Rider spotlight: Patsy traveled halfway across the globe to #BikeSTP

For years now, the Group Health Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic has been the largest multi-day bicycle event in the Northwest, with 10,000 participants riding from Seattle to Portland in one or two days.

Participants come from all over the world to partake in this great event. Among the foreign riders this year will be Patsy Yap, who traveled halfway across the world –from her home in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia to Seattle, Wash. –to line for the 2013 STP on Saturday July 13.

Photo courtesy of Patsy Yap

Patsy arrived in the greater Seattle are one week before the STP start to celebrate the Fourth of July with relatives and get acclimatized.

“I heard about the famous STP ride from friends who reside in Seattle,” said Patsy. “They told me that the annual STP is a very friendly cycling event and that, since I am so passionate about cycling, I should register early.”

“Yes, I am a big cyclist, not fast but slow and steady,” said Patsy, who started cycling in her forties when she got into racing triathlons and duathlons. “I love cycling long distances and every year I join the local Inter-State Century Ride (160 km), which I completed in about 7 hours 45 minutes, while my younger and fitter cycling friends completed in over 5 hrs.”

Training for the STP has been a challenge, Patsy said, who dedicates her time to caring for her 87-year-old sister who is wheelchair bound.

Additionally, the climate in Malaysia is hot and humid.

“Cycling can tire you fast, unlike cycling in temperate countries like Seattle,” Patsy said. “I hope I am able to complete the 100 miles on the first day. Will worry about the second day later.”

Patsy shared that cycling in Kuala Lumpur has become very popular and continues to grow rapidly.

“Bicycle shops of mountain and road bikes are opening up everywhere and youths have taken a keen interest in cycling,” she said.

But it is also stressful and dangerous. Patsy said that bad road conditions, inconsiderate drivers and motorists using cell phones while driving have let to numerous crashes and collisions and she’s racked up a long list of injuries over the years.

She might be turning 70 in December but you wouldn’t guess by her fitness. Patsy continues to be an active athlete- running, swimming and bicycling to stay fit while participating in sporting events around the world.  Patsy is determined to cross the STP finish line on July 14 and hopes to make friends along the way.

“Heck, I travel halfway round the world just to participate in this wonderfully-organized event…I want to cross that finish line!” she said. “I  don't know a soul in this STP event.  I hope to make new friends and share views.”

Patsy will be riding with bib number 1185, be sure to give her a shout-out when you see her!

Who else is riding? Find more rider spotlights, here.