I came back early from my third STP, having bicycled just the first day this time. I made it to Centralia (102 miles). Three problems. First of all, I definitely undertrained. That made everything worse, but with no other problems I'm sure I could have finished. Secondly the seat on my recumbent was too far back. It took me quite a while to realize that a lot of the muscle pain I was experiencing wasn't just exhaustion. By the time I fixed it, I was hurting pretty badly but at least it didn't get any worse. The third problem was a real mystery: I was going really slowly. I couldn't figure it out - everyone was passing me, even a couple of grandmothers. Then I finally realized my tires were deeply underinflated. Once I fixed that - at mile 74 - I started going a lot faster. But the damage was done - 74 miles of working maybe 50% harder was not easy on my knees. By the end of the first day I knew there wouldn't be a second. Lessons were learned and next year I'll be back again.
Tuesday Gene and I will be getting into a car and driving down to San Diego, home of Comic-Con International 2003. If you've never been to Comic-Con, know that it is about MUCH more than comics. It is truly, as advertisied, a festival of the popular arts, with something for everyone (and all ages). Movies, books, science fiction, fantasy, manga, anime, it's all there. And it's just a spectacle. There are real-life movie stars signing autographs and people dressed as Star Wars characters, booths selling collectibles for everything under the sun, talks by famous and talented people, and first-time previews of movies and other media. A good time is had by all 40,000 or so attendees, and we couldn't be more excited to be going. Yes, we know, we're geeks.
If you or someone you know is going, look for us in the small press area at table S-11. If the map is accurate you just walk in entrance B2 and go all the way to the bay side. We'll be on your left just before you exit the hall.
Of course we'll be there selling and signing our book. We'll also have a batch of brand new Unshelved t-shirts, some leftover Unshelved lanyards, and Bill may have some photocopies of his 24-hour comic. In case you're sending a friend to buy stuff for you, here are the details: The shirts are heavy cotton shirts in five sizes (S,M,L,XL,XXL) and three colors (navy blue, forest green, and cardinal red). They say "Read Responsibly" in large block letters on the front, with the Unshelved logo on the back. Prices are not yet set (we need to see what the competition is like at the show), but no more than $15. Please tell your friend a second choice in case your size/color combination is already sold. Lanyards are $3 and Bill's comic will be dirt cheap. Unfortunately we can't take credit cards at the show. And sorry, we're not yet set up to sell merchandise by mail.
We look forward to seeing you in San Diego!