Monday, July 19, 2010


Above: The results, the day's ride evidence, and my groceries.

This weekend was a blast, an I couldn't be happier with the results of this year's STP. No crashes for myself or my friends, only one flat (although flatting 170 miles into your bike ride is incredibly deflating), and a successful completion of my goal time (actually, I crushed my goal time).

Big thanks to Paul, Heather, and Craig for inviting me to ride with them - it was a blast. Unfortunately our paces started to differ around the 70 mile mark, and I split off at the halfway point of the day. This was a good call in hindsight, as they had a great rest of their ride and I actually had not only a faster second 100 miles, but my personal best (4:31 ride time). My whole STP took 9 hours and 27 minutes, with the 200 mile mark coming at 9:17 (my goal was a 9:30 double century, since the last 4 miles are through urban Portland and not really an accurate pace gauge). Sure, things could've been faster: I stopped for much longer than I'd prefer 4 different times, and I think that let me legs slow down a bit, but there was no other option. If I set out earlier than my "team" and hammered alone, they would inevitably work together to catch me and at that point I'd be exhausted and have no time advantage. Not worth the effort. So I stayed disciplined and just enjoyed our stops and my company. There was also a big 20+ mile section where we happened to be working with/around the dumbest, most ridiculous paceline I've ever been a part of. Usually I'm the least experienced group rider in the line, and I usually earn the "young and stupid" award for the day, but on this day I felt like an ex-pro. I stayed near the back for most of the line, mostly out of fear for what might happen if I got mixed up with the stop-start-speed up-brake action going on up front. It was like crit racing out of every intersection. Absolutely ridiculous. I'm sure I could've gone 5-10 minutes faster overall if we just had some logic for that hour or so. C'est la vie. Maybe next year I'll get in with a good team on the start line and we'll just try to get out front and stay away from all of that garbage for the day. We'll see.

Again, all things considered it was a blast. Riding bikes with 10,000 other people is very, very cool. And some of them weren't even on bikes. Among the STP entrants were a longboarder (yes, he kicked-pushed-coasted all the way from Seattle to Portland), people on a 3-seated bike, people on tricycles, people on ellipticals (yes:, and people on unicycles (see above photo - he did it in one day, like me. On a unicycle. Up and down hills. Think about that). Some of us went for record-setting personal best times; some of the riders just wanted to finish. Some just went to eat a whole bunch of Clif bars. Regardless, everyone had a blast. I'm very glad I had the chance to go on the world's biggest group ride this year.

I'm even more glad I got my One-Day-Rider shirt and necklace.

Next up: a quick recovery week, then RAMROD and the Lake Washington race next week. Shut up, legs, and do what I tell you.

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