On Sunday July 18, 2010 I crossed the finish line of the STP at 6 pm. 202.5 + miles in 2 days, my fourth and fifth unicycle centuries.
I “drafted” Joe Meyers and Bruce Dawson. Vicariously, they crossed over with me for their advice and inspiration as previous unicyclists of the STP to complete the course.
I made some good changes all around after managing 150 miles of the 2009 STP. Completing the 2010 STP never really felt like it was all that likely, but more than any single thing throughout the ride I felt hope. When I got within 15 miles of the finish line, my core went nuclear and there would be no stopping me from crossing over. The last 2 miles to the finish line were brutal. At least 25 free mounts in those two miles to the finish. The traffic and cyclists, missed lights, buses. It felt like a dream where I could not move forward…it was a brutal final 2 miles.
I left Saturday rolling @ 3 am and reached Centralia (100 miles or so)around 5pm and rode the first mile or so of the next mornings start while it was still light. Set up my tent right across from some friends in my community that have each summited Mount Rainier, John and Lynne. We made friends with another cyclist from Chicago, Dave. I had a great dinner with them all and I was feeling really strong when I went to sleep Saturday night.
I left Sunday rolling @ 3 am and crossed the finish of the STP right around 6pm. Lana Meyers had been updating me periodically about Joe’s progress on the course of the STP the previous day and I welcomed the notion of being “guilty by association” with Joe and Lana Meyer…The Unicycle “Dream Team” : ) True to form Joe and Lana Meyer were right at the finish line to greet me when I crossed over the finish line of the STP, along with John, Lynne, and Dave. I owe a lot to the Spin Class Instructors at the Y, I leaned on them and they delivered.
I like the STP as an event on the whole and I recommend it to any unicyclist. I never heard a single negative comment and two days of solid, positive life affirming encouragement by earnest people challenging themselves also to pedal 200+ miles.
I wrote this right after the 2009 STP :
“The Seattle To Portland Bicycle Classic was Saturday and Sunday, July 11-12. I made it 150 miles on my 36 inch Coker unicycle and “bonked” around noon Sunday. I know I must be alive because it hurt not crossing the finish line in Portland more than I would have allowed even possible. A singular kind of pain, no way to “dress it up” or “put a spin on it”. It hurt. What fills the “void” that remains after throwing up Clif Bars, Gu, and warm water from a Camelbak on the side of the road while a dream dies? To be honest, for a while pain displaced everything else and if you are into pain this one was just exquisite. I knew what it would take to go 50 + more miles and I didn’t have it. I left it all out there and got my hat handed to me, big time. I got reduced to the lowest common denominator. Limping back to the last stop, in short increments, a better human being had begun to grow back in the “void“. Today the sun came out, I feel really good, stronger . The STP was humbling, absolutely, but very worthwhile.
The STP feels possible for me and I will roll out for it in 2010. I learned a lot and have faith I can bridge my personal challenges successfully in 2010.”
It was not so long ago that it was a struggle to even walk. When I left the last radiation therapy at Overlake in 2005 I had taken a solid hit to the core and it felt like I was really struggling just to stay even. During the previous STP, I was hoping for some sort of vindication for all that had been taken away. When I crossed over the finish line of the 2010 STP it felt more like a celebration of all that remains