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International Harper Day Ride, 2013

International Harper Day will inconveniently fall on a Wednesday this year. I plan to have the ride on Saturday, 31 August. I chose the weekend following my 61st birthday because, if I did, Tom Blackwood promised to renounce his US citizenship thus ensuring the continuity of the international status of the ride. Tom will buy citizenship in whatever country will offer it to him the cheapest...probably Canada or Zimbabwe. (Also, I have a friend coming in from Arizona that week who will ride a bike on the outing like a big sissy.)

This will also mark 50 years of unicycling for me. I got my first unicycle on my 11th birthday. I wonder if I can ride another 50.

We will ride the Iron Horse Trail from Hyak to Rattlesnake Lake which is about a 22 mile ride down a 2% railroad grade. 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. My hair is getting so white that I may be able to illuminate most of the tunnel, but not all of it.

We will meet at the lot just south of the Issaquah Park and Ride between 9:00 and 9:30 AM Saturday 31 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. Then we consolidate unicycles, riders, and vehicles and drive to Rattlesnake Lake to drop off a shuttle car. Finally, we haul all of the riders and cycles to the Hyak trail head of the Iron Horse Trail and we RIDE, BABY, RIDE back to Rattlesnake Lake.

If you are a non-US rider who can attend this event, please notify me as soon as possible so we can attempt to maintain Blackwood's tenuous, if not questionable, citizenship.

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  • Greg "Thunderhooves" H.

    This was a 5 star ride. Yukari came all the way from Japan to save Blackwood's bacon and allow this ride to maintain its international standing. She was certainly the hero of the ride. Thanks to all. What a gas and what a perfect day.

    September 3, 2013

    • Noli

      Yukari was ecstatic to read this comment. She thoroughly enjoyed the ride and was impressed with so many "skillful riders" :)

      September 6, 2013

  • Kevin W.

    I will meet at the Park and ride in Issaquah 9-930 am 1St floor east side. I will have a truck with 5 seats and I will bring a two slot bicycle rack. I know a girl that lives near Rattlesnake Lake and wants to ride with the group and is planning to ride out from Hyak. I will do whatever is needed to shuttle, unis,bikes, riders,

    August 30, 2013

    • Tom B.

      Precise Replies are awesome. I will also meet at the Park and Ride in Issaquah 9:00 to 9:30am, 1st floor east side. I will have a wagon of German descent that can carry either 1 driver and 1 passenger and 2-3 unicycles, or 1 driver and 4 passengers and 0 unicycles. I think my car might be best left at RSL and used for the post-ride shuttle back to Hyak.

      August 30, 2013

  • Michael P.

    Dang, looks like I had prior engagements that I did not know about. Have fun!

    August 30, 2013

  • Steve D.

    I still plan on coming. If you need the Yukon to haul uni's and people (up to 7 including driver) i can bring it. I would need a discover pass.

    August 28, 2013

    • Steve D.

      UW Husky game Saturday evening at 7:00. We need to get back in time to watch the game! If there's an apre-uni gathering must have big screen. Otherwise will head for the ranch to watch.

      August 30, 2013

    • Tom B.

      That was ancient history. Just wanted to make sure you hadn't changed your mind a few times since then. Will see you at the P&R. Suggest first floor, on the east side.

      August 30, 2013

  • Noli

    What time does this wrap up?

    August 29, 2013

    • Greg "Thunderhooves" H.

      We usually ride for about 4 hours I think. The meet up time in Issaquah is 9:30. I think we'll leave Rattlesnake Lake by 10:30. We'll be at Hyak between 11:00 and 11:30. Then there is the primping. We'll be through the tunnel between 12:00 and 12:30 and probably eat lunch just outside the tunnel. Then, the ride actually begins. I think we'll be back at Rattlesnake Lake between 4:00 and 4:30. Then we have to shuttle. I think we'll be rolling out of Rattlesnake Lake at about 5:30. This is how I remember these rides going.

      August 29, 2013

    • Tom B.

      Yeah...but Harper sees the world through rose-colored glasses. Don't make any plans sooner than Sunday Brunch, and you'll be safe.

      1 · August 29, 2013

  • Greg "Thunderhooves" H.

    Who plans on driving and who needs a Discover Pass? I'll bring a Ford Explorer which has a bit of cargo room and can take my friend Marc's bicycle on top.

    August 26, 2013

    • Jason S.

      I'll be driving my Outback, I have a Discover pass, and I might be bringing a neighbor.

      August 27, 2013

    • Noli

      I have a truck and a Discover Pass. My Japanese visitor will be on 2 wheels. My truck can fit LOTS of unicycles. If someone has a bike rack on their car, then my truck could be used for hauling unis. I can fit 4 people in the cab.

      August 29, 2013

  • John S.

    I'm in! I still live in Ballard. Would I be able to get a ride to and from? Thanks, john dot spinosa at gmail dot com

    August 28, 2013

    • Noli

      I could probably give you a ride. I'll send an email, too.

      August 29, 2013

  • Michael P.

    I have a Discover pass and a small pickup truck.

    August 27, 2013

  • Tom B.

    Will bring Miles if he doesn't have to work.

    July 10, 2013

    • Tom B.

      Well he's gotta work, so just one Blackwood. I haven't really been riding this summer. How far is this route again? %>)

      August 25, 2013

  • Lana M.

    Sorry I'm not going to make it as I had a very, very, bad crash on my mountain bike a few weeks ago and suffered some serious head & back injuries. I had to be flown by helicopter off Stevens Pass. (see my Facebook for updates).

    August 25, 2013

    • Tom B.

      Ouch! Lana I'm so sorry to hear this. Will be thinking of you and hoping for very quick recovery.

      1 · August 25, 2013

  • Steve D.

    That should work for me!

    July 22, 2013

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