Last weekend, Arminda and I rode in the 30th annual Seattle to Portland bike ride (STP). The trip is 202 miles, and you can choose to do it in one day or two. We chose - wisely - to do it in two. We also rode with Arminda's friend George (Hawaiian looking flower shirt), and his friend David (red UNM shirt) who came up from California for the ride.

Heather got up early and came out to watch the start, which went within three blocks of our house.

There were 10,000 people registered to ride, so the starting line, and the official rest stops were crazy crowded. As the ride went along, the people thinned out a bit, but you were always surrounded by other riders.

We had a good rest stop at the halfway point for the ride - Centralia College - where a lot of people were spending the night. George had ridden last year, and had suggested we spend the night at Castle Rock instead, which was another 35 miles, but was much quieter, and gave us the advantage of having an easier ride on Sunday.
Heather had driven down to Castle Rock earlier in the day and gotten everything set up for us, so when we did eventually make it, she had snacks waiting, as well as a tent and tarp set-up so we could get out of the sun, which was super nice, as it was a very hot afternoon. The place we camped was Castle Rock High School, so they let us use the locker rooms to take showers, which was great for everyone except Arminda, as the hot water wasn't working in the women's locker room, so she had a very cold shower.

The weather changed overnight, and we woke up to cold and drizzle, a much different experience from the night before. So we suited up in jackets and arm-warmers for the final 65 mile push to Portland.

Heather drove down to portland to meet up with our friend Hillary, then meet us at the finish line.

I didn't get many shots during the day on Sunday, except these few of entering Oregon, crossing the big bridge over the Columbia River. After that, we took one short water break, then set a good pace, picked up a few fast people, and made it in to Portland over an hour ahead of our planned time, having missed a food/rest stop entirely. I guess the cold and rain were a good motivation to put our heads down and ride fast.

We made it to the finish while Heather and Hillary were still lost driving around Portland looking for the park the ride ended at.

We then had a quick lunch with Hillary and Cynthia at a cute little cafe in Portland before the long slow drive home in traffic. I was too tired to take any pictures of lunch, sorry.

Thanks for looking!

Jim

Posted 7/19/2009

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