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Riding The Red Rollercoaster - Australian Outback Riding Technique

Riding The Red Rollercoaster - Australian Outback Riding Technique

[The bikes were two Honda NX650 Dominators]

In the Australian Outback there is a requirement to leave a considerable gap between bikes on dirt roads, but I felt Andy was too far back, travelling too slowly.
My relief at seeing him appear in my rear-view mirror soon turned to concern. He was too close to the edge of the track.

The two foot high sand drift along the edge of the track to Mungo National Park New South Wales, was not a good place to ride a heavily laden 650cc overland trail bike.

San Juan Island Marathon

I had such a great time running the Seattle Marathon I decided to run another one. I'm now registered for the San Juan Island Marathon on June 4, 2006.

My original plan was to run the Vancouver marathon in May, but I got sick and missed a few weeks of training so I decided to train for one more month. I made the decision after my last long Sunday run. It was one of my first long runs after my sickness. I did 19 miles, but barely - I definitely wasn't feeling too hot. Instead of shuffling through a survival epic in Vancouver, I decided to train for an additional month and hopefully have a more enjoyable time at the San Juan marathon.

Boat docking and anchoring

I saw the following comment on a message forum from one sailor to another. Sailor 2 had a rough time with a dragging anchor in a crowded anchorage and was thanking sailor 1 for help.

Sailor 1: "No problem. Sometimes you watch the show. Sometimes you are the show."

Anyone who has spent time around boats can understand this. Applies extra to anchoring and docking...

Seattle Winter Sailing

Winter sailing in Seattle normally means being cold and wet. You get those few rare days though where you are just cold and it's great.

Closehauled on a sunny cold winter day in the Puget Sound. What more could you ask for?

How to learn sail: Basic day skipper to International Yachtmaster

Wil ADD SOON!! How to choose right sailing school

If you're contemplating making the transition from landlubber to someone who can leave and return to the dock under sail in a yachtmaster-like fashion, it may be helpful to remember that all sailors started on land. Despite the grace with which some sailors maneuver their vessels, no one is born with a set of skills that comprise good boat handling and there is no substitute for hard-won experience. The question is how to get out on the water and glean the insight that will make you a better sailor.

RYA Sailing School - Consider this Day Skipper Course to start

While I would highly urge anyone to take up sailing, it's a personal decision that only you can make. In order to help you think things through, here are some things to consider which will help you make up your mind:

Do you enjoy being outside?

This is pretty obvious, but you do need to honestly assess how much you enjoy being out in the elements. Weather conditions can change from great to awful in an instant, and you might be quite a few minutes from shore when they do. Also, if you hate water or being wet, you should seriously consider not sailing.

Are you up for a challenge?

Seattle Marathon

I finished the Seattle Marathon on Sun, 11/27/2005. My time was a pretty unimpressive 4 hours 36 minutes, but I am very happy that I finished. I was training for 5-6 months and I thought I would be O.K., but this was my first marathon and I didn't really know what to expect.

Some things I noticed from this experience:

1) The training book I was following (Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon) advised to run not more than 20 miles while training for your first marathon. The intent was to minimize your chance for injury. The author argued that for your first marathon, you should go in slightly undertrained, because your main goal is to finish, not set any records. Being slightly undertrained gives you an advantage over being exhausted before you start or not being able to race at all because you pulled a muscle or something. I don't know if this was good advice or not. I did finish so he was probably right, but I felt like I should have trained harder so that I could have finished faster or with less pain.

National Geographic 100 Greatest Adventure Books

National Geographic Adventure has published their list of the 100 best adventure books. Perusing through the list, it is immediately apparent that the books are all the sort of high quality adventure writing, you would expect in a recommendation from National Geographic.

The books span from the golden age of exploration to the modern day. I see some old favorites (#7 Desert Solitaire, #17 Kon Tiki, #92 The Silent World), some I've been meaning to read (#14 Two Years Before The Mast, #47 Gipsy Moth Circles the World) and some new ones that look promising (#64 News from Tartary, #32 Through the Dark Continent,).

In general, I'm not a fan of these "100 best" type lists. It's a ridiculous way to classify cultural items. It doesn't matter if you are discussing rock songs, movies, or adventure books, it's always a bad idea. Simply calling the list 100 great adventure books would have been sufficient and more than accurate. Every book on the list that I've read is on my personal list of favorite books. I recognized many classics.

Worlds most traveled man

The website mosttraveledman.com aspires to be the definitive reference place on the web for "extreme travelers". The definition of extreme traveler in this case referring to sheer quantity of travel. Charles Veley of San Francisco, CA who created and runs the site lists himself as the worlds most traveled man and has visited an amazing 518 countries. He keeps a current log of his whereabouts on the where is charles page.

The site functions as part third party validator of competitors for "Most Traveled" labels and part reference and community site for people interested in traveling to interesting corners of the globe. It would be interesting to see the site branch out into categories other than just quantity of countries visited.

Globe Busters Motorcycle Expeditions

Globe Busters is a motorcycle expedition company out of Britain run by Kevin and Julia Sanders. They organize motorcycle expeditions - looks like mostly in the Americas. What a fantastic way to live your life.

Their claim to fame is:


Kevin and Julia Sanders hold two Guinness World Records™.

Steve Fossett biography

Looks like Virgin Books is going to release Steve Fossett's biography in Sept, 2005. Definitely on my to read list.

From the announcement page:
In his forthcoming autobiography, Steve explains why Chasing the Wind has become such a quest for him and in doing so sends a clear message to everyone, that fulfilling your ambitions is not only possible but necessary.

The Endurance : Shackleton's Legendary Antarctic Expedition

Title The Endurance: Shackleton's Legendary Expedition
Author Caroline Alexander
Publisher Alfred A. Knopf, 1998
ISBN 0375404031
Reviewer Paul Farrall

This is not the story of a successful expedition with conquering heroes returning home to a glamorous welcome. It is much better than that. This is the story of an expedition gone horribly awry and the courageous feats of leadership and teamwork by expedition members that turned what should have been a terrible tragedy into an incredible tale of survival.

Book Review: Exploration: My quest for adventure and discovery under the sea

Title Exploration: My quest for adventure and discovery under the sea
Author Robert J. Ballard
Publisher Hyperion (1995)
ISBN 0786860421
Reviewer Paul Farrall

This book is the autobiography of Robert J. Ballard an oceanographer and explorer probably best known for discovery of the wreckage of the Titanic in 1985. The book covers a large time span; from his childhood in California through his retirement from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in 1997.

Sailing School - Larger Boats

Sail Training: Part III Larger Boats

This is the third and final (for now) article in a series about sailing training. If you missed the first two articles you can read them here and here.

In this article I will talk about what to expect in the second class you will take with a U.S. Sailing or ASA affiliated school and where to go from there.

Sailing School - Basic Keelboat Class

Sail Training: Part II First Class.

This is the second article in a series about sailing training. If you missed the first article about sailing schools, read it here.

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