Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    211

    STP-How Did You Do? Ride Report



    That was the start of the ride, and that was how dark it was. I left the parking lot sometime before 5am with about 2000 other riders snaking through the streets of Seattle. It was fun riding with a couple thousand other crazy bikers in near darkness.
    After about 10 minutes I looked to see how fast we were going and I saw that I had average 13.8. When we got down to Renton and Tukwilla I passed the first bad accident. A guy was down and I heard later he went to the hospital. After that the paced picked up pretty good. Like a lot of riders I skipped the first stop and went straight to Spanaway. Spanaway to Centralia went pretty fast and by the time I hit Centralia I had my first 5 hour century. I am calling it a 5 because my cyclometer read 4:57 and the STP guide said 100.

    The next half of the ride I started to figure was survival. Leaving Centralia I was on my own looking for someone to follow. Finally a loose group of racers came by and I hung around for a while. At Napavine we ran into a parade where the Police told us to get off our bikes and walk . The walk ended up being a blessing in disguise, after a very short walk my legs felt invigorated. After about 130 miles I ran into Cycle Tuesday which is part of Cascades HPC-High Performance Cycle groups. They are a large disciplined team of riders. When they went by they started sucking everything in their path and at one point their might have been 100 riders heading to 145. I ended up hanging on the back of Cycle Tuesday off and on till 175. After that everyone was on their own. Me and another guy finally pulled into Portland at 4:30. I guess their was another bad crashing in Centralia with a guy hitting his head pretty hard. He was 0k but was going to need stitches.

    How about your thoughts on food, pacelines, crashes, surviving. Did you bonk? Or just keep on cruising?

  2. #2
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: fosbibr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    64
    I came from Colorado to do it with a buddy from Portland - but he ended up falling off a ladder and breaking his elbow, so I rode solo. I hit the line at 5:15 and hit Centralia at 10:15 after stopping at Spanaway (?). I wasnt impressed at all with the rest stations - Spanaway had the WORST PBJ sandwhich ever, stale bread - threw the crust away and tried to eat the middle hopping it would be good - nature ended up getting most of that. Also the water was nowhere near where I expected and the, um, "gatorade" or whatever it was at each station was just not good - ended up pulling into a gas station just before or after each station to get some real gatorade. I was thankful for the free starbucks at Centraillia - was not expecting that.

    The pace to Centrallia felt like a very fast club ride - with a lot of random people on the road. After that though, it was basically a free for all. Hooked on with some guys after Centrallia and ended up pushing too fast a pace with them and blew up for a little while (but I did see them coming in to the last aid station when I was leaving so I got ahead of them somehow) - I slowed down for about an hour - 20mph and I felt a whole lot better. Once back in Oregon, about 10 of us got together and and had a good pull into St. Helens.

    It was pretty desolate after that - especially when I had a thought about mile 185 "hmm, I havent flatted today" and then instantly flatted. After changing the tube and hitting mile 190 or something the blood got pumping again and I pushed it into downtown. Grabbed another guy and we finished strong at 5:00 pm.

    Didn't see any crashes - unless you count me riding off into the ditch when I wasnt paying attention - overall, my feeling was just to push it and get it done.
    Last edited by fosbibr; 07-16-2006 at 07:58 PM.

  3. #3
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    211
    Sounds like we were in Centralia at the same time Foshbir. I remember at about 10:25 they made an announcement for rider to line up to form a paceline for 10:30. I didnt see much interest in it and left at 10:27. I kept expecting to see some fast riders come up but they never did.

    The STP food could be a separate thread. The inedible whole wheat PB and J sandwich was ubiquitous. For some reason the Cascade Club figures everyone goes to the health food store for their groceries. Two of the rest areas had a PB and J sandwich with white bread, and to top it off they had oreo cookies. I couldnt find a Cliff Bar worth eating. The fresh fruit was ok. One rest stop had a vegetarian wrap-that says it all. I only went into the sponsored stops. One guy said he got a chicken wrap at one of the private stops.

  4. #4
    JP
    JP is offline
    Lizzie will ride free
    Reputation: JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,154
    I had a great ride. The thing is, it was a little longer than I had planned. How's that? Well, I started off at 4:45 from Bellevue and intersected the course in Renton. I rode the first 70 miles with a friend who planned to turn around and head home. When he turned around, I found myself at a little traffic circle that was unmarked. Well it was marked, but not with anything from STP. A few minutes later three guys came riding up who were also lost. It turns out that we missed a turn somehere around Vader. It took us 15 bonus miles to get back to the course.

    Yeah, Homer Simpson "Duh!" points for us. Between say 125 and 150 miles, I was a bit shot down thinking about my blunder, but as it became clear that it wouldn't matter I had fun setting my longest distance. I pulled in to the finish at 7:30 ish. 218 miles.

    Very good ride, but it was tough.

  5. #5
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    211
    There was a place out there and it might have been Vader where the main road went straight and I think it was southerly but you had to make a right to stay on the course. After that I tried to look for the STP marking on the street. They should have had a sign out there. All the way into Portland from 175 you had to look for the markings. I remember when we swung east I kept thinking wrong direction until I saw the sign for Portland.

    There must have been a couple of thousand riders start from places other than the U of W because all the way to Spanaway I was passing large numbers of fairly slow riders. Makes sense if you live in Tacoma, just start where you live.

  6. #6
    JP
    JP is offline
    Lizzie will ride free
    Reputation: JP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    3,154
    [QUOTE=borregokid]There was a place out there and it might have been Vader where the main road went straight and I think it was southerly but you had to make a right to stay on the course. /QUOTE]

    I need to go look at a map. It was only about 70 miles in. My friend said when he got back to the scene of the crime (AKA wrong turn) there was a cop directing traffic. Still my fault, but I wish the cop were there a half hour earlier!

    Still, it's all good. Gotta go get some sleep.
    Last edited by JP; 07-17-2006 at 10:55 AM.

  7. #7
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    33

    Stp # 4

    For the most part I had a good ride. My previous long ride this year was Flying Wheels and am also riding RAMROD in less than 2 two weeks so I was trying to be sensible and not push too hard. I do not ride in pacelines because I do not have the skills and do not want to put others at risk.

    I averaged 17.4 as a solo one-day ride so I'll gladly take the result -- got into Portland about 6:30.

    Things I liked:
    volunteers -- it is great some people are willing to pitch in to allow others to enjoy the ride with less hassle
    weather -- a little chilly in the AM
    NO headwind in Oregon
    Showers in Portland

    Things I disliked:
    I thought the food was lacking -- I ate half of that chicken/veggie wrap thing at the Lexington stop -- couldn't stomach any more of it
    Pacelines that came too close and didn't provide adequate room for the people they were passing(this was usually the hanger-ons at the back)
    Riders that did not respect the problems the riders created for drivers -- riding 3,4,5 or more abreast on a two-lane road creates problems for drivers
    The walk through Napavine

    Things I hated
    Personnel Support Vehicles traveling the same route as the ride.
    Finding out the advertised battery life of 12 hours for my Garmin Edge 305 is less than 7 hours on a full charge


    Jerry

  8. #8
    kmc
    kmc is offline
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Posts
    184

    good ride

    This was my second STP...took a couple of newbies with me. We came in just under 11 hours ride time and an 18.7 average speed. The more miles we accumulated, the more we stopped. Rolled into Portland around 7:30.

    I learned my lesson from the first STP and made sandwiches the night before. We had the luxury of a personal support vehicle. Getting something substantial to eat at the stops is always hard. Good fruit though.

    Was it me or did we have to stand in line a long time to use the Honey Buckets?

    Saw three crashes...all looked like single bike incidents. Scary.

    Little tired today but still a ride worth doing.

  9. #9
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation: rcnute's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    2,119
    The guys on the motorcycles should carry shotguns to take out the personal support vehicles.

    It was fun, but I'm moving on. After doing it three years in a row (one day) it's gotten a little boring. Plus I don't like being around so much traffic. And the route from Kelso to Portland just sucks. That said, the level of organization is very impressive. The food stops after REI are somewhat lacking.

  10. #10
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    211
    I must have gotten a little bit ahead of the crowd. I didnt have any problems with the PSV's in fact I only saw about 2-3 that were running around my pace. One I was pretty sure was from one of the big riding clubs. I must have been keeping my eyes on the tire in front because I hardly ever saw any motorcycles or any type of Cascade support after Centralia. I figured the Sanikans were going to be real crowded at Spanaway and Centralia. Not sure if I will ever do it again. Once is probably enough.

    Century rides worth doing more than once-
    Apple Valley-Wenatchee in June
    Tour De Palm Springs-February, Palm Springs, CA

  11. #11
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    156
    Fun ride. Couldn't believe all the people. Weather was perfect, cool all morning and a tailwind to bring us home. All in our group finished, despite a crash* and tacoed front wheel (thanks to someone is a psv, he was able to catch a ride to the next stop and get it replaced).

    * If you aren't paying attention, crash and take out several riders, it is nice to appologize once you get your sh*t back together, eh?

  12. #12
    MING
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    419
    10:30 ride time, 12:20 total time, average of 19.0. my riding buddy and i, both first timers, caught up with 7 really swell people riding in blue polka dots tops. real cool group, nice easy pace from where we hooked up with them, right after the 80 mile mark, to the finish. one of their riders was in one of the crashes, he was torn up pretty good and he buggered his shoulder and leg, tough guy finished it out.

    eh, the food was so so, with cliff bar being a sponsor i figured id see cliff bars everywhere, this was not true, and for the life of me i never found a carrot cake one, my favorite. some of the drinks, esp at the 150 free stop were horrid, banana sports drink? i dumped it out after the first drink, good thing it ishard to mess up water. i like goos and thought ahead, i brought 8 or so of them with me. the volunteers at the stops were good though, i think the orange cream cicle guy was everyones favorite person. i wouldnt have minded it the person on the bullhurn in Centralia would have shut the hell up; only giving her info every 5-10 minutes.

    i noticed alot of cars over and over, they seemed to be race support, but many of them lacked anything saying they were race support, letting the riders know would improve communication, we could let them know if theres a problem and not rely on them seeing something. the egg parade was bs.

    Jerry -

    "Finding out the advertised battery life of 12 hours for my Garmin Edge 305 is less than 7 hours on a full charge"

    there are things called 'cell boost' i got 2 at comp usa. theyre designed to be a one time battery booster for cell phones, you need the one for the motorolla razor. sadly you cant charge it while its on the mount, i took mine off the stem everytime our group stopped (50,80,100, 150, 180,200) it was enough to get me though.

    but it doesnt matter, sadly between the bike corral, the beer garden, and the bike truck in portland i lost my garmin 205, very sad. i checked the lost and found sunday, no dice. they would be a reward if it is returned, i want the info more than the unit (however i really like the unit) ill head down to cascade here tomorrow, and im going to call the double tree, thinking of putting ads on craigslist in portland, any other ideas?

    i went back to the finish sunday to look for the gps unit, it was late in the day and they were getting ready to tear down. a two dayer of 60 on a mountain bike with slicks, who looked in bad shape, was struggling up the last hill alone. i finished with people lining the streets cheering and a announcer, it seemed wrong for him to finish alone in the fading light. i asked if i could ride in with him the last mile. we got talking, he said the only thing that didnt hurt was his fat and his prosthetic leg. i told him he was going to finish and no one could take that away from him, he had the biggest smile on his face as he crossed the line and saw his wife. it made my day. good ride buddy.

    good ride everyone,
    Fight Like Susan!

  13. #13
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    1
    This was my third year of riding the STP, and unlike a lot of you, I took the two days. My brother-in-law and myself were guiding two rookies (both under 18)doing their first centuries, so I was pretty happy with my overall ride average of 14.75 mph. In leaving so early, you truly miss the freaks that are out there. There was a guy on a big unicycle (how does one downhill on one of these?), a custom Big Wheel (yes, really), and one guy coming into Winlock doing 30mph on a longboard skateboard. You can't help but smile and shake your head at the reason why one would try it.
    If you first flight people thought the food was bad, you have no idea of what the later riders went through. There were no clif bars to be had until St. Helens, the second day. The last time we saw a banana was at REI the first day. The PB&J was cardboard by the time we got to it. I don't understand the idea behind the banana nut (supposedly berry, but it tasted like the bread) sports drink! We tried it at the start, and avoided it the entire day.
    Beside the food issues, dealing with wheelsuckers (I am a good person to draft at 6'1 215) that resist a turn at the front, and the kamikazi riders that pass in oncoming traffic, the ride was wonderful! The weather was incredible, support was beyond expectation. The best part of the ride is the valley between Vader and Castle Rock, just so picturesque, that it makes the hill at the end almost enjoyable. We are already talking about next year!
    Congrats to you that finished in one day, someday I will get there.
    Is 35 too old to do it in one day and recover?

  14. #14
    RoadBikeReview Member
    Reputation:
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    211
    I saw the guy on the skateboard pretty early. He must have left at 4:45. There were still a few other interesting riders like the guy with the recumbent who rode with sandals and used his feet to brake. There was also a three wheeled contraption that was close to the ground that was pretty fast. When I finished I saw a couple of guys come in right after me-one on a mountain bike and the other on a 16" folding type bike. They probably averaged close to 20mph not counting stops.

    You know going a little slower is a completely different ride than the pace lines near the front. I think I was looking at the guys in front of me or the rear wheel in front. I couldnt agree more on that sport drink.. I filled a bottle up and took a sip and dumped it. I am kind of surprised they didnt supply some decent gatorade. I was really glad I brought my own gatorade.

    There are lots of guys way past 35 who do it in one day. They of course are really total bike nuts. I would guess the first 400 riders who finished probably had average mileage of 200-300 miles a week for a couple of months before STP with a lot of them just riding all year round. I know a guy who was 50+ who finished in about 15 hours who probably biked less than 100 miles a week in the months leading to STP.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

INTERBIKE

Contest

Hot Deals

Interbike Featured Booths

Check out the hottest road bike products from these brands!



















See All Interbike Coverage - Click Here »


Latest RoadBike Articles


Latest Videos

RoadbikeReview on Facebook