Popular Science Magazine called me shortly after the record and expressed interest in featuring a photo of Critical Power in the October, 2006 issue. They needed a higher resolution version of the side-view image of me in the Critical Power frame by the end of the day. I got my sister in-law Jennifer Armand to run over and shoot a new image with her Cannon digital SLR, and I sent the file back to the photo editor with a mock-up which included some of Bens 'action' shots from the Eureka track. They liked the idea and ended up publishing my insert concept including Bens awesome photography.
What I wasn't expecting, was the small insert on the COVER!! There is a small photo of me and Critical Power on the lower left hand side of the cover that says "NEW WORLD RECORD" !! How cool is that!
This must be my 15 minutes of fame, although you would never know it. Popular Science magazine is read by over 7 million people, yet the AdventuresOfGreg web site which is prominently featured in the pop sci article hasn't received anymore than it's typical daily share of traffic.
The Universe is one strange place... You know, I clearly remember the very first time I saw a human powered streamliner. It was on the cover of Popular Science - The Dexter Hysol Cheetah HPV set a new human powered sprint speed record by going 68.73 mph. I remember being absolutely amazed by the photo of the Cheetah on the cover. I had never seen anything like that in my life. It was so cool! I immediately thought that someday I wanted to build one of those and set a speed record myself.
Full circle hey? Not only did I build a human powered streamliner and set a world record with it, but the cosmos thought it fitting that my original inspiration be FULLY realized, by sticking me on the cover of Popular Science.
Well, good question. John, Ben and I had two days of driving back to Calgary from Eureka to talk about that. We discussed ways of making Critical Power faster and what the potential could be for her on a fast, straight, flat, long track. We talked about removing the canopy bubble and taking another look at a video monitor vision system. We talked about the 12 hour HPV record and the 6 hour record - both of which I could probably achieve. In fact, at 12 hours into the 24 hour record attempt, I was only about 27 km away from the existing 12 hour record of 607 km. We talked about minimizing pit stop times, and what could be done about making the food and water replacement easier. We talked about my foot problem and how much lost down time it was responsible for. I estimated that I was coasting for an average of two minutes every 15 minutes when my feet went numb. That's a TON of lost power resulting in a lot of lost potential distance.
We even talked about Critical Power at Battle Mountain - with some gearing modifications, we think it could probably go 60 mph at least.
But you know, now that I have had time to reflect on all the events of the last 2 years that culminated in this world record, I am really starting to understand what it is about these adventures that just turns me on. It's not about the destination, it's all about the JOURNEY. I take with me, some seriously fond memories of that July 19th on the California coast, but it would be nothing without the years of effort, work, stress, training, mistakes and learning that preceded it. I look back on the entire journey with pride and a deep sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
" I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it." Pablo Piccasso. With that said, I wonder how much is still left for me to learn about streamliner building and racing. Where is the stress and the fear that is my fuel?
"Anything I've ever done that ultimately was worthwhile initially scared me to death". - Betty Bender. Isn't that the truth! I think that now is the time for a new adventure. Something that scares the living bejesus out of me!