I've been watching the STP postings, very few, any stories,pictures you have to share about YOUR ride??
I've been watching the STP postings, very few, any stories,pictures you have to share about YOUR ride??
1988 Cannondale SR500
2011 Trek Mendota
How Old would you be if you didn't know how old you are ?
I'll be the first. No pictures (I'm waiting for the Marathon Photo shots to come out, they had dozens of photographers along the course).
This was my first STP, I did the 2 day, and I was on the verge of backing out right up to the last minute because I didn't think there was any way I could handle back to back centuries. I just recently took up biking, haven't done much conditioning or long rides. As it turned out, I made it the whole way in style, no problems other than sore butt and legs (but a GOOD kind of sore!).
- As someone else mentioned, this was a 200 mile rolling party. Met lots of great people. Everybody was very cool.
- Weather, PERFECT! Warm and sunny on Saturday, but not too hot. Sun day was cooler, overcast and on/off drizzly. Very nice and refreshing conditions.
- The course. LOVED it! I rolled through towns I've never heard of. Very pretty country, nice roads, relatively flat easy riding, heck I even made it up "The HILL!" with energy to spare.
- Rest stops, EXCELLENT! I've heard horror stories about long lines, running out of food etc., but I had no problems. Maybe I just got lucky, but it all went perfectly for me.
- Support. No shortage of support cars and Goldwingers monitoring the course. I didn't need any of them as I had no problems on the course (in Armadillo we trust), but it was reassuring seeing them there.
- Gu. What the heck is in this stuff! I bought a couple packets before the trip, but didn't suck them down till I hit Oregon. Man, something happened to me that last 20 or 30 miles! I should have been dead, but instead I was Iron Man! I was yelling "On your left!" more on that final stretch than the rest of the ride combined!
- Portland. All went like clockwork on my arrival. Loaded the bike up, got my luggage, took a hot shower, had a nice meal, got on a nice bus and before I knew it I was home!
Much appreciation to the Cascade Bicycle club and hundreds of volunteers for this incredible ride. I think I'm hooked now, looking forward to next year.
First and foremost, I want to thank all of you in the Pacific Northwest for your gracious, warm hospitality and your ability to pull off the phenomenal weather coup. Couldn’t have asked for a more perfect temperature for Saturday. Cascade Bike Club, you put on a spectacular event. Thanks to all of you volunteers, (bag pick-up, logistics, start and finish line, rest stops, Gold Wing Motorcycle Club, Subaru support, police, and any others I have missed) for the long hours and hard work you put in to make the STP a classic ride. What a great finish. Felt like I was at the Hawaii Ironman. The woman congratulating us for making it in one day had incredible enthusiasm.
Needless to say, we had a blast. Team Jet Fuel Coffee left the Hotel Deca on our Calfee tandem about 04:25 and quickly ran into stopped traffic on the downhill stretch of 45th St. leading into the parking lot. The road was too narrow to pass cars on the right, so we opted to lift the bike onto the sidewalk and continue on to the start. A lot of other riders had the same idea. Arrived at the start just as the volunteers were closing off the first wave of 04:45 riders, so we missed the first group. However, we got the front row for the 05:00 start. Since this was our first STP, and we were in front of the second wave, we went off course about five turns out because we had no one to follow. We quickly recovered and made the course correction. The first descents through the roundabouts and the switchbacks were no problem and everyone was holding good lines and controlling their speed. The Lake Washington scenery, with Mt. Rainier in the background, was a memory we will not forget. Saw a lot of flats and heard a lot of tires blowing out in the first five miles. Quite a few water bottles scattered around too. We picked up our friend, Rad, about 10 miles out. He had a bad bout with the flu a couple of weeks ago, but was able to recover enough that he wanted to ride part of the event, so he rode 50 out and turned around. He is a very strong rider, and I wish he could have done the entire 200 with us. We then picked up Redspoke, another strong Northern CA rider who stayed with us for many miles.
Heeding multiple recommendations, we didn’t stop at the first rest stop. We did however, stop for coffee about 30 miles out. There is nothing better than a good shot of Washington’s finest to get the engines running strong. When the road opened up and there was light traffic, we picked up the pace and were moving pretty fast through the flatter sections of the ride. We picked up some very fast and nice riders that drafted us for miles and miles. Alex, (looks like Thor Hushovd’s brother) was on our wheel for a long time. At the rest stop on the bike trail, he told us he was having an incredibly good time drafting us, even though his heart rate was off the chart. He was having too much fun to pull out of the line. Great guy.
Things got a little scary while crossing some railroad tracks in the Ft. Lewis area. The tracks were at a shallow angle to the road direction and gap between rail and road was about 2-3” wide. It was a very dangerous situation. At least one person had already dropped a wheel into the gap and was down. Medical support was already there. Volunteers were slowing the oncoming riders down and urging caution. We changed angles and crossed the tracks almost perpendicular to the tracks. We were still within earshot when we heard several other riders going down. Not a pretty sound.
When we got past Centralia, the rollers started. We were able to hold pace for a while, but when we hit the first long roller, our pace dropped down. One group of three riders that had been drafting us jumped into the lead and rode side by side to protect us from the wind and pull us up the hill. We were then able to pull for a while longer, but the rollers really dropped our speed down. Class act guys - thanks very much. You were all strong riders and we loved having the company.
Went over the Longview bridge and ran into the same headwind everyone else experienced. It was tough to pedal uphill and then pedal downhill just to hold pace. As we entered Portland, I’m sure that all stoplights were timed to turn red just as we got to them. The Hospital Hill was challenging. We were lucky to see a couple of people start up the hill way before we got there, so we dropped into the granny gear way before we started up the hill. We then got to a set of RR tracks just as the gates started coming down, but the train was so far away and moving so slow that a group of us kept on going. One native Portlander said that we could have been waiting for 20-25 minutes at the crossing. Glad we didn’t do so.
The finish line was great and the showers were just what we needed. Loaded up Rad’s minivan and headed home.
When I uploaded the ride from my Garmin, he first data point that hit me was the altitude gain of 4889’. The STP stats indicated an uphill altitude (feet) 1,951’. Don’t know why there is such a discrepancy, but I’m glad we rode a lot of hills during our training.
100 mile split – 5:09 ride time
200 mile split – 5:21 ride time
200 mile time – 10:30 ride time
Total Time: 12:30
We will be back.
Me in the back having a great time with my riding buddies.
Got in too late to get the 1-day T-shirt... are they selling those on-line somewhere?
VaultGuru, I think we met up with you at Deca. You commented us on our yellow/blue tandem. Maybe not. My wife mentioned that you were from California. I believe you flew by us going some triple digit speed in a blue Calfee. You looked good and I was thinking I was doing well. Either way, it sounds like you made it back to Cali. I grew up in Rancho Cordova and I believe that is fairly close to Fair Oaks. Glad to have met you even though it was only a short time.
Butcher, I remember you. You were staying at the Hotel Deca also. You have a beautiful bike. Hope you and your wife enjoyed the ride as much as we did. If you see the PNW on a day like that, you might be led to believe all days are like that. Not so. That was a magical day. Thank you for the wonderful, warm hospitality. I wish some of that would rub off on the CA residents.
I saw a sticker on the back of a Prius. "Your Hummer looks stupid." Loved it. If I had it on the back of my car, I would probably get shot.
Yeah yeah, VG, but where did you wind up having dinner? :-)
My STP didn't really go as planned. I had my wife riding support and the fuel pump went out.
But my 16 year-old godson and I had the best helmet decorations. We "rocked the Mohawks" all the way there.
Last edited by djwright; 07-14-09 at 12:04 AM.
I ride to lose weight - I lose weight to ride
Bike: Trek Portland
Computer: Garmin Edge 305
This years Seattle to Portland bike ride was a real challenge. I am pleased to report the route is different from years past with improvements like a fifteen mile paved rail-trail from Jelm to Tennino.
Two day riders suffered rain and chilly tempuratures. Thunderstorms Sunday morning made me re-think the wisdom of riding the two day event. The lightning and hailstorm was exciting though, it was sunny with temps in the low eighties on saturday. One day riders enjoyed a Sunny reception at Loyds center in the park saturday, while the rest of us Sunday, got dumped on and went home ASAP!
With ten thousand riders in attendance there were long lines for everything from food to restrooms and showers. Next year I plan to eat off route , the meals were not hot or heated. I will be riding again next year, after all it is a classic!
Last edited by mlyon; 07-14-09 at 01:20 PM. Reason: add files/photos
SeattleShaun, we went to Costas Greek Restaurant. There is a family connection with a huge real estate developer in Sacramento and the owners of the restaurant. Long and short - They served delicious food and comped the dinner for all of us. We have been to Greece and they serve the real deal. Second night was Bella Rosa. The owners of the Greek Restaurant also suggested it. Great choice. Many thanks.
As did I. Thanks again!
I kept it to a min keeping total ride time a little over 10 hours. I made the first day longer to reap the benifits of the second day which was luckier to do because I got in before the dumpin commenced. I look forward to it next year I have some other ideas to improve the riden
Last edited by velocity; 07-15-09 at 10:14 AM.