LiveStrong Challenge Seattle 2010 Report

06.28.2010 | 10:36 am

A Note from Fatty: Steve Peterson (ClydeSteve) is the co-captain of Team Fatty Seattle. Should I ever grow up, I hope it’s to be like Steve. Here’s the video they showed of him at the LiveStrong Challenge Appreciation Dinner, where Team Fatty was recognized for both the Team Time Trial and Team Champion awards!

And now, here’s ClydeSteve’s report from the LiveStrong Challenge in Seattle a couple of weeks ago.

Saturday June 19. Rain. Actually, lots of it. There was so much rain that the Seattle Center dictated that the Team Fatty tent, to be located on the LiveStrong Team Lawn, would instead be on a paved back alley! I had great help setting up the Team Fatty get together, thanks to team mates Lesley Jacobs & her husband, Ken Yu, Steve Payne and Jeff Payne (no relation). All of these great teammates donated snacks, including a delicious decorated cake. Thanks also to my two wonderful children, Zach & Joanna, who came up to Seattle to shop and also helped me set up the tent and sat in the rain to guard the cake. What with the rain and all, only about 15 Fattys showed up to say “hi”, so I had an awful lot of cake to myself.

I wonder if that had any bearing on my feeling kind of slow Sunday?

The Appreciation Dinner

Satuday June 19th, in the evening. At the LiveStrong Appreciation dinner, Team Fatty was represented well with 4 full 10-person tables. I sat with an all-star cast of Fatties, including teammates Mike ‘Kamala’ Schechter, Tim Tiscornia and Adam Zivin and our guests.

They had the highlight of the evening early when the event staff played the pre-recorded video award acceptance speech for Team Fatty’s two awards (Team Champion and Team Time Trial).

In this marvelous presentation I made an inexplicable mistake. I dedicated the award to a fictitious person. Now everyone thinks this is hilarious except me. I intended to dedicate the award to Mary E. Moore, mother of teammate Mary C. Moore, also mother-in-law of teammate Russell Rogers. Russell and Mary lost their mother to cancer just last month. Fortunately for me, Russell informed me that Mary had a wonderful sense of humor and would have laughed at the mix up.

Actor Evan Handler started out the live & official events of the evening with an entertaining talk and a different perspective for cancer survivors. The ‘cancer survivor’ tag is one the Lance Armstrong foundation likes to use instead of cancer victim or somesuch, feeling it conveys more of a sense of engagement and fight. Evan prefers to think of himself as cured; someone who has beat the odds and beat cancer. After 25 years, I guess he gets to call it what he wants.

Lance Armstrong’s friend ‘College’ gave a great talk about what LiveStrong does in the very important areas of survivorship and patient advocacy and coordination of benefits. More importantly, my table won the door prize by being intelligent, tuned in and diligent. What was the prize, you ask? A Flip HD 8Gb digital video camera for each of the 10 people at the table. Tim Tiscornia gets the credit for suggesting the correct answer and looking thoughtful, intelligent, and analytical while doing so. The rest of the table gets credit for going along. We rocked! I suggest you get yourself to the Appreciation Dinner at your next LiveStrong Challenge to rake in the goodies.

The Ride

Sunday June 20th. LiveStrong Challenge ride. The day looked fair, and I could not wait to get to the starting line. In fact I was so anxious to get to the starting line that I left my duffle of dry clothes and wallet at my brother’s home. Then I got stopped by a very kind City of Seattle policeman who noticed I had failed to secure my seat belt. He also discovered my failure to carry my driver’s license. Since this made me a bit later than I had planned, I sent Zach & Joanna ahead of me from the 5th & Harrison parking garage for coffee. Leaving my sunglasses on the pickup bumper, I sped out of the garage and grabbed my coffee from Joanna racer style, on the fly. It was exhilarating.

I eventually found a spot toward the back of the 100-mile start section next to teammate Jeremy Everitt and then discovered to my horror that my eye protection had turned into truck keys. Truck keys that my fabulous kids intended to use driving around Seattle. I had the presence of mind to phone the kids and talk them in to key tossing distance so they could go back to the pickup and get the camera and get a picture of me finishing later that day. This would be a momentous occasion, because to date, no one beside Elizabeth Kreutz, the LiveStrong official event photographer has ever snapped a picture of me finishing a major bicycle event. It’s like I am a vampire to everyone else.

The start was fairly uneventful, really. Jeremy and I just followed the crowd on the actual route. It was a lot more exciting last year when we made our own route in the downtown Seattle area. I met up with Tim Tiscornia at the predetermined location just as we exited the I-90 Express Lane onto Mercer Island. We had a fabulous time riding together under gray skies until the gray skies took a big PNW dump on us.

After that it became increasingly apparent just who had fenders and who did not. If you had a grit-filled face, arms and legs, you were following one of the riders who chose to go fender free. I was surprised to find that I could still do 40 mph descents on wet pavement with no eye protection. I am generally a big sissy about needing to cover my eyes.

Tim did not bring a rain jacket, and inexplicably I felt the need to suffer with him by not pulling out my rain jacket until the 70/100-mile course split where he decided to go the short route. I was sorry to split up with Tim (the wimp), but really glad to finally put on my rain jacket.

Miles 36 through 66 were kind of a wet cold blur. I remember finally stopping at the mile 66 rest stop and sitting down thoroughly chilled and powering down about 5 gels/bars/ PB&Js/etc. I just could not get warm.

201006280747.jpgI met Matt ‘Ibis’ Kreger there and he was feeling a little less than energetic as well. Matt said: “I don’t know if I have 38 miles left in my legs.” I was too tired to do the math, but felt the same way. Fortunately, we only had 34 miles to go. A bit of fast riding on West Sammamish Way and we were warmed back up for the-wall-they-call-Village Park Drive. About 1.2 miles of steep, I passed a number of riders who had to get off and push or stop for a cramp out.

Last year I didn’t even notice any uphill after Village Park on the way down to Renton. This year the flats had hill on them. I’m not complaining, mind you. I was just out of shape. But the new artificial knee never made a complaint. Titanium is funny that way, so stoic and all. But I was really pooped when I got to the Renton rest stop. I was only 15 miles out but had mentally gotten to the point of just slogging.

I ate a Honey Stinger and took off, and an amazing thing happened. Right after teammate Lief Zimmerman passed me doing about 24 mph on his ‘bent, I got an unreal surge of energy. Honey, answered prayers of concerned loved ones, a competitive urge to catch up with Lief? Perhaps all three, but suddenly I was rarin’ to go! It is kind of the way it is with those who have been diagnosed with cancer. Sometimes they are down, going it alone with outrageous endurance, and sometimes things go pretty good, and someone on their team pulls them along. Anyway, I was eventually able to close on Lief, after he stopped at a public park to use the facilities, and was happy to have a hometown Seattle commuter guide me in through the steep streets of Seattle.

As we were nearing the Seattle Center, my phone started ringing. Zach reported that the camera and the pickup keys were locked in the pickup and they could not find a locksmith on Sunday. Yes! My string of no family or friend-taken finish line photos remains intact! Maybe I am a vampire.

Oh, I found out that fame has its advantages. An hour after I got in, Zach & Joanna had still not located a locksmith. I went out to the LiveStrong Village to see if one of the clothing vendors maybe just maybe had a garment on a wire hanger. I was stopped by an event worker, a foreman for the company that does the set up of equipment for all the LAF events. He had seen me on the video awards speech during the Appreciation Dinner! The guy went out of his way to find a coat hanger I could use to break in to my own car. I was amazed and humbled by his willingness to go out of his way to help.

PS: Congratulations to Yann Bertaud, the winner of the Shimano / Sycip custom bike contest! Yann’s raised a lot of money ($2290 so far) in the LiveStrong Challenge, and he’s been doing it for all the right reasons — in support of a friend who’s fighting cancer. Check Yann’s LiveStrong page out here. So I’m really excited that Yann’s the winner of the bike.

Yann hasn’t decided whether he wants a cruiser or a road bike yet — a fun choice to have to make!


  1. Comment by MattC | 06.28.2010 | 11:02 am

    Yay! The long awaited report!! Way to go Steve and Team Seattle!! You leave gigantic shoes to fill…

  2. Comment by NYCCarlos | 06.28.2010 | 11:10 am

    Thanks for the report, Steve! Looking forward to a less rainy ride in (p)Hilly!

    Great job Yann!!!!

  3. Comment by Hautacam | 06.28.2010 | 11:28 am

    I can safely say that while I have been on colder rides, I have never been on a wetter ride. That was right up there with the wettest November road rides and January mountain bike rides and December cyclocross races. Our local weather guru says it was the darkest June day on record and I believe it.

    It was definitely the longest cold wet ride I have ever had. Normally I would have bailed out of a ride like that after an hour or so. But this was the Livestrong CHALLENGE, after all, so I felt compelled to gut out the full 100 miles. Because I could, and there are so many who cannot, due to cancer or otherwise.

    If there is any chance that suffering on the bike for a few hours will make a difference in the fight aginst cancer, ANY chance at all, then I will gladly suffer on the bike.

  4. Comment by thomas bagby | 06.28.2010 | 11:31 am

    Great report Steve,

    I went to the appreciation dinner saturday night also. Thanks for the invite. I loaded up on carbs and was glad I did. The ride was quite a soggy one. At the 70/100 mile turn off, I decided to hit the 45 mile route. I think I hit my limit of being soaked for the ride. That, and seeing people crash going downhill on wet pavement. All kidding aside, thanks for being a team captain and all you do for team fatty and the LiveStrong Challenge. Looking forward to next year’s ride and some drier weather to ride it in.



  5. Comment by MattC | 06.28.2010 | 12:48 pm

    I gotta give you PNW folk HUGE credit…I’ll ride in cold (uhm, well, somewhat cold…50’s?) and/or wind…but I HATE HATE HATE wet rides…it just trashes the bike, letalone the soggy disposition and all that comes with it and the personal risk of kissing the pavement. Just showing up and riding knowing it was gonna be wet is big on ya’ll! I’m afraid we will be HOT again in San Jose…but I’ll take that over wet any day of the week! I hereby bow in your general direction (northerly)…Team Seattle rocks!

  6. Comment by Philly Jen | 06.28.2010 | 2:43 pm

    Way to go! So great to see you leading the charge in the battle for Seattle.

    With your new titanium components, you are now the Clydesteve Austin, the Bionic Man. I look up to you — and not just because I’m several inches shorter. Congrats, big guy.

  7. Comment by Kathleen@ForgingAhead | 06.28.2010 | 2:45 pm

    Great ride report! Sounds like a true Livestrong adventure!

  8. Comment by NoTrail | 06.28.2010 | 3:40 pm

    Congrats to all the other Team Fatty’s that finished the ride!!

    I will have to agree that it was definitely the longest cold wet ride I have ever done. In fact, this was my first century EVER!! And without a riding partner and all that damn rain … I’m so proud of myself for not chickening out and taking the 70 mile route (which was oh so tempting). It was almost more of a mental challenge than a physical one, even with my leg cramps.

    And a special thanks to those three other riders that caught up with me for the final few miles. You guys really helped me finish strong!! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  9. Comment by Heidi | 06.28.2010 | 3:47 pm

    Tears in my eyes after viewing the video! Wonderful. I’ll have to come back and read the report when I compose myself!

  10. Comment by Joel P. | 06.28.2010 | 3:48 pm

    Congrats to all of Team Fatty Seattle. And awesome job on th video ClydeSteve, I too would like to be like you if I ever grow up. And also to Philly Jen, who are you not several inches shorter than?

  11. Comment by NYCCarlos | 06.28.2010 | 4:07 pm

    Lance just announced that this year is DEFINITELY his last tour… via twitter.

  12. Comment by Cyclin' Missy | 06.28.2010 | 7:12 pm

    Awesome! Go Team Fatty!

    I don’t remember you getting an artificial knee. Was that after the Leadville crash?

  13. Comment by PJ | 06.28.2010 | 7:29 pm

    Thanks. I just found this site and it is great. My best friend Samuel just went on a two month training regime and lost 40lbs, then went on a three day 700km cycling trip across Saskatchewan ( Now he wonders if he could handle a Livestrong Adventure.

  14. Comment by Sallie Peterson | 06.28.2010 | 7:42 pm

    We’re proud of you Steve – Mom and Dad

  15. Comment by Team Coffe Nook | 06.28.2010 | 11:12 pm

    Susan and Craig were proud to be part of Team Fatty Seattle that raised in excess of $85 K. Yes it rained (and rained), yes people were sagging out due to hypothermia, but yes we had a fun ride (being properly clothed and all) and will be back next year.

  16. Comment by AK Chick | 06.29.2010 | 12:41 am

    Awesome ride report. I’ve been wimping out on riding myself because we’ve been visited by the evil PNW weather up in Alaska. Boo! I’m going to jump on the crazy train and sign up for a century ride next weekend that I haven’t really trained for but I have 11 hours to finish it (I hope it doesn’t take that long) and am hoping that the evil PNW weather will be on hiatus during the ride. It will probably be the only century I undertake before Austin. Which is in October. Oh my. :) Plan on wearing my Fatty jersey on the ride. It’s a series of rides: Fireweed 50, 100, 200, and 400. Yep, a 400 mile, 1 day ride (that length I will never do). I think Fatty and the Runner should come up here and ride that one. :) Hint, hint. Anyway, I’m proud of Team Fatty Seattle. You guys rock and left BIG shoes to fill for the remaining Livestrong rides. Time to start fundraising!

  17. Comment by Jeremy | 06.29.2010 | 1:55 am

    Yeah, all that talk of taking it easy at the start line and as soon as Steve met up with Tim, they kicked it up another gear. After about 3 miles on Mercer Island, Steve was out of sight, not to be seen by me until the finish.

    Cougar Mountain grabbed me again (I like the term “cramped out”) and I did a little hike-a-bike until the cramps let go, but unlike a few riders who may have made it up that hill, if they actually made it to the hill, the extra insulation which is my downfall on hills may have actually allowed me to make it to the blankety-blank-blanking hill. I saw far too many people sagged out in space blankets.

    The worst of the day was watching a guy go down on the left into Seward Park. Flat front tire is my suspected culprit. It just gave out as he turned. I made to work on first aid for him as he was out cold and seizing, but a paramedic and two actual licensed physicians were on scene, so I just loaded his bike onto the sag vehicle. I helped my ego to do something useful. Seriously, I do hope the guy is okay.

    Besides the wet and cold and injuries to others, it was a great weekend with the Fatties.

  18. Comment by Greg | 06.29.2010 | 5:03 pm

    Your see-through white jersey’s should be banned and outlawed.

  19. Comment by Clydesteve | 06.30.2010 | 1:35 pm

    Greg – agreed – wet shirt contests do not belong in cycling, or, if they do I ought not to participate. But you do notice how I managed to strategically arrange the fold of my orange jacket to cover NE, didn’t you?

    Fatty & T-6 – See? See what happens with white? I’m tellin’ you, black and orange are way, way better. Just ’cause guys like Mike in Florida never ride in the rain is no excuse to put the team in such shameless attire!

    I think you’re gonna like next year’s jersey, Steve. – FC

  20. Comment by Joanna Peterson | 07.4.2010 | 1:56 pm

    Love the ride report, Dad! You rock! (Especially how you included the part about me locking the keys in the truck.)
    Greg: There is no need to be jealous of the jerseys.

  21. Comment by Cycling Jersey | 07.4.2010 | 4:11 pm

    Thanks for the report – very much appreciated

  22. Comment by Hunter Ziesing | 10.30.2010 | 9:59 am


    Very inspiring video.

    Does not look like Livestrong is coming back to Seattle but we may. LAF is also our national beneficiary

    please contact me


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