The Mad, Mad Ultra (Cycling) Mind of Perry Stone.
By Chris Graetz
Stone is a semi-retired ultra-endurance cyclist from White Rock, British
Columbia. He points out that he is only semi-retired and continually
tries to convince his body to return to the sport he loves.
Thanks for taking time out to talk to us today, the last you were
burning up the roads of Australia was over a decade ago, what have you
been up to since then?
I have been trying to keep busy and I have been trying to encourage the
growth of ultra-endurance cycling in Canada, North America and anywhere
in the world that there is a heart that beats, a bike in proper
condition and an ambition to ride into the horizon.
How’s that working out for you?
If I wasn’t optimistic I would be dead. Racing around Australia is one
thing, racing around it three times is another but developing
ultra-endurance racing is a lonely, incredibly difficult, thankless
labor of love that is like walking on quicksand; if you hesitate you
Have you been riding?
I have had intermittent success in maintaining a training schedule. I
have a physical impairment or chronic injury if you will that just
doesn’t seem to want to go away, but I am optimistic as I still plan to
become the oldest, most miserable rider on the planet to cycle around
the world someday.
What’s the problem?
Let’s just say that I am not always comfortable in the saddle.
So riding and promoting racing that sounds like you are keeping busy,
have you got any other projects on the go mate?
Let’s see, I seem to like to gain weight, grow my hair and see how long
I can go without paying my utility bills. I recently came out of the
closet and admitted I enjoy American Idol. I wrote Lance Armstrong once
but he didn’t get back to me and I
have book due out this spring called Biking Bad – Dead Men Riding.
What did you say to Lance Armstrong?
I offered him a chance at redemption and invited him to race in the Tour
of British Columbia (www.tourdebc.com)
When he didn’t respond I wrote a character into Biking Bad roughly based
on his “Tom Foolery”.
What’s Biking Bad about? Is it your epic trips around Australia?
Naked Racing is related to my rides around Australia as I rode over
100,000 k unsupported kilometers in Australia so I feel that I have the expertise to
riders if they have any questions.
As far as Biking Bad is concerned I
felt that there are way too many books about subjects like that and I
really enjoy a good yarn so I created Biking Bad, it is a story about an
Outback bike race seen through the eyes of a reporter following the
racers. A number of cyclists turn up dead, one-by-one, and murder is
suspected. All evidence points to the race promoter who is benefitting
from all the publicity, but you never know.
Sounds like that might be hitting close to home, no?
Well I am no Taylor Swift but everyone has something to vent about. But
seriously it might be the most entertaining book in the history of
mankind. It is a road yarn, turned murder mystery, turned Fear and
Loathing and sadly it was inspired by walking this earth for a half
century. I even wrote Rodney Rude in. I had to get seriously pie-eyed to
channel his humor, he is the MC at the start of the race and he is not
impressed with cyclists.
So let’s get back to ultra-endurance cycling, what’s going on there?
I found that the main issue that blocks people from
participating in an ultra-endurance race is the cost of participating.
Registration fees aside the cost of recruiting and funding escort
vehicles and personnel is preventative for many would be riders.
All of our events have extremely low registration fees (compared to
similar events) but still these fees only represented in some cases 10%
of the total cost of racing so I created “Naked Racing”
Naked racing? Are you serious?
Well I guess riding naked on a bicycle might not be the wisest decision
any of us will ever make. I
can tell you from my numerous test runs that I have developed a very
real fear of rotating spokes.
Are you crazy? Naked Racing is more about stripping away the unnecessary
expense and rules of competition and focusing on the core rewards of
facing challenge than it is about actual nudity. All riders must wear a
helmet, the rest of their kit is entirely up to them.
How do naked riders stay comfortable in the saddle?
P. Stone Air flow.
What body parts are most susceptible to sunburn when cycling naked?
Depends on whether we are talking male or female, but you can figure
that one out I am sure, however no testing has been done to date.
Do you still qualify as naked if you wear helmet, glasses, socks and
You might come off as quite dorky and I highly recommend sunglasses for
Well one aspect that is really fantastic is that Naked Racing actually
intensifies the challenge, by removing escort and support crews the
racer or racers are responsible for their own “everything”, navigating,
when to ride, when to rest, their safety,
bike maintenance, nutrition and everything else they require to
circumnavigate the course.
“Organic” support is permissible. That is to say
riders may purchase any supplies or services they require along
So essentially randonneuring?
Yes and no, the solo division in Naked Racing is very similar to
randonneuring but our races remain ultra-endurance, randonneuring events
traditionally taper out around 800 kilometers or so, our shortest race
the Naked Challenger is 1,600 kilometers long.
Team Naked is a whole new concept in ultra-racing. Only 50% of a team
must finish for their race to be official and the first of their riders
to cross the finish line scores the team’s finishing time.
In Team Racing rider’s may draft off their team mates but no one else.
This leaves team members with vast possibilities in planning and
executing their race plan.
They may draft one or two riders the entire way, riders may work as
mules packing team supplies to allow their lead riders the opportunity
to be as fresh as possible for the finishing portion of the race.
You have heard of the loneliness of the long-distance runner. It is
exactly the same for cyclists; the team element provides for camaraderie
and an efficient cohesive team will work magically in supporting each
When, where and how much?
Summer, Canada and cheap.
For more information about Naked Racing please visit