I’ve been feeling a lot of pressure lately regarding the Pedal Vs. Paddle Showdown race between Carter and I. The 24 hour distance record race has now been moved up to October 4th (on Friday, Oct 4th we start watching for the best weather day over the next 10 days – so the race could very well be on the 4th), and that leaves me with a little over 5 weeks to:
1. Get Critical Power 2 in ROCK-SOLID state
2. Ramp my training up.
3. Raise $10,000 for our charity Mitocanada.
I’m not where I should be right now in any of the three departments.
One of the modifications to CP2 was to move to a smaller, lighter gear box from MitrPak. It weighs a good pound less, and was worth the swap considering how much time and effort was spent on replacing all of the aluminum tubing with carbon tubes. But, the output shaft on the new gear box is shorter, and due to switching to a thicker prop shaft, there was more stress put on the gear box and it caused all kinds of undue wear and tear to the coupler, shafts, grub screws, etc. I’ll spare you the gory details, but will tell you that my last “big” training day was cut short due to the shaft breaking off inside the coupler resulting in yet another embarrassing tow back to the dock from the patrol boat at the Glenmore reservoir. (I have lost count of how many times I’ve asked for a tow this year). To rub a little salt into the wound, there was a police officer on the patrol boat who really wanted to ticket me for not wearing my life jacket. I mean, he really, really wanted to, but the awesome patrol guys felt sorry for me, and talked him out of it.
I sent the gear box over to my machinist extraordinaire friend Manny, and asked him to machine a new gear box shaft with at least 2 to 3 inches and a new stainless coupler. I picked up the new parts today, and his work is impeccable – as usual. I am convinced that this will solve my gear box / shaft woes.
In the mean time, I tried to keep my training going by doing long rides on my Nocom on the mag trainer, and the hotel recumbent bike. I HATE the hotel recumbent bikes. We were in San Fransisco over the weekend visiting our son Cody, and I did a couple of hours a day on the stupid hotel bent. What a pain – but, I feel at this point, it’s what I have to do.
The other thing I’ve been working on is a dipping rudder. The short reason is to shorten my turning radius at the end of the course during the 24 hour record race. The long reason is that Guinness rules for Carters Kayak record state that his course must be the straight line distance between 2 buoys. My Guinness rules state that my course must be the straight line distance between as many buoys as I want. Since we are both doing the same course the decision was made to use 2 buoys, but add 2 additional buoys at each turn around that mark off our turning radius. That way Carter can submit the straight line distance between to 2 far buoys as his distance for Guinness, I can submit all the buoys for my distance for Guinness and we can submit all the buoys for the “race” distance, and the IHPVA record. So – since my turnin radius is about TWICE what Carter’s is, I need to shorten it to match Carter’s or I will be travelling way farther that I am getting credit for – and I’ll probably loose the race. The dipping rudder should help. This is a very large asymmetrical rudder which sits up high, out of the water until I need to turn. I pull a cord, and the rudder rotates around a pivot at the stern, and dips into the water pushing the stern hard to starboard. Which will result in a sharp turn to port. Hopefully.
I am all set for a LONG training day today on the reservoir. I have 3 audio books on the iPod, 8 hours worth of food, and 6 litres of water packed. CP2 is packed onto the Suburban, and I’ll be out on the res first thing tomorrow morning. To be honest, I’m not looking forward to it! Then if all goes well, I’ll be back out on Thursday for another 6-8 hours. Then we are off to France on Friday until Sept 17th for a hiking trip around mount Blanc. I’ll try to maintain my training by jumping onto a recumbent hotel gym bike if the opportunity presents itself.
If you have not yet pledged a few bucks to our charity Mitocanada by sponsoring Carter and I on our race, please visit http://www.pedalvspaddle.com and make a pledge. My goal is to raise $10,000 for my friend Blaine’s charity, and we are off to a good start, but have a long way to go still.