• 16th November 2009 - By greg

    As if I don’t have enough on my plate these days! So I just had to go and do yet another redesign on the Adventuresofgreg.com blog. I was having problems with the old blogger.com blog, so I switched over to WordPress a few weeks ago. After I had the entire blog ported over, I still wasn’t happy with it, so in order to appease that background feeling that something isn’t just right – I had to bite the bullet and embark on a re-design. I’m pretty happy with the new look and functionality. Take a look:


    and a new intro video at

    I’m still having problems with some older blog posts thumbnail images not showing up in the abbreviated blog post, but I’m working on that. Also, some of the VERY old blog posts from years ago need to be adjusted so that tables and images fit into the narrower column of the new blog. There are also dozens of YouTube videos over the years that need to be re-inserted, but that will all happen over time.

    A slick benefit of the new format, is you can click on one of 3 main categories at the top of the blog “24 hour record attempts” (and then sub menus for the land and water records), “Pedaltheocean” (with sub menus for boat building, water testing and expedition news), and a new category called “Event / Race Reports” which is sort of a highlights collection of blog posts for special events – like a first lake test, sea trials, Ironman race, Boston marathon or one of the ultramarathons that I did this summer.

    Let me know if you would like something added – or changed – or whatever.

    Finally, WiTHiN is back inside. Ben has the new shop extension almost finished, and I spent yesterday cleaning 5 years of dust, dirt, mouse crap, metal filings, saw dust, epoxy dust and garbage out of my shop. She moved in today.

    I am having Manny from Rohmec Industries make a small chain ring that will mount onto the prop shaft. I will be able to run a chain from that gear to a rear cassette on one of my bikes on a mag trainer. This will allow me to do my training in the actual seat using the actual drive leg. In addition to testing the gear box in a tub of salt water powered by an electric motor nonstop for the next 8 months, doing all of my training on the actual gear leg will also be a good test.

    I know that getting out on the ocean is what I really need, and we will be doing that again in early January, then as many times as I possibly can until my departure in July. But, between those trips, I am planning on spending as much time actually within WiTHiN learning about life in that tiny capsule. In fact, I want to do a 24 hour training session in there where I will sleep, eat and pedal just like a typical day on the ocean. I would like to rig up the SRM meter and record exactly how many watts I am able to put out over the 24 hour period. Not in a 24 hour record sort of effort level, but something more typical of what I would be doing on the Pacific. Maybe 4-hour intervals with short rest breaks between, then 6 to 8 hours of sleep. If I can get a good estimate of the kind of power I am able to maintain on a day to day basis, then I will be better able to estimate my crossing time (currents + average wind + speed @ x average watts) – (adverse wind + storms + bad moods + occasional lazy-ass attitude + misc. down time).

    It would be great to be able to design some kind of rock and rolling device to simulate constant motion, but she’s well over 450 pounds and making something like that isn’t trivial. I have done a bit of research on motion sickness training and I spoke with Tom Stoffregen from the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minneapolis. Tom is an expert on motion sickness and results from an extensive study that he conducted on the viability of developing training regimens that might innure people to nauseogenic motion. The problem, in his view, is that motion sickness adaptation seems to be closely related to the exact nature of the inducing motion. ┬áTraining yourself not to be car sick will have little benefit once you get in a boat, and vice versa.

    I agree to an extent, but personal experience has shown me that it could help. I remember last summer when I was on the lake every day training for the 24 hour record attempt. At first, after 6 hours or so, I would start to feel slightly woozy – just a bit of a funny feeling in my stomach due to the constant movement over small waves. After a few weeks of that, I didn’t feel it at all. And, the wave conditions were seldomly the same.

    I think I would become a little bit conditioned by spending the winter pedaling in a simulation and I do think it is a good idea. If nothing else, it could prepare me for the nuisance of having to pedal while constantly rolling around. If you have any ideas on how to easily build a simulator for WiTHiN in my shop, let me know.

  • 7 Comments to “New home for WiTHiN and motion sickness training”

    • Jim King on November 16, 2009

      It would be quite simple to build a motion simulator cheaply using salvaged bike parts, two small electric motors and some misc pieces to make 2 separate units. One for vertical movement and the other for horizontal movement.

      Basically, make two metal disc mounted on frt wheel hubs in stands with an irregular wavy edge. Use skate wheels in yokes as followers to either push or pull for the action. Quite small motors should be sufficient as they would have to be geared way down to produce the proper speed for the simulated action. By having the two units ‘geared’ slightly differently, it would produce a continuously changing ‘wave’ pattern. I would think the whole works could be built with less then $200 & a days work in the shop.

    • Peter Raymond on November 16, 2009


      When the boat is in the water you can have someone rock it while you are sitting inside. Timing 10 or so cycles will give a good idea of the cycle time. You could then probably support WiTHiN with tables and inner tubes and devise a motorized system to rock it at the right frequency. If you do this, I want to see the video.

      I replaced fans on an indoor trainer with an aluminum flywheel and put a small high-energy neo-iron magnet near it. It was easy to have too much eddy-current braking from the magnet. If you made a flywheel that was driven off the propeller shaft with a step up chain drive you could mount it all to the drive leg and be able to have realistic drag and inertia.

    • Elrey on November 17, 2009

      You should consider having your brother print above-the-waterline graphics on reflective media. Wrap the whole topside in a reflector. If you ghosted the images you would get that proportion of reflection. Maybe there’s even transparent inks that will work on those substrates? You could keep the topside unprinted for a very high-gain visual aide to any helicopter looking for you on a dark night.

      You should also be able rig up an anti-gimbaled seat mount that uses (a part) the energy throwing you side ways to move you in the opposite direction. Sort of like automatically going “high-side”. If you did it electronically, you could use accelerometers to establish an artificial horizon (through your choice of planes). Then you could also have the drive leg input pivot to the seat vector as well.

      I get thrown around a bit, too, in my velomobile; roadways with a steep outside camber are what got me thinking about what you could do if it could be done. I think if I look there I will find your picture.

    • Elrey on November 17, 2009

      How’s this for a simulator? Build a pool and float yer boat. Tie it up at each end. You have to make it deep enough to accommodate the drive leg and prop, but only in an arc if you pin it on center. Make it a big enough pool and you can invite the neighborhood kids to make waves. If your weather won’t accommodate that, and you don’t want to set up inside, do as John Hiatt instructs.

    • Frank on November 19, 2009

      What is important in motion sickness is the power spectrum of the movement. While it is true that the waves on a lake vary a lot from day to day, the power spectrum is much more constant.

      Waves on a lake are short, high frequency movements of moderate amplitude, whereas waves on the open ocean are slow long wavelength rollers with considerable amplitude. The frequency spectra are entirely different.

      The same is true for other motions such as cars, flying, etc. Every modality has its own characteristic power spectrum.

    • Frank on November 19, 2009

      Take a look at this website:


    • john Climaldi on November 19, 2009

      Hey Greg, very interesting boat and concept. I have raced and built streamliners,recumbents, and sailboats. We have a lot in common! I also live in Hawaii, and am a board member for the Hawaii Bicycle League. I would love to help you with your goal on the Hawaii end if you need it.

      About the sea sickness, I would suggest you start sailing with a group in your area. Even though the hull/ motion might be different, it will greatly help you get use to the environment as well as gain knowledge about ocean navigating, currents, and how to read the swells. It would also free you up from designing and building a simulator, and get you more time on the water. I sail as well as kayak the waters around Oahu, and my sailing skills have transferred well to learning how to safely paddle my ocean kayak in windy big swell conditions. There is also a lot to be learned by sailers crossing oceans on pocket yachts. My good friend Coby just crossed the Pacific from Portland, Or. to Kaneohe, Hi. on a 20 foot Flicka sailboat. http://aboard-snookums.blogspot.com/. It took him 31 days, and was quite an adventure.

      All the best, John

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