Team Take Me to the Volcano

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Team members: Matt Johnson
Hometown: Seattle, Washington, USA
Race vessel: Willoughby V16 R2AK
LOA: 19.9′
Human propulsion: Pedal power
Connect: facebook, instagram

We can’t tell if Team Take Me to the Volcano’s story is more about overcoming hardships or one of really questionable decisions. Whether or not this is a non-binary universe, Matt’s story is at least both of these storylines.

On the positive side of the ledger, Matt’s bid for Ketchikan in 2018 is a tale of Shackleton/Rudy/Little Engine That Could level tenacity. Matt’s a three year R2AK veteran, first as a ride along for the first stage, in year two he decided to make a go for Victoria in his own boat, garage built from his own hands. His chosen craft approximates the lovechild of a Hobie cat and a recumbent bicycle: a strap-in cockpit that rivals the comfort of an X-wing fighter, stabilized by what amounts to a couple of sophisticated pool noodles, all designed to house a pedal propulsion system that can carry Matt as fast as his pro-cyclist legs can carry him—sustained speeds of 7 knots, according to him.

Kid’s got heart, and after his first attempt he limped back to shore with a broken Ama, bloodied but not beaten. He got back on the horse in 2017 and in Rocky-like proportions took down Colin Angus for number 2 in Stage 1. The Apollo Creed of small boats was on the mat, and Matt stood punch drunk, victorious by 60 seconds. Cue the music, ADRIANNE! ADRIANNE!

On the second non-binary point and waxing less metaphoric for one moment of our hyperliteral lives, can we all agree that it is a dumb idea to forsake the chance of wind-driven miles to just pedal your ass to Alaska? It’s like that guy who doesn’t get on the escalator, or the stairs, but chooses to run up the down escalator to prove a point as he takes his pulse with one hand and takes a water bottle out of his fanny pack with the other. Matt is that guy, but on a wrong way escalator that stretches into 750 miles of headwinds. To be clear, his boat carries a sail rig, he’s leaving the rig at home. Cue the fanny pack.

Welcome to your 4th R2AK, Team Take me to the Volcano. You can run up our down escalator anytime—and we mean that way less creepy than it sounds.