Embracing the Mothers of Invention
Published: January 25, 2012
Kickstarter is a site where creative people solicit start-up money for various projects (and you can read Pogue’s article about the concept web site by clicking the link above). And people actually pledge money to help the projects in return for, maybe, a T-shirt or a CD.
I have funded four projects so far: A video production of the Appalachian Trail culture, a backpackable inflatable pillow that has a solar cell on it that allows the pillow to illuminate the tent, and a 7,000 mile solo fat tire biking expedition to Alaska ( in winter), and a documentary on the actual “Lost on a Mountain in Maine” experiences of the young Donn Fendler.

Bubbas On Ice

I have never bicycled over as much frozen water. I’d estimate that 40 % of the riding this morning was on solid ice, of which there were two forms.

Slick Stuff
One was “smooth as glass”, and the other a bumpy surface that appeared under wooded cover where dripping sleet froze into micro peaks and valleys.

Five of The Bubbas showed up at 9:30 AM for the ride.
Winter Bikers
Two of the smartest guys, Eric and Jason, had studded tires. I’m not sure if they even fell once. I only saw them when they were waiting for us to catch up. I know that I fell. I saw Rigger fall. I didn’t see Steve fall, but did see him recover after sliding right off a narrow wooden bridge that was coated with frozen snow.
I smacked down a few times. My most notorious dive was into moving water that was deep enough that one boot, a mitten, and a good part of my butt became saturated with icy water. It was sheer ice going into the stream crossing and more ice on the lip out. I thought I had enough momentum to shoot across on my Pugsley snow bike, but no, I dove right in plus suffered in listening to the cackle of the guys watching me laying in the running water and worming around to extract my limbs from the drowning bike.
Today, I learned that a fat tire bike without studs runs a sorry second to a studded-tire mountain bike over sheer ice. It is a good thing for me to wear knee, shin, and elbow protection on these winter rides. I did like the grip of the big Larry knobbie tires on the actual refrozen snow that was in the woods on the edges of the ice lanes. I developed a technique on the way back to the car when I veered off right into the woods and detoured the ice roads where I could. The Pugs is like a tractor in those conditions.
Here’s a short video clip of Rigger riding over the ice:

Anyone out there have a recommendations for hip protection? I don’t want to break a hip. Hockey pants?

Here’s a Strava entry about the 6.6 ride, complete with map.

Fatbikerafting the Arctic

I just backed this astounding EXPEDITION . I’m into fatbikes, winter travel, adventure and Alaska. It has to happen! Please check it out and you will see that $25 is a great sacrifice to this cause. I gotta see the final video documentary.

“All I want is to do epic stuff across the face of our amazing planet, then tell you about it so you can do the epic stuff you want to do. Is that so much to ask? In the last week of March 2012, I’m heading north to the Arctic Ocean on foot, fatbike, and packraft. The estimated duration of the expedition is 6-8 months, but may vary significantly due to ice, ocean, and ground conditions throughout.

7,000 Miles
7 Rivers
Zero Fuel
2 Oceans
4 Mountain Ranges

The project is a film documenting the adventure. It would be naivete or hubris to pitch you a plotline before I’ve left. I’m confident that my mind will be sufficiently blown, and I’ll do my best to translate that into something that will inspire others to experience the sublimity of wildness and wilderness.”

Book Review Yogi’s CDT Handbook- Planning Guide

20120121-155434.jpgI’m giving Yogi 4 out of five stars on this brand- new 2012 version of her 2007 thru-hiking hiking guide. While this book targets the unique challenges of the Continental Divide Trail, it can also be seen as an updated compendium of state of the art backpacking information.
Yogi puts out a good product. I used her “Pacific Crest Trail” planning guide in preparing for and in thru-hiking the PCT in 2010.
Yogi’s Guide offers the reader direct access to the up to date wisdom from not just Yogi herself, who is a Triple Crown backpacker, but additional recommendations of 15 other CDT hikers.
Here’s a PDF of the Table of Contents of the Planning Guide.
I particularly enjoyed the following sections : Warm Top, Trail Food, and Post-Hike Thoughts.
I have three suggestions:
First, it would make more sense to move the Guidebook and Maps section to follow CDT Impressions section. Second, include an early link to Ley’s “compass rose method'” related to GPS use. More than one hiker referred to it before the reader is able to understand what they were talking about. Third, while Yogi defers from any specific recommendations on electronics because ” the electronics arena changes much too quickly..”, she contradicts here self in the GPS section where she turns the show over to Starman, who goes on to list 12 specific Delorme and Garmin units. It would be of interest to hikers to view electronics recommendations, with the understanding that the data is dated. A link to a blog about backpacking smartphones, for example could be listed as she did with her GPS info.
This is a guide that is well worth the $40 Yogi charges for it.
I do wish she would sell it as a stand-alone purchase. Right now, it comes bundled with a companion CDT Town Guide, a 196 page book detailing services and resources in some 89 CDT trail town and resorts.

Swimming pool and firework


Having a great time today with the vitamin D therapy here in Florida. I hit the hot tub, swimming pool, and even laid out in the warmth of the sun this afternoon, in my bathing suit.
So easy to camp here, but there are some surprises, like cool evenings.
I ‘m pleased that I have my Ibex thin long underwear. It went down to 44 last night and I needed some help in my 40 degree bag. Super thin tights, a zip crew long sleeve top, and light wool socks are a now permanent part of my 4 season packing list. The underwear also keeps my down bag clean on those nights when I am unable to find enough water to wash my grimy skin. When worn under my day clothes I can be outside in the 40’s and be comfortable.
There are still be snakes here, so I keep my tent zipped up.
I am learning about battery management and data needs on my iPhone 4S. I just switched to my first decent phone- i came over from my Mi-Fi device/ iPod Touch.
The camper profile here is bizarre. We have a site in a loop that is .4 mile around and there and are 20 of these loops in Fort Wilderness. . There are 22-70 sites on a loop. I have walked past complete loops consisting exclusively of huge self- contained RV’s that range in list price from $100,000 to $500,000. What’s spooky is walking past dozens of these units and not seeing ANYBODYoutside. My friend Edward tells me that these folks are only seen getting into their row-behind cars for a daily shopping run into town.
Had a great time last night lying in a recliner, while listening to cool loud music on the beach, with fireworks blasting over The Magic Castle.

How’s a snow bike handle in the snow?

I didn’t plan to ride on the snow today. But when I spotted a couple of hungry-for-action snowmobiles go whining across the 20 acre hayfield across the nearby stone wall I changed my mind. I want to see what this new Surly “Pugsley” snow bike does on a snowmobile trail. Five and a half miles later, I completed a loop of learning that included a serious workout.
I learned that:

  1. It is still a bitch to pedal a bicycle in loose snow.  My best performance was when I was in the tractor tire path that my next door neighbor established when he hauled out a big oak tree some 1/8 of a mile from the snowmobile trail.

    Love that tractor!
  2. The track from one pass of a snowmobile doesn’t help that much.  The snow was powdery and loose beneath.
  3.  I will carry a tire pump and pressure gauge each time I ride this thing. I kept lowering pressure in the tire , but was nervous about letting too much out and being stranded in the woods with a flat tire.
  4. Momentum helps.
  5. The workout is fantastic.   Not only is it hard to keep churning out forward momentum, but the front end needs much more correction as it is skidding about and moving to and fro.  Also, there are unexpected dips and obscured drops under the snow that you have to quickly react to. At one point, the snowmobile path went down a steep drop and across a stream.  Although the path looked frozen, my front wheel dropped through the crust right over the stream and the tire, rim, and half the wheel submerged into the icy water.  I went sideways off the bike  , but kept standing.  I thought that I’d have some kind of problem with ice buildup on the wheel, but there was no problem.  I am not sure that I am going to keep the clips on the pedals.  I was thrown to the side numerous times where I staggered around trying to stay upright after I released from the pedals.

So, all went well.  Should be no problem with these trails hardening up .  It is supposed to rain a little bit tonight with single number temperatures coming right up.

Who needs a gym around here?  Not me.  I’ve been pleased with the hiking, walking, snowshoeing, road biking, and now snow biking alternatives that are right out my door.

Loop around Moody Pond

Date: Jan 16, 2012 1:13 pm
Distance: 5.18 miles
Avg Speed: 3.6 mph
Max Speed: 17.1 mph