Hidden disabilities can really mess with your self-image. Assuming you haven’t had your condition all your life, do you think of yourself as “less” than you were before?
I used to do the Seattle to Portland ride, with my first finish in 2005 and then the following year I got lost and ended up riding my record of 133 miles in one day. The next day I wasn’t able to make it the remaining 89 miles to the finish line, but I felt pretty good about my personal best mileage.
I didn’t enjoy the crowds on STP and I didn’t like putting all my eggs in one basket-- if there was bad weather on that one weekend, the whole summer felt like a wash. I decided to quit the STP and planned an 8-day bike ride from my house in Bellingham, Washington to my friend Beth’s house in Eugene, Oregon instead. That summer I was conscious of how strong my body felt. I rode 60-to-80-mile days back-to-back, stopping for one rest day in the middle. When I pulled into Beth’s driveway in 90-degree heat with beads of melted asphalt snapping under my tires, I felt invincible.