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  1. #1
    blk
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    STP recommendations?

    I'm riding the STP with a few guys over 2 days; this will be my first time doing the event. We're looking at either doing a 100/100 split with overnight in Centralia, or going all the way to Kelso/Longview and coasting the second day. Which do you recommend?

    Also, if we stay in Centralia, what kind of lodging do you recommend? Hotels and semi-private rooms seem booked up at this point, so it's camping versus staying with one of the private hosts. I'm a light sleep and am concerned about camping with so many other people (and am not sure what the bathroom situation is). Of course, the private stay is a complete wildcard as well.

  2. #2
    Team Water Andy_K's Avatar
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    Seriously? Centrailia hotels are already booked? Call me a newb! I'm also doing it for the first time this year, and while I expected registration to sell out quick, I thought I had a little while to plan for lodging. I should have known better!

  3. #3
    Senior Member Clarabelle's Avatar
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    The year we did it, we stayed in Centralia with a private host. We weren't sorry about that choice. Very gracious hosts and the accommodations were fine. The only downside was the increased hardness of my saddle the next morning. Ouch! The second 100 miles was definitely tougher, so I might be tempted to head on to Kelso/Longview if I was tempted to do it again--which I'm not.

  4. #4
    klondike300 klondike300's Avatar
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    I recommend going farther on day 1. We go to Castle Rock. Camping at the High School this year. Anything past Centralia make day 2 so much better. Most people are pretty tired out and keep it quiet the farther you make the route. Centralia is party central though if you're looking for that.

  5. #5
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    The festivities will all be at Centralia so I recommend at least staying over there. The breakfast there the next day is also extremely delicious. Camping there overnight is part of the experience!

  6. #6
    Dharma Dog lhbernhardt's Avatar
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    The last time I did STP (and the only time) was back in 1982 or so.. the year after Mt. St. Helens exploded. A friend and I did it in one day. Unless things have changed drastically, the good part of the ride is over when you reach the Longview Bridge. That last section on US 30 is busy and pretty dull. I keep hoping they change that final approach into Portland.

    Luis

  7. #7
    Senior Member percy kittens's Avatar
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    OP: I would not worry about insomnia after riding across the state. You may fall into a deep sound sleep with a semi-chewed sammich hanging outta yer mouth.

  8. #8
    Sore saddle cyclist Shifty's Avatar
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    There are a few motels in Castle Rock, and lots of rooms in Longview / Kelso. Start as early as you can and you'll make it to Longview just fine, then a easy ride on Sunday before the crowds of riders leaving from Centralia.
    Those voices in your head aren't real, but they have some great ideas

  9. #9
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    Back in the 80s I always did the one day ride, always thinking that I'd never want to get back on the bike the second day. One year I decided not to do the ride, but went and visited a friend that lives in Tenino on the day of the ride, and he was hosting a group that was doing the two day ride. They rode to Centralia, and they were picked up and brought back to Tenino. The next morning they all looked totally beat and I was half expecting that they'd end up back at the house, but they persevered.

  10. #10
    Kip
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    I rode the STP a dozen times. Eight of these were 2-day rides and I because I had a place to stay in Longview that was my destination. Sure, it made for a long first day but it was nice to get up the following morning and only have about 50 miles to go. This also puts you ahead of the crowd so lines for the food, water spigots and porta potties are shorter. My least favorite thing about the STP or any other organized ride is that I find myself surrounded by riders I don't know but have to trust are using good sense as they ride. It is easier to avoid this if you stay ahead of the crowd.
    It's a great ride and I wish you first-timers a safe and fun experience. My one piece of training advice is to be sure you are comfortable on your bike. I'm guessing that most of those who don't complete the ride drop out because they can't tolerate that many hours in the saddle.

  11. #11
    Insane Bicycle Mechanic Jeff Wills's Avatar
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    When I've done STP (with wife), we stayed at the Assembly of God Church in Vader. Volunteers drove us to local houses for showers, they fed us (humongous meal- there were leftover desserts!), and we slept in our sleeping bags in the sanctuary. Aside from luggage logistics, it was luxurious. Vader is at 124 miles, so the next day is comparatively easy. The hills just before Longview are a great warm-up, and you're on Highway 30 before there hordes who stopped in Centralia get there.
    Jeff Wills

    All my bikes.

  12. #12
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    Hello,

    I have done the STP 5 out of the 7 past years and again this year. I think you should experience one night camping in Centralia. The atmosphere and the whole experience is a pleasant surprise. It is easy to pack a small tent and setup camp and soak it all in. In the morning, there will be a nice breakfast and they will have a couple of big screens showing the Tour de France.

    Make sure to get in line early if you want a massage. It is well worth it. My first year I did it on a full suspension mountain bike and it was a chore. This year I am debating on doing it in one day.

    Cheers,

    John

  13. #13
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    Yes hotels book FAST.. almost have to book them that morning for the next year. Its all an experience whether you choose a split distance or not. Last year was my first and I did a 2 day with a stop in Chehalis, didn't have an issue with being on my bike the 2nd day but I'm pretty comfortable on mine and had logged some miles before the event.

  14. #14
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    Camp was surprisingly quiet this last year. No problems sleeping. I am doing it in one day this year (as long as there is not a nasty head wind) my own bed will be my motivation.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Big Pete 1982's Avatar
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    I rode it in 2 days last year with some friends. We all live in the Centralia area, but we rode to Vader on day 1. I'm glad because I was sore on day 2. We sort of cheated though, we got a car ride home from Vader to sleep in our own beds, then got a car ride back to Vader in the morning. Centralia was where all the cools stuff was though. Big crowd. Lots of vendors. I think they even had a live band.

  16. #16
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    If you decide to go camping in Centralia (recommended for the vendors) make sure to get there before 3pm or else all the good grass patches will be taken as well as all the prime bike lockable areas (if you care about locking up your ride).

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