Canadian athlete Greg Kolodziejzyk can’t get enough of human powered travel. Recently he placed fourth at Ironman Arizona and obtained a position in the coveted Hawaii Ironman. But Greg’s endurance feats extend far beyond just physical toil. Greg is also an inventor in the world of human-powered technologies. He creates innovative streamlined machines for both land and water, designed to break the barriers of human-powered performance.
In 2006 Greg Kolodziejzyk shattered the world record for the greatest distance traveled by muscle power in a single day. Using a specialized recumbent bicycle he pedaled more than 1000 km in 24 hours!
Just a few weeks ago, Greg broke another major world record, traveling the greatest distance on water in 24 hours using only bio-brawn propulsion. He designed and created the pedal-driven vessel himself, and the feat was undertaken just outside his hometown of Calgary.
Greg’s 24 hour aquatic endurance feat is only a warm up for his next adventure. In December, 2008 he will pedal across the Atlantic Ocean and attempt to break the record for the fastest human-powered crossing of the Atlantic. Greg will be using a similar design of boat to which he used in his 24-hour quest.
Recently Angus Adventures caught up with Greg Kolodziejzyk in Calgary to ask him about his adventures:
AA: How many kilometers did you travel in 24 hours in your boat?
GK: 173.76 km
AA: Can you describe the world record you have broken?
GK: The governing body is the International Human Powered Vehicle Association. I had to have 4 HPVA members observing, and one director from the HPVA. We had to hire a surveyor to survey the exact locations of the buoys and the observers had to watch to make sure that I had cleared every buoy on my 3 km rectangular course.
The rules about human power are fairly simple – you can’t use any stored energy of any sort, or any energy that isn’t human power. The course has to be circular to negate the effect of wind and currents.
AA: How will the boat you’re using to cross the Atlantic compare to the boat used in your recent speed record?
GK: The 24 hour boat will have a fully enclosed deck added to it. I’m in the process of doing that now. Then it is out to the ocean to do some testing. Once I have it the way I like (stability, ballast, safety, etc), then we’ll have a new boat built from scratch by professionals.
AA: What is the current speed record for crossing the Atlantic in a solo human-powered craft?
GK: 43 days by Emmanuel Coindre in a solo row boat.
AA: How many km is the crossing?
GK: About 4300 km.
AA: What daily average speed do you hope to achieve?
GK: I would like to be able to average 100 km per day if possible. Overall, the trade winds and current should help.
AA: What will you be eating out there?
GK: Probably freeze dried or dehydrated food and maybe fresh fish.
AA: If you break the Atlantic record, it will be another significant achievement for Canada you will have accomplished. Where do you get your motivation to pull off these gruelling feats of endurance?
GK: Our modern sedentary lifestyles are putting our kids at risk at being the first generation that will have a life expectancy shorter than that of their parents. My mission is to get kids active again. To do
that, we started a program called KidPower where I speak to school kids about my accomplishments and the importance of staying active and healthy.
AA: You’ve been involved in some other interesting human-powered pursuits. Tell me a little about these?
GK: In July of 2006 I set a world record for the most distance covered in 24 hours by human power. I designed and built a carbon fiber recumbent bike that looked like a missile. It was fully enclosed by a shell with a small clear bubble on top to see out of. I travelled 1047 km in 24 hours around a small race track in Northern California.
I have also completed 11 Ironman triathlons and qualified for World Championships in Hawaii by finishing 4th in my division
For more information on Greg Kolodziejzyk’s human-powered exploits visit: