Here I am (left) at the Seattle to Portland finish line, the bubbles and the overwhelming feeling of pride showering down on me. Photo courtesy of MarathonFoto.
By Leah Tran, Major Taylor Project participant
One of the greatest challenges I’ve overcome is the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride.
I joined the Major Taylor Bike Club partially for fun and to get some exercise. Being a generally unathletic person, my goal was to just enjoy myself with the skills I had.
When I first heard of the STP, I immediately thought that it was impossible for me.
I began with getting used to riding with a group. On the first few training rides, I kept getting discouraged. My shoe laces would get stuck in the chain, my legs would cramp up, and I slowed everyone down. I always fell behind everyone else and felt extremely unprepared for the STP. With encouragement from adults and peers, I promised to go on the ride next year.
My strength and confidence improved after more practice. When the ride came around, I remained energized and rode at my usual steady pace. The long distance of the ride no longer threatened me, but appeared achievable. The ride turned into a more enjoyable activity for me after that moment. Throughout the STP, I felt more like I was having fun rather than being tired and sore.
I remember rolling into our meeting point with the other Major Taylor students cheering. When I stopped, I heard that I wasn’t the last one to arrive from the organization. That really shocked me since I was under the impression that I was the slowest rider. After a short break, everyone got on their bikes and rode together for the final stretch.
As we passed the finish line, the bubbles and the overwhelming feeling of pride showered down on me. The director even congratulated me for being the most improved rider of the season.
Thanks to MTP, I know that I’m ready to take on the next impossible challenge in my life.
Interested in supporting more students like Leah in their goals to reach the finish line in Portland? Register today for the Ride for Major Taylor on April 29. Learn more about how this great ride supports the Major Taylor Project students, and then register at cascade.org/RMT.