Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2010 STP Ride Report

Rather than bore everyone with a lot of flowery words, excessive adjectives and the overuse of the word pain, I’m going to follow the tradition that I started last year by doing my Seattle to Portland (STP) ride report in short attention span bullet points. If you’re into twitter just think of this post as an over abundance of twitter posts. So here we go.

Pre Ride
  • As I wrote a parting blog post the night before the STP I quoted the mantra that riders recite at the Leadville 100 before the race. “I will commit, I will not quit” This is a great quote but I mistyped it originally as “I will commit, I will NOW quit”. This made me a little nervous.
  • Went out with the family to Pizza Hut for some pre ride guilt free eats. Ahhhhhh
  • Started feeling a little nauseated
  • Started getting a slight headache
  • Started getting a toothache
  • Decided that I had become a mental case and went to bed

  • Woke up at 3am
  • Got riding gear on
  • Took some precautionary measures by taking some Vitamin I and applying liberal amounts of chamois cream
  • Prayed mightily that I would survive the day
  • Jenny got out of bed so she could drive me to Husky Stadium
  • Got to Husky Stadium at 4am and by 4:05 I was on my bike and riding
  • The official ride didn’t start until 4:45am but there were plenty of other riders just like me who decided to start a little early.
  • Noticed that another rider was following close behind me then he asked me how I was following the route in the dark. I told him that I had the route downloaded to my garmin and he looked at ease.
  • 10 seconds later my Garmin beeped at me because I had gone off of the course.
  • My new buddy and I made a U turn and got back on course
  • Spotted a lot of flashing blinkies up in the distance and eventually caught up to a pack of other riders who had started early too.
  • Felt a lot like a Sooner for taking off 45 minutes early and then riding through the dark with another pack of rebels.
  • Noticed that my head light was by far the brightest in the bunch. Thanks Kanyon Kris
  • Rode along Lake Washington and watched the sun come up
  • Rode through Renton and various over cities with Police stopping traffic at all of the major intersections for us. Kind of felt like a rock star. Kind of.
  • Stopped at the first rest stop at mile 25 and listened to really loud techno music while consuming a clif bar and chocolate milk. I just can’t pass up free food.
  • Felt kind of like throwing up after eating that clif bar.
  • Got passed by a peloton of at least 40 riders taking up an entire lane of traffic.
  • Decided this was my chance to experience what it’s like to cruise along with a peloton so I leaped on the back and worked my way through to the middle of the pack.
  • Hung with the peloton for 30 minutes and all I could hear was the constant whir of tires. It was pretty exhilarating.
  • All of the sudden most of the peloton pulled over to the side of the road and proceeded to engage in a natural break. Some while still straddling their bikes. That’s what I call dedication. Don’t worry Jenny, I just kept riding but couldn’t keep the smirk off of my face.
  • Discovered that my legs were cooked from attempting to hang with the peloton too long. Would pay for that adventure for several more hours.
  • Stopped at rest stop mile 44 and had another Cif bar because it was free.
  • Walked across a huge football field to get to the bank of porta-poties. Had a long discussion with everyone else making the hike about their placement. Still kind confused on that one.
  • Pulled out of the rest stop feeling like I was about to throw up again. Did I eat another Clif bar? Decided that I’m a slow learner.
  • Followed someone with a Mellow Johnny’s jersey on for miles as crazed pacelines passed me filled with tree trunk thigh riders.
  • Pulled into the 100 mile rest stop at 10:45am and declined riding through the misting station and free offers of an ice cream bar because it was still only 55 degrees outside. I could have sworn it was July.
  • Made a mad dash for the porta-potty line and upon finishing up my business had another free chocolate milk given to me by none other than Miss Centrailia Washington. Hard to turn something down like that.
  • Decided to stick with Gatorade, Snickers, and an occasional gel for the rest of the ride. Lucky for me I run a lot better on cheap fuel.
  • At mile 120 got detoured onto a sidewalk because we had ridden up to a small town parade.
  • Finally met up with Jenny on the side of the road. It was really nice to see her.
  • Dumped off my headlight, rain pants, coat and some Clif bars that I had packed in the car and filled up my seat wedge with enough snickers bars to make it to Portland.
  • Put my head down and rode, then rode some more.
  • Was riding in a really long paceline and when a car drove by and honked at us in anger. The first 10 cyclists in line gave the driver the finger. It was a prefect example of a cycling mob mentality. I laughed about that one for at least 10 minutes. (Jenny don’t worry, I didn’t participate in the gesture)
  • Stopped at a convenience store at mile 160 for some Gatorade and stood behind some guy trying to buy a hunting and fishing license. The lady behind the counter wouldn’t sell him one because the computer had him blocked. He finally confessed that he was way behind on his child support and that was why the state of Washington had blocked him. Way to go Washington State.
  • Got an incredible case of “Are we there yet” syndrome for the next 40 miles.
  • Pulled into mile 180 rest stop, bought a 12oz Coke and drank it while sitting in the shade. It tasted great and normally this gives me a huge boost to make it the rest of the way but realized that no amount of sugar was going to do the trick at this point.
  • At mile 189 my Garmin 305 batteries gave up the ghost. This didn’t keep me from looking down at it every minute or so to check my speed though. Some habits are tough to break.
  • At mile 190 I decided that I was done drinking because I was sick of searching for porta-potties.
  • Pulled into Portland and climbed the steepest hill of the entire ride without passing out. At this point I decided that I was really going to make it.
  • Got detoured through the heart of downtown Portland because a bridge was under construction.
  • Rode with 10 or so other riders through at least 20 stop lights. Laughed as most of them were so fatigued that they were having a hard time clipping into their pedals every time we started.
  • Ran a couple of red lights just to keep up with the rest of the pack. There was no way I was going to get lost in downtown Portland after riding 200 miles and add additional miles.
  • Pulled into Holiday Park to a huge finish line celebration where my whole family greeted me equipped with a sign and a stuffed lion. Nice touch.
  • Gave Jenny a big kiss.
  • To their horror I gave both of my daughters a big sweaty hug just for fun. They didn’t think it was so funny.
  • Double Century done!
  • 208 miles, 12.5 hours of riding time, 15 hours total, 4am – 7pm.

  • That was the most focused ride that I’ve ever done.
  • At some point during the ride every muscle hurt in my body but never at the same time. They would each take turns hurting then feel better. I’m really glad that they decided to take turns and not all revolt at the same time.
  • That was the fastest century, followed by another century that I have ever ridden. Pacelines Rock!
  • I thought that I would never want to do another double century after this one but I’m actually considering it if I can talk other people into doing it with me next time.

Special Thanks To
  • First and foremost, I need to thank Jenny for putting up with all of my early morning and late night training and constant talk about cycling. I’d also like to thank her for showing a mean streak when I would call her out in the middle of nowhere standing in the rain. Toward the end I just knew she wouldn’t pick me up. That’s exactly what I needed
  • A big thank you to my kids for suffering through the fact that their father is a cycling geek. Get used to it, it’s not going away.
  • I’d also like to thank the inventors of chamois cream
  • Thanks to my mother in law for virtually riding along with me on her wii fit. I’m not sure how that works but my guess is it doesn’t involve chamois cream, snot rockets, Lycra, or rude drivers.
  • Thanks to Jack Bauer for being tortured and torturing so many people during the 7 seasons of 24 that we watched during the winter months on a trainer. You made trainer rides “almost” enjoyable.
  • Finally, thanks to the Cascade Bike club for putting on the most organized bike ride that I’ve ever been on. I’m not sure how they logistically deal with 10,000 cyclist over 200 miles but year in and year out they do a great job.

Will I be back next year? I’m not sure but I don’t think it would take much persuading if others wanted to join me. Any takers?


jeff said...

Absolutely awesome! Congratulations! One of these years you're going to get takers on joining you for another STP.

Linda said...

Excellent job! I was thinking of you all that day...way to go!

Big Clyde said...

Chamois cream...worst dessert topping ever!

Jenny-Jenny said...

I'm so proud of you! You were the best cyclist on the road that day and your youngest daughter said Lance Armstrong was jealous. Way to Go... and no I will not join you on a one day STP. But I will happily be your support vehicle and maybe next time I'll wear a little yellow dress when I present you with a lion and a kiss.

AlaskaChick said...

OMG! You are HILARIOUS! I was giggling like crazy through your entire report! Pure awesomeness! I am not even tempted to do 200 miles, except as part of a relay. :) Found your blog on Fatty's and I'm bookmarking it. I love humorous blogs about biking. I also love that your wife is so cute as to want to wear a yellow dress and present you with a stuffed lion next year. Yes, please! And take photos! Love it! My hubby is my SAG wagon (along with our three dogs). It's awesome to have a spouse who supports you.

V Twin Motorcycle Tires said...

That's a great piece of writing. But the part that strike me most is where you thank Jenny. Its good you have appreciated her support and her endurance. When you leave the bed early and come back home late at night. Its a good thing. And thank you for the STP Report.