Sunday, April 25, 2010

Into the National Bike Museum

This weekend, on April 24, 2010, I had the privilege of attending the grand opening for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame, which has merged with the National Bike Museum. Recently relocated from Somerville, New Jersey, to Davis, California, the Hall of Fame is in a great location in the center of Bike Town USA (Davis is ranked the #1 bike-friendly small town in the U.S.), adjacent to the town's farmer's market (also ranked #1 farmer's market in the nation).

I am honored to be able to say that my Coker Big One unicycle (from the coast-to-coast journey) and my KH29 (complete with dirt residue from the Divide By One expedition) are now in the National Bike Museum, which is within the building for the U.S. Bicycling Hall of Fame. It just so happens that Davis, CA, is my hometown, so I was able to share the excitement of the grand opening with my family.

Here is a link to my pictures from the grand opening this weekend:

Thanks for everyone's support along the way! It is certainly an exciting step; hopefully it will encourage ongoing awareness of and donations to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
If you ever make it to northern California, be sure to stop in!

Rock n roll,

Sunday, August 13, 2006

The Bigger Journey Continues...

This final post serves as a gigantic "THANK YOU" to each and every person who helped me along the way, though it far from matches my gratitude for the prayers, tangible support, and encouraging emails and phone calls, not to mention the many generous donations to the cause. Upon arriving home to California, I was able to visit my Uncle Richard; the picture below is us together during a treatment session.

At the time of this posting, the donation total is $7,145, 71% of my $10,000 goal. For those who would like to donate to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, click here. Thanks! For those interested, reports of my "normal life" adventures can be found here.

Carpe Diem.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Ode To A Wheel

total mileage: 3,566
starting location: Wrightsville Beach, NC
ending location: Long Beach, WA
flat tires: 1
tires used: 4
# of identifiable types of roadkill: 27
# dogs that chased me: 14
# servings of ice cream: 144
% of riding days that i cried: 29
# thunderstorms ridden through: 8
marriage proposals: 2

An overcast day welcomed me west
to the Pacific, bringing this journey to rest.
The cool ocean air gave me a chill,
a break from the heat, of which I got my fill.
Through eastern Washington the heat was intense,
my life at the mercy of the van and the 'rents.
Mom drove the van up from the big C-A
and picked up my sidekick Matt on the way,
both ready to join with my dad and me
on the adventure's home stretch to the sea,
riding through one-hundred-eighteen degrees
and wind that nearly knocked me to my knees.
Jumped in the river whenever I could
to escape the hot wind that occasionally would
blow past my ears with such great ire
that the poor cartilage felt as if on fire.
My very last day of the ride was a treat,
as some pirate's booty was found in the street:
an oven-fresh pizza lay in the road,
still in its box, fallen from a car's load.
That "5-second rule" had long been forgotten;
the pizza, still warm, was far from rotten.
My Uncle Chuck and Aunt Pauline also came
and played the bike and sag-wagon game.
Jumped in head first to the dirty sea water,
nevermind the strong riptides that caused me to totter.
It was then that I made it officially
riding one wheel sea to shining sea.
No more chasing sunsets, wobbling to and fro,
now which direction will life's wind next blow?

me, friend matt, parents kim and dale (yes, my dad has a beard and shaggy hair now)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I can almost hear the waves...

total mileage: 3103!
time zone: PACIFIC
current location: Clarkston, WASHINGTON!!

Finally to Washington, my quasi-final state of the journey, except for occasionally passing into Oregon as I ride along the Columbia River to the Pacific Ocean. I have not come close to processing the fact that I have about a week left of my journey. Simply ridiculous. Maybe by the time I reach the ocean my unicycling skills will reach a pinnacle and I'll be able to unisurf.

Idaho was by far the most consistent beauty I experienced the entire trip. Probably helped that we were in national forests virtually the entire time, closely hugging wild & scenic rivers for days on end, and going slightly downhill.

Consider this a shout-out to the Three Rivers Resort, where one of the managers and her husband were both clowns in the Ringling Brothers Circus. Big time. It was my honor to receive free showers, a place to camp, and a free delicious meal courtesy of these fellow unicyclists. They also happened to know a guy who unicycled cross-country in the past, who lives in Portland (I'm passing through that area), and we're hoping to meet up. Fantastic!

Be sure to check out the newly-added link (upper right corner of website page) to read about the treatment progress of my Uncle Richard Pleau, who I dearly love and whose diagnosis of Multiple Myeloma inspired this ride.

Here's to a pacific state of mind...

Lara Smith and Don & Jerry Heidtman of the Three Rivers Resort, Lowell, ID
Lolo Hot Springs restaurant for the best turkey reuben sandwich I've ever scarfed down

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Missoula, MT

Hanging out in Missoula today and tomorrow. Got into town last night after about 81 miles, about 50 of which were into a strong headwind (20-25 mph). Now that I've come to realize my love of climbing mountains and reasonable enjoyment of headwind (it kept me cooled off and added a balancing challenge), I admit that I've officially gone insane. I knew it was bad when I started to prefer a headwind to a tailwind, a parallel preference of uphill over downhill.

Upon embarking on the last 25 miles of yesterday's ride (after a refreshingly nutritious snack of cinnamon rolls and Coke), I noticed that my tire pressure was incredibly low. Welcome to my first flat tire of the trip. This was entirely my fault because I am overdue for a tire change but thought that I'd make it through to Missoula simply by rotating my tire a few days back. At least it was a slow leak and allowed me to ride the last 25 miles, albeit more slowly, pumping it up occasionally. Picked up the new tire today, and receive the new tube in the mail tomorrow.

Yesterday's highlight included meeting Forrest Rowell, his brother, mom, and friend on the side of the road. It was an honor to meet and chat with him; he just returned from the NAUCC (North American Unicycle Championships and Convention) where he won the overall Mountain Unicycling competition. That's amazing, and a pleasant surprise while riding along an interstate in the middle of Montana.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

To Montana... and Beyond!

current location: Whitehall, MT
total mileage: 2735
servings of ice cream consumed: 119
% of riding days during which I've cried: 32%
# of types of identifiable roadkill: 26
state #: 8

Welp, here I am in Whitehall, Montana. We made it through the Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, crossed the Continental Divide many more times, and rode in awe of the beauty that captured our attention. I have come to love climbing the mountains on my wheel, which is a huge "step" for me, because I used to detest them even on a bike when I had a 50-mph reward waiting for me on the other side. Although, in the more buggy areas, since I often go slowly uphill, I find myself swarmed with flies and mosquitos, much like a sloth grows a bit of moss as it moves so slowly. The mosquitos also found out how tasty my spandex-clad rear end is. It's not a very convenient thing to have itchy mosquito bites on your behind when spending time in public. Riding through the national parks, I felt like a moose constantly getting tourists pulling over and taking my picture, often accumulating crowds. So whether I'm a sloth or a moose, I'm still riding high from the "I like your tan!" comment I received from a woman with a dark complexion... more like tan LINES. The past couple of days, I've enjoyed riding with the Habitat for Humanity Bicycle Challenge (northern route) group. They're a fun lot. Until next time, here's a picture with the Grand Tetons in the background.

Carpe Diem.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Postponed Photographic Procurement and Perusing

Location: Rawlins, WYOMING... where my camera and I reunite! woohoo (thanks Arnie!)

That's right folks, in my 7th state of 10. We've found that the key to riding success and enjoyment is to get on the road by 5.30AM, pedaling between the rising of the sun and the rising of the winds/thunderstorms. Prior to entering Wyoming, we went over Willow Creek Pass (9,631'), and I was honored to have another unicyclist alongside me. Mike Tierney of Aspen, CO, whose specialty is mountain passes, joined me on his 36" wheel and I savored being a part of the majority for the day (two unicycles > one bike -- sorry Dad).

During my brief, 21-mile jaunt on I-80 this morning, I took the opportunity to look intently for a Wyoming license plate (I'm collecting a plate from each state I ride through). I now know that Wyoming must get plenty of tourist income because while searching, I first came across Oregon, Michigan(2), Oklahoma, California, Texas, Georgia, Colorado, Utah(2), Maine, Louisiana, and Ontario before finally finding a beat-up Wyoming license plate. Either that, or Wyoming drivers know how to secure their plates better than the rest of us. It was rather comical and provided us with entertainment beyond the normal "MOOO"ing at bored cows. And by the way, I never found a Kansas license plate, so if there are any Kansans that are reading this that can forgive anything negative I ever said about Kansas and happen to have an extra license plate, please send it to:
The Unicyclist Who Puts Her Foot In Her Mouth When Discussing Kansas
2831 Seine Ave.
Davis, CA 95616

The Smash Sisters say adios after spending a day at "Garden of the Gods" in Colorado Springs.

Hooray for a new, lighter, stronger, greener wheel!

A magical afternoon riding into Fairplay Colorado... first look at the snow-capped rocky peaks.

Pedaling up Hoosier Pass.

Hoosier Pass (11,542' and highest point on my entire route).

Daddy and me at Dillon Lake near Frisco, CO.

Myself, Mike, and my dad atop Willow Creek Pass.

Happy Independence Day! [Daddy and I will be in the middle of nowhere, hoping to pass a fireworks stand so we can have a show of our own...]

one wheel for One.