# A canoe stroke tid bit

This could possibly apply to kayak paddlers also.
Today on our twenty mile training paddle I did some simple calculations and came up with; we did forty two thousand, two hundred and forty strokes.
Also with an approximate count of nine strokes per “hut”, I called four thousand, six hundred and ninty three “huts”

The above is not lilly dipping, but no more near what the high end racers do

hut hut hut

Hiccups?

I will henceforth start loudly calling out “HUT” every 9 strokes…

… while paddling my solo sea kayak.

:neutral:

I thought it was Hut, 2,3,4!

It’s Hup All Night, at least for the AuSable Canoe Marathon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adJc1vRzoHo

That’s one heck of a start (4:55 on the video).

I did some math like that once. In crossing a lake in my little 12-foot pack boat, I counted strokes over a the portion of the crossing that my GPS said was 3.0 miles, and calculated distance traveled per stroke. Pushing as hard as made any sense, it was around 20 feet per stroke on the first crossing, and 18 feet per stroke on the return. I was interested in that at the time because the boat I had been rowing for years prior to that time, a 12-foot Jon boat, seemed fast enough and would go about 8 feet per stroke, and I had always thought that was pretty good progress until the pack boat taught me otherwise (and soon after, I got another rowboat - still completely utilitarian - that moves quicker).

I need to do some math regarding pedal strokes on the bike. I bike way more than I paddle.

While zoning out during a Yukon “night”, I had calculated that during the Yukon 1000 mile race, we stroked in excess of half a million times. In a voyageur canoe with a good crew and with bow and stern steering assistance, time between huts goes as long as 2 minutes, averaging more than 120 strokes on a side. Paddling in a tandem now with only 8-12 strokes to a hut drives me nuts.

Ten million strokes.
Countless thousand huts.
Ain’t no ifs, ands, but,

in the countless hours,
count on slowing fleet,
one by one heartbeat.

@Rex said:
I need to do some math regarding pedal strokes on the bike. I bike way more than I paddle.

That would be hard to do, since you are probably changing gears according to the terrain almost constantly.

One time in my early 20s I had a roommate who was quite a biker, and he showed me how to make a little type-written chart to tape onto my handlebar which illustrated the step-wise progression of gears (this was useful because in most cases, shifting by a single step required changing the rear gear cluster AND the front sprocket). The chart was simply an array of numbers, with each number being the distance traveled in inches per turn of the crank. He told me that in those days, such a handlebar chart was a very common aid for shifting, often used by pros, though once you get used to the chart you don’t need it anymore. In principle, making the chart would be the first step to figuring out pedal strokes, since actually counting them would be tough.

Shifting gears in those days was far more of a hassle than now, requiring you to overshoot the gear you were aiming for and then back off, and then to fine-tune it all over again after changing the other gear set. Of course, the ability to fine-tune is why vintage bikes made no chain noise at all (if not highly “crossed-up” from front to rear), very unlike modern bikes.

@yknpdlr said:
While zoning out during a Yukon “night”, I had calculated that during the Yukon 1000 mile race, we stroked in excess of half a million times. In a voyageur canoe with a good crew and with bow and stern steering assistance, time between huts goes as long as 2 minutes, averaging more than 120 strokes on a side. Paddling in a tandem now with only 8-12 strokes to a hut drives me nuts.

In the 90 one year heading toward Blue Mountain Lake the wind was quartering at us so bad, that the two of us on the same side ( and me even sweeping) must have paddled several miles before I let out a curse and ruddered on the opposite side

@JackL said:

In the 90 one year heading toward Blue Mountain Lake the wind was quartering at us so bad, that the two of us on the same side ( and me even sweeping) must have paddled several miles before I let out a curse and ruddered on the opposite side

We had very strong wind out of the east on day 2. Nearing the end of Long Lake there is a wide open bay to the east, just past a small rocky outcrop on the right. I saw a group of boats about a half mile in front of me, almost in unison all suddenly weathercock into the wind. Oh boy, I thought, here we go. A voyageur canoe with females took on water and capsized near the rocks, but appeared to be safe as they stood in the shallows. My C2 partner and i paddled as hard as we could on the right side to avoid weathercocking and being sucked into the bay. From the bow I was sweeping and bow ruddering to align us toward the end of the lake. I couldn’t see what my stern paddler was doing. We couldn’t stop going that way to some extent, but at least we were able to cut off where others couldn’t and saved some distance and time over them.

That was a miserable and challenging day. We were just behind the girls in the Rosie the Riveter shirts when they went over. One second they were upright and paddling hard into the wind and the next second they were swimming. The waves coming up Long Lake were intersecting the waves coming from the bay and Slenda Glenda did an unstoppable roll. Lucky the water was fairly shallow and they were able to get underway again. We picked up floating gear and paddles for them. I have gone across Raquette Lake and the whole way up St. Huberts bay on the left side sweep stroking all the way to keep the Minnesota IV on course. Not many in my crew were happy with 50 strokes on the left followed by 5 on the right. But weather dictates technique. Two more days and were are at it again. Bill

Which year was the 90 miler cut short due to high winds?

I’ve paddled Slenda Glenda a few times when Kerry still had it. All paddlers have to hut at exactly the same time to maintain stability. Waves do not help. Worse yet, in big voyageur boats with side-to-side sliding seats (SG does not have them). Kerry’s Yukon boat required constant attention to the hut and paying attention to movement of the paddler ahead of you for initiation of their slide. Tricky, but it worked. We bobbled a few times when someone missed, but never went over due to inattention. One person is allowed to miss the hut, but two missing at the same hut could be a disaster.By the way, speaking from the non-sliding bow seat, it is possible to paddle and hut while sleeping. during those short Yukon nights.

I think it was 2 years ago ( could have been 3, as they all blend together) when high winds canceled day 3 on the 90.

@kayamedic said:
Which year was the 90 miler cut short due to high winds?

Yes it was the year before last and we were mighty glad they called it.
Normally the last day is a piece of cake and a lot of fun, but I think if they didn’t call it I would not have exposed my wife(bow paddler ) to it