As I posted a couple of days ago, Saturday, the 13th, was the start of Western Washington’s biggest cycling event, bar none, of the year: Cascade Bicycle Club‘s Seattle to Portland. As I also mentioned, two of my friends from the Holy P, Auburn Liz and Mighty Manda were riding this for the first time!
Now I am not sure I’ve ever told them this, but those two played a huge role in the formation of the 10,000 mile blog! Last year, I rode the STP for the 2nd, time, doing it in 1 day. My friends at work had to listen to me tell them about the ride for months, any chance I got. (Oh you have a question about posting a payment? Let me tell you about this years STP!!)
Well, near the end of the year, Manda and Liz told me they had decided to buy bikes, and they were going to ride the STP in 2013! COOL! Someone to listen to me more. I started giving advice on bikes, training etc. Much to my surprise, they didn’t get tired of me. In fact, they would seek me out and ask questions. How do I choose a bike? What kind do I need? How did I train for the STP? The more they would ask, the more I would tell.
I would come home and tell Michelle about this, and say things like “Wow, I should do a blog about stuff like this!” But, being me I always thought:
- it’s silly, who would read what I wrote
- It is probably hella complicated, so why try
Luckily, as always, Michelle had more faith in me than I do. One day, she fired up WordPress and 10000 Miles of Experiences, Thoughts and Adventures was born.
The ladies, both got their bikes, (I love the fact Manda’s was a Specialized AND pretty! i will tell you she has the most stylish accessorized bike ever. It ALL matches, just like her outfits!) and the training began! I rode the Mayday Metric with Liz, teaching her about Dan Henry’s and how to use her gears on hills. I helped her complete her longest ride to date that day, 75 miles.
She in turn made Manda climb hills, and taught her what she learned from me. The student had become the teacher. Part way through the training season, Manda sprained an ankle. I was afraid that might keep her from finishing. I never told her that though, Cheerleader Valente they coulda called me! Positive to the end. Just get on the bike, ride hills, and keep it slow and steady! You will both make it! Luckily, no one told THEM they wouldn’t make it.
Well, they both made the halfway point Saturday. Manda texted me telling me she almost cried when she got there. That was the furthest either of them had ever ridden, 98 miles! I didn’t have the heart to tell them the next day would be 106…. So I didn’t.
They killed it the next day. I hear there was a need for a little pep talk at the 190 mile point, and some kind sole with a garden hosed came through with a cooling shower (it was HOT Sunday!) at just the right time! They crossed the finish line and conquered the STP. I have heard people I know say for years “I really want to ride that” or “I need to get a bike to ride that one.” And never do. These two did it 6 months after buying their first bikes!
Better yet, instead of just surviving, and saying “NEVER again! Get this bike away from me!” Both of them were planning their next cycling adventures! (When I rode with Liz she rode her brakes all the way down hill, now she flies. Manda was hesitant to ride where there was traffic, 200 miles later, no problem!)
Ladies thanks for inspiring me to start this thing. And you have no idea how incredibly proud of you two I am!! To finish this ride, you have to earn it, and you two did! I mean it when I say, I will ride with either of you anytime!
Like the wind!