside is fine, but that really sucks when the temperature is less that 10 degrees C. I would much prefer a month or two of warm weather to alternate some long, 14 to 16 hour outside epic rides with some ultra long lake training days on the new boat. Scheduling the 24 hour record attempt and race for later in June would give me an additional month to train.



The Styrofoam hull and outrigger floats for V11G are due in from Saskatchewan today. I will order my carbon, epoxy, and other supplies on Tuesday, then schedule a composites work day here maybe the following week - depends on if I can get all of my supplies.

Manny the CNC machinist extraordinaire has finished machining the new prop for V11G !! It is a piece of ART!



Sneak preview of WiTHiN-ocean!
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Postponement of the 24 hour record has it's drawbacks - I am counting on this summer to complete all of the testing required for the new ocean crossing version of WiTHiN. Even with the postponement of the ocean crossing until next December (actually, it will probably be much earlier - like next JUNE. More on that later), I need this summer to complete all of the testing. This includes basic testing, as well as a few multi-day trips with the boat FULLY provisioned and equipped.

World record winning naval architect Stuart Bloomfield has completed some preliminary designs for the new boat. Check it out:




The big advantage to using the flat panel method of construction is speed and ease of building it. The panels can be made before hand using core materials and carbon on both sides. Then the panel shapes are laser cut from computer files. The carbon panels are seamed together to form the boat.

The front windshield is raked back, but there are two 'A frame' beams running from the roof line to the bow top deck. The beams are both structural and aesthetic.

Boston marathon
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Helen and I have the Boston marathon next month and this will be an interesting experiment for me. I've been running only ONCE per week because of an old calf injury from last years 24 hour record. It's not going away, so I've cut my running way back. One long run per week - that's it. This week I did a 2.5 hour run and next week it will be 2.75. So far, it seems to be working. I have plenty of energy during that long run, and my calf hasn't been hurting. I wont be setting any personal bests in Boston that's for sure!

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Live Life!

Live your life to the FULLEST. Susie did.

Susie Lantz (left) and Helen (right) on a beach on the Oregon coast

Canmore resident Susanna Lantz was skiing with a friend in an area known as Chickadee Pass, on the south side of the Great Divide bordering Banff and Kootenay national parks, when an avalanche swept down the side of the mountain around 4 p.m. prematurely ending the life of this wonderful 28 year.

Helen and I met Susie a couple of years ago on our Oregon coast bike trip. She was this amazingly energetic and enthusiastic spark who was living her dream by cycling from Vancouver to the tip of South America. We spent a day with her, then we split off and wished her the best of luck on her adventure.

Her unfortunate story made the front page of the Calgary Herald and Helen recognized her face, and I recognized her name. A few minutes spent digging through photo archives of our Oregon trip resulted in a sad confirmation - it was indeed Susie.

Susie - your positive attitude, energy, enthusiasm and zest for life was infectious, and you will be missed.

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Ocean WiTHiN progress:

I am happy to report that we have contracted a naval architect to produce working drawings of Ocean WiTHiN. Stuart Bloomfield from Bloomfield Innovations will be talking the basic dimensions from my overview and drafting plans that will go to a composite fabricator for construction. I am considering a few builders now.



Link

If we can negotiate an early departure from the Canary Islands with the Spanish coastguard of November 1, then I will be crossing the Atlantic with skipper Nick Dwyer from Around-in-ten as my safety boat. Working back from there - this is what the schedule looks like:

November 1st - DEPARTURE from La Gomera Spain
Oct 15th - WiTHiN and I arrive in La Gomera
(two weeks to get WiTHiN ready)
Sept 1 - deliver WiTHiN (fully provisioned and equipped) to the
container ship on the coast for 6 week
transport to Canary Islands
Aug - second sea trials
July - first sea trials
June 30 - WiTHiN ready for sea trials (equipment, electrics,
hardware - everything installed and ready to go)
June 1 - WiTHiN bare-boat built
March 1 to 7 - plans delivered to boat builder



I made cardboard cutouts of the various Lewmar port lights and sat in the mock-up to figure out exactly where these windows should be placed. I plotted a horizon line on the coroplast canopy and shifted my view by moving my head forward, back, right and left such that I could get a full 360 degree view around me to watch for other ships.

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TRAINING


I am still planning on another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat distance record for early June. As I have said before, this intermediate challenge motivates me to start taking my training seriously now! After the 24 hour event, I will be perfectly situated to start some seriously long distance training which will get me ready for the ocean crossing.

My long rides have been inside in the little red coroplast playhouse trainer, but the weather here has been marginal for outside rides, so I cleaned up the M5, and in an hour I'll be heading out for my 2nd 5-hour outside ride with my buddy Dr. Chad Anker who is training for Ironman Coeurdalene.

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24 HOUR RECORD ATTEMPT

As you know, I will be building a brand new human powered boat for the 24 hour 'Pedal vs Paddle' challenge. This is Rick Willoughby's tried and tested design, so there shouldn't be much time consuming R & D involved in this build. Jarrett Johnson is CNC machining the hull and outriggers out of solid foam right now. They should be finished next week. Ben and myself and whoever else we can grab to help will be adding carbon and Kevlar to the foam hulls. Then a drive frame and seat goes on, rudder, prop and I'm done - ready for testing in the nearest unfrozen lake to Calgary.



I had purchased a bunch of Chrome Alloy to fabricate the drive frame with, but decided to build it out of aluminum instead. I've welded aluminum before, but I lost faith in my welding skills when a simple bracket I made failed at the weld. I thought I would give it another try.



I welded up a test join -two tubes about the same wall thickness as the tubing that I planned to build the frame out of. The welding very surprisingly well and I smashed the test part with a hammer as it was held in my vice and it failed on the tube - not the weld. Good news. So I went for it.


I am VERY happy with the result. It weighs 2 pounds without any hardware, pedals, etc. My seat weighs 3 pounds. I need to add a bracket for the right angle gear box kindly provided by one of my sponsors MitrPak, a shaft, the prop (we're hopefully getting this CNC machined), aluminum frames for the seat back and outriggers and the rudder.


I am really trying to have this new boat ready for water testing in March sometime. If it tests out as expected, then I will 'pull the trigger' and officially announce the race.

In March, I also want to get back out to Tofino for another round of sea trials in the prototype WiTHiN using a keel which I still have to build.

So much to do, but I am hanging in there! Susie will be my inspiration for March.

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Guitar Hero training



I have been working on the design for the ocean crossing version of WiTHiN, and I've been making pretty decent progress. It occurred to me that before I went any further with the design, I had better know for sure that I can live within the dimensions! Something I learned from the Tofino sea trials is that the current prototype is WAY too small and it would drive me crazy spending days upon end in that tiny enclosed capsule.

I decided that I would build a mock-up that would double as an indoor trainer. I'll be able to train for the ocean crossing and the 24 hour record attempt in June, and as well, learn more about the space I need to live in there for 40 days.


Above is the overview design for the expedition boat. For details on the equipment on board, you can see the entire document here.

I will enclose the wood frame with coroplast and continue to build-out the stern cabin. Already I have noticed that I needed to raise the roof of WiTHiN by 4 inches so I can lean all the way forward to access the bow storage compartment. In the image you can see the working Lewmar Ocean 30 hatch above the para-anchor storage bin. All storage compartments and hatches will be working and made of wood and hinges. I'm even going to make the sliding canopy top with port lights and a windshield. This is the best way to design a working space. After an hour peddling in the simulator, I found a few additional places that would be good for storing things that I didn't notice in the 3D computer model.


After I finish my overview document, the next step is to hire a naval architect to go over our design and spec out material thickness, and other important construction details like which areas need to be reinforced, how to mount the keel on so it won't fall off, that kind of thing. If there are any NA's reading this and might be interested in helping, please send me an email.


After input from the NA, I will get Ben to model it all up properly in SolidWorks, then we need a builder. If you are a boat builder and might be interested in building the new WiTHiN, please send me an email.

Yes, the guitar I'm playing in the photo at the top is from the XBox game Guitar Hero. One of the benefits of indoor recumbent training is that you can do all kinds of other fun things with your hands, arms and mind to pass the time. It's unbelievable how fast time flies when I'm playing this game. Fav tune is "Holiday in Cambodia" by "The Dead Kennedy's" Try to do that on the indoor rower!

Below are some drawings I made for the new 24 hour record attempt boat. The design is by Rick Willoughby, and I consider it to be the most efficient human powered boat in the world for longer distances.

On the schedule for February:

1. I replaced the window in WiTHiN with some fresh PETG. One of my visibility problems in Tofino was because there was some over spray on the window. I have also ordered a manually operated windshield wiper to see if that helps. I have also removed the outriggers, and I need to build a keel. Then a pool test to figure out how much weight to suspend off the end of the keel, then another sea trial for March.

2. Find a naval architect and finish the design.

3. Find a builder and contract them to start building the new boat

4. Start work on the main hull and outrigger for the 24 hour record attempt boat.


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FIRED UP!!!



I've been spending some time planning out a pretty daunting schedule for the coming year, and if I can accomplish everything that I have set out to accomplish, it will be one hell of an amazing year! I am really excited about it all - I have TONS of work to do, but I say BRING IT ON because I am totally FIRED UP.



The first major event of the year will be another attempt at the 24 hour human powered boat world record in June!! This time, kayak world record holder Carter Johnson has kindly agreed to join me here in Calgary for a race. Carter currently owns the 24 hour HPB record which is 241 km which he set in his Surfski kayak in the summer of 2006. Last summer, I set a 24 hour pedal boat record of 173 km.

I'm only 68 km short! YIKES!!! To deal with that, Rick Willoughby and I have come up with a new super boat design that I will have to build. It will be very light, very narrow and WAY faster than the bathtub built for two that I raced in last summer.

I was looking for someone to build the new boat for me in exchange for some publicity, but I haven't had much interest, so I'm going to need to suck it up and get back into the shop to build it myself. That's OK - I can do it. I just have to get myself into the right mind set, clean up the shop, roll up my sleeves and make it happen.

I have already started my training program which will slowly ramp up my long 'ride' from 4 hours, once per week to 16 hours shortly before the record race in June. This new boat will be capable of almost exactly 240 km in 24 hours based on my previous power output, so beating Carters record (and beating Carter) will require that I am in better shape than ever before.

A June race will make the perfect training milestone for the Atlantic crossing next December. And for that, not only do I need to finish the design for the ocean boat, but I need to find a builder, get it built, test it, train and all of the other zillion things that need to be done to get me across the Atlantic ocean in less than 40 days. Wow - less than 40 days. And less than a year to make it all happen!

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I have been speaking with Kathleen Dohan from the OSCAR program at Earth & Space Research. Kathleen has kindly offered to provide me with research, data and real-time forecasting of the currents along my Atlantic crossing route from the Canary Islands to the West Indies.

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I would like to introduce my PR man Mark Dusseault who did such a fantastic job organizing my Victoria media day. The story got picked up by a national news feed and ended up being broadcast right across Canada. I got a phone call from a friend who was in Toronto on business and he saw me in the Toronto Star! We are lucky to have a guy like Mark working with Pedal The Ocean.


click to enlarge (photo by Pat Lor)

For whatever you would like to donate to Pedal The Ocean, I can superimpose your logo onto the bow of WiTHiN in the above photo that Pat Lor shot from the support boat in Tofino, BC. I can also provide you with a large framed wall plaque for your office, and a jpeg file for your marketing. This would also include a small logo on the ocean crossing boat itself, of course. If you are interested, shoot me an email with your suggestions, and I'll put it together for you. 10% of all sponsorship sales go to KidPower.

Got to run - I have some work to do!
Greg

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