Last week I threw down a challenge to write a post on “Your favorite ride/adventure of 2009”. Since I’ve taken up this challenge as well I’ve had to mentally sort through the all of the rides of 2009 and determine which adventure survives while the rest get voted off of the cycling adventure island. The three rides that made the final cut were.
The Alpine Loop. This ride included a leg busting 8 mile ascent at 10% grade and a screaming 10 mile descent.
Tuesday Night Group Ride. This ride included the fastest pacelining I’ve ever experienced while accidentally running over road kill. One for the books.
Day 2 of the STP. This ride didn’t include any incredible descents or major road kill but I was able to celebrate with Jenny and my oldest son their first and second centuries on successive days.
I know that the suspense is building so without any further delay the winner is Day 2 of the STP.
If you’re not familiar with the STP it’s an organized ride from Seattle to Portland which spans 204 miles. We split the ride in half with 102 miles the first day and another 102 miles on the second day. Day one of the trip went amazing well. For my wife and sons first century they had perfect conditions. The weather was warm and as an added bonus we had a tail wind for the last 50 miles. It just couldn’t get much better than that.
Day 2 wasn’t as easy but proved to be more rewarding. Two or three miles into the ride we had to stop because my son was having some knee pain. We offered to let him call his buddies who were driving a support vehicle for us but he decided to stick it out and continue on. A little while latter Jenny started having knee pains as well. We were having a full blown bad knee fest-o-rama. At this point I was seriously wondering if they were going to make it to Portland but they kept on.
At times during the day we would keep a really good pace but at others we slowed down to a crawl but at no time did either one of them quit. Both Jenny and my son showed some true guts.
It was a really long day for both of them but and as they crossed the finish line and enjoyed the celebration in a park in the middle of Portland I could tell they both felt like they had just done something special. I think if the journey had been easy that day they wouldn’t have felt such a sense of accomplishment.
As Jenny and I held hands in an manner after the ride I was happy that I was able to share this experience with both of them. I believe you can learn a lot about yourself when you push yourself beyond what you think you can accomplish. Both Jenny and my son did just that. I’m sure we will talk about the 2009 STP for years to come.