Out There Journal

AdventureCORPS, Inc. is an athlete-run firm producing and promoting ultra-endurance and extreme sports events, lifestyle, and media. Adventure is our way of life. As such, below find reports from some of our own adventures "out there." We walk our talk!

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2010

Rough Riders Rally, July 23-25, 2010
One of the many wonderful things about the Rough Riders Rally is that I got to ride all of it! Report, Roster, and Links to Seven Slideshow.

Rough Riders Rally Reconaissance, #3 (three days), June 25-27, 2010
I spent three days riding all thre routes for the Rough Riders Rally, mapping / tracking all three routes with my new Garmin 310xt. What a fantastic trio of rides and adventures! Here are all the links:
Day 1 Blog Report | Day 1 Slideshow | Day 1 on Garmin Connect site
Day 2 Blog Report | Day 2 Slideshow | Day 2 on Garmin Connect site
Day 3 Blog Report | Day 3 Slideshow | Day 3 on Garmin Connect site

Pre-Ride of the 80 For Haiti Route, January 29, 2010
We rode the entire 80 For Haiti route on January 29, 2010 to finalize the details of the route sheet, checkpoint locations, and more. The route has 6090' of total elevation gain. There are only three stop signs and no lights. Traffic is minimal to non-existent. I took a lot of photos of the spectacular, one-of-a-kind route along the way. Click here for a less than six-minute video slideshow (with music) of the entire route from start to finish. Click here to see a traditional slideshow of the same images.

2009

Rough Riding the Santa Monica Mountains, November 21, 2009
Ten Rough Riders embarked upon a semi-epic (borderline EPIC) excursion in the Santa Monica Mountains. The ride leader was Chris Kostman. Six riders completed the full distance. It took eight hours to complete this route with a total distance of app. 45.7mi with 6110’ total elevation gain. Here's the ride report, roster of riders and bikes, and slideshow. Here's the video version of the slideshow.

Lighthouse Cycling Tour of Puerto Rico, February 5-8, 2009
The Lighthouse Cycling Tour of Puerto Rico took place February 5-8, 2009 and a record crowd of nearly 300 riders participated, including the two of us. It was a phenomenal experience to ride nearly 400 miles over three days with a rolling police escort in a well-mannered peloton, all the while taking in breath-taking views of an extraordinary island paradise. Three slideshows

Meeting Dennis Chrisopher, AKA "Dave Stoller" of "Breaking Away," January 2009
This magic moment took place at the Competitor Magazine Film Festival, which screened "Breaking Away" as the final feature, on the 30th anniversary of the film's original release in 1979! Photo

2008

2008 Major Taylor Statue Unveiling in Worcester, MA
The Major Taylor Association was formed by residents of Worcester, MA who became intrigued with the story of Marshall "Major" Taylor, the 1899 world champion bicycle racer from Worcester who overcame racial prejudice to become the first internationally acclaimed African-American sports star. One of the MTA's main goals was to erect a statue in honor of Taylor.

Three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond and three-time Olympic medalist Edwin Moses were among the featured speakers at the public unveiling of the Major Taylor Statue on Wednesday, May 21, at the Worcester, MA Public Library.

LeMond, who won a world championship in cycling 90 years after Major Taylor did, and Moses, who dominated the 400-meter hurdles in track and field for a decade, were each named "Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year" at the height of their athletic careers in the 1980s. The statue of the "Worcester Whirlwind" created by sculptor Antonio Tobias Mendez is Worcester's first monument to an African-American.

That evening, the Clark University History Department and Higgins School of Humanities presented a panel discussion on "Race, Sports, and Major Taylor's Legacy." Boston Globe columnist Derrick Z. Jackson was moderator for the scholars, historians and authors exploring diversity in sports and society, then and now.

I was extremely pleased and honored to attend the ceremony and all the festivities surrounding the unveiling of the Major Taylor Statue in Worcester, MA. Every moment of this experience was meaningful and inspiring and the memories will last a lifetime. I hope the video, the audio files, and this slideshow help to commemorate a wonderful and historic occasion. (I also took the opportunity to visit the site of Henry David Thoreau's cabin in the woods at nearby Walden Pond.) Full story, slideshow, video, and audio files.

2008 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour
Imagine a two-day cycling event which doesn’t allow Lycra, requires no training (but lots of good attitude) and features riders in 1930s era “street” clothing who stop at every single scenic overlook, roadside historical marker, and café they encounter, while riding old British 3-speed bikes. This is the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour and it’s the coolest, most fun, most enjoyable, and perhaps the most thought-provoking bicycle event I’ve ever attended - and now I have attended three years in a row! Report, video, and three slideshows.

2007

2007 Hammer Camp
You don’t have to call me a skeptic; I’ve been a member of the Skeptics Society since it was founded by fellow Race Across America competitor Michael Shermer in 1992. Not only that, but I bagged out of the last two week-long cycling camps I attended because they were so poorly organized and populated with people who had zilch to talk about besides, well, cycling. In on case I left after less than 24 hours and in the other I survived 48 hours before I escaped to another hotel and my own itinerary.

So what the heck was I doing on my way to Tucson, en route to the December cycling camp hosted by the cycling food gurus at Hammer Nutrition and based at “The Cycling House?” I guess I was wishing for “third time’s a charm” and not “three strikes, you’re out.” (Not to mention a leg up on the impending holiday food fests.)

Fingers crossed, I exited I-10 in Tucson after a 400-mile cruise from my base camp. Full story.

2007 Ironman Revisited
Aloha! I recently retuned from the Ironman Revisited Triathlon on behalf of Challenged Athletes Foundation. Held Sunday, August 12, it was a remake of the original Ironman on the original route in the original format. Even the legendary Dave Scott, the six-time Ironman champ who first won the race on this very route in 1980, was there. But Ironman Revisited is much more than a race or an exploration of triathlon’s origins, it’s a fundraiser for Challenged Athletes Foundation. I am absolutely thrilled that we raised $27,365 for the cause this year! I also completed the course solo with the help of a tremendous support crew. Full story, slideshow, and video.

2007 Michael Secrest's 24 Hour World Indoor Track Cycling Record
Michael "Bulldog" Secrest, one of the greatest superheroes of ultracycling, broke the 24-Hour Indoor World Cycling Record Friday-Saturday, June 15-16, 2007. This was his second successful attempt at this record in well under a year. Beginning at 835am on Friday, Secrest circled the amazing indoor velodrome at the ADT Event Center in Carson, CA for 24 hours, covering 535.86 miles (exact distance to be certified soon). Secrest actually broke this same world record in October, 2006 at this same velodrome, when he bettered the 530.41 mile mark set by Rod Evans in Australia in 1994 with a distance of 534.75 miles. He finished that effort knowing he could go further, hence his return to the LA Velodrome. Full story, slideshow, and videos.

2007 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour
Imagine a two-day cycling event which has no entry fee, doesn’t allow Lycra, requires no training (but lots of good attitude) and features riders in 1930s era “street” clothing who stop at every single scenic overlook, roadside historical marker, and café they encounter, while riding old British 3-speed bikes that are commonly seen offered for a few bucks in garage sales. This is the Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour and it’s the coolest, most fun, most enjoyable, and perhaps the most thought-provoking bicycle event I’ve ever attended. Report and three captioned slideshows.

2006

2006 Fifty Mile Ride to Support Project Rwanda
Exceeding expectations is always a good thing and Trabuco Canyon, in the dirt-covered backcountry of Orange County, CA was the place to be for that and more on December 30, 2006. Commercial printer and long-time mountain bike enthusiast Doug Grant wanted to do more than just ride and celebrate the conclusion of the first half-century of his life with his Fifty Mile Ride. His goal was to support Project Rwanda, an organization founded by cycling innovator and manufacturer Tom Ritchey, who, coincidentally, was also celebrating his 50th birthday in late December. Project Rwanda’s goal is to provide durable bikes to coffee farmers as part of a micro-enterprise venture that will make a hugely positive impact on the lives of the local family coffee growers in Rwanda. It was a great day of mountain biking for a great cause! Slideshow.

2006 Michael Secrest's 24 Hour World Indoor Track Cycling Record
My good friend Michael "Bulldog" Secrest, one of the greatest superheroes of ultracycling, broke the 24-Hour Indoor World Cycling Record Sunday-Monday, October 21-22, 2006. Beginning at 910am on Sunday, Secrest circled the amazing indoor velodrome at the ADT Event Center in Carson, CA for 24 hours, covering 534.7 miles (exact distance to be certified soon). This bettered the 530.41 mile mark set by Rod Evans in Australia in 1994. Full story and slideshow.

2006 Race Across AMerica (RAAM)
I had a really nice time in and around Oceanside, CA over the wekend of June 10-11, 2006 at the start line of the Race Across America. I'm very pleased and excited to report that there were A LOT of Furnace Creek 508 veterans competing in the 2006 Race Across America. I enjoyed the pre-race activity, then rode out with the peloton on race day. Slideshow.

2006 Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour
Over the weekend of May 20-21, 2006 I had the most wonderful, amazing, and enjoyable time participating in this one-of-a-kind event held along the Mississippi, on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides. It was also extra nice that my brother and his wife rode as well. As it says on the 3SpeedTour.com website: "The Lake Pepin 3-Speed Tour is based on cycle touring in pre-war England. It was a Gentlemanly time; few people owned a car and recreation based on automobiles was extremely limited. To get away for the weekend they would pack a few things, mount up and head to the country. Most every farmstead had refreshments or a room to rent, every little village had a family-run restaurant; just look for the “Cyclist Teas” or “CTC Recommended” sign. English cycle touring in the 1930s was punctuated with many stops for food, water, tea and sometimes a pint at the local brewpub. Scenic overlooks were an invitation to nap in the grass and were seldom missed. For weekend tourists, traveling light was the order of the day and most people simply carried a change of clothes and rain gear. Fast forward 80 years or so and it still makes sense. Report and Three Slideshows.

2006 Endurance Sports Awards
The fourteenth annual Endurance Sports Awards, held February 4, 2006 at Sea World, was a very special evening organized to recognize a wide variety of endurance athletes while benefiting the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Official Charity of AdventureCORPS. We were pleased to share the AdventureCORPS table with some of the very best people we know: Mike Angelos, Lisa and David Bliss, Pam Foye-Needle and Scott Needle, Dan Dominy, and Lana Jane. Slideshow with captions.

2005

2005 Tour of Cedar Grove
On August 20-21, 2005 I joined a baker's dozen cycling friends for a wonderful, and epic, two-day bike tour through Sequoia and King's Canyon National Parks. We camped the one night in Cedar Grove. It was an incredible ride through spectacular surroundings. I'm just amazed that I've never visited these two National Parks before! Slideshow.

2005 Ironman Revisited
We finished! Team Magnum entered as a relay team in 2005, completing the course in 13:39. More importantlly, we raised $35,000 for CAF! We (swimmer Shoko, cyclist Chris, and runner Laurie) had a blast raising funds and then completing the course as a three-person tag team. It was another wonderful opportunity to support a special cause and to celebrate the international language of sportsmanship. Click here for the second of four slideshows from the 2005 race.

A RAAM Field Flush with 508ers
I enjoyed going down to the start of the Race Across America on June 19, 2005 and riding out with the racers to the "official start" at mile 13. I was particularly pleased to wish "good luck" to Ben Couturier, the 18-year-old Alaskan rider who is aiming to break my "youngest ever finisher" record set at age 20 in 1987. It was also nice to see so many Furnace Creek 508 alumni on the start line, including Marko Tweety Bird Baloh, Kevin Wolverine Walsh, Catharina Bumble Bee Berge, James Cutthroat Trout Trout, David Koala Kees, Chris Border Collie Hopkinson, and Fabio Bunny Biasiolo. I wish everyone in the race well. Slideshow.

2005 Cirque du Cyclisme, Greensboro, North Carolina
My hat is off to Dale Brown of Cycles de Oro for organizing and hosting this three day celebration of vintage and classical bicycles. I had an absolute blast at this wonderful event. The camaraderie was incredible, the rides fun, the bicycles beautiful, and so much more. Six slideshows!

2005 Hell Week Texas
Hell Week is an eight-day cycling vacation held in varioius prime cycling destinations across the U.S. It's produced by Nick and Becky Gerlich, two great people and fellow solo RAAM finishers. The original Hell Week celebrated its 15th anniversary this year and Laurie and I were there to join in the fun. Held in the Texas Hill Country and based in Fredericksburg, just one hour outside San Antonio, it's a week of spectacular cycling on very quiet roads. There's lots to do off the bike as well, so much that we would have enjoyed the week even without our bikes! (But we're sure glad we got in over 400 quality miles and met, or reconnected with, some really wonderful cycling folks!) Three captioned slideshows.

2005 Endurance Sports Awards
The thirteenth annual Endurance Sports Awards, held February 5, 2005 at Sea World, was a very special evening organized to recognize a wide variety of endurance athletes while benefiting the Challenged Athletes Foundation, the Official Charity of AdventureCORPS. We took eight of our closest friends to this event. Slideshow.

2004

2004 San Diego Triathlon Challenge, another awesome CAF Benefit Race
After hosting our final event of the season in Death Valley, I drove overnight to San Diego in order to enjoy another wonderful triathlon experience on behalf of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Held October 31, this half-Ironman distance event was a wonderful day for an incredible cause. Slideshow.

2004 Ironman Revisited
I finished! Splits: 1:32 swim, 6:41 bike, 5:54 marathon, plus transition times = 14:35 and 7th place of 16 solo entrants. Most importantly: We raised $11,196 for the Challenged Athletes Foundation! Thanks for your support, everyone! And thanks to my awesome crew: Jay, Shoko, and Laurie! Results and slideshows.

Skydiving over Monterey, CA, May 16, 2004
The day after hosting the JDRF Ride to Cure Diabetes in Monterey, ride volunteer and 508 veteran Brandon Bruce invited me to go skydiving. I'm so glad I seized the opportunity! Report and slideshow.

2004 Cirque du Cyclisme, Greensboro, North Carolina
My hat is off to Dale Brown of Cycles de Oro for organizing and hosting this three day celebration of vintage and classical bicycles. I had an absolute blast at this wonderful event. The camaraderie was incredible, the rides fun, the bicycles beautiful, and so much more. Three slideshows!

2004 Los Angeles Nike Run Hit Wonder 5k/10k
I had so much fun at this event in 2003, so I came back for more on April 24, 2004. (So did 20,000 other runners.) Bands along the route were A Flock of Seagulls, Tommy Tutone, General Public, Tone Loc, and Dramarama. The finish line perfomers were Devo and they put on an incredibly good show!!! (I can't overstate this. Devo were awesome!) Unlike the other runners, I actually stopped to listen to each of the performers for at least a few minutes, not to mention photograph and videotape them. Totally awesome! Slideshow and review.

2004 Endurance Sports Awards
The twelfth annual Endurance Sports Awards was a very special evening organized to recognize a wide variety of endurance athletes while benefiting the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I took nine close friends to this event, held February 7, 2004 at Sea World, because I knew from my experience last year that it would be a lot of fun and because we are always happy to support C.A.F., the organization that is the Official Charity of AdventureCORPS. Highlights included Badwater champ Pam Reed's "Runner of the Year" award, the recognition of Steve Beaver Born's recent induction into the Ultracycling Hall of Fame, and a reunion of the 1984 US Olympic Cycling Team to recognize their coach, Eddy B. Slideshow.

Archaeological Institute of America: Gold Medal Presentation for Prof. David Stronach
Chris had the good fortune to attend the recent AIA Annual Meeting in San Francisco. This included a session on Near Eastern Archaeology in honor of Davd Stronach, one of the all-time greats in his field and also Chris' Ph.D. advisor at the University of California at Berkeley. Prof. Stronach was also most deservedly awarded the AIA Gold Medal, the highest award they bestow, for his excellence in field work, research, publishing, and teaching. Photos.

2003

Off-Road Cycling and Hiking Adventures in and near Moab, Utah and Canyonlands National Park
In May, 2003 I joined an epic trip organized by Dan Dominy, the adventure video cameraman extraordinaire who shoots the Badwater Ultramarathon and Furnace Creek 508 every year. He's also a Toyota Land Cruiser 4x4 fanatic who organizes an annual trip to the Moab, Utah and Canyonlands National Park area for fantastic off-road cycling, hiking, and exploration. This trip was, and still is, easily one of the best and most memorable trips I've ever undertaken. It was visually breath-taking every single day. The cycling was fantastic. The hiking was peaceful and otherworldly. The campsites were spectcular. The natural curiousities were everywhere and innumerable. The pictographs were beyond words. Slideshow.

2003 San Diego Triathlon Challenge, another awesome Challenged Athletes Foundation Benefit Race
We recently enjoyed another wonderful triathlon experience on behalf of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Held November 2, this half-Ironman distance event was a wonderful day for an incredible cause. Slideshow. We raised $4,000 for CAF as part of our participation in this event. Thanks to all my contributors!

2003 Ironman Revisited, Raising Funds for Challenged Athletes
On August 17, 2003 Chris joined 26 other triathletes along the shores of Oahu to rediscover the sport of triathlon. The event was Ironman Revisited and it was a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. They swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and then ran a 26.2-mile marathon, non-stop in one day! But unlike that big race on Kona in October, they had no cheering crowds, no TV coverage, and no prize money. In fact, they were on the open roads with the traffic and relied on individual support crews to take care of them and keep them headed in the right direction. Results and slideshows.

Chris had the privilege of participating in this event last year, the first time it was held, and had what can only be described as "an amazing, incredible, life-changing experience." He came home as the highest fundraiser, with $12,590 raised, and set his sights on a much loftier goal for 2003: $15,000. And thanks to the outpouring of support he received, he raised $15,587.50 and was the highest fund-raiser again! Additionally, he placed third overall, six places higher than in 2002.

"Lifting Up The World"
On Saturday, April 26, Chris was honored by being lifted up, literally, by the spiritual master and international man of peace, Sri Chinmoy. The "Lifting Up the World with a Oneness-Heart" Program is a unique award offered by Sri Chinmoy to recognise individuals from all walks of life who have inspired and uplifted humanity. Sri Chinmoy lifts the recipients overhead either with one arm or both arms using a specially constructed platform in a symbolic gesture of oneness with their uplifting achievements.

"I am trying with my capacity to encourage and inspire people in various walks of life who have inspired others in sports, literature, science or politics, or in their own personal lives. I lift them up to show my appreciation for their achievements," he has said.

Since June 1988, Sri Chinmoy has honoured more than 4,000 individuals in this manner, including Heads of State, diplomats, spiritual and religious leaders of many faiths, distinguished achievers in the arts and in literature, Nobel laureates and world class athletes. You can read about this program by clicking here, read about Sri Chinmoy himself by clicking here, and see pictures of the actual ceremony by clicking here.

2003 Los Angeles Run Hit Wonder 10k
I absolutely had to participate in this funny event, as it featured live performances of A Flock of Seagulls, C+C Music Factory, Gerardo, Animotion, Stephen Pearcy of Ratt, and Missing Persons. I carried a digital camera and a video camera for the whole event, to record it for posterity (and my next high school reunion!) Slideshow.

2003 Endurance Sports Awards
The eleventh annual Endurance Sports Awards was a very special evening organized to recognize a wide variety of endurance athletes while benefiting the Challenged Athletes Foundation. I knew it would be a lot of fun and am always happy to support C.A.F., the organization that I recently named the Official Charity of AdventureCORPS. It was also neat to be there because one of the new award categories was "Ultramarathon Cycling Legend" and this year it would be awarded to Rob Kish, the seventeen time finisher of the Race Across America. As we all know, ultra-endurance sports rarely get this kind of mainstream attention. For the full report and slideshow, click here.

2002

Chris is highest fundraiser at 2002 Ironman Revisited!
On August 25, 2002 Chris joined 26 other triathletes along the shores of Oahu to rediscover the journey of triathlon. The event was Ironman Revisited and it was a benefit for the Challenged Athletes Foundation. Chris and the other participants swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and then ran a 26.2 mile marathon, non-stop in one day!

Chris learned of this event from 2002 Badwater Ultramarathon finisher Chris Frost over Memorial Weekend during the Badwater Training Clinic. Right then and there, he knew he had to do this event and that he would also do it in the spirit of his all-time favorite TV show and philosophy fountain, Magnum, p.i., which was filmed on Oahu from 1980 to 1988.

On behalf of himself, and the Challenged Athletes Foundation, Chris thanks everyone for their generous contributions to his effort, totaling over $12,500, the most raised by any participant in this event! Chris Frost raised over $4,000 and was the third highest fundraiser, too! Altogether, over $60,000 was raised on behalf of the Challenged Athletes Foundation. To read Chris' Ironman training log and see slideshows from the event, click here.

Turkey Expedition, Kerkenes Archaeological Project, June–July 2002
In the summer of 2002 I was invited by Prof. David Stronach to join the Kerkenes Archaeological Project in Turkey near Sorgun, Yozgat. Prof. Stronach is my Phd advisor from U.C. Berkeley and the co-director of the project. I took this opportunity to also visit many of the great historic and archaeological sites of Turkey, including Istanbul, Ankara, Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamon, Bodrum, Ephesus, Sardis, Gordion, and Hatusa. Report and six slideshows.

2001

The Quest for Barry Bonds' Ball
As most of you know, Barry Bonds broke the home run record on Friday, October 5, 2001 at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco. It was during the first of three games against the Dodgers that he pushed the record to 72 runs. Well, I'm no mainstream sports fan, but I did watch a bit of the game and the news coverage. What struck me, frankly, was all of the people in boats just outside the park in McCovey Cove. This new ball park butts up against the Bay and some of the homers that go out of the park land in the water. Even before Barry Bonds' home run record performances, some locals had taken to hanging out in the Bay there, hoping to catch a ball. Needless to say, during the Friday night game, the cove was just packed with people on all types of boats, kayaks, canoes, rafts, flotation devices, and the like. It just looked so hysterical, a real cultural happening, that I just had to go check it out. Slideshow

Furnace Creek 508 and Race Across America T-Shirt Quilt
Chris' Mom made him an incredible quilt that features 42 of his t-shirts from his lifelong involvement with the Furnace Creek 508 (since 1984) and the Race Across America (since 1982). It's an amazing effort representing an incredible personal history. Slideshow

Field Reports: Jeff Bell, Furnace Creek 508 veteran and long-time friend of adventureCORPS, just finished a world tour through Asia, Australia, the States, Europe, Nepal, India, and beyond. We have all 23 of his exclusive Field Reports here!

1998

The Explorers Club: Chris received perhaps his highest honor ever when he was nominated for, and accepted into, membership in The Explorers Club. This international organization of explorers of every ilk, including archaeologists, oceanographers, mountaineers, and astronauts, was founded in 1905 and has its headquarters in New York City. Chris was nominated for membership by his friends Willard Bascom and Hervé de Maigret because of his work as an archaeologist, technical diver, and ultra endurance athlete.