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Old 07-15-08, 10:51 AM   #1
octopuswithafez
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STP 2008: Good, Bad, Ugly

My first STP ( 2 days ) with a group of four other riders ( three STP virgins as well ). We rode 120 miles in the first day ( to Winlock ) and then 82 miles the next.

Good
--------------------
Logistics of the ride are amazing. This is one well-oiled machine. Hats off to Cascade, Portland Wheelmen, and other groups assisting.

The hills - a lot of fun rollers and I really got a kick out of the Hill @ mile 45. Nothing like settling into a good climb

People cheering in Portland

The ride over the Longview bridge w/ 1,000 of my closest velo-buddies. Awe-inspiring

Finishing the ride strong and without any cramping or soreness. I had done 1,300 miles of riding since late. Jan.

Mechanic support - I developed a loose crank arm, and got it addressed quickly in Castle Rock

The folks with hoses in the latter part of the days

Winlock hospitality - Senior Center, Winlock Elementary camping, and the delightful Pub near the Firehouse Restaurant

Our group of five finishing - we all made the decision to do it in February and we followed through...

Watching the Chunk/Tall bike cross the finish line with the viking helmet wearing rider

Bad
----------------------

Cars honking on Hwy. 30 ( Oregon ). Not the friendly "yeah cyclists" type, but more of the "pox on your family" variety

Long pacelines passing w/o announcing


Personal Support Vehicles trailing some groups ( some sections of the ride I felt that about 1/3 of the cars were PSVs )

One of my allen wrenches flying out of my saddle bag around Chehalis

Ugly
-----------------------

The HEAT. On the 2nd day, my group was stopping frequently just to get more water, I finished off a bottle and a half just between Scapoopse and the finish ( 16 miles ) and it was low 90s then

Hwy 30 just plain sucks. I know there isn't a better routing but honestly that road is just unpleasant.

The poor women who crashed just behind me around Fort Lewis. I heard a yell/scream and the clash of frames from the pile-up. Not sure if she touched my rear tire.

COLD showers @ Winlock Elementary.
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Old 07-15-08, 03:17 PM   #2
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Ugly:

Highway 30
Team World Vision's lack of composure and poor cycling etiquette
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Old 07-15-08, 05:34 PM   #3
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Good: Carload of 18-20 y.o. chicks pulling up to chat about what I was doing, then commenting on my shorts, then giving a "I love you" as they pulled away (yes, I realize it was BS, but it sounded sweet .)

Bad: Me not eating enough due to the heat, bonking a couple of times, getting droped by those I should drope.

Ugly: Dork pissing on the side of a building (in plain view) at the top of "The Hill" when there are a row of Honey Buckets behind the gas station next door.
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Old 07-15-08, 09:36 PM   #4
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Good - Cold Beer at Vader to end day one
having a tent in the shade all set up and waiting for me
Finishing

Bad - 1 hour shower line back at Centralia
Hiway 30
Not enough water stops in the last 50 miles and 90 degree heat

Ugly - losing a disk brake pad right before The Bridge after only 20 miles. Having to go over the bridge with only a back brake. (I hadn't figure out what that PING sound was yet).
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Old 07-15-08, 10:11 PM   #5
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The good:
-the volunteers along the route
-the police stopping traffic and waving us through intersections
-the misting station in Centralia rocked
-the nice woman and her daughter who took tips for college fund for filling water bottles--she even sprayed us if we requested.
-riding over the Longview bridge (but see the bad)
-the smooth, wide, relatively junk/glass free shoulders on Hwy 30, (but see 'the ugly')
-ice at the last food station (was it St Helens?)
-I personally didn't see a crash, only was close to a near-miss, someone who recovered nicely over some very horribly rough section of Westside Hwy.
-tailwinds

The bad:
-the expansion joints on the Longview bridge
-the dude before Castle Rock on day 2 who was driving the opposite direction and talking/calling-in (real or fake, not sure) that we were riding 4-5 abreast when in fact for as far as I could see it was 2 abreast. Someone needed to be important that day, I guess...
-the people who didn't signal that horrible section along the Westside Hwy, almost causing someone (in front of me) to crash

The ugly:
-after watering my head to cool off at the last faucet near Portland (the public spicket), the water that ran off my hair tasted like salt...I then realized it was time to finish the ride
-the rest of Hwy 30.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:17 PM   #6
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Agree with these posts

The bad: The impromptu pacelines that didnt voice and riding fast close to others either riding slower or passing slower people. I rode pretty fast and gave a lot of distance to the people I was passing and ditched the pacers that tried to latch on. (the fast and practiced pacers where long gone)

The ugly: That rough black road I forget where on day one. Hiway 30 and those miles near the end (somehow missed the St Helens stop).

The good: I didnt see any crashes, I read here and heard of some and I remember a TON of crashes the first time I did it years ago.
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Old 07-16-08, 08:44 PM   #7
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STP Ride

The good: Lots of friendly riders. Organized. Challenging and yet fun. The route in Washington is super.
We rode 126 miles the first day to Toledo HS - great spaghetti dinner. Hot showers. Friendly staff.
The bad: Unannounced pace lines. Passing on the right. Rte 30 in Oregon. Chip seal road with new tar seal on Day 1.
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