Project Y: DK200 Team Camp
SECTION No1 BREAKDOWN
In late March of 2017, Project Y: DK200 team camp was held in Portland, Oregon.
- Five Subject-Athletes in a secret training facility in Portland, OR: Adrian Bennett, Hahn Rossman, Reese Ruland, Sarah Thomas, Benedict Wheeler
- Project Y: DK200 coaches Daniel Pasley and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
- A panel of expert interviewees: Brian Baxter, MA Sports Psychology (Sports Psychology Institute NW), Michele Gamburd, Ph.D. (Professor and Chair of Anthropology – Portland State University) Bill Griesar, Ph.D. (Instructor of Psychology/Neuroscience – Portland State University), Albert R. Spencer, Ph.D. (Senior Instructor of Philosophy – Portland State University), Ariel Stone (Rabbi – Congreation Shir Tikvah, Adjunct Faculty – Portland State Univ. Judaic Studies)
- Individual consultations with Brian Baxter, MA Sports Psychology
- Calisthenic fitness tests & cross-training assessment by Willie McBride (founder, Wy’East Wolfpack coaching)
- Technical demonstration from Matt Porter of Wahoo Fitness
- Two and a half hour individual stress-tests on Wahoo Fitness trainers in the Project Y Gravel Isolation Room™
- Tarot readings and Aura portraits with Norman Baldwin (Clairaudient and founder of Crystal Heart Books in Beaverton, OR)
- Motivational speech and individual Jungian therapy sessions with Mindy Nettifee (writer, host of The Moth)
- VO2 max testing at Bridgetown Physical Therapy
- Specialized Body Geometry custom bike fit consultations
- Individual debriefings and fitness assessments with coaches
- Personalized Dirty Kanza 200 race goals, training plans and fitness analysis by Best Bike Splits & Training Peaks
It was hard, a different hard than pushing your bike over a mountain or sleeping in a ditch on the side of the road hard, a different hard than having fever dreams in the Andes or carrying your bike up a glacial river hard, but hard nonetheless. And it was amazing, not just because it was hard, although hard things are often the harbingers of the amazing, but because there really was a sense of synergistic, full-spectrum, human murmuration happening and that’s a rare feeling, the potential of collaboration and community.
We had a couple days of intense multi-tiered multimedia plate spinning; plates in the form of have five Subject-Athletes coming in from all of the world (yes, Sarah flew in from Colombia), scheduling time with academic experts, and trainers and coaches flying in to give in-depth presentations on their high tech equipment. Plus the camera operators, the sound and lighting crews, and the production people coming in and out with fans, ferns, tacos, sparkling water, megaphones, etc. It was a circus, or at least a spinning plate convention, but it worked, we made it through. It helped that everyone had the best intentions, from what I can tell there were no prima donnas11Unless I was a prima donna; gang was I? You have to tell me, don’t fear reprisal, send an anonymous letter, send a singing telegram, but for the good of us all please clear the air. What we realized is that to pull off something like this it it doesn’t take an army of people, it just takes a crack squad of badass operators, some extremely long days, and a limited amount of sleep. Maybe all it takes is a question and the drive to find the answer.
SECTION No2 The Subject-Athletes
SECTION No3 Physical, Mental, Emotional, and Spiritual Sponsor Overview
- 1. The head is important. I think we can all agree on this, maybe this is the only thing that we can all agree on? So then we want to make sure that we protect our heads.
- 2. We want to keep our heads cool, lest they overheat—you've seen what happens to a burrito that's been put in the microwave for too long. Basically, our heads are a burrito.
- 3. So what happens if our burrito gets too cold? It freezes, and NO ONE wants to mouth a savory burrito popsicle and no amount of hot sauce can heat these things up. What your burrito needs is insulation, high-quality alpaca-based insulation.
- 4. Thankfully, Mission Workshop has just the right insulation for our burritos. Unfortunately, they can't account for the meat, beans, veggies, and spices within; that's on nature and nurture.
- 1. What's the ultimate form of competition? If you answered chess, you'd be right.
- 2. What does chess take more than anything else? It's not brawn or good looks. No, chess takes smarts, it's all about smarts.
- 3. But chess players don't drop out of the womb as grand masters. They need to train, learn, and practice; but most of all they need an education in how the game works.
- 4. For the members of Project Y: DK200, Dirty Kanza is their chess board and Training Peaks is tasked with the job of turning them into grand masters. No easy mission, but this isn't supposed to be an easy mission.
- 1. Yes the head is important, but by proxy so is the body.
- 2. If the head is the processor the body is the keyboard, the cooling fan, the screen, the battery, etc. etc.—and without all of this the processor is just a little flat rectangle lost in the world. The body is IMPORTANT.
- 3. So just like the head/burrito, the body has to be taken care of, lest the processor/burrito/head go to waste.
- 4. Thankfully Patagonia (the company not the place, though we like the place, I mean we think we like the place we haven't been there but the pictures of the joint are peak-sunset) is around and they make pretty nice jackets and other body dressings. And they like what we're doing or what we're trying to do or at least the idea of what we're trying to do.
- 5. Plus the crew looks great in all this stuff, don't you agree?
- 1. You can put candy in a gas tank but that doesn't mean the car is going to run.
- 2. No, your vehicle needs the right fuel to get it going, and while you can get by with low octane the better the fuel, the better the performance.
- 3. How do you get better performance out of your fuel? You test it, you run it through science, you do the leg work. But who has the time?
- 4. Clif Bar, that's who. And they are putting all that science right into the stomachs of our racers.
- 1. If you're going to race a bicycle race, you'll need your legs to be in tip top condition. But what's that mean, tip-top condition? And how do you get there?
- 2. Don't ask us, we have no idea. But we know how to use the internet, and guess what? We learned that Wahoo Fitness knows what tip-top condition is, and they 100% know how to get you there.
- 3. They take your body, mind, heart, soul and stuff it into a science blender. After all the mixing is done you have a tip-top condition smoothie.
- 4. This is your goal, you want to be that smoothie and Wahoo Fitness lays the path you need to take to get there.
- 1. Gravity, heat, friction, time. All these elements adversely effect the cyclist. They are warriors we must fight in order to succeed.
- 2. Thankfully Castelli is around to equip us with a shield against these foes.
- 3. Their chamois is at the top of the heap. It deflects and defends against the marauding warriors of saddle time and admirably defends the crotch and its sensitive denizens against attack.
- 4. If you're facing 200 miles of highly destructive washboard riding, trust me you're going to need it.
- 1. They say the thumb is what separates us from the rest of the animal kingdom.
- 2. First of all they're wrong because of monkeys, but more importantly it's not the fact that we have thumbs that separates us from the rest of the animals; it's what we can do with them. Like play video games, twiddle, and hold on to a bicycle.
- 3. What's more we can negotiate the intricacies of bicycle gear selection with the help of our thumbs.
- 4. But you know when you're in the shit, 170 miles into a 200 mile race, and you're having visions? Like you see your dog from childhood having a discussion about why seedless watermelons will never taste as good as seeded watermelons with former child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Wel, then the last thing you want to do is think about your shifting, what buttons you have to push, etc. SRAM makes it dead simple. One lever, one side, thanks for being a spirit guide.But you know when you're in the shit, 170 miles into a 200 mile race, and you're having visions? Like you see your dog from childhood having a discussion about why seedless watermelons will never taste as good as seeded watermelons with former child star Jonathan Taylor Thomas? Wel, then the last thing you want to do is think about your shifting, what buttons you have to push, etc. SRAM makes it dead simple. One lever, one side, thanks for being a spirit guide.
- 1. Project Y: DK200 wouldn't have happened without Specialized.
- 2. First, they are supporting/backing/empowering this whole project, that's huge, that's fundamentally important. They have the vision to understand that an investigation into WHY is fundamental: it's the reason why any of us do any of this, and yet it really hasn't been addressed, so thanks for taking a step outside the box with us.
- 3. Secondly, all the stuff they make: the bikes, shoes, helmets, tires, pumps, saddles, bottles, cages, tools, tubes, wheels, etc are top tier, well thought out, and completely badass. Perfect for a 200 mile race of attrition.
- 1. Boil it all the way down and this whole thing is about what each of these wonderful people keep in here, what they keep in their heart.
- 2. It's a black box, or a red box, or a heart shaped box; but maybe this race and all the work leading up to it will help them and us to peer inside, to see what exactly they keep in there.