On Saturday I biked 202 miles from Seattle to Portland!
The night before I was pretty excited and it was hard to sleep so I only got five hours of sleep. Since the race starts at 4:45 am I woke up at 3:45 am, the earliest I have ever woken up, and hit the road starting the Seattle to Portland ride at around 5 am with a bunch of buddies (Robert, Ming, Rob, Rob’s brother-in-law, Ryan, Glenn and Jay. Donald and Joe, where were you?). We skipped the start line (there was 10,000 registered riders!) and hit Lake Washington Boulevard which was gorgeous as the sun came up. Leaving Seattle we tried to all ride together but at the first rest stop Robert, Ming and I keep going while the others stopped. We then rode faster than we’ve ever ridden before to Centralia, the half way point, only stopping once. For the first hundred miles we averaged 19.6 mph, our fastest century yet. We were pumped!
After Centralia we found out that the ride isn’t as flat as everyone lead us on to believe. The next 70 miles proved to be pretty frustrating as all the pace lines that passed us were going much too fast for us to be able to keep up and we had to battle the headwind mostly ourselves. Fortunately the final 30 miles felt almost all downhill except the last 4 miles into Portland :). Once I crossed the finish line I was pretty wiped. I could barely talk, in fact, it kinda felt like I was going to burst into tears. At the finish line we were met by Chelsea and celebrated with beers and bad food. Followed by more food and lots of sleep (we scored the Hilton pretty cheap on Hotwire). The next day we ate a huge brunch at Mother’s, met up with Rob for a bit, tried to get some donuts, then hit the road, and ate some more!
Thanks to Chelsea for being our chauffeur, the volunteers at all the food stops, all the riders I drafted behind, the police for shutting down some intersections and everyone who cheered us on!
On the road home I read all about the three one-day rides hosted by the Redmond Cycling Club – RAMROD (ride around Mount Rainer) Seattle to Spokane, Seattle to Spokane via highway 2. I think I’m up for RAMROD but biking from Seattle to Spokane in one day is just plain nuts (it’s a training ride for the ultimate in ultra-crazy cycling rides Race Across America.)
If I do STP again:
- Better start time coordination so we can maximize sleeping in
- More sleep during the week leading up to the event (it was a busy week at work…)
- More chamois cream every rest stop
- Bring less food
- Bring ibuprofen
- More training?
- Distance: 204.87 miles
- Elevation: 1,951 feet
- Peddling time: 11 hrs 20 minutes
- Started: 5 am. Arrived: 6:40 pm.
- Average speed: 18.1 mph
- Max speed: 35 mph
- Weight lost: 4 pounds