I can’t explain why I have resisted writing this down.
I love telling stories – but it’s a hard fantasy to share.
It’s the fantasy you invent when you’re 10, on the lower lawn, of a late summer evening, just before school starts. The sun’s almost down but you’ve got the ball and you can almost SEE yourself scoring that game winner.
I didn’t know then that the ball was a bike.
…I’ve submitted the paperwork.
…paid the dues.
…and said it out loud (to a few).
I’m a decent event organizer.
…I’ve got a functioning list and a committed crew.
…but have I missed anything?
…we’ve never done this before.
I’ve got sufficient abilities
…I’ve spent good time training.
…but I might have done more? We can always do more.
But there are faster riders out there and I’m not even an “ultra-guy”?!
…I guess they aren’t here now.
And I’m not superstitious.
And I don’t dally with fate.
And I’m always telling my Mermaids some version of
You won’t know unless you try.
And I’m not even afraid, in the proper sense, for my safety or emotional health.
I don’t consider myself overly mindful of what others might say.
I am putting all ^that^ out there…right on the line.
Perhaps I’m afraid of results? No – I’ve never liked that phrase anyway.
The best I can figure is that NOT writing this down is a manifestation of the, often unspoken, reaction to the unknown.
It’s what happens to anyone and everyone before an event.
We tend to hear the stories related afterwards – rarely beforehand.
So I’ll take this long-winded, last-minute opportunity to buck that trend, to share, and to make things known.
Saturday, May 16th, I’m riding for a bonafide record.
The Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) record for cycling across the state of Washington, from North to South (roughly 255 miles), in as little time as possible.
Once I start, the clock doesn’t stop.
One ace in the hole is that no one has ever officially attempted this on a recumbent with the UMCA – so when I finish, whatever my time, I’ll establish the record for recumbents. Naturally I want to set the bar high – so I’m using the 10 year old record, set in 2006, by the 2003 Race Across America (RAAM) winner, Allen Larson, as my carrot.
He did it in under 12 hours – holy WOW.
I’ve been rehearsing my latest version of that late summer evening fantasy for many years while riding my commute; racing that bus, perfecting a corner, and hammering a straightaway.
Now, it’s gonna be real.
This became ‘real’ for me about a year ago with a humdinger story that I have yet to publish – just wait for the prequel. 😉
But the reality truly hardened out of loads of support provided by
– friendly competition with local riders (some I know, some I don’t)
– an international group of experts on Facebook who invited me in and shared their hard-won knowledge
– the community at Cruzbike whom I’ve leaned on for years
– and critically my family, at home and in my crew – no WAY I do this without you.
Thank you – this is going to be so cool!
Many of us never get (or take) the opportunity to fulfill those fantasies from a late summer evening
…because we “grow up”.
…or life takes over.
…or we simply don’t try when we are afraid.
Six days away and I’m waking up with butterflies.
I suppose that’s afraid, but I’m not that fragile, and afraid’s not the opposite of trying.