Sunday, September 13, 2009

Reaction to Martin Krieg ending his ride

Here is some of the reaction I have received on Facebook not to mention the words I regularly still (as of 9-13-09) hear in person, on the phone or even in Twitter:

I was so sad and shocked to hear that you had to turn back. If you couldn’t make it this year, no one could. All my best wishes and hope for next year. You are doing a great thing to help green our transportation. - Alix


Well it wasn't for lack of effort. You can use this experience to come back better and stronger next year..........

Hi Martin, sorry to hear your trip is ending. I still do not understand. You made it through all those obstacles. It sounds like to stop is causing more problems than if you continued. And starting, stopping and starting to go on and finish would be more drama for the reader. But what ever you do, I support you. You have already done more than I ever could have done! Best regards


I am glad that you are back. From your brief report it seems like it was very hard and best choice to return. I look forward to cheering your endeavors on. I am also cheering all the work you did this year and ride.


So sorry to hear the news - you have shown a great deal of courage and I look forward to supporting your work in the coming year.

Martin, Glad to hear you are well, and that you are thinking clearly enough to scale back instead of trying to persist. Riding from SF to SLC on your reverse hiwheel without a SAG wagon or domestiques is an incredible feat.

Sorry to see the ride end. Best of luck for next year! and thanks for the updates. I enjoyed following your journey!

Sorry hear about the end of your ride. [....] Questions and sympathy,

Excellent, Martin.
You did a great job and learned as we all must, by trying, giving our best efforts and reaching beyond the known.

Martin, you are a hero! Persistence is the number one requirement of a winner! Thanks so much for your journey.
Mary Ann

I'm sorry to hear about the difficulties you encountered, but I think you made the right choice in postponing the ride until you have all the support you will need to help you reach your goal. This was a good trial run and a great learning experience.

We love your guts, Martin. I wouldn't ride that contraption out of the parking lot, and you got it all the way to Salt Lake City. Now to help you recruit a bunch of volunteer Sherpas -- to help out in 2010!
John Schubert
Former “Bicycling” Editor

Awesome getting to Salt Lake City! So how many miles did you end up with?

Martin, Congratulations on setting the modern distance record on an Eagle self contained tour! The space program did not make it to the moon on the first Mercury launch either. Time to rest up and regroup for 2010.


You are an amazing man willing to take on amazing challenges. You r courage and spirit are truly an inspiration to all of us. Watch out in 2010!


I'm sorry it ended in disappointment for you but I'm looking forward to seeing you back on the streets of Palo Alto soon. Safe journey home and look forward to 2010. I was in western Nevada during some of those storms.... not nice.


Martin, I'm sorry to hear about the end of the ride. You gave it a great shot at long odds. Hope to see you back in Palo Alto sometime


Oh Martin, I am so sorry. Hang in there, what you did already is amazing, focus on the accomplishment!


I am sorry too. As important as your message is, I think the populace just doesn't appreciate your effort...when in actuality our lives would be better if you accomplished your goal/trip.


Oh no! We were going to try to see you in Chicago. I'm so sorry....


I do think about you and your epic journey everyday, Martin. You are The Man! Here's to Greenbelts all across the country. Thank you.

GO MARTIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearty congratulations on making it to Salt Lake City! There are not many others, if any, who could have made it that far on that historic bike. Best wishes on your future endeavors.
Ellen Fletcher
Most Powerful bike activist of all time


Martin, in true American spirit, with support from his friends and devotees, continues to ride. Hail, rain, and roads not designed for bicycle travel have not thwarted his efforts. But thunder and lightning filled skies have.[....]The lack of services and bicycle friendly paths is exactly why Martin is riding. He wants to raise awareness of the lack of inclusive design for transportation throughout our nation.[....]Martin is out there on I-80 on a HiWheel bicycle to bring attention to our lost dream. Visit his web site at and join his efforts.

Ron Bishop - Architect- ADPSR
Sierra Club NAC Ex.Com.
"Energy Efficiency, Green, Sustainable"
Bicycle & Traffic Skills Instructor - LCI

Sunday, June 28, 2009

2009 Eagle HiWheel Mayors' Ride Terminated

As I posted to my Twitter and Facebook communities, my Eagle HiWheel ride is over, done and complete. In sum, I ran out of

* money
* weather (I lost 18 days to electric storms plus the $800 cost of doing so)
* routing (the interstates that flattened out the climbing, gave me a WIFII signal and afforded usually accessible lodging were far busier beyond Nevada and would have added many hundreds of miles to my next destination - Denver)
* support (the ride Sherpa(s) I needed to get through remote and mountainous northeastern Utah on the way to the Rockies and Denver never showed up)
* proper nourishment (without Sherpas to carry the higher grade of nutrition my bigger efforts were going to require, I knew I could not find what I would need in the smaller stores between SLC and Denver - the three days at the SLC truck stop that ran my batteries to a very weak low, showed me this)
* spokes (I had four broken spokes)

All, however, is not lost. As a trial balloon for next year, I was able to build a huge plethora of contacts as well as better define my needs. I now see and can justify every budget line item I am calling for. What some had dismissed as wild eyed luxuries, I now see as the difference between failure and success on my next run. As well, I am now able to see what part of my ride will keep the media interested and how much energy will need to be assigned to the Busycle and also to my book to help the 2010 Mayors' Ride dominate a lot of next summer’s news.

There are so many of you to thank that all can say is you know who you are and without you, this journey could not have happened. As well, I hope my ride showed all those who tuned in, how much love fills this nation. WOW - THX 4 all of U!!

Special THX to Penny Farthing Winery and all the love that holds that operation together for making most of this ride possible. If you want to honor the important part they played and keep their powerful energy interested for next year, please buy a commemorative t-shirt or a bottle or a case of their wine HERE!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

100 (gritty) Miles for Andrew Heckman to Salt Lake City

Photos from Wells, NV to Wendover, UT to SLC - iPhone photos

The ride I did yesterday ranks as one of the most difficult I have ever done. And I even had to cheat - I had to call on God to get me through the head winds and some of the other gotchas that kept coming at me. But I am just on the outskirts of Salt Lake City after having been stuck in Elko, NV for ten days.

Nor do I regret not pushing the weather envelope. Not only was I able to see why conditions had to be right for me to make this run, but as I pushed today to honor all those scouts who have powered through countless obstacles on their rides for us, I thought about Andrew Heckman. About six years ago, while doing a Mayors' Ride relay for us, he got caught in a storm. Andrew, who almost died, is paralyzed now.

So the 95 pounds (with food and water) that it took me 13 hours to pedal across the Salt Flats and the Great Salt Lake basin on a 50-inch fixed gear bike are all dedicated to Andrew Heckman. In his excitement to add what he could to make our Greenway real, his life will never be the same. So that Andrew's efforts will not be lost and so that I can keep the NBG flame burning, I chose to wait until the skies were clear.............

In fact Andrew would have been the first to suggest that I sit tight like I did......

Since I am stuck in my hotel room in the middle of yet another thunderstorm which is also forecast for tomorrow, I will better qualify yesterday's ride. My breath was labored from start to finish; as though I was climbing a mountain pass the whole day. The effort sucked almost every last ounce of my gut. Literally. I pushed the pedals so hard to go a mere 6-10 mph, and I cannot coast or I will get launched from the saddle, that once I pedaled the 45 miles across the Bonneville Salt Flats and reached my first shade, an overpass, my urine was blood-colored once again. It took me until the day was over and I could eat real food and cool my body down with cold drink for my pee to return to yellow. Guess drinking well over a gallon of warm Gatorade was just not enough...........

I will say, however, that without rain, I did feel reasonably safe on I-80 even though cars and trucks roared past me at an average speed of probably 90 miles an hour. I especially appreciated the mile markers. They told me when to drink and eat, and they helped me chart my progress (instead of one every 40 or 50 seconds in a car, I saw a new one every 6 to 11 minutes!). And yet there again, it. would have been suicide to be on this part of I-80 in less than perfect conditions. By waiting for them in Elko, I got a view of the Great Sslt Lake Basin that few besides Brigham Young and his early settlers have ever seen. Out there one could only wonder what lay beyond the far away distant mountains that ringed the flat lifeless lands that seemed to know no end. For me, as I am sure was the case with the early settlers, it was hard not to wonder if it was easier in lands that seemed so far away.

At times I did find a way to immerse myself in the present by trying to study the Salt Flat art few people ever see. Once beyond the 40 miles of salt flats, a shoulder traveler such as myself, of which there might be a few a year to make such a trek, can be entertained by the small words and initials people have used rocks, bottles and pieces of retreaded tire to create. There must have been a few hundred peace signs, people's names and other slogans out there. One even had a US flag on it and was fashioned to look like an Iwo Jima war memorial. While that is what I took pictures of,  countless others were buried under the water that covered them. Did I say it's been raining out here?

While it took me 45 miles to get my first shade, I was rewarded with a chance to rest my legs when at mile 56, a small downhill showed up!! As has been par for the course out here on I-80 my final destination was marked by the five miles of speed divots that were cut into the full width of the shoulder that preceded it. But I am here and dry and trying very hard to find things I can eat in what is one of the biggest truck stops in the western US.....

THX for all of U!!

btw: Out on the Flats, I was also getting a great cell phone signal. Also excited about all these new iPhone updates. The Recorder is going to make my life out here a lot simpler. Ditto for cut and paste and the new search feature. WOW!!

btw2: This is by far the wettest June anyone I have talked to has ever seen out here in Utah and Nevada....

Monday, June 15, 2009

Why Elko's Gold Mines #1 in US, #2 in World - Podcast

While I sat tight in Elko, NV, waiting for better weather for my safety and for the welfare of this rare bike, I had the privilege of learning a lot about Elko from one of its natives, an amazing man named Greg Parker. Long gone are the days of using one's naked eye to mine for such precious metal, what comes out of the ground now are microscopic particles. So as such here is Greg on

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Why I am grounded in Elko, Nevada

For the very few of you (I know of at least one, while most everyone I talk to fully understands my dilemma) who think I am a pansy for not powering on, I offer this insight. I was 60 miles away from Utah when I chose to retreat back here to Elko, 120 miles from the border because of the weather. Which I will talk about now.

I have no problem riding in wet weather. In fact, as a car free cyclist, I ride year round and never let rain stop me from getting somewhere. Granted, I try not to go out in storms, I just wait until the heavy stuff lightens up and then I go out. What's more is that if you ride a bike and are afraid of rain you will ride far less than those with slightly thicker skins. Which brings me to one of the points of this discussion.

This is not regular precip I am facing. This is thunder and lightning charged rain fall I am up against. (see why it is especially unsafe to ride a Hiwheel in the desert when there is lightning) with no where to run for cover.and with the two towns that break this up spread 60 and 120 miles apart. Did I say there is nothing in between?

As well, everything has to be right for me to make the 120 miles to Salt Lake City. Since I will be on I-80 through the Bonneville Salt Flats and then past the Great Salt Lake itself, I can't be out there with 75 mph traffic in rain or other stormy conditions. Motorists need to have a good line of sight for me out there. This not to mention the fact that side wind gusts of 30 and 40 mph are notorious out there. And getting blown into the "slow" lane with not enough time for cars or trucks to react is a real game-ender.

Nor would Hwy 50 have been a whole lot better. They've got the same weather mess down there. So instead of Elko, I would be stuck in Ely. And once the front does pass, I'd be up against 240 miles of mostly wilderness for which I am not prepared for to get to Salt Lake City, instead of the I-80 I face now...........

And even then, I would be getting into a Salt Lake City and all the cities beyond and all the way into and through the Rockies into Boulder and Denver that are also being punished by these thunderstorms. And in so doing, am I not making cycling look like a hardship instead of the joy that we as cyclists know it to be?

And so, in sum, that is why I have chosen to regroup in Elko where there are services that can give this effort the longer term staying power it needs. It also gives me a chance to work with Paul Guttenberg, over in Davis, CA, in fleshing out the bicycle sculpture auction he has initiated..

THX for all of U, especially those of you who have needed this explanation from me!! Onward soon!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Lightning Kills - Myths about it & Why I am grouunded

lightning picture

1. MYTH: Lightning Never Strikes The Same Place Twice
TRUTH: Lightning often strikes the same place repeatedly, especially if it’s a tall pointy isolated object. The Empire State Building used to be used as a lightning laboratory, since it is hit nearly 25 times a year. Places prone to lightning are places to avoid when thunderstorms are nearby!

2. MYTH: If It’s Not Raining, Or If Clouds Aren’t Overhead, I’m Safe From Lightning
TRUTH: Lightning often strikes more than three miles from the thunderstorm, far outside the rain or even thunderstorm cloud. ‘Bolts From The Blue’, though infrequent, can strike 10-15 Miles from the thunderstorm. Anvil lightning can strike the ground over 50 Miles from the thunderstorm, under extreme conditions. Lightning in clouds has traveled over 100 miles from the thunderstorm.

3. MYTH: Rubber Tires Protect You From Lightning In A Car By Insulating You From The Ground
TRUTH: Lightning laughs at two inches of rubber! Most cars are reasonably safe from lightning. But it’s the metal roof and metal sides that protect you, not the rubber tires. Thus convertibles, motorcycles, bicycles, open shelled outdoor recreational vehicles, and cars with plastic or fiberglass shells offer no lightning protection. ikewise, farm and construction vehicles with open cockpits offer no lightning protection. But closed cockpits with metal roof and sides are safer than going outside. And don’t even ask about sneakers! ☺

5. MYTH: If Outside In A Thunderstorm, Go Under A Tree To Stay Dry
TRUTH: Being underneath trees is the second leading activity for lightning casualties – enough said?!

7. MYTH: When Playing Sports And Thunderstorms Threaten, It’s Okay To Finish The Game Before Seeking Shelter
TRUTH: Sports is the activity with the fastest rising rate of lightning casualties. No game is worth death or life-long severe injury. All people associated with sports should have a lightning safety plan and stick to it strictly. Seek proper shelter immediately when lightning threatens. Adults are responsible for the safety of children!

8. MYTH: Structures With Metal, Or Metal On The Body (Jewelry, Watches, Glasses, Backpacks, Etc.), Attract Lightning
TRUTH: Height, pointy shape, and isolation are the dominant factors controlling where a lightning bolt will strike (Read HiWheel). The presence of metal makes virtually no difference on where lightning strikes. Mountains are made of stone, but receive many strikes each year. When lightning threatens, take proper protective action immediately. Don’t aste time shedding metal off your body, or seeking shelter under inadequate structures. But while metal doesn’t attract lightning, touching or being near long metal objects (fences, railings, bleachers, vehicles, etc.) is still unsafe when thunderstorms are nearby. If lightning does happen to hit it, the metal can conduct the
electricity a long distance (even over 100 yards) and still electrocute you.

9. MYTH: If Trapped Outside And Lightning Is About To Strike, Lie Flat On The Ground
TRUTH: This advice is decades out of date. Better advice is to use the ‘Lightning Crouch’: put your feet together, squat low, tuck your head, and cover your ears. Lightning induces electric currents along the top of the ground that can be deadly over 100 Feet away. While lying flat on the ground gets you as low as possible, which is good, it increases your chance of being hit by a ground current, which is bad. The best combination of being low and touching the ground as little as possible is the ‘Lightning Crouch’. But the ‘Lightning Crouch’ should be used only as a last resort. Much better would be to plan outdoor activities around the weather to avoid thunderstorm exposure and to have proper shelter available.