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Thread: Stp 2014

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Pacific Northwest
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    543

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    Lauraelmore, what a great ride report. Seventh year, wow!! I'm so glad you had a PAIN FREE STP this year, that's fantastic. Way to go making it up that Puyallup hill too. I think you made really good time both days, and not being psychotic at the finish line is a bonus, LOL.

    Congrats on your ride too khg... that Saturday heat was intense and I worried about the riders. My husband heard there were quite a few problems with people suffering from the heat on that long Napavine climb, which isn't surprising. At least the 2nd day was much cooler. I was shocked it started raining on us just as my husband crossed the finish line, I didn't see rain in the forecast. But it didn't last and wasn't too serious.
    "Don't go too fast, but I go pretty far"

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    141
    Lauraelmore, thanks for the ride report! You and my husband are both at 7--he's thinking of getting a duffel bag, stitching all his patches to it, and using that as his STP drop bag going forward. You guys are starting to get in pretty rarified company with that many finishes. (I overheard one guy at the end "well, now I've done this, I can check it off and never have to do it again." I think he didn't have a happy ride...)

    The Saturday heat was pretty intense--I heard that it got to 100 in Portland, and I can believe it. I saw a lot of people sitting by the side of the road, looking spent, and on 30, a lot of cars went by with STP bikes on the back. One woman was getting into a Personal Support Vehicle 11 miles from the finish... I tried to be very focused on my hydration (I have never felt such a sense of triumph at needing to pee at rest stop after rest stop!) and my worst effect was a little heat rash on my thighs where the sun was beating down, and on my butt cheeks where they touched the chamois. Oddly, riding was just fine, but walking around at the last couple stops felt like I had sandpaper down my shorts! They're shorts I've worn in absolute comfort on long rides before, so I think it was just the extreme conditions.

    There are probably easier ways to get a good beer, but I have to say, the 200+ miles in the sun made the beer at the finish line taste like the best thing in the world! Also, I stopped grumping about being up so early in the morning when I saw the sunrise hitting Mt Rainier, foregrounded by Lake Washington. Start to finish, it's a pretty special experience!
    1980-something Colnago
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  3. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
    Posts
    1,043
    Khg, that's almost exactly what my husband had to say about his ride! (the sandpaper down the previously comfortable shorts) I can only take credit for 5 finishes out of 7 starts (although I have 6 patches). Last year I DNFed because of a tear where the sun don't shine,and I swore I would never do it on a "regular" bike again. My first STP I sagged from Centralia to Winlock, so that doesn't really count as a finish either. That's a good idea about a STP duffel bag, though...

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  4. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Pacific Northwest
    Posts
    3,473
    Laura, that IS a wonderful ride report. Glad everyone here had a good ride!
    "My predominant feeling is one of gratitude. I have loved and been loved;I have been given much and I have given something in return...Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and an adventure." O. Sacks

  5. #20
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Washington state
    Posts
    12
    Laura and Khg, glad you had good rides!

    Mine was smooth too, despite the heat--no flats or mechanicals, and I managed to stay in a decent mental space all day. My goal for every ride is finish safely and happily so I consider it a success!

    I rode just with my fella, as our training group wanted to start later, and good thing we did--they were pushing 20mph at the end and we were hanging on at 17mph. We left at 4:30am from home to avoid the start line madness (I may have cried a little at the beautiful sunrise over Lake Washington) and made great time to Centralia, rolling in at 10:30am. It was high 80s/low 90s by then so we agreed to slow down a little and take as many breaks as we needed--I think we stopped for at least a quick break at every stop save one. We saw lots of people stopping by the side of the road to drink or lay in the dirt and I went through the sprinkler at the St Helens stop 4 times. I teared up coming over the St Johns bridge into Portland, too--such a beautiful city, and I was so proud of the cyclists around me! We rolled in to the finish line at 7:30 pm and there were more people waiting there than I expected, certainly more than last year. Hopefully that means everyone was slowing down and being mindful of the heat. After acquiring falafel and my 1-day rider t-shirt it was back on the bike to the hotel, thankfully only a mile away, but thanks to our sensible pace on the last 100 miles I could have ridden further (especially with the promise of AC at the end), which was a good feeling.

    I've been on an epic shorts quest and though my current shorts at least have a sufficiently wide chamois, the seat bone patting is not quite thick enough (Boure elites, 8.25" chamois, just wide enough so I am not sitting on seams). The frequent water stops kept the suffering from getting too intense but I was definitely feeling it and making up cranky burning butt variations to Ring of Fire to distract myself.

    This is my second STP and I am not sure if I want to do it again, but I suspect when January/February rolls around I'll be excited and ready.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    pacific NW
    Posts
    1,043
    Quote Originally Posted by esoterrica View Post
    I suspect when January/February rolls around I'll be excited and ready.
    It's like a sickness...

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  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jun 2014
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    141
    Quote Originally Posted by esoterrica View Post
    I may have cried a little at the beautiful sunrise over Lake Washington
    That sunrise! And the light of it on Mt Rainier, with Lake Washington spreading out below! That was worth the ride right there. And let's face it--if I weren't dragging myself out of bed for STP, there is no way on earth that I would be up riding my bike early enough to catch a summer sunrise and its unique quality of light.

    It's such a beautiful area--how lucky are we to get to ride our bikes here!
    Last edited by khg; 07-18-2014 at 06:02 PM. Reason: typo, more thoughts
    1980-something Colnago
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    2013 Wabi Classic

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  8. #23
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Concord, MA
    Posts
    13,128
    I often do short rides where I see the sunrise over the Concord River.
    No matter where I am, on my rides in the early AM, it's just awesome.
    However, this does sound like an epic experience, with the heat and hills.
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