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  1. #1
    Count Dorkula tballx's Avatar
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    Drafting in the STP?

    I'm planning to do the STP in one day this year. I've never done STP before. I'm only looking at an average speed of 14mph. Will drafting help? Has anyone done the one day version at this pace? If so what kind of problems did you have?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    I haven't done STP in over 10 yrs, but when I did do it there were lots of pacelines. You should be able to find a group traveling at that rate - some groups will be traveling faster. When I did the ride, no one seemed to mind if you participated in their paceline as long as you knew what you were doing and took your turn at the front. I'd ask politely before you jump into a paceline. Maybe you could ask around at the staging grounds at the start of the ride to try and find a group that wants to ride at your pace?

    Drafting will make the ride easier. If you train well, a 14 mph average should be an easy pace. I've met people who've done the whole thing in a day at a 20 mph pace, but they were pretty serious riders.
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  3. #3
    sɹɐʇsɟoןןnɟsʇıbɟɯo jdgesus's Avatar
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    tons of pacelines... they are often very long. hard to stay at 14mph as the one day pace lines are closer to 20
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  4. #4
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    At 14 mph over 200 miles (the one day ride) you are looking at 14 hours, not counting rest time. At your speed you should really consider the two day option.
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  5. #5
    Squeaky Wheel woodway's Avatar
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    At 14 MPH drafting is not really going to give you much of an advantage, unless there is a headwind. As stated earlier, most of the pacelines will be gong much faster than this, especially once you get past 120-130 miles and the last of the two-day riders have stopped for the day.

  6. #6
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    The last time I did STP, I jumped onto a paceline that got me to the 100 mile mark in 4.25 hours. I wasn't in great shape either. If you do the math that's around 23mph, but it was probably even faster as I didn't join it until we were along W. Valley somewhere.

  7. #7
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    Just ask permission to join any pace line, and do you part at the front when you get there. The longer the line, the higher the risk of crash, if a line gets too long back off and find another.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  8. #8
    Senior Member
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    Does your 14mph average include time at rest stops? 04:45 start + 14.5 hours = 7:15 pm arrival at Holladay Park? At that rate, you will probably be able to benefit from hanging on to the end of a pace line until Centralia, maybe until the bottom of the Napavine hill. After that, the faster pacelines will be few and far between.

    What does tend to happen is that you many find a group of 6 or 8 with a few strong riders towing their friends along. These are the people to get in with. Ask First! Most of them won't mind if you are are the end of the line, and may actually (since they've never ridden with you before) prefer that you just stay out of their rotation.

    Use your mirror, and be aware and actively calling out "car back", etc. and you can feel like you're doing something to help them out.

  9. #9
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    Maybe the ride has changed, but when I did it last the pacelines were long and nebulous. The organized groups were few and far between.

  10. #10
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    IIRC last year the paceline was capped at 7 riders, but I could be off. Was in the STP rider guide. I haven't looked closely enough yet at this years' book but I would expect the same.

    Others have already posted it, but yeah - 14mi/hr is going to be a tough slog for a single day ride. You should be closer to 20mi/hr for pace. If you don't get jammed up with the 2 day riders at that speed, you'll also have a hard time finding and keeping up with other riders after the Centralia.

    As for joining pacelines and drafting, when in doubt always ask. From my one year of experience last year, most riders are easy-going and don't mind you tagging along. Some teams don't want to risk having a stranger's wheel in the pack. And I half-agree with that - my uncle rode last year and he rides like a 500lb gorilla, wobbling all over the place. Great big body to draft on, but scary since you never know what he's going to do.

  11. #11
    Senior Member sjmartin's Avatar
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    At 14 mph you need to do the 2 day ride or get into better shape. In regards to pacelines let people know you are new and ask if you can join. The groups that won't let you join will be way too fast for you anyway, and if there are any slow enough to be pace lining at 14mph they themselves aren't the best riders either and won't mind new riders.

    If you still are thinking about the 1 day:

    200+ miles @ 14 mph ~= 14.5 hours ride time. Being generous say you stop on average a maximum of 20 minutes per official stop ~= 7 * 20min = 2.5 hours.

    Assuming you can keep your average pace towards the end of 200 miles you'll be looking at a 17 hour total time. Assuming you leave 5:00 AM in the morning that will put you in portland at 10:00 PM at best.

    You do not want to be riding in at 10:00 PM by yourself.

  12. #12
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    Yes drafting will help move that 14mph up a few notches. If there are head winds it will be the difference between finishing and stopping in Longview.

    If you are doing a one day solo don't ride that first 50 too fast. There will be massive blobs of riders cruising along at high speed and it's tempting to latch on. Those lines are -scary-. A long time ago one day riders started on Sunday which made the initial section a lot less sketchy. It's much easier to find a relaxed group at your pace later in the ride.

    I came in once just as the sun went down ~9:15. I had planned on riding it in two days but had a bunch of mechanicals, kept having to pick my way trough slow riders, got pissed and soloed the second 100 miles in 6 hours total time. My Dad said, "Boy you were cranky at the Centralia stop."

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