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Project Y

In late March of 2017, Project Y: DK200 team camp was held in Portland, Oregon. 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 donnas [Unless 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.

The Breakdown

 

  1. Five Subject Athletes in a secret training facility in Portland, OR: Adrian Bennett, Hahn Rossman, Reese Ruland, Sarah Thomas, Benedict Wheeler
  2. Project Y: DK200 coaches Daniel Pasley and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff
  3. 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)
  4. Individual consultations with Brian Baxter, MA Sports Psychology
  5. Calisthenic fitness tests & cross-training assessment by Willie McBride (founder, Wy’East Wolfpack coaching)
  6. Technical demonstration from Matt Porter of Wahoo Fitness
  7. Two and a half hour individual stress-tests on Wahoo Fitness trainers in the Project Y Gravel Isolation Room™
  8. Tarot readings and Aura portraits with Norman Baldwin (Clairaudient and founder of Crystal Heart Books in Beaverton, OR)
  9. Motivational speech and individual Jungian therapy sessions with Mindy Nettifee (writer, host of The Moth)
  10. VO2 max testing at Bridgetown Physical Therapy
  11. Specialized Body Geometry custom bike fit consultations
  12. Individual debriefings and fitness assessments with coaches
  13. Personalized Dirty Kanza 200 race goals, training plans and fitness analysis by Best Bike Splits & Training Peaks

The Intake

The Coaches

Daniel Pasley, coach
Kyle von Hoetzendorff, coach

What's this look say? We've got some YJ swag going out to the best answer. Please send your answer to holler@yonderjournal.com. Contest ends on 4/23.

The Experts

Norman Baldwin, Clairaudient and founder of Crystal Heart Books in Beaverton, OR
Brian Baxter, MA Sports Psychology & Mental Game Coach
Michele Gamburd, Ph.D., Professor and Chair of Anthropology - Portland State University
Bill Griesar, Ph.D., Instructor of Psychology/Neuroscience - Portland State University (he's holding a brain and a neuron made of pipe cleaners, for the record)
Matt Porter, Wahoo Fitness Technical Expert & Teacher
Albert "Randy" Spencer, Ph.D., Senior Instructor of Philosophy - Portland State University
Ariel Stone, Rabbi - Congreation Shir Tikvah, Adjunct Faculty - Portland State Univ. Judaic Studies

The Crew

Sarah Baker, stylist, god of multi-tasking
Kevin Brown, the oil in the Yonder Journal machine (if you like it, let him know next time you see him)
Mikel Cook, camera operator and athletic sage
Matt Gromley, camera operator and wise guy
Johnny, PA AKA getting food, driving the van, etc., he did it all (also he got along really well with Benedict, which some would consider a good litmus test... some)
Zach Jones, camera operator, editor, dude with style (that should be obvious)
ach Kahl, sound guy with sound judgement
Efrem Peter, Camera operator, grip, technician, electrician, lighting, and '90s Adam Sandler movie expert
Corey Rood camera operator, ultra runner
Greg Schmitt, director, DP, our hero

The Mental

HAHAHAHA
Respect individuality.
Benedict was complaining that he stepped in dog poo outside and now he had to lay on the floor where he had tracked the dog poo. Then we discussed karma.
Lunge on a gradual rise.
Yep, nice and deep, there you go Hahn.
This must have been early. They're smiling.
The Adrian spirit, my friends. Dude always has a smile to share.
The crucible of competition, the martyrdom of the competitor.
We did ALL of the tests.
ALL of them.

The Physical

Specialized makes really nice bikes, people.
Two Scorpions will ride a pair of tanned pythons across the plains of Kansas. A creation myth materializes, another is destroyed.
While Benedict spent a few hours making sure his hair had the "dry look" for the shoot, just a few minutes in the Gravel Room was enough to soak that Lion's mane.
Sarah Thomas, absolutely undaunted by the Gravel Room.
Wooooooo...
Benedict will compulsively consume CLIF Bar Chocolate and Peanut Butter Nut Butter filled bars. I'd feel comfortable estimating that the number he consumed over the course of two days is in the high 40s.
Sarah Thomas, completely unfazed by two hours in the Gravel Room. Watch out, DK200.
Reese Ruland, business as usual.
Adrian, after two arduous hours in the Gravel Room.
Poppi, out of focus but not without focus.
Benedict Wheeler, runnin' through the tests.

The Spiritual

Benedict, post-HIIT and ready for his Aura Photograph.
In order to activate the Subject Athlete's auras, we had to run them through a HIIT series designed to bring about an aural state that would arise during extreme exercise.
Adrian, mid-reading. His most important takeaway was that he needs to start digging on the teachings of Quan Yin. Don't know her work? Well then you need to start digging on it too.
Crystal Heart Books. Go there and get your third eye woke.
Team photo with Norman, complete with individually identified power stones.
There is very little doubt in my mind that Benedict will find himself working from the other side of the counter in a place just like this sometime in the near future. Call it a Calling.

The Emotional

Garth, as Chewbacca. Or Chewbacca as Garth?
We may never know.
Neither of these dudes can read.
Were there precious moments of delirium? How could there not be?
THE EIGHTH SEAL!
Sarah, peacing out with dem boyz.
There are five, I repeat five, of these in the world. I'm talking about the Subject Athlete training sweatshirt, FYI. Not Benedicts, we think there is only one, but there are also parts of Northern Canada and Borneo and Papa New Guinea that haven't been explored. So we're prepared to withhold judgement.

The Set

Yeah Greg! Shit is looking GOOD!
Reese and Zach talk sound in front a WWII-meets-Ghost in the Shell listening machine.
Lanyards. Badges. Experts.
Clif Bar, you were a hit!
One step towards Benedict's sainthood.
Is that a closed door? Let's open it. That's what this project is about.
Puffy coats and what looks to be the beak petal of a Bird of Paradise flower. It was an intimate moment and these dudes have known each other forever, so it wasn't my place to ask.
Ink blot Greg.
Meta ink blot Greg.
Who's a little hider?
Even your Mental Game Coach has to check his social channels from time to time. My guess is it makes him a better coach. Or maybe he just needs a break.
Looking at this, we realize we made a mistake. Reprimands were dispersed, responsible parties were fired. Obviously you should only be seeing boxes and cans of Pamplemousse in this image. Clearly someone fucked up.

Subject Athlete DK 200 Times to Beat

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