Sunday, June 28, 2009
* 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
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 I80 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 0r 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.
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
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
Saturday, June 13, 2009
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 to get to Salt Lake City instead of the 180 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
TOP-10 MYTHS OF LIGHTNING SAFETY Source
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.
10. MYTH: Go near a tall pointy isolated object when thunderstorms threaten, to be within the 45° “cone of protection”
TRUTH: The “cone of protection” is a myth! While tall pointy isolated objects are statistically more likely to be struck by lightning, it’s not nearly reliable enough to rely on for safety. Lightning can still strike you near the tall object. Besides, the lightning electricity will likely spread out along the surface of the ground and can still kill you over 100 Ft from the “protecting” object. Also, if you are close to or touching the tall object, you can be electrocuted via side flash or contact voltage. NO PLACE OUTSIDE IS SAFE NEAR A THUNDERSTORM!
In lightning safety, a “myth” is not as good as a mile ☺. Distance and proper shelter is your best protection from lightning.
People have been hit by lightning while riding motorcycles and bikes. Here are just a few examples:
- Virginia Beach, VA: Motorcyclist killed while traveling on Route 58.
- Colorado: a 16 year old boy killed while riding a bicycle.
- Tennessee: a 47 year old man killed while leaning against his motorcycle.
- Virginia: a man killed riding his motorcycle.
Protect Yourself when on a bicycle, motorcycle or dirt bike. Carry a portable Weather Radio or listen to commercial radio. If you see threatening skies in the distance and you are near a safe building, pull over and wait 30 minutes after the last rumble of thunder before resuming your ride.----------------------------------------------------------------------
Lightning Danger Source
Lightning is one of nature's most awe inspiring and dangerous phenomenon. The average lightning flash could light a 100-watt light bulb for more than 3 months! The temperature of a lightning bolt may reach 50,000 degrees Fahrenheit which is hotter than the surface of the sun!
On average, lightning kills one person in Kansas per year, and about 73 nationwide. In fact, lightning remains one of the most deadly weather phenomena in the U.S., and it can occur almost anywhere throughout the entire year. Lightning occurring during snowstorms has even killed people! Many people incur injuries or are killed due to misinformation and inappropriate behavior during thunderstorms. A few simple precautions can reduce many of the dangers posed by lightning.
Do you hear it? Once you hear thunder, it is time to act to prevent being struck by lightning. Generally speakingonce you can see lightning or hear thunder, you're already at risk for lightning injury or death. If the time delay between seeing the flash (lightning) and hearing the bang (thunder) is less than 30 seconds, immediately seek a safer location.
Avoid being in or near High places and open fields, isolated trees, gazebos, open sided picnic shelters, baseball dugouts, communication towers, flagpoles, light poles, bleachers (metal or wood), metal fences, convertibles, golf carts, water (ocean, lakes, swimming pools, rivers, etc.)
When inside a building AVOID: Use of the telephone or computer, taking a shower, washing your hands, doing dishes, or any contact with conductive surfaces with exposure to the outside such as metal door or window frames, electrical wiring, telephone wiring, cable TV wiring, plumbing, etc.
If driving: Stay in your automobile. An enclosed automobile offers reasonably good protection from lightning, as long as you don't touch metal.
Pay attention to weather warning devices such as NOAA Weather Radio and/or credible Lightning Detection systems. Noaa All Hazards Radio and local weather forecasts should be monitored prior to any outdoor event to determine if thunderstorms are in the forecast. Use good common sense if living in or traveling across Kansas this year.
More information on lightning can be found at http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/
Martin Krieg Bikes Across America Promoting a National Bicycle Greenway Network
Martin Krieg is riding his 1891 Eagle HiWheel bicycle across America, promoting a “National Bicycle Greenway Network” on the “Seventh Annual Mayors Ride” and collecting proclamations from mayors to build support. The trip started in San Francisco on May 3 and will arrive in Salt Lake City soon and Boston in August. There have been many bumps along the trail: his support vehicle and driver failed to materialize, sponsors cut funding, and transporting supplies is challenging. 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.
Martin will spend a few more days in Elko, Nevada determining how to cross the great, dry, unpopulated western desert. He has found local support in Elko, and will soon be back in the saddle and rolling westward along I-80. Research confirmed it is legal, though not pleasant, to ride the Utah part of I-80, as there are no adequate alternatives. 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.
Many cities have started to provide planning and funding to become more bicycle and pedestrian friendly. There are new trails sprouting that take you short distances, but there is no overarching plan for connectivity. Martin’s vision is to raise awareness and build consensus to create that connectivity. In the late 1800’s the League of American Wheelmen bicyclists, lobbied to have roads paved. They were successful in paving roads and the automobile came along and drove them off. One hundred and ten  years later cyclists are back and want to complete that dream of long ago to safely bicycle or walk across America from coast to coast, north to south on the "National Bicycle Greenway Network". Martin is out there on I-80 on a HiWheel bicycle to bring attention to our lost dream. Visit his web site at www.bikeroute.com and join his efforts.
When you are out on the road, look for him, invite him to bend your ear, share some bread or provide lodging. Get radio stations to provide updates, put it on your CBs, tell your friends, and follow Martin on his quest. This can become a shovel ready project and collect stimulus money to actually build a greenway, not another freeway, across America. Give your representatives, radio talk shows, and friends a call to support the National Bicycle Greenway Network.
“Where’s Martin”, not Waldo, should build quite a buzz. Keep track of the progress and answer the question, “Where’s Martin”. Help him bring the dream to reality for a better, greener America.
Ron Bishop - Architect- ADPSR
Sierra Club NAC Ex.Com.
"Energy Efficiency, Green, Sustainable"
Bicycle & Traffic Skills Instructor - LCI