WOW – it has been a long time hey?
I guess since the advent of Facebook, I’ve been sort of posting more updates on my various projects though that medium. Unfortunately, it’s snippets of info, and what I find I’m missing out on, is the ability to refer back to old projects and re-remember important things. You can’t really do that with Facebook because the amount of information that goes into a typical post is made up of a sentence or two at the most. “having fun, drinking beer, loving life, love my family, don’t we look awesome, yada yada.”
BIG NEWS! I’m going to tackle my 24 hour human powered water distance record of 245.16 km which I set on Whitefish Lake back in 2008. (read the race report here) And I’m going to doing it at some point during the second week in October. I know – It’s near freezing in October. There’s a reason why it will be so late in the season – but that will be the subject of a really exciting announcement that I’ll make before this week is up!
I’ve been hard at work training for this record, making modifications to Critical Power 2 to shave weight, and trying to shave a little weight off the “engine”, to get back to my world record winning weight.
CP2 is now about 8 pounds lighter, sporting an all-carbon bike frame, new outrigger mounts, water proofed outrigger floats, and a cleaned-up deck with rounded edges rather than that ugly flange. I have to hand it to my buddy Shane at Innovative Wings for doing most of this composite work for me – he has done a fantastic job.
This YouTube video of the “old” CP2 was shot earlier this summer on Whitefish Lake and it was the first time I’ve had CP2 on the water since the record attempt in 2008.
Here are a few shots of the new modified boat:
Shore to Shore race across Flathead Lake
I entered my first race against other human powered boats a couple of weeks ago – the Epic Shore to Shore race across Flathead Lake. This was a 26 mile race, and I won first place! I neat the second place kayaker by 20 minutes and the third place kayaker paddled in a full hour after my finish. This was a GREAT test, as the water conditions were right on the EDGE of what CP2 can handle at the moment.
The race started at 8:00 am sharp at the far south end of Flathead lake in very calm conditions. I blasted away from the start line averaging about 13 to 13.5 kph, and left the pack of kayaks, canoes, and stand up paddle boards behind. Within a half hour, I reached “the narrows” which is a narrow passage that opens out to Flathead lake proper. And the swells and waves started to build. By the time I got to the first check point, I was getting nervous, as waves were washing over the bow all the way to the pedals. My floats had been slowly filling with water in previous tests, and the day before the race, I had purchase some quick set epoxy from the hardware store in Whitefish, and coated the bow and stern of the floats to try to stop the leaks. This was a big concern now, as my floats were definitely getting bombarded with waves.
I inquired at the first check point about a safety boat following and the guy told me that the safety boat was staying with the pack – who were way behind. I was concerned because a 2 hour stretch of open Flathead lake water now stood between me and the next check point at Painted Rocks. The next leg was kind of nuts, as the waves and wind started to build. My bow was now plowing deep into the waves and my outriggers were getting totally submerged. My goal was to make it across this open water as fast as possible, as there were no other boats in sight, and shore was not within swimmable distance.
I reached the next check point and conditions immediately got worse – but at least I was near shore. In fact, that’s probably why they got worse – water and wind ricocheting off the rock cliff. I pulled over to a house with a dock and sat there for 5 to 10 minutes and pondered if I should continue. I knew there were more large open water segments to come. I decided that conditions over the last hour or so were not getting worse, and the wind was blowing directly at me which meant that as I approached the north end of the lake, the water would calm down. And that’s basically what happened. By the time I reach the north end of the lake, conditions were calm again, and I cruised across the finish line in first place.
Stay tuned for an important announcement regarding the record attempt this week!!
Currently, I’m busy working on fixing some small issues on CP2: I’m adding a dipping rudder to make a shorter radius turn when I reach the turn-around buoy. This rudder will be at a fixed angle, and when inserted into the water, will thrust the stern to the right, which will allow a sharp left hand turn. To stay on course I can make minor course corrections using a small rudder, but I’m hoping that with the large dipping rudder, I will be able to revert back to my tiny little butter knife rudder which is about .1 to .2 kph faster than the rudder I’m currently using.
The outrigger float arms now slide into a fixed tube and are locked in place with cotter pins – super easy and fast to set up, and very solid while underway.
I’ll post more photos of the mods soon.