One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Monday, July 14, 2008

Seattle to Portland on a Skateboard: STP 2008

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, or STP, is an annual one and two day supported bicycle ride from Seattle, Washington to Portland, Oregon in the United States. The STP "is considered one of the 10 biggest recreational bicycle rides in the country, drawing riders from across the nation and from other nations", and has been operating for more than 25 years and is organized by the Cascade Bicycle Club.

It is approximately 200 miles (322 km) in length. Most riders complete the distance in two days; however, about 15% complete the ride in one day. Only two have completed it on skateboards (see below).
James Peters of (see excellent Seattle Times story here) and Barefoot Ted
Photo by
Dave Nottingham around mile 165

James Peters and I did the entire STP course on skateboard. What a trip!!!

Photo by Dave Nottingham
Many folks took photos of us and we are looking forward to receiving photos to add to our blogs and record the history.

TOPICS (to be expanded on?):










Photo by Craig Howard somewhere near Spanaway, WA

Skateboard from Subsonic Skateboards in Portland, Oregon

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Tuesday, June 17, 2008

JUNE 14th, 24-HOUR ULTRASKATE IV - World Record Set

See a list of skateboard world records here. See newly added video clip below...

Photo by Taylor Barrett, more of his photos here.

Beyond my expectations...I set a new world record for 24 hour distance skateboarding...242 miles at this years Ultraskate IV... Find more information at

from forum...

Howdy Folks

Slept a lot yesterday, but feel fine today.

Went skateboarding over at Volunteer Park. Really enjoyed it...even feeling stronger.

A HUGE HUGE thank you to James Peters and all the crew in Seattle. It is hard to believe that I had never even heard of Long Distance Pumping before April 1st this year! What a blessing to have met James on that day at Green Lake.

Couple weeks later, James lets me borrow that magic board. My gawd what a beautiful, magical thing it is...Subsonic Pulse 40.

After James let me borrow the board, I rode like a maniac for days and days...crashed...took a couple weeks to recover...went to LA for some healing sun and great training rides...and then back to Seattle.

I am going to write down more about my experience during the ride, but just to let everyone know my secrets:

1. Be sure you have an excellent LDP (long distance pumping) board...I did (see
Subsonic Pulse 40).

2. Train yourself to run an ultramarathon...i.e., learn how to pace youself for a full 24 hours

3. Study about 24 hour nutrition and hydration and electrolyte needs. Nutrition is key. In my case, I relied on my own special sports nutrition drink mix which includes maltodextrin, soy or hemp protein powder, Green Magma powder and Rehydration Salts. I also ate GU's and Hammer Gels and drank some coffee. I also took two Advil during the race and 1 Succeed! S-Cap every 2 hours.

4. Have strong healthy feet...and let them have the freedom to move around to get blood flowing everywhere...that's why I wore my Vibram FiveFinger shoes...allowed my foot to do what it does best.

I went into the event just trying to see what it would be like to go 100 miles..., but the weather was perfect and the energy strong. I just could feel Eric Lowell's energy and his energy got me inspired to keep going too. I was determined to go the full 24 hours and Eric helped me have someone to follow.

After some rest and some skating today, I have come to the conclusion that someday, someone in this sport is going to achieve 300 miles in 24 hours. Before yesterday, I would have said that 220 is impossible...

So all you out there, live strong and push the envelope of the possible...

Look forward to seeing you on the giant paved wave...


PS. A big thank you goes out to my cousin Robert Renfro and SCI, Technology Without Intrusion for sponsoring my travel to this event.

Photo by Taylor Barrett, more of his photos here.

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Friday, June 06, 2008

FiveFingers as a Skateboard shoe


The biggest problem with using Vibram (pronounced vee-brum) FiveFinger barefoot shoes as skateboard shoes is if you have to do a lot of foot braking (foot braking involves using the shoe sole to slow down the skateboard). Foot braking can quickly wearout any skateboard shoe and it is especially true with the thin soles found on the FiveFingers.

The solution is simple.

I have been using Sure Foot stick on sole patches. They fit perfectly on the ball of the FFs and help slow down wear and tear.

I have been doing a lot of skateboarding (long distance pumping) with and without FiveFingers. If I am on a course the will require no foot braking, I go barefoot. It is the purest way to skate.


Long Distance Pumping in San Pedro, California
see map below

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Sunday, May 11, 2008

Skateboarding and FiveFingers...duh!!!

Thanks to James Peter's of for inspiring me to reignite my skateboarding passion. Visit his website to read about his amazing feats of long distance skateboarding (known as long-distance-pumping or LDP), including world record 24 hour distance rides. He currently has given me a loaner to use. I am burning it up!!!

The board is a Subsonic Pulse 40, essentially a handmade longboard. It is a magical thing...being able to tranfer pumping motion into forward momentum.

Volunteer Park, Seattle...Pushing
Yes, muscle memory is real. Yes, barefoot is best for balance sports. Yes, Vibram FiveFingers make a lot of sense for skateboarding.

from the forum:

Thanks to Shane and volunteers and sponsors for putting on this event (the Seattle Push Race, May 10th, 2008)
I think I found out about it yesterday (or the day before) from James.
Very inspired by James' pursuit of long distance and 24 hour riding. I enjoy trying to push the envelope. This race and ride was like the 3rd time I had been on a board for any time in over 25 years!!! But I loved it.
I had to take the downhills VERY conservatively because the shoes I had on (Vibram FiveFingers) are paper thin and not great for foot braking. It also turns out I rode the board James let me borrow...backwards!!! Felt a little odd. Oh well. Still made 8th place. Not bad for an old fart like me.
My quads were burning during that race. I definitely need to learn to push with either leg.
Look forward to seeing any photos, especially showing my FiveFinger shoes. I want to send them to the company and suggest they do something about making a skate shoe. I really do think that a lot of flexibility in the foot is good for balance and helps make the foot what it does best. I really am not a fan of these huge, heavy shoe-boats that are the rage for most skaters these least for pushing on flat surfaces and pumping.
I have a lot to learn about skating these days. I have never seen so many DIFFERENT kinds of boards and wheels and trucks!!! Too much for my old-man head to take in all at once. Some sort of skateboard renaissance seems to be happening.
The downhill and slalom era came and went pretty quickly in my day (mid to late 70s). We got a taste for pools and the world changed and I've got scars and brain damage to prove it...we didn't wear helmets much...
So, thanks again. Hope to be out there riding for 24 hours next month and see if I can break 100 miles or more.
Barefoot Ted

PS. Make sure you ride with a HELMET (I have one now) and other protective gear. It is well worth it. The only downside to skateboarding for older riders is the unfriendly feel of pavement on the falling body!
PSS. The idea of barefooting and skateboarding and FiveFingers is cropping up here and there. Check out this post on the Paved Wave Forum, click here.

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