Why is the simple relationship the last thing to try? 45 minutes of complex gyrations to try and move the pedals? Finally to be forced by a mercifully nasty climb that simple is what was desired? Two things, the legs extending from the Torso doing individual leg presses to optimize their own mechanics, and number two, moving not the crank but pressing this extremely heavy vehicle forward in ways that are sustainable and manageable.
At least today, and pretty much for recent Journeys, and pretty much for the last 15% of every Voyage, this is where the body finally arrives.
Mostly James is expressing amazement here. Not so much frustration although there is that. In fact, that this is being articulated and was found within the first 25% of the journey probably is progress.
It is probably somewhat the electronics, but more than that, it is so easy to try and find options other than staying in constant relationship with the tremendous weight of this vehicle. It's probably something the body tries to avoid. But it is a much more positive experience when the horrible weight of the vehicle is found so that it can be optimally grappled with, these individual one by one every stroke leg presses. The weight is so terrible that the body sort of instinctively realizes, cut the s***! Just get real on moving this weight! It's a really good reflex.
These metrics need to be completely reworked for now. They can be resurrected if this current insights seems to be a diversion.
Individual squats is another way to think about this seemingly optimal mode.
You don't know what you got till it's gone?
Never has James had better sustained performance then the 100 mi per day one week sprint to the beginning of the Cross Iowa bike ride and that one week event. The metrics, sustainability, enjoy ability, have never been matched by James. There have been excellent periods since. But none that matched that. Only this moment has James realized that it was not clipless bicycle shoes but instead straps like these that have not been used on this vehicle since Palo Alto a year ago September. There has been very good performance since then but not up to the level those two weeks.
At the very least that experience suggests that using straps like this are not a mistake. Not a grave mistake. And it may be that on an extremely heavy vehicle like this they are mechanically, bio mechanically, a better solution. inconclusive but an important experiment now. And current experience does not suggest that it is a mistake. It seems to solve multiple problems to do with keeping the feet ankles and Cavs limp, and the thighs more automatically the source of power which they must be. And a possibly much more automatic higher power less frustrating ride freeing the mind for study.
Yes yes yes yes yes. Another 800 calories, much of it extremely steep climb, yes to the above.
Individual leg presses dictated primarily by the needs of the leg, secondarily by the characteristics of the mechanisms being pressed. Solves a multitude of sins.
You Don't Know What You Got Till It's Gone.
These shoes were purchased about 18 months ago just outside the Stanford University campus. This is when this type of shoe that Clips onto the pedal, replaced the leather straps that had been used successfully up until then. Notice the hole right above the big toe. It has been many many many months since that hole was worn any further. It was worn originally now that James recalls, because he found that he needed to loosen the shoes so that he could move his feet as far forward as possible to bring the pedal more under the arch of his foot. The experiment these recent days with the green straps reminded him of this. These shoes are much more cool, and much easier to put in place and remove than the straps. So they are back in use but loosened so that the foot can be much more forward. This may be the optimal compromise.
At least some of the time the much-vaunted upward movement of the leg not pressing at the moment maybe back in use at times. It seems at times to play a nice role in setting up the leg press of the other leg and possibly helping it along a bit with a counter Direction movement.
There are dozens of photographs recording the now unbelievable metrics that James was producing all the way across the northern United States. 130 or 140 watts per hour human was really bad performance. Hour after hour, day after day. There were long days when 170 Watts human or more were sustained. If there were not photographs I would doubt it myself.
Yesterday and today there were times that James simply said to himself, press a little harder, not maximum, but harder. And he seemed to discover that simply by choice he could sustain an average of 130 Watts human per hour. This enabled by the advances discussed above in this post.
Important? Not necessarily. But not very distracting and worth pursuing.