Monday, November 19, 2007

Get your geek on

A couple of math videos that are really worth watching.

Moebius Transformations

Turning a sphere inside out< (it's 20 minutes long, but at least watch the first 1:45 to see how it's done).

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Monday, November 12, 2007

Gold Rush 24 hour Challenge Redux

A year ago this weekend I raced in my first 24-hour adventure race, the Gold Rush 24 Hour Challenge. I wrote about it in great and boring detail here, and one of the things I wrote was "it was UNBELIEVABLY fun and i fully plan to win one at some point."

Last weekend my team and I won this year's edition of the race. I'll write a full report later, but here are a few random items from the race.

  • The race started at 8:00 a.m. and it rained from 8:00 that evening to 8:00 the next morning

  • We got lost 3 times

  • I crashed my bike twice

  • The second running section took us 9 hours and was gorgeous

  • Checkpoint 1 was in the wrong place (everyone found it)

  • Checkpoint 16b was in the wrong place (no one found it)

  • Out of the 21 teams who started the race only 2 finished the whole course and only 3 crossed the finish line

  • We won by less than 20 minutes

  • We saw a deer swimming across the lake while we were kayaking

  • It took us 27 hours

What I ate:

  • 7 Dole fruit cups

  • 1 can of Campbell's chicken Noodle soup

  • 2 cheese and butter sandwiches

  • 1 PBJ

  • 8 small boiled potatoes with salt

  • 3 Lara bars

  • 1/2 a Clif bar

  • 4 packages of Clif Bloks

  • 3 Pringles Snack Packs (regular flavor)

  • 1 Twix

  • 1 Starbucks Frappacinno (the kind in the bottle)

  • 1 can of Pepsi

  • 2 slices of pizza

  • Approx. 5 liters of water

  • 40 oz. of Conquest

  • 1 cup of hot chocolate

Edit: full report is here

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

what a week (and it's only tuesday!), and some gear porn

I've been gearing up for the Gold Rush 24 Hour Challenge this weekend (last year's report is here) and it's gotten a little hectic.

First my teammate Oliver crashed his bike and badly bruised his heel, so he's out since he can't run. Mari, Jonathan, and I talked it over and decided that we'd just race as a 3-person team; we'll be a little bit slower on the kayak section (a double and a single are slower than 2 doubles) but faster on everything else (less gear, fewer people to get through transitions, fewer people on the rappels) so while it's a bummer that Oliver's out, it's deal-withable.

Then I got an email today from Ali who is/was crewing (driving the car with all the crap we need in it from transition area to transition area and helping us through them) telling me that there had been a death in her family and she wouldn't be able to crew.

The race isn't doable without a crew, so I'm emailing like a madman trying to find someone to take her place.

Why do I like this sport again? Oh yeah, I'm a masochist.

On a totally unrelated note, I lost my beloved Marmot fleece a while back and have been trying to replace it.

Marmot was bought by K2 a while back (after I bought the fleece), and now none of their stuff fits me. The best way I can describe it is that the cut and sizing has been "Americanized"; sizes are bigger and much larger in the waist/torso. One of the the things I loved about the Marmot was that it was tailored pretty closely to my body, and now all the new ones are bulky in the waist, which I freakin' hate (and it makes layering harder).

Anyway, when Brynn and I were in Seattle we went to REI and I tried on a metric assload of jackets, all of which had the same problem: too bulky in the waist.

On my way out I grabbed a softshell I hadn't seen earlier to try on, and of course it fit like a glove.

It also cost more than I'd ever spent for a piece of clothing, so I left it.

About a week later I still hadn't found a jacket I liked, and I got a coupon from REI.


I am now the happy owner of an Arc'teryx Gamma SV jacket, and I absolutely love it. It fits, it's the right weight, and I wear it every day.

I'm still a little uncomfortable with how much I spent on it (which really isn't that much in the big scheme of things, it's less than I spend on a 24-hour race, and it'll last longer) but I REALLY like it.