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Old 07-13-09, 10:13 AM   #1
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My One-Day STP, what do you think?

So, the plan was to ride this year's STP (Seattle to Portland) in one day, which is 204 miles. I've ridden right at 2500 miles to train for this ride and had planned to ride with a "friend", who turn 50 this year, my son who is 28, and has only ridden for about 2 months and another young guy, 20 something, from the local bike shop. In all of our riding and planning, we talk about how we would ride together and help each other when the riding got tough, this was to be a team effort.

So much for the planning. After arriving at the half-way point, my riding partner and the young guy got food, I got a 30 minute massage as planned. When my massage was finished they didn't want to wait while I ate, so they took off. My son and I managed to meet back up with them at the next food stop and rode with both of them for about 10 miles when the young guy took off again. My riding partner didn't want to stop at the last food stop as planned, my son and he were ahead of me and did not stop at the food stop. After I left the food stop, I found my son, who was resting in the grass next to the road. My riding partner went ahead. My son and I rode about 5 miles, when he got sick and was unable to continue, we call for my wife to come and pick him up. I planned to stayed with him until my wife arrived, but by the time she got there it was too late to finish. We did go back the next morning and finish the ride.

My question is what would you have done, would you have stayed with you child or not, and how should I feel about my riding partner who promise to be there for the "team"?
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Old 07-13-09, 10:18 AM   #2
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I would have stayed with your son, as you did. Family is forever, riding buddies are not. Just don't make him feel guilty about anything now that it's done.

Lots can go wrong on a 204 mile day.

When I ride my bike I feel free and happy and strong. I'm liberated from the usual nonsense of day to day life. Solid, dependable, silent, my bike is my horse, my fighter jet, my island, my friend. Together we will conquer that hill and thereafter the world.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:24 AM   #3
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Well, I don't want to sound callous, but your son is 28 years old, so he's probably capable of taking care of himself to some extent. In addition, the STP is the [strike]most hyped[/strike] best supported ride in the entire Northwest. You and your son were two of something like 15,000 riders, approximately 3,750 of which were doing the 1-day ride. As long as you were on the route, there was very, very little chance that your son wouldn't have been picked up and well taken care of by the ride organizers. If this were an unsupported ride, that would have been one thing. The STP is very, very far from unsupported.

As far as your riding buddy is concerned, I would have ridden on without him and used it as fodder for some (many) future conversations. But that's just me.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:34 AM   #4
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I sure wouldn't plan any more "team efforts" with that friend. You did the right thing staying with your sick son. I could only see leaving him if SAG support had picked him up AND he insisted that you should continue. Family is way more important than cycling goals.
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Old 07-13-09, 10:49 AM   #5
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No question about it - stay with your son. You did good.

Sorry, that is not a riding "partner."
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Old 07-13-09, 01:04 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by abadoki View Post
In all of our riding and planning, we talk about how we would ride together and help each other when the riding got tough, this was to be a team effort.
Your riding buddy is a one-way check valve.
If he's not committed to finishing as a team then he shouldn't have started as part of your team.

I was with a group of six and we didn't have that level of commitment to each other but our plan was to stay together even though there was some spread in ability, skill, and endurance. At mile 150 two of the guys decided to quit but they had everything taken care of. The rest of us pulled into the park as one.

What a great ride though.

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Old 07-13-09, 02:51 PM   #7
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I do several organised rides a year- sometimes on my own and sometimes with mates. There is one "Mate" that I never tell I am doing a ride though. He will always do his own ride and try and get someone else to do it with him- just as your mate did with your son and he wears them out in the same manner.

There is a commitment that I make with my riding partners and that is that we stay together. OK- I will take my own speed up a hill and whether this is faster or slower than others does not matter. Top of the hill and the first rider up slows right up to let the group collect again. Then if there is a "Slow" rider- then someone will always drop back with him while the rest of the group have a decent ride. There is always at least one rider that does not want to do a fast ride that day.

By doing this- I have managed to get almost complete novices into distance riding. One of which is a mate of mine called Tim that did his first 65 miler with me two years ago on a testing route. He in turn is getting one of his workmates in training so that I can take them both out on the same route this year. Just hope they don't leave me by the roadside feeling sick.
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Old 07-15-09, 10:13 AM   #8
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Sorry abadoki,

But I'm kind of on the fence here. As unixpro said, 28 is old enough to take care of himself, plus the STP Organization is Totally Excellent and your son would have been well taken care of by them.

On the other hand, and all that said, I'm not sure I could abondon my son and take off to finish the ride if I were in your place. Your "friend" didn't seem to be much of a friend, so no great loss there!

My wife and I rode STP in two days, from Seattle to Vader (125 mi.) on Sat. in the hot sun, then from Vader to Portland (77 mi.) on Sun. in the (much colder!) fog, rain and mist. I agree it's a Totally Excellent Ride, and the organization has every angle covered, so no worries for the riders.

I just can't talk my wife into riding it in one day. She rides double centuries, so that's not the issue. By the time I got to Centralia I was riding with (mostly) one day riders anyway, so I'm sure I could do it.

Maybe next year . . .

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Old 07-17-09, 04:11 PM   #9
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First, congrats on the ride. Being here in Seattle I feel compelled to do the ride one day but the annual litany of crashes, injuries, and pile-ups at aid stations has kept me away so far.

As far as your riding "group" - I guess I don't understand why someone would agree to ride as a group and then not ride as a group. It's that kind of dynamic that makes most of rides solo ones.

I guess I'm destined to do ride to Portland some day by myself just so I can scratch that off my list...
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Old 07-18-09, 05:47 AM   #10
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I think you made the right decision for YOU and that is all that matters. Only you know how sick he was. And I don't care how old he is, he is still your child. You can always ride another day, but you would never forgive yourself if you hadn't stayed and something bad happened.
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Old 07-18-09, 05:26 PM   #11
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This is why I prefer to ride solo most of the time...
You have to stay with your son, or for that matter anybody else, even a stranger, who needs help and doesn't have it. My son is 28, too, and I'd never leave him by the side of the road.
FWIW, though, I'd be pissed at the friend, and I'd be pissed at my son for not training enough to make the ride. I did my first century at age 44 on zero training--I'd been riding 20 or 30 miles a week for a few weeks when a friend called on a Friday night and asked me to go with him the next morning. I dragged myself around, just barely. But there's a big difference between that ride and STP.
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Old 07-18-09, 07:33 PM   #12
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I think you would have regretted it if you continued. Thee is always next year for the ride.
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