Who drives 15 hours for a four-hour ride? A unicyclist!
Friday, April 27 we drove five hours north to Seattle, Washington and spent the night with friends. Up at 5:15 a.m. Saturday, we picked up a Seattle unicyclist, Noli Ergas, and drove 1.5 hours to Anacortes to catch the ferry to Lopez Island, one of the U.S. San Juan Islands between Washington state and Victoria, British Columbia.
The Tour de Lopez is a non-competitive cycling ride which swells the rural island’s population by almost 50%. With 900 bicyclists and only two unicyclists, Scott and Noli got a lot of attention. While they rode the 31 mile route around the island, Jody explored Lopez Village, sat on the beach, and enjoyed the unique feel of a small island.
The only way off Lopez Island is by ferry and catching the 1:30 p.m. ferry was essential to our plan of getting back to Oregon that night. So as soon as Scott and Noli finished riding, we headed to the ferry terminal and joined a mob of bicyclists for the 45 minute ferry ride back to Anacortes. Then it was 3.5 hours of heavy traffic before dropping off Noli in Seattle. Five hours later we were back home in Springfield, Oregon.
Was all that driving worth it? Yes! We’ve been very busy this year, with trips to Ecuador and Colorado and a hectic final tax season for Scott. We were moving from our home of almost 33 years into a small apartment, in anticipation of moving to Ecuador later this year. We hadn’t taken much time for fun. We enjoyed the brief visit to Lopez Island and the change of pace it brought. Despite the long drive, we came home refreshed.
Unicycling has been important to our family for more than 15 years. All seven of us ride, but it is Scott who enjoys it the most. And since getting his first 36” wheel in 2002, he has increasingly chosen longer road rides for his recreation.
We’ve been to fourteen consecutive North American conventions and three international events, including Ride the Lobster in Nova Scotia in 2008. We have met many wonderful people through unicycling. But because of our impending move to Ecuador, we’re not going to NAUCC 2012 this summer and we’re sad to miss it.
Unicycles are at the top of Scott’s packing list for Ecuador. He’s hoping he can take both his Telford mountain unicycle and his 36” Nimbus because he doesn’t want to choose between them. If we ship anything, it will be unicycles.
We believe unicycling will help us connect with our neighbors and community in Ecuador. The attraction of unicycling is universal. We have taught many people to unicycle here in Oregon and hope that we can in Ecuador, too. While Scott is looking forward to riding there, we both look forward to the wonderful and interesting people God will continue to bring into our lives through unicycling.
Here are some more views of Lopez Island: