Thoughts and Adventures From Greenlite Heavy Industries

Monday, July 11, 2011

STP 2011

I rode my bicycle down to Portland on Saturday – 204 miles leaving from my back door. I wanted to cut out the car entirely by riding from home, returning by train and then riding from King Street Station in Seattle to my house on Mercer Island, but the less than helpful folks at Amtrak couldn’t give me any assurance that I’d be able to get my bike from Portland to Seattle. In the end Joe and I had my friend Ron take our bikes back, we rode the train and Melony picked us up at the station.
I rode to Portland with four friends as part of the Seattle to Portland (STP) bicycle ride. We were five of the twelve thousand riders making the trip. Most ride it in two days, but there were a shocking number of single day riders as well. I can’t believe that they can convince that many people to ride that far.

The weather was perfect – clear skies, mid seventies and a significant tail wind. We sailed right along and with the exception of two flats – one resulting in a ruined tire - we had no problems. Just south of Seattle Bradley ruined his rear tire going over some railroad tracks, from now on I think I’ll bring a spare tire on these long rides, it’s the difference between a small hassle and having to call for a ride home. Luckily the guys at REI donated a nice Continental Ultra to our cause.

The wind blew out of the north the entire day and we were nearly pushed all the way into Portland. The final fifty miles down Interstate 30 can be fairly miserable, but on Saturday we rolled along at twenty miles per hour without hardly breaking a sweat. We climbed a long hill at over twenty mph and I kept wondering if I was experiencing some kind of optical illusion, but no we were being pushed uphill.

We rolled into Portland, each took a shower and then went out for hamburgers at the Kennedy School. I got the burger with the fried egg on top.

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