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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 07-14-12, 09:51 PM   #1
Big Pete 1982
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STP Day 1 report

Well, my big event finally arrived! Started off by waking up at 3am to get a good breakfast and drive to Seattle. Rode with 2 friends. I was a bit worried hearing their stories from riding STP last year and averaging like 12mph and getting passed all day. I didn't want to ditch my buddies, but that would have been brutally slow for me. But much to my surprise, everyone came ready to put in some work!

We rode Seattle to Vader, 130 miles. Averaged 15.5 mph. 8 hours in the saddle, but a pretty brutal 11 hour start to finish due to mass amounts of people at the food stops. That was my only gripe was there were so many people. At the half way point I had to use the restroom and waited in line for like 20 minutes while the line moved by maybe 3 people (I was number 5,345,348 in line). I gave up and rode with a stomach ache to the next gas station! I was pretty proud of our pace lining. 15.5 mph, but we stopped and slowed down at a lot of stop lights and got stuck behind some slower riders on busy sections with heavy traffic. But when things opened up and we had room to move, we were riding in the 19-22 mph range most of the day. The "big hill" in Puyallup wasn't too bad, but every since I did a 6500 foot mountain climb last month, all hills pail in comparison! Anyways, it was fun. 70 miles to go tomorrow and we have a friend picking us up and driving us home so I plan on drinking tons of beer!
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Old 07-14-12, 10:42 PM   #2
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Sounds like a lot of fun...good luck tomorrow
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Old 07-14-12, 10:59 PM   #3
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Awesome!
I saw a few cyclists on the West Side Highway just north of Kelso.
Have a great second day's ride.
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Old 07-14-12, 11:05 PM   #4
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Sounds like you're having a fun ride. Maybe with your good experience this year you'll be up for doing the 200 straight through next year.
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Old 07-15-12, 04:03 PM   #5
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Awesome bro!

A few things I have learned:

1- try not to modify what you eat too much from what you normally would eat for the preride food.
2- At the stops and eating (on or off the bike) dont go crazy. Little nibbles is what it takes. And dont eat anything that might contain bad things that will start stomach cramping or food poisoning. Example: potato salad. Yuk. Meat sandwiches that have been in a bag in the hot son. No good! I learned the hard way.
3- Avoid chugging water. I learned the hard way
4- When you need to take a piss, go behind a building or a bush. I know it wont really work for #2 (though some could argue with that one). I would also recommend when the line is long to find a fast food place or starbucks. Works great.

Anyway, I hope you are having a great time. I did it in 1996 when I lived in Washington and loved it. I hope you are loving it too!
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Old 07-15-12, 07:12 PM   #6
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STP FINISHED!!! It was a lot of fun. This morning we started in Vader and rode the remaining 75 miles to Portland. After we stopped in St Helens, my butt was really sore, but after a few minutes back in the saddle it got a little better. I think today had easier miles with no major hills, but they were sort of crappy miles on a major highway with lots of vehicle traffic. The food stops weren't nearly as crowded today, probably because we left early and started further along than most riders. Our pace today was a bit faster than yesterday and we finished at an average of 16.2 mph. Also, to this point, all my organized rides have had very disappointing finish lines, but it was very cool today to ride past a mile of people cheering and clapping and high fiving riders to get to the finish and have an announcer call out my number to a big crowd. It was very cool! I had a great time and I'm already thinking I'd like to try it in 1 day next year!
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Old 07-15-12, 07:16 PM   #7
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Awesome bro!

A few things I have learned:

1- try not to modify what you eat too much from what you normally would eat for the preride food.
2- At the stops and eating (on or off the bike) dont go crazy. Little nibbles is what it takes. And dont eat anything that might contain bad things that will start stomach cramping or food poisoning. Example: potato salad. Yuk. Meat sandwiches that have been in a bag in the hot son. No good! I learned the hard way.
3- Avoid chugging water. I learned the hard way
4- When you need to take a piss, go behind a building or a bush. I know it wont really work for #2 (though some could argue with that one). I would also recommend when the line is long to find a fast food place or starbucks. Works great.

Anyway, I hope you are having a great time. I did it in 1996 when I lived in Washington and loved it. I hope you are loving it too!
Yeah, I tried the nibbling thing before, as many people recommend that, but it ended in disaster both rides I tried it. I ended up with a big hunger bonk. I do better eating plenty at every stop and snacking on the road. It takes some fuel to keep this clyde moving!
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Old 07-15-12, 07:41 PM   #8
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STP FINISHED!!! It was a lot of fun. This morning we started in Vader and rode the remaining 75 miles to Portland. After we stopped in St Helens, my butt was really sore, but after a few minutes back in the saddle it got a little better. I think today had easier miles with no major hills, but they were sort of crappy miles on a major highway with lots of vehicle traffic. The food stops weren't nearly as crowded today, probably because we left early and started further along than most riders. Our pace today was a bit faster than yesterday and we finished at an average of 16.2 mph. Also, to this point, all my organized rides have had very disappointing finish lines, but it was very cool today to ride past a mile of people cheering and clapping and high fiving riders to get to the finish and have an announcer call out my number to a big crowd. It was very cool! I had a great time and I'm already thinking I'd like to try it in 1 day next year!
Congrats! The finish-line for the STP is very cool. I know what you mean about the 'major highway' miles though. After you come down off the huge metal bridge (while dodging the fallen water-bottles) its a miserable ride for a few hours. I enjoyed the scenery of day 1 over day 2 but there's nothing as pretty as that finish-line.

P.S. I usually blow passed the lunch stop on day two as there is a Safeways about 2 miles further on. No crowds, great sandwiches and great prices.
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Old 07-15-12, 09:18 PM   #9
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... I had a great time and I'm already thinking I'd like to try it in 1 day next year!
Good on you!
That finish line might look even getter finishing in one day! Congrats again on a great ride!
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Old 07-16-12, 12:33 PM   #10
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Sounds almost exactly like my ride. We had planned to ride to Vader but called it a day at Winlock instead and had our ride support pick us up and take us to our camping spot. Up early Sunday for a faster ride into Portland. My sister had to drop shortly into day two due to an old knee injury rearing its ugly head; this was a mixed blessing as riding with her was a big part of the reason for going on this ride but with her pain it may have taken us until late in the evening to reach Portland. Day two had lots more hills than day one. A couple of high bridges, a few good descents that are real Clyde friendly weeeeee fast! I passed plenty of folks as I was passed by plenty. I passed more going up hill than passed me which felt really good. Riding in urban areas with stop lights is a different experience for me, highways not so much. With three riders we only had one flat which was on day one outside of Chehalis. It was my son who flatted; I yelled at my sister who promptly turned left, not exactly understanding me, I followed to chase her down and a bunch of riders followed us going off the course. Less than ten minutes later we were back on our way thanks to my skills.

Big Pete I'm thinking we likely passed each other at some point. Are you planning to do it again next year?
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Old 07-16-12, 12:56 PM   #11
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Sounds almost exactly like my ride. We had planned to ride to Vader but called it a day at Winlock instead and had our ride support pick us up and take us to our camping spot. Up early Sunday for a faster ride into Portland. My sister had to drop shortly into day two due to an old knee injury rearing its ugly head; this was a mixed blessing as riding with her was a big part of the reason for going on this ride but with her pain it may have taken us until late in the evening to reach Portland. Day two had lots more hills than day one. A couple of high bridges, a few good descents that are real Clyde friendly weeeeee fast! I passed plenty of folks as I was passed by plenty. I passed more going up hill than passed me which felt really good. Riding in urban areas with stop lights is a different experience for me, highways not so much. With three riders we only had one flat which was on day one outside of Chehalis. It was my son who flatted; I yelled at my sister who promptly turned left, not exactly understanding me, I followed to chase her down and a bunch of riders followed us going off the course. Less than ten minutes later we were back on our way thanks to my skills.

Big Pete I'm thinking we likely passed each other at some point. Are you planning to do it again next year?
Nice work! Our group was lucky enough to not have any flats or mechanical issues. Well, except for the one stoplight where I fumbled while unclipping and fell over (taking out the guy in front of me as well) and dropped my chain. Mostly just hurt my pride since a few hundred people probably saw it! I'd definitely like to do it again next year, possibly in one day. If I don't feel like I'm up for 1 day, I may try the RSVP instead just to do something different.
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Old 07-16-12, 01:04 PM   #12
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I think we were the last ones to head out Sat morning (they were tearing down the starting line as we left). Saturday was more fun for me, we were able to find some real fast pacelines. Seemed everyone wanted to get behind us (6'4", 6'5" 230, 221lbs guys). Must have felt like drafting behind a wall. 100 miles to Centralia, 5:15 not including breaks (about 6hours total). I think only one guy passed us the whole time.

Sunday was a different story for us. Left about 6:30, hit rain, wind, tired legs, no good pace lines, etc. 104 miles 5:45 not including breaks (7 hours total). There were about 6 guys that passed us, and we did not have the legs left to chase... We were by the port-a-potty at the bridge crossing and by the top there were only 4 guys in front of us (this after my friend said his climbing legs were not there that day). Caught the rest after the round about at the bottom. After that it was basically just the two of us taking turns about every mile until the end.

All in all, it was a great experience, I went faster and farther than I ever had, or expected to be able to do. Next year the goal is one day (ouch)

Was looking for Big Pete the whole time, but did not see anyone with red shorts, green shirt and big floppy ears
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Old 07-16-12, 02:22 PM   #13
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Right on!
For the future, if you ride STP again, a good trick is to rip past the first two stop stations and get out ahead of the traffic. I did one-day in '08, and didn't hit up a stop until around 50 - 55 miles in.
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Old 07-16-12, 02:48 PM   #14
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Was looking for Big Pete the whole time, but did not see anyone with red shorts, green shirt and big floppy ears
LOL! Our company jersey's were the exact same colors as the 2012 STP Jerseys that thousands of people were wearing, so we blended into the crowd anyway. But we were the trio of clydes passing people all day both days! Next year I will probably not stop at the first food stop. That one was ridiculously crowded!
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Old 07-16-12, 03:23 PM   #15
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Right on!
For the future, if you ride STP again, a good trick is to rip past the first two stop stations and get out ahead of the traffic. I did one-day in '08, and didn't hit up a stop until around 50 - 55 miles in.
Yeah, we did not stop first day until that one. Starting late did not help us, just made us feel better about all the people we passed... Also think we need 2-3 more riders in same category to share the load in order to do it in 1 day without dying. We felt it the second day just having two of us.
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Old 07-16-12, 03:58 PM   #16
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Yeah, I tried the nibbling thing before, as many people recommend that, but it ended in disaster both rides I tried it. I ended up with a big hunger bonk. I do better eating plenty at every stop and snacking on the road. It takes some fuel to keep this clyde moving!
why did you have stomach issues you think? Eating too much too fast?
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Old 07-16-12, 04:08 PM   #17
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why did you have stomach issues you think? Eating too much too fast?
Because I had to use the restroom and got tired of waiting in line so in a fit of rage I gave up and just kept riding. After I found a gas station a few miles down the road I felt much better.
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Old 07-16-12, 04:15 PM   #18
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thought you said your stomach hurt before you had to go. Sorry. I must have read it wrong.

I love the STP. I still have the picture that was taken from 1996. lol. We made it to Longview on the first day, 150 miles and then portland the next. But I was much younger and fitter.
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