International Harper Day (or Domestic Harper Day) will fall on a Sunday this year so I plan to have the ride on my 64th birthday, Sunday, 28 August. This will mark 53 years of unicycling for me. I got my first unicycle on my 11th birthday.
We will ride the Iron Horse Trail from Hyak to Olallie State Park which is about a 17 mile ride down a 2% railroad grade. We may change that and go the remaining 7 miles to Rattlesnake Lake depending on the level of interest and sissiness of the riders. You only have to pedal to maintain balance it’s so easy. There is a 2.3-mile long, pitch-black, dark tunnel right at the beginning of the ride. If you haven’t gone on this ride before you must realize that you will need a unicycle and a VERY bright light.
We will meet at the lot just south of the Issaquah Park and Ride between 9:00 and 9:30 AM Sunday 23 August. To get to the lot, take exit 15 on I-90 to SR-900 (Renton Road) southbound. Go about four blocks and turn left onto Newport Way. Then, turn right into the driveway to the parking lot. Lots of free parking and it’s easy to find people. There we consolidate unicycles, riders, and vehicles and drive to Olallie State Park or Rattlesnake Lake to drop off a shuttle car. Olallie is a very easy off and on at exit 38 from I-90. Rattlesnake Lake is not so easy. Finally, we haul all of the riders and cycles to the Hyak trail head of the Iron Horse Trail and we ride back to either Olallie State Park or Rattlesnake Lake.
There are only four confirmed attendees so far this year.
It was thoughtful of you and your wife to choose my birthday as your wedding date, Matt. IHD is always on August 28 but, like many major holidays it is sometimes recognized on more convenient days of the week.
I can’t make it back to the Seattle area in time, but I’ll ride in your honor where ever I am. This year in Park City, Utah. Perhaps we can all ride together, but far apart, while sending fond thoughts your way.
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife recreational permits sales sites are down so permits will not be required until Tuesday, August 30, when they expect to be back up. This includes the Discover Pass which is sold at the same sites. We will all be able to park wherever we please. Just like the good ole days.
Wow, what a great ride. Nine unicyclists and two bicyclists. We had a couple of sprinkles when we stopped for lunch but clear, cool weather other than that. Thanks to Melinda and Paul for the massively cool T-shirt (which I am wearing as I write this) and thanks to Bruce and Helen for the cupcakes and cookies. Helen even carried a baguette in full view in her bicycle basket to make sure everyone kept pace. Aaron, having been a unicyclist less than a year, rode his longest ride today on a 26" MUni and his son, AJ, conquered the Noli hill twice on a Coker and then one-footed across the trestle bridges. Shannon wasn’t quite able to break his 23mph record from last year on his 36" Schlumpf but turned in a respectable 20mph run. Tom and Miles Blackwood made another father-son showing this year with Miles leading through the tunnel and on most of the rest of the ride. Tom and Miles both became punks as soon as they could ride farther and faster than me. And finally, thanks to JC, my first Seattle area uni riding partner from back in 2000-2001 or thereabouts. He made the trip from Portland to go on this ride and prove to himself, once again, saddles become uncomfortable after 14 miles. I have been on more rides with JC than anyone else.
Maybe some photos will be posted later.
Unicyclists: AJ, Aaron, Bruce, Greg, JC, Melinda, Miles, Shannon, and Tom
Bicyclists: Helen and Paul
Flats: Doc, Tom Jackson, Irene, GILD, the Dawson girls, and probably some others.
Flat Doc, Flat Dawson girls, Flat JC Flat Miles holding Flat Doc Flat Greg holding Flat somebody, Flat Irene holding Flat Doc, Flat Greg riding a wall, Flat GILD. Thanks to Bruce, Helen, and JC for the photos and to Tom for the Flats.
And any good photo has a red Harper T-shirt in it somewhere.
Perhaps it’s time to switch over to tie-dyes as the official Harper Day T-shirt? That red T-shirt could scare people away from joining the ride.