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STP Route

Old 05-17-10, 09:51 AM
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STP Route

Hi Guys,

This year is my first STP. I live near Seattle so I'd like to check out the route as much as possible.
Could someone tell me where exactly is that nasty hill in Puyallup? I'd like to take a crack at it
before the race.

I did the Chilly Hilly this year and climbed Baker Hill Road like a dying sea otter, but managed to
get up it without walking the bike. So, I am wondering how the hills on the STP will compare to
Bainbridge the hills around Kitsap County. I'm on a mountain bike with slicks, so I'm a little more
concerned than my road bike riding friends.

Any practical tips/advice are appreciated. I've read The Complete Book of Long Distance Cycling and am
taking my training seriously... But I feel like I need every advantage possible.

Thanks a lot!
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Old 05-17-10, 10:32 AM
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https://veloroutes.org/bikemaps/?route=1991

Not too bad, and not too long, it really only goes up to the turn on to Canyon Rd, .5 miles I think?

For any doing the one-day you might think of riding down there from Seattle, doing 'the hill' and riding back - I did that one year and it's about 100 miles total, good training.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-10, 10:42 AM
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If you can finish Chilly Hilly without walking any hills, then don't sweat the "bump" that everyone frets about on the STP.

Seriously, the worst hill on the route is closer to mile 197, coming off SR30 into downtown PDX. It's a steep little S-curve hill that's only about a quarter mile long, but if you're doing the 1 day ride it's just soooo close to the finish that you're already tired from riding all day.
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Old 05-17-10, 01:02 PM
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If it is still the same route through that area as 25 years ago, the hill isn't so bad. It is only a hill by comparison with the ride you had done so far, which is pretty flat. You get up to the top and it is flat again until Centralia. I've always thought it was pretty amazing you could ride that entire distance and only encounter that one hill. My NYC commute is hillier than that, and NY is pretty flat.
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Old 05-17-10, 01:18 PM
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Originally Posted by century0fakers
I'm on a mountain bike with slicks, so I'm a little more
concerned than my road bike riding friends.
Did two-day STP like this last year at 300 lbs or so. The less-than-optimally trained masses will be very jealous of your low gearing in Puyallup. If you're getting decent training including hills, you're going to be golden. Concur with Clifton on the hill by the hospital when you're rolling into PDX, that was a nasty little surprise. Also, on both the Lewis and Clark Bridge over the Columbia and the bridges in PDX, you might be caught off guard by the steep approach grades, especially that late in the ride.

Honestly, Chilly Hilly was more difficult for me this year on a road bike and many pounds lighter than STP was for me last year on the MTB. If you managed Baker Hill Road without walking, you're golden. You're going to get to the top of the hill in Puyallup (I refuse to capitalize it) and have the most important lesson for modern America permanently tattooed to your brain: don't believe the hype.

Best practical advice: get two slices of banana bread in Vader. When you finish the first you're going to think "damn that was awesome, wish I had another piece." Now you will!
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Old 05-17-10, 01:28 PM
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Originally Posted by CliftonGK1
Seriously, the worst hill on the route is closer to mile 197, coming off SR30 into downtown PDX. It's a steep little S-curve hill that's only about a quarter mile long, but if you're doing the 1 day ride it's just soooo close to the finish that you're already tired from riding all day.
Looks like that hill has been nixed. The hill up to the St. Johns bridge will be new, but it's a little mellower.

Notes on new route through Portland
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Old 05-21-10, 10:36 AM
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St Johns Bridge

The approach to the St. Johns bridge is really not difficult at all. I do it regularly on my rides around town. (But then again, I guess anything could be difficult after riding 200 miles...)

Last edited by magicnumber; 05-21-10 at 10:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old 05-21-10, 10:48 PM
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Anyone know if there's a downloadable GPS file of this year's route?
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Old 05-24-10, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Sapling
Anyone know if there's a downloadable GPS file of this year's route?
no, but you could draw it yourself on www.bikeroutetoaster.com, then save the gps data.

+1 on the St. John's Bridge, versus the NW Wardway hill.

Puyallup's 'hill' is 310 vertical feet, give or take a few, in a mile. Napavine's is similar; there are the 3 or so rollers beyond Vader; the ascent of the Lewis and Clark Bridge to get into Oregon; oh, and don't forget that steep block in Seattle just after leaving the shore of Lake Washington.
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Old 05-24-10, 07:40 PM
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So does anyone have a generic, heck a hand drawn map would work, of where the hills are so us newbies can fuel up, drink up and be ready for the action. Maybe when i get my packet I can figure out a way to record the miles and let my computer do the work. Or maybe I am over thinking this and need to just roll with it... HA!
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Old 05-24-10, 11:16 PM
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I think you just need to roll it with the first time, there aren't any monster hills to worry about. Just a few little ones that will get your attention. You're likely to encounter similar hills around Seattle as you train the ride. Get used to those and you'll be fine.
IIRC, Baker hill is a little longer and steeper than Puyallup.
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Old 05-25-10, 07:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Daveyboy
I think you just need to roll it with the first time, there aren't any monster hills to worry about. Just a few little ones that will get your attention. You're likely to encounter similar hills around Seattle as you train the ride. Get used to those and you'll be fine.
IIRC, Baker hill is a little longer and steeper than Puyallup.
excellent. with my training spring/summer i won't make those dying seal noices like i did on baker hill... hahahaha!
mostly, i am think i am concerned about waking up and riding my my bike the last 90 miles....
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Old 05-25-10, 10:55 AM
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If you Google "STP route map", you will find a bunch, ranging from PDF copies of the Cascade packet, to routes on bikely and the like.
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Old 05-26-10, 06:26 AM
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I can't believe I didn't go to mapmyride.com first...here's the link:
https://www.mapmyride.com/ride/united...ttle/488682850
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Old 05-26-10, 01:36 PM
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That route in mapmyride is not this year's route. It starts at the Kingdome and ends somewhere other than the current finish line. Here is the link to the Cascade packet map. STP 2010 Route
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Old 05-26-10, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by robertc3
That route in mapmyride is not this year's route. It starts at the Kingdome and ends somewhere other than the current finish line. Here is the link to the Cascade packet map. STP 2010 Route
Because I can't help myself and prefer to procrastinate... Here is the 2010 route on mapmyride: https://www.mapmyride.com/route/us/wa...27492133653674
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Old 05-27-10, 11:59 AM
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Nice work Kamala. That route has it all, the food, hills, the bike shops. I am certain that doing the route was more important than what ever you were putting off to do it.
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Old 05-27-10, 02:44 PM
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Originally Posted by robertc3
Nice work Kamala. That route has it all, the food, hills, the bike shops. I am certain that doing the route was more important than what ever you were putting off to do it.
I think so also! Some of the mini-stops are fairly approximate, but probably less than a mile off except for Scappoose, which was a blind guess. I don't remember where they all were and there are slight mileage differences between the ride guide and the mapping program.

Can any of the previous one-day riders discuss the approach, crossing, and exit of the Lewis and Clark Bridge? It was an entertaining journey with just bikes and the road blocked for us on the two-day. Interested to see how it works on the one-day when you're out there fending for yourself on what is basically a highway.
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Old 05-27-10, 07:53 PM
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hey kamala,

are you psyched post-chilly hilly that you are going to have a good STP? going with your mountain bike (nostalgic) or your road bike? congrats on the weight loss.
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Old 05-27-10, 09:31 PM
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First time I did it was 15+ years back on my MTN Bike with knobbies, next year with slicks was like, wow...
Like others have said the route was pretty good and the last hill isnt too bad if you just hang back and pedal it up, in the past the P Hill wasnt much of a problem if you paced yourself well.
MM
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Old 05-27-10, 09:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Kamala
Can any of the previous one-day riders discuss the approach, crossing, and exit of the Lewis and Clark Bridge?
I've only done STP one day, so don't know what it would be like to have the whole bridge with just other bikes and no cars. Sharing it with vehicles is 'ok'. The shoulder is not super wide, but wide enough for one, but it tends to have junk in it (at least when I rode.) You just REALLY need to be careful to space yourself out from the bike in front. If you get stuck behind a slow mover, you're pretty much stuck. Your only option is to ride out in the car lane to pass, however, I didn't feel comfortable doing that. So, just be patient and enjoy the scenery on the way up. Just make sure you watch the guy ahead of you.

Once you're over the top things open up a little more.
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Old 05-28-10, 12:48 AM
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Originally Posted by century0fakers
hey kamala,

are you psyched post-chilly hilly that you are going to have a good STP? going with your mountain bike (nostalgic) or your road bike? congrats on the weight loss.
Thanks!
Need to put in some more training miles and get some fit issues ironed out with my move to clipless, but I'm feeling great about STP. I might be rolling in when they're packing up the finish line Saturday night, but I will finish in one day.

The MTB is retired from long road rides, although I miss the low gearing some days with the hills around here. But the higher gearing just forces me to HTFU! I'll probably turn the MTB into my dead-of-winter commuter at some point.
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Old 05-28-10, 02:00 AM
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I'd agree with Daveyboy regarding the bridge -- gotta keep your eyes open. A sunglasses-mounted mirror would be handy for checking for traffic behind you. I didn't find the expansion joints so scary, but a lot of water bottles did, and leaped out of their cages to dash themselves on the pavement.

regarding places to stop for nourishment and hydration -- there are a lot of little town stores along with the official stops
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Old 05-28-10, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by Daveyboy
I've only done STP one day, so don't know what it would be like to have the whole bridge with just other bikes and no cars. Sharing it with vehicles is 'ok'. The shoulder is not super wide, but wide enough for one, but it tends to have junk in it (at least when I rode.) You just REALLY need to be careful to space yourself out from the bike in front. If you get stuck behind a slow mover, you're pretty much stuck. Your only option is to ride out in the car lane to pass, however, I didn't feel comfortable doing that. So, just be patient and enjoy the scenery on the way up. Just make sure you watch the guy ahead of you.

Once you're over the top things open up a little more.
No worries there, I am the slow mover. :-)
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Old 05-28-10, 05:08 PM
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Can any of the previous one-day riders discuss the approach, crossing, and exit of the Lewis and Clark Bridge?

The magnetic sensors in the left turn lane at the bridge approach won't trigger for a small group of bicycles. Be sure to wave a car/truck up to the front, or enjoy sitting through multiple light changes. That huge intersection isn't "red light-runnable."
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